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Suitcase Living

We’ve been back in Washington for about two weeks now, and what a blenderful it has been! Not exactly my favorite smoothie, either…

It did not take very long for the crummy old rented trailer to turn into the trailer debacle; we have now moved into my mother’s guest room. This has its good and frustrating points; I don’t know that I’ve ever felt the difference between visiting and living with someone so sharply. I also didn’t know that it was possible to value a mini fridge as much as I do right now.

Had to be selective about what to cram into the guest room….sewing machine or amp? Guitar or ironing board? Since I won’t be doing any sewing for awhile, I’ve been going through mom’s boxes of stuff and posting some of it for sale on eBay. What a trip down memory lane that’s been! That she has still, from the late 60s (I had no idea) a Mattel Liddle Kiddles Talking Townhouse100_3470

that apparently had belonged to my sister really surprised me, even though I know well and good that there’s little she throws away. Does anyone remember this Mattel toy? Sooooo groovy, with the elevator! http://www.fashion-doll-guide.com/Vintage-Little-Kiddles.html

And then there are the vintage dresses 100_3422-2 that she has had closeted away for so long…I am going to be busy for weeks eBaying this stuff!

Real transition going on for Betty https://www.facebook.com/betterbettyrocker these days as well. We are now spread out over three states, and beginning to work on new material via Skype-it has been sad and exciting at the same time for all. All this followed closely on the heels of four songs recorded in August at Dogwater Studios http://www.dogwaterstudios.com/ over three memorable days! We hope to meet up in December to play a show-stay tuned!

So that’s my life at the moment…trying to maintain some creative flow and establish structure and routine while living out of my suitcase.

 

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Music On The Road

I5 Bridge Portland

I’ve decided to write about my relocation experience from Nevada back up to Washington, where I lived prior to Nevada. This move will involve an interim stint in a rented travel trailer while we build a small apartment over a garage to live in. I have no idea how I’ll carry on with music, sewing and other creative projects in said travel trailer, but I’m going to try!

I’m writing on the road from Roseburg, Oregon. Today began with tears as I left the gas station in Carson City; people I’ve come to love are in Nevada, and indeed, most of my reinvented identity-how do I know it will follow, and if not, where the heck might it go? In other times I’m not troubled by such thoughts, but putting this scenario in motion has dragged up emotions I wasn’t aware I had. On this trip up I’ll drop my car off, fly back to Reno, and do the actual move next week…

Driving with such a heavy heart called for music that would take me out of my troubled head, and I’d packed a bag (yeah, the real thing, no Bluetooth or whatever for old-school me!) of Zeppelin cds.

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Yes. John Paul Jones, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Bonham, wherever you all are, you should know about the enduring magic of your art. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDwotNLyz10

 

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The Music That Carries Us Through

Lately my head has been a jumble of all the things that come into play when I’m in song writing mode. That means swirling bits of all of the millions of hours of music I’ve ever listened to…I don’t even want to estimate those hours-it probably IS in the millions… The drummer in my band, Rick, is a huge 311 fan and the other day mentioned in a post how their music has carried and supported him when he’s needed it. I was thinking about that-how music can be a lifeblood for some of us- while reading a Rolling Stone article about the current Spirit/Led Zeppelin copyright infringement case http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/jimmy-page-testifies-as-stairway-to-heaven-spirit-trial-heats-up-20160616 . The line between being influenced by a song you absolutely love, perhaps a song you’ve had in your head for years, and actually playing nearly the same thing is a blurry grey one sometimes. Where do those particularly phrased notes and riffs come from? When I occasionally succeed in nailing down an idea for a new song, I know it means that the swirling bits have settled down into something I can use.

RockSummer of 77

These thoughts brought to mind my now practically ancient music scrapbook. Really this is just an ugly old blue binder that I filled with notebook paper and taped clippings from favorite bands into back in the mid 70s. I’d like to share some of it here and in future posts. But back to music as such a force in our lives…I know it is why I likely began clipping, jotting down song lyrics and listening to the first of those millions of hours of music as a young person, and apparently why I’ve been unable to toss the old binder.

Boz Scaggs collage Boz Scaggs always did it for me, and my copy of Silk Degrees is just about worn through!

DB collageSo many very personal memories attached to early Bowie. I still remember listening to Rebel Rebel from the cassette player in the truck of a boy my parents didn’t want me seeing. I’ve always experienced David Bowie as alternately defiant and lovely.

PicMonkey Collage BOCOh, Blue Oyster, how I love you still. This has to be one of the records that made me want to make heavy guitar sounds (Dad said no, so this didn’t happen for another 35 years). Awesome, incredible band. The song Dominance And Submission https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DiF8uSulVc0 on the record I have pictured here, Secret Treaties, is cool sounding still, with a great riff and jaw dropping outro solo. Buck Dharma is one of my heroes indeed!

So here I am, about to post this and then go listen to a rough track of a new Betty song and try to figure out the rest of my parts. The missing bits are probably already swirling around in my head.

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Inspiration, Shyness, And Self Promotion

One month into 2016 and I find I’m groveling a bit for inspiration to fuel my denim creations. Last week I did my second ever children’s piece which was truly fun to do http://bettyrockwear.com/product/girls-colorful-denim-vest-size-6/ and something I look forward to doing again.

But there’s a struggle at play here, too. It’s the resistance I encounter within myself when I’m inspired to cut loose and just try anything. Last year I found a lovely, simple, ivory short-sleeved lace bodice wedding dress with an elaborate floor-length bow in back; I’ve had so many ideas for making a denim wedding jacket (a denim wedding jacket??) but have yet to take scissors to that piece and begin. And then there’s another part to the struggle-getting the word out. Just yesterday afternoon I was having a phone conversation with a very dear old friend about how my very own shyness gets in the way of self promotion; it’s a tough thing to manage in this endeavor, but I’ve decided to soldier on…

One of the best examples I’ve seen of just cutting loose denim (yeah, I know, but I think of this as cutting loose rather than cutting edge) is this brilliant idea from C & C Pop-Up Shop http://cncpopupshop.com/cncpopupshop/2014/2/10/diy-upcycled-denim-jackets

fabulous, isn’t it?

How do you meet your resistance head on?

 

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Things To Do, Books To Read, In 2016

End of the first week of January already, and I’ve not begun any of the projects that escaped me during the last few months of 2015. I had envisioned, from day one of this new year, new creations emerging from the sewing table, signing up for springtime craft fairs, cramming for a rock show, etc. But! Not one of those things has happened; the slate’s instead been full of mundane catch up.

Sometimes the desire to just check out and escape in a good book nearly outweighs the desire to make exciting things happen-ever feel like that?

In the case of that happening-or if I find some time-this looks like some truly entertaining rock and roll reading:

https://twitter.com/littlesteven_ug/status/681894570611863552

Happy New Year!

 

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Betty’s Busy Life

Betty has been busy with both hats on!

Over the summer we https://www.facebook.com/betterbettyrocker had a fantastic time playing a number of shows in the Reno-Carson-Tahoe area. We debuted a few new

      DR0000_0428.mp3

songs (that aren’t really new anymore!) and are now taking a break while we work on new material as it turns cold here in Northern Nevada.

Black Tshirts jeans Betty Rocker (2)

At this writing I’m prepping for a local craft fair http://carsonnow.org/reader-content/11/10/2015/1121-young-heart-holiday-craft-fairraffle the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Hopefully a few fair-goers will be inspired to get a new denim jacket or vest for their inner punk rocker! http://bettyrockwear.com/product/betty-rocker-denim-zip-jacket-with-faux-fur-trim/

I have also been having fun doing simple loom knitting, covering a couple of birthday gifts as well as some upcoming holiday gifts; very gratifying, loom knitting.

For now, back to the sewing machine, and then on to the guitar and the search for a cool riff 🙂

Faux fur side close up

 

 

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Get Inspired By Fabric Art!

Life sometimes has a way of preventing the happy swirl of creativity in my head from turning into something real, be it a song or a piece of art. The swirl seems to break up into tinier and tinier bits until it’s just dust. But it’s also the signal that I have too much on my plate, emotionally and otherwise, and that it’s time to clear it away and seek some fresh inspiration.

Some months ago I was given a copy of The Art Of Fabric Collage by Rosemary Eichorn  http://www.tauntonstore.com/the-art-of-fabric-collage-rosemary-eichorn-070703.html as a gift and flipped through, dismissing this type of fabric art as being far beyond any sewing ability that I might have. But, there is some amazing art in there, and so I have lately been again flipping through with more of a sense of adventure; I’d love to do this!!

Another terrific inspiration is the crazy beautiful wearable art offered by Pat Berryhill of Magpie Dreams http://www.magpiedreams.net/apparel.html like the gorgeous piece here:

What do you do when life intrudes and hampers your creative sense?

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A Blazer For Every Occasion

A Blazer For Every Occasion

Have you ever wondered about the origin of that closet staple, the blazer? Likely closets everywhere have at least one of these in residence. It would be tough indeed to find another garment with such broad style range, and one that serves us in so many ways throughout our lives. So varied is the blazer that it can top off your power interview outfit or lend you ultra coolness for your next rockshow.

From around 1825 to the Mod revival of the late 70s through today, the blazer has done it all! The Wiki history of this iconic wardrobe staple makes for entertaining reading:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blazer

100_1754 (2) 100_1764 (2)