Today, March 1, 2012, is the one year anniversary of the official release of Chrysalis, of the creation of graceatarms.com, and of the effective birth of GRACE@ARMS.

That which matters most:

THANK YOU.  Thank you to all of my followers, subscribers, and friends as well as all the fans, supporters, collaborators, and friends of GRACE@ARMS.  I’ve said it a thousand times in a thousand ways, but it can never be said enough:

This band isn’t a story about me.  It isn’t a window into my heart.  It is me.  It is my hope in the real world.  It is my heart on earth.  I’m grateful for every comment from every fan and I’m moved every time my music, my words, my art, and my hope connects with someone else’s heart.  I can thank you a thousand times, but I’ll never be able to convey the appreciation I feel for all of those who’ve helped me begin to make my ambitious dream real.

A Facebook banner designed for Grace at Arms (GRACE@ARMS) by Bastion Crider, the front-man for Grace at Arms on February 29, 2012.  All art, logos, design, "@LIVE 2012", "@LIVE", and "B-Day" copyright Bastion Crider, Greg Crider LLC, and Grace at Arms.

The Bitter and the Sweet:

Obviously, sitting at home waiting for my back surgery wounds to heal isn’t the way I had planned on spending the day. More so, I hadn’t planned on spending most of February huddled on my couch in a drug-induced stupor. As a result, this isn’t quite the day of concerts and celebrations, or even the planned-for-weeks blog entry, merchandise giveaway, and growth opportunity that I had imagined.

Nevertheless, my dream has been real for an entire year and in that time I’ve gone from editing tracks in my basement, telling myself over and over that someday someone would want to hear them, to selling albums internationally.

The question now, which I’d planned on pondering all month, is what to say to mark the occasion.

A Facebook page picture designed for Grace at Arms (GRACE@ARMS) by Bastion Crider, the front-man for Grace at Arms on February 29, 2012.  All art, logos, design, "@LIVE 2012", "@LIVE", and "B-Day" copyright Bastion Crider, Greg Crider LLC, and Grace at Arms.

Well, for starters, NEW T-SHIRT!!!!!!!!!

Where do Grace@Arms shirts come from? Essentially, I ask myself what I want to wear, and then I make it. This time, I wanted to cover both Grace@Arms birthday and my own (March 17–Bastion-Day, B-Day, or St. Patrick’s Day) in the same shirt. I also LOVE long sleeve t-shirts with writing on the sleeves. So basically, those ideas came together into this:

Bastion Crider of Grace at Arms (GRACE@ARMS) depicted as an embryo in a sonogram image with an Ancora (Grace at Arms' "Capital @" symbol) inside of his brain as part of the B-Day 2012 t-shirt from Grace@Arms.  Art by Bastion Crider, February 29, 2012.  All logos, images, art, design, "I CAME HERE TO ROCK", "B-DAY", and "Ancora" copyright Bastion Crider, Greg Crider LLC, and Grace at Arms.

One drawback (well, I’m absorbing the drawback because I love this shirt and want people to be wearing it, so it’s really more of a deal or a sale than a drawback) to long sleeve shirts, shirts with more than one color, shirts with writing on the sleeves, or especially all at once, is that they cost more to make!

As a result, the birthday shirts will pre-order for $25 (IF there are any extras in the order, they’ll sell for $30) and will be available to pre-order ONLY until Sunday. That didn’t feel like a celebratory-enough deal, though, so I decided to release a special package for those interested:

1 Long Sleeve Birthday T-Shirt, 1 “Baseball” Tee, and 1 Chrysalis CD for $40

And we’ll get to the rest later…

Like I said, the anniversary crept up on me so the “year in the life” article will be showing up later, but in the mean time, I’ve revamped the band’s Facebook page, both of the new shirts are pre-orderable until Sunday, and our April 28 concert (the only G@A show on the horizon–thanks, back surgery) at Mike & Joe’s in New Castle, Indiana has been converted from an acoustic show to an electric show!

Bastion Crider of Grace at Arms (GRACE@ARMS) depicted as an embryo in a sonogram image with an Ancora (Grace at Arms' "Capital @" symbol) inside of his brain.  Art by Bastion Crider, February 29, 2012.  All logos, images, art, design, "I CAME HERE TO ROCK", "B-DAY", and "Ancora" copyright Bastion Crider, Greg Crider LLC, and Grace at Arms.

It’s been an incredible year and it’s about to be another one.  If you’re unfamiliar with GRACE@ARMS, you can find us on iTunes, Facebook, YouTube, and at our homepage, graceatarms.com (you can also find us just about everywhere else–just search for Grace@Arms or BastionAtArms).  You can also keep up to date with my blog, my art projects, my music, and my madness at my Facebook, Twitter, and my original blog at graceatarms.com/bastion.

Thanks and thanks again.  Keep rocking with all you are.
– Bastion, of Grace at Arms

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