15 September 2009

Jammin' Out

Isn't he cool?

Last winter on a trip to Target, Hero got lost from me. I found him in the electronics section drooling (a little) over an electronic drum set. He said he had always wanted to learn to play the drums. I never knew that! I thought I knew everything about my best friend, but I didn't know how much he had wished he was a drummer.

Lucky for both of us, his birthday was just around the corner, so I filed this drum idea in the "present idea" section of my brain. (It is important to me to give gifts that are meaningful, that I think the recipient will really love, and if it is a surprise for them, it is even better. Sometimes that is a challenge, so I was grateful for the idea.)

He was surprised and he did love the drum set! He played it for hours, so much so, that after about 3 weeks, it didn't work quite right anymore (not to mention it was getting pretty beat up looking!) So, he returned it, but decided against another one just like it, since obviously it wasn't nearly durable enough.

Hero is a "Craig's List" fan. He has found so many treasures and saved us lots of cash in the process. (Among them - more than one car, car parts, an electric guitar and exercise equipment.) So began the search for a drum set. It took some time, but that did not keep Hero from practicing. Once he had found it, he did not want to let the dream go again. He drummed on pillows, counters, his steering wheel and any other horizontal surface that could withstand the abuse of his drum sticks.

And then he found it. The drum set he must have known in the pre-existence. Sadly, it was a little out of our price range. But with nothing to loose, Hero made an offer. After a few weeks, while continuing his search, the seller accepted the offer. Horray! We drove right over to pick them up. The seller was a teenager, who's father (politely, I'm sure) asked him to get the drums out of the house. We found them in their garage (one to be envied, with a hoist and a few very cool cars, not that Hero noticed). Money and drums exchanged hands, and we were soon home setting these babies up.

They are loud! (I'm sure I can understand a frustrated father's desire to dispose of them!) Hero is pretty diligent about practicing, although not as much now as school is back in session. He gets lessons on-line, and practices the same beat patterns over and over. And his left hand is getting the hang of cooperating, too (that one is a little uncontrollable sometimes!) I hear some great rhythms coming from those drums!
One of the only things I asked Hero when he wanted to get a drum set was that he share. I knew once we adopted the drums, everyone would want to have their moments of rocking glory. I was right - they are just too irresistible! We have lots of musicians here, so they all sound pretty good on them.
But no one loves them like Hero. He has embraced the dream, is dedicated to improving and drums away.
So cool.

01 September 2009

Crafty Area

I just moved!
When we first moved to this house, I was able to have a "Crafty Area" in the basement, which was great. I set up two tables to work at, had cute stools and a re-done chair, an accessory rack that kept all my little crafty things easy to see and get to, but neat and orderly. I had a bookshelf, a rubber stamp cabinet, a paper shelf, a dresser to hold odds and ends and a drawer unit (from IKEA) for fabric. It was so easy to work there and I really felt inspired.
Then Darren got a drum set.
It was my idea to relocate the crafty area around the corner from that spot, to make room for the exercise equipment, so that the drum set could have a home, too. In the move, the bookshelf was extracted and one table (a very cool old drafting table that I hated having in the basement anyway) found a new home in our front room (and the stool, too. They look great in there!) I did some editing, and made the new space work quite nicely. Hero is so good about running with my ideas, so we were done in no time, and all was well.
Until I got the idea to move it all up to the loft. Once I had the idea, it was hard to let it go. All the natural light, being closer to the rest of the family while I was crafting and just the idea of a little change were hard to resist. So, Hero once again agreed to move the heavy stuff, and we hauled it all up two flights of stairs (And a loveseat, antique sewing machine and victrola down!)
Here is how it looks now:

I love it!

This is the closet in Lauren's room that I took over (Don't feel too bad, she has a very large walk-in for herself!) It is so nice to have a closet to put everything in, and then close the doors. The top shelf has boxes of stamp supplies, tissue, old music and paints. (Did not make the picture!)

This table is Hero and I's first kitchen table that we found in a really cute consignment shop in downtown Northville a million years ago. It has a pretty indestructable (fake) leather top. The bowl holding the markers was found at a garage sale. Alex and I went out one day and promised that we would buy at least one thing from evey sale we stopped at. At the time, it was a desperate purchase to fulfill the promise, but I love it. It reminds me of that special day with her. The accessories rack made it up from the basement, but got edited. It is about 1/2 the length it used to be. And the "create" letters - motivation from my good freind Ellen (who is exceptionally clever and creative herself!)

Hero made the ribbon rack for me which is so terrific - How can a person not want to use all these fun colors and patterns? The button jar is FULL and a lot of projects sport one or two. The magnet board was the first project done in the new area. It was Brenden's old board, but was a little too plain for this location. I mod-podged old sheet music all over, put typewriter key stickers on the magnets (too bad you cannot see how cute those are) and ta-da! It belongs!
The best thing about my crafty area are the little things that inspire, and lots of those things came from or remind me of the great people in my life. The dresser from my mom, the paper shelf from my friend Terry, the cute little striped bag from my friend Melissa, the sewing basket from Hero, and the yellow stool from an estate sale (only $3!). There are pictures of family and friends.
And when I am crafting, it is almost always for someone I love. I feel so connected to people when I am creating something for them, and the thoughts and memories I have while working are so motivating. It seems like everyone has visited me in my crafty area.
I love that.