About Me

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Illinois, United States
I am a band director at five private schools in Kankakee. Music is a big part of my life, but knitting and crafting are right up there too. I own a ridiculous stash of yarn, which I am slowly using... and replacing with better yarn... I tend to knit and crochet a lot, in class, out of class, while watching tv, while driving, pretty much constantly. I have been involved with crochet romantically for 15 years, and involved with knitting for 11 years. They sometimes get jealous of each other. I think its funny. Along with knitting and crocheting, I quilt, spin (drop spindle) and design patterns!!

Thursday, August 30, 2012


So as many of you know, I am the band director for 4 private Catholic schools, and one private Lutheran school.  4 grade/middle schools and one high school.

I love what I do.  It gets stressful sometimes, like when the high schoolers are having a cranky day. Those are the worst. But the nice thing is the high school band meets at 7:30 in the morning, and I have the rest of the day to teach my grade schoolers.  For the most part they think I am the coolest, and that makes my day lighten up!

So. Last year the High school band hovered at 23 students.  It was very small. But we started up the pep band again, it had been a while since they had a functioning pep band.

Now the band is at 30 students and growing! We are building a name for ourselves and it has been a great experience.  We started a drum line this year.  Today was the first day the drum line performed two of their cadences.  The band had no idea what that was.  They were all smiles afterwards! Even the students that give me a hard time.  It felt great.

Next goal- Marching basics, I would love to march in a parade/across the football field next year.
Marching. My next obstacle!

Now for the grade school bands.  When I started last year, I was told the year before me there were only 8 students in the band ALL TOGETHER at all four schools.  My first year we had approx 26 students with all four schools- beginning and intermediate band.  About 11 beginning band, and 15 intermediate band students.

This year.... DRUM ROLL PLEASE!

We have 25 beginning band students, and 20 intermediate band students.  But that is not including the beginning band students who have been calling asking about joining, so in the end, it looks like we will have 50 students in the grade/middle school bands!

That is amazing!

From 8 to 25 to 50! Then next year???  holy crow. If we keep going like this I am going to need an assistant!

It has been a great year so far.  I feel more organized and comfortable. I know almost all the students, and I love my job.

This job is like wine, the older it gets the better it is.

I like wine. :)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

25 Things I’ve Learned In My 20s

25 Things I’ve Learned In My 20s

MAY. 21, 2012

  1. You can’t date a jerk and expect to turn them into a good person. Jerks are fully committed to being unpleasant. Those brief moments of tenderness they give you are designed to trip you up and give you false hope. It’s best to stay away altogether.
  2. The rumors are true: your metabolism does slow down as you get older! That means if you’re still eating whatever you want, there’s a good chance you’ll start to gain an awkward amount of weight. It won’t be too drastic but your clothes will start to hang differently on your body and you’ll feel an overall feeling of unattractiveness. Start to be conscious of what you eat and strive to live a healthier lifestyle if you want to get your teen body back. (Let’s be real though, that might not ever come back.)
  3. You’re going to lose touch with a lot of your friends. With some people, it will be expected but with others it will feel like a punch to the stomach. No friendship is truly safe in your twenties. You’re undergoing so many personal and professional changes that there’s bound to be some casualties along the way. Don’t worry though. You’ll end up with the ones that matter. If someone’s no longer in your life, it’s for a reason.
  4. You’ll be jealous of everyone who’s more successful than you. That’s okay. Just transfer that jealousy into something productive, like working really hard so you can one day eclipse them and make them feel jealous of YOU.
  5. You’ll question every decision you make and never feel completely certain that you made the right choice. It’s pointless to wonder though. You’re here now so you might as well make it be the right decision.
  6. You’re going to give your heart to a few people who don’t deserve it. Then, one day you’ll come to your senses and ask them to give it back.
  7. You’ll see your parents get older. You’ll come home during Christmas break and see new lines developing on their faces. One day it’ll just hit you that your parents are old and going to die. There’s nothing you can do about it, besides treat them with kindness and visit as much as your budget permits.
  8. You’ll have a boss who makes you feel like you’re nothing. It doesn’t have to be in a Devil Wears Prada way. The cruelty can be much more subtle. Don’t let them get to you though. They have no idea who the hell you really are and you’re probably going to have their job someday so…
  9. Doing drugs is fun until it’s not, until it starts affecting your life in negative ways and leaves you feeling guilty and wrecked. If that happens, you should stop doing them.
  10. You’re going to puke in public. It’s fine. No one cares. Just puke.
  11. You’ll know how to make twenty dollars last an entire week because you spent almost all of your paycheck on groceries at Whole Foods and drunk cab rides. This lesson in frugality will serve you well.
  12. You’re going to betray your convictions. You’re going to feel shame. You’re going to continue to put yourself in situations that aren’t good for you. And then, slowly but surely, it will become less frequent. It might not ever go away completely but it won’t be as bad. In the meantime, stop shame spiraling about it. It gets you nowhere.
  13. Loving yourself is hard. Hating yourself is harder.
  14. You’re going to hook up with someone who you would never touch in the daylight sober. Just don’t freak out too much about it. Consider it to be your good deed for the day.
  15. You’re going to have people in your life who are toxic. They may say that they love you, they may say that they have your back, but they don’t. Get rid of them.
  16. You’ll have moments with someone that are so intense, it’ll feel like you’ve been electrocuted back to life. You’ll hold on to these moments for a long time. They’ll give you hope when you’re going through the motions.
  17. You’ll always care about your first love. That doesn’t make you crazy, it just makes you human. When relationships end, it’s not so cut and dry. You carry everyone you’ve ever loved into every relationship thereafter.
  18. You’ll enter your twenties as a fashion disaster and (hopefully) leave them looking fantastic. If you don’t know how to put yourself together by then, I really don’t know what to tell you.
  19. You’ll realize that the Internet can be a cruel son of a bitch but, you know, www.whatever.com.
  20. So much of what you think matters doesn’t actually matter at all. It’s kind of rude. Like, thanks for making me believe in things that are ultimately so inconsequential, you jerk.
  21. You’ll treat someone terribly. Whether it to be a lover or your friend, there’ll be someone whose feelings you take for granted. We focus too much on whether or not someone is hurting us. The reality is that we might actually be the one who’s hurting someone.
  22. Doing “grown-up things” doesn’t make you a grown up. Shopping for housewares, buying a plant, embracing domesticity — these things don’t create maturity. If you’re still a baby who hasn’t figured things out, you’ll remain a baby, no matter how many times you pay your rent on time.
  23. Don’t force yourself into loving anyone. If it’s not working in the beginning, it’s probably not going to work ever.
  24. You are so lucky to have everything that you have. Stop crying about an unreturned text message and get some perspective.
  25. Don’t go too long without having sex. Ever.

Monday, August 13, 2012


No no, not me! That would be going backwards in trying to save money.

Plus I already have two wonderful fur babies!

They cuddle whether they like it or not!

I have been knitting a bunch for friends that have been having babies though. Which is something I don't normally do.  I am not sure why though! It is always great to see babies wearing/cuddling with something I have put my heart and soul into.
This is my boyfriends- cousins- son.  We had driven to Indiana to visit last year, and to meet the new baby boy Russel.  He was adorable!  I wanted to stick with the zoo theme, and decided to make a blanket that was giraffe colored.  I think I did a good job!
The mother made me realize why I do things like this when she sent me this
 "I just want to thank Vanessa for making this beautiful blanket for Russell! He sleeps with it every night and nap time. It is the perfect size and gives him a little warmth and comfort but also gives us the relief of if he were to pull it over his face he could still breath because of the holes. You did a wonderful job making it so thank you very much!"
It just made me smile!  I am glad he is using it, and actually sleeping under it!

Next up is a project for a photography.  She is the mother of one of my brothers friends.  I love her photography, and thought... hmmm... what a way to advertise! I don't actually know any babies in town, so its hard to take pictures of how big a hat is to post in my shop.  We struck up some ideas and decided to make things fun!

I knit this hat up as a "Dr. Seuss" theme.  I think it worked out and he turned out adorable in it! Eventually more baby hats will be for sale in my shop!  I can't wait!

I will leave you with this!
I marched in a parade this weekend with the "Best We Could Do Band".  I was able to get a couple of my students to march with me too! Next year I hope to get even more.  It was a blast, though I finally just got over being sore!  I hope all my students get excited for marching!

That is all for today!

Friday, August 03, 2012

Firestar Shawl

I just listed this beautiful and soft shawl in my shop! https://www.etsy.com/listing/105952941/firestar-shawl