Books: Cabinet of Curiosities

B+. Good, but still only my third favorite of their books so far. Worth reading. Entertaining. Not as predictable as I had feared. I enjoy the fact that the main character’s first name is Aloysius. I still want to know more about him, which will keep me reading the series. Good job, guys.

Crafty Love! Festival Accessories

I’m getting pretty excited about my musical summer, which began last weekend with an Acoustic Syndicate show in High Point, NC. Next up is the Phish 3D movie this Friday. We’ve got a whole group going, and with any luck we’ll have the theater to ourselves. Or else I might be really surprised at how many closet Phans there are in the Triad and possibly meet some hot hippie boys. At the end of May, we have a weekend-long music festival, Smilefest, up in Stokes County. Looking forward to seeing Michael Franti & Spearhead, as well as more Acoustic Syndicate, Larry Keel, Barefoot Manner, David Via, and others. Also looking forward to camping amongst hundreds of my closest friends, playing some music before hitting the world’s comfiest sleeping bag, and eating camp stove grilled cheese. In July, I’m going to the two North Carolina Phish shows on summer tour (Charlotte and Raleigh). After that…who knows what else will present itself as an opportunity for more fun. Since I’m daydreaming about shows today, I’ve got some Etsy love for the hippies in my audience. (I know there’s at least one!) You need these things for your next show/festival. You need them bad.

It goes without saying that you’re gonna have to have a cool t-shirt or two. I have to say I’m probably one of the world’s pickiest people when it comes to t-shirt designs. There are just so many that are funny but don’t really work as shirts. For example, this one is hilarious, but I don’t want to wear it. I am somewhat of a tomboy hippie, because I prefer coverage as opposed to backless apron tops and whatnot. I am modest, I prefer to be comfortable above all else, and I think some things are better left to the imagination. I like the simplicity of this Grateful Dead reminiscent dancing skeleton batik, with what could be confetti or maybe glow sticks or stage lights.  And, as many people forget, it’s all about the music, man –and dancing and having fun and being amongst others who find happiness in that. $26.50 by Cracks in the Wax

Next you’re gonna need some accessories. Hemp is always good. Trippy glass is always good. I love staring at hand blown glass, and this artist is one of the best I’ve seen. (And I’ve seen a lot.) This necklace reminds me of one my friend got for trading his extra ticket when Trey came to Asheville back in our college days. I love the colors in this, and the craftsmanship is excellent. $50 by Vonbeads

For the festivals at least, this is my favorite toy/activity — hula hooping the night away to some good tunes. I have a basic stripey one that is pretty and functional, but I’m seriously coveting these LED ones that are like glow sticks on steroids and more fun to operate. I can’t quite afford one yet, sadly, so I’ll have to stick to my plain Jane hoop for now. But this is definitely the Cadillac of hoops. $190 by Midnight Star Glass

Good Lyrics: Bold As Love

The day I discovered the Axis: Bold As Love album in my mom’s record collection as a kid was a really important day in my life. I remember sitting on the cold hardwood floor of my room, examining the psychedelic album cover while it spun on my turn table. It was like nothing I’d ever heard before. To this day, Jimi moves me more than most musicians. But I can’t listen to it too often, because it makes me sad that he died so young, when he had such great talent. Incidentally, my mom saw Jimi Hendrix open for the Monkees in Charlotte, North Carolina when she was in high school. I think that’s like the most random thing ever. The Monkees?? Really? She was there to see the Monkees, but when they saw Jimi play, “It was like some alien creature had just landed on the stage. We were mesmerized. By the time the Monkees took the stage, we were all just sort of dumbly staring with our mouths open.” This is my favorite song on that album. And I would like to personally box thatdoucheJohnMayer for attempting to cover it. What. A. Travesty.

Bold As Love (Click to play)
The Jimi Hendrix Experience

he smiles towering
shiny metallic purple armor

Queen Jealousy, Envy
waits behind him
her fiery green gown sneers
at the grassy ground

Blue are the life giving waters
taken for granted
They quietly understand

Once happy turquoise armies
lay opposite ready
But wonder why the fight is on

But they’re all bold as love
Yeah, they’re all bold as love.
Yeah, they’re all bold as love.
Just ask the Axis.

My red is so confident
he flashes trophies of war
and ribbons of euphoria

Orange is young,
full of daring but very unsteady
for the first go ’round.

My yellow in this case
is not so mellow
In fact I’m trying to say
it’s frightened like me.

And all of these emotions of mine
keep holding me from
giving my life
to a rainbow like you

But I’m bold as love
I’m bold, bold as love.
Just ask the Axis.
He knows everything.

Crafty Update: Mosaic Window

I started making this mosaic window a while ago for a friend’s housewarming gift, but now that I am moving into my own house, I think I’m going to keep it. I hardly ever keep the things I make — usually I either sell it or gift it. But I think this will fit perfectly with the aesthetic of my new home. Plus, it has taken a really long time, and I’m not sure I want to give it to someone who may not appreciate that.

As you can see, it’s not QUITE finished. But almost. It takes hours to get just 20 pieces in place properly. I’ve literally been working on it since last summer. I thought about grouting it, but it’s already so heavy, I’m sort of afraid to do that. Plus, the design is so busy it doesn’t really need any additional outlining to set it off. It’s an antique window, and I wouldn’t want it to rip out of the wall and break once it’s hung.

It may look completely random, but there are actually some purposeful motifs going on if you look close enough. And there are also two sharks teeth hidden in the design from the collection I inherited from my great-grandfather. It’s been a fun project, and I’m anxious to see it hanging in front of a window to see how much cooler it looks with light coming through.

Good Lyrics: Ripple

Friend of mine posted this on Facebook the other day, and it really started my cloudy, overcast Friday right today.

by Jerry Garcia & Robert Hunter

If my words did glow with the gold of sunshine
And my tunes were played on the harp unstrung
Would you hear my voice come through the music?
Would you hold it near, as it were your own?

It’s a hand-me-down, the thoughts are broken
Perhaps they’re better left unsung
I don’t know, don’t really care
Let there be songs to fill the air

Ripple in still water
When there is no pebble tossed
Nor wind to blow

Reach out your hand if your cup be empty
If your cup is full may it be again
Let it be known there is a fountain
That was not made by the hands of man

There is a road, no simple highway
Between the dawn and the dark of night
And if you go, no one may follow
That path is for your steps alone

Ripple in still water
When there is no pebble tossed
Nor wind to blow

You who choose to lead must follow
But if you fall, you fall alone
If you should stand, then who’s to guide you?
If I knew the way, I would take you home

Crafty Love! Night Lights

As usual, I’ve been daydreaming about cool things for my house, and yesterday I was on a night light kick. I grew up in a house where there was always a night light in every bathroom, so you could find your way in the middle of the night without stubbing a toe. I have carried on this tradition in my own home. However, I turn it off when I go to bed because I can’t stand any light whatsoever when I’m sleeping. I mainly use it for energy conservation purposes. I basically never turn on the light in my bathroom except to put on makeup. So there’s your Earth Day tip! Get a night light and never turn on the overhead. Anyhoo. My night light is just a bare bulb, and that’s pretty boring. So, here are some cool things I found yesterday while searching for interesting night lights.

While not technically a night light, per say, these origami lights are awesome. I’m a huge twinkle light person, and no, I don’t think I need to grow up, thankyouverymuch. I will always have twinkle lights in my house, as long as I live. Because I like them. And these would be super cool for a nighttime back yard gathering, of which I plan to have many. $24 by Whimsidoodle

Now that someone has invented battery-powered candles, there are more options in night lights because they don’t necessarily require an outlet. I particularly like these little fairy houses, and I imagine they would look really cool with light glowing from the windows. The artist has a variety of designs, but the pumpkins and the tree stumps are my favorites. $18 by Suzanne’s Pottery Farm

As I have mentioned before, I love practical art, and this little light cover fits the bill. It’s glass. It’s brightly colored. AND it’s patchwork! What’s not to love? $22 by Paula Hall’s Stress Art

MamaSox Perseveres!

Okay, I know you guys are going to hate me because this is like my third post about Crystal. I am getting total shit from people for even watching American Idol. But I have to tell you — Crystal is the reason I’m watching. I’ve never watched before, but when I heard her, I was like, “I have to see where she goes.” And man, she just keeps getting better and better.

There are a couple other contestants I like pretty well. I think Casey James is hot and has a good voice for the blues. I actually have grown to really like Lee Dewyze after thinking he was a total punk in the beginning. I think he is one of those shy, perhaps slightly insecure people who gets mistaken for a cocky asshole. They’re probably the two other people I might consider buying an album from if they go on to a musical career. And I think that’s a big element of the judging on the show.

As usual I’m a day behind on my episodes due to no cable, but dude! I was so right there with Crystal’s performance of “People Get Ready” that I was close to crying along with her when she broke at the end. Simon commented on how it was nice to see some emotion from her because she seemed to have shut down somewhat. I have watched her reactions on every elimination episode, when she tries to make her face look blank but is so unable to disguise her emotions that she looks like her best friend has been shot with every “You’re going home,” announcement.

That is something I totally relate to. I spend a lot of time trying to look unaffected and blank because I feel everything so intensely every second of every day, and I don’t want anyone to know that. Most of the time it is a complete exercise in futility. I wear my heart on my sleeve. Unfortunately. I am that unable to be fake in any way, shape, or form. And I think that’s a crucial trait of a good musician. If you don’t feel it, you can’t make your audience feel it. Crystal FEELS it, man!

Even though I saw no reason for Crystal to perform without an instrument, she almost did even better vocally without the guitar — maybe because she was more focused on the singing alone. I thought it was a perfect song choice, and she knocked it out of the park. As usual.

Newsflash to Kara — I’m pretty sure that her nickname MamaSox didn’t come from “schooling” people. Have you seen the dreads, honey? She is a HIPPIE MAMA! And, unless you are a hippie, you don’t really know what that means. So I forgive Kara for that. I think Crystal is the best female hippie vocalist since Janis Joplin. A bold statement, to be sure. But she actually has awesome song-writing talent. And as much as I hate Randy’s overuse of this phrase (along with the moniker “dawg” and the greeting “yo yo”), she does have “the pipes.” She’s real and genuine, and that counts for so much in a world where Hollywood defines fake plastic watering cans.

So, if you’re reading this, MamaSox, I heart you, and I think you’re awesome. And it would be really cool if you left a comment for your biggest fan. Heehee. Let’s hang out and be BFF! 🙂

Good Lyrics: When the Circus Comes

This is one of those songs that I forget how much I love until I hear it again. It’s a sit-in-the-car-and-wait-til-it-ends kind of song. It makes me feel things I don’t particularly want to feel. That’s a good song.

When the Circus Comes (click to play)
by Los Lobos (but also covered excellently by Phish)

Could have had a chance to get out of this mess
The time that you came and the day that you left
Could have had a chance
Could have had a chance

Never thought I could make it this far
With a pain in my soul and a hole in my heart
Never thought I could
Never thought I could

But when the lights are turning round
The wheels are flowing on the ground
The day I burned this whole place down
When the circus comes to town

Carved your name out on that tree
Scratched mine out right in front of me
Didn’t mean that much
Didn’t mean that much

But when the lights are turning round
The wheels are flowing on the ground
The day I burned this whole place down
When the circus comes to town

Earth Day Giveaway!

My good friend Jenny is having a cool Earth Day Giveaway over at her blog, Great Little Stories. I have contributed some eco-friendly handmade goodness, so go over there and check it out. It’s quite an assortment of cool things that will make it easier for you to “live green.”

Good Lyrics: Kind Veggie Burritos

Kind Veggie Burritos
by Steve McMurry

One day back in late ’91
I was looking for somewhere to go
When a buddy of mine
he dropped me a dime and said,
“Come see the Grateful Dead show.”

Well, we pulled up to the coliseum
and as far as I could see
it was white tourist shirts
and boys wearing skirts saying,
“Dude, can you miracle me?”

Well, the band, they were jumping
had the whole place twisting and twirling
We had us great fun
but when the music was done,
I thought I heard somebody call

He called out,
“Kind veggie burritos!
Wrapped up and ready to go!”
Made fresh with love,
so let’s offer the dove
for the kind veggie burrito!

Oh, we walked along for a while
to the edge of the big parking lot
and behind this old van
stood a rail-y young man
he was making ’em
and making ’em hot!

He said,
“We all camped out here last night,
but the cops, they just won’t let us be.
But my brother’s in jail,
and you can help post his bail
by buying just a couple of these!”

Just a couple of
Kind veggie burritos
Wrapped up and ready to go
Made fresh with love
so let’s offer the dove
for the kind veggie burrito.

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