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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