Home: revisited

Went home this weekend for a spectacularly short two days (which were, in fact, spectacular). This meant nearly 24 hours in the car round-trip which, although a little brutal, presents the opportunity to revisit the music catalog and get your head on straight. Life has been changing sort of rapid-fire (isn’t it always), and sometimes it just takes an old favorite tune to wake you up to that.

I’ve increasingly fell away from the new Ingrid album. Maybe it was my experience at the high school gym they claim to be a venue where I saw her perform last, or maybe where she is in her songwriting life just isn’t where I am in my own. But this song. This one came back to me. And it suits me just fine.

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All signs point to DONE

With much planning and scheming and scheduling, I had the great pleasure to spend Monday crafting with everyone’s favorite flat hill farmer. We had two missions, and today’s post is about the final piece for my living room gallery wall, a marquee arrow.

As always, thanks to the pinterest, we found the idea on the blog Junklahoma. Being that I’m in an apartment, my space isn’t terribly conducive to drills and other such power tools, but fortunately my couch-carrying friend has all those things and more, and space to use them, to boot!

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Based on the pictures it looks like I did mostly nothing, which is relatively accurate. But when there was some math to do, I came to the rescue. And I drilled all the holes for the lights, which totally un-tediously had to be shaved down by hand because they were thiiiiiiiiis much too small (don’t worry I also didn’t do that).

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Sadly I didn’t take any pictures of the “finishing” part: painting the arrow and then distressing it with other paints (by hand – with the blisters to prove it) and a variety of metal objects everyone has around the house – horseshoes, unidentifiable pointy tools, etc.

The real achievement, I’ll say, was even after spending eight hours crafting (this is serious business, kids), the guilt of not hanging it up that night got the best of me, so got it on the wall and enjoyed an evening of ridiculously lit-up ambiance. You can go ahead and ignore the power strip dangling from the arrow. Extension cords are now in place.

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On the ones and twos (strings)

Another nook (or part of one) complete! I found this busted record player at a little antique shop for $5 last year some time. It didn’t work, so a stand-up dude Mr. Bones ripped out the mechanics and inserted a piece of plywood, which I covered with some contact paper, making it into a little presentation piece.

At my last place it was to store mail but that sure didn’t seem like the right use for it. I mean – it’s supposed to play music! So let’s pretend already! In goes the mandolin and voila! Music corner is off to a great start!

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Hang On

I finally put things on the other wall in my bedroom! You’ll recognize my embroidery, then the second piece is a collage I purchased at a local art gallery. The third is still a bit of a work in progress. It’s sort of a shadowbox without glass that I painted the outside gray and the inside polka dot. I want to find some little figurines to put in it. But it will work for now.

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Quiet on the Set

It’s rare that an entire album catches my attention on the first listen. Probably I spend too much time listening to playlists and mixes causing me to lose a bit of my attention span (as if there were that much to begin with). Whatever the case, I came upon a tweet

followed by this introduction by Noisetrade eagle rock

which led me to give Eagle Rock Fire by Joe Purdy a try. I purchased it through Noisetrade a few weeks ago and  it’s just become available through iTunes. He’s touring now in promotion of the album and the temptation to drive the two and a half hours round-trip on a Monday night to the nearest show is almost palpable at this point.

I’ve had this drafted for ages not knowing how to describe the album, but quite frankly it’s what I wanted Ray LaMontagne’s new album to be. It’s smart lyrics, it’s hopeful and melancholy and moving, and it’s just plain excellent musicianship. I’ve listened to it at work, in the car, in the apartment, and I’ve settled firmly on wanting to listen to it through headlines where his songs surround me in a big, comforting musical hug. (Also, open windows and a cold beverage don’t hurt, either).

Here’s him performing one of my favorite tracks (though I’m a strong believer in listening to this album as a whole).

 

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Operation: Poppy (Poperation?)

It would seem the pressure of posting an in-progress shot made me push myself a bit more in completing my embroidery project. And I’m so glad I did because I am SO PLEASED with the final outcome.

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Completed embroidery. My fingers hurt.

I’d seen so many cute and modern embroidery things at places like Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters but I really 1) wanted to find something that was perfect for my space and 2) did not went to spend all of my money to do so. Thanks to the internets I found this blog post singing the praises of using a sticky transfer paper called Sulky Sticky Fabri-Solvy instead of hand-drawing it (a thing I absolutely have zero skill at).

 

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Bath time!

 

You can read her better-written tutorial on her post, but essentially it’s as easy as finding (or designing, if you’re craftier than I) whatever you’d like to embroider onto your fabric. Print, stick, embroider, dunk in water: VOILA!

 

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I ended up finding a drawing of poppies that I really liked, so I blew it up to be slightly smaller than the 8 1/2 x 11 transfer paper, knowing I’d be using an 8 x 10 frame. The frame I got on sale at A.C. Moore – it was a kind of a junky attempt at an antique white frame, but I knew I wanted to paint it to match my craft desk so it didn’t much matter. Here’s how it looks with the bed fabrics. Hoping to get it hung with the rest of the decor tomorrow!

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In The Middle

So while it seems I have done zero crafting, I’m in the middle of about a hundred projects (aren’t we all?). My inclination is to not share until things are done, but I suppose a sneak peek here and there can’t hurt.

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