Thursday, December 26, 2019

Random pieces from this year

large necklace incorporates clock gears, Swedish bike cycle emblem, watch parts, Catholic relic.  Smaller necklace watch parts.  
 Just cleaning out my picture files for 2019, as 2020 is just around the corner.  I'm at a very thoughtful place business wise in my head... changes are coming to my business in 2020 and I need to really think about what I want to do -- what it means to me as an artist , a maker and a small business woman.  And frankly a person who's starting to lose some mobility.

No worries, I'm still going to be around for a long time to come, but any healthy business changes, or it dies. 
a modern watch face, but I love the shape and color... and the font the numbers are in ! 

older key, watch parts and a eagle.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

So I got a notice from the State of Iowa Revenue Service.....

I love my phone.  It has a great feature, a combo checklist and calendar to help me keep on track with important stuff like birthdays, doctor appointments, work deadlines, and paying my taxes on time.

When we moved last February, I signed up for the USPS email summery of mailed items.  With all the package thievery going on it's a smart service from them and it's free, you just have to sign up online.

But sometimes knowing what you are receiving, but you can't actually check your mail til hours later after work can back fire.

This happened to me yesterday.  The summery had a thick looking envelope from the State of Iowa Revenue service.

Thick looking envelopes from the government are not normally a good thing. 

My anxiety peaked at work and after hours of stressing, I was exhausted and resigned to my fate.  I figured I was getting audited and while I am above board and legal in my business, but getting audited just sounds like a nightmare. 

Once I opened it, it was a bill, including penalty and interest.  Starting July 1st of this year, Des Moines has a local option Sales tax. 

With the extra fees my bill is under $20.00, and I'm very relieved it was nothing worse, but BOY!!! I really have been out of it.

I have no clue how I missed it, except for the past summer of depression and anxiety and inertia. 

Stuff like this make me realize just how bad it got, and how much better I'm doing.  Three months ago getting that in the mail -- I probably would have had a panic attack or cried for a couple of hours.  It might have triggered an asthma attack.  Instead I dealt with it.  I didn't have a great afternoon, but I got through it.

And how good it feels to just write a small check, send it off and it's DONE and my stress over it is DONE.  It's just such a good feeling not to dwell on the crap that happens in one's life. 

Dragonflies and


Oh My!

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Random Thoughts

 Some time ago, I raved about my new little cart but didn't post pics of it all filled with beady goodness.

Actually it's wire goodness, as playing around with the various things I could put in the cart, I discovered I could fit almost all my wire, and all my other stringing materials in it!

I so love love love being organized !!

 The pics show both sides and how all the wonderful extra bits can be hung off the rim of the shelves.  I really love it!  It was made for scrape booking -- the bar where I have wire spools was probably for tape or ribbons.

I got it at Micheal's this spring on sale...  I think retail it would be $75 but I got it 40% off. I highly recommend it  ( and it's all metal, so my magnets work on it as well)

In a few weeks thanksgiving will be upon us, and 4 weeks after than Christmas!   This year has gone fast fast fast!   We moved into the new house in February  and I still have pictures left to hang.  I can honestly say if I haven't unpacked everything, I have gone through all the boxes. 

The big house project right now is setting up the spare bedroom.  Jerry has a headboard he had as a child.  It's a family piece, and probably around 100 years old.  The full frame went missing years ago So we bought a cheap frame and mattress and set up the bed.  The room is large enough we also moved the day bed up there ( so I now have even more room in the studio!! )  So now we have proper accommodations for family and friends who visit.

Still working on cleaning up there and putting up ( you guessed it) pictures to liven it up.  Need to figure out a door for the bathroom -- right now it's sort of a room divider  with a open space where a door would go.  I figure we will just hang a curtain or something.  We specialize in economical quick fixes!!

We got yet another family member this summer, another kitten that needed a good home.  His name is Parker, and he gets along really well with all the cats in the house.  We got home when he was around 12 weeks, and the picture below shows him sprawled on me is around his 13th week.

He's gotten so big now!
Doesn't he look like he's sucking his thumb in this picture!

Here he is keeping me company while I make earrings. 

OK the elephant in the blog ... yeah, I know I've not posted in months and months, and I hadn't posted much before the last post back in August.  I am not going into details... suffice to say this year, despite all the happy / good things that have happened (house, improved studio space, a working oven, new kittens, family etc) I've really struggled.  My asthma has been hard to keep under control, and I've been fighting depression.

I'm finally coming out of it, and for the first time in almost a year I'm finally feeling like I have my self back.   I haven't felt like blogging pretty much during this time, and it's only been in the last few weeks I felt like I could share stuff again - that I could even get the energy to try to write a blog.  (or do much of anything)

So everyone out there, take care of yourself and don't be afraid to ask for help. 

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Getting on Track.......

HereĆ¢€™s the start pile for this week.  Bunch of bling earrings and a few necklaces.

Hi.  I could go on and on about how busy I've been and yeah, this is the first blog in MONTHS and yada yada yada.

Instead, lets just go forward.


Today is a rare rare day in Kat's word.  I literally have no obligations other than to feed and amuse myself today.

Do have dishes to wash?  sure, but it's only a couple of loads, so if I skip them today, no biggie.  Should I work on laundry? of course, but if I don't I have all day tomorrow to worry about it. 

Jerry is at work.  Jesscera will be leaving for work in the next hour.  Not only do I have no pressing chores but I have the house to myself!!!

Seriously unprecedented.  its been maybe since we moved that I had a day so unfettered.

And I feel pretty good today... I've been having the worse Asthma / Allergy year so far, but today I'm feeling pretty good.  A little snuffly, but no wheezy when I woke up, no lung pressure (so far) and my knee is as good as it ever gets anymore.

It's like the planets have aligned!

I really want to get some stuff made today... I feel it, which is fantastic- cause of late, my artsy mojo is been no mo. 

So, I'm wearing favorite PJ's, I have the sweet sweet salsa / 40's/ scat/ swing goodness of Caro Emerald playing right now, I have a starting pile of interesting bits to play with, and I just ate a great brunch. So let's make magic!

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

My New House

AS you know, I've been very distracted most of this year because we moved Jan 3rd.  

Now I love my new house, and we got a great deal on it, but that's because it needed a bunch of work!   Especially on the outside.  

Here is what it looked like in the front when we bought it: 

 Craptastic right?   I think most buyers were majorly turned off  by the external appearance .  I can't say I loved it.  But the price was right -- we got a house with just over 3000 sq feet at just under $48 dollars each.  That's unheard of!   2400sq is on the first floor,  including a bedroom for me and Jerry, laundry, bathroom, kitchen, livingroom, and my studio -- a huge consideration for us.   I hate to admit this, but I'm starting to have mobility issues, and getting everything we need on 1 floor -- unbelievable. 
Amazing just how nice it looks with the under siding stuff, compared to when we bought it!

The over all total price was way under what I was willing to spend, which left money to get the work done that was needed.  I'm happy to say that as of 2 weeks ago, finally all the external house stuff is done done done, and it looks fantastic!

Front view, the large windows in the top left corner are in my studio area.  

Our neighbors appreciate the work we have put in...   folks from as far away as 3 blocks have stopped by and thanked us for working on the house! 
Side view, notice the 3 colors and the gorgeous brand new roof in a dark blue.
Here you can see the whole back of the house.  The sun makes it look like a grey, but in person its a lovely dark blue on the first floor, light blue on the 2nd, and white trim.

We did major stuff inside as well -- adding a HVAC system, updating some electrical, some painting, etc. 

Now that we don't have people pounding on the walls or the ceiling, it's time to start getting all the wall art up. 

We did buy some new to us furniture to go with the new house, and I am look forward to buying or making those little touches that will really make it a home.

My kitchen, dining room and livingroom have a vague Nightmare before Christmas theme, and the first floor bathroom is Doctor Who. 

Just last week I found the cutest soap dish for my bathroom!
We are hoping to put in a garage next year, and eventually I plan to actually make the back area a BBQ patio.  That's sort of last on the list, because with my allergies there is probably only a few weeks a year that I can really enjoy that, but still...

I really love my new house.  I'm really proud of my new house!  I'm really proud of myself and Jerry for being so frugal over the years to make this house possible. 

Saturday, May 18, 2019

It's EEK! time.....

My first show of the season is next Sat morning at Des Moines Downtown Farmer's Market 

So it's that special time of year that my hubby likes to call my freak time.  Where I go crazy getting ready for shows.

I"m trying to not be as crazy this year... I'm getting too hold for that kind of crap.  I'm trying to live a less stressful life and all.

It was working til now... but now, I'm going EEK! constantly in my head.

Do I have enough inventory?  Did we find all the show stuff from the move? did something get left behind? The tent is getting old, maybe I should replace the tent ??

I didn't make any changes in the display this year, what was I thinking? ( OK on this one by brain tries to rally self defense... with the move I've been incredibly busy!)

Will our spot be as nice as last year?  (it's the same spot, so hopefully this one is covered... )

Will my various illnesses be even more problematic this year ?( probably when I'm honest with myself, this one I'm having some self denial)

Can I find the time to get a few more pieces done without skipping sleep? (probably no)

Will people still like my jewelry this year?   Will my business continue being successful?  Will making art jewelry still calm my soul? ( well except for right before a show)

This weekend, I'm doing final prep, trying to get a few more pieces done, and getting it all packed into the car in time for Farmer's Market at 7am next Sat.  I have a bunch of stuff I've made in the last few weeks I need to get pictured and priced.

I know it will work out in the end.  Or in this case, the beginning of show season!  It's just getting all of my brain to agree......

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Rabies tag jewelry

Moving gave me an opportunity to really sort out things and get rid of stuff we didn't really need.  
Digging through my computer desk I found what had to be close to 20 years worth of rabies tags from the city of Des Moines.  For those not in this great town, you have to licences for you pets, including cats.  After you pay your fees, they provide you with tags for the cat's collars.  Since our cats are inside ones, and we couldn't get them to wear a collar short of gluing it on, they collected dust in my desk.  Now, any sane person would get rid of them on moving, I mean what's the point right? You only really need this year's batch, right? 


Me I have to make jewelry out of them.. I mean they come with nice sized holes already, why not? 
So I've turned my collection, covering 6 different cats over the years, into fun wearables for the cat person, not the cat.
Some of them are at the Five Monkey's Inc gallery if you are interested, the rest will premiere at Farmer's Market May 25th.   (or just let me know you want something!) 

 Yep, I really will make jewelry with just about anything.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Random Thoughts

 Last Weekend was girls weekend in Omaha with my good buddies Sue and Cathie!.  While we ran around shopping and laughing and eating, I found the above cart.  it looks sooo kewl and it's all metal and I can't wait to organize it!  Now if I could get my Hubby to put it together.....

Now that we don't have cable, I'm watching my fav's via streaming.  Lots of stuff is free, but you have to watch the commercials.  They tend to play the same 3-4 over and over.  Normally I just blow off commercials but I've developed a real hate for a couple that I get to see over and over.

One of these is for a dish washer that dries dishes faster.  You have Mom, Dad and kid in the kitchen.  The kid wants her sippy cup, the Dad is like I just put it in! It can't be ready yet.  The mom disdainfully plucks the (GASP!) dry cup out and hands it to the kid, and says why do you think we got a new one ? and flitters' away.

I hate this commercial.  It's partly the wife's demeanor... she seems so smugly superior to her hubby.  And way? because they wasted hundreds of dollars on a new dish washer that dries faster????

What about using a hand towel?

I mean really, this dish washer is sooo special cause it dries 3 times faster than normal? What a useless fact.  It only means something if you tell me how many minutes it normally takes to dry. 
Course it's probably just subconscious envy cause that is the 1 thing the new house doesn't have that the old house did......

 I do love my new kitchen.  The best part is as we settle in, I get to add my personal touches.  One of these is Nightmare before Christmas pulls.  I bought these years ago, and I've had them in storage against the right time to use them.

That time is now.  I only have 8 of them, so not all the cabinets and drawers get the special Jack treatment, and I periodically look for more on etsy or ebay.  My hope is to someday have all the pulls in the kitchen nightmare!!

I couldn't find a Nightmare canister set for the kitchen, so I made my own!  I used clings on a clear set and I think they turned out great!

I didn't get much done tonight, because it was the rare night that all 3 of us were home in the evening together.

So we all sat on the couch together and watched a movie.  I really meant to try to finish up a necklace tonight, but I'll do it tomorrow.  Family time is important!

In the old house we had a love seat and a recliner.  I so much prefer my fluffy oversize couch were all of us can cuddle together for a family movie night!

My first show of the year is now only 4ish weeks away!   Farmer's Market here I come!

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Farmer's Market 2019

 Just a quick post.... Des Moines Downtown Farmer's Market will open May 5th, and as always I'm pleased as punch that I get to participate one of the best in the NATION  farmer's Market!!!

My first spot is May 25th, and I'm so excited  -- I haven't had much time til now to work on inventory due to the move and such but I'm gearing up now.

It's a joy to be able to create in my new studio!!

Here is a link to all my dates. on my website. 
I will see all of you at 4th St , across from Hy-vee on the 25th!  (same spot as last year!!)

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Presenting my new studio space!

I know it's April, and we Moved in January, but damn, moving takes forever!!!
Here is moving day... actually more like moving month.  We were fortunate  to be able to buy this house, then sell our old house separately so we could move more gradually.  Then of course old house sold faster than planned, ( not a complaint!!! ) and the last week or so of moving was much more hurried.  Part of the problem?  Iowa had more snow and ice the month of Jan and Feb than it's had in probably 5 years, all condensed in the 2 month period.

I know I know, that's what I get for buying a house in January.   It wasn't planned of course.  When I started to house hunt in November, we thought it would take months to find the right space.  Instead it took 13 open houses. 

Another moving shot... the loft area is not part of my studio, it's our family library area.
This photo is about giving you some idea of how large my new space is... yummy! That's approximately where my main table ended up as well.
One thing the old studio had in spades -- built in shelving.  However I really like the shelf units we found for the workroom.
Unpacking, Unpacking, Unpacking !
This is a great picture, taken from the library loft.  what a mess!

and finally, the finished studio!!!!  I love and adore my new creative space!!!!!

This is my etsy space.  Mostly the destash stuff.   It makes mailing etsy or jewelry a snap, because  I now have my scale, packing and mailing supplies all in one place!
The 3 main new shelves house most of my Plano boxes full of components, beads and mechanical parts.
This front shelf has most of my metal/clay/glass books, and behind it is my metal bench. 

This is the panorama view of the studio from my desk.  Here you can see my plano shelves, then more storage under the library loft, my metal bench ( the purple are dust covers on my rolling mill and hydraulic press).  The tall shelf by the doorway is the rest of my personal jewelry making library, the daybed and then the etsy shelf and my desk.

So welcome to the new Midnight Kat Studio!!!!

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

New Items at Five Monkeys!

 I'm soooo please, I'm finally back on my feet after my move.  Next blog I'll give a quick tour of my new studio, but I need to tell you first about new jewelry ready to buy at Five Monkeys, Inc Gallery.
 Lots of exciting changes at the gallery in the last few months.... you can now exercise your own creativity by painting pottery.  You can shop vintage clothing and select items through Rumors Vtg  You can listen, spin and buy vintage vinyl records at Rogue Planet Music .  And you can still buy fantastic local Iowa Art, all under the same roof!
 So if you haven't stopped by the gallery recently, put it on your list!

Friday, January 18, 2019

Studio in Progress ......

My studio on the first day!
 As you know, we bought a new house, which has a large and lovely area for the studio.  My only real complaint was the carpet.

So after some money juggling I decided there was enough in the budget to get my floor redone. 

I was looking at vinyl planking or wood laminates, but the sellers just happen to leave over 500sq food of fancy, expensive tile..... so why not use that ???
 my new floor in progress........
They finished it today, but due to the bad weather and work schedules, I didn't get to see it today.  (whaw!)

With luck, I'll get over tomorrow and get pics!!