Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Armuchee Bluegrass Festival was awesome!

The Bruce Weeks Family Band Road Mobile

This weekend at Armuchee was the best yet, in my opinion. Not only because the music was awesome (it was) and the food was incredible (it always is.), but because of the wonderful people I met. Friday morning, I was so excited I gathered up all of my things and left them by the door waiting for time to leave!

 I didn't set up my booth Friday night because by the time we got there it was really too late, but Saturday morning, I set up shop and almost right away met a really lovely woman named Sherri. She is an ovarian cancer survivor and had the sweetest spirit about her.  The doctors found the cancer while treating her for endometriosis, which she says was a God thing because ovarian cancer is sneaky and hard to detect until it is often too late. Praise Jesus for his mercy, I say! She also had very good taste because she bought some of my items for sale!
Such a great lady!
I also met this really cool girl named Tisha and her mother Mama D. They hung out with me for a while and gave me some really good ideas for Upcycled Downriver. Here's Tisha with her Sips of the South:
She also had a pretty sweet guitar named Gidget.
This weekend was pretty productive in terms of sales (YEESSS THANK YOU JESUS AND MELISSA FOR HELPING ME!) and I tried a new booth layout. Normally at this festival, my friend Josh sets up under the tent with me and sells boiled peanuts, but this year he didn't, so I made my booth more like a store where everyone could come in and look around in the shade. I really think this made a difference, and I'm going to do this every time I set up now! Look at how cute it looked!

These bags are new items and will be listed in the shop soon!
They're made out of vintage tea towels!

A really lovely man named Phillip let us borrow his outlet on his camper to run our lights, which I thought was very nice. I love how the tent looks all lit up!

After the stage shows were over that night, I went back to the camper and sat around listening to people jam and tell wild stories which, as every bluegrass festival veteran knows, is a must. Other "musts" include: staying up all night, eating gobs and gobs of food, consuming large amounts of sunflower seeds and Dr. Pepper, and getting bit by bugs.

I love bluegrass festivals so very much! I truly love the people. A man came up to the tent to tell me how he thought our band was really good and how even though he's only been playing mandolin a short while and he didn't consider himself to be very good, everyone he spoke with was encouraging him and telling him that he did amazing and to keep it up. That's the kind of people that are a part of this music. Just truly wonderful individuals.

I had a blast and I hope that everyone that came had as good a time as I did. I made a little video on my phone of part of a jam, but the visual quality isn't very good. The audio is the best part, so enjoy this little snippet of some really awesome friends playing "Freeborn Man." Sadly, for some unknown reason, I stopped recording far too soon.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Come be with us!

 Upcycled Downriver and The Bruce Weeks Family Band (BWFB) are going to be here for the weekend! Come hang out with us! We're going to play a couple of times and I've got some really cool stuff for sale that's not even in the online shop yet that I hope y'all will like. Be there or be square, y'all.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Pockets of Joy

There's been quite a buzz around the interwebs about Intentional Living. I really like the idea of soaking up all the goodness around us and being aware of it. As a culture, we are so focused on how everything affects us negatively, that we very rarely notice when good things happen to us on the small scale. I recently read Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon (purchase here if you know what is good for you) and he includes this quote by Nicholson Baker:
"If you ask yourself, ‘What’s the best thing that happened today?’ it actually forces a certain kind of cheerful retrospection that pulls up from the recent past things to write about that you wouldn’t otherwise think about. If you ask yourself, ‘What happened today?’ it’s very likely that you’re going to remember the worst thing, because you’ve had to deal with it—you’ve had to rush somewhere or somebody said something mean to you—that’s what you’re going to remember. But if you ask what the best thing is, it’s going to be some particular slant of light, or some wonderful expression somebody had, or some particularly delicious salad."
I love this quote, and I never would have known about it unless I had read Kleon's book. Austin Kleon is quickly becoming a hero of mine. Another hero of mine, Katie Daisy, illustrated a really stinkin' cute gratitude notepad that I bought for two reasons. 1. I love Katie Daisy's work. 2. It is really stinkin' cute. I've been using it every night for the past week or so. Here's my first one:
The text reads: 
bingo winnings 
a happy grandma
Keith Whitley
Katie not being dumb
Mama's laughter
funny pets

And after a week or so:

It's really wonderful when you look back and see all these little things that God has blessed you with and otherwise you might not have noticed. So here's my plan. I hope to share with you on a regular basis these little pockets of joy that keep popping up in my life.

One really awesome thing that is happening is Jared and I are swapping our current office with our guest room. The guest room will soon be a new studio that I share with Jared! The funky chair in the picture above was given to me by my brother-in-law to go in the studio. I've been cleaning and clearing out three (basement included) rooms in preparation for this room swap, and it feels really good to be purging junk and replacing it with things that are beautiful and functional.

This sweet puppy was so tuckered out after helping me clean out the basement. She looked so sweet and peaceful in Jared's lap, I had to take a picture. She's a precious pup. 

 Ophelia is enjoying the chair Ian brought over. The color combination of her fur and the chair makes me really happy. 

A very sweet student brought me this flower to put in my hair tonight. 

I've really enjoyed keeping up with all the little (and big) things God has sent my way. I'll keep y'all posted on these pockets of joy, and I hope y'all will share with me some of your own pockets of joy!