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!

 

 

 

038 Heart and Handmaker: Jen Grudza

I think it’s a reminder to spend time with myself and do something that makes me happy and gives me joy.  It’s like my separate space where I don’t have talk to anybody, I don’t have to be on like I am at my job.  Because it’s the guest room; my dog hangs out on the bed, and the sun is very beautiful comes through my room. I think it’s just my check out space where I just dive in.  My hands have to be busy; I can’t not be busy…

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That’s Jen Grudza.  Project Coordinator for Moontower, quilter, bag-maker, dog parent to Mr. Winston, and wife.  She is my new crafty inspiration and muse.  I’m drawn to her because I relate to her need to make soft or yummy things to give away, like hugs.  Recently she has been exploring a functional style with durable materials like canvas, leather, and cork, and upcycling old jeans.  Her beautiful handmade items involve slicing intricate patterns and following complicated directions – that I’m anxious to get a lesson on now that I bought my first paper-piecing quilt pattern.

Names mentioned in the episode:

Niku Arabai taught a quilt class at Stitch Lab

Jen made Denyse Schmidt’s Single Girl Quilt Pattern and took it to Gina Pina at Canopy to quilt it.

Chawnie Kimber teaches math in the NE; Jen took her class through the Quilt Guild and is inspired by her tiny mathematical pieces

Flash tattoo at Quiltcon by Stacy Martin Smith in Austin.

Some links of things mentioned in the episode:

Helm boot for outer wax, Tandy leather + photo of waxed canvas bag

Paper piecing – there are two kinds: english and foundation; The example she brought in is of a tattoo quilt pattern

Labels for handmade works by Wunderlabel

Carolyn Friedlander fabric with architecture and botanical designs – I already made my Christmas wish list of her re-released lines

Quiltcon is coming to Austin Feb 20 – 23, 2020

Hawthorne Threads – environmentally friendly fabric printing

**Note: Gunner was mentioned in the episode and as passed away just before the episode posted.  My heart goes out to his family and friends.**

035 Magnificent Memorizing Maniac: Eloise Norton

I want to try acting for the rest of my life so I can become one of those actors that are really good.  I want to just keep on acting until I feel like, you know what, too much!  I don’t feel like I’m enjoying this anymore; I’m just doing this for fame and money, not for my enjoyment.

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That’s Eloise.  Child actor, big sister, and my incredible daughter with a memory like a steel trap.  She spent the summer working on her first professional play with Different Stages Theatre Company in Austin, Texas.  I wanted to capture her pure connection to playing characters when playing pretend was still an instinct instead of a distant, adult memory.

A question to our listeners: What should we do with the memorabilia from her performances?  Does anyone have a scrapbook they’ve done to give us ideas on how to showcase all of her programs, thank you notes, etc?  Tag me @chattycrafties on Instagram and Twitter!


Some names we mentioned during the podcast: Clayton Stromberger is the On-campus Coordinator of the Shakespeare at Winedale Outreach program.  Mr. Park is Eloise’s AMAZING 3rd grade teacher (what up, Mr. P!)  A Doll’s House (by Henrik Ibsen) was a Different Stages production, directed by Norman Blumensadt.  Kelsey Smith (Episode 31) told us about the audition for child actors.  Catie Williams (@catieelaine) played Nora Helmer, and was mentioned during the “dah doo” vocal exercises.  Emily Villarreal (@thatsmissemily) played Kristine Linde and showed Eloise tongue twisters.

PRESS:

Different Stages’ A DOLL’S HOUSE is an Excellent Rendering of the Ibsen Classic by Broadway World: “An unexpected highlight of the production is the performances of Eloise Norton and Anuart Zarate as the Helmer children. Commendably, these young actors pick up cues quickly and play their roles with enthusiasm.” (June 27, 2019) by Lacey Cannon Gonzales

Review: A Doll’s House by Different Stages by CTX Live Theatre (July 2, 2019) by Michael Meigs

031 Emotional Explorer: Kelsey Smith

And it’s real, and I can’t lie, but, when I’m being someone else – that is real, you know, that’s is like the truth, so it’s not lying to me. So when I’m in front of people and I have the mask of someone else, I can do anything.

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That’s Kelsey. Actor, lover of musical theatre, grad student in psychology, and my emotionally mature office manager. She pressed pause on acting until it felt fun again, and now has her heart set on starting theatre company and opening a space sometime in the future. Her positivity and drive are contagious, so I’m thankful she keeps us organized while she spins so many plates of her own. I’m Angelica; stay tuned for my weekly chat.

Her next show is The Book Club Play, directed by Nikki Zook at Santa Cruz Theatre, running March 22 – April 13, 2019.  Find more here: www.differentstagestheatre.org/upcoming

If you’re looking into getting your child into acting in Austin, look into KidsActing Studio programs – my daughter does this in her school and it’s been wonderful; they have multiple summer shows as well.

As a professional actor, some companies to audition for are:

028 Generative Farmer: Sean Henry

I’d been cooking for a long time and then I started the farm so I think both recognizing and engaging in that ends up in some aspect of life being healthier and happier and…kind of heading in the same direction: the ultimate destination is learning how to cook and prepare your food is very closely related to growing and taking care of the land around you. And that’s kind of a fundamental part of life that in the modern day we’re kind of detached from.

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That’s Sean. Musician, culinary scientist, and cook of much the food he lovingly produces. He officiated my wedding, is a godparent to my girls, and teaches us all the connectivity between food production, cooking, and renewable systems all while prototyping generative communities of the future. Stay tuned for our chat – with special guest, Matt Norton.

His mushroom farm Hi-Fi Mycology (with business partner Cory Nellisson) has a delightful Instagram page with all sorts of delicious and photogenic fungi that can be purchased at farmers markets and local Austin restaurants.  His other business, a hydroponic lettuce farm called Francis and Thatcher can be found a grocery stores like HEB and Whole Foods in Austin.

We mentioned his wife Yasmin Youssef again this week, who’s art is produced in a studio in Cement Loop, which is where Sean is taking piano lessons.  Follow her on Instagram  @thegoldcurrent as well.

My weekly inspo is my mother, Sharon Loy Anderson‘s art show at A Propos Pop Up Gallery by Zeina and Bob Cook.

026 Heartfelt Hackster: Amanda Davidson

It’s important what we do, and it’s important how we do things, it’s important that we are creative when we do things–it matters, you know?  It matters that we do things well and we do things with intention and love.  It matters to our families, and our friends, and whatever random person we interact with in commerce, too.

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That’s Amanda. Mother of 3 and family caregiver, soulful singer, and appreciator of imperfect art–when she can steal a couple of hours to herself, that is. Amanda sat down with us to explore melding old and new and what it means to be dipping her toes back in the creative world though interior design with her business, Curate Homes.

Amanda and Graham named their residential construction company Curate (‘kyur-ət)  because that’s the person in the church who’s the caretaker of souls.  Find more online at www.curatehomes.com or on Instagram. The songs played in the episode were, in order of appearance: “Going Somewhere,” “Teaching me My Name,” “Minnie Catherine,” and “Under the Earth.”  One of her albums, Home, is available on iTunes HERE under her maiden name, Amanda Leggett.

021 Holiday Warm Up

This week on Chatty Crafties we’re whettin your whistle for the holidays. You’ll remember Genevieve Saenz from way back in episode one. She and Amber have been offering holiday arts workshops to the public for years: crafting sessions that exercise the creative and emotional muscles often left untouched throughout the holiday hustle. So, before you start thinking about what to bring down from the attic and how many presents you’re planning to crochet, consider taking a different approach to the most wonderful time of the year.

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Email genevieve@passagewayarts.com to inquire about Ghosts: An Evening with What Haunts You on October 28th in a to-be-determined park location in Austin.

Please start sending in your handmade Halloween costumes of your childhood or that you made for your own kiddos.  Send them to chattycrafties@gmail.com.

Check out Fortlandia, the exhibit at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildlife Center open Sept. 29 to Feb 28.  Angelica and Matt’s fort is called Blanket Fort; photos below.  Please tag either @chattycrafties or @openenvelopestudio so that we can share it on the Open Envelope Studio Insta stories.

 

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