A blog about all the things we love, regardless of how uncool they are.

Upcycle: Candelabra

Posted: March 18th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Crafts, house, Projects | Tags: , , , , | Comments: 2 Other Dorks »

To begin, I am fully aware that the term candelabra usually refers to an arrangement of candlesticks and these are pillar candles, but it’s just a way cooler word than candle holder, so if you were planning on correcting me, I know, I know, I know. I am also fully aware that the fact that I just wrote that sentence may alone qualify me as a super-dork, but again, I know, I know, I know. The point is, I found this candelabra at Goodwill one day and had a vision. So, I bought it, and with the help of a little spray paint, it has become a very cool addition to our fake fireplace. Spray paint can really be a magical thing!

Duvet for St. Patty’s Day!

Posted: March 17th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: house | Tags: , , , , | Comments: Dork out with us! »

Well folks, we chose our duvet cover! And in honor of the today’s holiday, I thought it would be the perfect day to show it to you, (since it is part of the greenest room in the house). We went with the Gion Organic Duvet from CB2 (ignore the wrinkles, mom) – fits our style perfectly and it compliments our green bedroom theme without going overboard. We love it! Now we just need some things on the walls!

Music in Schools: Someone out there is getting it right.

Posted: March 17th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Music | Comments: 5 Other Dorks »

(found via Kitsune Noir)

The video above is one of the most wonderful things I’ve seen in a long time. Why don’t you watch it real quick, and then keep reading if you’d like.

This is the Chorus of PS22, Staten Island, New York. The kids are singing the song Lisztomania by the band Phoenix and – can you believe it – every single one of them is completely engaged and loving what they are doing! I honestly couldn’t believe what I was seeing the first time I watched this video. I have worked with music in schools in so many different ways and capacities and I almost always come away from the experience with the following feeling – music programs are completely doomed. Most of the kids don’t care. They’re only doing it because their parents are making them. They thought being in band would be a lot more fun than it actually is. They usually don’t even like the music they’re playing.

Schools everywhere are failing to show their students how learning music can be relevant to their lives. But the director of this chorus, Gregg Breinberg, is really doing something amazing.

I’m always dumbfounded when I’m reminded that creating music used to be an incredibly common pastime in this country. Amateur musicians were everywhere, and making music was a way that families connected and bonded. What happened to those days? Isn’t it amazing that the world isn’t like that any more, yet almost all of us are still incredibly passionate about the music that we listen to? Is it because, while the music around us continued to move forward, the music that schools taught remained staunchly rooted in the past? I believe that is a big part of it.

However, I’m so encouraged when I see something like this and I hope that other music educators can begin to follow suit, because I honestly feel that their jobs depend on it. I would love to see school music programs transform themselves into laboratories where students are given the tools and skills to form their own bands, write their own arrangements, and compose their own tunes. Get kids involved in music in ways that they can relate to. Help them to first form a connection to the art of music-making; worry about how Bach and Beethoven will fit in later.

What do you think? Am I way off base here? We’d love to have some discussion about this in the comments!

Artist Discovery: Katie Musolff

Posted: March 16th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Art, Milwaukee | Tags: , , , , , | Comments: Dork out with us! »

Thanks to some mindless Milwaukee blog-surfing, I have come across the amazing work of Milwaukee painter, Katie Musolff. I love the way she captures the personality of her subjects.  The paintings really seem to come alive to me–I can almost hear these people talking in their thick Milwaukee accents. Believe it or not, she’s in the same neighborhood as us, and I’m so glad to have found her. I’ll definitely try to check her out on Gallery Night on April 16th as she kicks off her new appointment as Artist-in-Residence at the Pfister Hotel in Downtown Milwaukee.