MICK FLEETWOOD: “I see things with wonder each and every day.”

BLOG #14


Whoever would have thought that Mick Fleetwood, one of the original creative musicians of the mega group Fleetwood Mac, and I share similar thoughts?

Wednesday I picked up his autobiography, Play On penned in 2014 with Anthony Bozza, at the Friends of the Largo Library Bookstore for $1. I love Fleetwood Mac, particularly the music written and performed by girl singers Christine McVie and Stevie Nicks. It would a good book for my brother-in-law Tom who sends us music (CDs) or books about bands. Last time we visited him, we played music together. He on guitar and harmonica, Mike and me on ukulele.

I began to read Mick’s fascinating recollections of his early days in music covering friendships, drugs, sex and rock n’ roll. It is a no-holds-barred look at the life of a man who grew up and, unexpectedly became a music icon. He’s gracious and constantly thanks those who have supported and inspired him.

One page 6, he writes: “I see things with wonder each and every day. Sometimes I wonder how the hell I got here. I love drumming and I know I’ve never been suited to do much else, but truth be told, I regard myself as a guy who happens to drum, not as a guy who is a drummer. It’s a strange and subtle contradiction..”

Left: Rings of Purple was inspired by the curvy vine. Right: Small basket was, of course, inspired by a geode.

That paragraph struck a chord within me. I vaguely remembered an artist statement that I wrote four years ago for Florida CraftArt: “I am an evolving and ‘restless’ basket weaver who finds new inspiration every day…A vine’s flowing arch, the shades of color on reed, the texture of sparkling beads, the mix of shredded postcards…I weave, I sense a graceful rhythm. All is well.”

So similar! I’m enjoying this book and while reading, revisit my thoughts over my artistic journey just as Mick did…

He says, “I’m still a student. I’m still ‘in process.’” I agree.

And his sage advice: “Go somewhere you’ve never been, somewhere you’ve dreamed of going…Go anywhere you can, because a journey is an adventure and adventures are how we learn who we really are.”

I am thankful for this journey and adventure.


Last week we all turned in our videos, a requirement of the Emerging Artist Grant. I’ve done easy recordings on my iPhone of uke “performances” although I don’t call them that. So doing a video about me, my work, my “studio” should’ve been easy. But it wasn’t.

I had written a rough script and storyboard (plan for narrative and insertion of photos). In the course of videotaping, my phone repeatedly stopped so I ended up breaking up my story into segments. Creative Pinellas Curator Danny Olda would be doing the hard part of editing. At this time, I’ve been able to upload two segments…I might have to redo.

I’m in constant contact with those marvelous, encouraging folks at the National Basketry Organization. A member for years (since its inception in 1999), I had dropped it for several years. Rejoining this group as been instrumental in my continuing growth as a maker. An NBO scholarship awarded to me in 2019 caused me to seriously consider installation themed work as a focus.

So, when I was awarded the Emerging Artist grant, I emailed NBO Executive Director Pam Morton and Administrative Manager Joan Ciolino the good news and promptly forgot about it. Someone at yesterday’s TBBG (Tampa Bay Basketmakers Guild) meeting said she was reading something on her computer when up popped an article about me and the grant.

Have to admit, as a former journalist and public relations person, seeing something in writing (that you didn’t write yourself), what we call “third party endorsement,” is thrilling and humbling. I am very grateful.

Facebook: @thehappiestrabbit
Instagram: emilystehle

P.S. Almost forgot. If you’re free on Tuesday, 4-6pm and want to make a music shaker, drop by Lealman Community Park, 3800 55th Ave. N, St. Petersburg. I’ll be teaching this activity at SPACEcraft (the cool shipping container just north of the basketball court)!

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