Thanks for reading

Thanks for taking the time to read this blog. Here is my jewelry website if you want to check out the goods:
My designs can also be found in my Etsy shop:

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I am feeling skulls.......

Last summer I became fascinated with using skulls in my designs and making them sparkly and pretty with flowers and crystals. I made some earrings and used some discreet clasps on bracelets and then kind of let them sit in my studio (ummm....sun room with the pool table) not sure if my sassy customers were quite ready for my skullerific designs. When I began selling at the museum for some reason the subject of skulls came up and the fab buyer got all excited and so I brought him what I had. Last week I got an interesting voicemail message ," Hi Karyn, it's (fab buyer) from the museum, I am just checking on the skulls?" So here is what is on my table today:
Very "Day of the Dead"

Monday, January 30, 2012

Strawberry Fields Forever......

Strawberry Fields Flowers and Finds will always hold a special place in my heart for 2 very important reasons:

My dearest friend Deanna King is the owner (who also makes amazingly beautiful floral arrangements...hello Valentine's Day!)
Deanna holding flowers

...and she is also one of the first places to take a chance on my jewelry and is still one of the best places to go to find a variety of my designs.

Look for my designs up front fabulously displayed by Wendy Umanoff!

The shop has just gone through a huge transformation and it looks so amazing. Not only do they carry a large selection of locally handmade and handmade in the USA gifts, they have recently expanded to include studio space for Richmond Soap Studio a somewhat addictive local line of handmade soaps that smell like heaven and have quirky local names like "Soap of Northern Aggression", "Trendy Fan Bar" and my fav "Monument L'av".

Love the 50's kitchen table! Such a cute studio space!!!

I have it on good authority that they are doing candles now as well and I for one am looking forward to adding to my candle collection (obsession?) Strawberry Fields is located at 423 Strawberry Street (Next to the Strawberry Street Cafe). You can find more info online at

Valentine's was a blast last year and there is always a large group of Deanna's friends and family pitching in to help out! Stop by to pick out something speical or call (804)213-0232 to order a gorgeous floral arrangement and maybe some locally made toffee!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Ben from Pinterest...

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One of my great delights at Alt Summit this year was meeting the guy that signs off on every re pin email I get! He was funny, humble and a great speaker. He told his inspiring story from beginning to end and didn't leave out the down and dirty parts in between. (that sounded a little smarmy didn't it?) From quitting his dream job at Google with the promise from some of his friends that they would follow only to have the economy tank the next day and everyone leaving the cheese to stand alone,(your not cheesy Ben, or if you are like a really great Brie) to 2 years of trying to get venture capital and hoping and praying that people would get what he was doing and finally pushing everyone as fast as he could to get the product online as soon as possible. (I apologize for the longest run on sentence EVER) His story was so inspiring! I was lucky enough to spot him at the party that night and went up to thank him for speaking. I gushed like an eejit and when I paused to take a breath he said, "Thanks so much, I'm Ben by the way," and stuck his hand out to shake mine. I'll be re-pinning this memory for a long time!

BTW? Someone needs to make Pinterest shirts that say "I am a Follower" in the Pinterest font. Or Pinterest on the front and "Are you following me?" on the back? Maybe Pinterest? I'd buy one!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Chic Crushes from Alt Summit.....

I met a bunch of really amazing women at Alt Design (and's looking at you Chris from (go BlueJackets!) and Ben from Pinterest (like you really need the link to that!)) but there were a couple of women that had me at hello. Here is my top 5 in no particular order (drumroll please):

The Whole Pretty
Seriously, with a photo like this how could we not be BFF's?

I had read Elizabeth's blog before and was so excited to not only sit next to her at the first lunch but also to learn she is as entertaining and super cool as her blog. I then kept running into her around the Alt Summit circuit and she was always impeccably dressed, witty and talk-y. She makes me want to be a better blogger!

I come from a small town outside of Detroit called Wyandotte, MI. Rarely do I meet someone who has ever heard of it. Regina was a friend of my friend Wendy Wyne, an amazing Richmond event planner. I was happily surprised that Wendy was there and when I sat down at her table and met Regina I found out she was SO familiar with Wyandotte that her husband is a doctor at the hospital in Wyandotte that I was born! Regina is an amazing photographer and I am so excited to have met her and to meet up in Wyandotte!
We have a date for the Wyandotte Street Fair Miss Regina, don't stand me up!

Grace and kindness in a young woman so successful and gorgeous are traits that you might not expect to co exist. They do in Jessie. As I am trying to expand my brand and reach more people with my jewelry design, I was REALLY looking forward to some advice from the bloggers at the Runway + Street Style: Fashion Blogging 101 panel. I sat my little self right up front, "first day of school" nervous to ask questions, knowing that's the only way you get answers. Jessie was so enthusiastic, open and sweet that I thanked her every time I saw her. (Sorry so stalky Jessie!) I am so glad I had the chance to meet her and look forward to chatting with her more in the future.

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I totally crashed Monica's tea party with the wonderful artist Jenean Morrison. (I guess this is 2 girl crushes for the price of one!) Turns out Monica has a little white dog AND she used to be a flight attendant. Oh LORD help anyone stuck between 2 former flight attendants. I had a great conversation with both ladies and am looking forward to talking again. (maybe not about layovers and end of flight garbage pick up!)

Last but surely not least is my good friend Stella Singleton of

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She made this whole she bang happen!(for me) She planned everything from, hotels, rental cars, trips, sight seeing AND she drove! Which is HUGE to me because I hate driving in a strange town. I wouldn't have done half the things I did without her planning. Thanks Stella! You rock!

There's no place like home.....

My goal this year is to build my brand and reach more people with my designs, turns out what I was looking for was in my backyard all along. (well, really in my laptop!)

I feel like the past week in Salt Lake City lasted a month. I don't know if I have ever done that much sight seeing, learning, listening and celebrity stalking EVER!!!! I wasn't sure what a jewelry designer with a sporadic blog (that doesn't get updated until her dad reminds her),would get out of Alt Summit and I was surprised at how inspiring and informative it was. It lit a fire under my butt for sure and showed me the possibilities of marrying various social media in an effort to reach a wider audience.

Alas, I will not be tweeting. I believe the thoughts that occur rapid fire in my brain benefit greatly from having a chance to cool. Very good possibility NO ONE would sit with me in the lunch room if ya know what I mean!

There is a ton I want to blog about from last week and a boatload of people that I want to write about but that's for another day. My beautiful mother in law is coming to stay tonight, the house is a mess, the moodle needs to be picked up, our once beautiful christmas tree is dried up in the corner but still twinkling optimistically ( hazard?) get the picture!
If mama ain't doing it, it's NOT getting done! Look for more posts, giveaways, (oh yeah, jewelry for free!) and new designs coming down the pipe, must go spot clean the kitchen floor with Windex now!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Leaving....on a jet plane....

I am SO excited to be traveling to my first Alt Design Summit in Salt Lake City, UT. I am meeting up with my fabulous (and ridiculously organized) friend Stella, she has our schedule for the week in PDF form including links to suggested restaurants and their menus! Being a sporadic blogger, I am hoping to meet bloggers that have stylish sites with dedicated followers and bribe them with jewelry;) I am also looking forward to meeting new friends and experiencing SLC! As an added bonus we are going to Sundance on Sunday to see a movie (stalk famous people)! And now I have to go and try to sleep so I can be daisy fresh for my freaking 4 am pick up! See you in Salt Lake!

BTW....I heard a rumor that little miss Ala made jewelry for FOUR hours after our class! Mmmmmmm....what's the age limit for employment?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

My First Day Of Class

Let me start out this post by saying if there was a way to duplicate Ala I'd take 3! What an absolute pleasure of a kid. She is everything you would want any child to be, smart, funny, polite and just a joy to hang out with. We started out by looking through a couple of the books that I left for her and she took the task of marking everything she liked
to heart. At every Post it she would tell me what she liked about a certain piece of jewelry. I was really surprised at how sophisticated her opinions were, she really "got" it and was so excited to learn. It also gave me some idea of what I want to teach her in future lessons. For the first class, I taught her basic stringing around a focal point bead and she picked it up so quickly there was time to teach her how to make a focal point beads with wire. I am really looking forward to seeing what she makes with these techniques and I can't wait
for our next session!

My second half of the day as a student showed me what an amazing teacher Stacey Lane is! That 2 week Penland course more than prepared me for this class and I think I will actually be able to bring some new techniques to the class. It was also taught in the same classroom where I took my very first metalsmithing class about 10 years ago. I started reminiscing about the amazing people that have helped and encouraged me to get where I am now and I left that class filled with gratitude and the hope that I can pass on a little of what I have learned.

The teacher becomes the student.....

A couple of months ago a friend of mine asked me if I would be interested in teaching her adorable daughter a jewelry making course as part of her home schooling curriculum. I said yes immediately. I love the idea of passing down what I have learned to someone that wants to learn, and teaching kids is the best. They come at it with no ego or self consciousness and a willingness to play and learn and experiment. Which is pretty much how I come at jewelry making and why I describe my life as being very Kindergarden-ish. (play time, nap time, snack time:) That my friend also happens to be an amazing masseuse and wants to barter for the classes is just a big fat glob of icing on the proverbial cupcake!

To get Ala excited about our first day and create a dialogue about jewelry, I dropped off a bunch of books that had tons of pics of jewelry in it with the instructions that Ala put a post it note on every page of jewelry she likes and a little description of why she likes it. This will give me some ideas of where to go in her lessons so she learns things she is excited about! SO looking forward to our first day together.

In a strange twist of fate and scheduling snafus, today is MY first day of a class I signed up for at The Visual Arts Center in Richmond. For those of you who don't know, Richmond has this amazing Center that attracts some very talented teachers that specialize in a million different artistic forms such as woodworking, fiber, and of course, jewelry making. I am taking a class with local jewelry artist Daniel Eaves on lost wax casting. In August I was lucky enough to take a 2 week course in casting at The Penland School in North Carolina with the talented Stacey Lane and I am excited to finally get back in the studio and build on that foundation with some new tricks!

So today I will start out giving back what I know and end it taking in something new! (Cue the Lion King's Circle of Life!)