Music To Do Laundry To: Shakey Graves

Most people hate doing laundry. It’s a chore that has four parts: washing, drying, folding, putting away. So it makes sense why people don’t want to do it. This being said, in the past few years I’ve kind of begun to appreciate folding laundry. Maybe it’s that I like organizing things into little piles and putting them away, but I think it’s mostly because it gives me time to just sit and listen to music while still being productive. Sometimes it’s the first time I discover an album, and sometimes I listen to something I love that I haven’t listened to for a while. I don’t remember exactly when I started to put some music on when I was folding the laundry, and I don’t do it all the time, but it’s become a fun little habit, and one that I thought I might share.

If you’re not the type of person to listen to music when you’re folding laundry, then the name “Music To Do Laundry To” might strike you as odd, but maybe it’ll give you a fresh perspective on a never-ending chore!

Recently I caught wind of the music of Shakey Graves, and I started to hear it more and more on the radio. One day not long ago he offered all his music as a pay-what-you-want download on bandcamp, so I got it all and decided to discover this guy and his music.

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Shakey Graves is the personality of Alejandro Rose-Garcia of Austin, TX, who apparently decided on the name after him and a group of friends gave each other native guide names around the campfire. His music sounds very Austin-y, and in a totally good way. It’s very organic, Americana blues-rock, and totally makes me think of summer nights in the wilderness around the campfire.

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You can listen and buy his music, including his newest album And the War Came, HERE.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the first installment of Music to do Laundry To! I’m sure there will be more posts about bands I love and are discovering because, as we all know, the laundry never ends!

Cheers,
Lauren.

THRIFTED: Across the Rockies Tour

Last month we went on a little solo tour out to British Columbia and played six shows, with a trip to LA right in the middle. You may remember me writing about how I started off the tour sick as a dog, but luckily I was able to recover quickly! One thing I love to do when travelling is visit different thrift stores. It’s so fun to find treasures that remind me of all the places I visit. This tour was no different! We were able to fit in some thrifting in a few towns and I found some really great pieces including some really practical things for our home!

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Kelowna, BC – SPCA Thrift Store

On our way out of Kelowna we passed by this old building that looked like an outpost from an old western film. I saw that it said “Thrift Store” so we had to check it out! They were having a sale on books, so I picked up a copy of Anna Karenina (which I already have, but this one is in much better condition) and Farley Mowat’s memoir “Otherwise.” I also found three vintage books in great condition that I gifted my mom for her birthday (she collects them) and kept one of the covers to add to a gallery wall.

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White Rock, BC – Project Aftershock Thrift Store

We wandered into this cool looking thrift store after eating fish and chips on the beach. It was a small store, but what really caught my eye was the jewelry and a few antique wares tucked under a table. I saw this teapot set and knew that I had to get it. It’s made in England, and I just love the bright flower design. To top it off, it was only $7! I also scored the sailor necklace, which I thought was too unique to pass up. We had a lovely chat with the lady who was working there, so I hope we can stop by again sometime!

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Chilliwack, BC – MCC Thrift Store

You may remember from previous THRIFTED posts that I have a deep appreciation for MCC Thrift Stores. They’re usually much cheaper than other places, and they have some of the most unique items. Before our show in Chilliwack we had some time, so we hit up an MCC that was just down the street from where we were playing. We actually filmed this thrifting trip and it’s in the video we just released for our Exclusive Content Project. Anyway, that’s where I found this AMAZING cape for $5. I think it was my favourite find of tour. It’s so warm, and I love the simple primary colours. Every time I wear it I want to run away to the mountains!

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Burbank, CA – Goodwill

In the middle of our tour we caught a flight to Los Angeles for five days. We were down there to work with a producer on a new song, and of course enjoy some time in the sun! It was a pretty quick and busy trip, but the first day we were there we discovered a Goodwill thrift store just down the street from the airbnb we were staying at. I saw this print for $8 and knew it would be perfect for our house with the picture of a loom and a cat by a fireplace. (So it’s fitting that Maxine was sitting beside the picture as I was taking a photo.) Too cute. I also scored a pair of shorts, which was great because I forgot to pack shorts!

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Since we’ve been home, I’ve been working at a local Goodwill thrift store, and I’ve been trying not to buy all the sweet deals that come in, because there are lots! Have you found any treasures lately?

Happy Thrifting,
Lauren.

Across the Rockies: A Solo Tour!

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We’re hitting the road again next week for a short little solo tour to British Columbia! It’ll be the first time I’ve played on my own since our very first tour in 2011, and although it’ll be weird not having a band or any other musicians, I think it’ll be a good challenge for myself to keep it interesting and come up with a dynamic set.

If you live in any of the places we’ll be visiting we’d love to see you at a show! You can find more details on the shows on our Facebook page, or website.

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See you on the road!
Lauren

Christmas Shop Update!

Hey everyone! I finally added some items to the Cabin Knits Shop just in time for you to get any Christmas orders in! There’s a little bit of everything, so take a little gander and see if there’s anything that suits your fancy (or a friend’s fancy). If you’re in Canada, make sure to place your orders by December 17 to make sure it’ll get to it’s destination in time for Christmas, or by December 12 (TOMORROW!) if you’re in the US.

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I hope you’re all having a wonderful holiday season. Don’t forget to make times for the ones you love; it can be easy to get busy and overwhelmed in a season that should be about peace and stillness. Wherever you are, and whomever you’re with, may your days be merry and bright!

Cheers,
Lauren.

As of Late: December Edition

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Now that December has hit, the commercial world is in full-on holiday mode. We are a bit behind on that front, as we moved to Calgary on November 22 and have been busy getting settled in our new home (and playing really important shows). But we have Christmas lights on the outside of the house (thanks to my dad) and the inside is feeling more and more like home every day, even without a tree or decorations. Asides from all the moving and such, here’s what I’ve been up to as of late.

Reading…

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Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard. I’m only a few pages in to this book, so I haven’t fully immersed myself, but I’m anticipating a really deep and reflective read. Here’s a beautiful quote from page 10:

“Beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.”

Listening to…

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Ixora, by Copeland. One of my favourite bands fronted by Aaron Marsh (who produced Over Land and Sea) released their first album after six years of silence. And it is a beautiful thing. One of my favourites so far is Disjointed, but all the tracks are so beautiful. You can check it out for yourself HERE.

Making…

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Christmas presents! I can’t tell you what it is in the odd chance that the recipient might read this. I haven’t been making much for my Cabin Knits Shop, but it is equally as fulfilling to make things to give to friends and family. I just hope I get it all done before Christmas!

Exploring…

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We haven’t gone on any epic adventures lately, but we’ve been adventuring in our new home! It’s so much fun getting settled and decorating, and trying to fit all our musical gear into all the nooks and crannies. I can’t wait to get to a point where we can have people over and share our space, especially since so many wonderful folk have shared their homes with us over the years. Time to start giving back!

Watching…

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A few weeks ago we were on tour out to Manitoba and on our way back we stopped in Saskatoon and got to hang out with some friends for a few days. On a rare night off we watched Les Miserables, and as absurd as it sounds, it was my first time seeing it! What a beautiful movie. There were times when I wished there was a bit more dialogue, but I loved the poignancy and how the lack of dialogue conveyed a different set of emotions and connection with each of the characters.

Thanks for stopping by, and I look forward to sharing more about our new home adventures in the next few months as we take a bit of time off of the road to work on music and get ready to record a new album!

Until next time,
Lauren.

Cabin Knits Hits the Road!

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It’s that time again, when we head out on tour playing music for people in far away places, and I’ll be bringing my suitcase of knitted creations with me! Since we don’t have any more huge projects to type up for the Peak Performance Project, I plan to spend a great deal of driving time knitting bowties and cowls and other cozy accessories. Right now I’ve got lots of headbands, lots of bowties, a few cowls, and more.

Hopefully I’ll be adding a bunch of these projects to my Etsy shop, but in the meantime, come out to a show for some tunes, and maybe pick something up for the approaching winter, or get a head start on Christmas presents! I also love doing custom orders, so if there’s anything you fancy for yourself or someone you love, let me know and I’d love to try and make it for you!

November 4th – Caronport, SK @ Briercrest
November 5th – Regina, SK @ The Artful Dodger
November 6th – Brandon, MB @ Lady of the Lake
November 7th – Winnipeg, MB @ West End Cultural Centre
November 9th – Gimli, MB @ Ship & Plough
November 11th – Winkler, MB @ House Show
November 12th – Sprauge, MB @ Sprauge River Inn
November 13th – Otterburne, MB @ Providence
November 16th – Saskatoon, SK @ Rock Bottom
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ovember 27th – Calgary, AB @ Republik

Stay warm and well, and hope to see you sometime soon!

-Lauren.

As of Late: November Edition

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Hello lovelies!

Today I’m starting a monthly blog feature called “As of Late” to share the various things I’ve been up to lately. Partly as an attempt to blog more regularly, partly to document the little moments that I don’t want to forget, and partly to make sure I don’t neglect certain activities that keep my mind and body active. So without further adieu, here’s what I’ve been up to as of late.

Reading…

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The Gift of Asher Lev, by Chaim Potok, an amazing book about a Hasidic Jew whose career as a professional artist has created divisions between him and his family.

Listening to…

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Leelanau by Dana Falconberry, a beautiful album that is the soundtrack to my quiet moments and rainy days.

Knitting…

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Lots of bowties and random accessories to re-stock the suitcase for our upcoming tour. I also made my first mitten, and although it turned out a lot smaller than I expected, it’s super cute, and I can’t wait to make a pair that fit me!

Exploring…

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We got to spend a day off just outside of Dawson Creek, BC a few weeks ago, and our friend Randy took us quadding through his 300 acres of land. The weather was great and we had so much fun traversing through rivers, forests and up and down muddy hills.

Watching…

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Nashville, Season One, which Zoltan definitely makes fun of me for. In my defense, it’s an entertaining (although extremely dramatic) show to knit to.

I’d love to hear what’s keeping you lovely readers busy this fall. Any fun projects or hobbies on the go?

-Lauren.

In The Shop: Bows for Him and Her

The bow is a classic accessory, not just for pretty ladies, but also for handsome men. It has been adapted to take many forms, colours, and fabrics, and, thankfully, it has never gone out of style. I took a fresh take on this timeless classic with handknit hairclips and bowties and since I started making them and selling them at shows, they’ve definitely become one of my most popular creations!

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I have these listed in the shop with a selection of colours to choose from, but they can be made to order in any colour you’d like. And if you have a wedding or special event coming up, why not order them for your bridal party or as a party favour?

Here’s Zoltan sporting the Handsome Man Bowtie and looking rather sharp, if I do say so myself!

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And here’s a quick styling of the Pretty Lady Hairclip taken before our show in Edmonton the other night.

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Head over to the Cabin Knits Shop to order one, or a few!

Cheers,
Lauren.

Dried Flower Wall

A week ago, our band found out that we won the 2014 CBC Searchlight contest! It was a two month long contest to find the best new emerging artist in Canada based on public voting, and, for the last two rounds, three celebrity judges. The prizes include $20,000 of gear from Yamaha, a spot at the CBC Music Fest in Vancouver next month, and a live video recording with CBC. It was a pretty momentous occasion for us, and so overwhelming to share the moment with all of our friends, family, and fans around the world. My parents decided to drive two hours from Calgary to Brooks to surprise us at our practice space with a giant congratulatory cake! They also brought me the most beautiful bouquet of flowers, which is what I wanted to talk about today and show you the process behind a wall display I made with them.

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The bouquet was full of a variety of flowers of different colours. I didn’t want to just throw them out when they started to wilt, so I decided to dry them and make a display of them in the cabin while I was at it.

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I’ve done lots of decorating in the year we’ve been in the cabin (I’ll give you a little tour sometime) but one area I haven’t tackled is above the bed. I’ve had a few ideas of what I wanted to do, but nothing was really coming together and I didn’t want to rush it until I knew I’d be really happy with it. As soon as I decided to dry these flowers, I knew that this would be the start of the transformation.

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So I thought I’d give you a sneak peek into the process of what I did and how it turned out! The flowers are still drying, so hopefully they keep their colour and shape, but so far so good!

Materials:
Flowers, can be bought or clipped from your garden
Twine
Cotton string
Scissors
Measuring tape
Pencil
Pins (not pictured)

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Step 1:

Once you have your materials gathered, measure the space where you want to hang your flowers. Make a loop on one end of the twine and pin it to the wall, and do the same on the other side. Using the measuring tape and a pencil, mark where you want your flowers to go with even spacing between each one. For example, my space was 68″ wide, and I had nine flowers to hang, so I hung them just over 7″ apart.

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Step 2:

Cut all your flowers to the length you want them, and remove any excess leaves. Cut the cotton string into pieces about 6″ long for each flower. Tie the string around each flower, preferably under a nub so the string doesn’t slip off. Then tie the flowers to the twine and trim the excess string.

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And that’s pretty much all there is to it! I was so surprised how much this simple project added to the room. It’s a great start to a statement wall, but it works just as well on it’s own. If you have flowers or greenery left over, you can always add them to a vase for a table top decoration. I love having plants around the house, it adds such a lively element to a any space.

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I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial! If you are inspired to do something similar, let me know! I’d love to see what you come up with.

Cheers,
Lauren.

In the Shop: Tiny Knit Bow Necklaces

Today I added a new item to the shop and I’m really excited about it! This is my first time venturing into the world of jewelry, and I don’t think it’ll be my last. Lately I’ve been very inspired by handmade jewelry, and I love how there’s no limit to what you can do, and really no limit to what materials you can use.

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Even though you can knit for every season, knitting is most often associated with winter. Cozy blankets, sweaters, socks and the like all make the cold winter months more bearable. I’ve been challenging myself to think of ways to incorporate knitting into projects that can be worn year round, and one of the first things I thought of was jewelry.

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These tiny bow necklaces feature a very simple antiqued brass chain and a tiny knit bow that adds a splash of colour and a healthy dose of cute to your spring, summer, or really any outfit. It’s simple, but it makes a great statement.

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These necklaces are made to order, so you can choose the colour of bow you’d like, and the length of chain. I personally like longer necklaces, but sometimes you need something shorter depending on how you like to wear it. Head over to my Etsy shop to order one for yourself or for a friend!

Cheers,
Lauren.