Quiet Mornings

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I’m quiet lately because I’m in transition, and it feels uncomfortable, but that’s okay. I’m hoping it’s an awesome new pair of shoes that will eventually feel great and last for ages type of uncomfortable, and I think it will be. I’m just impatient, that’s all! Recently I’ve been walking more, thanks to the fact that June has been kicked out of daycare and the dog park for being a top notch asshole, so those easy energy releases are no longer options and hiking in fairly dog-empty areas at 6:45am is the only option (Will gets the more populated evening walk, nothanks). She’s going to see a behavioralist in a few weeks and I’m counting down the days til I don’t feel constantly angry and burdened by her insanity. But for now, hiking for an hour every single morning isn’t the worst when she behaves. That early, LA is quiet and the summer heat isn’t burning yet, the drought is troubling but makes for easy mornings. We’ve been seeing coyotes lately, on hikes and just sauntering through Pasadena like it ain’t no thang, and it’s interesting to watch June react. She quietly lies down behind me and stares with intense interest, not at all what she does when she sees a domesticated dog. We get home and I have a little over an hour of quiet alone time before I leave for work, drinking tea and making jewelry, reading the New Yorker and telling the animals how good they are not getting in each other’s faces (now that’s one progress I can happily report on). Not bad at all.

We went to Arizona for 4th of July weekend (the last photo is actually there, right before an amazing storm) to Will’s grandma’s, and found two wonderful old point and shoot cameras in a drawer that his grandpa has used while hunting. We brought them home and I just got some film for them, I can’t wait to shoot a roll as I haven’t touched a film camera in ages since my Mamiya battery exploded (ugh.)

In other news, I re-activated my Pinterest account. I’ve had a secret account for almost a year now and we use Pinterest so much at work for inspiration boards that I decided to jump back on board publicly. Pinterest let me use my old account so I just slid back in, terrible old pins from years ago and all. I still think there are some awful people saying awful things that are not constructive and that the social commenting piece of Pinterest is unnecessary, but I feel somewhat more mature about not wanting to punch people in the face and can hopefully just roll my eyes at stuff. Such is the internet, I suppose.

And thus concludes my terribly random post.

Making It Happen, Part Two

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HI GUYS! Sorry for disappearing. Life is very…full right now. As most of you know thanks to social media and my inability to blog in a timely manner, last week was my first week at my new job as the senior graphic designer at Karen Kimmel Studios. Telling people I’m moving from freelance to a full time job has elicited a wide variety of surprised faces and the face I dread the most – that twinkle of “oh, freelancing was going terrible for you” look in some eyes. Freelancing full time certainly was not lucrative – I made almost half what I made at my job before I went freelance – but I had expected and prepared for that, and by owning your own business in an expensive city standards, I was doing well. I could have kept on chugging along at the rate I was going for a few more years. We are comfortable and lucky, but I have no retirement plan, my insurance plan doubled in price this year, and the future felt so uncertain. But I could have dealt with that, I’m crafty. But what started to tug at me was this lack of purpose and focus. I thought freelancing meant only taking the jobs you want to take on – and you can certainly do that, unless you want to live somewhat comfortably. I missed the sense of community in working for a company that you want to better, I missed coworkers, I missed leaving the house, I missed structure. Having a studio helped briefly, and lord knows Katie helped me immensely with idea bouncing and keeping me company, but none of it was quite right. It wasn’t ever terrible – don’t get me wrong – it just didn’t feel right.

One day I had a complete meltdown that I didn’t know what the hell I was doing and was tired of my financial and mental future, when Will told me: “look for a job”. This is a really similar conversation to ours five years ago when he told me to find a hobby and I ended up starting my jewelry line. I am stubborn and don’t like being told what to do, so I immediately told him that was out of the question – I loved freelancing and making my own schedule, and besides, we just got a damn dog. A high energy, needs lots of attention dog. He told me that I didn’t seem to love freelancing, making your own schedule is a luxury we can’t always have, and the dog was not allowed to dictate our lives like that. People with jobs have dogs. I was still grumpy about it, but eventually looked and came across this listing. It sounded perfect, it was a company I knew and loved, I was terrified. I was fairly certain I was qualified and somewhat confident I was perfect for it and it for me, but did I want this? I did so much soul searching. Like, so. much. soul. searching.

During all this soul searching I came to realize a few things that I think may resonate with some of you. This creative field world we live in – this blogging as a career, self-made Etsy supposed successes, follow your bliss mentality world – it can create a mentality that full time jobs are lame. That we should all be aspiring to working for ourselves and owning our own businesses. Joanna put it really nicely in her post about going back to full-time employment: I feel like it’s really popular right now to proclaim ‘yay freelancing,’ but when it comes down to it, it’s not for everyone. And I’m not saying that it’s not for me, because I actually think that someday in the future I will probably give it a go again, I’m just saying that it’s not the greatest creative achievement and not the only destination your creative path can lead to. I see a lot of people leave their jobs when they’re not ready for the leap, and a lot of people burn out quickly because of that. A handful of years ago there was such a rush of everyone quitting their jobs to live their dreams, but dreams change. Goals need to grow and shift, and some of us succeed in different ways. I’m starting to feel a little rumbling lately from some fellow freelancers that they’ve been thinking more about full time jobs, but I think a lot of people have a bit of an internal and external hurdle of unnecessary shame to overcome. Of knowing that so many people are not sharing their self-run business despair and pain, that working for someone else doesn’t have to equal a squashing of creative energy or personal growth, that nothing is forever.

I left a brainstorm last week at work feeling high. Buzzing with excitement over being around such awesome creative people doing awesome creative things. And that’s all it comes down to, and I couldn’t be more excited about the future and what it may hold. Sure, I’m not going to lie, it’s hard going from working on my own time for three years to being somewhere for a set number of hours everyday, but structure is good for me and I will adjust. Besides, I was starting to hold way too many one-way conversations with my pets.

Kate Miss Jewelry: New Summer Necklaces

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Summer isn’t the best time to release a big collection and I didn’t feel ready for that yet, so I thought I’d make two fun concrete necklaces with hand neon accents for all your summertime adventures. The neon is subtle but fun and brings a little pop to colorful or neutral outfits. I think they deserve to be poolside, personally. Get ‘em in the shop now!

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Thanks to my husband Will, who art directed this little shoot and make this crazy weird background for the photos. Photos by me.