Folklife with Finnegan and the family

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Last year was my first Folklife, and I spent the entire time wandering around slack-jawed at all the great music and vendors, wishing I’d come years before. I vowed to start coming every year. I’m still amazed it’s free. They let us walk through the gates and I feel like I’m getting away with something. We only stayed a couple hours today, but we got to see my friend Elaine sing in her group, The Drunken Maidens (hear some samples of their music). Beautiful harmonies, and some real sass in the lyrics! I loved it! I didn’t realize Elaine had such a gift for composing and arranging. She and I are friends through ham radio, and her hubby is also a ham. I love the ham radio community, it’s full of interesting and sweet people with a wide range of hobbies and talents.

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I also got to see Cada Johnson again, whose art and clothes I fell in love with last year. I remember when I walked into her booth. I just melted. The colors, the style, the themes, it’s all just gorgeous. Her style is eclectic and mystical, with layers upon layers of images and color in the same piece. She somehow puts her art onto these fabric patches, and then stitches them on to the backs of hoodies or the fronts of t-shirts. It’s striking, it really feels like wearing art.

Last year I was worried she wouldn’t have anything in my size, but everything goes up to a 2X. I could have hugged her for that (heck, I might have). I greedily bought up a t-shirt, 2 long-sleeved hooded t-shirts, and a teal hoodie. I’ve worn those shirts and that hoodie all year – the hoodie almost every day – and I still love them. I can also attest that she buys durable garments on which to put her art; I’ve washed and dried mine dozens of times and all of them still look great.

This is from a patch (you can buy here) that’s a smaller version of the larger painting that we have.

We ran into her at the Fremont Solstice Fair last year, too, and Jason bought a canvased print of a lotus (at right). It hangs in our entryway, and I’ve painted the hallway wall and our living rom based on the red and purple in the painting.

This year, I bought another hooded t-shirt, and another hoodie (I’m wearing it in the photo). In writing this post, I went to her website and read her bio – how had I missed that before? Among other adventures, she’s sailed to Hawaii in a square rigged ship! I’ll have to reign in my urge to stand in her booth at Solstice this year, begging to hear all about that experience, and about homesteading in my home state of Oregon (so cool!).

I’ll be saving my money for the next time I see her. I told her today she ought to have more purple hoodies. The only one she had was too small for me, so I just stood there fondling it for awhile, whining (politely) that there weren’t more purple things to choose from. Cada said, “You know, I’ve heard that from a few people today, there have been several requests for purple, I will have to see about that.” SOLD!

Cada’s website
Cada’s Facebook page
Cada’s Etsy page

my hoodie
The hoodie I got today! It’s a new design!

Finnegan came with us today. The Folklife webpage says that dogs are allowed, but aren’t recommended. The noise can easily aggravate animals, and you can’t take your dog into the buildings anyway. Well, we knew that we’d be listening to all of our music outdoors, and we also thought young Finn could really benefit from the exposure to so many new sights and sounds, so we went ahead and brought him, and we’re glad we did.

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We met a couple dozen other dogs, all of whom were calm, happy, and friendly to humans and Finnegan. I got the impression that the dogs who did make it to Folklife had owners who were well aware of their pup’s capabilities, which I found reassuring. Folklife is a great crowd of people. Finnegan, as seems to be his puppy way, was cautious and a little nervous at first, and then settled right in and loved all the attention.

Holy COW, the amount of attention he got. I get it, he’s a cute puppy, but just… If there were a rockstar of cute, I was his manager today, and the attendees of Folklife were his adoring fans. People asked to take his photo, they flipped out over his blue eye, they fed him treats that I gave him, they wanted to know his breed, his name, his history, his age, and several times: whether they could hold him (I always said yes). One girl asked if she could hold him and have her friends take their photo together. I said of course, and so she gently picked him up, his face close to hers, and her friends centered her in their iPhone cameras and started clicking away. Finnegan, Master of Cute, licked her right on the nose, as if on cue. All three of them melted and yelled, “AWWWWWW!!!”, in unison. THIS DOG, I TELLS YA. He knows how to work the crowd.

After a couple of hours he was obviously very tired. His last fan, Andrew, held him for a long time while we listened to The Drunken Maidens, and we talked about our shared loved of dogs, and Andrew’s beloved terrier mix waiting for him at home. I love how dogs can bring people together. Finnegan fell deeply asleep in Andrew’s arms, and it was clear he was done. I considered that if we tried to carry him around some more, he’d just continue getting pats and be woken up again and again. The pup needed to rest.

So, we decided to call it a day. We were all tired, and my fibromyalgia was flaring pretty badly anyway. On the way home, sitting in the passenger seat, my spine, shoulders, and hips were vibrating with waves of pain. I was so grateful for that car ride, and to have Greg there to drive. I wish I could walk for miles and miles, I miss being able to do that. But I still got to see Folklife today, and so did Finn! It was a great Saturday.

After we got home, Finn and I fell asleep on the floor for an hour. I woke up, got a snack, and came back to my favorite chair. At one point I felt Finn moving around, and when I looked down, he’d gone to sleep right on my foot.

Everyone at Folklife is right. He’s wonderful.

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  1. elbeepem says:

    Hi Hollie,
    This is Kathy, Quimby’s mom. You’ll get a LOT of interest in Finn wherever he goes. The unusual coloring really attracts attention and people all love the look of the white face and are really curious to know what kind of dog this is! Quimby has become quite the social butterfly as a result of all the attention and thinks that everyone has just come to see her wherever we go! He’s a sweetie!

    • Hollie says:

      It’s so sweet of you to comment, thank you! Finn was the quiet little dude of the litter – we specifically asked for that, since our Bodhi (Black Lab) is also a very quiet, calm dog – and I wondered if that would mean he was a little shyer than most dogs. So far, that’s not the case! He says hello to everyone and wags his tail, he’s so fun. Quimby is so pretty, that all-white head is so unusual and lovely!

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