Friday, September 25, 2009

This is Where the Title Goes.

Okay. So I'm not that awesome at adding titles for my blog posts.
And I'll have to go back and check, but I think I begin a disproportionate amount of blog entries with the word "okay".
But I'm really just looking for an excuse to post this funny picture of my son. My husband caught it with his iPhone camera, and says that Lennon was "making funny faces while experimenting with vocalization."
I just had a long, long day that began at the unholy hour of 5:30 AM, which would have been fine had I gone to sleep at 9:30 PM the night before, but alas, I did not. Lennon had rolled over onto his stomach and presumably didn't like being on his stomach but couldn't figure out how to roll back over. He was so upset, it took me long enough to calm him down to make it senseless for me to try and go back to sleep, as I would have had to get the other kid (the one who can easily turn himself over, and toast his own waffles!) up and ready for school half an hour later.
Now it's 2:30 AM, and I'm exhausted yet too wired for sleep because I drank coffee all day so I could get through the two gigs I had to play tonight.
When I got home and checked my email, I find a very, very exciting (there's got to be a better word; monumental? earth-shattering? life-changing?) one there amongst all the offers to increase my penis size or turn me into a Stay At Home Mom Billionaire. More on this later. There are other people I need to inform before I can just blithely blog about it to whoever's reading.

Monday, September 14, 2009

How to Really Irritate Me; A Step By Step Guide.

1. Say "hysterical" when you mean "hilarious", or "nauseous" when you mean "nauseated".
2. I.M. me EVERY SINGLE TIME you see I'm on Facebook, even though I have never responded back, because I don't really know you. Just keep doing it.
3. Name drop incessantly about famous people you had a chance encounter with and speak about them as if you're old chums.
4. Neglect to use any capitalization or punctuation in your correspondence with me, and misspell every third word.
5. Belch loudly and do not say "Excuse me".
6. Park your grocery cart in the middle of the friggin' aisle while you painstakingly examine every single peach in the bin.
7. Drive 5-10 miles under the speed limit.

To be continued...

Oooh! Pretty!

I can't quite recall how I stumbled upon jriede's Etsy shop, but these lovely knit stocking patterns were one of the first things to go into my favorites. Aren't they gorgeous?

So, in the first of a series of interviews with Etsy artisans that I admire, below are a few questions that jriede was kind enough to answer for me. Be sure and visit her store, and if you knit, I'd love these for Christmas!

(Photos are courtesy of Jen Wang.)

I see your location as Vienna. Are you from there originally?

No, I'm from Upper Austria originally. I came to Vienna to attend university and stayed.

You must be an accomplished knitter to have designed these lovely patterns; how long have you been knitting, and what inspired you to learn?

I learned to knit at the age of 5 and have not stopped ever since, except for a phase between 13 and 14 where I considered knitting to be rather uncool. :)

Do you remember the first thing you knitted? How did it turn out?

I think it was a scarf. It turned out ok but I have got no idea where it could be now.

What other creative endeavors do you enjoy?

I love to sew and to spin.

Assuming that knitting or pattern design isn't a full time job, what do you do professionally?

I'm a nuclear physicist working for the Austrian Armed Forces. Knitting and designing knitwear is recreation for me - together with sports.

I crochet, but have yet to learn how to knit. I so admire your patterns, but am I correct to assume they are for an advanced knitter, and not appropriate for the beginner? How would you describe the difficulty of your patterns?

It depends. As long as you are able to follow instructions and (in most cases) charts it should be no problem for an advanced beginner to work one of my patterns. I try to be as clear as possible in my instructions and have to say thank you to my test knitters for many good suggestions here. They are of great help.

I've noticed you don't have a lot of finished items for sale; do you not have a lot of time to knit these days, or do most of your finished products end up in your own closet or those of friends?

I just have one finished item for sale, a knitted lace shawl made from a gorgeous cashmere/silk blend laceweight yarn made by Posh Yarn (UK). I just loved knitting this item but am sure I will never ever wear it because it just does not fit my wardrobe. I therefor decided to sell it because actually there is no one I'd want to gift it to.

Usually my finished items get worn by me or my family. I knit gifts for friends seldomly (and am a proud member of the Selfish Knitters group on Ravelry ;)

If you could give one bit of advise to a beginning knitter, what would it be?

I'd say try to enjoy what you do. Knitting is supposed to be relaxing, not stressful!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Great First Week on Etsy!

Looks like I've hit the ground running with my Etsy shop. Of course, now that I've written that, it will be weeks before I make another sale.
I've sold a few things, some to friends, some not. I got a custom order today. In general I'm happy with how the first week has gone. I know some people have to wait forever for that first sale.
I should really get off the computer and go sew something!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Spankers' Fan's Questionable Fashion Sense

A fan referred us to this article in yesterday's Seattle Times, about the first day of this year's Bumbershoot Festival. The article was accompanied by this photo. Note that the guy on the right is wearing an Asylum Street Spankers' t-shirt, a kilt, and an Hawaiian shirt. I find myself wishing I could see what kind of shoes he is wearing.
As our guitar player, Nevada, pointed out; he's wearing the exact same Hawaiian shirt that Nevada wore for our last photo shoot. Hmmm....

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

On the road again, and again, and again...

My year-long maternity leave from touring is, sadly, about to come to an end. I've done a few local gigs here and there but nothing farther than 3 hours away.

When I was pregnant with my middle son, I toured into my ninth month. When he was two months old he joined us on the
tour bus. I don't know how I did it. I was a lot younger, and the band was really struggling. We didn't have another source of income for the family, and it seemed the band couldn't afford to lose our momentum.

This time around I enjoyed the luxury of a third trimester spent at home, and 7 months being a SAHM.

I can still remember our first tour; how excited I was. I took pictures of everything. Everyday was an adventure, a new city, new people. The hours spent in the van flew by. Now the van feels like a rolling tiger cage. I've often described it as being like prison; you can't leave, the other inmates are nuttos, and the food sucks.

I had a women at a show somewhere (they do all blend together, in case you were wondering) tell me how exciting it must be to go somewhere new everyday. How things would never get dull or monotonous and everyday must be a new adventure. But it must be hard for you to be on the road with all those guys, she said. Funny, but it's really quite the opposite; I love the people I work with. They're smart, funny and entertaining. They feel like family. It is the monotony that can drive you nuts. Put your things in the van, drive, take your things out of the van, unpack them, pack them back up, put them back in the van, take them out and put them into the hotel room. Get up and do it all over again. Everyday. 150 days a year. The best part about being a touring musician is performing, but that takes up about 2 hours of your day. The rest is tedium, boredom and living out of your suitcase.

It's time to buck up, I guess. My first tour in a year starts October 7th in Philadelphia. I hope this time off that I've enjoyed will help me approach touring with a new fervor. People have been noticing my lack of enthusiasm. I feel awful about that. The most important part of my job is leaving fans feeling like they had as good of a time at one of our shows as I have. It will feel good to perform again. Now if I just had some Xanax for the van...

View the Asylum Street Spankers' upcoming tourdates.

Photo circa 1997.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Etsy Shop is Officially Open!

Well, I just posted my first listings on Etsy today; I think I'm going to take the rest of the day off! Within minutes of listing, I received a message that one of my items had been featured in Crafts By Ellen's blog! How cool is that?