Country Roads

I’m driving to Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park to meet my daughter and her family. About a half hour into the ride I’m overtaken by a heightened sense of awareness and déjà vu. When this happens whatever is wrong in my world fades away and I am filled with awe and a sense of possibility. The sight of laundry hanging on a backyard clothesline, blooming roadside flocks, and lush greenery made brilliant by sparkling raindrops from a passing storm endear me to a place I never wanted to call home but whose beck and call overpower the fatally flawed part of me that tends to disillusionment by what it wants vs what is possible.

It was the flawed part of me that refused to acknowledge obvious contrary signals I had been receiving from a friend in California on my cross country journey to fulfill a long held dream to live on the west coast. I arrived to an empty off-the-grid house, void of most modern day conveniences like electricity, and on the edge of nowhere with a note taped to the door saying “welcome” and that I was on my own for days to come.

Though the dream evaporated quickly in the days and weeks that followed and despite the overwhelming homesickness and adaption to the wilderness in which I now resided, there was a magical envelope that contained wonders I never had seen or experienced. A tiny green frog no larger than the tip of my pinky, looking into the eyes of a praying mantis perched on my friends finger, “standing” on clouds above the mountains and ocean below as I drove to the beach, and gazing up at the tops of hundreds of ancient redwood trees all held me captive in a place that someone with more common sense would have fled from upon arrival.

to be continued. . . . .



When Cyndy Got Her Groove Back

What used to happen frequently, now happens randomly.  .  . visits from the muse that is. The other morning before arising I drifted back to a time when I practically sprung out of bed filled with new ideas and designs to paint silk scarves and to design new jewelry. It was an ah ha moment. Like a body memory of the times when your fit body rejected all but the best of food and healthy habits. Saying no, falling to temptation an instinct, not a decision. I long for my muse to reside my side.

A Moment of Fame

Long hours and hard word in a constantly changing landscape are the hallmark of being an artist and marketing and selling online and off. Choosing a venue, finding your niche and then moving forward to make it all happen are monumental tasks. I bow to those that have successfully navigated this maze and found success, including in the financial arena.

The techno jargon is head spinning. Like raising children, just when you think you have them/it figured out, change happens. Browsers, search engines and the selling venues seem to raise the bar and change SEO algorithms daily. I complain about it a lot because trying to keep up is hard, it siphons brain energy, and it takes copious amounts of valuable time.

I had a moment of “fame” on Etsy last week when one of my handmade spirit animal hairpipe choker breastplate necklaces was the featured photo for the Pow Wow Jewelry search. And it was only a moment and it didn’t bring in many new views or sales but it was a shining moment among many that aren’t.

Here is the listing link:

And here it is live:Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 11.26.58 AM

Here’s to more shining moment filled days!

Designer China

Events to be seen at: Indie Fest, Coachella, Sundance, Burning Man, Rainbow Gathering, Austin City Limits, Mardi Gras, Country Thunder  . . . .

Places to shop at for events to be seen at for the 99 percenters: Anthropologie, Chico’s, LuLu’s, Free People, Guess, Jones, DKNY, Michael Kors, The Kleins . . . .

Elements the stores have in common: Many China made goods using cheap man made materials that are laid to rest in third world country’s landfills transported via fossil fuel sucking ocean vessels circling the globe as witness to the consumer goods short lived life span.

Global economy – a fancy word used to describe Americans freely subsidizing global economies that are home to many less than desirable corrupt regimes, including the American corporations and political structures that profit on both ends.

Use your consumer power by choosing to support your friends, neighbors, businesses and communities that strive to be the best guardians of the earth, our natural resources and its citizens.



Spring into designing

Ahhh. . . Too much time has passed since I last put pen to paper or stepped foot into my studio. Exciting things are happening, most recently my direct connection with a west coast artist who specializes in creating porcelain beads and pendants. Over the years I was able to purchase her creations at the Tucson Gem and Mineral show or from a now closed bead store. By chance I found her on social media and am looking forward to a long and mutually rewarding relationship!

. . . from my musing

It seems my almost non existent posts are about my delinquency in posting to my blog on a regular basis. Luckily,  I manage to do the most important things that keep my Etsy stores alive and kicking. And since returning to the mid-west, that also means making my grandchildren a priority. I have a lot of catching up to do since I’ve been living in the southwest away from them for more than ten years.

After more than 3 years of selling online my only words of wisdom are that everything changes, and at times, almost daily. There have been monumental changes at Etsy as the company worked on positioning itself to be purchased and instead went public.

Website redesign and algorithm meddling make for a constant challenge in trying to maintain and improve stats and sales. Etsy now also allows manufactured items to be sold, going so far as helping to connect designers with manufacturers.

I occasionally read the Etsy forums and recently gleamed one profound insight that is spurring me to focus on building my name recognition. The ex-Etsy seller mentioned that in the hodgepodge of the millions of Etsy sellers that most buyers can only respond with the answer “Etsy” when asked where they purchased something. They rarely able to recall the actual store or seller’s name. I am guilty as charged even though I frequently make purchases on the Etsy website.

My new battle cry has become “build name recognition” and in my spare time I continue to try and carve out a niche for myself and challenge myself creatively.

I’d love to hear from you and be sure to stop by my Etsy stores. . . I’ll leave the light on!



Bucket List

When I visited my blog today I wasn’t surprised that more than a year had passed since I last posted or even checked in for that matter. Life’s highs and lows kept me far from others and creating, but mostly myself.

One of the things attending college later in life revealed to me were the subtleties I had missed in the ordinary because of references to history or literature (mine, yours, the worlds) that I glossed over and the fact that I took little interest in much beyond the boundaries my small world and the town I lived in. I realized all this one morning while reading the Sunday newspaper.

That revelation opened my eyes and my world and decades passed in which I pursued and reveled in the unknown, mining every juicy tidbit from life until suddenly the dream veil dropped. Translation, reality set in. I lost my job, my friends (it’s complicated) and my home. I lived thousands of miles away from the people that mattered to me most. And getting back was a tangled mess with no apparent solution.

Looking out the patio door I see a thirsty desert landscape longing for summer’s end. I recognize the metaphor for my parched life. So I’m surprised when I feel an urgent need to  attend Burning Man Festival. I’ve never concerned myself with a bucket list because, like my dreams, in the grand scheme of things it didn’t seem all that important or achievable.

God’s existence and life’s unanswered questions have plagued me to the point of total disassociation and disfunction for far too long.

Am I waking up or returning to a deep slumber?



Intoxicating Lilac

One of the favorite things I love about creating is finding inspiration. Sometimes I do that by creating Treasury Lists on Etsy. The process can invoke taking a walk down memory lane as I intentionally search for creations that I admire, that I dream of being or owning, or that some aspect of the finished art touches me in a special way.

As I searched the millions of items listed on Etsy to include in my collection, “Intoxicating Lilac,” memories of a neighbor’s corner lot with blocks long hedges overflowing with tall, beautiful, intoxicating lilacs came rushing back. I remembered all the times I skated by or rode my bike past, arm reaching out to touch the delicate purple flocks and watch them fall and cover the ground below.

Please click here to see my collection. Oh, yes, and I’ll take one of each please!


Movie Star Thrifting at local Phoenix resale hotspot!

B725-2Desperate Housewives fans take note. Key players in the nighttime drama have been captured on and off video rummaging, thrifting and purchasing at yard sales and resale shops. Most recently, Teri Hatcher, a Desperate HE711-3ousewife Darling, meandered into The Bees Knees located at 2222 N16th Street in Phoenix on a late Saturday afternoon. She purchased several gently used designer dresses and new jewelry items designed and created by Cyndy Kempken.  I was thrilled to have my designs noticed by her and look forward to seeing photographs of Teri on the internet wearing my creations! E776-1If you send me a photo of her wearing any of my jewelry, I will send you a pair of original design earrings, on the house!
Warm regards,

Green Dagger Earrings –
Yellow Bracelet –