Hello, loyal readers! I have much to share with you, but haven't had much time to blog of late. For this past weekend, I have a good excuse at any rate.
Saturday was the 10th Annual Golden Gate All-Day Sacred Harp Singing! (Information about the Sacred Harp and shape-note singing here and here and an example of what it's like here. Basically, we sing mostly very old hymns with four part harmonies, using shape notes which make it easier to sight-read music. Although the hymns are unquestionably Christian in content, the community is open to anyone and wonderfully welcoming to newcomers, with and without musical experience. It's one of my favorite things in this world, and I only wish I had more time for it.)
That's me and Maggie in the center of the hollow square! I lead the song "Fairfield," otherwise known as "29 on the top," referring to its page number in The Sacred Harp hymnal.
The singing was in Alameda, CA, at the Lutheran Trinity Church which is located on a beautiful, tree-lined street and surrounded by stately Victorian mansions. It was a really nice space for singing. The wood floors and ceiling made for really nice acoustics. The weather was sunny with a cool breeze, and the participants laid out an enormous spread of dishes for lunch. All in all, an idyllic day and wonderful singing.
All of these photographs are (c) 2014, Ron Sellers, shared with his permission (thank you Ron!).
You guys, it was wonderful. I was basically grinning from ear to ear the whole day. After I arrived, I realized it had been a full year since I had last sung. I don't want to let that happen again! While people often comment on how much sewing and cooking I manage to do despite having two children and a full time job, singing is one area that has taken a back seat since having kids. Before I had children, I rarely missed a weekly singing, and would go out of my way to attend singings out of town. But especially after Maggie, singing fell by the wayside in favor of hobbies (like sewing) which I can do at home with the children. Saturday reminded me: I would really like this part of my life back.
The great thing about my local Sacred Harp community, though, is that even though I've been gone for a year - and barely present at all for the past four years - the community is as warm and the friendships as strong as ever!
I had Maggie with me during the morning, and then Steve picked her up
after lunch so that I could enjoy the afternoon session without
distractions. As you can see, she clung to me while I lead a song. She was a little shy, standing in the middle of such a large group of people who were all singing at the top of their lungs, but she wasn't upset. She just snuggled and listened.
For my readers who generally come to this blog to read about sewing stuff, you may notice that me and Maggie are both wearing hand-sewns! I am wearing my Colette Violet, which I am happy to report still fits me despite three years and some weight gain! Now that's the sign of a great pattern, right? Making another one of these has been on my list for a while (and I even have some Liberty Tana lawn ear-marked for the project!), but I think I may want to tinker with the pattern a little - do an FBA and lower the bust dart. Maggie is wearing her Playdate Dress, of course. It's always fun to see handmades in situ, no? Proof that the things I make do get worn!
I met a lovely woman from Utah at the singing who commented on Maggie's dress, and then asked me - "Did you make your top? Is that a Colette pattern?" And I was like, "Um, yes! Can you be my next best friend?!" Outside of my little online community, it's rare to meet anyone who sews, let alone someone who follows sewing blogs and knows about indie patterns, let alone sews, follows sewing blogs, and sings Sacred Harp! My mind was blown.
Since last posting a finished object, I have made a Plantain t-shirt for myself, a Flashback Skinny tee and knit shorts for Joe, and several gifts. I haven't photographed or blogged these projects because (a) I've been really busy; and (b) they're pretty basic and practical, and not the most interesting items I've ever made. Well, the gifts are pretty awesome but I don't want to post them and ruin the surprise. The t-shirts and shorts had been languishing in piles for a long time, and I finished them mostly to get them out of the way so that I could start some more fun projects that I am really excited to share! .
But in the meantime, Joe's fifth birthday is this coming Sunday, and we are having a big party on Saturday! 26 awesome people RSVP'd "yes" to our casual potluck, BBQ, and cake party! Eek! We have some serious straightening up and Spring cleaning to do! And I can't believe my big guy is almost five.
One last thing. Best overheard conversation of the past week - Maggie wanted to get on my lap at the same time as Joe, so Joe says to Maggie: "Everyone wants a piece of Mama." WORD.