Sunday, November 01, 2009


I've done it now. Had my kiln going and didn't realize half the house was on the same circuit breaker. Yikes! I came home to a few of the lights in my house out and the plug my printer was plugged into, GLOWING.

So now I'm taking showers by candlelight, not using my office at all, printing in my kitchen, blogging in bed, turning my living room into my photo studio, and not even touching my kiln.

But hey! At least what I had in the kiln turned out pretty!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Spreading the love, Internationally!

I've sent a few pieces around the world--England, Finland, Korea, to name a few. It has me thinking. Where are my creations now? What far away destinations have they been to? What kind of interesting people wear them and what culturally diverse functions do they wear them to?

If you know me, you know I'm an international kind of gal. I've been to Togo, Ghana, Korea, Japan, Mexico, and Canada (yes, Canada counts! Especially when you're talking about Victoria Island, just stunning). My travels have inspired much of my art because, well, travel has been my life.

So, it's no surprise that I contemplate where my creations are now. What is surprising is what I will do to get more out there:

From now on, I will ship all of my work to international destinations for the same rate I charge domestic customers . That goes for everything and extends everywhere!

My hope is that you will stop by once in a while and tell me where you wear my jewelry. Maybe even send me a picture. Because, if I can't be there and see the world you live in, I love the fact that my creations can.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Saint Wenceslaus and My New Display

If you're from Omaha, and you like crafts, you know what I'm talking about when I say, Saint Wenceslaus. It sounds heavenly, no? But not just because it is a church, but because every fall it is a mecca of arts and crafts and everything I consider divine.

This year, for the first time, I set up shop at the Saint Wenceslaus fall boutique. I had never done such a large show and was blessed to have friends by my side, including Lattie, who showed off my new beaded necklaces beautifully and thus brought me my biggest sale of the day.

To prepare for such a large show, I finally put together my first formal display. It's complete with new table cloths, platters, hangers, Lattie, her new man, Lonnie, mirror boxes and more.

Saint Winceslaus has taught me so much--both good and bad. Like, don't set up shop near the entrance because no one wants to spend money as soon as they walk in the door. Or, bring a notepad and pencil to take notes on what to, and what not to do next time.

Most importantly, however, it motivated me to take the next step towards bringing my wearable glass art to those who love it. It gives me such joy to actually get to see firsthand a customers face light up when they see that must have piece.

So there you have it. Thanks, Saint Wenceslaus. Now I'm hooked and, with this new display, there is no going back now. See ya next year.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Introducing Lattie

Signs are like road maps to me. I don't mean street signs either. I'm talking about omens, prophecy, extreme cases of chance and intuition. I look for signs like these everywhere. To me, they tell me I'm on the right track, or at least in the ball park.

Take Lattie, for instance. One morning I woke from a dream and in my minds eye I could see Lattie perfectly. I had no idea what a dress form was at the time, didn't even know how to decoupage something or even the term, for that matter. I just knew how Lattie was supposed to look.

That morning I spent hours combing over Ebay--looking at mannequins and dress forms. All seemed too pricy for what I wanted to do. By noon, I gave up and got ready for April to pick me up. We were planning on going to the library so she could study and I could list at Etsy, but I suddenly wanted to take a deture.

I saw a fabric store and a lightbulb literally (okay, just in my minds eye, AGAIN) clicked on above my head. We went in, I ran around the entire building, but there was not one dress form that would work in the building. While walking out, I just happened to glance to the side and saw a going out of business sale. I walked in my my fingers crossed (litterally this time, not just in my mind) and there, lined up in rows like little solder girls were line upon lines of Latties.

Not fate? Not a sign? Not an extreem case of intuition? Okay, well maybe not. But as we left the store with my dress form buckled into the back seat I asked April, "what should we name her." In my mind (yes, AGAIN) I was thinking Lattie, for Latitude, because I knew I was going to cover her in a map. April looked at me, smiled, and said, "How about Lattie?"

I rest my case and am here by introducing you to Lattie. My own personal sign from the stars, maybe. Telling me I'm on the right track to ummm, something. I'll let you know when me or my mind figure it out.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Masquerade Medley

Masquerade Medley is the very first treasury I created for the Etsy Twitter Team. While snooping around team member’s shops, trying to find new additions to this treasury, it dawned on me that looking at the creations of others is a lot like reading a book in that you learn who the artist/author is by what/how they create.

It should not be surprising, I know. After all, art is about expression and connecting the audience to the art with an emotional response. Yet building this treasury was a lesson for me. It’s taught me that knowing oneself is an essential part of the creative process.

I can see now that, in catering to what I felt people in general would want/like, I forgot that my work is more about art than shiny stuff that dangles. I’ve learned that, even when creating functional art as I do, I must be true to myself as an artist and trust that there are others out there who will connect to my work rather than force myself to create to the tune of others.

It’s humbling to be among such great originality and talent. The timeless pieces of 19Moons, the dramatic couture works of the KnittingGuru, and BeadBug’s dazzling “vintage flair,” all remind me that true art is not a masquerade. The real show begins when the masks fall.

Friday, July 31, 2009

What's In a Name?

Bitter Moon is my name, funky dichroic glass art jewelry is my game.

But, how did you come up with such a name, you might ask. Are you bitter? What do you have against the moon, others have asked.

No, no. It's nothing like that. The Bitter part of my name derives from my grandmother's maiden name, Bitterly. Simple as that.

Oh, ok. But what's up with the moon?


No, no. What's up with "moon" being part of your name?

Oh, that. Well, I'll tell you:

When I was little, my mother used to take my brother and I to the Balboa Park Science Museum in San Diego, California. It was my favorite place in the world to be. I have no idea what it's like now. But back then it was full of space age technology for kids to get their hands on. I made waves with a wave machine, ran my hand through fiber optic lights before anyone really knew what they were, pushed huge sand pendulums hanging from the ceiling, making intricate sand designs on the floor, and bought my first pair of dichroic glass earrings from the gift shop.

"Oh! Dichroic glass. But, why would that be in a science museum?

Oh, you're gonna love this. Fun fact: Dichroic glass was used by NASA before it ever was an art medium!

Wow! Really?

Yep! According to "Dichroics: Art glass all dressed up" by, Jackie Paciello-Truty, NASA used dichroic glass as an aerospace filter before it was ever used in art.

Cool, so that's where the "moon" in your name comes from?

Oh, (chuckles). Well, frankly I am just a nature freak and love the night sky and it is a total coincidense (or fate) that I picked the name Bitter Moon and later found out about dichroic glasses connection to NASA. Then, I remembered being a kid, the Space Meuseum, and those mesmorizing dichroic glass earrings and the storyteller in me just kinda took over.


Don't be too mad at me. I did, after all, answer the question, What's in a name?"

My name, Bitter Moon, is all about history--my history. It's my family, past, love of nature, storytelling, and art all rolled up in a name.

So, now it's YOUR turn. What's your store/blog/twitter/facebook/whatever name? How did you come up with it? What does it say about you?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Let Me Introduce Myself

Hello there! I’m Kris-Marie Allen--an art loving, tree hugging, world traveler who lives to create one-of-a-kind wearable glass art. I find inspiration in nature and my travels, whether it be the deep royal colors of West African textiles or the gentle cherry blossoms of Japan.

I feel jewelry is much more than just glass, metal, or stone. There is a memory connected to it, such as a string of pearls a mother once owned; an accomplishment achieved, such as a graduation ring; a symbol of something profound, such as a yellow ribbon pinned to the collar of a soldier’s wife; a union made between two people, such as a pair of wedding rings slipped on the fingers of two young lovers. I’m so proud and honored to be a part of the memories, accomplishments, symbols, and unions you will make with my creations.

Please contact me with any questions you might have about my work. I would also love to hear your own stories about the memories and connections you make while wearing my jewelry, or pictures in the places you wear it.

Domo arigato, Gracias, Kamsahamnida, Merci, Grazie, Thank you,

Kris Marie Allen
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