045 Chatty Kid Takeover

I think creativity is incredibly important right now. You can feel really stifled if your voice isn’t heard and if you’re kind of stuck in an endless summer that doesn’t feel any different than the last 3 months. I think that it’s important to find your voice and a way to spend your time to express your self because, you know, you can go stir crazy and watch TV for endless hours a day or you can feel like you’re using your time in a valuable way.

(teaser to episode)

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That’s me, Angelica Norton. For this episode, my chatty daughters, Eloise and Ansley, took over my hosting duties to ask me some of the questions I normally pose to my guests and to give crafting advice. Now, more than ever, it’s important to be creative so we don’t feel stir-crazy in the midst of a pandemic, and in order to find ways to express our tumultuous feelings during social unrest. Let’s all shift perspective and ask questions to see what we can learn from each other – and like Eloise says, “actually listen.”

We actually recorded a month ago, just as the Black Lives Matter marches started, so I put this one on hold recorded another episode to amplify an artist of color (shown in Episode 44 Inner City Dreamer: Kendall Angelle).

Eloise, Ansley, and I talked about kids on YouTube shows, sewing as therapy vs sewing for profit, the endless summer because of Covid, White Privilege, storytelling and appreciating grandparents, overcoming being bullied as a child through creative, supportive friends (shown in Episode 43: Handbag Poetry Night), the positives and negatives of the pandemic, and tips on staying creative.

044 Inner City Dreamer: Kendall Angelle

It can be both.  Most artists do it for selfish reasons.  But when you’re putting it out there for people to, you know, experience  – some judge – but mostly just a general experience.  It adds an aspect that’s not selfish anymore.  It’s just the nature of art.  You can’t help it.  I don’t care how money-driven a creative is, at the end of the day, it still lends itself to the people because you’re putting it out there for people to interpret to appreciate.

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That’s Kendall Angelle.  As a Black creative with his finger on the pulse of art, music, fashion, and culture, he curates and shares incredible artists and ideas on his website, Fresh Aesthetic.  We were good friends in high school back in Houston and the early years of when we both moved to Austin after graduation.  In support of Black Lives Matter and protests against police violence, I wanted to use my platform to elevate voices of color, so I reached out to my old pal.  And it seems especially appropriate to support someone who is going out of his way to support other creatives.

Links from our convo:

The Neil deGrasse Tyson essay Kendall mentioned: Reflections on the Color of My Skin

The Business of Hype is the podcast by clothing designer, Jeff Staple

Refashionista is the website on thrift store finds I mentioned that are tailored, dyed, and reworked to reduce clothing waste

Shameless Plugs:

Kendall’s website: ¡Fresh Aesthetic!™: freshaesthetic23.com.  Find him on Twitter @freshaesthetic, Facebook @freshaesthetic23, and Instagram @freshaesthetic23.  I’ll update when his Culture Fresh podcast is back up.

042: The Collager in Quarantine: Matt Norton

So it’s not just total freedom on the machine’s part.  You’re kind of giving it stipulations to work with it.  And that like gets my brain buzzing.

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That’s Matt Norton.  My sweet husband sat down with me again for a quarantine special to explain modular synthesizers to me.  We want to de-mystify modular synths to inspire our friends out there to use this time at home to get creative.  We also want to look at the positive sides of being in quarantine, because it’s incredibly overwhelming otherwise.  We hope you guys are staying healthy and safe, or are resting if you need to recover from being sick.  We love you.

We talked about synthesizers like Minimoog, Mellotron, Arp Odyessy, and Op-1 by Teenage Engineering.  We also mentioned the loving and supportive Sobriety and Synthesizers Facebook Group.

We also brought up Wonderful, which is a podcast by Griffin and Rachel McElroy (also in Austin, TX), one of my favorites, found on Max Fun.

The song used in the intro and outro of this episode is by Matt Norton as Berm and Swale.  He’s on Facebook and Instagram.  The song he was working on at the time of the episode, “Packing West,” can be found here:

041 Bark Eater: Neal Stilley

I mean I consider myself an experimental archeologist and a Master Naturalist. For the East Texas chapter of the Master Naturalists, I teach the archeology portion of their program, and it includes a lot of the stuff I showed you today – I show them.  Just to give them an idea what, you know, people, did as the real naturalists – I mean, the original naturalists, I should say.

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That’s Neal Stilley.  Friction-fire starter, atlatl thrower, tool-maker, Vietnam vet, and student of nature – Neal loves to share his incredibly extensive knowledge of primitive technologies to bring a connective tissue to how people lived in a simpler time.  He brought his collection of hand-made tools and scat display boxes over to my house to bring life to his stories, which he uses in his outreach classes.  If you catch him at any of his east Texas courses this spring, kick off your shoes and get ready to touch some bones.

The primitive tools he brought by are atlatls, rabbit stick, starting friction fires.  We listened to soundscapes he captured of frogs, toads, and crickets from the 80s and 90s as self-made white noise.  He’s really excited to share the Shumla Notch Friction Fire boards, which he rediscovered from research of the Lower Pecos People.  It’s a fire board with a notch on the side, instead of on the bottom.  Volunteer Archeological Steward for the Texas Historical Commission and their outreach educational Programs.

Click for more on the Archeolympics; look up Texas Beyond History for more on prehistoric info, lesson plans, and Dr. Dirt.

Neal will have classes at Primitive Awakening Wilderness School and Caddo Mounds Historical Site coming up soon, so check back on both websites for dates.

040 Ambassador of String: Gretchen Du Prè

Angelica, it is why I do what I do.  I love this city.  I love Austin, and that’s honestly my career goal, is to make Austin beautiful, though public art, through landscape design, through public projects if I can be involved.

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That’s Gretchen Du Prè.  Fiber artist, landscape designer, musician slash singer, mother, and beautifier.  Gretchen’s own string theory is: if there’s a way to knit it, play it, draw it, or sew it, she wants to get her hands on it.  If you see her around town and compliment something she made – watch out, you might be wearing it home.

Public Art:

She and Austin Outdoor Design had a entry in the recent Fortlandia, called Hamaca de los Flores, at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

She also had a project in Creek Show, a temporary light installation over Waller Creek in Austin.

Music:

Singer and musician for the band, Honey Punch, for 10 years, a daytime fun band.  The intro was “Anarchy in the UK” ; the mid-episode sample was “Being Mir Best Du Schon”, and the outro was “Fallen for You.”  Follow them on Instagram and check out their website for shows and delights!

 

 

 

039 Word Alchemist: Ryan Dilbert

I started thinking about why I like it so much.  And then I thought, you know, it’s storytelling; I love stories.  Especially strange stories.  And pro wrestling is just a series of strange stories that are acted out in the moment…and some things are improvised and there’s a little bit of chaos because someone broke their nose.  Like, go with it. So it’s just a very weird world; it’s very easy to write about.

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That’s Ryan Dilbert.  As a creative writing teacher of 4th graders, he lovingly shapes young writers by utilizing all the other facets of his life: as a father of two young girls, husband to Julie, published author, pro wrestling journalist for Bleacher Report, stand-up comedian and performer, and tattoo artist and illustrator.  In his summers off, he’s hungry to do more, like developing screenplays, writing another novel, and trying his hand at graphic novel.

Ryan grew up in Cayman (we used the local inflection – in the States it’s often referred to as the Cayman Islands) before moving to Houston for high school.  We met in sophomore year and became student directors of a performance poetry group, Playwrights and Players, for our senior year.  Because our friendship included writing and editing together in this formative time, Ryan helped shape my own creative expression.  His biracial identity is something he has struggled to explore in his writing, and feels more comfortable creating his own worlds where he can confirm the validity of the character’s experiences.

You can find more of Ryan’s work at www.ryandilbert.com and his Twitter @ryandilbert.  This includes his novel, Time Crumbling like a Wet Cracker (No Record Press) which was published in 2011; the cover and visuals were illustrated by Shawn Callahan.  His website has links to his pro wrestling columns at Bleacher Report as well as to literary journals of his flash/nano fiction and prose.  He mentioned an article where he took his daughter, Lucy, to WWE Raw after sharing tweets of her experience.  And he participated in Austin’s Funniest Person Contest in 2008.

Ryan’s daughter, Lucy, age 6, sat down for a short interview at the end of the episode.

Shameless plug: His upcoming chapbook with a collection of flash fiction about pro wrestling, called Mat Burns, is set to come out in Spring 2020.

We mentioned Ira Glass’s concept of The Gap – when our taste develop more quickly than our craft.  Here’s a delightful video with his quote.

THE GAP by Ira Glass from Daniel Sax on Vimeo.

Hey Crafties!  What is the term for a juicy quote that is pulled from an interview?  Like the kind of quote that I pull for the intro teaser, or that he uses to shape his wrestling columns.  Ryan and I both use this and calling it a “money shot” feels wrong)!

036 Schizophrenic Straddler: Chad Raines

I think arranging in pop music is like so underrated.  I think that’s the whole reason why people like pop music; there’s not like lots interesting chord changes or melodies happening–-it’s all about production, which, production is arranging. and it’s just all about the choices of tones and instruments you make and creating an atmosphere that gives you a feeling.

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That’s Chad Raines, sometimes known as Rad Chains, but it depends if you find him on the divine stage or in real life.  His artistic lens is aimed at the juxtaposition between giving a rough edge to the prestigious and elevating the overlooked.  He swings between between musical theatre to performing in spandex with his band The Simple Pleasure.  He arranged and played the music to my wedding, and even more importantly to Matt and me, he made the “Egyptian Lover” music video of our friend Basil Malaty.  Having something so precious to look at when my friend was no longer around eventually lead to me to creating this podcast, so I can give stage to the essence of people I hold dear for posterity.

You can find more on Chad at www.chadraines.com, at www.thesimplepleasure.com, the Rad Chains Soundcloud page, and The Simple Pleasure Bandcamp page.

The intro of the episode is “Another Active Shooter,” we sample “Girls and Guys Sometimes,  and the outro is “Labor of Love ” by The Simple Pleasure.

Here’s Tom Cherry’s “Boogieman of My Dreams” and Donzi’s World, which have big Tim and Eric Awesome Show vibes way before that was a thing.

Shameless Plug: Chad’s new (Untitled) record with The Simple Pleasure, which should be out by Oct. 14th.

Here’s a couple of The Simple Pleasure’s music videos, “Young Professionals” and “A Need to Know Basis.”

Here’s the “Egyptian Lover” video featuring our friend Basil Malaty (1981 – 2004), shot and produced by Chad Raines in collaboration with Matt Norton around 2001/2002 in Austin, TX.

034 Collaborating Elaborator: Graham Davidson

And that was the first time I started to realize that from a creative process standpoint, I really love getting teamed up with other people and their ideas and helping them see how great their idea can actually become and sort of take it beyond what they had even envisioned.

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That’s Graham.  As a musician and sound engineer, then as a producer of film and television, and now as general contractor and home builder, Graham has taken the puzzle pieces, flipped them over, and made sense of the big picture in order to tell the story.  He is also an occasional visual artist (if the occasion was to propose marriage to Amanda, who was my guest in episode 26) and woodworker if a project tells him it needs to be made.  He finds the creative process of collaborating most rewarding, and spends his down time from building houses with his wife and their three kids, oftentimes playing board games like Dog.

To learn more on Graham and Amanda’s Austin-based home-building company, Curate, go to www.curate.com.  You can also scope out his film and TV projects as a producer and sometimes director, including the award-winning independent films Chalk and The Aviatrix, A&E’s Shipping Wars, TLC’s Quints by surprise, Discovery Channel’s Texas Car Wars, and TNT’s Marshal Law Texas (with Jerry Bruckheimer).

More links:

Teaching Themselves: The filmmakers, cast, and crew of ‘Chalk’ learned valuable lessons with little in the way of plan or budget – The Austin Chronicle – May 2007

For TLC, With a Little TLC – The Austin Chronicle – Aug. 2007

Graham’s IMDB page

I mentioned in the Weekly Inspiration segment a Facebook group called I’m Like a Rotisserie Shithead, which is an adjacent group to the hilarious “advice show” podcast, My Brother My Brother and Me.

029 Color Explorer: Sharon Loy Anderson

I love to paint twelve hours a day. I will work on a painting three days in a row–that’s why I can finish a painting in three days because I spend twelve hours on it– I’ll start in the morning and paint till almost midnight.

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That’s Sharon. Multi-media artist with a penchant for acrylic paint, landscape photographer, and my sweet mother. She knew from a young age that she had a gift and was hungry to learn anything and everything about art. This creative appetite was genetic, so it was a delight to sit down with her to explore her path from being a talented child and a career student, to teaching art, to ongoing exhibits at galleries in central Texas.

A portfolio of her art can be found at www.sharonloyanderson.com, her art facebook page @sharonloyanderson, and her instagram @sharonloyanderson.  She signs her art with “Loy,” her middle name. That’s how you know it’s a finished piece.

The intro and outro music is always by by Berm and Swale, (unless the guest is a musician themselves).

 

027 The Questing Quilter: Diana Stahl

That’s what I think quilting has been able to do for me, is to give me an outlet to express those little beauties, those little things in my spirit that I want to get out. Imagine that feeling could be in an object around your house and you could see it and go like, oh, oh! Nice, nice nice! I think that’s what we’re all trying to do when we buy something and put it in our home.

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That’s Diana. Teacher, crafter, serene mother of 3…and my beloved college roomie. Even back in her wildest days, she possessed a tender heart, impossible patience, and an enduring fondness for fine fabric, nostalgia, and one more cup of coffee. In the blanket she made for my daughter, every square was a tiny slice of affection sewn together with her signature calm just for me.  – Amber Moreno

**Thanks so much to Amber Moreno for the countless hours she’s put into producing this little podcast for 27 episodes.  I have appreciated every second she’s nudged and carefully spliced to get such thoughtfully crafted episodes from our hour-plus long chats.  Her work will be missed, but I certainly am thankful that I get to see her regularly for non-podcast related hangs.**  -Angelica Norton

Weekly inpo: Yasmin Youssef’s art exhibit at E.A.S.T (East Austin Studio Tour) can be found at @thegoldcurrent on Instagram and her website: http://yasmin.ws

Diana’s favorite quilting book is 501 Rotary Cut quilt blocks by Judy Hopkins and she uses a Pfaff Varimatic sewing machine.  You just need a problem-free sewing machine, an iron, and an ironing board, and you’re all set!  TIP!  Try a 70% cotton/30% polyester batting so it doesn’t shrink, but double-check the size on your pre-sized batting so your finished quilt top matches up correctly!

Her quilter in Winnipeg, Manitoba is Brenna Sneesby at thequilteddaisy.com

An example of the hand towels Diana mentioned around the middle of the episode:

aunt-marthas-flour-sack-towels-vintage-aunt-marthas-flour-sack-tea-towels
Source: http://searchluke.info/aunt-marthas-flour-sack-towels/

Diana’s lovely quilts and workspace: