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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Lydia Lowe wins 3rd Place Cow Creek book Festival

Poetry Reading

     During the month of April, (National Poetry Month) the Hutchinson Public Library sponsored a variety of different activities. The month kicked off on Sunday, April 1 with a reading by the poets from the book, "Begin Again". On Friday, April 13 the editor of "Begin Again", Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, the Poet Laureate of the state of Kansas, gave a talk and read some of her poetry at the Hutchinson Art Center. Then on Sunday, April 22 those who entered the 100 word short fiction/poetry contest gave a reading at the Hutchinson Public Library and the winners were announced. I entered three poems and three short fictions pieces, and was invited to be part of the reading this past Sunday afternoon.

      I read my poems: "World Within a World", "One Hundred Years", and "A Poem". I also read my short fiction: "Irony", "Love Hurts", and "For Sale". Writing a complete story in 100 words is quite a challenge. Everyone who entered and read their pieces were terrific. I heard some amazing things and began to wonder how in the world this contest could ever be judged. The works presented were all top of the line.

      The results are in and prizes were awarded:
            Adelyn Dean Emery - 1st Place - Summer of 1934
                                             - 2nd Place - High Prices
            Lydia Lowe              - 3rd Place - World Within a World

           Debbie Jerauld            - 1st Place - Catherine
           Sonia Hayse               - 2nd Place - Flutter
           Kay Towle                  - 3rd Place - Routine
     The winning entries will be posted on the library's website through the month of May 2012.


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Seaside Home

Seaside Home
Susanne Woods
© Lydia Lowe  4/24/2012
     This book is just plain fun!  Susanna Woods had gathered together a variety of quilting, sewing, and embroidery enthusiasts from across the web, given them a central theme (the sea) and watched them go to work.  There are quilts, stuffed toys and pillows, bags, table services, wreaths, wall hangings, etc.  The projects are sewn, quilted, embroidered, and easily crafted.  The sheer amount of projects and talent displayed is nearly overwhelming.

     Ms. Woods doesn't spend time on basic techniques, she leaves that up to the designers to showcase the basics of how their projects are created, step by step.  The detail that each designer uses to showcase how their projects evolve is easy to understand and includes a variety of photo's and diagrams.  Also, the designs are shown in specific home settings to give the reader an idea of how to use the designs around their home.

     As an added bonus, a photo and short bio of each designer is included as well as the locations of their website's, blog's, and Etsy shops.  This is invaluable information for the reader because I know that I wanted to see more of the work by specific designers and it was easy to type in their web address and head over to their site.  I found out that one of the designer's that I follow regularly was included in the book.  So that was a nice surprise.

     Seaside Home features projects with easy to follow directions, decorating idea's, and a chance to connect with the actual designers via the web.  This book has it all.



Saturday, April 21, 2012

Cowboy Junkies

@ The Stiefel Theatre
Salina, KS
© Lydia Lowe 4/20/2012
Album photo courtesy of
Cowboy Junkies . . . The Cowboy Junkies have been around for over 20 years and hail from Canada.  The music this band sings can best be described as "blues fusion".  It's heavy on the blues but also incorporates rock, soul, jazz, country, you name it.  This music is about the human condition; so it's up, it's down, and solidly there, like life.

This group didn't draw much of crowd, which is to bad.  The audience that did show up was an enthusiastic one, however.  I think if this band had played in a festival setting, there would have been more of a crowd.  Walking by and hearing their music would make anyone pause, stop, take a closer listen, and finally pull up a bench to sit down and enjoy the show. 

I enjoyed "Renmin Park" which had a Chinese influence to it.  One of the band members lived in China in out of the way places for about three months and absorbed the culture first hand.  He brought back what he'd heard and this song was the result.  It's very different but as you listen to it, it finds a place within you like it's always been there, waiting.  "Sweet Jane" will have your toes tapping.  I think everyone in the place was rocking out to this one.  Another one that I liked was "A Common Disaster" which seemed like a good driving down the road song.  The group played songs from all their CD's, but featured the most songs from their newest CD, The Nomad Series. 

Check out their website (included in the links section of this blog).  They have over 200 songs that have never made it to an album that you can download and enjoy, as well as other information about the band.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg

Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg
Kansas Poet Laureate
"Begin Again: 150 Kansas Poems"
Hutchinson Art Center
Hutchinson, KS
© Lydia Lowe 4/13/2012

Read Across Reno County; One Book, One County is is a month long adult reading event in Hutchinson, Kansas that began on April 1, 2012 with readings by the poets from the book, "Begin Again" which is edited by the Kansas State Poet Laureate: Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg.  Caryn also made a personal appearance to read some of her favorite poems at an event on Friday, April 13 and I had the chance to interview her. 
Check out this video video interview.  Here is the link:
Also check out Caryn's website: Caryn's Website
And read the book.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Hutchinson Art Center Student Show

Hutchinson, KS
© Lydia Lowe  4/13/2012
"President"  Katelyn Richards
"Guitar"   Tomah Ford

"Initial"   Jorge Zuniga-Martinez

"Flame Head"   Tito Russell-Spees

"Leg Lamp"   Chyna Ortega

"So Surreal"   Sadie Page

"Female Figure"   Allison Reusser

"Searphine"   Searphine Brown

"BALNF"   Jorge Zuniga-Martinez

"Graffiti Initial"   Jorge Lopez

"Blue Headphones"   Mike McCollum

"Under the Bridge"   Allison Reusser

"Woman in Room"   Allison Reusser

Friday, April 13, 2012


@ The Stiefel Theatre
Salina, KS
© Lydia Lowe 4/13/2012
Photo from the official website.

Foreigner . . .This was one great concert.  The band was high energy and really rocked The Stiefel Theatre in a way it had never rocked before.  From the beginning, the band had total control of the venue from the beginning introductions to the show and how every detail was handled.  They owned The Stiefel Theatre.  Foreigner had the audience on their feet and out of their seats, which seldom happens at The Stiefel Theatre.  The audience was spontaneous with dancing, singing, clapping, and comaraderie with one another.

This was their electric show and it was loud.  Originally the show was billed as an all acoustic show and then went electric.  The band did play one acoustic number and it was outstanding.  I think Salina missed out by not continuing with the acoustic show.  Perhaps when Foreigner comes through again we'll get a treat.

High school honor students from the four surrounding Salina high schools had met with Foreigner earlier in the day during some special music education classes.  Those students performed on stage with the band for one of Foreigner's songs.  It was really a terrific spot and you could see the faces of the students light up by being on stage.  What a great way to help push those students toward careers in music.  Mentoring is so important!, especially for the arts.  Foreigner also donated $500.00 toward music education in the schools through the Grammy Foundation.

All in all it was a great night.  The audience was composed of fans of all ages.  The music was terrific.  I knew the words to every song.  I guess you could say that I'm a huge fan!  So was everyone there.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Anthony Gomes

@ The Bishop Street Bar
Salina, KS
© Lydia Lowe  4/07/2012

Thanks, Jody Rodgers, for the concert photo's.

Anthony Gomes . . . Salina's favorite son returned for a concert this past Friday, April 6.  Bishop Street Bar hosted the event.  The opening act had a bit of a lukewarm reception, which is to bad, because they were really great. 

Then the show everyone had come had come to see began at 10:00 p.m.  The place was packed, with people standing on chairs and tables to get a good view.  It was literally standing room only.  The bar could have actually rented out individual floor tiles for people to stand on. 

Anthony had a new backup band and a new attitude.  He's gone back to his roots, playing the blues.  No one does it better.  This was a also a CD release party for his new CD, "Up 2 Zero".  He sang songs from his new CD and there is nothing like hearing Anthony sing live and in person.  If you haven't seen him in concert, be sure and check him out.  He is in his element on the stage in front of a crowd.

The new CD is amazing.  I got a preview copy and it's terrific.  He had an old favorite on this CD, "Fly Away" and some of the new ones that I really liked were: "Love Sweet Love",  "Voodoo Moon",  and "Last Bluesman Gone".  He even sings one song,  "N’Abandonne Pas" in French, believe it or not.  Check out his website for a free MP3 download of "Love Sweet Love".

It was a terrific concert, but is there any other kind when it's an Anthony Gomes concert.  Check him out when he's in your area.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tisha-a book discussion

Monday Night Book Discussions
(written by Anne Hobbs as told to Robert Specht)
Salina Public Library
Salina, KS
© Lydia Lowe  4/9/2012
Tisha . . .This book has it all.  The heroine is exceptional, although she does make her share of mistakes and much like all of us, she can't see them, even when they are pointed out to her.  Anne is very human.  I liked her instantly.  The characters in this book have many layers and I came to know them as well as I know good friends.  The setting of late 1920's Alaska is explored in great detail.  It almost becomes a character of its own.

It's hard to believe when I arrived at the end of the book that this was only one year in Anne's life.  The story starts right in and continues at a fast pace, easily read, and impossible to put down.  This is one of those books where I started reading and just kept going.  Near the end, I won't tell you what was happening because I don't want to spoil it, I got so involved in the story that when I did put it down for the night it took me a while to come back into my life.  I was solidly in Alaska with Anne on her journey.

This book reminded me of a book I read when I was in junior high school, called "My Side of the Mountain".  Both books were about individuals who braved incredible odds in wild hostile climates and came out on the other side changed and better for it.  You must read this book.  (Both of them actually because they are very similar.)  It has something for everyone.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Allie Aller's Crazy Quilting

Allie Aller's Crazy Quilting
Allie Aller
© Lydia Lowe  4/08/2012

I love embroidery and I love quilting.  Here I get to combine the best of both worlds with crazy quilting.  There is no limit to the amount of fabrics you can use and no limit to the amount of stitching you can do.  Crazy quilting is truly an over the top combination of both.

Allie's book gives great instructions on everything that you'll need: from various techniques to begin your blocks, types of fabrics used, piece sizes, embroidery stitches, embellishments and how to attach them (there is a great tutorial on how to attach real sea shells to your quilt), there's inspirational quilts to get you motivated, and a wide variety of projects. I especially like the first project that she uses to get you started which is a pincushion.  It gives you a real taste of what crazy quilting is all about in a very compact easy to use design.  It's a great way to get your feet wet.  The sky's the limit as to what you can create using the basics of crazy quilting.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Invincible Summer Within Me

Sun Assemblages
Toni Brou (pronounced Brew)
Salina Public Library
Salina, KS
© Lydia Lowe 3/31/2012
Whatta Dish
Durable Girl
Invincible Summer Within Me
Spring's A Comin"
Take Flight
Full Rolling Boil
What A Dish #2
You Can Call Me Ray
These sun assemblages will be featured on First Thursday, April 5 at the Salina Public Library.  I happened across them on Saturday.  I just think these are amazing.  The sun was coming in through a skylight overhead when I took these and I thought that added to the overall look of the exhibit
and my photo's.

When I looked at them they reminded me of something I'd seen before, something familiar.  After I read the author bio I knew why.  These sun assemblages, and others that have been created by this artist, are featured on "CBS Sunday Morning".  Amazing, to think that an artist from Kansas is so well known around the country and yet no one knows her name.  Truly a small world after all.

She also has some birds featured in this exhibit and I really enjoyed them as well. 
 Here are a few of them.
Hatchin' A Plan, Man!
And We Have Lift Off
Fred's Yellow Birdie (on handpainted silk)
Bonjour Birdie (on handpainted silk)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Clare Vanderpool

Clare Vanderpool
"Moon Over Manifest"
Hutchinson Public Library
Hutchinson, KS
© Lydia Lowe 3/31/2012

I attended the Cow Creek Book Festival on Saturday, March 31, at the Hutchinson Public Library.  I had a chance to interview the keynote speaker, Clare Vanderpool who is the author of
"Moon Over Manifest". 
Check out this video interview, it's my first one.  Here is the link:
Also check out Clare's website: Clare's Website
And read the book.

Also, featured on my blog is a review of the book: