Monday, June 29, 2015

Music Monday- Kacey Musgraves "Late to the Party"

Last week was my birthday. And the whole week felt like a the greatest little party. 

I loved Kacey Musgraves' debut CD that was floating around for the last year or two.  She had the same guitar teacher that I had when I was a kid!  I love the sound of her music, her voice, but more than anything--- her clever lyrics.

Her second CD came out last week, just in time for my birthday!  I bought it through my Amazon Prime account so I got both an immediate download of the CD, and then a couple of days later the hard copy arrived in my mailbox.

I'm posting up one of my initial favorites of her new batch of songs- "Late to the Party".  I totally relate to the lyrics... Not really caring about being late to parties.  I'm not much of a group party person, even for my birthday.  "I'm never late to the party if I'm late to the party with you"- I'm so lucky and so grateful that I feel that way about the person I've spent pretty much all of my adult life with. Ahhh-- Fermin Arista.  Who needs confetti?! It's all one big fun party with you!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Vintage Earring Repurposing Project- Before and After

One of my neighbor friends was nice enough stop at an estate sale on my behalf while Fermin and I were out of town last weekend.  It was one I had been eagerly awaiting in our neighborhood, but as I was leaving town, I saw that it was going to happen while I was away. Yay for good neighborfriends!

She totally scored and got me a couple of small baggies full of vintage jewelry.  My favorite pair of earrings were these, pictured on the right.
vintage button earrings

As soon as I saw them, I put them on. I forgot to take out my pierced studs I was already wearing. My earring and the clip of these vintage earrings got tangled up and stuck together.  PANIC. I was so afraid that I was going to rip my earring right through my ear while Fermin was assisting my struggle to separate the two earrings.

Finally, I was free.  But my ear was sore and I was just freaked out.  When I tried to put the clip earrings back on, it sort of hurt.  I'm not sure if it was just due to my "incident" with the earring entanglement, or if the clips were just painful (as they so often are), but I decided to repurpose these earrings so that I (or anyone else) never had to deal with those stupid clips again.

First,I snapped off the clips and filed them down.  Then I noticed, either I had knocked the pearls loose, or they were already coming lose on their own. I decided to get out the handy E6000 I so often use for vintage jewelry repair to secure them down.
jewelry repurposing and repair
Then I wire wrapped a vintage pearl bead from my stash and used it as a connector between the button shaped earrings and the pierced ear wires.

adding a pretty little pearl...
 I'm so happy with the final result.  They look so much cuter on the ears now that they are dangle earrings.  As clips, they not only caused me pain, but got lost in my hair and didn't really show up.  Now they still have the charm of vintage, but with an updated look and a more comfortable feel!
repurposing complete!
I just put them up for sale over in the Resparkable Vintage shop- Go check out this link to see them and find out more.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Letters to Camp Longhorn

Who would have thought 30 years ago when I was mailing off letters to my best friend at camp, that one day, I'd be sending off letters to her daughter, at that same camp! Well, that's what's happening here today.  How cool is that?!

Friday, June 19, 2015

These People

Years ago- 10 in fact- I got some random email by someone forming a group to read and talk through Julia Cameron's, The Artist Way, together. I have no idea how or why I was on that email list, because I didn't know the person who sent it, and the meeting spot was a church which I don't attend.
But I had the book on my bookshelf-- had had the book on my shelf for several years- but had never gotten past Chapter 1 on my own.

So I thought, "Why not?" and I showed up to the very first meeting.

And so did all these people.

Our Artist Way group- 10 years later!
Because of the nature of the book, we were all pretty vulnerable in exposing our true selves to each other as we worked through each chapter of that book. We had conversations that were much deeper and we got to know each other on a whole different level and speed than what was typical for me. Anyway, we made it through the whole book, chapter by chapter and week by week. I don't think I ever would have done it on my own.  But with these people, I wanted to stick with it.

I had recently lost my Mom.  March 29 of 2005. I have often thought 2005 was the worst and hardest year for me.

But it seems there were angels all around me.  Lots of good came from that year, too.  The best being simply that I just made it through that year.

And this group of people, all these people I didn't know, and wouldn't have met otherwise, become so important to me and I looked forward to those Monday night meetings. 

The book, The Artist's Way, and the exercises in it, help you get back in touch with the little artist in you that might have gotten shoved aside over the years.  I was really focused on my songwriting performance during this time period and I'm sure that being in this group nurtured that in me. And without Mom, believe me, I needed all the nurturing I could get!

Honestly, the book was okay. It got me on to some good practices for sure.  But it was these people that created the magic.  Some weeks I'd be a little "meh" about the chapter we had read, but once we discussed it, whether or not the book resonated with me, these people did, and I always left feeling I had learned something invaluable.

Although we've kept in touch over the years, the time between getting together has grown longer and longer.  But it still feels like a tight and important group and we sure love each other, and have no problem picking right back up where we left off the last time.

 Ahhh... these people!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Taylor Swift in Philly

This past weekend I went to visit my best friend in Pennsylvania.  She bought tickets for us to take her daughter and a friend to the Taylor Swift concert.  It was a great excuse to go. I'm a huge fan of Taylor Swift.  I'm way above her typical fan's age, but the tween in me can still totally relate to her music. 

Before the concert, my friend's daughter and her friend made t-shirts... Well, actually, since they involved iron-ons, my friend made them, and her daughter designed them.  They turned out pretty cute. Maybe even cuter than the t-shirts they were selling at the concert. (Which we all bought, by the way.)
The home-made T.S. t-shirts- Aren't they cute? 

Taylor is from Reading, PA so this was sort of a "home town" show for her.  She played two consecutive nights in a row, and we caught her on the final night.

Our seats were super high up in the stadium but the screens were big, we could feel a breeze (thank god!), and we got to see a great view of the light show provided by our bracelets (our "gift from Taylor" given to us as we walked in the gates of the concert).

About 10 minutes before Taylor took the stage
I said to my friend during the concert that Taylor seems to be the Oprah Winfrey of young girl music.  She made these empowering speeches during her concert which could have come of cheesy if not so genuinely and eloquently delivered.  Nothing came off cheesy at all tho.In a stadium full of thousands, Taylor was able to make lots of young girls feel like they were getting a one-on-one pep-talk with her about being true to yourself. It's really something to see, the way she can so intimately connect with such a huge audience.

We left the concert just a few songs before the end (we had looked up the set list online, so we knew what we had to miss...) to avoid the traffic jam that was sure to follow. We did have to miss her final song, which was "Shake it Off".  But like I said, we knew what we were missing, so it didn't feel so bad. 

Anyway, what a great weekend I had in Pennsylvania.  The concert- obviously, and also spending time with my friend who's been my bestie since we were 11 years old!  We would have been big fans of Taylor for sure, as we are now, even tho we are decades beyond age 11.

And no trip is complete without a little flea-marketing/antiquing. We went to the same area we had gone during one of my fun visits a couple of years ago.  I bought a big jar of old costume jewelry- Lots of it was junk I threw straight into the trashcan, but look at all this stuff that is awesome!! I plan to use for repurposing!!!  I had the best time digging through my little treasure chest when we got home.
1950s, 60s, and 70s costume jewelry-- YAY!
As great as the Taylor Swift concert was, I'd say for me the highlight of the trip was when Sara (my friend's 12-year-old daughter) found a huge bag of jewelry marked $40 and had her first ever experience in price negotiation.  She's so charming and sweet, she wound up taking that whole bag of jewelry home for just $10!  It was probably about 100 items of jewelry.  So no matter how junky some of it was, it was still a great deal!  I should have asked Sara to do my negotiating as well!  She's a pro.  I was so happy for her and loved seeing how giddy her big score made her.  She was so nervous to ask the seller to come down on her price, and nearly talked herself out of it.  But she got a great life lesson of seeing that sometimes, you just have to ask, and you shall receive!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

If You REALLY Want to See Barcelona...

When I first read Danny Gregory's book Creative License, I was struck by his explanation that if you really want to know and understand something, draw it.  When you draw something, you look at it in such a detailed way, that you notice things you wouldn't otherwise see.  Although I'm no artist, that rang so true to me.  And I knew I wanted to keep an art journal. 

I've been trying to draw something most days for the past few weeks.  I'm even taking an online class called Sketch Book Skool that is fun and motivating and not intimidating at all. Thanks to that class, and those wise words of Mr. Gregory, I took a little sketchpad on our recent trip to Barcelona. 

Fermin would sit with me on a bench most days, somewhere around the city, while I drew something that caught my eye, but seemed like something this "little a artist" could handle.  So many of those old buildings are so beautifully ornate, I would have felt overwhelmed had I attempted to draw them.  I stuck with the more simple architecture instead. 

Here are a few of my sketches from our trip...
Here I am drawing the building in the background- Can you tell which one I attempted to draw?
Everyone seems to have a balcony in Barcelona.  But they're just for looks. Not big enough to even stand on usually.

Balconies, Dome Shaped Building, and a Outdoor Food stand in Barcelona
These were certainly not the prettiest things I saw while we were in Spain, but I sure spent a lot of time looking at them.  It was such a nice part of the day- sitting down to sketch, in no hurry, and just soaking in my surroundings.