Friday, September 3, 2010

20 Questions with... Kris Miller

Welcome to "20 Questions with..." I want to feature passionate, creative women who are following their dreams. If you're interested in being a 20 Questions feature, let me know, and I'll send you the questionnaire.

Enjoy past installments of 20 Questions here.

Occupation: Artist/Crafter/Entrepreneur
Company: Dustpan Productions, also home of Punkin’ Noodle and Noodleware
Website: Dustpan Productions
Blog: Dustpan Diary
Facebook: Dustpan Productions
Other Pimpalicious Site: Punkin' Noodle

About Kris, in two sentences: If she is not making something, she’s thinking of making something. She becomes physically and/or mentally ill without the outlet of creativity.

1. What it is you do, and why do you do it?

I paint, glue, sew, bead, solder, wire, tape, drill, varnish, join, cast, sand, saw, buff, layer, clip and snip... I really just like to build things. I see my art and craft as a product of construction. I like to look at something or think of something and say, “I can make that!” or “How can I make that?” and put my twist on it. It’s a daily challenge.

My specialties include jewelry making, floral design, graphic design, screen printing and I’m a novice photographer and web designer. I will add that I’m a closet musician. I sing and play guitar. I would like to be reincarnated as an engineer with the stipulation that I have all the ideas and a posse of folks or clones or robots to help construct all my ideas.

I like creating things that make me and other people happy. I struggled for a long time wondering what the purpose of my creative work was. I knew long ago that I would be bored painting paintings all day and trying to make a living in the gallery scene. Okay, so people don’t really need jewelry, people really don’t need floral arrangements, or paintings. But the thing is... they bring joy.

Retail has always been my day job (when I’ve had one). I always have enjoyed the interaction with people and have taken pride in the service I am able to provide for them. There is such a realness and grittiness to it all. The smile on their face is everything. I’ve had customers hug me!

I recently had enough of Corporate American Greed, Inc. and decided to quit my job and just go full time(for at least the second time in my life) with my creative passions because I felt my job was endangering my life, and it was. I designed and operate my website,, which is a shop for my handmade goods and a forum for artists and crafters. I also have my oldest business, Punkin’ Noodle, which has now become an offshoot of Dustpan Productions. I still sell the inventory I have from my raw punk rock style kitchen screen printing of pop art baby tees I started when my boy was a little teeny thing. I also sell my mother’s hand knitted and crocheted items as Noodleware from that website.

In addition, I have a couple of affiliate marketing websites in the works to add to the cash flow. It’s a struggle and a juggle but I remind myself that it’s all worth it in the long run. You pay the cost to be the boss!
Kris's studio

2. Did your passion sidle up next to you and offer to buy you a drink, or did it pimp-slap you and say, “You’re gonna work for me now, see?”

I’ve always been an artist. People have asked me when I started doing ‘this’ and I tell them “ever since I can remember.” I guess the doctor pimp-slapped me right when I came outta my momma! And no, I would never have worked for him. I still have some issues with authority.

3. Disney is remaking Snow White, and has cast you as the eighth dwarf. What’s your name?

Crafty or Veggie

4. Are you more of a Jackie, or more of a Marilyn?

Hmmm... maybe neurotic like Marilyn, with the intellect of Jackie? Both had very tragic lives, but I’d pick Marilyn over Jackie any day.
Vintage tattoo bottle cap earrings

5. Peter Pan, in all his lithe nimbleness, has appeared at your window with the intent of whisking you away to someplace fab. All you need to fly is one happy thought… What comes to mind?

The peaceful faces of my sleeping loved ones.

6. What makes you feel sexy?

I have a very retro sense of sexiness: freshly dyed hair, red toenails and lipstick, fishnet hose, patent leather high heels or peep toes, super straight and smooth Betty Paige bangs. I’m way too lazy to maintain my hair and nails and I hardly ever go out. I usually end up wearing a mini skirt with fishnets or knee socks and Converse. Oh, so comfy, yet sexy!

7. If you had all the time in the world, what would you do more of?

I would be spending more time with my kids, housecleaning, reading, movie watching, blogging, video making, clothing designing, making art and memory albums, painting... I really do want all the time in the world! How about the Universe?
100% handcrafted, original design: laminated wood Sugar Skull wood tile bracelet

8. What’s the last thing you bought that later made you scream, “What was I THINKING?”

I bought a cream colored lacy Austin Powers style shirt to wear to a wedding. My husband approved and he usually has good taste! Aside from the fact that ecru is not my color...

9. It’s 3:30 a.m. You wake up with an insane craving for what?

Going pee and then going back to sleep. I usually don’t get food cravings at night, I’m usually thirsty if anything.

10. What’s something you know you should do for your body, but don’t?

Right now? Exercise! It is so hard to stay motivated to exercise in the summer! I have an elliptical machine and it’s in the garage. It’s dead summer here. The heat index is like 110-115 degrees in August, and there are mosquitoes wherever there’s no sun. I do have other equipment indoors but I like to warm up on the elliptical first to get the blood pumpin’. I try to go out on my bike in the evenings when it cools off and I can outride the mosquitoes, but it can be a little busy around the house at that time, with dinnertime and all.

11. What do you want on your tombstone?

Well... I won’t have a tombstone because I plan to be cremated, but I wouldn’t mind a nice eulogy.

How about, She always wanted to do more?
Handcast resin + candy "BONE" heart necklace

12. Let’s talk about your first kiss. What happened?

I was so little I can’t remember how old I was. It was in daycare. All the kids were playing chase and girls were squealing and a boy with blonde hair was chasing them all and trying to catch one of them to kiss. I was always a shy loner kid and wasn’t even participating in the game when, all of the sudden, I was the unsuspecting victim of a kiss and run! I was tackled and slobbered on and really bewildered afterward.

13. What’s one thing you’d never reveal on a first date?

I’m an art and craft supply hoarder. I also collect junk that has art project potential.
Laminated wood skull earrings

14. Who would play you in the movie of your life?

Meryl Streep, Daryl Hannah, or Goldie Hawn (we have the same birthday)

15. What’s the one song that makes you feel like you can take on the world? You know – the one you bust out the serious moves for when no one is looking?

This is really geeky but... Ludwig Van Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Ode to Joy. No, I don’t dance to it. That would be really geeky. I’m really not much of a dancer and only dance in public when I’m drizzunk. I’ll dance for fun with the family, but that’s about it.

16. Fergie, Duchess of York, or Fergie, diva of Black Eyed Peas?

I had to do a little research on this one since I don’t know much about either one. I’ll have to go with Fergie, Duchess of York. She just seems to be more real. I saw her as a guest on Most Haunted and thought she was somebody I wouldn’t mind hanging out with.

Right now, neither one of those Fergies seems to be doing too well.

17. What real-life dream gets you so excited, it keeps you up at night?

I love traveling. Ever since I was a little girl, I get so excited the night before a big trip. I still know not to fight it and try to get enough rest before I embark on a journey. I just expect to be tired as hell the next day.

18. If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your 12-year-old self?

Not all men are creepy and whistle at young girls in short shorts. Don’t take it personally.

Bullies are sad people who have nothing better to choose to do with their lives than to hurt others because they are hurting inside. Don’t take it personally.

People are interested in you. Speak up, sing, dance, play music. Don’t be afraid to be all that you are and quit worrying what other people think of you! Be personal.

Embrace and share your talents. Not everyone shares the same skills. Some are learned, some are chosen, some are honed. Realize that for everything you are not good at, there are other people that are envious of the things you are good at. Be personal.

If you keep this up young lady, you’re going to be spending the next 20 years or so of your life trying to undo all this mess in the ego department you created! Take it personally!
Handcast resin "LUCK" necklace

19. Welcome to Suicide Karaoke. You’ve gotta sing. Your life depends on it. What’s the song that’s going to save you?

“It Wasn’t God Who Made Honkey Tonk Angels” by Kitty Wells

20. You’re heading to a potluck. What’s your never-fail dish? Share the recipe!

Rio Grande Valley Rice

This is an authentic dish I learned from a long-time-ago-boyfriend’s mother who lived in McAllen, Texas. The recipe has very little true measuring involved and you can vary the ingredients to suit your taste, but you must use a cast iron skillet!

Cast Iron Skillet
vegetable oil
1 cup of rice
1 bell pepper
1 onion
several stalks of celery
minced fresh garlic (optional)
1 large can diced tomatoes
½ -1 teaspoon Cumino Seed (ground or powdered)
salt and pepper to taste

*Variations to try: Add carrots, peas, yellow squash, cooked chicken. Use chicken broth instead of water and add less salt than usual. Use fresh tomatoes. Use a can of stewed tomatoes or Mexican-seasoned if you really want it quick and easy (but not as tasty). Use brown rice with a little more water and cook a little longer.

Cover the bottom of a medium-high heated cast iron skillet in vegetable oil. Add 1 cup of rice and stir until rice becomes toasted. Add chopped onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic if desired. Stir around for a while longer then add tomatoes. Fill tomato can with water and add this mixture to the pan until it covers to about 1 inch over the top of the rice (Test depth with spatula). Add cumino, salt and pepper and stir. Bring mixture to a boil, turn down heat to lowest setting and cover. Simmer for 45 minutes.


  1. I love it! And I love the artwork soo much.

  2. I love it! And I love the artwork soo much.

  3. Kris...I am always inspired by you! You are a true artist, let it shine sista!

  4. Thanks for letting me get to know you better Kris! You are an awesome artist and you have come a long way! I am proud of you! You Rock!


No anonymous comments, please... Be loud 'n' proud, and leave your name!