Posts

Cathedrals Lyrics and Chords Booklet

We release a new album- the first movement of Bellwether, called “Cathedrals”. (Movements II & III releasing in June & Oct.)

Have you ever walked into a cathedral and had your breath taken away? Or maybe witnessed a natural phenomenon like the Grand Canyon and had your line of importance wonderfully interrupted? In their feel and arrangement this 5 song collection pursues this sense of wonder, with the narrative often opening towards God.

Along with this movement of songs Betony has designed a really beautiful song booklet, filled with chords and lyrics. They are available here for download in color and in a more printable B&W.

 

 

 

To get you excited about the album here is a printable booklet of the song lyrics and chords with beautifully designed pages by Betony.

Click here to download the full color version:

Cathedrals_colorful

 

Click here to download a BW more printer friendly version:

Cathedrals_Printable

December’s Adventures in Homeschooling

This year we began homeschooling Lucy (7) and Hattie (5). We’re including this on our Giants & Pilgrims blog as all our family adventures seem to impact our art & music so much! Also, we just like sharing the stories. So we’ll be sharing posts on the themes we’ve been covering each month and calling the adventure “ABACUS”! Our hope is that these posts will help spark creative direction and inspiration for your family as well as giving us somewhere to be document and record our experiences.

December has been a full month around here learning how to be a family of six, shuttling kids to Nutcracker rehearsals and performances, doing ALL the advent things, baking cookies, celebrating Christmas, and enjoying time with family. Here are some highlights from this month of homeschooling –

ADVENT Activities:

For years, we have enjoyed the Jacquie Lawson computer advent calendars. This years was a British seaside theme.

 

image_7

We also always love the Lego advent calendars. They have a tiny set to build every day..

img_4120

This year we purchased Jennifer Naraki’s Slow + Sacred Advent. It is an ebook that was written to guide families through the four weeks leading up to Christmas.  It includes personal stories, Biblical theology, and four weeks of creative, yet simple thematic plans. We really enjoyed it and look forward to using it again in years to come.img_7291

Advent closed with all of us at a candlelight service together at Tim’s Church – Saint Andrew United Methodist in Highlands Ranch.
Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

img_7601

Getting MOVING:

December is always hard because weather in Colorado isn’t the best for playing outside. And, with a new baby, it’s hard to get the girls out and about. Here are a few of the fun activities we fit in –

Cosmic Kids Yoga (always a hit around here) –

Processed with VSCO with c2 preset

Tim took the girls ice skating –

Processed with VSCO with c2 preset

and sledding!

img_7507

And Lucy and Harriet had their debut in the Nutcracker Ballet as presents! They were stunning.

img_7370

Arlo missed most of the show…Grandma was just to cozy.
img_7383-2

RUSSIA:

One of the things we are doing this year is our Passport idea for Geography/World Cultures. We are “visiting” a different country every month – exploring the food, culture, dress, arts, and music through themed activities. This month, because the girls were part of the Nutcracker, we chose Russia. img_7139

We had a wonderful “Russian” tea time – listening to Tchaikovsky, making these delicious Russian tea scones, and drinking Russian spice tea, and reading the Nutcracker.

img_7144

Canon has a whole set of the amazing (FREE!) printable paper models of famous building. So we made St. Basil’s Cathedral! The instructions and cutting were a little too tricky for the girls, so mom and I did most of it. My puzzle loving brain had a blast. I want to make more!
img_7281img_7163 img_7175  Here are the books we read about Russia. Thank you High Plains library!img_7337

History:

Our favorite history activity this month was visiting Centennial Village’s Homesteader’s Holiday.
Centennial Village is a living history museum in Greeley (actually where Tim and I got married!).
Here are the girls making hand dipped candles in the old Carriage House –
img_7233  img_7236

And Beatrice exploring outside the historic church – img_7242

STEM:

Lucy saw an experiment in The Dangerous Book for Boys on how to make a Battery. She has been asking about it for a while so we decided to try it. And it worked!

img_7426 img_7429  Battery making led to playing with our Snap Circuits Jr. kit – a great toy that teaches the basics of Electronics.img_7430

We also picked up a cool new single player puzzle game called Katamino that is quite the brain teaser. Harriet got quite into it.img_7482

Art and Handicrafts:

With the flurry of gift making and house decorating, we spent a lot of time MAKING this month.

Making foil stained glass windows –img_7152 img_7154
Making Foil star garlands and stick stars (for our Nature Pal Exchange friends) img_7324 Making Waldorf window stars –img_7346

Making handmade Christmas presents – img_7529

Making all the Christmas cookies – Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

And making a stocking for this handsome little man –

Processed with VSCO with c3 preset

MUSIC:

The girls have continued with their music classes at Union Colony Children’s Music Academy which they love. Tim has been working on tracking for our new album -which means we have amazing musical visitors in and out of the studio. Our friend Sigourney was kind enough to let the girls try out her stunning concert harp.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

NATURE STUDY:

For our nature study we received this super fun box of nature crafts from our nature pen-pals in Florida.img_7479

WRITING:

We did lots of letter writing this month – tons of thank you notes, pen-pal letters, and of course some super sweet correspondence addressed to the North Pole.

img_7285 img_7400

On a different side, Harriet has really enjoyed playing Reading Eggs on the computer.readingeggsmap

READING:

We enjoyed so many wonderful stories this month. (Especially thanks to lots of time sitting nursing!)

mousemotorcycle5 children-little-house_300 bestcmaspageantever 51q26fig4pl-_sx428_bo1204203200_ img_7343
We also really enjoyed Read Aloud Revival’s Christmas Book list recommendations – img_7423

Merry Christmas everyone! Thanks for following along!

img_7299

img_7397

NEW ALBUM! Haystacks: A Collection of Favorite Songs (2008-2016)

haystacks-album-cover

Today I turn 38. When reflecting on life this I realized something:

Over the past 8 years I’ve released 8 albums!
becoming_cover_1600almanac-cover_color_v1418qjnxtlul-_ss500frailty_album_cover_giants-and-pilgrims_sm51b3jzcvpil-_ss500trillium-album frailty_album_after_party61r8b-835nl-_ss500

 

Before that, when I had turned 30 I had crisis of profession. I wasn’t sure if being a musician/singer-songwriter was going to be good for my family. Our first baby was on the way and I had always treated this part of my life as a hobby. I wrote songs and shared them locally but I never went beyond our pocket of friends with any intention. Yet I had this strong pull that I needed to be giving more room for this in my life.

Then I had a transformative conversation with a friend.

He let me know, “Tim, this is the year of the baby. You’re going to have your first child. And then you’re going to let this other child known as your ‘creative career’ out of the closet you’ve locked it up in.”

Really, someone’s respected opinion that I could DO IT was all I needed.

I created a website.

I shared my music online.

I played shows and gathered emails.

I went on my first tour (to Kansas! because it was home!)

It was a turning point for me where I stopped talking about what I wanted to do as singer/songwriter and started actually doing it.

So collected here are songs that are favorites of mine and the people who have listened in over the last 8 years. In the fields of everything I’ve released these are songs that rise a little bit higher in their season.

Hence the name, Haystacks.


Processed with VSCOcam with m4 preset

Story behind the painting “On Becoming and Artist”

Over the course of this month, we will be sharing some of the stories behind the paintings and songs in the Becoming series.
You can purchase prints of this piece here.
And, you can listen to the song, Eventually, here.

ON BECOMING AN ARTIST
24X18 mixed media on canvas
Companion Song: Eventually
IMG_2195
I grew up in a very artistic family. My mother is an amazing artist and she dedicated many hours of our homeschooling to magical projects with artistic bents. But I never considered myself an artist. My older sister was always the one who could draw elaborate characters and scenes from her head. I was the kid that was good at math and science. It wasn’t until H.S. – when my sister went off to private ballet school in Canada – and I took my first structured art classes, that I even considered that I was good at art as well.

Little River H.S. is a tiny rural school in Kansas only accessible by dirt country roads. There were 32 kids in my graduating class. The year below me had 12. Beth Myers is the art teacher there and she has this amazing little “attic” art department that smells like wax and sunshine. It is the only room on the second story and had a door to the rooftop. She let me set up my own work table under a window in the corner where I could leave my scattered in-progress works out. It was this glorious little world all in its own. It was the first time I started to see my self as an artist separate from my sister.

In college, I was majoring in the sciences – computer programing and biology (believe it or not), but would still take art classes for fun. The art rooms were always where I wanted to be. Walking in felt like home. I was working several jobs – scooping ice cream and delivering papers and I hated it. But I was teaching little art workshops for my friends. Then, in the classified ads I saw an advertisement for a M.S. Art teacher. I applied, and through uncharacteristic boldness and luck, I got the job.

And slowly, I realized that the thing I loved most, and the space I loved most was creating. Sitting in a sunshine filled place with a steaming mug of coffee, tools of making in my hands, excavating beauty from the stories that make up our lives.

To me this piece is about the pull. About how all these little tidbits and disconnected themes in your life have direction and movement. You may not see the image they are forming until you reach the destination. But, your passions, your curiosities, your dreams – they all are leading somewhere.

 IMG_2109 IMG_2115 On becoming an artist_web

EVENTUALLY lyrics by Tim Coons
My hourglass, my calloused hands

My furrowed brow in all my plans

I’ll come into my own, I’ll come into my own

The distance I have traveled

The wool that I have gathered

I’ll come into my own, I’ll come into my own

Heaven’s ship sails low

All the while, it’s ever close

You know you know…

You’ll never have that time you need

You strike the rock but nothing bleeds

You’ll come into your own

eventually

the distance you have wandered
The fabric torn asunder

You’ll come into your own, you’ll come into your own

Heaven’s ship sails slow

Give it time, it’ll show

before you go, before you go

you know, you know, oh

‘Middle C’ Mural in Greeley is Finished


I actually finished this mural at the end of last month, but I didn’t want to miss out on sharing some of the behind the scenes process pictures here. And actually, this morning I went and put the finishing piece on – the Middle C note right in the middle of the musical staff and finally signed the wall, so I suppose it wasn’t actually complete until today. This is the second large scale mural of I have painted for the city of Greeley – here is a picture of the first –
IMG_3580
Doing these pieces as silhouette worlds has been so enjoyable. (By the way, that is baby Beatrice in my tummy.)

My newest mural is part of the City of Greeley’s Art in Public places alleyway project. City officials hope to see the alley — which serves as a connection between walkways from the 8th and 9th street plazas — covered with music themed artwork. Their plan is to take an eye-sore and turn it into a public gallery of sorts. Isn’t that a lovely idea?
You can read more about the city of Greeley’s plans for the alleyway and the scope of the project here.

Here is the my alley way Wall BEFORE:
Dealing with those pipes and utility boxes was the biggest challenge…

Betony Coons downtown Greeley Mural www.giantsandpilgrims.com

And in progress pictures (scroll all the way through to see the finished wall)

Betony Coons downtown Greeley Mural www.giantsandpilgrims.com
Betony Coons downtown Greeley Mural www.giantsandpilgrims.com

Betony Coons downtown Greeley Mural www.giantsandpilgrims.com
Betony Coons downtown Greeley Mural www.giantsandpilgrims.com

Betony Coons downtown Greeley Mural www.giantsandpilgrims.com


Betony Coons downtown Greeley Mural www.giantsandpilgrims.com

Betony Coons downtown Greeley Mural www.giantsandpilgrims.com


And FINISHED! (This is a composite photo, the narrowness of the alley makes it tricky to get the whole wall in one photo)

Betony Coons downtown Greeley Mural www.giantsandpilgrims.com

Betony Coons downtown Greeley Mural www.giantsandpilgrims.com

 

Betony Coons downtown Greeley Mural

Documenting Our Creative Process – A Photo Series

This post is part of an ongoing series we post every couple of weeks, sharing our journey as working artists. Sometimes it is good to take the veil off of the creative process and showcase how we get from A to Z. See some of the other posts here.

So many little aspiring musicians around here.

IMG_6418

This creative mixer/master, the elusive Dave Wilton of Saint Ida’s studio, has been working his magic on our new “Becoming” album. I am almost giddy I am so excited about it.

IMG_4608

Tim has been experimenting downstairs with a new creative venture. Notes, harmonies, layering….sound and smell aren’t that far apart.

IMG_6272

We have been enjoying lots of Chalk art, especially in anticipation of one of our favorite Greeley, CO events, the Greeley Chalk a Lot on Sept. 12th.
IMG_6300

 

While momma has been painting away on her own projects, Lucy hatched out this fluttery, neon butterfly.
IMG_6323

I have slowly but surely been closeted away working on this new series of ours (“Becoming” will be an album AND art series). I truly can’t wait to share it with you all.
IMG_6594
I love my little studio view of the Treehouse Village. This window also becomes a temporary landing page for collage pieces I haven’t yet incorporated but that are providing inspiration.  IMG_6387

 

Spring Cleaning Workin’ Playlist

Spring Cleaning to me is about opening the windows, turning up the music, and rolling up your sleeves to really dig in and get the grim out. Here is a fun Workin’ Mix we curated to get you going.

1. Whistle While You Work – Disney
2. Whip It – Devo
3. Happy Working Song – Amy Adams
4. So Fresh, So Clean – OutKast
5. Another One Bites The Dust – Queen
6. Takin’ Care of Business – Bachman-Turner Overdrive
7. Working for The Weekend – Loverboy
8. Working in a Coal Mine – Devo
9. Get a Job – The Silhouettes
10. Yakety Yak – The Coasters
11. Washing Dishes – Jack Johnson
12. Whistle While You Work – Louis Armstrong

Documenting the Creative Process: a Weekly Photo Series

Here are some of our projects we have been working on and some snippets of our artistic process from the last couple weeks.

I submitted a design for the city of Greeley Manhole cover design contest

manhole vector

 

Tim has been continuing recording on our new album “Becoming” and working on another still to be titled album. One song uses this sweet antique musical organ toy.

Processed with VSCOcam with c2 preset

 

 

 

 

I’m in the middle of this commission depicting a mine in Alaska. Still has a long ways to go 🙂

IMG_3419

IMG_3625

 

 

I made a whole series of little sunprint bags for John Galt’s Boutique

IMG_3453

Processed with VSCOcam with c2 preset

And finally, I have been working on an Art Deco poster and CD cover for the new Burroughs live album!

sweaty greeley soul

IMG_3621

 

Saint Patricks Day Playlist: So Much GREEN

Last March Tim gathered a list of favorite St. Patties day songs from friends on our facebook page. Here is the entire compilation in its fullness. It is definitely worth a listen on this under-celebrated holiday of greenness.

1. Whiskey in The Jar – The Dubliners
2. I’ll Tell Me Ma – The Chieftains
3. The State of Massachusetts – Dropkick Murpheys
4. The Wild Rover – The Dubliners
5. Star of The County Down – The High Kings
6. Star of The County Down – The Irish Rovers
7. The Foggy Dew – The Clancy Brothers
8. A Parting Glass – Glen Hansard
9. Galway Girl – Mundy
10. Dancing at the Crossroads – The Crossing
11. The Parting Glass- The Clancy Brothers
12. Bold Riley – The Wailin’ Jennys
13. The Kesh Jig – The Bothy Band
14. The Wind that Shakes the Barley – Solas
15. The Foggy Dew – The Chieftains
16. The Rocky Road to Dublin – The Dubliners
17. Cardinal Knowledge – Kila
18. The Rising of the Moon – The High Kings
19. Whiskey Your the Devil – Morgenrot World Music
20. The Juice of the barley – The Clancy Brothers
21. Highlander’s Farewell to Ireland – Alasdair Fraser
22. Two Jigs – Tommy Peoples
23. Psalm 23 – Eden’s Bridge
24. Maudabawn Chapel – Martin Byrnes
25. Music for a Found Harmonium – Patrick Street
26.The Rocky Road to Dublin – The High Kings
27. The Valley of Strathmore – Silly Wizard
28. When Irish Eyes are Smiling – The Irish Tenors
29 Who Threw the Overalls in Mrs. – The Limerick Rovers
30. Whiskey in the Jar – Waxies Dargle
31. The Wild Rover – The Blarney Lads
32. The Foggy Dew – The Dublin Ramblers
33. Black Velvet Band – the Kilkenny Brothers
34. Ramblin Irishmen – Spailpin
35. Mountain Dew – The Blarney Lads

Mountains Playlist

We curated a “Mountain” themed soundtrack for your days this month. What would you add to this list? Enjoy!

Portfolio Items