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Back in the Saddle Again

After years of dreaming of having my own maker space, this fall I completed getting a small crafting studio set up and running in my own back yard. The process was long – several years from start to finish. But I’m delighted to have unpacked my crafting tools, set up my workbench, and begun making things again. 

As I unpacked my leather working tools and supplies, I came upon several unfinished projects. In order to just dip my toes in the water, I chose to finish a bracelet cuff I had started and put away because my original design was not working. The water buffalo hide I was using for the first time was gorgeous, but very thick and tough. When I sat at my new workbench for the first time, I saw clearly what my creative blocks had been that had made this project “unfinishable.” A new perspective came with fresh eyes. In just an hour or so I finished the cuff and wore it. I shot some nice pictures of the finished project and posted a picture collage to social media. Here it is:

The horses are from a river raft ride I took in Utah this summer. 
I realized, once again, that the process of creating is a messy, uncontrollable, frustrating process fraught with life lessons in patience, oovercoming obstacles, facing fears, and working through the mess. I remembered, just at the right time, that this is what I love about being a crafter and artisan. 

Since that day, I have made a suede fringed bag, and completed a prototype of  a sunglasses case. I’ve purchased some new leather, and have a bunch of ideas I’m looking forward to creating. I may have fallen off the horse for a while, but I’ve stayed the course and I’m back in the saddle again! And happily so!

Girls Rock. Girls Support Each Other. Girls Forgive. Girls Learn. [1]

  This is where the 2015 Girls Rock Columbia Volunteer Showcase came to a close. On the back patio of the New Brooklyn Tavern in West Columbia, South Carolina, filled with the smell of stale beer, cigarette smoke, and the sounds of laughter. And it was packed. Wall-to-wall bodies.

The show ended, but the journey is still rocking along in some surprisingly important ways.  But, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s talk about the show first. No. Let’s talk about the Making Of The Band, first.

The Facebook announcement read something like this: “Lots of women say they wish Girls Rock Camp had been around when they were kids. So we are re-creating the ‘camp experience’ for volunteers, and it will culminate in a  showcase (just like at camp), where each band will play an original song, which will be our major fundraiser for the 2015 Summer camp! No musical experience necessary!” The rules were simple. Email your name and contact information. Choose your top two instruments out of the following: guitar, bass, keyboard, or drums. No promises that you will get your first, or second choice, but an effort will be made. List any gear that you have access to, including instruments, amps, mic’s, etc. State if you have access to a rehearsal space, living room, shed, or whatever room to rehearse in. Now wait. You will be sent your instrument assignment and your band mate’s information. 

What the heck have I signed up for??? I’m soooooooooo excited!!! And scared. But mostly excited.

 Stay tuned for part [2].

Never to Old to Rock N Roll

I’m 53 years old. I’ve long dreamed to be a singer in a band. Even a back up singer with a tambourine. I’m going to do it.

I’ve tip-toed around this dream many times. I hung around a garage band and sang along in my late teens, early twenties. I did musical theatre. I sang harmonies with two guitar players doing light 70’s rock a few times in my thirties. I hung around with other musicians. A lot. I married a few of them.
I sang a couple of smokey jazz tunes for a couple of fundraisers. I lapped up the movie Twenty Feet from Stardom. I’ve been drunk on rock documentaries and festival movies. I’ve collected tons of music from women blues, and rock, and jazz singers. I’ve even practiced singing with Led Zeppelin’s front man, Robert Plant, as well as working on a Smokey Robinson impression. Well, I did that in my mind and in my kitchen while listening to their CD’s over and over…

I’ve dreamed of grabbing my scarf-covered microphone stand, as I’m drenched in sweat, and yelling “Thank You, Columbia!!” into crowd I cannot even see because the stage light are so bright in my eyes.

Today I committed to being an all girls band. Yes, it might be temporary. Yes, it’s for a non-profit girl’s organization called “Girl’s Rock, Columbia.” But it’s another chance in my life to rock OUT LOUD. And best of all, this time, it’s with other women who have had similar dreams as me. So we will be a band of sisters. And the organization it supports gives young women a hand up in realizing their potential through music — and in a creative, supportive, safe environment, so they can skip over hanging around teenage boys playing in garage bands. (Or not.)

And I’m so stoked. Freaking STOKED!

Now, I just need to see if my black leather fringed boots still fit. (Or not.)

New Year: My One Word for 2015 and Why I Can’t Leave 2014 Behind

Such Small Hands

In Korea people don’t stay up until midnight to ring in the New Year. Instead, they get up in the middle of the night and they hike a mountain. They climb through the dark, snowy pre-dawn hours and when they reach the top they stand with their faces to the sky to greet the first sunrise of the New Year.

What a contrast to how we in the West often enter the New Year – stumbling out of bed at noon, tired and quite possibly hungover. For many, January 1st is a day of recovery. We spend New Year’s Eve celebrating the ending of something and the beginning of a new thing. We bombard the internet with reflections on the previous year. Even the less introspective among us take a moment to declare the past year, “the best” or “the hardest” or “the craziest” year of their lives.

I can…

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