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Summer’s in my small, podunk town full of rednecks remind me of the crazy reasons we choose to live here.  There is a river just down the road (note The Bug above at said river in a makeshift hippy tent).  Even though we live in the middle of ‘town’, our backyard is basically the woods – the owl that lives back there provides endless relaxation noise at night.  We can walk anywhere in a matter of minutes.  Things move slowly here, time nearly stands still, and the stars at night aren’t drowned out by light pollution.  It’s nor perfect here in the buckle of the Bible Belt, but it is nice.  It’s quiet and sometimes that is worth more than a Taco Bell, a mall, traffic, and yes, even a museum or two.

This weekend my good pal Ash came down and we spent our days out in the sun, wearing out The Bug.  We went to the Lake (just half an hour away), we went to the fair (where the kid wasted 9 bucks in quarters bribing a monkey to shake and lick his hand), and we drove out to a resort not far from here for a spectacular fireworks show.  On Sunday, we headed out to the state park were he fed fish.  We saw a dead muskrat that still managed to be cute, a black widow spider in a little cage (who I still think they were really trying to get us to take home), and we’ve decided that as women, it would be totally awesome if we took us fly fishing just so we could get out in the spring with the men and show them up.

Before the weekend hit the Bug and I, along with my mom, hit up the local thrifts and I scored some righteous goods.  I would like to say, honestly, that this stuff will eventually make it’s way to the (other) shop but it’s all growing on me and this stuff might just get lucky enough to live with us forever…

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{Oh, scenic picture shellacked onto wood in such a kitschy manner, how I love thee!  Notice the new vintage curtains too, ones that I love so much I might have babies with in the near future.  You can see the before curtains here – they absolutely blew balls…hard.}

{Vintage Melmac saucers.  These WILL be in the (other) shop soon…}

{Royal China, Cavalier Ironstone, Carousel pattern…I think.  Got two…}

{Jamestown China.  I didn’t pick this one up so much for the actual plate as I did the following…}

{HOLY SHIT PEOPLE, DO YOU SEE THAT FONTWORK?!  Yeah, that’s awesome…}

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Also, has anyone noticed it’s Monday?  Blech.  How about a little MuxTape, just to cheer us ALL up…

  • Down River :: Hands down, the BEST muxtape I’ve ever come across, at least in terms of hitting up a bazillion of the bands I’m loving right now – ‘Strawberry Swing’, Andrew Bird, The Avett Brothers, Ryan Adams, Feist, AND Bon Iver.  Mixtape perfection, methinks.
  • Happy Trees :: Cat AND The Beatles?!  Righteous…
  • Wanderlust Bitches :: More Bon Iver, Frightened Rabbits, Sea Wolf, and The National.
  • Bunny Serengeti :: Oh, oh friends, this one is good!  Loudon Wainwright III, Billy Bragg & Wilco, Zeppelin, and the Fleet Foxes.

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More soon I’m sure.  I’m cleaning for the day (this is what happens when you take the weekend off to have fun – your house implodes and everything you own ends up in the living room, under the shag rug, and every dish you’ve ever purchased is covered in caked on food…awesome!) in hopes that I can get it done in a timely manner, leaving myself a couple hours to work on some tops I want to put together from some hand embroidered vintage pillowcases I picked up the other day.  Attempt to enjoy your Monday folks, if that’s even scientifically possible…

…is the only sunny day we’re to have this week. Damn! I thought Spring was about sun and warmth and flowers and shit. Instead we’re experiencing something akin to the the Flood of Noah. The rivers are up (meaning that The Bug and I won’t be floating anytime soon) and my flowers, that I do a good enough job nearly killing on my own, are in a constant creek. The dog’s have actually been using the new garden as a water bowl. So we’ll be taking advantage of the weather today, going outside to finish up my potting and planting and so that The Bug can get reacquainted with his worm friends, mowing, and getting a much needed suntan on my part. In the meantime, enjoy the goodness below, just some things that are inspiring and keeping me going lately…

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MUXTAPE!

  • Tomorrow :: Neutral Milk Hotel, Band of Horses, VAMPIRE WEEKEND!
  • itstoosunnyouthere :: This one’s righteous, kids. Mountain Goats, She & Him, Bon Iver, & The Morning Benders. Also, who the hell is Or, The Whale?! They rock…
  • Oklahoma Hills :: Oh, oh, oh! Willie, Chet, and Dwight! (Oops, I think my country is showing.)
  • Rain or Shine :: Can’t go wrong here, lots o’ The Beatles.

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{My heart has been set a-flutter by the Advice to Sink in Slowly Poster Shop. £5, each and every poster. Hell, even with the crappy exchange rate that’s not bad!}

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{Treehouse Sketchbook, $36}

The Poppytalk Handmade Market that opened this morning has got me all in a tither. For this installment, it’s paper goods and affordable art and coincidentally, those are two of my favorite things. Plus, Homegrown favorites 12fifteen and Hide N Seek are over there. Take thy self to it now!

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{Some Things Are Not Important…so true. Via keri’s Flickr stream.}

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{Guillermo Vega is master of the rabbit illustration. Notice that little caption up there? “Fun now, kids later.” Priceless.}

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{PippiJoe’s fabric is mightily awesome. I’ve been looking for something to recover my mid century modern lampshades in, the ones that refuse to come clean with just soap and water as they’d promised, and I think this would be perfect…}

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{Know what else is awesome? The LaMaga Etsy shop.}

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That should be all for today folks. Before I go I just want to again, very publicly and loudly, thank Holly at Decor8 for the mention last Friday. And even more than that, I can’t thank all those that stopped in to leave me a lovely comment – I hope my new friends stick around!

I haven’t rambled on randomly here in a while. Who wants some linkage? Hop on the train, people!

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{Isn’t that the most amazing thing you’ve ever seen?! More of Alastair Heseltine’s work is here…}

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Two Bears, edition of 20 screenprints, $110

{I’ve got a serious thing for bears right now. Call it the alternative to the serious bird trend that’s been trucking along for a couple years now. Andrew Holder’s work is amazing. As in, I’d totally pet those bears despite the fact that, even though they’re adorable (and uh, drawn), they’d rip my face clean off.}

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David Horvitz is fantastic. Amazing, in fact. For You (and a small amount of cash), he will look out at the Pacific Ocean for one minute, he will go to the island of Taketomi and send you star sand, and he will even stand in front of the New York Stock Exchange on a busy work day and read The Little Prince aloud. As I said, amazing…

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{Also amazing? Lexandthacity’s Polaroid set via Flickr…}

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“Across the Alps”, 9″x9″, $25

{I love Heiko Muller. I think my affinity comes from the fact that we’re both severely German. Via BlueFlip Art.}

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“egg”, 8.5″x12″, $25

{Also love Eric Lu. Shit, let’s just say that I love everyone!}

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How about some tune-age real quick like, kids? Listen to this (because we are): The War On Drugs (I suggest “Taking the Farm), Vampire Weekend (yes, I’m a total bandwagon jumper), The Submarines, and The Morning Benders.

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Is that enough linkage for the day? Methinks yes. We’ve got a late night wedding tonight so we’re spending the day preparing for that and by preparing I mean I’ll be frantically putting together sewn wedding gifts because I’m a procrastinator. It’s my cross to bear (thank you Will/Chazz for the phrase). But I’ll also be sewing for The Shop too (which is still 20% people!) so I’ll do my best to actually photograph and talk about something that pertains to this blog in the next few days. If we don’t meet again before the weekend friends, be sure to enjoy yours!

I know, I know, I’m constantly rambling on and on about how I MUST! have something to listen to…at all times. And it must be fairly new (to me, at least). Of course, this poses a problem – I can’t really spend ALL morning frantically searching my friend the internets for new tunes, you know? Sometimes though I luck out and one of the many music blogs I read does all the legwork for me. Thanks goes to poor Heather, who might possibly be the only music blogger in the entire world not at SXSW. Meet The Archibalds, my friends…

{Muzzleloading Evangelicals, from O Camellia :: buy}

{Sinking Ships, from O Camellia :: buy}

I heard it…and immediately loved it, emailing it to all my friends of the same musical persuasion and hoping to Hippie Jesus that The Fellows Archibald might make a tour stop somewhere near me in the future. No luck there, but at least I’ve the music and new fodder for the playlist today, right?

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In other news, the cable’s gone. Seriously. It’s tougher than I’d imagined but not nearly as bad as I’d anticipated on The Bug’s end – he’s perfectly content watching The Polar Express ALL. FUCKING. DAY. LONG! Thankfully, this morning G(ranny) popped in with this:

Seriously, you’ve seen Milo and Otis right?! Dudley Moore narrates dudes! Needless to say, I’m a little excited this glorious piece of my childhood (thanks to my animal lovin’ Great-Granny) is back in my life and that The Bug is enjoying it. I need a break from our March Xmas people…

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Remember that Buckwalter fellow I mentioned yesterday? Apparently, he’s good people and this morning I’ve been perusing his Flickr stream – here – and his blog – here.

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You’d like to see more art, you say? Here to help friends, I’m just here to help…

{Bearded Man: check. Trees: check. I’m in Heaven.}

More from Hope Gangloff here.

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BONUS TUNE-AGE! Hooker (you dick) saw Levon Helm (I so should have named The Bug Levon, man!) the other night and I hate him. Then he said that Clarence Clemmons came out onstage…and I hate him more now. I’ve seen Clarence in action – BRUUUUUUUCE! – so I’m cool on that but just because it’s rainy here today, overcast, and so not as nice as it was yesterday, this tune is perfect for the playlist…

{Levon Helm (& The Band?), Atlantic City :: buy}

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Last but not least friends! I did some work on Mom’s store last night and I’ve got some things up. Sneak a peek, why don’t you?

{Granny Vine Red + Block Crocheted Quilt, $150}

I’m working more there today so hit up her store later if you’re so inclined, for more crocheted goodness…

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I’ve got a total of three bags working today, two new for the Shop and yet another for a custom order that’s turning out fan-awesomely-tastic, if I do say so myself. Provided the rain subsides, I’ll pop in with some naturally lit shots of the goods…

{Oh, WAIT!  As far as sites go, isn’t this the most gorgeous thing ever?!  Thought you’d agree…}

The Bug’s new favorite song.  We’ve been listening all morning, as he dances his little peace-lovin’ heart out in his chair.  It involves a choo-choo train.  ‘Nuff said…

…that’s why.

{I’ll be back with actual content here in the next few days, promise.}

…but not today.  They’re gonna wash away, they’re gonna wash away.

Listening to lots of Purdy lately and loving it still.  Keeps me sewing, you know.  Finished another ‘love’ bag for the opening and as usual I want to keep it.  I’m a little proud of it and I feel kind of like I’m settling into a groove again, which is nice because one starts to feel lame and completely void of creativity when making the same thing that everyone else makes over and over.  But this is original (I think) so I’ll be sticking with this type of stuff, stuff that I would actually carry, stuff that I just happen to love…

Listen:

Look:

…packages will be sent to distant lands through beams of light.

So this is off topic I know but honestly, it involves a tad bit of craft so here goes. When I was in college, I was really into music. Really into music. Not that I’m not now but back then it was basically all I did, homework and attending class be damned! I lived next door to this lovely girl and she introduced me to all sorts of tunes that changed my life – Simon and Garfunkel, Rufus Wainwright, and tons of others. I actually still have a mix tape she made me – which is saying a lot because I’m in possession of only about 8% of the cd’s I owned way back now – titled “Mmm….PIE!” (thanks Jamie, I listen to this cd constantly even though it skips and trails off and generally doesn’t play well – VIVA PETE YORN!). Anyway, all this background is just to bring us to Howie Day. I know, I know, but I dug him BEFORE he went into rehab and started cavorting with Britney Spears. His second album came out and he totally fell out of my favor with his over-produced pop crap BUT his debut disc, Australia, is still one of my favorites. Thing is, since seeing him in concert at a university near me then spending a night out at the bars with him and his crew after the show (in which he did nothing but drink and repeatedly ask me for cocaine) a few years ago, I haven’t given him a second thought. But this morning I was dicking around on the Sell the Lie blog, diggin for some new tunes for the playlist today, and it seems Howie’s got a new album coming out soon. Now, I could give a shit less about that BUT it did remind me of him and his glorious one-man-guitar show of looping that he occasionally pulls out onstage. I don’t recall anything such as YouTube back in my college days so I was blessed with only shitty quality mp3’s of performances like this but seeing him in action really is awesome and cool to watch…

Even though I dig the whole thing, in all it’s reminescent glory, I recommend maybe skipping through Ghost and heading straight to the outro, Beams of Light. You’ll dig it, I’m sure :)…

[NOTE: We’re pretending together, as a sweet little group friends, that I was here yesterday. I’d give you the reason – sick grandpa being sent away from my parent’s house in an ambulance, the sick Bug (still), and of course, Valentine’s Day (which has officially been renamed Van Halen-tine’s Day around here) – but blog excuses annoy me :)]

I like the internets. A lot. Matter of fact, I always have. I remember that two of my friends were the offspring of pretty wealthy people and as such, had the internet when the rest of the world did not. And it was awesome. It’s always been to me an incredibly rad source of knowledge and general shit you didn’t know you needed to know (thank God for Wikipedia!). Once I got the internet at my own abode, it was always a refuge. Dick around for a second or two and it’s easy for things to snowball. For instance, just a bit ago I was over at the The Bedlam of Beefy and I stumbled upon this:

I balked at first over the credence that Uncle Beefy was giving to this video but seriously. It’s the most sincere and genuine thing one might find on the CrapBin that is YouTube (and yet, I still love it). Yes, it’s a sappy wedding video but damn, it is spectacular, is it not?! From the video I tracked down one Josh Goleman, apparently a cinematographer and photographer. He’s got a blog, so I went there, intrigued and honestly, blown away by the video that he did for Chap and Maura. Josh, in his spare time I suppose, likes to photograph bands and show me a picture of an interesting looking indie band, preferably including a member with a beard, and I’m on that shit. Weirdly, I’ve got the ability to look at a band and tell you right off if I’ll like their shit – call it my “This will absolutely NOT PAY THE BILLS but it’s sure cool” power, kind of like being a psychic. Anyway, Josh digs The Secret Life of Sofia (here’s their Myspace, for your listening enjoyment) so of course, I’m checking them out and lo and behold, they kind of rock my face off!

While over at Myspace I decide to use it for the only thing it’s good for (but really really good for) and that’s looking for new music. From the music page you can saunter on down towards the bottom and the’ve got every musician on Myspace listed by genre. I’m still pissed that I can’t pick one category and then sort of amend it to include a SUB-category (“SUB-category: Is it better to burn out than to fade away?”) so I could go all Folk/Rock/INDIE on Myspace’s ass but anyway. From there, I found From the Clay. Two things: a male somehow associated with this band says that he will “never shave my beard” and secondary, the first note of the first song I hear involves a banjo. Yeah, I’m good. BUT even better than that, I got here. Mmm, Seabear, how did I not know of your lovely strumming and folky violins and lilting vocals all the way from Iceland Seabearia?! Lord friends, listen to this:

{arms – from the album The Ghost That Carried Us Away :: buy}

{seashells – from the same album, naturally}

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And now I’m spent. But I’ve saved some other ‘stumbled upon’ and other pertinent goodness for tomorrow friends :)…

This time around, I’m trying to make sure that I reserve the weekends (but only the weekends, mind you) for things that aren’t work. I’m thinking maybe that’ll stave off the burnout because I’ve got days that I’m allowing myself to be okay about not working and because it might help to establish some sort of routine for me (even though I hate those!). I’m also trying to make sure that I put this down, the work and crafting and the general day to day-ness that is our lives, as cliche as that sounds.  I dig being able to go back and read about how I was feeling and what The Bug and I were doing. So even though today, being Sunday and all, is a play day I’m still here! With some good stuff too, friends…

It may sound weird but I literally cannot work if I don’t have something to listen to and typically, it’s harder for me to get into most songs that I’ve heard before. Believe me they’ve all had their fifteen minutes of Homegrown home fame and they’ve certainly served their purpose if they’ve helped me to get something done, but I prefer playlist of fresh, new tunes that get me excited, one that I can keep on for a good few days at least and still feel that silly urge to sing along. Inspiration, for me especially, is hard to come by for some reason but something good to groove on brings that creativity right up to the service. Lately, it’s really been about Andrew Bird. I’ve been slowly stumbling upon tracks from his latest record, Armchair Aprocrypha, and I’ve yet to meet one tune I dislike – if you’re into rock made with lilting whistles, violins, and just general badass-ness (I mean, how many dudes that sing about Scythians and hypothetical forms of matter actually come off as being completely rad?), you’ll dig it. There is of course Joe, as that’s been in constant rotation for a good 4 months now and I don’t see that changing anytime soon – it is seriously perfect folk, I swear to God. The Handsome Furs are I’ll admit, a set I didn’t think I could get into but lo and behold, I love it and it’s really good for those days when it’s raining or snowing and I’m just generally pissed off – makes you feel better somehow, I promise. And the New Buffalo is well, new around here. I stumbled upon this at perezhilton.com this morning, of all places (hey, I only go there for the music!).

{dark matter – Andrew Bird from the album, Armchair Apocrypha :: buy}

{just can’t get it right today – Joe Purdy from the folktastic album, You Can Tell Georgia (sound familiar?) :: buy}

{what we had – the handsome furs, from the amazing album, Plague Park :: buy}

{cheer me up, thank you – new buffalo, from the album somewhere, anywhere :: buy}

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There’s that and then there’s this. Some inspirational flikr-e-ness! I’ve been dreaming of swimming, the sun and it’s warmth, outdoor festivals, and traveling to destinations that are within are reach lately…

{All photos belong to their respective owners. Check the Flickr stream for the goods…}

{i am sam. i make things.}

This is where I detail the goods I make as I'm making them, the music I'm listening to as I discover it, and the inspiration that I stumble upon when I'm in need of it.
email :: homegrownandthebug [at] gmail [dot] com