Who am I, you're wondering? I'm Katie Kirk! I'm a highly creative lady! My whole life, I've been creating things! I am so grateful to my wonderful parents for putting a major emphasis on being creative (they are both very artistic) and encouraging me to use my imagination. Over the years, my creative energy has been put into many things including design, painting, sewing (I have over 30 years experience!), stained glass, wedding and party planning, decorating, collage, mosaic, gardening, cooking, whatever else might strike my fancy. I have been happily married since June 2008 to my best friend, Erik. I love nature, animals, the sky, the stars. I love to read; my all-time favorite authors are Kurt Vonnegut and Mark Twain. I believe life would be colorless, empty and boring without music. I am honest, loyal and supportive to my loved ones and I hold my friends & family close to my heart. I try to do my best in every aspect of my life, from my relationships to my work. I don't always succeed, but when I do, look out!
Since 2002, I have been a stained glass artist. In 1992, when I was twelve years old, my dad quit his day job to pursue his dream of starting a home-based stained glass studio, Maid on the Moon Studio. He converted our detached garage into his glass workshop. Ten years later, after I quit a horrendous job at a jewelry store (I was there for all of two and half weeks!), I wandered out to the shop. I asked my dad if he needed any help and so began my apprenticeship! I studied under my dad and over time, learned the amazing craft of stained glass. I was in love! I had my career figured out. I knew, without question, what I was going to do for the rest of my life. Even when everything else seemed unclear, my career was in focus. I was completely satisfied with it. I got to create incredible stained glass windows, panels and pieces every day. One of the greatest joys I find in creating art comes from the process itself and stained glass is such an amazing medium to work in.
So, I had my career figured out and life rolled on. My husband and I got married. We owned an amazing cat, Brio. We had a bad ass apartment and for the most part, life was good. Then in 2011, a repetitive stress injury at work stopped me in my tracks. In a nutshell, this is what happened:
I was relieved of all work duties and put on total disability. Thank goodness my dad had worker's compensation! I was initially misdiagnosed. I had months of occupational therapy with minimal success. There was an extremely complex worker's compensation battle royale and it was horrendous. The insurance company was questioning my integrity and my word! After all, I must have made it up since it wasn't what the doctors initially thought and the OT wasn't helping. Please! I hired a lawyer. And then months of physical therapy and a barrage of tests done.
And then more PT. And more tests. Ugh!
In the Fall of 2014, after more than three years of workers' comp related drama, I was finally able to return to work, but only part-time and as of right now, full-time is not an option. And even though the legal side of this process is over, it is clear to me that things will never be the way they once were. So I'm trying to piece things back together, see what's out there, see how it all fits. I need to keep living my life and continue cultivating my joy. I'm in the process of Recreating Katie.