“…so you haven’t started driving yet, but there’s two things with sewing that are kinda like driving; there’s the gas pedal and there’s the steering wheel. The steering wheel’s your hands, and they’re guiding and steering the fabric the direction you want them to go underneath the needle, so it sews where you want it to.”
Teacher, mom, fabric freak, and seemly seemstress. A modest pro at sewing with kids, she joined us in an attempt to capture the chaos of a back to school project with four kids under 10 and one sewing machine. The perfect exercise in knowing when to walk away and when to take a breath, rip the stitches and run that seam again. Stay tuned for some tips, tricks and some spots around Austin to tune up your stitching skills.
I learned a long time ago there’s always gonna be somebody telling you what you should do with your talents, what they can do with your talents, what you shouldn’t do, why you’ll never be successful if you do this or that. That stuff is always gonna be around; you just have to tune it out.
That’s La Vee. Licensed Family and Marital Therapist, maximalist, and the brains, beauty and brawn behind the Thrift Therapy Podcast. With the wave of a magic wand, we recorded with La Vee over the phone to trade interviews and explore her thrifting appetite, how it transformed into a snazzy side-job filling custom subscription boxes, and the undeniable confidence that comes with knowing you’re a little too much of everything.
Thanks to La Vee at Thrift Therapy for a dynamite piece of mail and for trading interviews with us. Head over to Thrifttherapypod.com to listen to her upcoming episode featuring me and Angelica about how thrifting and crafting collide, while you’re there, order a thrift bag of your very own.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Girls Girls Girls
Caitlin Sweetlamb GGG Anniversary Show (pic by Steve Rogers Photography)
Girls Girls Girls in Broad Ambition
Caitlin’s save the date
Girls Girls Girls
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.
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.
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.
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
Painting by Jon Chambers in Angelica’s living room
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.
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*
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!
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.
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.
Whatever I can do, to get through, to get the creativity out. I’m a vomit artist. I’m not a – I mean, I will, like, just throw up art, all over the place. I need to make it. Once the idea is in my head, I need to make it. And if it doesn’t come out the way it looks in my head, that’s fine. I’m expressing.
That’s Genevieve. Therapist, Celebrant, soon to be mother-of-two…and my very first artistic rival from 1999. She joins us on our maiden voyage to chat about poetry, playtime, and the sinister presence of artistic wounding. If you or someone you know suffers from such a thing, don’t go away.
Genevieve Saenz is a celebrant and expressive arts therapist, providing marriage and family counseling services through her practice Passageway Arts. You can also find her via @passagewayarts on Instagram.
Have you ever tried art therapy? It’s a lovely way to explore feelings and emotions that don’t always translate perfectly into words. Leave a comment or write us on Twitter and Instagram using #chattycrafties.
Artwork (photos provided by Genevieve Saenz)
Genevieve and Kate at the Art of the Heart workshop
Mobile making (photos provided by Genevieve Saenz)
Leading us through an office blessing in February 2018
I recently made a baby quilt in a fun collaboration with the friend I was making it for (Genevieve Saenz, our first podcast interview). While deciding what fabric swatches to use, we talked about our individual approaches to sewing and what setting aside time for making things does for our wellbeing. Then somehow after an exhausting week of work, I was energized by figuring out how to piece this bad boy together and level up from basic blankets to a real quilt with binding. As I pieced it together, I realized it was just as exciting for me to TALK with my friend about why we make various kinds of art and what goes through our brains during these creative sessions. I also realized I had a community of friends with similar hobbies, be it music, performance, painting, writing, architecture, building, and growing… and I wanted to set aside time to celebrate their processes. I then asked my old high school pal, Amber Moreno, if she’d help me put this podcast together as my producer. We’d been crafty together more times than I could count, and I value her creative direction to elevate the ideas in ways I couldn’t imagine without collaboration. Plus, her sultry delivery from previous radio and voice-over work make for a fine intro and outro.
Hopefully, our discussions will inspire our listeners to try the project they’ve been putting off or been intimidated by, because sometimes it’s the DOING that makes art worthwhile. I’ve heard people tell me from time to time that they aren’t creative when they asked about a project I’m working on, and I promise you, that’s their own critic getting in the way. We are all creative. We were all daydreaming kids who colored for hours or put together dance routines. We all played with instruments to explore sounds. We only learned to be self-conscious of our imperfect efforts when trying new things as we got older or someone told us we weren’t good at it. Around here, we encourage each other. So how about we just all agree that we are amazing and we should all go out and make some art?