Monday, January 17, 2022

I love Nightmare

As in Nightmare Before Christmas that is.  In my family I just call it Nightmare, but in fandom it's NBC.  

One of my goals is to completely redo my kitchen and dining room into a NBC theme -- and over the last couple of years I've added touches when and where I can.  Above is a light switch plate I added about a year ago-- As I find designs I like ( and have the spare $$) I'll get them all replaced, as well as the visible plug ins.  
Another touch I added last year is padded window seat in the dining room.   ( in a lovely purple which is of course of one the main NBC colors! ) 

The window seat came with the house of course, but it was bare wood and it's original to the house, or near so.  ( My house started in 1913, and it's been added to at least 3 times, maybe 4?  It's kind of a Frankenstein house which is yet another reason I adore it) 

This change I think adds much to my dining room.  I bought the pillow shams, and then pillows for them.  The padding is just chunks of foam cut to fit, and I found extra long pillow sheets to use as the covers-- making it an affordable house upgrade.  Since the pillow sheets can be washed as needed, easy to clean as well. I believe this cost me around $120 total.  It's comfy as well!

The cats adore it! during daytime hours you will find one or 2 of them snuggled up in the sunlight.  

 I'm hoping in another year or 2, we can redo the cabinetry in the kitchen to fit my theme.  As it is, I have several of my favorite Nightmare toys on display in the dining room and kitchen.

I really love my home, and I'm so grateful I can add and subtract things to make it special!  

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Stillwell Freedom Rock

I'm still working on catching up my picture files from last year-- and I'm still reflecting on the GOOD stuff of 2021.

Jerry's Dad is a fan of the Freedom Rocks.  If you live in Iowa, you already know about them, if you don't or - your living under a rock in Iowa - I put the link for you.

So Early last spring we went and visited the Stillwell Rock with Larry (The dad) and Jerry's sisters.  
We had a good time and spent some quality time with the Miller side of the family.  If in these times of Covid, and frankly you are looking for a mini -trip, go check out one or more of the rocks.  

Here is me, Jerry, Baby and Larry


Saturday, January 1, 2022

Hell of a year....

So 2021 is done and I say good!  I don't want to dwell on the negative, so here is one of the GOOD things about 2021 -- we found and bought this incredible buffet, which we call, affectionately, The Dragons.  This wonderful piece we got at a steal! It's oak, and the dragons are hand made... look at the top picture, you can see the elegant curve of the wood and how it'a all one piece, and not attached to the botttom drawers.  

For now, it houses the family art supplies, and such family activities as puzzles and games.  

 While we didn't need it I am so glad we bought it, and every time I look at The Dragons, I fall in love all over again with it.

I am so grateful to have a house where I can randomly buy something like this and immediately find a place for it.  I am so grateful that Jerry and I have decent jobs that paid for it and our house.

I'm so grateful that all 3 of us got through 2021 if not exactly intact, we made it and all of us are still here.  We will have family art days again in the future, with the supplies that live in The Dragons.  

Happy New Year's folks, and let's all look for the things to be grateful for, as it's the only way we get through this life.

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Pottery Time!

You know how I'm trying to catch up my photo files? Well these are from May!  For my Sister's birthday I treated her to a pottery painting session at Five Monkeys 
She did a great rainbow gnome box, which is uses for buttons.  I made a "doctor whoooo" trinket plate which fits right in as a soup dish for my dr who bathroom.

and this cute and tiny kitty that sits on my work desk.

 If you are looking for a great holiday gift idea, give someone you love and yourself a pottery session at Five Monkeys!  It's a great experience and you get automatic souvenirs ! 

Saturday, December 4, 2021

it's time to play....

So I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!! 
I'm still catching up from my photo files, and this blog the theme is some of the great vintage materials I have to play with.  On top is a fantastic watch face in my stash.  I still haven't made anything with it, and it's currently safely stored away for that moment I decide it's time.  
I love this! it's a broken owl pendant, and it's in one of the project trays I have in the studio.  I keep changing my mind what to do with it.  Once the ideas stop morphing, i'll make something with this.  The body will probably eventually have a whole watch movement-  I just haven't quite decided how it will gel. 

I've actually made several earrings / pieces from this bag of goodies  It's actually mostly pairs of stuff, so when I want to make something different in the earring department I dip into this for inspiration! 

This is a huge ( it's like 3 inches long! ) rhinestone earring, probably 50-60's.  I just adore it, but I just can't decide what to do with it, so It's gotten tucked back into the vintage collection for now.  Part of the problem is I love it so much, I'm not sure I wanna give it up!!! 

See the owl is in this pic as well.  This is a pile of stuff most of which ended up in my project boxes, and some of it actually got made into jewelry ( and some of it is sold as well)
Part of my process is to lay stuff out, and just kindof play with it like it's a puzzle I'm trying to put together.  Cause, well I am putting puzzles together.  

large pile of vintage jewelry.  This is unsorted... the bulk of it I'll try to resell cause it's just not stuff I want to play with, some get's stored into the stash and some are in my project boxes.  Most of this pile got sorted at least into sell/ play/ hoard.  

Lots of sparklies!!  Isn't it yummy?? This is all part of a large rhinestone lot I bought about a year ago.  I actually took this picture to show some beady buds of mine my score.  

About 75% of the items in this pic got made into actual pieces of jewelry which are already sold.   A few pieces are still "in development" 

I hope you enjoyed this brief tour of stuff to play with! 


Thursday, November 18, 2021

New Stuff at The Picker Knows!

So sells are going pretty well at Pickers -            so I took more pieces over.  

First I took my big statement piece, cause it attracts attention and why not have it out instead of storage at my house?? 

And then I took over all new fun Christmas jewelry I've made in the past week.

I made some of my traditional Christmas tree and snowmen earrings, and then using vintage stuff, much of it recycled from broken jewelry I made several fun earrings.  I love the little Christmas tree ones.. they are vintage crystals from a rosary probably from the 1950's. 

These snowflakes are woven ! 
The Christmas tree necklaces were off this funky necklace chain, the snowman on blue are singleton earrings reused as a pendant, and the wreath necklace? 
Pretty isn't' it? 
This was a fab broach that the pin-back was broken ! so I cut off the other side as well, and filed and sanded it down so it wouldn't be poky or catch your shirt, and then strung it using vintage gold beads, and hex beads and older bugel beads ( the long red ones)

I think it turned out really cute, and if you don't rush down and buy it, someone else will! 

See ya -- as always I'm in the life preserver row towards the end!

Sunday, November 14, 2021

I take it back, picking healthcare is crazy!


I wrote a couple of days ago how it felt good to make choices for my family. I take it back. Maybe there are 2 many choices offered... no that's not it. The problem is there are soooo many variables!!! most of the plans have you pay 10-25% of the various costs... but figuring out those costs is the crazy part! How the heck do I know what the doctor charges me, after whatever health plan applies their rules and such. I am down to 3 possible plans, and I'm not sure which is the best deal, because it hinges on how much is passed on to me the customer and that's such a total unknown! Or i can just keep the current plan, which of course charges alittle more per month than it did before and added a co-pay and raised co-pays on drugs.. but at least I know what to expect and there is no learning curve for next year. But i'm hunted by the knowledge that it will probably cost alittle more than maybe this other plan... but how can I know for sure because of the variables I don't know!! Add in that Jesscera will turn 26 during then year, and will have to get her own healthcare going forward. So should i pick what will be the better deal once she would drop off? should we just get her own coverage starting at the start of the year, instead of keeping her til she ages out? ARRRRGHGHGH Is it really any surprise that everyone hates health insurance, even though we can't live without it? Why is national healthcare so wrong? It would make everything so much easier! On a much easier note, here is another picture from my files. This is one of my "wedding" pieces. Features a vintage pocket watch regular. Now I'm sure the person who bought it did so just for enjoyment, but I always think i'll make a offical wedding line featuring vintage bits and simple elegant lines. This is an easy choice!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Tis the season for Healthcare....


So it's November and time to pick healthcare for the next year. For folks that have healthcare through work, it's the annual headache... but I actually sort of enjoy it, at least since Jerry got a federal job. Being a federal employee means something like 30 different plans to pick from! Yes, I'm bragging! It doesn't mean coverage is necessary cheaper per month, but I bet the actual coverage offered is better, and we save with lower copays and drug costs. We jumped on a government plan last year and we saved so much money compaired to what my company offered, it makes me feel sick. (bad word choice??) Considering the extra expensives medically wise this year, we have spent less money than the year before. This is with hospital stays, biospies and extra medial care this year. The cost difference in Jerry's medications alone is staggering. Jerry is a insulin dependant diabetic. Even with my insurance, each perscription refill varied $1800 to $4000, depending if deductable was covered for the year or not. On Jerry's plan, his insulin is $90 co-pay. That is the highest level of drug co-pay on this plan. I doubt I'll be changing plans, but I'm carefully looking over each plan to make sure we still have the best fit. I guess i enjoy it because I feel like I have more control over medial costs that I have ever had before. And I like feeling like choices I make for my family have a real difference on our daily lives. If your healthcare offerings through work suck, be sure to check out the healthcare exchanges as well, you never know you might find something that fits your family better than the work plan. Some companies even give you a kicker if you don't use company healthcare!

Sunday, November 7, 2021

It's beginning to look like Christmas at the Picker Knows!

Hey Guys!! Just a quick one, to let you know that I'm starting to get some Christmas jewelry out at The Picker Knows in my case #215!  I am planning on getting more Christmas jewelry out next weekend, so if you are in the area of 1208 Grand in West Des Moines, be sure to stop in.  I just got the cutest beads to make tree earrings... I'll be sure to sneak a peak on those soon.


Thursday, November 4, 2021

More picture catch ups -- and my plans for The Picker knows!

I don't really have a theme for this blog post.. other than cleaning out my picture file.  All of these pieces sold already as well.. so I"ll just let the pics speak for themselves.  Speaking of selling, I sold a larger necklace at The Picker knows last weekend, which is makes me feel so good, I can't even tell you.  In fact it got me so jazzed I'm gonna work on Christmas jewelry this weekend, cause at least if you make stuff, that starts now!! 

I'll start seeding in some Christmas stuff this weekend, and add to it as I get new new pieces done.  For Christmas jewelry I try to make them quick and easy, so I can afford to sell at a more affordable price point.  Since I don't normally due shows after the first week of October I don't get to indulge myself , and I adore making Christmas sparkies!