Thursday, December 18, 2008

gift giving inspirations

I would like to share some holiday gifts I've made this year with you - the trouble with that is some of my family members read this blog. So, I'm going to share with you my inspirations without telling you what I've done with them. I searched for and chose them based on the person, the relationship we share, and their life experiences over the past year. I thought about Goddesses, Muses, meaning and depth and then put my findings on items designed to hopefully inspire and touch their heart(s).

"Even from a dark night, songs of beauty can be born" ~Maryanne Radmacher-Hershey

'I went there of my own free will
I went there in my finest gown
with my rarest jewels
with my Queen of Heaven crown
In the underworld
At each of the seven gates
I was stripped seven times
Of all I thought I was
Till I stood bare in who I really am'
~Inanna, Goddess For Embracing the Shadows

"Won't you come into the garden? I would like my roses to see you" ~Richard Brinsley Sheridan

Malls and I do not make good companions - and I've managed to avoid them 100%! I've done all handmade gifts this year, whether I've made them or purchased handmade items. Now, the wrapping is complete, and the countdown is on for my home to fill up with family!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

awareness


New and inspired by a friend's journey: 'awareness'




The charms read," be, here, now".

Saturday, December 13, 2008

love at first bite

i think i am in love with nyc. it's a beautiful, friendly, welcoming, energetic, moving, always moving city. tuesday afternoon, we were wowed by the sights and sounds of times square - then off to see the rockettes at radio city music hall - absolutely wonderful show, it was. we walked back to our hotel afterwards, and stopped at a deli along the way for a snack - good stuff!

somehow I talked mat into an early wake-up wednesday so that we could go to the taping of the GMA show. it was neat :) then all day wednesday we rode a series of double decker buses to see the sights and sounds of Manhatten - first stop; st. paul's chapel across the street from where the twin towers once stood.

the chapel wasn't harmed, not even a window cracked or broken on 9.11 - and for 8 or 9 months it was a refuge for the workers from 'the pit'. there are memorials inside the sanctuary including 'missing' flyers, photos of many of the victims, letters from all over the world, momentos from the NYPD and NYFD.... it was one of those rare moments in your life when you don't even realize that you're crying until you feel tears dripping off of your chin... I'm not sure I can accurately describe how I felt - but the chapel itself held a solemn yet renewing energy. the sadness itself held hope, the tears carried pride along with sorrow, and the echos of countless volunteers that administered to the rescue then recovery workers remain. it took Mat and I a little while after leaving there to get back to normal conversation and exploring - the emotional digestion took a bit of time.

second stop was in greenwich village, where we were on a treasure hunt for an irish pub by the name of 'mr. denneheys' on carmine street, owned by a friend of a friend. the pub was about an eight block walk after disembarking from the double decker bus, and i promptly fell in love with greenwich village. it was much more quaint than the high rises and neon of times square. the old brick buildings each had their own personality, and the shops on street level were the kind that you wanted to duck inside the doorway of each and explore.

when we found mr. denneheys, we were seated and we asked for 'donal' whom I had spoken with by phone the day before, and he came to our table and we visited for a little while. mat had a pint (or two) of guiness - what else do you drink in an irish pub? irish coffee - that's what I had. we ordered a plate of fish and chips that were wonderful. once again, we were on our way, and we took our time getting back to the bus stop and did in fact, duck inside a few of the shops and did a bit of shopping.

it was drizzling with occasional rain, so we got back on another double decker bus and rested our feet while we listened to the tour guide talk about noho, soho, little italy, china town, tenements and immigrants, honey pots and public baths, the east village, park avenue, the waldorf astoria, tiffanys, medical mile.... you could spend so much time in a city that is so rich with history. we didn't make it to ellis island, but will on another visit - I have copies of papers from my grandfather's family - a set in swedish and a set in english from ellis island from 1909, I believe.

eventually, we got off at times square and rested for a little while in our hotel - then we suited up again fancy-like for our next adventure; dinner on the 48th floor of the marriott at 'the view' restaraunt. the entire restaraunt rotates as you're eating, so we could see all of manhatten, the hudson river.... I remembered being a small girl, ten or so, and my dad taking me on a 'date' in rochester, mn at a place called 'the pinnacle' where the restaraunt rotated as well - my two favorite guys have now taken me to the same type of restaraunt on a date :) incidently, I ordered a pear martini before dinner that was absolutely wonderful and delicious ( and should be for $16) - I have yet to work out the precise ratios, but know all of the ingredients to replicate at home :)

I have spared a few finer details - but will add finally, that I was exhausted and slept the entire plane ride, and then the entire trip from raleigh to home in raeford... that means that I had a great time, I think.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

truth

I have made another concession to the inevitable process of my body aging.

The truth is, that I've struggled with dime store glasses for reading for quite awhile now, and recently my husband made an appointment for me at his eye doc in reaction to my nonchalant attitude towards eye care. (Or my wanting to ignore the slight but persistent changes to my physical condition as I grow a year older a year at a time.)

I picked up my new prescription eyewear this afternoon, and while I was there I had an adjustment made to the (also) new sunglasses-with-prescription-readers-built-in so that they weren't quite so tight on my head. Two new pairs of glasses, and I have a new outlook on life, literally.

Not related to eyewear, but related to 'truth' is a quote I heard while listening to a story on NPR {tangent - yes, I am a NPR geek and proud of it -and that, my friends, is another sign of aging} while I was driving home from the eye doc this afternoon. I wish I could remember who made the quote, I know it was a person from Russia or somewhere in that general area of the world, but red lights only last so long and I only had time to write the quote, not the author as well.

Anyhow, the quote that quite charmed me into writing it on the back of the statement from the eye doc in the car is thus: "Seek the truth but run from those who claim to have found it."

I just really like thinking about that quote.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

bead shopping in Carrboro, NC









New! I went bead shopping with my daughter at a bead shop in Carrboro, NC this past weekend, and bought some wonderful beads. These are made with czech glass beads (beautiful cobalt blue!), glass pearl beads and tiny blue czech glass beads. They're wire wrapped with sterling silver wire, and hang on a sterling ear wire. I also go to meet my daughter's friend Evan, who is a lovely girl and a talented jewelry designer. (Hello Evan, if you're reading this.)


The pair on the right also feature the blue czech glass beads, fun green crystal cubes, and swarovski elements crystal bicone beads. They're dainty and sweet!






Finally, these fluorite beads (thanks for the correct spelling, Jess) caught my attention also. I've accented them with silver spacer beads and a sweet little crystal.

stubborn acceptance

Sometimes we think we're imagining something just because it's happening around us, sometimes it's really happening. I didn't have that figured out quite right yesterday morning. My husband started with the flu - stomach variety - saturday, and my son got knocked over backwards with it on monday.

Yesterday morning I had an appointment to have my eyes checked, and I noticed that I felt a little 'not right' with a slight headache and maybe just a bit of indigestion, and immediately I chalked it up to a psychsomatic reaction to what was going on at my home. I was certainly just feeling bad for my family members, and my compassion was leading me to imagining I might be getting ill, too. The appointment went fine, then I had a client meeting at 1 pm - and I needed to get a contract written up before then.

So I went from the optometrist's office to my office, and then to the restroom. Again to the restroom, five more times to the restroom ..... and on the last rushed visit, I needed a bucket, too. Ewwwww. The last time I really had the flu my son was 2, I think - he's 19 now. I stubbornly wrote the contract in between running for my life, and then, with tears in my eyes, asked another agent if they would please meet with my client, go over the contract, and get it to the listing agent. Then I prayed (desperately) to God that He would help me to get from my office to my home without needing to be in the bathroom ( I know He heard me, but He couldn't help in that department - I didn't make it.) I had to accept at that point, that I definitely had the stomach flu and not just compassion. Rats! I found a bit of solace in spite of feeling horrible for quite a few hours in the fact that my husband was off work yesterday, so I had a very loving nurse :)

Maybe it's just a 24 hour thing because I'm feeling a bit better this morning, even trying a half of a cup of coffee... and I'm imagining that the Lysol wipes that my husband and I have repeatedly used on every surface in our home have the power to kill those little flu germies and they're gone.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

friendship and apple pie




Jess and Hailey made 4 apple pies the day before Thanksgiving. If you follow my etsy store, you might kow that Hailey either approves or disapproves of my earring designs for kids - she just turned 9 last week.




Jess (my daughter) babysat Hailey from before Hailey was even one year, and nine years later, they're fast friends. It was great to have Jess home from college and both of them providing pies ( and humor) in the kitchen.



Hailey wasn't quite tall enough to get the right leverage for the apple slicer - but she was determined to try and get it, and it was the humorous climax in the pie-making-show. Eventually Jess helped in the midst of fits of giggles.




The pies were absolutely delicious and the friendship; just as wonderful as ever.

I want to add in reference to my previous post, that the turkey that my husband so lovingly injected with marinade after three trips to the store, a broken seal on the blender, a syringe that somehow missed the turkey and got the refrigerator on the first attempt, and the entire comedy of errors which caused husband to sound quite like a salty sailor in the kitchen - was awesome.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

off the hook at the last minute

I got to sleep in this morning.... after originally thinking I would be up getting the 'bird' ready for operation roast the turkey. However, last night, while spending a couple of hours over at Jeff and Helen's house (where we are celebrating Thanksgiving later today), and talking about today, Jeff and my guy decided that our turkey (one of two turkeys for our rather large gathering) must be deep fried. That is, without a doubt, a more masculine type job in my opinion. They like to fill the pot with oil, get a propane tank hissing, and drink manly drinks around the turkey fryer.

In the spirit and execution of more masculine-type-decisions, it was made late, and there are items that are missing this morning to prepare for the operation. As I write this little blog {whilst I manage to hide my occassional grin} my guy is searching for the needle which must be inserted into the syringe which makes injecting the marinade (which according to the directions should have been completed last night) a breeze. He has already been to the store for the ingredients for the marinade; the attic to look for aforementioned needle; and is preparing to go to the store again to purchase a needle which I'm sure is very easy to find the morning of Thanksgiving :)

I wasn't anticipating a comedic morning, and my guy isn't expressing much, if any humor as he adds up the sum of all parts and comes up short, but I will tell you, here in cyberland, that I am experiencing humor with my coffee this beautiful morning. And I am thankful for being 'off the hook'.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

new new new



I've been working, working, working (happily) creating, photographing, and uploading: here's a few samples.



I've started with a bit of sterling silver wire this week - wire wrapping is an art, and I practiced quite a bit with inexpensive wire (not intended for jewelry tha I found in my husband's store of amazing things in the garage). Sterling feels different, it's easier to manipulate than my practice wire, but I'm glad I practiced hoops, loops, curves, wrapping, etc. before doing it with the much more expensive sterling!





Unrelated, but just as fulfilling and happy to me, is my daughter shall arrive here from college for the Thanksgiving break in less than an hour :) Happy Thanksgiving to all of my readers, I wish the best for you and your loved ones.
Kerstin

Friday, November 21, 2008

links

if you're feeling helpful tonight - you could leave me a comment tonight about how to make an addy a link in my blog.... I'll be late for work if I try one more thing, and I already said one (or two) bad words.

extraordinary week!

well, I need to leave for work soon - and I was killing a couple of minutes scrolling through the blogs that I like to read, and I was a featured etsy seller on this
http://jangiesetsyshop.blogspot.com
wonderful blog :) thanks! take a minute and check out her blog... go on, the link is right there!
I also learned today that I was accepted at another juried site for artists :)
I also learned today that my whole entire family will be here for christmas!
And, I blogged a couple of days ago about learning of a trip to NYC!
The only tiny little thing I'm missing and I'm not complaining, I'm just sayin', is that I've yet to have a sale this week... I'll be checking again when I'm home from work :)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

thanks-giving

today I've recieved two emails to read and pass to the appropriate persons from my friend Helen. (see birthdays, bracelets and skydiving post in october's posts). Helen is making a list, checking it twice, and then sending it into cyberland for all of the families to read and follow. my list has a turkey and two crumble-crust-apple-pies to bring.

I'm thankful for the lists, thankful to pass them along, and thankful that I'm on a list! we live in a community near Ft. Bragg, and each of us that has recieved a list is the thankful recipient of a family here - not a biological family - but a family nonetheless in the sense that we care about and take care of one another.

for all of us that miss our biological families during the holidays, we celebrate with each other the blessings we do have - life, love, health, faith, love of this country, love for each other.. the list of gratitude is a little bit endless, and for that I'm grateful too. We've even started traditions in our 'family' - who prepares and brings what (according to who makes the 'best' one), who says Grace (jeff, as long as he's around), specific games we play after dinner, and who gets what leftovers!!! looks like there's be over 20 adults and 8 kids to share the love!

the emails made me feel a bit excited and antipatory, and it's nice to think of and write about that which I'm grateful for.
kerstin

old friends, new techniques

Well, my weekend was fabulous :) It was wonderful to have old friends around for a few days and we made the most of the time we had together.

This week I've been busy learning a new technique for earring creation; german style wire. I like it :) Here's an example, just listed this morning in my etsy shop:



And by the way, I learned yesterday that my hubby and I are going to Times Square, NYC in December and have tickets to see the Rockettes Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall! I've never been to New York City, and I'm very excited about it. Any readers out there that have suggestions for spending time there (we'll be staying at the "W" hotel right in Times Square), please pass them my way!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

blessings and anticipation

two more days. just two more days until two of my childhood girl-friends arrive for a long weekend :) they're flying here from minnesota - where I grew up. first, there were three of us that met in 5th grade. then, when we moved to our jr. high school, and in the awkward and new halls of maplewood jr. high, the three became six. that was in 1976.
this year, we've all turned or will turn forty-four years old. we all got through puberty together, all graduated from high school together, went in different directions after that; college, work, marriage, starting a family, and all stayed close, fast friends. we've been through 8 marriages and 2 divorces together (still makes six :), the births of thirteen children, the death of two parents, two high school graduations of our children so far ( my kids are the oldest), and so much amazing minutia that make up the basis and blessings of a life.
Our husbands all enjoy each other and spend time together when they can golfing, boating, or just goofing off ... our children all enjoy each other (ages 7 - 20)... and we get together as often as possible. just two more days til a part of a whole gets to indulge in the gifts of love, friendship, and fellowship sharing laughter and tears while catching up with the stories of our lives!
most everyone still lives in minnesota - and my husband and I got to visit everyone while we were vacationing there this past summer. now two of them are arriving in two days! yay :)

Monday, November 10, 2008

two.oh.nine

I called my husband this afternoon to say hello, ask him a specific question, and share with him that while I was out running some errands, I noticed that gas was 2.09 a gallon at murphy's. whoa. it's really sad, but I remember not long ago paying 4 dollars or more a gallon for gas, and now it seems like a deal at 2.09. maybe that's been the plan for awhile... change our comfort zone so more seems like less, and less; more?

In other news, I was forced by my conscious today to relate a tale that I didn't want to, didn't want to be involoved with someone else's 'stuff', but saw that my employer was being taken advantage of ie: one of his employee's was stealing... so I did what seemed like the right thing, and let my employer know. Now on the one hand, my conscious is clear, on the other, I can hear the kids on the playground taunting me with cat-calls... tattle-tale...

it's hard to be a grown up. I'm just sayin.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

omg - savin' my beans for this!



I was just browsin' tonight, checkin' out who has left me a heart in my etsy shop :) (thanks to all of you)... and I had a heart from Ralph.

It's oddly wonderful that Ralph is from Minneapolis, because St. Paul/ Minneapolis is my home town area, though I've been in NC over twenty years....

I scrolled through Ralph's shop, and I became smitten with this made-just-for-me listing. For those who know me a bit, it's no surprise that this would speak to my heart - my coffee addicted heart, my hot tea lovin' heart, my one-more-mug-is-not-enough kind of heart.

So, I'm hoping that either someone who loves me very much happens upon this manipulative and conniving post, or that my own earning power is great enough for one tiny little self indulgent thing!

I'm off to look for items which one wishes fervently upon...falling stars, four leaf clovers...

I almost don't want to tell you where to find Ralph's shop, I want to keep and covet it as my secret... but I know you want to take a peek - go on, it's ok, and I'm sure that he would enjoy the company!
http://ralphnuara.etsy.com

current favorite day

I worked the past three days (actually nights) and now it feels like friday! Sundays and Tuesdays are my two favorite days currently, because both my husband and I are off of work :)
My "victorian holiday" earrings sold while I was at work last night - it's fun to sign on and find a little sale in my inbox - I think I'll dedicate a few hours this week to my 'holiday' section in my shop this week. You can look for new listings soon!


Sold

Friday, November 7, 2008

unique is as unique does


I met a couple of friends at Starbucks this afternoon, and I don't know if you can see in the picture the spelling of my name "Kristen". It's cute how they do that bit of personal marketing there...
Anyhow, my name isn't spelled that way or pronounced that way, in fact, one of the friends I was with had to tell me that they called 'my' name for my Gingerbread Soy Latte. Thanks, Shannon :)
...if I only had a nickel for every time I corrected the spelling or pronunciation of my name... most of the time now, my friends make the corrections before I do....

free entertainment



This morning I took my cup-o-joe out to the front porch - it's beautiful here in NC today! We have a fish pond garden just off of the porch, and along with my coffee, I got to watch this little guy stalk, catch, and eat his breakfast! He would hold on to the pole (it's a small sheperd's hook that holds a wind chime) and sit so still, and suddenly launch himself into the air and catch insects. I saw two successful launches :) It's going to be a great day - for the little guy, and for me!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

this just makes me smile




Another pair of earrings that I just listed today - don't they have a fun little attitude and a sassy personality? I love the beads with their proud polka dots, they're fun and I think make the statement that you don't take life or yourself too seriously. Girls just wanna have fun....

green orbilicious


Just listed :)
I almost want to keep them for myself because the Good Lord knows that I don't have enough earrings (heh). It's just that the beads were hard to come by, and I don't have any more of them... they remind me of a wonderful planet somewhere in the universe.
Also, just say 'orbilicious' out loud... feels nice, huh? If you're at work just wait til you're driving home or something...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

photographs and memories




It's wednesday evening and I thought that I had to work tonight, but I got there and wasn't supposed to be there for another 24 hours, so here I am, working on the blog post that I thought I would get finished earlier today.

I've spent the past couple of days contorted in and around my new light box, camera in hand. The time and effort has paid off and I'm slowly changing photos in my webshop for better color and clarity of the items I find so fun to make.

In addition, I've found myself ruminating over a dear friendship that has drifted into polite aquaintence, and wishing that we were given a magic moment of clarity prior to the loss of what was precious, so that we could say nice things and be remembered that way... Sometimes when the loss is sudden or unexplicable, it's so easy to say things that shouldn't have been said, and the recovery from that may never happen.

I've let my mind wander while photographing and rearranging, and come to the same place through my thoughts... I'll take this and apply it to the present, while I can tell someone how much I think of them and how fond I am of them.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

no lines!

I went to the polling place that I was supposed to around noon today with my husband... I was thinking that we probably were going to wish that we would have voted early as we waited in a long line in the light but chilly drizzle. I had visions of my entire afternoon spent waiting to exercise my rights and obligation as a citizen of this great nation. I would've waited, too, but there was no line!

We walked right to the registration table, handed over our driver's licenses, signed where we were supposed to, moved down to the lady handing out the ballots and listened to her short explanation and then we separated and cast our votes. After a bit, we finished, slipped our ballots into the machine and went out for lunch. I'm not going to tell you who I voted for, but during a conversation at lunch my husband and I discovered that we didn't vote for the same candidate... interesting, but not the topic of this blog!

The last presidential election I waited in line for just under an hour to cast my vote. I don't know about other states, but North Carolina did a great job with early voting as evidenced by our experience today. Kudos to election officials in our area - I'm impressed.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Halloween Pre-gamin' with Angie

I'm not one to complain too much, but I do have a small complaint this morning.

I am supposed to wear a costume to work, friday night and saturday night... I moonlight as a bartender... and it's difficult for me to get too creative with a costume when I know that I have to move very fast for a few hours in whatever I don.

I work with another bartender, Angie, who loves Halloween, and who has been 'pre-gaming' for two weeks already. She's been various kinds of witches and last night, she was a pirate. She had to trade in her pirate boots for sneakers after a couple of hours, which didn't work that well with her fishnet-thigh-high-stockings... what really kept it working for her was placing those tips strategically into her mightily pushed up bosom area which drew attention away from the wrong shoes :) Holy Cleavage, Batman! I've teased her mercilessly for her Halloween costuming pregame! She just smiles, and tells me (again) that she loves Halloween.

I could really benefit from having an attitude similar to hers right now. I would like a temporary tattoo for my forehead, or a pair of funky and wierd contact lenses, or just a t shirt that resembles a football jersey with some black rectangles under my eyes... nothing more elaborate... because I prefer not to 'dress up' at all!

I thought about the sexy teacher look, but I know that I would have splashes of raspberry schnapps and blue curacao all over my white button down shirt in the first hour. Somehow it seems like it might take away the 'sexy' look I would be going for. Besides that, I would ruin a shirt that way... and who wants to ruin a classic white button down?

Anyhow, it's just over 24 hours until I have to have a plan in place... and I'm stressing about it just a little! You would think that someone who considers herself somewhat creative would have no trouble in this arena. But I do and I am.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

birthdays, bracelets, and skydiving




This past weekend was a busy one - four birthdays in four days! My husband and three of my dear friends all celebrated the gift of another year. The pictures are of two of my friends that celebrated by skydiving at the Raeford Airport here in NC. Pics are from bottom to top: pre-jump, cold beer afterwards, then the certificate stating that they actually decided to jump OUT of a perfectly good airplane! I was invited to go along, but my decision was to wait on the ground and watch :):)

I made a bracelet and a pair of earrings for one b-day gift. It was so oohed and aahed over that I've decided to add bracelets to my etsy shop - added my first one just a few days ago :)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Free shipping for a limited time

I'm offering free shipping to everywhere for a limited time - having my own little sale in etsy-land :) If there is something that you've had in mind and are waiting - now would be a good time to save a couple of bucks! http://kerstinhanson.etsy.com

This has been a fabulous week. I helped a fellow songwriter with recording some of her songs, which came out very well. I also got an opportunity to play in the local songwriter's showcase on wednesday evening. I also read a great line on another forum about why mondays suck....'mondays suck because you have to put on your shoes and underwear'... which I would like to write a humorous song around.

As referenced by my previous post, my very dear husband ( who had a birthday yesterday) made me a fabulous light box for my indoor photo taking.

Besides hubby's b-day, we are celebrating the birthdays of three more wonderful friends this weekend by tandem skydiving followed by a chili and beer celebration! ( By the way, I decided that I have no need or desire to skydive myself, so I will wait and watch them, and celebrate with them afterwards!)

TGIF to all :)
Kerstin

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

light-box-for-me!

This morning, I clicked my way to the storque news on etsy about photography and light boxes... and ever-so-nicely asked my husband if he thought we had what I needed around the house to make a light box as shown on the web page displayed. As if I intended to make one today. Now I have one - YaY! I had to go to the store for one little thing that he needed to complete the project, and I took my first photos in it tonight! Yippee!

Love is grand, and grander a lover who is very handy with a picture :)

I'm off to capture the light and play, no matter what time of day!!!!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

peanut butter and crest whitening strips

July 2008 found my daughter in Alicante, Spain hosted by a wonderful Spanish family. I had made a connection the month before, when while visiting friends in Minnesota, I met a young man, Jorge, who was visiting the USA from Alicante, Spain. He extended the invitation for her to stay with them for a few days while she backpacked around Spain. So she did. She fell in love with the entire family - and felt a special bond with Jorge's mother, Suni. Suni has no daughters and enjoyed 'having one' for a few days. I feel a special bond with Suni, though I've never met her for taking care of my daughter while she was a guest with the same love and attention that I give to her.

My daughter's next stop in her travels around Spain was in Grenada, where she discovered upon trying to check into her hostel that she no longer had her passport in her belongings. She frantically called Suni, thinking that perhaps she had forgotten it in the trunk of a friend's car one day while they were visiting the beach. The next day, the forgotten passport was found and forwarded to a contact in Grenada. After the passport arrived, my daughter was able to continue her travels in Spain with the help and love of this family.

While she spent time with them, Jorge assisted her with editing some written translation my daughter had done, and asked just for peanut butter and crest whitening strips sent to him from the USA in return for his help. His request made my daughter (and me) smile. Just this past weekend, my daughter was home from college for a few days and purchased the requested peanut butter and crest whitening strips in preparation for sending a package to Spain.

I decided that I wanted to send Suni a thank-you-note and a gift of thanks. I made her a beautiful pair of earrings.... and then made an identical pair for my daughter so that they'll each have the same unique item worlds away. It was a brand new design, but I think that it is retired already... two very special people share a special gift in recognition of love and friendship, gratitude and thanks, and sharing and caring for one another. The design does not contain hearts with cutouts for a key or keys. But it is a twist on a mother's ring, and a twist of the heart on one piece of jewelry and the key on another. There are two tiny heart charms, shells for recognition of the beach on the Mediterranean, blue and green to soothe and calm, and clear crystal that sparkles and shines in representation of love and friendship.

Although we seem so far removed from other countries, even just distant cities in our own countries, we really are only as far away as our hearts are and sometimes that's not far at all. I don't know if I'll ever get to meet Suni and the family in Spain, but a little piece of my heart is on it's way there, along with peanut butter and crest whitening strips.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Anticipation

Remember as a kid hearing the sound of the ice cream truck's music playing in the distance, moving closer and closer to your street? Remember the first time you gave your phone number to a boy (you maybe, kinda liked) and then thought about what it would be like when he finally called? Remember looking out the window, watching down the street on Thanksgiving Day morning for the car that would hold your cousins? I think that our feelings of anticipation mellow a bit with age, but they certainly don't go away.

I have a dear friend who's husband serves in the military and has been gone several times over that past few years. She describes a physical anticipation a day or two before she knows he's returning home, a tingling feeling in her stomach. I can relate to that physical feeling before each show that I do. I can't wait to sing and play, and I always feel that physical anticipation.

Yesterday I sent a box of promo items out for a holiday craft fair taking place in early November. I feel emotional anticipation for the results of those actions. Will the promotional items boost sales for me? Will I wake up each day after the fair and find new customers with orders in my inbox? I don't know the answers, and don't know what exactly to anticipate. I do know that without trying to promote my shop and my earrings, there wouldn't be any additional orders in my inbox!

I hope that orders will be a result of my actions, and then those people will feel the anticipation of knowing that there's a package somewhere in the mail enroute to their house! heh!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

New Directions, New Designs

Inspiration comes from many places. Some fantastic, and others quite benign. This week, I've been inspired by people. My musical friends and my favorites on etsy.

I've added a few new items today - please hop on over to etsy and take a peek. While you're there, check out some of my favorites also -

http://MADART.etsy.com
http://maryellenscrafts.etsy.com
http://PhotographybyBree.etsy.com

They're all unique and wonderful :) Bree has a photograph of a piano that I just love. Mary Ellen makes my favorite kind of dish cloths. MADART does beautiful art with design and color.

While I'm at it - here's a shout out to the members of the Cape Fear Songwriter's Guild, and the Moore County Songwriter's group - you have all inspired me with your music and your hearts.

~Kerstin

Friday, October 10, 2008

Driving as metaphor

What an organized and routine world we would live in if we were able to dictate and expect that other human beings would react in just the way that we wanted them to in any situation. The average person with OCD could give up their meds, and the peaks and valleys that we experience at work, play, and in our personal relationships would level out to look like I-65 in Indiana - flat, continous, and the same for miles and miles and miles.

In my personal life, there are a few different scenarios in play right now, and some of the 'characters' are not behaving as I would like them to or thought that they would've. Goodbye I-65, and welcome to the mountains, people! The peaks and valleys are at once, exhilarating and fulfilling and then shocking and full of hair pin twists and turns. We are each in our unique ways, interpreting the map that leads us to our destination differently.

There are those that are careful, plotting, and stop frequently to ask others if they are indeed going in the right direction. Then there are those that argue routinely that 'this in NOT the way to get where I thought we were going'. And of course, there are those that put the petal to the metal, and take the twists and turns with unbridled glee. Finally, there are those that want you to fill up their gas tank, wash their windows, and sit in the back quietly even as you know quite well as the passenger that the current path will not lead your driver to their intended destination ( in this case, my belief is that the driver's destination is not as important to them as it is to be right at all times!)

As far as my webshop goes, it's new enough that I am still getting a sense of who my buyer is, how they drive, and how I can steer them to the destination I would like them to arrive at; a purchase, baby! I started on I-65, and now I feel as though I am approaching the foothills of the mountains that are new to me, but exciting and calling out for me to take that path up to where I can see for miles. I know that upon reaching that destination, I will occassionally find myself in the valley - but I want to at least be in that environment!

How do you drive? What does your landscape look like? Are you on I-65 or in the foothills, or in the mountains? What is your destination, and how will you get there? Just wonderin', baby!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

colors - moods - symbolism

I had an idea just before I fell asleep last night, and wrote myself a note so that I wouldn't wake up this morning, and ask myself...'what was that idea you had last night?' I was thinking about design, which led to thinking about color (which also lead to thinking about shopping for beads - smile.)

I love color and the sometimes subtle and other times vibrant play between colors; I seldom think about the meaning of colors in various arenas, and decided that I would do a little snooping around for information on that. I don't necessarily want to think that I'm a guru, and attach meaning to my earring creations based on color choices, it's more of a curiousity. I'll also mention that sometimes I pause when thinking about a name for a particular pair of earrings before I list them on my etsy site, and I thought that might open up a larger range of possibilites and creativity in 'naming' my earrings. I don't know about you, but that made me chuckle - I'll just be more specific and say it's more about my advertising and less about any personal attachment I may feel for a particular creation.

I found a variety of websites that had information about color, and this is very loose research here... I didn't check anyone's credentials... I will mention the sites at the end of this post for a minimum of research and contributory correctness.

Having said that, one of my favorite colors is purple. I asked my mom to make me purple overalls when I was in elementary school - and she did by the way, bell bottoms and all. Now that I've done some research, I'm smiling because according to one of my sources, purple is a symbol of power, majesty, spiritual goals, passionate belief, visionary leadership, respect and wealth. I was in second grade y'all, and the overalls had white elephants on them, too. What did I know about purple? In Christianity, purple symbolizes penitence, which would have been a more apt bridge to the purple overalls at that time in my life. According to globalphysics.com, the soul task level meaning for purple means a deeper connection to spirit. When do you wear purple? I'm trying to think of the last time I did... I probably need to meditate a bit more... wear some more purple.

I can see that if I'm able to get through the spectrum of colors in blog, perhaps I need to forget about significant color choices I have made in my life. I did choose ivory for my wedding dress way back when because i liked the dress and couldn't get it in white not what you're thinking - however white does mean purity and innocence in general, but did you know that in Japan, white carnations signify death?

I use a lot of green beads, and wear a fair amount green shirts. The soul task level meaning for green is healing, healer, nurturer and in Christianity, green - once banned by the church - now means hope, peace, healing and growth. However, in China, if you see green hats, it means that a man's wife is cheating on him! There is a caution there for me in the naming of my creations, no matter how closely my earrings may resemble hats - it could be offensive to some to call them that.

It is said that if you would like people to feel comfortable around you, then you should wear earth tones - browns, greens and oranges. The color of the earth symbolizes home and friendship. Amber represents courage and energy. Interesting to note, that if you would like to be in sales in Columbia (the country) however, you should never wear brown as it is thought to discourage sales.

I think I'll going to save some colors for another post, this is getting kinda long! Perhaps it's time for a purple shirt, and a zen-like state of mind for a couple of minutes.

My sources include: http://www.associatedcontent.com/,
http://www.buzzle.com/, and globalphysics.com. Please comment if you have a random, yet interesting fact about color - I'd like to read about it.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

coincidence: obadiah parker

this is a little bit of a random story, but hopefully interesting and a testament to how small the world really is.

last night I was on the etsy.com forums, learning about business from others and doing a bit of socializing. i happened upon a thread titled along the lines of ' those of you in here that have famous relatives' .... i'm paraphrasing because i don't recall the exact title. anyhow, it was very interesting reading about other's somewhat famous, or very famous relatives.

-pause- relative to this story, may i add that besides being a bead addict, i am also a musician.

anyway, one of the posts was from a woman who is married to Obadiah Parker, who is somewhat (becoming) famous for his acoustic rendition of Outkast's song, 'Hey Ya'. I happened to have heard Obadiah's rendition on a mix cd that my daughter had made and sent to me (from college) just a few weeks ago, and I liked it so well that I charted it and learned it, and put it in the set list for a show I did last weekend.

so, I shared with the wife of Obadiah Parker, my somewhat unremarkable, but connective tale of hearing, learning, then playing the song that her husband had so beautifully inspired me with. Anyhow, Obadiah ended up sending me a message on my myspace page last night, and I have joined his grassroots effort to raise funds for a cd he plans to record in nashville in january.

it's all kinda neat if you ask me. from earrings to mindless entertainment on a forum thread, to connecting through my other passion - music - with the person that inspired me a few weeks ago!

by the way, if you would care to support Obadiah's efforts, and it's just ten dollars, you can go to www.obadiahparker.com

and if you're now wondering about my music, you can have a listen if you'd like at
www.myspace.com/kerstinhanson

i think coincidence is not really that at all - it's really making a connection with other human beings by having your heart and mind open to the possibility of goodness and abundance.

Improved Photos

"Love Letter" (above)
"Blue Lagoon" (above)
"Flower-Girl Kid" (above)

These are all photos that I worked on today, and am pretty pleased with the improvements so far. In the "Blue Lagoon" earrings, it was difficult to capture the range of color in the shells, but I think you can see the irridescent quality and the play of color now.

Earrings Pics


"Raspberry Swirlies" Yummy!

learning to photograph very small items

I opened a webshop at the end of august (this year) on etsy.com... ok, since you wondered, the address is http://kerstinhanson.etsy.com thanks for asking, by the way. You're more than welcome to visit me there.

In my shop, I sell earrings designed and handcrafted by... me. The most challenging aspect of getting my shop opened was learning how to take photographs of earrings, which tend to be very, very small. I am getting the hang of taking 'macro' shots, and continue to learn how best to crop, enhance, etc. until the photograph contains primarily the item I wish to show, and not a lot of background, shadows, my reflection(!), and other various unwanted clutter that takes away from the item.

Today I spent a great deal of time revisiting the photos of many of my items that I put in my shop just as I opened it. I worked on the photos with the knowedge I have gained over the past several weeks, and am generally happy with the results. I removed a lot of extra space around the items by cropping them more tightly, and brightened the exposure on a few that were particularly dark.

I'll add some enhanced photos here so you can see my results :)

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