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.

Americana Showcase at SXSW

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.

Colourful Cotton Dishcloths

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I don’t know about you guys, but I feel like January is already flying by! We head out on the Across the Rockies tour on Saturday, so the past few days have been a flurry of working, cleaning the van, and getting ready to go. I’ve also been finishing up some little nesting projects including making some simple knit dishcloths! Knitting has kind of been on the back burner for me, as I’ve been putting most of my focus on writing and demoing new songs, and launching our new Exclusive Content project, which has been a lot of fun! I still love knitting and crafting, but I’m really excited with some of the other, more musical, projects we’ve been working on, and I can’t wait to immerse myself in it even more.

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That being said, making these dishcloths was super fun to do, and I absolutely LOVE the pop of colour they add to our kitchen! I’ve had a variety of colours of cotton yarn kicking around from making friendship bracelets last summer, so I thought I’d use it up and make something for myself. Not only are these dishcloths great for wiping down the counters, but they make great potholders as well! We had our roommates’ band (The Sweets) over the other night for a potluck and hangout/band meeting, and these simple little dishcloths looked pretty cute on the table, if I do say so myself.

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The pattern was inspired by the Purl Bee’s Soft Cotton Knit Dishtowels. I used some of their design ideas, but changed it to make it smaller and used the colours I had on hand. I’ve written out the pattern below if you want to try and make these for yourself! It’s the perfect project for anyone learning to knit, and even if you’re experienced, it’s totally an instant-gratification project.

Materials:

Cotton yarn in various colours

US8 straight knitting needles

Tapestry needle

Size:

Approximately 8-inches x 8-inches

Pattern:

Cast on 36 stitches in colour A.

Knit two rows in garter stitch, break yarn.

With colour B, knit in garter stitch for about 7-inches, ending with a WS row, break yarn.

Pick up colour A, knit two rows.

Cast off, and weave in ends.

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And that’s all there is to it! Do any of you have knitting or crafting projects on the go right now? This winter weather is the perfect time to bust out the yarn and paints and whatever else!

Until next time,
Lauren.

Summer at the Cabin

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We just finished two weeks of time off, and now that I think about it, it really only felt like a few days. Zoltan and I got right down to business on some home projects that we’ve been wanting to do for a while to help make the cabin a lot more organized. It’s been a year since we moved into the cabin, and between moving last year, travelling lots, and having mice problems in the winter, it’s been in a constant state of flux and we haven’t been able to make use of the space the way we wanted to.

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First on the list was to build a bed; an idea that was inspired by our friends Kraig and Lauren in Seattle. We lifted the bed about four feet to give us some additional storage space and built a tall headboard that acts as a shelf, and a footboard that we put our TV, speakers and record player on. About halfway through the project we were really concerned that it was going to make the room feel tiny, but it did the opposite. It filled the space perfectly and makes the room feel so complete!

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We had also planned on organizing the shed at some point, but after building a bed I definitely didn’t anticipate making that happen on this short period of time off. But when my mother-in-law needed access to her camping gear which was at the back of our shed, everything came out, and the organizing began! I was able to empty about five rubber maids and four boxes of stuff and reorganize and declutter while Zoltan built three sets of shelves. The end result is a shed with more room, and easy access to everything.

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With both of these huge projects finished, and after a much deserved dinner out, we were able to enjoy our redesigned space for a little while before leaving again. And I must say, for the first time since we moved to Brooks I can sit in our home without a long list of projects running through my head. Not that I didn’t enjoy the space before, but it always felt a little bit makeshift and temporary.

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Since moving into a tiny space, I’ve been very inspired by how others use and live in tiny spaces. It’s amazing how much you can do with very little (a philosophy that can be applied to many areas of life). And since finishing these projects, I’m even more amazed at how a room can change with a few adaptations. If you’re discontented with the space you live in or work in, maybe there are some simple things you can do to make the space work for you.

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I hope this inspires you to work with what you have, and develop your space to suit your needs and reflect you and your lifestyle. And if anyone would like to see some more detailed photos of the process of building the bed, I can post them at a later date.

Cheers,

Lauren.