Appalachia Through My Eyes - Millennials and Music

My life in appalachia - Millennials and Music

A few months ago the girls were contacted by the North Carolina Arts Council. The organization is making an effort to reach out to millennials who perform traditional music. 

Last week the girls were invited to attend the Millennial Traditional Artists Gathering in Black Mountain NC. The NC Arts Council hosted the event in the hopes that they might help millennial music makers with marketing, grants, and a whole host of other things. 

The girls let me tag along and let me tell you we had a great time! We learned a lot and met some wonderful folks to boot. It was very refreshing for the girls to meet and interact with people their age who have the same goal of keeping traditional music alive.

A very bright spot in the day was meeting Wayne Martin, Executive Director of the North Carolina Arts Council. 

In 1998 Pap and his brother Ray were awarded the NC Folk Heritage Award for their musical achievements. Wayne was the person who presented the award to them. He was pleased as punch to meet two of Pap's granddaughters and even happier to know they were helping keep the music Pap taught them alive for future generations. 

Tipper

Appalachia Through My Eyes - A series of photographs from my life in Southern Appalachia.

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Stamey Creek Creations

Katie Pressley - Stamey Creek Creations

Chitter - 2017

Chitter's Stamey Creek Creations Etsy Shop is continuing to grow by leaps and bounds. She graciously donated a piece of handcrafted jewelry for me to giveaway as part of my Thankful November.

Over the past year Chitter has become a full fledged silversmith. I'm truly amazed by the beautiful silver pieces that have been coming out of her shop in recent months. Like this one:

Stamey creek creations

The stone is rose quartz set in sterling silver with a sterling silver chain. You can see the listing on Etsy here

Stamey creek creations ring

Chitter has also become quite the ring maker. Check out this Aqua Chalcedony stone set in sterling silver with a lovely twisted wire border. You can see the listing for it here

Chitter has a mixture of items in her shop at the moment-you can follow this link to see what she has: Stamey Creek Creations Etsy Shop.

Stamey Creek Creations

The necklace Chitter donated for my giveaway isn't silver, but it is beautiful! The necklace measures 20 inches and is on a antique brass chain. The beads are gemstones - Citrine and Amethyst.  

I hope you'll jump over and visit Chitter's Stamey Creek Creations Etsy Shop. Christmas is just around the corner and jewelry is always a good gift for the ladies and girls in your life. Chitter is offering a special discount for Blind Pig Readers. Simply add the coupon code BLINDPIG at checkout for 20 percent off your purchase. 

Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win the necklace. *Giveaway ends Saturday November 25, 2017.

Tipper

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Happy Birthday To The Girls!

  Happy Birthday to The Pressley Girls

Twenty one years ago today I was laying in a Gainesville GA hospital staring at The Deer Hunter and wondering why in the world we thought we needed children-especially two at the same time.

In all the days, weeks, months, and years since, I've never regretted having the girls. They bring boundless joy and happiness to mine and The Deer Hunter's lives.

Happy Happy Birthday Girls we love you!

Tipper

 p.s. Today is the last day to enter the JCCFS Fall Festival Ticket giveaway. Go enter if you haven't!

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Chasing Dreams

The Pressley Girls are chasing their dreams in Appalachia

A few years back I shared one of Chitter's original songs Where the Wind Blows with you. Its still one of my favorite songs from their ever growing list of original songs.  

Since the girls graduated from college they sometimes feel bad when somebody asks them what they're going to do with their lives.

They both have part-time jobs (actually multiple part-time jobs) and each of them are passionate about their personal enterprises of jewelry making and natural beauty products-not to mention their music. I say "Tell those folks you're chasing your dreams."

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Where the Wind Blows written by Corie Pressley

Just because you know where you're from doesn't mean you know where you're going. I guess my dreams are to big for this small town.

I gotta run I gotta go I gotta see where the wind blows I gotta get out of here. I gotta follow my dreams even if they're not meant to be I gotta run I gotta go I gotta see where the wind blows.

We collect pieces of life as we go, to make the puzzle fit as a whole, but even then we loose pieces and have to start all over. There's a good road and a bad road one's paved with gravel one's paved with gold but sometimes you gotta follow the wind and not what you're told. 

I gotta run I gotta go I gotta see where the wind blows I gotta get out of here. I gotta follow my dreams even if they're not meant to be I gotta run I gotta go I gotta see where the wind blows.

But you can't live for the past you gotta live for the present cause there's no promise that we'll see another sunset and that's why...

I gotta run I gotta go I gotta see where the wind blows I gotta get out of here. I gotta follow my dreams even if they're not meant to be I gotta run I gotta go I gotta see where the wind blows.

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When the girls first started singing Where the Wind Blows it made me think back to when I was their age. The world seemed stretched out before me with an infinite number of paths all of which lead to my dreams which were filled with unlimited possibilities. 

The great thing about life is you're never to old to dream and although my dreams may have changed from the ones I had in days gone by, I still have a few worth chasing. 

Tipper

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Appalachian Sayings - Help My Time

Appalachian saying help my time

Chitter, Morgan, and Chatter - 4th Grade Martins Creek Elementary

help my time interjection A mild exclamation of surprise.
1924 Spring Lydia Whaley 2 Well help my time. 1993 Ison and Ison Whole Nuther Lg 29 = an expression used as a soft exclamation. 1996 Montgomery Coll. (Cardwell).

Dictionary of Smoky Mountain English

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Last week one of the girls' elementary teachers was cleaning off her computer and found the photo above and sent it to me. When I saw it I said "Help my time wasn't that just yesterday? How did they grow up so dadjimmed fast!"

Help my time is a saying of exclamation that is still very common in my area of Appalachia. 

Tipper

p.s. The Pressley Girls will be playing TODAY Saturday June 10, 2017 @ 8:00 p.m. at Vogel State Park - Blairsville GA.

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Guess what? Chatter and Chitter Graduated from College!

The Pressley Girls graduate from college

Last weekend the girls graduated from college. They can barely believe they made it through...I can barely believe I have children who graduated from college! 

Chatter graduates from YHC

Chatter

We were lucky and ended up sitting right where the 2017 YHC Graduates processed into the auditorium. 

Chitter graduates from YHC

Chitter

Even luckier, the procession of students slowed to a crawl and the girls ended up standing right by me for a few seconds-just long enough to snap a photo of each.

Chatter and chitter graduate from YHC

The girls graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Young Harris College. You may be thinking what the heck is that? Trust me you won't be the first to ask what the degree means. 

Interdisciplinary Studies is a program made from three concentrations or areas of study. The girls both studied Media Communications, Appalachian Studies, and Sustainability. 

You may also be wondering what the girls are going to do now?

Chatter and Chitter plan to continue the day to day work of being young entrepreneurs of music, jewelry, and healthy products and see just how far their dreams can take them. 

Tipper

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Appalachia Through My Eyes - The Girl can Crochet

My life in appalachia the girl can crotchet

Chitter made me the afghan in the photo for Christmas. I'm telling you the girl can crochet , well actually both girls can crochet. Chatter gifted me with a beautiful scarf she made out of the softest yarn.

Granny's mother Gazzie loved to crochet and she passed that love on to Granny. I've told you plenty of times before, Granny is crochet crazy. She spins out things faster than we can keep track of them or find a place to put them.

Granny taught the girls to crochet and they've stuck with it. Pap used to get so tickled at them. We'd go somewhere to perform and while we were waiting to go on stage they'd pull out whatever they were working on and start crocheting. He said "They really are like two little grannies."

Granny is always telling me I'll be sorry I never let her teach me to crochet and someday it'll be too late. Even though I never picked up the skill, I sure am glad the girls did. Three generations of crocheters is pretty cool if you ask me. And if you count my cousin Tina who is my age and learned from Granny Gazzie-that makes 4 generations which is even cooler.

Tipper

Appalachia Through My Eyes - A series of photographs from my life in Southern Appalachia.

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Stamey Creek Creations and a Giveaway

Stamey creek creations1

Hard to believe its been 2 years since Chitter opened her Stamey Creek Creations Etsy Shop. I interviewed her for the blog when she first started selling her jewelry-if you missed it go here.

Over the last 2 years Chitter has grown and evolved as a jewelry maker and you can sure see it in the items she's been producing lately. 

When Chitter first started making jewelry she used mostly bead stringing and simple macrame techniques. Since then she's advanced to the beginning stages of metal smithing.

Stamey creek creations5

 Chitter has a mixture of items in her shop at the moment. She even has a sale section full of inexpensive items that would make perfect Christmas presents or stocking stuffers ($15.00 and under with FREE shipping).

Stamey creek creations 2016

You can see some of the metal working skills Chitter has learned in the photos above. The pieces are cut out, filed and sanded, textured, a patina is added, and then they are tumbled for a durable finish. She's started using rivets to connect parts of the creations and I really like that look. I also really like the easy to use clasps she puts on the necklaces.

All of the items are available in Chitter's shop

Stamey creek creations etsy shop

Chitter graciously donated this necklace for me to giveaway as part of my Thankful November series. It is a copper necklace made with rose quartz, amethyst, and Czech glass. 

I hope you'll jump over and visit Chitter's Stamey Creek Creations Etsy Shop. Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win the necklace. *Giveaway ends Saturday November 19, 2016

Tipper

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Today at the JCCFS Fall Festival

  Kudzu kickers clogging team

I was thinking about how I wish I could take all of you along with me to the festival today and tomorrow. Most of you live way too far away to even remotely think about coming, but I still wish you could experience it with me.

Since teleporting you all to Brasstown wasn't an option I decided I'd share a video of what the girls will be doing today at 1:20 p.m. - clogging.

Before the festival the team has its final practice at the folk school on the festival barn stage where they will actually be dancing during their performance. 

Most folks are more familiar with the fast bluegrass type of clogging than the style the girls are doing in this routine. The Kudzu Kickers do a variety of clogging styles within their performances and this one is a Waltz Clog. They also do plenty of the more common style of clogging and buck dancing. Sometimes I wonder how they move their feet fast enough to keep up, but they always mange to pull it off.

Chatter and Chitter are the couple in the middle of the line. Chitter has a green shirt with writing on it and Chatter has a black shirt. 

Jo Kilmer and Blind Pig Reader Gayle Larson are the coaches of the Kudzu Kickers-they both do a great job and I so appreciate them! You can see Jo in this video-she is the first in line nearest the camera with pants and a pink shirt on.

This group of five girls have danced together for years. Chatter and Chitter are the oldest of the bunch. When they all started clogging together back in the day the other girls were little enough to carry around on your hip and Chatter and Chitter weren't much passed carrying themselves.

Us moms always laugh about how we can't help getting teary-eyed as we watch them dance. It's like our own private mom joke on each other.

This year it seems I've been more teary-eyed than usual. I might feel more emotional because Chatter and Chitter haven't gotten to clog as much since they started college or it might be because of their recent birthday-leaving me with two adults instead of two girls.

But I believe my emotion comes from seeing five girls who through the years of clogging have grown into beautiful young women who are kind, smart, and generous. AND who've spent all those years keeping the folk dance of clogging alive even though doing so never made any of them the popular kid at school. 

I hope you enjoyed seeing a little bit of what the girls will be doing at the festival today. Drop back by tomorrow for sneak peak of that day's performance. 

Tipper

 


20 Years Ago

Twenty years ago gainesville ga birth

Twenty years ago today, The Deer Hunter and I were planing and packing for my scheduled delivery of the girls. The photo above was taken on the following morning. The big day had finally arrived and there was no turning back.

Every time I see the photo I think "We're looking at each other like how in the world did we end up here and what the heck are we going to do about it?" Not that we weren't happy to be expecting parents, but twins? Geesh we didn't even know if we were ready for one child and somehow we were about to end up with two. 

I won't bore you with the details, but my pregnancy was a nightmare. From the start I had every pregnancy aliment you can think of and a few you've probably never even heard of!

By the time I had the girls I had already been admitted to the hospital at least a half a dozen times for one complication or another and then the scheduled delivery ended up in a rather hurried c-section on top of all of that. 

Twins in appalachia

We knew very early on that I was carrying twins. It seemed like everywhere I went someone told me they prayed for twins or that having twins was their life long wish. Honestly, I felt so miserable that having twins wasn't something I was happy about. Every time someone shared their twin dream with me I thought "Well I wish you were having twins too-instead of me-then maybe I wouldn't be so sick!

First Birthday Party

After the girls were born, it didn't take me long to realize I had been given the ultimate gift. No wonder all those people wanted twins.

Having the girls in our lives has filled every day of the last 20 years with brightness and joy. We will be forever grateful they were given to us. 

The pressley girls playing in gainesville ga

Today the girls will be playing in Gainesville, GA the city were they were born. We scheduled the gig months ago and I never even thought about it being the day before their birthday, but it somehow seems fitting. 

I'm thankful we get what we need...even when we don't even know we need it. 

Tipper

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