Artist Has Designs On CMA Awards

The Country Music Association Awards event in Nashville last week had more than one Ohio Valley connection.

Of course, country superstar and Glen Dale native Brad Paisley again served as co-host, with singer Carrie Underwood, of the televised awards show Thursday, Nov. 1.

In addition, Danielle Kritz, a jewelry artist from Shadyside and owner-designer of River Valley Designs, said her design studio was chosen to participate in the “official talent gift lounge” for the CMA festivities at the Bridgestone Arena.

She said that her hand-stamped metal guitar pick necklace, with a quote, “Where words fail, music speaks,” was selected to be on display at the Artisan Group’s exhibit. Copies of the necklace were to be given to “the biggest names in country music” backstage at the awards show, she said.

Kritz, who is known for her personalized, hand-stamped jewelry, accessories and custom guitar picks, said she designed the pendant necklace especially for the CMA Awards.

A music buff, Kritz said she was thrilled to receive an invitation from the Artisan Group to participate in the CMA Awards gifts.

“I knew it would be a challenge to create 85 pendants and a display piece plus design packaging while keeping up with an already packed production schedule,” Kritz stated in an online interview, “but it was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down. The fact that the CMA Awards Board had to approve each gift makes this an especially significant honor.”

According to publicity material released by the artist, each River Valley Design piece is made to order by Kritz using a time-intensive, hand-stamping technique alongside traditional metalworking methods. River Valley Designs has been in business since 2011.

Kritz has designed jewelry for stars including actresses Amanda Seyfried and Mila Kunis and singer Jordin Sparks. She said Sparks was spotted wearing her cuff while accepting a “Power of Youth” award in September.

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“Thou shalt not steal.”

Unfortunately for area gardeners and decorators, deer obviously aren’t familiar with the Ten Commandments, mainly because deer can’t read – despite what the YouTube sensation, “Deer Crossings” Donna from Fargo, N.D., apparently thought.

For the past several autumns, the folks at First Christian Church in Wheeling have maintained a “pumpkin patch” on the church lawn to sell the seasonal gourds. This year, organizers noticed that some of the pumpkins were damaged or missing. They wondered if human vandals or wild animals were to blame.

Well, we’re told, a deer was spotted stealing a pumpkin from First Christian’s pumpkin patch. The deer, carrying its purloined pumpkin, trotted onto busy National Road. The miscreant, however, was struck by a vehicle while crossing the road. The deer’s injuries were so severe that it had to be put down by law enforcement officials who responded to the accident scene.

So, the moral of this story is: Thou shalt not steal, especially not from a church pumpkin patch!

Linda Comins can be reached via email at: