I love serendipity. Such as when I stumble upon a new blog right when I need it. Like Tara's Periwinkles and Pine. I am incredibly art/craft challenged and kept thinking that I needed to poke around online to get some inspiration. And then Periwinkles falls into my lap with inspiration to spare. I think that we will try the crayon and hot rocks tomorrow. It looks fun and doable (seriously…homeschool math, no problem…homeschool art and crafts and I run screaming for the hills). Oh and she loves children's lit too…looks like a lot of good finds in her reading lists.

And if the neat art ideas and books were not enough…I have absolutely fallen in love with her music choices. Because, you see, Tara has a neat plug-in that allows her to have her favorite music playlists playing. Now usually music on websites sends me running the hills…I hate it. It is one of my pet peeves actually. Please don't subject me to your tastes in music because it most likely is the not the same as mine.

But that was not the case here! I got caught up in the first track by Amos Lee and was hooked. Soon I was clicking through her playlist and checking out artists on iTunes. I ended up discovering three new artists that I absolutely LOVE…Amos Lee, Jack Johnson and Jamie Cullum. And due to the magic that is iTunes, I am enjoying them as we speak (as I write?)

I have actually been on the search (without much luck) for new artists since I discovered Martin Sexton this summer. My friend Joanna's husband is a musician who plays all over Ocean City in the summer and he played a wonderful cover of Sexton's Hallelujah that I fell in love with immediately. After finding out it was by Martin Sexton, I downloaded most of his albums over the course of the summer (interesting side note…each summer seems to have its own "soundtrack" to it…last summer it was Martin Sexton, the summer before it was James Taylor (go figure and don't ask me why…))

I am so surprised any time I find a new artist that I actually love…my music tastes are pretty heavily weighted towards music I loved growing up…Billy Joel, Chicago, Paul Simon, Simon and Garfunkel, Eric Clapton. Lots of classical (Bach, Mozart and others), and instrumentals (like Linus and Lucy and the Canadian Brass). Most of the more recent stuff I have discovered is instrumentals from movies/tv such as the Pirates of the Caribbean soundtracks (the boys and I both love these) and the Robin Hood soundtrack.

I don't like much "popular" music…which is why I was amazed to find so many good tracks on Tara's playlist. I guess that I need to do more hunting in the folk music category.

Another interesting thing is that I just realized that I am most definitely more partial to male vocalists…I had never realized that before. While I enjoyed the female vocalists on Tara's playlist and would more than enjoy hearing them at a friend's house, there were none that I grabbed me enough to want to purchase for myself. Not sure if that means anything…

I looked through my music list and sure enough, the only female artists (other than the Indigo Girls) I have are part of ensembles (like The Mamas and the Papas and Peter, Paul and Mary…um…did I mention that I am a bit stuck in the past musically?)

I guess that I should probably stop babbling now. I just can't tell you how excited I have gotten over all this. (And how much time I have blown over at iTunes) Doesn't take much, does it?