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)

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!

 

 

 

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.**

037 Manic Maker at Testify: Angelica Norton

And what I learned was: anytime my hands were busy, I could think the thoughts I needed to think instead of having my smartphone dictate what I should think and feel.

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For my birthday today, I recorded a quick episode of the story I performed on the stage at Spiderhouse Ballroom on Thursday, October 24th for Testify (a monthly storytelling group in Austin) for October’s theme, Craft.  My story I recorded tonight (which is better audio than I captured on my camera) is about this podcast, so if you want a 16 minute sampler of what Chatty Crafties is all about, have a listen.

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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).

 

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.

025 Peace-in-your-Mind Keeper: Rose Frezza

All of life is like a gigantic improv scene, right? You never know what the person next to you is going to say next, all you can do is approach it with a positive attitude and do your best to be a supportive person in their sphere. Overall I feel like it’s made me a more competent communicator and I think there are very few people in this world who would not benefit from taking at least one improv class.

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That’s Rose. Actor, improvisor, and instructor at the Hideout Theatre, communications professional, and beacon of positivity.  Rose joined us to talk about her full, happy life, telenovelas, and nurturing participation in everyone she meets.

Links for Rose’s work:

Rose’s improve troupe’s (Physics Curse) website: physicscurse.squarespace.com

Ticket link to Don’t Interrupt Me, Rose’s troupe’s monthly show at the Hideout Theatre: www.hideouttheatre.com/shows/DontInterruptMe

Link to the Hideout’s Spanish classes (none on the docket yet for 2019, but soon): www.hideouttheatre.com/austin-improv-classes/clase-gratis-de-improv

Beautiful video for La Vida de los Muertos show: www.facebook.com/hideouttheatre/videos/2200792046870176/

Guaranteed murder mystery dinner, The Dinner Detectivewww.thedinnerdetective.com/austin/

She’s also the producer and publicist for The Out of Bounds Comedy Festivaloobfest.com

Rose’s favorite novellas:

Velvet on Netflix: www.netflix.com/title/80018046

El Grand Hotel on Netflix: www.netflix.com/title/70308105

 

 

022 Culinary Peacemaker: Jan Norton

It’s something I might see on a cooking show, it’s something I might read about and I save it. It’s a thought of ooh, I’d love to figure out how you make that.

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That’s Jan, Angelica’s mother-in-law, Matt’s mom, cook, baker, party planner, space maker and daughter to Laverne, a dedicated follower of fashion, decorum and coordinated colors. You’ll hear a little from her as well. Matt and his mom have such a sweet rapport we had to have him on too, so, if no one minds, here’s 3 generations of craftiness to get you thinking about gratitude for wherever your creative lineage has its roots.

We’re still waiting for your handmade Halloween photos, tag us on twitter, instagram or facebook with #chattycraftiescostume or send them along to chattycrafties@gmail.com.