Kris v 2.0

The definition of the word “reinvent” is to “change something so much that it appears to be entirely new.”

I was recently given some career advice that it’s time to “reinvent” myself. I disagree. I think it’s just time for a reboot. To “reboot” something is to “make a change in order to establish a new beginning”. In other words, a new version of myself but with enhancements and bug fixes. Kris version 2, or v 2.0 if you will…

Why would I need to appear entirely new? Of course I have regrets, but if I start over, I’d lose all I’ve learned from my mistakes. I’d lose all I’ve accomplished. Reinventing indicates there’s nothing worth keeping, and that’s simply not true.

Have you ever felt the need to reinvent or reboot your image? One of my favorite quotes is “we cannot control how we are perceived, but only how we present ourselves”. As I keep the good, and learn from the not-so-good, I look forward to my next endeavor as Kris v2.0, the improved version of myself – not someone new.

Romancing the revamp

I can’t say that my shop on Etsy has been lucrative, but with the demands of my “grown up” job, it’s been the best option for selling my jewelry at this point.  After 2 1/2 years I’ve decided to start fresh and revamp my Stranded In The City shop.  This is going to include higher quality materials and craftmanship, better quality photographs, more descriptive product details, and best of all, new and improved jewelry.

I’ll still focus on upcycled vintage assemblage style jewelry, but I really want to get back to only making things that speak to me.  Meaning, not just making something because I think it might sell.  I want my shop to reflect my own personal style.

Have any of you ever set out on such an endeavor?  What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?  I’m looking for advice from anyone who’s been down this road before, so feel free to comment!

They tell me of a Texas sky…

I first heard my father-in-law talk about a “Texas sky” and being a transplant from the Arkansas/Missouri area, I wasn’t quite familiar with what he meant.  He explained a Texas sky is a pale blue with streaks of soft clouds.  As a former pilot, the sky was his playground, so I trust his explanation.  It also reminds me a bit of him, with his striking snowy hair and piercing sky blue eyes.

This got me thinking about the different “types” of skies and the one that is most special to me is the Arkansas sky that I remember from my childhood.  There are many versions, from the perfectly clear blue, cloudless day, to the deep post-storm sky that is somehow dark and bright at the same time, and sometimes, just sometimes, if you’re really lucky you’ll even see a beautiful rainbow like the one I remember seeing from my porch, the spectrum of colors warming the white steeple of our church in the distance.

Wherever you live now, or have lived in the past, I’m sure there’s a sky you remember.  I hope the memories of those skies stick with you and bring a smile when you see one that reminds you of the past, just like they have with me.

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Jellybean’s Doppelgänger

On a business trip to New Orleans last week I found myself sitting in the courtyard at Cafe Beignet on Royal Street enjoying (what else but) a delicious beignet.  Much sweeter than the beignet though were the few minutes I came face to face with what could only be the Louisiana lookalike of my dearly departed cat, Jellybean.  As he sauntered throughout the chairs and tables, briefly pausing for quick pat on the head, or to give that beautiful blank stare that only “cat people” can love, I was taken back to the sweet memories of when Jellybean was still around.  It may sound silly, but the glossy black fur with tiny streaks of white, the beautiful main, his brilliant green eyes, and the unique markings on his nose made me feel like I had my beloved pet back for just a moment.  So here’s to my Jellybean and the Cafe Beignet kitty – I hope everyone who has lost a pet has the chance to feel reunited at some point, even if for just a moment.

Jellybean

Jellybean

Cafe Beignet Kitty

Cafe Beignet Kitty

Where’d You Get Those Shoes?

So I was thumbing through the latest issue of Bead Trends magazine and saw an advertisement featuring fashion designer turned scrapbooking queen, Amy Tan of Amy Tangerine.  The ad was for a new Signature Series book about scrapbooking projects.  Now while I’m no scrapbook queen myself, I know a cute pair of shoes when I see them.  In the ad, Amy has on the most adorable aqua mint flats with little black bows.

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I searched the web for said shoes with no luck, so I decided to contact Amy herself.  I found her blog Amy Tangerine and sent her a note asking “Where’d you get those shoes?”  To my delight, she replied right away, but not to my delight she said she got the shoes in Brazil 😦 She did let me know the shoes are from a brand called Melissa.  Again, I went to the internet and searched for the coveted Melissa flats.  I did find them on a few sites, but they either didn’t have my size, the right color, or they were several times what I was willing to pay.

Being the resourceful artist that I am, I decided to just make my own.  During my previous web searches I’d found some cute, affordable Mossimo flats at Target.com that seemed pretty close to the color I wanted.  When they arrived today, I went upstairs to my studio and after digging through my box of “fibers” I found a black silk ribbon intended for jewelry making.  With a little glue, I was able to make a reasonable facsimile for under $35.  I am planning to wear them tomorrow with boyfriend jeans, a blazer over a white tee, and top it off with some fab jewelry.

Melissa flats next to my version:

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Birthday Weekend at Canton

With my birthday coming up, my Bestie and I decided it was a good excuse to head to Canton for First Monday Trade Days yesterday.  It was REALLY cold in the morning, but as usual we had a blast.  We spent the entire time “under the trees” – that’s where the good “junk” is.  Needless to say we returned home with a ton of treasures that will someday find new life in our jewelry creations.  The best part of the day though had to be all the interesting people we talked to.

There was a delightful gentleman who seemed to talk non-stop about anything and everything.  He told us he’d once been a history teacher and he had stories and advice on everything from how to get a good deal in a pawn shop (go on a rainy Monday with cash in hand) to how Ulysses Grant paid his son-in-law’s debt to Cornelius Vanderbilt with guns and other historical artifacts.  I bought a delicate pink rosary, a tiny salt shaker, and a huge bag of miscellaneous trinkets (each piece carefully rescued from a table literally covered in piles of jewelry).

Then we met a lovely lady who took us on a trip down fashion memory lane recounting jewelry trends from the 20′s to the 80′s.  The best part was when I retrieved a rhinestone encrusted articulated gold panther from a glass asking “What is he?” as my BFF Nikki exclaimed “He’s fabulous!” and we learned he was in fact a brooch that was to be placed over the shoulder (in the 70′s and 80′s).  He really was fabulous but after discussing the trend for a while I decided I was not the one to “bring it back” and would leave that challenge to someone else.

I have to say the highlight of the day was meeting Patty Burns from “Dirty Pearls”.  I immediately fell in love with her creations and once I sat down to talk with her, I realized she was every bit as captivating as her jewelry.  I learned she too was recently published for the first time (Autumn 2012 issue of Belle Armoire Jewelry here).  I treated myself to a couple of birthday presents from her shop.  One, a long necklace featuring a beautiful crystal accented watch case with pearl dangles, and the other, a pair of gorgeous earrings made from pieces of a silver plated platter and accented with delicate pearls.  You can visit Patty at the Melrose Arts & Crafts Festival in Natchitoches, Louisiana April 13 – 14.

So, even though my birthday isn’t actually until tomorrow, I’ve already received some of the best gifts I could get – fun times with friends and chatting with a fellow artist, not to mention all that great jewelry-making loot!  Oh, and that’s not even including the Breaking Dawn Part 2 DVD and awesome stereo upgrade for my car that my hubby spent part of the day installing.  Now…I wonder if I can really get him to watch all 5 Twilight DVD’s back to back with me.  Stay tuned!

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Finally Published

JA Winter 2013I say “finally”, but it was only 8 months ago that I set the goal to become a published artist before the end of 2012.  I emailed Beth Livesay, then Managing Editor of Jewelry Affaire (my favorite jewelry magazine of all time) and included a few photos of pieces I thought might be worthy of publishing.

To my surprise, Beth replied quickly and asked me to send in the pieces.  One day after the deadline I’d set for myself, my unique jewelry creations were included in the Winter 2013 issue of Jewelry Affaire (it hit newsstands on January 1st).  I’ve since sent in several other pieces to the new Managing Editor, Christine Stephens, many of which have been selected to appear in future issues of Jewelry Affaire.

So if you’ve ever dreamed of being published, go for it!  And be sure to check out my shop on Etsy StrandedInTheCity because I’ll most likely sell a few of the published pieces soon.

Canton First Monday Trade Days

Texas doesn’t know it’s December yet…which is a good thing.  What I mean is, we’ve had amazing weather in the high 70’s.  Breezy and warm, it doesn’t feel like Christmas could possibly be just a few weeks away, but it is.

At any rate, this warm weather made for the perfect day at Canton yesterday.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with Canton, it is a world famous open air flea market which begins on the Friday before the first Monday of each month.  It consists of 450 acres of stores, booths, tents, and tables of everything you can imagine.

Due to timing and circumstance yesterday I didn’t visit the “junk” section near the Civic Center which is where I love to scour for mixed media jewelry supplies like keys, watch parts, broken jewelry, etc.  However, I did score some beautiful strands of beads for under $15 total.  If you’ve never been to Canton, Texas for First Monday Trade Days, I encourage you to go.  It’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen!

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3rd Annual Challenge of Color Reveal!!!

I was torn between the two palettes selected for me, so I decided to use both!  I should note that I challenged myself a bit more by committing to only use beads that I already had on hand.  So I dug through boxes, jars, and bowls of bead soup to find the combinations I wanted.

To represent the Namib Desert palette I created a statement necklace using leopard print beads, silver pearls, and various other types of beads in shades of brown. For the Meighen Island palette, I used watery blue lamp work and other glass beads combined with vibrant green pearls in a 5-strand bracelet with a slide clasp. Both items are for sale in my Etsy shop StrandedInTheCity. You can see a full list of the participants with links to their blogs below. Enjoy!

Click the image above to visit Erin’s blog for the main post!

Erin Prais-Hintz http://treasures-found.blogspot.com/2012/11/3rd-annual-challenge-of-color-reveal.html
Rebecca Anderson http://songbeads.blogspot.com
Kris Auderer https://strandedinthecity.wordpress.com
Chrizette Bayman http://beadsoupmix.blogspot.com
Lori Bowring Michaud http://artfullyornamental.blogspot.com
Courtney Breul http://beadsbybreul.blogspot.com/
Lynsey Brooks http://yellowunicorncreations.blogspot.co.uk
Stephanie Buss http://maxandlucie.blogspot.com
Iveth Caruso http://www.creativeatelier.net/
Shannon Chomanczuk http://www.formysweetdaughter.blogspot.com
Lisa Cone http://inspiredadornments.blogspot.com/
Cece Cormier http://thebeadingyogini.com
Lori Dorrington http://lorisglassworks.blogspot.com
Dawn Doucette http://designsbydawnmarie.blogspot.com
Jeannie Dukic http://site.jkdjewelry.com/blog/
Kim Dworak http://cianciblue.blogspot.com/
Beth Emery http://storiesbyindigoheart.blogspot.com
Janice Everett http://JLynnJewels.blogspot.com
Pam Farren http://www.re-maker.blogspot.com
Donetta Farrington http://simplygorgeous-donetta.blogspot.com
Gloria Ferrer http://judetaama.blogspot.com.es/
Cherrie Fick http://designsinthelight.co
Therese Frank http://www.theresestreasures59.blogspot.com
Patty Gasparino http://www.mylifeunderthebus.typepad.com
Tanya Goodwin http://pixiloo.blogspot.com/2012/11/3rd-annual-challenge-of-color.html
Ambra Gostoli http://chicandfrog.wordpress.com/2012/11/27/3rd-challenge-of-color
Jess Green http://tabbiekoshka.blogspot.co.uk/
Denielle Hagerman http://somebeadsandotherthings.com
Mary Harding www.maryhardingjewelrybeadblog.blogspot.com
Karla Hartzog http://www.karlakrafts.com
Kim Hora http://www.kimmykats.com
Brandi Hussey http://brandigirlblog.com
Emanda Johnson http://ArtemisiaStudio.blogspot.com
Jennifer Justman http://soulsfiredesigns.blogspot.com/
Sue Kennedy http://suebeads.blogspot.com
Ema Kilroy http://emakaye.blogspot.com
Lee Koopman http://Stregajewellry.wordpress.com
Linda Landig http://www.LindasBeadBlog.com
Kirsi Luostarinen http://kirsiluokorut.blogspot.com
Cynthia Machata http://antiquitytravelers.blogspot.com/
Alicia Marinache http://www.allprettythings.ca
Beth McCord http://www.ebbeadandmetalworks.blogspot.com
Mary K McGraw http://mkaymac.blogspot.com/
Karen Mitchell http://www.overthemoon-design.com
Cheri Mitchell-Reed http://creativedesignsbycheri.blogspot.com/
Aimee Moisa http://threecatsdancing.blogspot.com
Karla Morgan http://www.texaspepperjams.blogspot.com
Penny Neville http://copperpennydesigns.blogspot.com
Becky Pancake http://beckypancakebeaddesigns.blogspot.com
Kashmira Patel http://sadafulee.blogspot.com
Alice Peterson http://alice-dreaming.blogspot.com
Kayla Potega http://www.teejewelry.blogspot.com
Debbie Price http://greenshoot.blogspot.co.uk
Bobbie Rafferty http://beadsong.blogspot.com
Caron Reid http://caronmichelle.blogspot.com.au/
Nicole Rennell http://nicolerennell.com/blog
Cynthia Riggs http://cynthsblog.blogspot.com/2012/11/3rd-annual-challenge-of-color.html
Andrea Ross http://silvermapledesigns.blogspot.com/
Sally Russick http://thestudiosublime.com
Annie Scherz http://www.studioluma.ca
Pam Sears http://crazycreativecorner.blogspot.com/
Renetha Stanziano http://lamplightcrafts.blogspot.com
Sandra Stein http://sannipanni.wordpress.com
Kristen Stevens http://kristen-beadjourney.blogspot.com
Tracy Stillman http://www.tracystillmandesigns.com
Sherri Stokey http://www.knotjustmacrame.com/2012/11/challenge-of-color-reveal.html
Lola Survillo http://www.beadlolabead.blogspot.com
Kay Thomerson http://KayzKreationz.blogspot.com
Jo Tinley http://daisychaindesignsjewellery.blogspot.com
Emma Todd http://www.apolymerpenchant.com
Cory Tompkins http://www.tealwaterdesigns.blogspot.com
Pam Traub http://www.klassyjoolz.blogspot.com
Melissa Trudinger http://beadrecipes.wordpress.com
Michelle Tucker http://michellescreativemusings.blogspot.com/
Shelley Graham Turner http://www.shelleygrahamturner.blogspot.com
Monique Urquhart http://ahalfbakednotion.blogspot.com/
Rachel Van-Walsk http://balancedcrafts.com/blog
Patti Vanderbloemen http://www.myaddictionshandcrafted.blogspot.com
Lesley Watt http://thegossipinggoddess.blogspot.com
Lynn White http://lynnwhitejewelry.com/Lynn_White_Jewelry/Lynns_Jewelry_Blog/Lynns_Jewelry_Blog.html
Joan Williams http://www.lilrubyjewelry.com

Looking Skinny

As I stood in the Marshall’s fitting room yesterday, trying to decide on a dress for my company’s Fire and Ice Holiday Ball, I was slightly irritated by some children in the fitting room next to mine. I could hear a man in the distance asking “Girls, are you alright?” so I knew they must be fairly young.

Anyway, as I tried on dresses, my mind raced with troublesome thoughts such as “Can I lose 10 pounds in the next 3 weeks?”, “Do body wraps really work?”, and “I wonder if a duct-tape-and-Spanx-combo will help?” the children’s constant chatter stopped being annoying for a moment as I heard one girl ask the other “Do you wike this? I wike it. It makes me wook skinny.”

For a moment I stopped worrying about how I was going to fit into this perfect dress I’d found and it pained me to hear a girl so young (maybe six or seven) thinking about “looking skinny”. While my own thoughts were probably unhealthy for a thirty-something year old woman, it didn’t seem fair that such a young girl would even be aware of “looking skinny”. So as we approach the holidays, and we struggle to balance eating, drinking, and being merry with the constant pressure to “look skinny” while doing it all, I urge women everywhere to think twice about being so tough on ourselves and realize the negative impact we may be having on the next generation of young women.