Red is the Rose

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I’m just learning to play the mandolin and I’m finally able to play something that sounds like a very distant relative of music.  I’ve really enjoyed learning this piece, and while it’s far from perfect I’d like to go ahead and share it with you.

This is a lovely Irish folk song about someone who has lost his true love.  It’s called “Red is the Rose.”

Now that you’ve suffered through my noise, I thought I’d share this version by Nanci Griffith and the Chieftans.  Hearing this was what inspired me to learn the song myself.  I’ve got a long way to go, but I’m glad to be on a path.

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Monster Mitts

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One day at work, someone walked into the store wearing the most wonderful hooded scarf.  The outside was covered in blue faux fur.  Black material was used to make horns going down the back of the hood and claws at the end of the scarf.  The end of the scarf had pockets so when you used the pockets you suddenly had claws instead of hands.  The girl who was wearing the hood, said that it made her feel like one of the Wild Things.  After seeing that, I knew I had to make something.  Something Monster-y. So I made two little monsters.  Their favorite food is fingers.

The Mighty Mighty Messenger Bag

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The Mighty Mighty Messenger Bag

The greatest band in the universe is the Mighty Mighty BossTones.  At least that is the answer you would get if you asked my husband.  Many of his favorite memories from college involve getting together with his friends to go the the BossTones.  He still goes to see them as often as he can.  One time, I got to go with him to one of these shows.  It was one of the loudest experiences of my life – I had a boat load of fun and I felt so privileged to be able to share in something that is so special to him.

All of the text and Otis the band’s mascot were
hand stitched to the front flap of the bag

At every show, my husband has this traditions of buying a shirt.  Sometimes he would by two.  These shirts have been well cared for and have lasted years, but some of them are starting to show some serious wear.  It was time to start retiring some of the shirts.  But I couldn’t just throw them away.  These shirts were so much more than just t-shirts.  They were Memories.  So we took a few of the worst shirts out of rotation and I stored them.

Inside, the bag is lined with a beautiful
blue and green plaid called “Black Watch.”

The shirts sat and waited patiently while I thought about what to do with them.  Finally, I cam across the perfect idea.  I would make a messenger bag.  Sure, I had never made a bag before, but that’s what the library and the Internets are for: finding stuff out.

Making this bag took several months.  There was research to be done.  Lots of research.  Also a lot of trial and error as I learned to construct the bag.  Lastly, there was a lot of trying to keep this bag a secret from my husband.  By the time the bag was finished there was no longer a convenient occasion to formally present it.  I would have had to wait weeks to give it as an anniversary present and once the bag was complete, well, that was simply not possible.  Secrets are not my strong point.  So after the bag was finished, I draped it across my husband’s chair and waited for him to find it.  He loves it.

The bag in action!