10 August 2011

It's My Party: Birthday Week Giveaway Day 3

"The first sign of maturity is the discovery that the volume knob also turns to the left." ~Jerry M. Wright

Continuing my theme of things that Erin likes for her self-indulgent birthday week, I turn to music.

I have always liked music. And I have eclectic tastes. From Mozart to Def Leppard. From Taio Cruz to Katie Perry. From Carrie Underwood to Kenny Loggins. My mother liked to listen to Peter, Paul and Mary and had every Beatles album. My dad liked big band and swing and crooners. I like to mix things up and I like variety.

When I am in my studio it can get sort of lonely. I spend a lot of time down here. And that is great if you are in the throes of creating, but bad if you don't pay attention to time. Up until earlier this year I never had a clock in my studio so I never knew how late I was up. That's not true. I had a clock. But it was one of those artsy-fartsy home store clocks where there are no numbers, only hash marks at 3-, 6-, 9- and 12-. Needless to say, I wasn't very good at knowing what time it was.

One way that I can keep track of time is by listening to something. I discovered the joys of Hulu and Pandora over the past year. I love it! It is entertaining, soothing, inspiring and helps me know how much time has passed.

For instance, I know that I have been sitting here too long when Pandora stops playing (as they did just now) and puts up a message that says "Are you still listening?" Yep. I think it is time to step away.

And I love putting on some favorite episodes on Hulu. I am particularly enamored of Glee and Raising Hope. But I have also watched Project Runway and all the episodes of the short lived Dilbert cartoon. (Kathy Griffin plays Alice. Hysterical!)

I have different playlists on Pandora. There are ones for when I am in a peppy mood, or a Glee mood, or a 80s mix. But more often than not I need to have music that is less abrasive, contemplative, melodic and soothing. Or, in the words of Pandora

"Based on what you've told us so far, we're playing this track because it features mellow rock instrumentation, a subtle use of vocal harmony, mild rhythmic syncopation, acoustic rhythm piano, and a vocal-centric aesthetic."

Wow. Pandora really knows me.

Here is a sampling of the music that is playing tonight:

Missy Higgins - Where I Stood
John Mayer - I'm Gonna Find Another You
Beyonce - Best Thing I Never Had
Journey - Separate Ways
Dinah Washington - Is You or Is You Ain't My Baby?
Adele - That's It, I Quit, I'm Moving On
Jack Johnson - Breakdown
Rascall Flatts - I Won't Let Go

I love it particularly when Pandora suggests songs that I might like. And even more that I have the ability to cut them off. When I am listening to music I find that I am am focused. And the music that I chose sets the tone for what I am making as well.

Since it is also Bead Table Wednesday, I thought I would share with you some shots of the inks that I am using in the studio for my latest 'simple truths'. The center pictures shows the assortment of this month's 'simple truth' sampler club that should be reaching them about now. They each received a random charm. I pray that I chose wisely for each of them.

August 'simple truths' sampler club
Here is what I told the participants this month:

Lately I have been thinking about my word for the year: FOCUS. I seem to have lost a little bit of that along the way. Do you ever feel like that? As if your life is out of whack? I need to redouble my efforts if I am going to get back on this FOCUS train. And I started thinking about what it is that I need to FOCUS most on. So here you have the charm for August 2011, FOCUS on what really matters.

Instead of an image decided to go with a very homey feeling and was channeling quilt squares. At the center of each is a word: JOY - PEACE - LOVE - LIFE - HOPE. The pendants are randomly assigned and I truly hope that like a fortune cookie, you receive the exact one that is meant for you. These soft colors are the new finish that I have been delighted to use. The inks that I am using (as opposed to the paint from the June) give the pieces a very light watercolor feel, almost translucent yet something timeworn and well loved. 

I feel very blessed that I can share my love of making these special charms with those who have signed up for the club. When I started this back in May I had no idea how many spaces would be filled. I offered different options to encourage participation at whatever felt most comfortable. The choice is 3-, 6-, 9- or 12- months subscription. I have a few at 6- or even 12- months, but most were at the 3-month level. I hope that they feel that they received a value for what they paid, and maybe even sign up for another three or more months.

I have a limit of 20 participants per month. I just picked up the 10th participant. But after this month there will be several that are done with their subscription, which means there is a potential for more spaces open.

Why cap it at 20? I wanted it to be special. I also find it incredibly challenging to make the same exact thing over and over. Those who do production work on their beads, I applaud you. I just can't make it work.

I will be keeping the introductory prices the same for a few months longer. After that time, the price will increase. If you are sitting on the fence, I encourage you to come and play. And check out the Flickr group to see what people have done with them (wowzer! There are some great designs there!). I hope that the entries there will keep adding up, and I have a random giveaway each quarter. It gives me great pleasure to see what people do with my components.

It's My Party: Birthday Week Giveaway Day 1
It's My Party: Birthday Week Giveaway Day 2

For today's birthday giveaway, I will share one of the pendants from August with a random winner. (It will be a random word and color - don't worry! It will be lovely!) Ready to win? All you need to do to enter is answer one of the following questions. Winner will be chosen at random from all comments on this post through Saturday, August 13th.You MUST have your email turned on in your profile to win, or provide your email in your comment. (A good way to know if you are entered is if I reply to you by email. I make a point of answering every comment ;-)Winner will be announced next week.

What music is on the soundtrack of your life? What are you listening to right now in your car, on your iPod or on your clock radio to wake up to? I am always looking for some new great music. 
Or what do you feel that you need to FOCUS on that really matters right now?
Do share!


Davinia said...

Well I'm listening in my car to a group Called the Black Keys. I have to confess it's the first CD I've bought for many a long year and probably not what you would imagine a slightly overweight, grey haired lady of a mature age to be listening to, but I love it. So if you see an overweight, grey haired mature age lady bopping away at the traffic lights......wave, it's probably me!

Cameron said...

Hi Erin!

Happiest of Birthdays to you, Sweetie! I'm so glad I popped in to see what you've been keeping yourself busy with.....you create pure magic!

As far as my answer, I think what I need to focus on more is my health. I was doing so well 2 years ago, but since buying the house, not working and coming home from a 30 day vacation.....I'm doing more waddling than walking these days...not pretty!
I realize that my brain will work more efficiently, I'll have more energy and I'm not getting any younger.....time to reclaim my waist...and hopefully a long life ahead of me :)

So glad all is well with you!
My best,

steufel said...

Oh Erin, one day to go till your birthday. Love what you do with us this week. It is your birthday and we can celebrate:-) That is really, really generous. Regarding your question - Right now I'm mad bout Bag Raiders - Way back home


LOVE that song!

Anonymous said...

Hi Erin! For some reason I don't listen to music anymore. I'm not sure why, but I tend to listen to Hay House Radio if anything. Perhaps that is telling to focus on myself?

Thank you for the chance to win one of your wonderful pendants!

Lori Bowring Michaud said...

Happy early birthday Erin, you are so generous. I am a huge country music fan, so anything country always pleases me. I am loving Kenny Chesney's duet with Grace Potter (who is not a country singer and her music is fabulous) "You and Tequila". I am enjoying Adele's 21 (my almost 21 year old got me listening to her). And, I've pretty much enjoyed anything Jason Aldean has put out recently as well!

Mary K. McGraw said...

Your posts this week have been a great way to celebrate a birthday. I love music and am especially fond of singer-songwriters. My favorite new artist is someone I saw live at the 30-A Songwriters Festival in So Walton County FL earlier this year. Her name is Daphne Willis. Check her out.

SummersStudio said...

I love those colours on your August pendants! The translusence and jewel like quality is really lovely. I also like the idea that they have gone out like fortune cookies. We all need a little fortune cookie wisdom in our lives :-)

I've think I've given up on focus as something of an unattainable goal. Which is quite strange for me given that I am the ultimate list maker, project planner. I used to do research project management for a living. I was good at it but it stressed me to the point where I had very little joy in life and had developed unhealthy habits to deal with the stress. So maybe, for me, unfocuss, is a better way. I still make lists and still have goals. I just don't worry myself about getting it all done. It seems that my creative energy flows better that way.

Music is transformative and my taste is quite eclectic as well. I do know that when I feel down or out of sorts, turning music on often turns things around. Next to books, or maybe right beside them, music has also been my friend and refuge.

Christine said...

Happy Birthday - what a fun birthday week! Your pendants are beautiful - all of the colors are gorgeous! I wake up with coffee and the newspaper, but when I'm out and about in the family "taxi", it's "old school" AC/DC & Ozzy, but I also have Adele's CD in my van, which is a great listen.

Alice said...

Yay, I got my Simple Truths charm yesterday! It's lovely!!!!

When I'm in my car (the only time I listen to the radio)I switch to a different station whenever there is a commercial. I'll listen to anything but rap. I'm terrible about knowing the song titles and the artist, but at one time I couldn't get enough of Pink's song 'Glitter in the Air'. Such a lovely song.

Therese's Treasures said...

Hi Erin Happy Birthday week! I'm a Jazzy Blues person I love to fill my CD player (it holds 6)sit down and block out the rest of the world and just create. My favorite artists are Miles Davis, Chris Boti, and Nora Jones just to name a few.

Unknown said...

You had me at Def Leppard!!!! I also listen to a wide range of music but I always tend to revert to my favorite hairbands of the 80's when I need a charge. Isn't it awesome that Jon Bon Jovi is still hot after all these years! In the car I usually listen to the lastest Hip Hop (I am a closet HipHop Dancer but it is not pretty)

Hey it is your Birthday so shouldn't we be showering YOU with gifts? My gift for today is "gratitude" for all the inspiration and support you offer from your heart!


KayzKreationz said...

In my car right now I have Rascal Flatts, Forester Sisters, Three Dog Night and Martina McBride. I love Martina's renditions of the old classic country singers. But if I want to really get rocking, Three Dog Night goes on REALLY loud. :) Love them. And while I've been focusing on family mostly for the last several months, I really need to focus on my Etsy shop and get some more things listed. But my family always comes first, so we'll see. :)

melissa meman said...

Happy Birthday Week!!! I would love a pendant! My favorite all time artist is Joni Mitchell and I listen to her music from her entire career span a lot! Other loves are opera (since I sing it), blues and jazz. I do top 40 in the car, but not usually while I am working.

Pine Ridge Treasures said...

Hi, Erin! Happy Birthday week to you. Thanks for the opportunity to win one of your pretty pendants. The music I listen to is mostly 70s arena band stuff like Boston. I also listen to Carly Simon and some 80s music like Madonna and Prince.


Cristina Norcross said...

My e-mail is Bookndz@yahoo.com. I would love to have my name thrown in the hat for one of your inspirational pendant centerpieces. I am an ekphrastic poet. I was included in the Verse & Vision anthology through Gallery Q. I often listen to music to help my words flow and to create atmosphere. For over a year I have been listening to the same Weepies CD, because the introspective lyrics cause me to journey to new places in my poetry that I might not have gone to otherwise. Music, art, dance, writing, artisan jewelry - we all fuse together in a wondrous concoction of creativity! Blessings to you on your journey, Cristina Norcross

Cynthia said...

I did receive my pendant on Monday. I got the pink-magenta one in the photo that says "Life". Love it! and I promise to get some photos on Flickr soon!
I think you'd have to be schizophrenic to listen to all these different genres! I guess we all have Beads in common, but not taste in music!
My favorite right now is Daughtry! Yes, I'll confess I watch Idol, and, no, I do not have a teenage girl in my house. But it's the perfect music to listen to when I'm at the gym.
I also listen to some old-timey bluesy stuff like Norman Blake (he's from the Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?" soundtrack). And weekends also include Stan Getz's Bossanova and Israel Kamakawiwo'ole - Over the Rainbow - his voice is haunting!
I know I'm a subscriber, but I still would love to win another of your simple truths - Can't get enough of them!

moonlitfantaseas said...

Hi Erin.......I have to say I am really loving your posts this week! so real insights into you, I recieved my charm a few days ago, I got the "love" charm and I do love it!

KJ said...

Happy Birthday week! I'm a little late with the prezzie, but it'll get in the mail eventually (like, maybe Saturday? yes, that sounds like a good goal). I definitely need more focus - I tend to be really good at studiously ignoring the things I really OUGHT to be focusing on.

As for music, I'm all over the map. My iPad has everything from Country (Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert) to Classic Rock (The Who, Janis Joplin, Queen, etc.) to Hip Hop (Run DMC, Usher) to Pop (Britney Spears, Kesha, Beyonce, etc.) Currently, my favorite song on there that I'm playing over and over is "Runaway Baby" by Bruno Mars.

Holly said...

Happy Birthday week to you! I've been following your week all along, but haven't had any time to really comment....but I'm glad I do have a smidge of time today :) Music is definitely an important part of my life - I usually have something playing for most part of the day! It's a distractor when needed, helps me focus at other times, and also at times can help me let flow the creative energy where it needs to go. It's also very much a mood-interpreter for me (my husband says he can tell how I'm feeling by what I listen to)!

My musical tastes are quite eclectic. I grew up as a child of the 80's, and yet my parents had the folk and motown sounds flowing through the house at all times. I can appreciate any music, in it's many varieties! Right now, on my iPod, I have a number of Glee tunes (closet Gleek here), Foster the People, Darius Rucker, much country, Sarah Barielles, some great Motown hits, Peter Paul and Mary, Bon Jovi, AC/DC,and well, a huge variety!

Rebecca said...

Happy, happy birthday again Erin! I'm excited to get my sampler :-) I'll definitely be signing up again. I need. To focus on getting organised within my life - getting fit and losing a bit of weight, and getting a timetable of my week to make sure I make certain goals (singing goals!) every week. As for what's on my iPod....I'm like you, I have eclectic and broad tastes in music. I love Bach, Mahler, Schubert, I'm currently working on some Brahms lieder so I'm listening to some of that. But also Adele (am singing some at a wedding tomorrow, not my usual stuff but I'll give it a good go!), Glee and an old favourite, Carole King's Tapestry. One of my mum's discs which I got out when at home last week, brought back so many fond memories and now it's on repeat :-) linking back to Monday's post, I am a huge audiobook fan.....x

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Week, Erin!!!!! I hope you are enjoying your birthday as much as everyone is enjoying these lovely giveaways!
As for a soundtrack for my life, that's a tough one, so let's just go with who I'm listening to right now. That would be Ani Difranco! She's a awesome indie/folksy artist that I tend to listen to when working on jewelry! She voice and lyrics set me into a creative mode! Oh, and then there is the deep voice of Josh Turner, sets my heart all a flutter, my husband rolls his eyes every time I play the CD!

Erin, I wish you a wonderful birthday and year of focus, inspiration, peace and love! Happy Birthday!!

Unknown said...

I am currently listening to mostly Country but also like Metallica, Elton John, Coldplay, Bangles, and Evanescence(to name what I can think of).

rosebud101 said...

I've lately developed a taste for Opera. I have been listening to the Priests CD. Love that one!

stregata said...

Just stopping in to wish you a most Happy Birthday! May your days be filled with sunshine and rain, laughter and tears, love and friendship.

stregata said...

OOps, two minutes too early. But - it is the 11th here...

Unknown said...

Music just really moves the Soul! My music today is Insence and Peppermints by The Strawberry Alarm Clock. A blast from the past! I Love to hear David and The Giants a Christian group. They sing this one Song "Noah" about him building the Ark and many people laughing at him! It is a great song..ox

Mary Harding said...

Happy Birthday Erin. Wonderful to see all the pics of your family. They are lucky to have you and so are we.

Dawn Doucette said...

Music does play such an important role in life... in our creativity and in our mood. In my Honda I have an 80s station I just love, then I also have a station that is a mix of mellow from from the 70s, 80s and 90s.

When I'm creating, the music I love is soft peaceful music like Enya or bizarre as it sounds, pure silence. When they say silence is golden, they mean it. Without any music on, it allows my creative soul to do ALL the talking!


swopemelmel said...

I love all genres of music. From My beloved Barry Manilow to Broadway show tunes to heavy metal, Opera and everything in between. I listen to Am radio alot to relax and catch some really old and unusual tunes.
Lately I've been listening to Florence and the Machine and Ellie Goulding and also two Canadian artists, Jenn Grant and Kensington Prairie. Some of my favorite music to create to is Enigma. I LOVE PANDORA. swopemelmel@aol.com

Laura S Reading said...

this is one of those questions where I'll have to read everyone's answers! I love discovering new-to-me music. I am very old school.
I have been listening to uptempo things while I've been house cleaning and for some reason the soundtrack to Beverly Hills cop works well. Bob Seger, Pointer Sisters, 80s psychodelic bop.

wismomworks(at) gmail (dot) com

CraftyHope said...

I like your tactic of using the pandora breaks to take your own. I tend to set a timer myself to get to stop and do something else for a bit.
As far as the music I listen to. . .My favorite Pandora station is my "BareNaked Ladies" station that plays (obviously) the BareNaked Ladies, Counting Crows, Jack Johnson, the Indigo Girls, Sublime, REM, Tom Petty, Blind Melon, Dave Matthews, Jonathan Colton, etc.
I too like that they suggest new music as I do get stuck in a rut sometimes. I've found some great artists via Pandora.

Erin S said...

You know I dig those simple truths pendants, baby!
My favorite music right now is Guster (I like the old stuff better than the new stuff, which is usually the case with me) for its unadulterated "catchiness" Also, the Adelle 21 CD is smokin' but kind of depresses me if I listen to the lyrics. (somebody really done that girl wrong, and it reminds me of old flames that also done me wrong.) Also, Robert Plant has reinvented himself so many times it makes your head spin. Check out the CD with Alison Krause.

Shannon Chomanczuk said...

First, thank you for sharing the links because I had no clue about the club and I will be checking it out after I read the posts. i was told by my life coach to step away from blog reading and computers to re-find my muse which seems to have gone astray with all my connectedness.
Second, i love Colbie Callait and Adele. i have them both on repeat :-)

Kym Hunter Designs said...

I love the necklace that's in your banner! As far as music, my alarm clock, car radio and work computer are all tuned in to 94.9 KLTY. It's a Christian radio station and it helps me keep a positive focus on life and stay relaxed during stress while driving or at work. My computer at home is loaded with classic rock from my teen years, cause sometimes I need to go back in time and feel young again. Thank you for sharing your birthday week with us! You look amazing in your pretty red dress and you should definitely wear it to the store!

Grubbi said...

My ipod is chock full of stuff but I've been relistening to old Radiohead albums. There's two songs by Radiohead that I just love. One is called "True Love Waits" and the other "Talk Show Host"...must be played loud! Another guy I just discovered on Youtube is a guy called Josh Kumra, he has a song called Stand Your Ground which is just lyrically beautiful and his voice is amazing.
And finally, a guy called "Wretch 32" is releasing a song this week called "Don't Go" featuring Josh Kumra and it's just fabulous, have pre-ordered it on Itunes but listening on Youtube in the meantime.

Anonymous said...

The music that is on the soundtrack of my life is definitely U2. Their entire catalog is like a best friend, for me.

Jungleland by Bruce Springsteen is what is spinning on my computer as I type this post. :)

rockcreekcreations said...

My pandora is constantly tuned to the Jay Brannan channel. He is this cute, young, indie singer who does his own music plus tracy chapman, beatles and other cover songs. On youtube, he does videos for his songs from his bathroom.

He's wonderful!!

Tam said...

Happy birthday! I have enjoyed finding your blog and truly appreciate your recent post regarding setting up an Etsy store (this activity is in my list of things to do in the coming year as I creep up on a birthday of my own).

I don't know that I have a life soundtrack, but here are some of the most recent artists in play: Joanna Newsom, St. Vincent, Andrew Bird, Elliot Smith, The Delgados, The Shins, Echo & the Bunnymen, Of Montreal, David Bowie, and Otis Redding.

Should also mention that I am admiring your work (your pendants are lovely!) and wishing you every success.

Kathleen Lange Klik said...

Happy Birthday! I have been listening to The Sunshine Underground for the past six months! Both albums are fantastic. Right now, I am focusing on moving forward with my jewelry design/business while still maintaining my photography career. I have been a photojournalist (professionally) since 1999. I decided to turn my love for jewelry design into a business January of 2011. So I am trying to successfully maintain both businesses and it is sometimes challenging to focus on two things!

Lucid Moon Studio said...

I am always looking for music suggestions as well. I need upbeat, fast paced music with a good beat to run to. I hate when I have to skip through 10 songs on my iPod to get to a good song! I like most songs by the Black Eyed Peas lately, especially "I Got a Feeling".

Susanm said...

I am listening to lots of dance music lately - my 10 year old son has discovered am radio and we listen to it in the car. Some of it is awful, but I hve been introduced to Bruno Mars, Adele and Katy Perry. Some of the lyrics are not appropirate for my son, but listening to the songs together gives us an opportunity to discuss the words.

I am not sure my email function is turned on - my email is mcclelland@sympatico.ca

Shai Williams said...

I have found that I can't listen to music much anymore. One of the worst aspects of my fibro is that I am really sensitive to sounds and well I like my music louder. What I do instead is listen to podcasts when I am working in my studio

Creations by Kari said...

I know this is not a very exciting answer, but U2 has been the soundtrack to my life ever since I started listening to them in Jr. High. I have an entire playlist on my ipod devoted to U2 and that is my fallback playlist. Generally, my taste tends to be alternative, with lots of 80s music, some hip/hop and the occasional pop song. I've recently added Muse, Florence and the Machine and 30 Seconds to Mars.


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