little homes everywhere

Today I’ve been making myself at home in familiar places.  Going back to things I know really well often takes the edge off a bit.  If you read back a day you can tell I’m a little on edge.  These certainly helped:

my playlist at work today:

consisted of albums i’ve been listening to for…

greetings-from-timbuk-3-e127358423311125 years…

joni+mitchell+-+ladies+of+the+canyon+-+(front)15 years…

Rabbit Fur Coat…and 5 years.  There’s nothing like knowing all the words from beginning to end to get anchored.



I also managed to get to the book store on my lunch break, seeking out another tome from Geraldine Brooks, whose writing I was recently introduced to, I basically love her.  I’m glad I found Caleb’s Crossing as a pre-owned hardcover, because those look cooler on the shelf and I’m nervous about reading the one she wrote about the dad from Little Women since I never read that.  And I feel like I’d need to read Little Women in order to read it.  So I’ll read the one about the plague next… then decide what to do after that.  I know little girls are supposed to love Little Women… but Alcott, Bronte, Austen… all snoozers to me.  Go figure.  Oh yeah!  The used hardcover was $9.97 but the guy at Bull Moose rang me up for just under $7.00.  I guess their used book prices are constantly changing, so in the event that they’re less the cashier can give you the lower price.  If it’s higher?  No sweat, you get what the price tag says.  That’s so awesome!  Buy local.



Lastly, one new thing — for Christmas, we got my mother-in-law a pattern for this cowl from Quince & Co., a Maine-based yarn/pattern company, and when she finished it I offered to block it for her at work since we have industrial steamers here.  I found it surprisingly easy with the help of the steamer and this online tutorial that really took the mystery out of blocking for me.  I used to use pins, towels, etc… but I might just throw down $180 one day for a steamer of my own if I really get in to knitting.  I’ve been voracious in the knitting department, practically devouring this blog for the last couple of days.  I love this girl, and I don’t even know her!  I’m working on this dress for Kiley right now, and hope the pattern goes smoothly so I can add my own modifications the next time I make it.  I paid $2 for it a week ago, but it looks like it’s a free download now, so get it while you can!  Totally worth the $2, by the way, but free stuff still rocks.

rock + cold

today was nice – the rattlesnakes and great western plain are putting out a split together and needed some photos.  i just happen to have a camera:



and they just happened to make nachos and pizza when we got back from the grocery store:

smallIMG_9952-2BWand a couple more:


smallIMG_9889if you’re thinking to yourself ‘ohmygosh, how can i hear these bands?!’ you should probably click here (rsnakes) and here (gplain)

voices in january


murmurations:  awesome ladies

Saturday night was a double-whammy.  First, it was an opportunity to make a living while being part of a support team for two excellent, mid-winter performances by Portland’s theatrical women’s chorus, Murmurations, and a visit from Gordon Bok + The Januarymen all the way down from Belfast.

Second, I overcame a reluctant ‘fear’ of asking for autographs.  In a small, local venue you would think it would be easy enough to approach your veritable neighbors and ask them to sign an album cover for you.  Still very hard!  Maybe because I am, at the core, a very private person.  Regardless… I broke that shell open and got Bok to sign a 1975 record I found at the WMPG Record Sale last November as well as a CD cover for my Grammie.  And what was there to be afraid of?  Gordon was super nice, and his chorus friends actually commended my ‘old technology’ and the great record sale find.  Even more special, the last song of the night was performed by both choruses, and was Turning Toward the Morning, the title track of the album.  Whoa!


broke that shyness shell!

Because I found this record in a sea of records and it happens to be my favorite Bok song and now it’s signed, this is really a treasure in my collection.  Do you have any music items that are worth way more to you than they logically should be?

Music to Your Ears

found image clef earrings by little eye.

Just listed in my Etsy shop, a pair of treble and bass clef earrings made with found images from a Jimmy Buffett songbook, of all places!  The little cut out sheet music bits are set in 14mm antiqued brass bezel post earrings.  These are a great seller at the craft fairs, so I’m hoping the internuts like ’em, too.

I’m also kinda happy with the fabric in the background – I can’t tell if the flowers are too distracting yet but they seem just fine for now.  What do you think?

Speaking of music, time for me to go practice guitar — our band has a show in like a week and I’m super rusty!

Real Lullabyes

Hi, Baby: Click on this image to download a .mov file of the lullabye

There’s a tradition in my family of never being too young to know something.  Honesty is tantamount.

Somehow the thought process led to a place where lullabies were slipping out of me… they are sad, a bit, and nostalgic, and this is one of them –

Hi, Baby

Hi, Baby

Hi, Baby

Hi, Baby


Grow, just grow

Night farmer is pulling starlight

from the night sky, so

Glow, just glow

Flower fields are blooming daisies

The summer sun goes down lately

Grow, just grow

Waves are salty, they wash on the beach

The sand on our feet flows

Flow, just flow

Hold your hand just as long as I can

Until you have to go

Go, just go

Hi, Baby

Hi, Baby

Hi, Baby


Grow, just grow

The audio is obviously not where it will be one day – cheaply recorded through the desktop’s built-in microphone but I will figure out this four track one day, I’m sure.  I’d like to get some strings on here, and maybe a little kid to sing the repetition with me.

Mezzo Piano


That word has certain connotations, different for everyone in everyone’s lives.  For me, the most major was straggling behind my best friend’s obvious talent (or obedience?) while attending lessons at a condominium in small town Maine with a teacher whose exuding odor which, come to find out years later, is actually the smell of moth balls and denture glue.  You have opportunities to smell moth balls, …and you have opportunities to smell denture glue… but it was only once I was smelling both together, years later, and able to ask what the smell was that I figured out.  P.S. it’s horrible.  Dentures are totally necessary (oh Gosh, are they necessary!) but moth balls aren’t and I have a hunch cedar flakes and denture glue won’t smell nearly as terrible.  Wait, what?  Oh yeah, piano.

An instrument classified as percussive and stringed.  “Quiet” in music reading jargon.  Mezzo piano:  very* quiet.  Artsy musician types when you get to high school whose fingers are long and lanky, bones stretched to play arpeggios.  Probably one of my favorite instruments… although ‘favorite’ usually directly correlates to whatever is nearest to make a bunch of noise on.  So today, while perusing the ol’ Bandcamp, I decided to do a little sampling of pianists from near and far, and give you a run down of what my not-so-musical (but totally opinionated) self has found.

I started off, very lucky, to find perhaps one of the best solo pianists I’ve heard in oodles of oodles of time.  But more on that later:  I prefer to do these things ‘worst’ to ‘best’ to build up your obvious excitement.

Get on the bus, Ride to nowhere...

1.  “Piano” by Sebastian Larsson

Well, this aptly titled album is just that:  piano.  Mostly – chords struck back and forth with all notes falling in 4/4 time which might be good if someone just broke your heart and you’re riding in the rain towards an unknown location.  Sometimes it gets sped up which indicates, perhaps, a dramatic inner turmoil.  Obviously you can’t totally knock what you can’t do for yourself, but compared to what you’re going to hear, it’s not really worth much listening time (or the $6.99 they want for you to purchase the album).

On an up note, technically the music is right on – it’s just missing the qualities that, I don’t know, dynamic melodies provide.  I think this would sound really great with other instruments, a little syncopation, ok so basically not what it is at all.

Cool Cover Art!

2.  “Aqui” by Tatiana Parra & Andrès Beeuwsaert

I picked this one to listen to next, because I was so depressed after listening to “Piano” that the bright red and green telephone kiosks in this cover photo caught my attention and made me happy.  Then I got to the website and there was a picture of two grown adults playing ‘telephone’ with cans, so I’m like “Yeah!  This will be awesome!”  So you click on the first track and the music starts to go and you’re like “Ok, it does sound a little like a Phil Collins song… but I love Phil Collins, so whatevs.”  However.  Then about 16 measures in this lady starts singing all the notes that the otherwise awesome piano is playing.  Hello!  Someone get the mic away from that lady – didn’t anyone get the memo that screeching along to piano parts went out of style after Thelonious Monk did such a good job at it?  Good thing later on in the album she starts singing actual words, and even better it’s in Portugese, and even better — it’s not the same. exact. notes. that the piano is playing.  This album is a little sentimental, on the whole, but maybe I would listen to it again just because I love Brazil.

OK OK OK!  Here’s the good one!  I’ve hope you’ve stuck it out this long because it’s totally worth it.

So Good For Most Occasions!

3.  “PIANOSCOPE” by Alexandra Streliski

Maybe I was spoiled because this was the first solo pianist album I found on Bandcamp, and it’s awesome.  Alexandra Streliski is dynamic, challenging, surprising, hmm — and she’s from Montréal and that is awesome, too.  I’m not even going to say anything else about it, just click on the thing and listen.

This totally unrelated blog entry was brought to you by:  procrastination in the highest degree.  The attic remains messy another night.

*My good friend, Derek Lobley, of Metal Feathers fame has corrected me.  I kinda had a hunch that ‘mezzo‘ had Latin origins that didn’t sound like the other romance languages I know.  “Mezzo” means moderately… now I remember:  pianissimo means ‘very quiet.’  Also, you should go see Metal Feathers on a boat (with other great bands) on Sunday because what better thing is there than Casco Bay and rock n’ roll in the summertime?