012 Homegrown Hairdresser: Leah Vandever

I’m not looking at what people think I’m looking at; I’m looking at the texture of their hair, like, oh my gosh, they have such great hair, I want to cut it.  I’m inspired by strangers and their hair.

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That’s Leah.  Hair sculptor, mother of two, and cutting enthusiast. She generously agreed to answer questions while cutting Angelica’s very, very long hair.  If you’d like to witness a haircut and some interesting audio levels, stay tuned; you might just get some free advice.  If you’re interested in a haircut or color using all organic, vegan and gluten free products in a well lit room of a sweet little house, skip the big parking lot and the chemicals and make an appointment at theroomorganicsalon.com.

Check out the Instagram post with a video of the big cut!  You can also check out Leah’s brother’s Chatty Crafties episode here: 008 After-hours Creator: Jon Chambers.

QOTW: How do you express yourself artistically in your everyday life?  Let us know on social media!  We just might mention your comment on an upcoming episode!

011 Intentional Improviser: Caitlin Sweetlamb

Improv is letting go of control, and collaborating with other people making their ideas look good and being generous with their offers as opposed to single-mindedly advancing your own.

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That’s Caitlin. Improviser, teacher, mom, and paper crafter. It’s a waste of face just to feature her voice, because this girl has expressions for days. She joined us to chat about harnessing spontaneous energy in the classroom, the freedom of improvising without male persuasion and the many virtues of listening.

Girls Girls Girls is Austin, Texas’s original all-female improvisation troupe. Their specialty is creating long-form improvised musicals from a single audience suggestion. The Girls and their live musicians make up the songs, dances, characters, and stories all on the spot. They have a show at the Hideout Theater on July 27th called Don’t Interrupt Me.

Upcoming shows: July 27 at 7:30pm at the Hideout (as part of Don’t Interrupt Me). Link for tickets here. They will also be performing in the 2018 Out of Bounds Comedy Festival in August. Date/time not yet confirmed.

Question of the week: What have you done creatively that you don’t do anymore? Give us a shout on Instagram and Twitter by answering the QOTW post or by tagging #chattycrafties. 

Some of Caitlin’s press includes:

Girls Girls Girl’s Broad Ambition –  2018

Marathoner Profile: Caitlin Sweetlamb – 2016

Austin Improv Wiki

Broad Ambition with Girls Girls Girls

I’m Not from Austin but I Got Here as Fast as I Could – 2012

010 Privately Prolific: Ian Ragsdale

I think of my notebooks as a cognitive prosthetic.  I don’t always have time to think about everything in the depth that I want to,  so I put it on paper and it helps me kind of work through it later.

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That’s Ian. Dad, drummer, writer, and half-baked boy scout. A Mortified performer and former teacher’s pet, Ian stopped by to chat about his proprietary blend of absurdism and anonymity.

Check out his band, Ain’t Nothins album, “No Regerts,” on Instagram, iTunes, and Spotify. He also develops products like scented powders and lip gloss for his wife and mother-in-law’s sex doll company, Real Love Sex Dolls (as discussed in Episode 6). They also work for humans!

Ian’s music tips: If your song isn’t long enough, just say more words!  Don’t wait to learn an instrument as an adult like he did (but it’s possible!). Play a metronome in the car and practice one-handed exercises while you drive.  Are you fidgety?  Drums might be for you!

Question of the Week: Is there a craft, performance, or activity that you have been waiting to try or always wanted to try?  Tell us on Instagram and Twitter using #chattycrafties or answer our query posts.  We’d love to discuss it on next week’s episode!

009 Manic Maker v. The Harmonizer: Angelica Norton and Amber Moreno

 

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This week on Chatty Crafties: Angelica Norton: Landscape Designer, Mother of 2, and binge-crafter vs. Amber Moreno: career-averse Personal Organizer, Mother, of 1 and serial procrastinator. Will one out-craft the other? Will questions and answers clash in a heated discussion while the a/c remains off to minimize background noise? Will it all end up on the cutting room floor? We’re pitting host against producer this week for a very special episode.
YOUR HOMEWORK THIS WEEK: make TEN of something, or scribble out 3 morning pages.  
QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Do you ever go back to read, listen to, or watch your old work?  Also, show us pics of your personal workspace.  
Let us know on Twitter and Instagram using #chattycrafties or reply on the QOTW post!  We like to incorporate your answers in our interview.  Shout out to Mortimer Ex for her “music to create to” playlist idea.  On that note, check out our Chatty Crafties Spotify playlist.  While you’re at it, Amber’s blog, Morenovision for some wildly cute baby pics.

008 After-hours Creator: Jon Chambers

You have the part of yourself that goes to work and is a parent and is functioning in the world and then you have something else that is much more intelligent than that and is bigger than that and it can help you piece things together.

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That’s Jon. Drummer, dad, distresser of doors, and assembler of beats. Musically, he goes by Flameburger Jonesies, but if you want to dabble in real estate with the man behind the mix, look up Jon Chambers at Realty Austin.  Jon joined us to chat about parenting, inspiration, collaborating, his art process of choice, and your word of the day, “palimpsest.”  Definitions and more coming right up in this week’s episode.

Do you make art out of everyday objects in your house?  Are there repetitive themes in your art?  Chat us up on Instagram or Twitter via the hashtag #chattycrafties

007 Artistic Analyst: Bianca Aquino

Everything that I make or everything that I’ve created is a reflection of someone’s influence on me.

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That’s Bianca. She introduced me to computer games, AOL chatrooms, showed me how to straighten my hair, and how to dance to R&B while watching BET’s Midnight Love. She has a trumpetous laugh, an impressive set of skills, and her craft room is always a disaster, which speaks to her boundless energy for creating new things. She joined us to talk about dance and appreciating projects long after they’re done.

Between walking dogs and stitching seams, Bianca makes a fine cup of english tea and a delicious bacon curry.  She has a long queue of pro bono projects going, so if you’re looking for some help, that money better talk.  You can find her on Facebook, and if you see her wearing really flattering, really comfy looking pajama pants, feel free to compliment her – ’cause she made those.

Have you ever performed a choreographed dance at a wedding?  We’d love to see the video!  Tag #chattycrafties on Twitter and Instagram to show us, and/or let us know in the comments below.

 

006 Enthusiastic Geppetto: Randi Ragsdale

Think about how challenging it is to capture what someone fell in love with 30 years ago, and you’ve got to re-create that. When we do these designs like that, it takes several months of revisions.

 

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That’s Randi. In high school, she kept the stage well-lit, sounds on cue, and props in our hands. And even then, she was a taste-maker, inspiring my personal interests in Gucci perfume and piercings–one which my dentist sharply disagreed with. Today, she’s a savvy marketer, turbo mom, and purveyor of fine sex dolls.  Randi gave us a look at the delicate business of designing custom bodies for scholarly pursuits–and for pleasure. *NSFW*

After her podcast interview, Randi created the @enthusiastic_geppetto instagram account to show the fascinating behind-the-scenes look of working at @RealLoveSexDolls; her twitter is @randiragsdale.

Have you ever seen a sex doll in person?  Did you have the same reaction we did – apprehension then fascination?  They’re basically a giant stress doll.  Let us know in the comments or write us on Instagram or Twitter using #chattycrafties!

 

005 Daydream Believer: Aaron Saenz

So, I’ll try to engage people around me more – and that is not in my nature. That is the nurturing aspect of being told that I’m funny, and that people will come watch me, and that people want to be in shows with me.  You know, if you stroke someone’s ego enough, it gets healthy.

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That’s Aaron. Improvisor, writer, and reluctant physicist with the voice of a news castor. Stay tuned for a human interest story about the cult of improv, building realities, and how to play nice with other grown-ups.

Aaron Saenz’s writings can be found at Strange But False.  He can often be found doing improv at Austin’s Hideout Theatre.

Do you perform improv?  Are there ways a novice could get started?  Tell us about your love or fear of making it up on the fly in front of strangers in the comments, or via #chattycrafties on Instagram and Twitter.

Some of Aaron’s press includes:

Wanderlust – 2018

Hideout Theatre’s The Kindness of Strangers – 2017

Date Night – 2017

The Sunday Interview: Aaron Saenz – 2013

The Big Bash – 2013

004 Collager: Matt Norton

…Finding the space in between your thoughts. And…I think music does that for me. It’s an escape where I kind of lose my concept of what room I’m in, or what day of the week it is or, all of the kind of subtle things that keep you in reality, and let some of my other senses start to take over.

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That’s Matt.  Also known as Berm and Swale.  Landscape designer, synthesizer fanatic, and creator of many a transcendent meal, this week he stepped out of the kitchen and joined us to chat about his architectural appetites, sobriety, and his personal antidote to creative stagnation.

You can find @bermandswale on SoundcloudFacebook, Instagram, and Twitter (although the latter currently doesn’t see much activity).  You can also check out Open Envelope Studio‘s landscape design/build portfolio on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

We heard Is There Hope and Thankful People in this episode.  He also compiled this video of collaged vintage snippets to go with his song, I Forgot Her.

Do you like to play electronic music?  What’s your favorite program for sound design?  Tell us below or on Twitter and Instagram via the hashtag #chattycrafties 

003 Crafty Storyteller: Kate Caldwell

What I love about storytelling is…going to places with myself, and my own experiences, that I don’t necessarily explore if I’m not trying to explain them to somebody else.

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That’s Kate.  Storyteller, writer, actor, and yarn-worker.  Kate is a powerful orator, and she assembled the team that gave birth to Testify, Austin’s monthly storytelling show.  She sat down to chat about building a creative institution, shaping stories, savoring the dynamic exchange between a performer and audience, and knitting in public.

Testify’s performances take place on the last Thursday of every month in at Spiderhouse Ballroom at 7:30pm (in Austin, Texas).  There are different themes each month, and you can submit your story HERE. You can also find @testifyatx on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter, or become a supporting member via Patreon.

Have you been to a Testify show to perform or watch?  Tell us about it in the comments or write to us on Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #chattycrafties.  We’d love to hear about your experience!