kcobweb: (sheep)
[personal profile] kcobweb
Via [livejournal.com profile] kassrachel, a meme: comment on this post and I'll tell you five subjects/things I associate with you. Then you post them in your lj and elaborate.

My given topics:
1. quilting 2. libraries 3. singing 4. fairy tales 5. Berkshire



1. quilting
I've always loved crafty projects, and was drawn to sewing early. I still have - somewhere - a sorta-patchwork pillow that I made from scraps at [livejournal.com profile] rivka's house when I was 10 or 11. I was so excited when 7th grade home ec covered sewing! I started a quilting project around that time which did not get finished until 10 years later. I cobbled together a few more quilts in my early 20s, learning as I went. I never had any formal training, I never worried too much about making things *square*, I had no idea how to use triangles so that the points didn't get cut off, or how to line things up...... Very much by the seat of my pants. The first full-sized quilt I ever made is still on our bed - it's quite irregular in shape, it was originally tied with yarn and has since been quilted over for reinforcement, and has many many patches. It's a labor of love and a work in progress, even 10 years later. These days, as I've learned more about how "real" quilters do it, I am realizing that I have little interest in buying coordinating fabrics from a designer's line and fussy-cutting (i.e. cutting particular shapes out) and all that. I like to think that my aesthetic derives from the true historical essence of quilting - I like to re-use and recycle. I have made several quilts in which I basically spent little-to-no money. I have coined the term (but I'm probably not being original) "recycle-crafting" to describe what I like to do - I like taking old clothes and cast-off bits from somebody else's scrap bag and making something out of what might otherwise be garbage. That it is functional as well as pretty is a huge bonus!!! I always have a couple of quilting projects in progress. I used to do everything by hand, but now I'm coming around somewhat to the benefits of machine sewing......

2. libraries

It always baffles me when people say they don't go to the library. Or they don't have a library card. That's like saying, "I don't breathe oxygen" in my world. The library has always just been my *place*. When I was a kid, we'd go on a Saturday and were allowed by my parents to check out as many books as we could carry - I remember tucking the (weekly? monthly?) stack in my arms under my chin to balance the top of the load so it wouldn't tip over. As an adult, the same holds true - though I don't check out that many books at once any more. (I can tell you - because I was just there - that right now my card has 10 books out: 4 for Elena, 2 graphic novels, and 4 "regular" fiction books. And one hold.) After graduating with a BA in English and feeling sorta directionnless and aimless (everybody sing together: "What do you do....."), my dad thought I should apply to library school, and I looked into it. My thoughts at the time were that it was "a bunch of computer stuff and the Dewey Decimal system. No way." (Or words to that effect.) Last year, while kicking around aimlessly wondering what I was going to do with my life, the idea popped into my head again. I looked up some of those schools on the internets, and lo and behold, it sounded so much more interesting! *sheepish grin* So I thought and thought and thought and then I started volunteering at the library, and knew pretty much right away that it would be a good fit. And here I am, two quarters into my degree! I have also realized that right now my crappy, low-end-of-the-totem-pole, underpaying job as a circulation clerk is really *enjoyable*. That there is a sign too, my friends.

3. singing

I've always been a singer. My mom and sister and I used to sing all the time - old folk songs, Girl Scout songs, kiddie songs, whatever. When we moved in 8th grade, I had to decide between band and chorus - and I don't think I really paused for more than half a second. Band was fine, I liked the French horn well enough, blah de blah - but I'd much rather SING. Singing was good for me in high school - got me out of my shell a bit, and I needed that. College was by and large dominated by singing, extra-curricularly (and friend-wise in some ways). As an adult, I haven't always had a musical outlet, and I've noticed that the times I haven't had a choral group to sing with line up neatly with the times of the worst depression in my life.

My sister is a professional singer - she has a doctorate and is teaching voice at the college level. She is a light lyric coloratura Soprano. I sometimes wonder if I would be the same type, if I were trained. I have never in my life had a private voice lesson.

I am a choral singer, not a solo singer. I have a decent voice, but it's not that strong, and I'm much more comfortable and happy with other people singing around me. Small group is probably ideal - but of course, nearly all of my singing is with a large chorus. I think I'm a pretty good singer these days - I don't have quite the range I used to (I've lost a couple of notes on top.... but I can still sing as high as anybody in my chorus, so nobody notices this but me) - and I am definitely a better sight-reader than I used to be. It's not about performance for me - I just love the process of getting inside a piece of music and learning it thoroughly.

4. fairy tales

Ooooo. I have always just loved fairy tales. When I was 10 or 12 or 14 (I just don't remember), my favorite aunt gave me a copy of the complete Grimm fairy tales. I read that to pieces. Over and over. When I was in college at some point, I discovered that some people, like, studied that! There was analysis and discussion and stuff! How cool! I read some of that (on my own) at the time. In some ways, it was one of my first intellectual passions that was completely independent of a class or anything institutionally imposed upon me. I still love it, but I don't read much of that stuff these days. But I'll pick up anything that's a riff on a fairy tale.......

5. Berkshire

Heh. This is kind of a funny one. I don't think I ever really imagined that I'd move back here, in some ways. But I look around me now and I'm so so so glad I did. We've been living here 2 1/2 years now, and I think I'm starting to discover the patterns here, and really feeling like I'm settling in. (I'm not always the New Person everywhere I go.....) And I'm so happy to see the snow starting to melt and the ground emerge - and that gets me so excited for spring - spring in all its muddy chilly mucky glory. I still can't believe how out-of-control green and crazy-lush the summers are here. And the autumns are beyond words, of course. And I love living in a small town. I don't miss the West at all - except for chinooks.
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