Tuesday, September 16, 2014

I've added a hat to the many I already wear as the owner and designer for Silver Ranch: Speaker.

This summer I presented "How to Open and Run a Successful Etsy Shop" at 2 local libraries.

Successful? YES!
Fun? YES!
Totally up my alley? YES! 

Am I doing it again?
YES! So far 10 library presentations booked!
I loved helping these groups of budding entrepreneurs start building their dreams!

Leave a comment below and let me know, what have you read or hear that has helped propel YOUR dreams forward lately?

Head on over to the shop and see what great new designs we've added

Cheers and make it a beautiful day for jewelry and dreams


Friday, June 6, 2014

What's Growing?

Have you ever wondered how I come up with ideas for my jewelry designs?  Well, just like most ideas, they start as seeds and grow as they are tended with TLC.

First, the idea
then, a doodle,
then, a real drawing,
and then scooching (jewelry jargon) my handcrafted components, chain, earwires, clasps etc around...

to come up with a design you're going to love and, most importantly, wear over and over again.

So check out what's taking root both in the studio and flower garden:
Ideas for a brand new collection based on my super popular weathered discs.

The weathered discs were first created for an earring design.  You loved them so much, they now feature in several earring designs

And now they are destined to take center stage in a whole collection of necklaces, bracelets and earrings. See how things just grow?

I love good quotes, so here is one of my favorites, and a timely one too…

"Always, I hope to grow brighter, funnier,
I hope to learn to be even more well-rounded,
But right now, I cannot be any better than I am."
~Maya Angelou

Wherever you are right now, I hope *things* are growing well! Leave a comment below and fill me in


ps - Come say hi at my Pinterest site, follow me on Instagram @silverranch, and leave a comment below!

Sunday, April 20, 2014


Do you ever realize suddenly that you need a break? That you are burned out? Or do you wisely build in relaxation time for yourself? 

Well, I've been quiet on the outside lately, but like the soil in Spring time, very busy on the inside. Its been 'out with the old' and 'in with the new.' I am designing a new collection, reorganizing the studio (read: total overhaul and unload of inventory), and, most exciting: redesigning my business structure. Sounds fun huh? Let me tell you it IS fun! Why? Because my head is bursting with ideas for great new designs to bring to you and fantastic new ways to do that!

Suddenly, however, I realized I needed some serious relaxation time. Its good be excited, but it's also very productive to STOP. As I was relaxing (in the bright April sun), I read this fantastic and timely quote from The Brand Alchemist's blog: "...It’s not really “committing” when you bust through walls and never stop. Committing means committing to every aspect of the growth of [insert what's relevant to you here: yourself, your company, your relationship, your children], and that includes the breaks we need to sit back and… marinate for a moment in order to clearly see how we can dive back in…"

And I also regenerated by working (at a leisurely pace) with Mike on prepping our organic raised beds, enjoying the time to hang out together, being in the sun, and smelling the fresh soil and compost:  

Guess what? I feel better….

Leave a comment below and tell me how you've 'stopped' lately.

Here's to committing to the whole process:  stopping, relaxation and all…


Monday, March 3, 2014

My designs can dance!

Did you know that my jewelry designs can dance?  Well…close to it anyway. Enjoy this video and let me know how you like it.   I invite you to explore more of my jewelry designs at my Silver Ranch store.  Enjoy the day!

xo Kristen

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Time for Winter Soup

Seeing as we have 12” of snow on the ground now and the fact that another snow fall consisting of three inches is referred to (by me) as a ‘flurry,’ I thought it was time for some nourishing Winter Soup.

I take recipes as suggestions so of course this is an adaptation of North Pole Soup, which came to me via my Mom who lives in (of all places), Tucson, Arizona.  Because I limit the amount of wheat in my diet, I substituted potatoes for the noodles that the original recipe called for.  Limiting wheat has really boosted my immune system, so much so that it is an easy choice to not eat very much of it at all.

Winter Soup

Note: all ingredients are organic whenever possible and amounts are listed as ‘guidelines.’

4 – 5 medium sized red potatoes, scrubbed clean, sliced
1 red onion, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 stalks celery, sliced crosswise
2 large carrots, sliced crosswise
5 cups water
2 cubes vegetable bouillon
1 tsp powdered dried mustard seed
1 tsp dried basil
Salt to taste
1 14oz. can crushed tomatoes ( I used crushed fire roasted)
1 14oz. can red kidney beans (any beans will do – garbanzos, cannellini)
1 – 2 Tblsp. olive oil or coconut oil

Saute onions in oil for 5 min over medium-low heat, add garlic, carrots and celery and sauté another 5 – 10 min. until soft. Slice potatoes (I use my handy food processor  for slicing and dicing) and place in water in a large soup pan.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and keep at a simmer. Add salt, bouillon, basil and dried mustard, crushed tomatoes and beans.  Add your sautéed veggies to the soup pot and let simmer for at least 30 min.  This soup is super-fast to make, especially if you have a food processor.  It freezes really well too, but remember no freezing in plastic. Keep it healthy and use just Pyrex.

Enjoy!  Like all soups, this is even better the next day.

My goal in preparing food for myself and my family is that it is healthy, delicious AND beautiful (in a down-home sort of way). I don’t measure except with my eyeballs and my taste buds.  Also, what I love about soups is that you can adjust the amounts of any ingredients to your taste, needs, and what is available in the pantry.  Got guests coming and need more soup?  The solution is, as my Brazilian friend Heloisa says, ‘Add water to the beans!’

When it looks like this outside:  

its time for Winter Soup!


Sunday, February 2, 2014

It may seem strange but I occasionally ask myself, ‘Why jewelry?’  As in, why design jewelry, why is this my passion?  The answer is about as simple as answering ‘Why am I an artist?’  The only answer that I have found to that is, “Because I am!”

Having two children of my own, I know from observation that they pretty much ‘pop out as is,’ full of their very own character traits.  Almost like Athena from Zeus’ head, although not in adult form (thank goodness!), nor fully armed.  Yes, there is nurture, and my artist mother certainly nurtured my ablity and desire to create just about anything.

I approach my work as a jewelry designer as an artist and I think of each design as a miniature scuplture. That my 3-dimensional designs are wearable is no accident though. I worked as a sculptor, creating large scale ceramic works, for the early part of my ‘official’ career as an artist.  I wanted however to create something more intimate and more accessible, to more people. 

I have always been a collector of tiny interesting things – nature-made and person-made - so when I found my way to jewelry design it was a beautiful and logical marriage of my drive to create sculpture, my interest in personal adornment, and my love of small treasures. I have never looked back!

In the end it may simply come down to this quote I came across by Rob Bell that seems to neatly sum it up, “It was always, I have to try, because that’s where the joy is.”

Have a wonderful day!

Xo Kristen

Sunday, January 26, 2014

My life-partner-soul-mate Mike wakes up each day and along with morning coffee, infuses his body-mind with world news and stories that he hunts down from the more astute and thinking websites out there.  I, admittedly with some embarrassment, will share with you that I have never been much of a news consumer.  His habit, however, has rubbed off somewhat and this morning we watched/read some fascinating stories including one about truffles and another about bees.  Specifically, how the head of Bee Inventory and Monitoring Program at the USGS (United States Geological Survey), Sam Droege, refined a system to photograph the 4,000 species of bees that live in North America, north of Mexico. The point being that not only have these incredible photos resulted, but there is now a better way to understand, study and document these creatures upon which our whole life on this planet depends. They are the pollinators.  Without them we all perish - no plants flowers vegetables you name it, can grow. We know this, but somehow seeing the incredible photos of these beautiful and so tiny creatures brought it home again to me, and to put it eloquently: it just blows my mind.  

The beauty and complexity of nature has always affected me in a way that I find challenging to express in words. Words such as ‘awe,’ ‘tenderness,’ ‘excitement,’ and a sort of overwhelming wonder seem to only vaguely describe the response I have when I ponder the natural world in its absolute infinite breadth, complexity and inter-connectedness. That is, then, part of my motivation for being an artist, for creating beautiful wearable mini-sculptures.  It is through my jewelry designs that I express this appreciation I have of the shapes, textures and the light and shadow of the natural world. My designs of minimal forms and shapes are intended to evoke the same kind of pure and ‘coming home’ feeling one may experience in nature.  The simple and organic forms of my pieces are meant to inspire and remind the wearer to take a ‘moment,’ much as seeing a beautiful flower might cause a person to pause and just appreciate.  And with any luck I am successful…

Have a wonderful week!