Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Long time coming...

I have spent the past two weeks glued to my laptop.
Well, and my camera and this couch!
I stop every two hours and stretch, switch loads of laundry and I swear my intake of oranges has reached an all time high (:
But I am so close to finishing my new website, and I have decided that when I am finished, I'm going to draw a bubble bath in our giant garden tub, light candles, and drink a bottle of Dom Perignon. (so please do buy off the new website ha!)

I have taken stock of my entire inventory, and have taken the time to look back over the past eleven years of work...and I will admit it pushed me to keep going. It may sound silly, but when I look at certain sets of pictures, or see backgrounds in them, I remember so many things from the past. Some pictures seem like a lifetime ago, and others take me back to just the last few years - and it is somewhat bittersweet. I think what I am trying to say is that I am abundantly blessed. Thus far, I am beyond thankful that my (nice, hardworking and superbly handsome to boot) husband allowed me to trust my instincts six years ago, quit my well paying corporate America job, and focus on my jewelry business. 
Here's to the next eleven years (and counting.)
Until then, here's a sneak peak at what is being posted on the new website:

Monday, November 2, 2015

Monday vibes...

:: 2011, camping at Uncle Doug and Aunt Judy's place ::

My household had a weekend wired for sound.

Volunteer work at the local Princess Theatre for the Rush County Youth Foundation...last minute costume games...candy eating.

And at 5:30 a.m., an unexpected call of a two hour delay for school. Which was a beautiful thing, since we didn't get home until way late last night from ball games, and as soon as we did arrive home, had a kiddo barfing. Ugh. I'm sorry, but I cannot handle vomit. All other excrements, I'm straight up mom mode. So I spent the remainder of my evening last night Lysol-ing the world in which we live, and feeling oh so very gross myself.

So my Monday has been dissected into time segments with a late school drop off, an absolute had to grocery dash, my typical Monday clean a thon, school pickup, basketball practices and meetings. I had such high hopes for you Monday! But I did manage to finish up some side work on my new website, and finalize our family calendar...because frankly, tearing out pages from the random calendar I got in the mail from the Audobon Society and taping them to last year's family photo calendar just ain't cutting it anymore (:

While I was making our family calendar, I couldn't help but be a little sappy about how much our little family has grown over the past few years - isn't it amazing how much kids change in just a short amount of time? Here's a few of my favs:

:: I cherish this picture of my momma with my kiddos and nieces. Baby Bo was in my sister's belly this was actually Kelly's baby shower. Mom had been so very sick, and I was worried about her making the party. And then she walked in, full makeup and jewelry and rockin' the Buckle jeans I had bought her. I still believe this was her last 'good' day. ::

I really try to make a very conscious effort to stay in the present, but seeing all of the pictures from the past several years reminded me to do better on that front. It sounds so cliche, but tomorrow is not guaranteed, and days gone by are ones you don't ever get back. I am so thankful I was chosen to be a momma and to be blessed with healthy, smart and funny kiddos. I miss the days of them being so little...but this stage with them is so fun too...I look forward to what God has planned for each of their futures.  
(But I'll hang on to today for as long as I can.)

"The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. 
The Lord protects the simplehearted; when I was in great need, he saved me. 
Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you."
 ~ Psalm 116:5-7

Monday, October 26, 2015

Work daze...

This morning I woke up and immediately smiled thinking about all of the work I (finally) finished yesterday during my mega get 'er done sesh.

Building a new website is NOT for wimps, lemme tell ya.
So today, I started the task of documenting and photographing every.single.piece. of jewelry I currently have in stock...usually after a full make day, I spend the following day taking pictures and then posting them on my website and my Starr Strung facebook page.
But my last few major make sessions were specifically dedicated to bridal orders, preparation for a big show and custom designs. So that basically means I have a plethora of pretties that needed their pictures taken and a spot in cyber space (:

I may very well have to take a break from all this fun soon because my little Fergie girl romped around outside on something awful, disgusting and quite dead I'm sure while I took a 30 minute break to go for a run. Barf. I'm seriously about to gag while I type this.

(Fergs, prior to her carcass wallering)

I just had a really sketchy dude come to my front door (where I come from noone uses the front door. Not even our Pizza King delivery peeps. So this, in an of itself, is extremely suspicious.) and open with:
"I'm real sorry to bother you ma'am, but you eat chicken and steak here right?"
I laughed.
And laughed some more when I sent him away and watched him go back down my drive in his rusty S-10 with a small chest freezer wobbling around in the back.
Nothing says hungry for chicken and steak like a freezer in the back of a pickup at 3 in the afternoon.

If I can shake that whole scenario and get this stinking dog bathed before my evening meetings, I should have the entire "earring" section of my new website all finished up, and that makes me very happy indeed. It truly is so exciting to build a section and click to "view site" and actually see all of your hard work come to life. It's exciting, it's scary but most of all, it makes me really thankful.
Almost 11 years in the (jewelry) making, and still going strong.
Here's to so many more!

"I am the vine; you are the branches. 
If a man remains in me and I in him, 
he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." 
~ John 15:5

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Finding My MoJo...

Sundays are always a good day to start (or, in this case, revive) things.

It has been 8 million years since I have sat myself down at this laptop, placed my fingers on the old familiar keyboard, and written. In that expansive time frame, 8 bajillion things have happened. Good, bad, and in between. Mostly good.

I (finally) got married.

Our kiddos have grown at least three inches a piece.

These kiddos have helped my broken heart mend:

And I found my mojo again.

It's taken five ever...a trip I do pray I don't have to take soon again.

Because frankly? It's utterly exhausting for my soul.

Since my momma would not at all like me focusing on the heartbreak and negativity, I have decided I'll make this post positively happy.

Because honestly? I really am happy again.

And I've done some serious soul searching in the expanse of time since I was last here; the decision is unanimous, and parallel to something my momma used to tell me:

You only get one wild and crazy ride. 
You need to make it count.

So, here I am. Making mine count.

Before I started writing this post, I worked for three hours on my new Starr Strung website. It's a task that is so very long overdue it's almost embarrassing. But since I'm not really one who gets embarrassed easily, I'll just chalk it up to the necessity of personal exploration. In short: I'm a way better version of myself today than I was even a year ago. That's awesome, right?!

One marvelous thing that came up out of my hiatus from here was a giant, beautiful spurn of growth for my little jewelry business. In the past 15 months alone, I have seen an upwards gain of nearly 60% in sales and in that, some excellent friendships and work related partnerships that make my heart happy. So, I guess I could logically blame the long online break to the fact that I've been crazy busy making jewelry (:

Sometimes, breaks are a really good thing.

But trust me: it feels really, really great to be back.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Christina, Part One: An Ode to the Woman who Made Me...

They say a mother's love transcends all things, and I can attest that much is true.
The woman who made me: in more ways than one - passed away peacefully three months ago, and it has taken that long for me to form that thought into a sentence and compose it here...

You see, I still miss her so much it hurts.

To be perfectly honest, I have written this post in my head at least a thousand odd times...and yet, when I sit here looking through pictures of her and thinking about just exactly what I want to say...well, it makes my chest go tight and my stomach flip flop and I am taken right back to the tiny, precious moments of our tearful goodbye...and back further to the times when she was just my momma: healthy, laughing. I am reminded of my mother's complete commitment to let me be just exactly who I was made to be - and how she really, truly, loved every minute of me being her daughter. 
That is something I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

I am reminded of when she was Grammy to all of our kiddos - and they knew her as stopping by and bringing fun new movies and listening to all they had to tell her.
Before she was so very, very sick.

I feel I need to write that I am not in any way to the point of being at peace with my loss.
 I have not had very long periods of comfort - yet. I trust it will come, with time. But I am still enduring the raggedy edges of deep, tiring and relentless sadness. There was only one of my unique mother - and although I have fielded very nice compliments the past several weeks about the likeness I carry as my mother's daughter, I can't quite wear that blessing the way I should.
I trust that too will come.

 :: mothers day, 2011 ::

My mother - which seems odd to say or write, since I have siblings who miss her as much as I do - our mother, she died on February 4th.
One month later, on March 4th, our sweet Jae turned 11 years old.
And then, just this past Sunday, on May 4th, Jonah turned the big double digit 10.
You see, I am being reminded by my Creator - who loved our momma more than we could ever fathom, and who showered all of us who loved her with so many amazing blessings - gently reminds me with these dates and numbers - that Love...that is what truly transcends all things. 
Of this world and beyond. Of happiness and sadness. Of thankfulness and loss.
Of how, in my loss - I still have so very, very much for which to be thankful. 

I know that this Sunday will be a hard day for me. 
A big mix of the same which I have been experiencing: sadness and happiness.
Missing my mom, and loving my kiddos.

 :: Mothers Day, 2012 - my kids look like babies! ::

Happy Mother's Day to us all.

"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time 
are not worth comparing with the glory 
that is to be revealed to us." 
~ Romans 8:18


Thursday, November 21, 2013

:: a new home for Starr Strung awaits!

I am so happy to let you know that - no, my website is not "down" - well, it is, but just for now!

In the next week, I will have a brand spankin' new place for Starr Strung to call "home" in the cyber world!

It is a loooong time coming - and a task I somewhat loathe (mainly because I have been making pretties now for almost NINE years! So, as you might imagine - I have literally thousands of pictures of jewelry I have made: bridal, wedding, custom designs, original designs...and of course all mixed in with family pics! Let's just say I am OCD about cleanliness with our home, etc. but organization for SS has not always been in tip top shape!)

And I am a writer and designer...creativity is my game - and html yaddity yah is NOT!
In fact, half of the time, I have absolutely zero idea what the tech person on the other end of my new website is even referring to - hee hee

But alas! The time has come, and just in time for the holiday rush of custom orders and gifting Starr Strung (:

So, I am quite excited.

Until then, here is a peek at a few new pretties I have made up, and you can always shop my etsy (although I just took a peek there and it seems many of the new items I posted are sold....more coming today...)