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.

 

032 Indecisive Dancemaker: Angie Obermeyer

Because I really feel like movement is healing. Physically, for sure it’s good for you, you know, because our bodies are meant to move in those directions and not just very linear. But I think, too, it just awakens something. And I’m not saying you have to have like me, like a love of dance, but I think to set something a little bit free.

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That’s Angie Obermeyer, née Johnson. Semi-professional dancer, reluctant advertiser, wife, and mother of three. She’s a factory sleeper – you wouldn’t know she was a sucker for technique while chatting on the playground afterschool but once you get her talking about it, her passion for dance becomes immediately apparent, as is her drive to make dance performances more accessible to the general public.

Angie wants more people (YOU!) to see local dance performances, so if you’re in Austin, look into Frontera Fest, Fusebox Festival, and aerial shows with Blue Lapis light.  There’s also the Austin Dance Festival coming up in April.  A couple of her favorite choreographers are Sharon Marroquin and Ellen Bartel – the latter of whom has a piece in a show in February at First Street Studio.  Check out their online schedules for upcoming shows, where you might happen upon gorgeous photos of Angie in action.

Angie’s upcoming show: a benefit for Andrea Ariel Dance Theater called Soundpainting on March 3rd, 2018.

For adults trying to get back into dance, try the Saturday morning class at Cafe Dance that Kathy Dunn Hamrick teaches.  If you’re a skilled dancer you might like something a little more challenging; check out Austin Community Ballet in East Austin.

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.

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:

 

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.