Surprise party for Jess

I’m lifting my friends’ pictures here because I don’t own my own camera right now.

photo by Beth

This is the first crafty thing I’ve made pretty much all summer, I think. Above, the banner. It’s knitted. 32 triangles. Approximately 16 feet long. I made it for my friend Jess, she had a surprise birthday/camping party this week, which was much fun. Pattern here, except I did it all in garter stitch and sewed it together with bias tape. I thought it was a cool present because she can reuse it for festive occasions.

photo by Beth

Alas, I’m not able to tell of the awesomeness of the party in words. At the moment my brain is weary, my heart is heavy. Things are sour in my life, apart from this group of friends I have made. So, mostly pictures will have to do.

photo by Ren

I love these people. Dairbhre was very bored and wanted to play with the hammer, so Ren gave him some ice to crush. He was quite entertained.

photo by Ren

And I sang my songs around the campfire. (Notice the banner in the background!) My friends are so encouraging, they were singing along. I have awesome fan/friends.


Performing again

My friends are awesome.

I played Originals Night at the Acoustic Coffeehouse last night. I sent an email to my fabulous homeschool group about it, and I figured I’d have maybe a couple of people there. But 5 of my friends from the group showed, some with their husbands, some with their childrens. That averages out to a lot of people. I should have counted the heads. And my friends Daniel and Christina that I got to know during my college days were there as well.

I didn’t go on until about 3 hours after I got there. I played my five old songs and my new token angry breakup song. The enthusiasm! Ah! I felt so loved. I was so happy to see people actually singing along to my songs. That was wild. My friends thunder clapped for me and I thought the building would fall down. But also some people that I’d never even seen before were coming up to me and saying, “That was AWESOME!” with lots of emphasis.

It’s all been very inspiring to play again. That was the first time I’d performed in a public place in 3 years (besides at La’s house!). I was quite freaked as I had a pretty horrid cold. I resorted to the dreaded Dayquil which relieved my symptoms just in time. I remember now how much I love performing. I wasn’t nervous at all once I’d gotten up there (and after a beer or two, natch). It felt very natural. And talking into the microphone is no longer a crazy desperate fear of mine.

Of course, the lack of nervousness could have been due to my amazing group of friends. I love these people. I’ve never felt like I couldn’t be me around them. I’ve always felt so at ease, understood, and like I belonged. And it could have had something to do with the place, as I went to the Acoustic Coffeehouse every day when I was in college. We’ll see in upcoming gigs. And there will be more of them.

Rowan showed up with her grandma right before I went on. After every song she was coming up to me and giving me a hug and kiss and saying, “That’s my mommy!” I love that little tree :*)

I love Laura, yes it’s true

I love Laura, yes I do!

And her family too. They invited me over last night for some good food and jamming. I totally thought there would be a lot of people there playing music, but it was mostly just me and her husband Scotty. She sat beside me and insisted that I keep playing, even when I was afraid that I was showing off. It ruled. I totally need that.

Her boys both told me how much they liked my playing and my songs. Man, what an awesome family. Radically unschooled, always. I’ve hung out with Laura, due to some awesome alignment of the stars, like twice a week here lately. We didn’t even plan it a couple of times! Like when she pounced on me at the Down Home.

Laura is an awesome leddy awesome leddy awesome leddy

I’m totally going to write her a whole album’s worth of songs. Cause that’s how much she rocks.

I do need to get back to writing. I have two songs in the works that need to be finished. Freeform prose helps get the brain juices flowing– I have stuff to say, stuff that the rest of humanity needs to hear.

Thanks for being awesome, La! And raising awesome chilluns who are so sweet to me!


So I’ve signed up for myspace twice and deleted my account within ten minutes. It sort of creeps me out for some reason.

But I thought I’d let you guys know, I’ve finally started a myspace music page with some of my original songs. They are downloadable. It’s from a demo I recorded back in ’05– my voice has changed slightly in the fact that it sounds stronger and more certain. Argh, to be able to do some better recording! This was recorded with the microphone that came with my dad’s computer– but the quality is surprisingly good, though a bit quiet.

BIG changes.

I haven’t blogged much lately because I’ve been having some pretty intense life changes.

The kids and I have moved back in with my dad. I am now a single mother.

Overall, we’re all much happier. My kids have been playing in the backyard with their puppies. Boo Bear has been completely occupied mixing dirt and water and sunshine together in a bucket for hours on end. We put him out there in his swimmy shorts and swimmy shoes and a t-shirt every morning and he’s there pretty much all day.

Of course, these big changes are both exciting and scary. I’m actually getting over my music block a little more every day. I’m singing again. I’m feeling the music again. I’m drowning my sorrows in Hank Sr’s beautiful happy melancholy beat.

But I don’t know if I’ll be able to homeschool now. I’m going to have to find a job, and a good one. It’s not going to be easy. I know some single mothers are able to homeschool by working at home and such, but I’m really not sure I could do that. I’d like to go back to school and finish my degree if at all possible.

But perhaps, just maybe… I’ll get together enough soul-satisfying songs to do something with. That’s my true dream. And I am pursuing it.

I’m not going to give up my entrepreneurial dreams without a fight.

Silly intensity

Dairbhre is completely in love with The Jungle Book. We have been watching it at least once a day. It’s the first movie that has made him just bust out laughing. There are certain scenes that consistently make him laugh.

This was one of my favorite movies ever. And I want to thank Dairbhre, publicly, although he’s only 2, for getting the words to “Bare Necessities” in my head. And the other songs too. As Baloo says, “MAN, what a beat!” It’s been just what I needed, to have the excuse to kick back with my kids and watch something silly, and giggle, and sing, “The bare necessities of life will come to you!” I’ve even had the very short little song that Baloo is singing when he first meets Mowgli, “Oh, it’s a dooba-dee-doo, yes it’s a dooba-dee-doo, I mean a doobie doobie doobie doobie dooba-dee-doo!” I’ve been singing that one a lot. My kids love it when I sing the songs going down the road, it’s been really fun and special.

It’s possibly watching this movie over and over that has made me pick up my guitar again. I’m also journaling (with paper and pen)– I feel that this is the time to open up some well-preserved vessels of the past, and face them. I’ve been emotional, but not in a bad way. More of a wistful healing way, forgiving and forgiven. I’m getting past a lot of barriers, a lot of pain and loss.

I have a feeling that this summer will lead to more songwriting. When I’ve played guitar lately, I’ve noticed that some of my compositions sound better to me now– stronger and almost classical. I’m playing with feeling, and it won’t be long before I’m back to where I was a couple of years ago. My voice has gotten stronger with time as well, and I’m really looking forward to spending some quality time on my music.

I realize that the visual arts and craftiness that I’ve been pursuing lately have been diversions from my music. The practice isn’t what seems so daunting; it is this emotional work I must get through in order to play fluidly and from my soul. So I’ve been making toys and things that appear joyful. I suppose, to cheer myself up from feeling like a failure for denying myself the one simple dream of my life: BARD. The word means more to me than a dictionary could ever hold, and I will be deserving of the title one day. I have brushed against it a few times in the past, a few of my songs were perfect emotional statements. I believe that what I was feeling came across to the listener in exactly the way that I intended.

I have a feeling I won’t be doing too much knitting over the summer. I may be doing some visual arts, but even though I’m feeling quite chipper and ready to face anything, it may be a bit more dark than usual.

Who knows, by the end of the summer, I could have my album finished.

Knitted Professor Hazard!

This is my knitted version of my good friend Professor Hazard. I made him for the Prof’s birthday– now he can squish himself!

By FAR the most tedious toy I’ve ever made. Lots of details, very time-consuming. I made individual fingers. But it was fun to make!

The Professor translates very well into yarn. I bet he does not know this about himself. (Well, he does now.)

Poppet Love

I could take it no longer, I had to finish up making my doll’s clothes last night.

This is Nellie. She’s a Poppet. (Poppets are taking Craftster by storm. See the Poppet Along for info on poppets and how to get the pattern.) Nellie is my first fully jointed doll, and although her leg joints are rather crazy, I still love her!

Her face is painted on and her hair is a very lush, soft, and slightly fuzzy yarn. Her skin is some sort of mystery fabric I was lucky enough to find (oh, how I pine for more of it to come into my life!). She’d been sitting around all nakie for a week or so– and I finally broke down and made her a little skirt and sweater.

I posted the pattern for the wee sweater here on Craftster. Also, I should note that it’s sort of based on Amanda’s Sunshine. I’m pretty sure it’s basic raglan construction, but I would never have been able to come up with this had it not been for that pattern!

And the back of the sweater:

Shaking out the dust

I haven’t posted in a few days, mostly because I’ve been cleaning/organizing/purging, and that’s not very blog-worthy. I’m not even willing to take pictures of my sad little apartment at this point. I hope a move is in our near future– I’m always my best after a move, for some reason.

I’ve been doing a bit of sewing on the machine though, as well as a new knitted creature who I am making up as I go along. I can’t wait to share my projects! When they are completed, that is. I have a few projects going at once and they are moving along slowly…

I wanted to spend some of the money I made off an Etsy sale the other day for some nice supplies for Rowan. I asked her if she’d rather learn how to do some embroidery or if she’d rather start a nature journal. There were some other ideas, but she totally lit up at the idea of a nature journal, so we got it yesterday.

Wait until you see the doll I made last week– when she gets some clothes. Oh! the suspense.

Sew! Ro Ro! Go!

Ro Ro made this little fishy pillow last night. Isn’t it darling? It’s only 2.5 x 3.5 inches. She drew on the design with permanent markers, and I showed her how to stitch up the sides. I’m so proud!

We went to our homeschool group meeting yesterday. It was Show your skill/show and tell day. There was some fiddle playing, ballet, and lots of nice art. (Ro didn’t want to take anything.) There were also these two sisters, about 8 and 10 I think, who did a knitting demonstration. The 8 year old taught me how to do a buttonhole! I was flabbergasted. And she didn’t find it in a book or anything, she just made the technique up. The 10 year old had a big garter stitch piece that she was basically turning into stockinette by looping the stitches up the rungs. She said she “just made it up.” (!!!!) They had this pile of knitted things, shawls and scarves and bags, little things for their dollies, it was neat o.

We’ve been sleeping better the last couple of days. All that’s changed is my attitude– I have been trusting that D is tired and that he will go to sleep, instead of dreading that he’ll stay up all night. And the sleep is the only area my attitude has changed, really. I’m all hormonal and crazy right now, and I feel really internal when I get this way. I just want to spend some time creating with no distractions. Hopefully tomorrow I can have a bit of “studio time” (although my studio is my lap, for now). I’m thinking that I need to take 1-3 days a week for studio time– maybe I could create more for my Etsy shop, and do projects for myself and the kids to rejuvenate myself creatively. I have this drive to create, and when it’s not being met, I get to the point where I’ll put off everything and everyone who stands in between me and my vision. Regular creative breaks could really help my life to flow. I’m lucky to have a lot of people who will help me out with the kids, so I should use those outlets.