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.

043 Handbag Poetry Night

But I think I stopped writing poetry as much just because when I would come back to it, I was like, what was I even trying to say?  It was just too vague.  It was too vague to get the meaning later.

Well hopefully it’s like protecting itself from getting burned.  If it weren’t so vague, you wouldn’t be able to stand it, maybe, you know?  That’s why I wrote that way, why I still write that way.

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This week on a special Handbag Hangout Poetry night, I’ve rounded up Amber, Diana, Sara, Maria, and Genevieve to read poetry with me.  Our friendship was cultivated while writing poetry and furiously journaling in high school in the late 90’s, which bound us tightly as very close friends over the past 20 years.  Since becoming adults, we have made a point to meet monthly (to reinforce and celebrate our identities before we became partners, spouses, mothers, or professional people), which came to be known as Handbag Hangouts as a dirty joke over beers.  Since COVID-19, we’ve upped our Handbags to a weekly Zoom meeting to dish out our love and support for each other.  (Please do forgive the quality of the recording since we weren’t able to meet in person.)

Order of poems:

Angelica: Title redacted a poem about restlessness found in an old journal (Feb 8, 2001)

Genevieve: “What is Never Lost” by Cynthia MacDonald from I Can’t Remember (1997)

Maria: “A Callarse/Keeping Quiet” by Pablo Neruda.  English translation and in the original Spanish (1958)

We mentioned “the great pause” and referenced the incredible article, “Prepare For the Ultimate Gaslighting,” by Julio Vincent Gambuto.

Amber: “Sensation” by Arthur Rimbaud. French and English (March 1890)

Diana: “I’m Nobody, Who are You?” by Emily Dickenson from Poems, Series 2 (1891).

Sara: A saying probably by Lao Tzu (?) from Zen Garden Book of Meditations

Angelica: “As Far as Masks Go,” a poem about COVID-19 (April 20, 2020)

Amber: Rhyming Poem, a poem about haircuts or a hangover maybe (2001)

Sara: “We shape clay into a pot but it is the emptiness inside that holds whatever we want” from Zen Garden Book of Meditations

Genevieve: “If” a poem about being a therapist, in a series she wrote called Termination Poems (December 2019)

Diana: Two nature poems from a journal while being a summer camp counselor at Camp  Arrowhead (June 14, 2003)

Angelica: “Friendliness is Not the Car Ride it Once Was” in my portfolio used to apply for landscape architecture grad school (April 3, 2000)

Angelica: “Song of 3 Days Sad” A poem repeating the phrase Techno Glazes/Inspiration (July 14, 2000)

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:

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)!

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.**

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.

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

033 Part-time Pâtissière: Lisa Willis

It’s just such a nice feeling when you’ve made something – you know, you’ve created an edible piece of art.  And you know, when others try it and they’re enjoying it,  I don’t know, it’s just a really nice feeling.  It’s like I accomplished something and everybody likes it and is raving about it.

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That’s Lisa.  Over-achieving baker, busy commercial real estate attorney, and my best friend slash cousin.  There’s no cake too crazy for her kitchen and she’s passing on her love of making excruciatingly beautiful baked goods to her six year old daughter – from scratch—with a few tweaks until it’s just right.

She talked about the sugar substitute, Swerve.  She’s saved so many recipes on www.allrecipes.com but is going to send me recipes for egg bites, lemon meringue pie, and chocolate pie when she gets a moment free from work. *look for an update soon*

Photos of the amazing cakes, cookies, and pies mentioned in the episode are included below. You can find Lisa preparing a delicious Thanksgiving dinner for her whole family every year, pies in hand.  Don’t ask her for your own pie because she’ll probably say yes and my girl needs someone to help keep that list short.

What’s your favorite pastry to bake?  I get a kick out of strawberry bread and oatmeal cookies myself, but I do delight in a good pie because they turn out so pretty when they’re crispy and glazed.  Let us know on Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #chattycrafties.

Thanks for understanding about my 2-month hiatus from recording these sweet podcasts.  I had a couple of baby blankets that needed to be quilted on the nights I record, and I had to pick my poison.