Sunday, July 24, 2011

Hobby Roulette: The Harp

I have a very tumultuous relationship with my harp.  First, there is the aesthetic joy.   Harps are beautiful, and Lyon and Healy harps are incredible.  The lines are magnificent, the wood is divine, and the scrolling artwork on the soundboard is breathtaking.  They are smooth and sturdy, feel sensuous against the skin, and my particular model has a brass crown and feet like a badass bath tub - if only I could find them.

The next layer is the guilt.  I've always been pretty piss-poor at practicing, when it comes to music.  I love to play, and feel I am transcending this mortal coil when I sing or play a particularly moving please in an ensemble.  This means that while at home, by myself, I feel kind of. . . lackluster.  It embarrasses me to make mistakes if there are humans around to hear them, and sometimes even when I'm all by myself.

Can you imagine the pressure of this magnificent creature, staring at you accusingly whenever you walk through a room?

Why don't you practice more?

You know, my strings wouldn't break so much if you tuned me every day. Twice.

What's the point of having a handcarved sitka spruce soundboard if no one ever plucks the strings?

Oh, my life. . . why am I even here?


 Our relationship status: It's complicated.

On the one hand, it hurts my back to play.

On the other, there is nothing as satisfying as playing the last arpeggio on the last note of a well executed song.

On the other hand, I am handicapped by my persevering inability to read the bass clef.  I can only memorize songs - never play them from a book fluidly.  It has to be fully memorized for me to play without starts and stops.  It is, as they say, frustrating.  I currently know two songs.  Le bummer.

On the other hand: What is my problem?  This is why I can't have nice things.  Because I agonize over them.  I feel guilty for spending my own money that I worked hard for.  What?

The third and most important thing is: the joy of making music.  I played the other night for a while and it was glorious.  I finally got my new strings in, and replaced them and tuned them, and then I sat down and played.  I love it.  It's calming, it's beautiful, and the harp is its own accompaniment. 

Can you guess what happened next?
Remind me to order a new F-string.  Because the one that broke?  Right in the middle of all dang everything.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Of Being Published, and tour de fleece, and sealing wax (or knitting)

My boss just called me at home to tell me the column I wrote for a semi-local magazine "is amazing". He said it was "Amazing". I said "OH BOY!" only partially because for dinner I have had two hot dogs and two glasses of wine. If they put any part of the column up on the magazine's website, I'll be sure to link it here so y'all can take a peek, but I am very excited.

What else is new, you might ask?

Superwash Merino in Black Magic Woman colorway, from Crown Mountain Farms.
Well, Tour de Fleece is going pretty well. For the non-spinners among you, here is a link to the 2010 Tour de Fleece entry on the Yarn Harlot's blog (blessed be her name). I haven't set any goals for myself, except to spin every day. So far I have missed only one, and I've been enjoying myself immensely. I have noticed a little soreness in my left hand and a little stiffness in the ankle region, but I haven't yet discovered whether that is work or leisure related.
Undyed Corriedale from CMF.
I've been finding very creative places to hang my yarn to dry. 
We had a wonderful time at my cousin's wedding to his wonderful wife!  I haven't asked Christopher how he feels about being pictured on the blog, so here is this picture.
Guess which feet are mine!
My knitting projects are going well, but nothing new has been finished since last I wrote.  I did finally block my Emily capelet, but I still have to take photos of it on me.  By which I mean I have to bribe someone to take photos of me wearing it and making us look good.

My Hemlock Ring Shawl and I had a minor disagreement, but that will be an entry all on its own.  Look forward to it!