Thursday, November 21, 2013

Over coffee

She came into Starbucks and immediately saw someone she knew. Two Raleigh Bob's connecting over their red Starbucks cups and a noisy wash of "I haven't seen you in so long"s. She's a jewelry maker. Her friend, the one in a meeting across from me, gushed to her colleague about how talented she was.

Then, she said, "This is my dad."

She introduced a man who probably used to be taller than her. His face was the face of a man who obviously used to be healthier. His cheekbones were over pronounced. His shoulders slumped. He spoke softly, but I heard him. He said, "I do like to eat."

The women laughed. He smiled. He still had it.

It was the baseball hat that got me. The random baseball hat that didn't go with the crisp blue jeans that were being cinched to him on the last belt loop. The baseball hat that was a little too casual for the collared shirt he had most definitely had help tucking in before he left home.

The hat was what brought my daddy zooming in this morning - his absence blowing through me like the coldest blast of wind rushing in each time someone opens the door to which I sat to close.

I miss him.

I wished that I could pick him up; take him on my errands with me; stop for coffee; spend the day doing mundane things.

In the end, I only stared, batting back a few tears. I stopped short of leaning over the table and grabbing the woman with the Raleigh Bob and telling her how lucky she was. For all I know, she's quite aware of how lucky she is.

I hope so.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Holiday pajamas available on Etsy!

Holiday pajamas are in season in my Etsy shop! In November, they are only $30 a pair. December, they will go up to $35. Still a bargain, right? 

Little flannel pants with soft, monogrammed t-shirts. Add your kiddos, and you'll have the cutest Christmas pictures on the Facebook timeline in 2013.

Many many thanks to my friend Erin for the fist bump over at her blog, A Parenting Production. Her littles are next up to receive matching jammies for the holidays. 

You know, the whole family can get involved. Last year, I even had Papa in matching pants. It's great fun, and the kids love matching with Mama and Daddy. Cheesy? Sure. But most of the best things about Christmas are.

Saturday, November 09, 2013


This is what I was doing tonight. A gig in Wilson with a group I've been with around ten years now. I love them like family. 

Playing music with a group is a deeply personal thing for me. I have to trust the other members completely. I've grown past feeling like I need to have close friendships wtb anyone I am in a band with, but the fact remains that I would do anything for anyone of them at the drop of a hat. 

The drummer is going to Ethiopia in about seven hours. He teaches kids all over the world how to make beats. It's pretty awesome. 

That was random. I know. 

Anyway, it was a good show, and now that our flute player has spent the night in our house, Colin has declared her part of our family. And that's totally fine by me. 

We would like to play more, but for now, we'll take what we can get. It's just good to get to play with really great people. 

Friday, November 08, 2013

The truth

I'm terrible at blogging everyday. 

It's true. 

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Kettle balls for shoes

My whole aspiring to go to bed earlier, spend more time engaged with my kids. And getting ready for craft fairs is making NaMoBloMoFo not really work for me so far.

I need a new groove.

I can, however, tell you that I saw one of the oddest performances last night. Kembra Pfahler. She was painted red, wore kettle balls on her feet, had hair teased up the circumference if Saturn, and crawled onto the stage to give her seemingly improvised performance of a song about Bladerunner, the director's cut. 

Yeah. I'm so over art school. 

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Dang near missed it

Tired. So many feels. Got to go out tonight and hear some music. Somebody that I used to know. It was weird. 

Too much for now. 


Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Dress up

Every year, I have made my boys' Halloween costumes. It's one of the main reasons I wanted to start sewing. A little trip down the aisles of Target last week though, and Christopher's eyes widened. His voice could barely squeak out,

"Mama. Whoa. Look at that Woooooolverine."

We had already made his costume for this year. He didn't need one, and I wasn't about to spend $20 on a store bought costume. I told him that if it was still there after Halloween, we could buy it on clearance.

I had no intentions of making it back in time to check. I know. Evil Mama.

However, this morning, I had to go pick up a prescription (you're welcome everyone who has to deal with me on a daily basis), so I wandered back through the last row of Halloween things. The sign said "70% OFF." There were two Wolverine costumes left. Both in the right size.

Here's the thing. They didn't need them. But they weren't just 70% off, they were 90% off. So for $4, I had two of the most excited little boys you have ever seen. They are currently sleeping in their Wolverine costumes (sans masks and claws, thank you very much). And they will play dress up, adding this character to the closet full of Iron Man, Spiderman, Captain America, Jake the pirate, Cubby the other pirate, and Indiana Jones.

They love it, and I love watching them.

To top it all off, I picked up a Ninja Turtle and Superman to wrap up for Christmas.

Who says little boys don't like to play dress up?

Monday, November 04, 2013

Dojo Mama

We've become a karate family. The boys and I arrive at the dojo at least three times a week. Usually, we are there around an hour and a half. Christopher is a Deputy Stripe belt (I think. Whatever comes before Green), and Colin has just started in the Little Samurai program.

It is the last thing I thought my boys would do. Well, maybe not the very last, but definitely not the first. It's just that martial arts were never on my radar. Ever.

Last year, when Christopher started asking to take karate lessons, my first thought was to find somewhere that he could "just try out." We signed him up with a pass from a friend at the dojo where their son takes lessons. It was obvious by the second week that this was something he really enjoyed and something he could really benefit from.

All of the sudden, we were signing a year long contract. For a four year old.

Of course, that's not anything I never asked of parents when I was teaching piano. It's a good way to make sure that parents are committed to the program, and while it's nice to let your children try things out, it's better to teach them that there are things in life which take time to learn. Like a musical instrument. Or karate.

So I sit in the dojo, giving up our free time to let our boys be coached, mentored, and taught by the many instructors there. Sure, some days I wish that we could just head to the park with some friends. And I know that some days Christopher is really tired and would like to just come home and recharge quietly and alone, but if he's going to karate, he is happy about it

It's been good for them. Colin is only a month in and already asks every morning if he gets to go to karate that day. They are happy to be there, and as long as their coffee machine keeps working, I'm happy to be there too.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Salvaged Jewelry and branching out

Today I did something I've never done before. I hosted a trunk show (and it should be noted that I just accidentally typed "truck show" which is also something I've never done). Sales events masquerading as parties have never set well with me. I mean, as a seasoned introvert, I like to do my shopping online. Usually sans pants. And bra. And with a Diet Coke to my left. And free shipping.

However, when jewelry artist Melissa McLawhorn put out an invitation to host a trunk show for her Etsy shop, Salvaged Jewelry, I couldn't resist. Melissa creates jewelry from recycled things that would probably otherwise end up in the landfill. Pages from an algebra book end up as a pendent on a necklace. The plastic covering for florescent light fixtures adorn matchbook covers in a bracelet.

It's all quite brilliant really.

Some friends came by. I made some snacks. We all did a little shopping. It was fun. Melissa gave me an awesome necklace as a thank you gift - it is purple and features resistors on it. Which is quite perfect for me, as I'm constantly picking up resistors in the studio as Kevin works on building gear.

The crafty part of being an artist doesn't come easy for me. Give me a piano and microphone and I'll be right at home on a stage in front of 10,000 people. It's easy, and I love it.

Opening an Etsy shop last year? Scared me to death. What if I made something and no one liked it? What if it didn't hold up? Who am I to think that people would actually want to spend money on something I've made?

Then, I realized I needed to do something to support this fabric habit I've developed. I set up shop and waited for magic.

Not much has happened. I've sold a few things. Been burned once by someone not following through on a big order. But mainly, it's just given me encouragement to keep making things. And we all know I'm happiest when I'm making something. The creative process and all.

This year, I'm taking it one step further. My friend Rachael and I are going to do a couple of craft fairs together. The first one is coming up in a couple of weekends, and I have to admit - I'm really nervous. Packaging and presentation are not my strong suits, and I really want our booth to look good - be inviting.

If you are in the area, you can come visit us and bring me Starbucks to calm my nerves. Or just come see us. We will be at the Holiday Sip & Shop hosted by Vend Raleigh on November 15 and then at Sanderson High School's Holly Days on December 8 and 9. And? If no one buys anything I've made? Then I'll at least know that I have the kindest, most generous friends who have put up with the creations I've made their children for the past five years - which isn't such a bad trade off, right?

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Joining the Rainbow Loom cult

Two hours of this, and I'm telling you, the drink doesn't need to be Diet Coke. Who thought this torture device up anyway?

Christopher finished his first bracelet, wore it proudly for about 30 minutes, then promptly gave it to a cute girl. My little dude. He is such the love. 

But really? More than the basic bracelet? I'm not sure I have time to go there. Halp.

Friday, November 01, 2013

It's November, when we blog everyday

So as to not ruin NaBloPoMoFo on the very first day, I give you my two youngest in not-a-box. It's a pirate ship, in case you are wondering. 

More writing, less adorable filler to come . . .