Friday, December 16, 2011

Weekly Music Nugget 38

      Years ago I heard someone say that some decorators like lots of white at home because it is a relief after working with color all day. 
      I think this is also true sometimes for musicians. I am almost "musicked" out, and perhaps it is time for some silence.  Everywhere I go I hear Christmas music (most of which leaves much to be desired, in my opinion).  I have my last leg of concertizing this weekend and I will be glad for a break.
     This week my music nugget is that ears can get tired!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Musioilarose 4

      Two or three weeks ago I did something to my lower back.  I think it was a bit out, but a ligament or tendon was also giving me fits.  I don't know which happened first. Pain. Pain.  It was torture to get out of bed.
     I began to have success with my DoTerra oils when I layered them on my back four times a day.  I layered lemongrass, Deep Blue (a mixture) and then peppermint to help them penetrate.  In two days it was about 50 % better, and after four days it was almost normal.  I should add here that my lower back problems usually seem to be related to pulled ligaments, so I also massage my lower back around the hurt area. That  helps.
     Love these oils!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Dashees Garden Tuesday 34/ Sheep Pow-Wow

          My hands have been busy with my viola and Christmas, so there isn't much new now.  I have posted a photograph of an old quilt that belonged to my mother.  I think she inherited it from her mother's sister, my great Aunt Hoto.  Aunt Hoto could sew anything.  She did not make the tatters.
          The year I was in a Dashee mood and made black sheep.  And bought a few.  Not sure what that was you get sheep with the quilt.  I think they are having a pow-wow.

Monday, December 12, 2011


     Looks like Mitt Romney is not the only Mormon running for the office of president of a country.  Love this article!!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sunday Musings 12/ Music Nugget 37

     I adore this arrangement of Still,Still,Still.  Sublime.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Where 's the snow?

Well, it is the end of the first week in December and no snow.  So, a reminder........

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Dashees Garden Tuesday 33/crafting

     When my boys were young I would get depressed in the winter.  As a kind of therapy I decided to make a scrapbook filled with decorating ideas that I really liked.  I kept most of my magazines at that time, so I browsed through them and clipped photographs of things I liked.
     I collected the cardboard backings of writing pads, and I used two of these for the cover.  I applied a spray glue and attached some pretty wrapping paper to the outside of each board.  When dry I modge-podged each page.
     I did not use any special paper to fill it...just heavier paper around the house.  I put two holes in each board through which I strung yarn to keep everything together.  Each sheet of paper also had two holes.
     For this project I didn't use archival quality anything.  This was just for fun.  I did use some flower stickers to decorate my pages.
     This would be a fun project for a homemade Christmas present.  It is cheap if you have most of the materials needed.   This might be especially fun for a teen or older child.  It could be called a keepsake book, a mommy retreat book, a "My Likes" book, etc.
     Occasionally I still peruse my book, add something to it, and dream. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

I Don't Get It

     This morning I used the internet to find the location of a parking lot at a college campus.  It took quite a while.  First I had to find a map.  Next I had to figure out which map I wanted.  I finally found a separate link for parking.  That took me to a page which had WAY more info then I wanted, so I had to sift through that.  When I finally found a map with parking lots, I discovered that they were not labelled.  No parking lot B.  At that point I gave up and e-mailed a friend.
     I expected a college campus to be showcasing how to efficiently get info to the public.  Ah, another moment of unfulfilled expectations!  What was I thinking?!  My sister (who works for a university) has warned me about colleges.
     Perhaps campuses are meant to be mysterious.  I never imagined parking lots would be a secretive topic!!  Maybe they could be the topic of a documentary (produced by a university, of course).
     Here is a link that my son forwarded to me.  Explains everything.  Hover over the phrases above the circles.


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sunday Musings 11

     Today I have been pondering an experience I had a few years ago.  It occurred while walking our dog along a parkway lined with trees, in spring or fall, I think.
     High in the trees to my left were gathered a few big, noisy black crows.  The cawing of crows is a loud and strident sound, and the noise level of this little group demanded my attention.  I looked up and watched them.  Their appearance and sound was impressive but foreboding.
     As I passed I noticed another bird beyond them, perched on a much lower branch.  It was a catbird, and he was quietly giving quite a concert.  Catbirds are not large birds, and they are not much to look at--just gray. Their song is a series of brief imitations of bird calls and other sounds from the surrounding area, including a distinctive mewing.  They often hide in shrubbery or lower tree branches when singing.  I love listening to catbirds, and since this one was also unexpectedly visible, I enjoyed the moment.
     Sometimes I think about the stark contrast of behaviors I observed that day.  The crows might be likened to the worries, fears, and daily anxieties that sometimes plague each of us, or they might be voices  that invite or influence us to think or do things that are not in our best interest, that are wrong.  The quiet catbird is another voice, perhaps our conscience reminding us of good choices, or lovelier things we could be focusing on.  Perhaps it is the still, small voice of the Spirit. Which one will we choose to listen to, crows or catbirds?
     It seems that the Christmas season is a prime time for crow voices to lure us to their side, so to speak.  They try to divert our attention with the demanding caws of shopping, wrapping, mailing, baking, crafting, partying, eating too many sweets but trying to look good, and the guilt, stress and anxiety that follow.  We need to take time to seek out the catbird songs of gratitude, peace, generosity, and kindness.  We can do this by spending quiet alone time to ponder what this season is really about.  For me, that is taking the time to pray, read scriptures, and remember the true focus of Christmas, Jesus the Christ.  And good music helps!


Friday, December 2, 2011

Treasuries 2

    Just changed my treasury on the right side of this page.  Underneath Christmas Night is a treasury that lists one of my items; it is the gray knit/white lace brooch.    This one was made by Enid.  Fun!

Weekly Music Nugget 36/ The Snowman

     Earlier this week I played a concert in which a children's choir sang Walking in the Air.  I did not recognize it until I heard is the music to the 1982 video The Snowman.  I loved this movie when my boys were small, and I still like to get it out and watch it at this season.  Soon we will have our first snow, I think!!  Here is a link to a YouTube clip of the movie.  Not the best, but the music is so pretty!!

Musioilarose 4

     Last week I bumped my right hand into the corner of a table.  I knew it would bruise and be sore.  I looked up what to do for bruises and applied one drop of DoTerra geranium oil to the spot. bruise....well,  maybe a faint one....had to really look to find it.  And I have not noticed any soreness.  Amazing!!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Weekly Music Nugget 35

     Ah, the plight of violists....just not enough to do sometimes!  As a tribute to violists I watched this entire video (the guy is cute)....
     The performance would have been enlivened by a good throat tickle (see my post Vocal Percussion

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


    Today I installed a widget which allows me to share Etsy treasuries.  Some will be made by me; those made by others will usually feature an item from my shop.
     Treasuries are collections of up to 16 items chosen by an Etsy account holder; each has a theme reflected in its title.  The shop owner must not feature his /her own items (hence my things only appear in someone else's  treasury). Searching treasuries is a fun way to promote and shop Etsy. 
     My treasury is on the sidebar to the right.  Click on an item to see a bigger photo and listing/price info.  A big picture of the whole treasury is available by clicking on the title in tiny letters immediately above the top row. Today I have posted my Thanksgiving treasury, Over the River and Through the Woods.
     I make a lot of treasuries so I will be changing them often.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Dashees Garden Tuesday 32

    Below is another adventure in hoop art.  I just might change the embroidery on this one.  The wool is from a felted skirt.  I love the colors!

Monday, November 21, 2011


     My latest essential oil love is Whisper by DoTerra.  This blend of essential oils is especially for women and helps balance emotions. It also works with each person's chemistry to create a beautiful fragrance.  When I first put it on the smell is OK; after a few minutes it gets an odor I don't care for and then it changes into something lovely!  At this point I can smell some vanilla bean.  After that it continues to improve until it reminds me of a very expensive perfume.  Yummy.
     Many colognes and perfumes get stinky on me after I wear them for a while.  There are a few that improve as I wear them (lots of Estee Lauder fragrances work on me).  Whisper works like those!  It is not a strong scent.  I will have to do some research and see if it can be mixed with perfume alcohol,  Wonder what will happen then?!
     Oh, this is fun!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunday Musings 10

     I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or Mormons.  I have been following Mitt Romney, a Latter-day Saint, for various reasons, one of which is that I believe him to be a good and honest man.  During this process I have been both saddened and heartened by  reactions to this good man's faith.  They range from well-informed and unbiased to  ignorant and bigoted.  I am particularly amazed at the latter, so much so that I must write some comments.
     I have done some reading about Romney's problems in Iowa because of his religion.  A few statements and quotes by evangelical Iowans reveal a lack of knowledge about Mormonism---or perhaps a refusal to acknowledge it.  I find it very sad that this exists in a society that has the internet library available at the touch of fingertips.
     Perhaps many of these good folks believe what they have heard from their religious leaders and have not felt motivated to find out for themselves what we believe, or perhaps they are scared.  In any case, the ignorance is disturbing.
     One of the quotes I read stated that Mormons believe the Book of Mormon is the word of God but not the Bible. This person went on to say that our president needs to be a man who believes in the Bible, so he can not support Romney.  Hmm.....if Mormons don't believe in the Bible, why I have had so many lessons at church about it?!  And why do I teach it to my class of 6-7 year old children?!  Why am I church...that the Bible is the word of God?!  Yes, we do believe that the Bible contains the word of God.  We believe the Book of Mormon to be a second witness of Jesus Christ, the Bible being our first.  We believe in more scripture, not less.
     When I was learning about the Mormon church I was troubled by the Book of Mormon.  To me it was either really good or really bad; it was evil or it was from God.  No one with Joseph Smith's experience and education could have written it, so it had to have been influenced by God or His opposite. I have found on my own that the  Book of Mormon has nothing but good in it.  It complements the Bible.  How could it be evil?!  That is silly or fearful thinking.
     The best way to form an opinion on the Book of Mormon is to read it yourself.  Any active Latter-day Saint will tell you this.  The missionaries tell you this.  You must find out for yourself....not through a pastor, a well-meaning friend, or even another Mormon.  Read it and pray about it, with an open mind and a sincere desire to know if it is true.
    If you choose not to pursue the Book of Mormon, at least respect the beliefs of those who have read and studied it.  Respect the beliefs of the Latter-day Saints by finding out for yourself what they are.  Don't believe everything you hear or read.  Go to or for correct information.  Exercise faith, not fear.


Friday, November 18, 2011

Weekly Music Nugget 34/ A musiolarant

     The yearly avalanche of Christmas music has begun.  I think it began a couple of weeks ago.  While driving this morning I noticed that there is at least one radio station devoted entirely to Christmas music.  My ears will be tired by December.  By Christmas my ears will have been buried alive for a while. I estimate that it will take almost a year to dig out.  And then........AGAIN.
     I don't get it.  Why must this music begin so early every year?  By Halloween stores are preparing (well, maybe that isn't so bad...takes some attention from Halloween).  By  the third week of November Thanksgiving is merging with Christmas.  I estimate that in another twenty years (or sooner) we will have an end of the year celebration called  Giving Thanks Days.  I think that covers both holidays without offending anyone.  The way will then be clear to forget anything holy about either.
     I hope none of this ever happens.  It is disturbing enough that the word holiday has become the politically correct name for Christmas.  I don't get that at all....seems just silly (ridiculous is a better word).  Don't we have more important issues than what to call Christmas!!??
     What is really offensive is- in my opinion- songs like that stunning ballad "Santa Baby".....!!!!!!!!!  My poor ears.....and brain......!


Monday, November 14, 2011


     Pink.............a new color for me to consider.  My son and his wife are expecting....and it is a GIRL.  My sister had boys.  I had all boys.  My brother had a boy....and then a daughter....who is deceased (I'm not going there tonight)..........a GIRL.  And I will be a first time grandmother........

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Weekly Music Nugger 33/Ameling

     My very favorite singer is Elly Ameling, a Dutch soprano.  I don't think she sings much anymore...I never hear anything about her.  She is in her twilight years..... 
     I first heard her sing at a BYU concert in the seventies.  I thought at the time that I had never heard singing as beautiful as hers!  I still just love to listen to her via my CDs.  I especially like Schubert lieder and have included a link to Nacht und Traume.  Ms. Ameling's version is exquisite.

Friday, November 11, 2011


     I suppose I will try to do a music post tomorrow.  Today I am distracted by a wonderful movie I just saw.  My husband and I just watched the documentary Buck, released this year.
     Buck is about Buck Brannaman, a horse whisperer (he helped with the movie The Horse Whisperer).  Buck himself is the star of the film. He travels the country giving 4 day clinics on horse behavior and training.   He is followed and filmed doing this in the movie, with intermittent discussion of his upbringing, which involved an abusive father.  Buck chose not be like his father.  He gained a special sensitivity to abused animals, horses in particular.  He came to understand them and learned the "horse whisperer" technique of training.  He developed wonderful gifts.
      For lack of better words, I have to say that this man is "special"....very firm, confident, but kind, compassionate and patient.  There is something very familiar about him.  Hard to explain....almost like he is a kindred spirit.  Watch his eyes....he has beautiful eyes.
     If you enjoy horses, take the time to watch this movie (we saw it on Netflix).  It is a beautiful documentary of how someone has overcome a difficult childhood and made his weaknesses into strengths.  Just made me feel good!!

Well....maybe a connection to music......I have been motivated to practice better.....


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Etsy Fun

     Today I discovered a new activity at  It's a fun way to search items at Etsy.   Scroll down to the section on the lower left called Prototypes. Beneath it click on Taste Test.  The next page is the Prototypes page.  Go to the bottom section and click on Taste Test.
     On this page Etsy will show you a few photographs; if you really like one, click on it and it will begin a collection of your favorites.  More photos show up for you to choose from.  At some point this stops, and Etsy determines your style from your choices.  You will then be shown a large selection of items that match your style (taste).  Not only is it fun, but it is a great way to sort out items that you like.  You can take the test again and see if the result is different.  Great fun.
     If you have an Etsy account, the items you like can be saved there as your favorites.  Great shopping tool for yourself, and someone else if you know his/her taste.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Dashees Garden Tuesday 32

    Another finished wool heart....and not black!  All hearts are wool.  It is lightly stuffed.  A little guy... about 3 3/4" by 3 1/2".

Monday, November 7, 2011

Musioilarose 2/ A good sleep

       Most nights I apply DoTerra's lavender oil on the bottom of my feet before I go to bed. It seems to help me sleep (and it smells good).  I am often up at least once in the night, and sometimes I am restless.  When I use lavender my sleep is deeper.  I might still wake up once or twice, but the sleep before and after is better quality.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sunday Musings 9

     Today marks the beginning of what I call the November gloomies.  The weather is cool and gray; the beautiful October colors are fading and the last of the leaves will soon fall.
     It's depressing.  I have been fighting this all afternoon.  In thinking about what to post I reviewed some things that I am grateful for, and it is helping. I will share some.
     First, I am thankful for my good husband and children.  They are blessings in my life.  Sometimes I think we look outside our own family for fulfillment, not realizing that what we really want might be right under our noses.  So often the grass looks greener on the other side, so to speak.  Gratitude can shift our perspective.
     Next, I am thankful for my viola, my fourth child.  We have been together for 42 years, and I still enjoy playing.  I am very grateful that my health has been good enough to keep playing challenging music!   I am so grateful that I still have all my fingers and that they work well!  Many people my age do not have this blessing.  I am able to keep plugging along...
     I am grateful for the blessing of increased knowledge and understanding of God and what he wants for me.  I do not know how people survive without this.  It provides reason for what I do; it gives me a foundation on which I can exercise faith.  As I try to become more Christlike, I receive blessings...wonderful blessings that bring me joy.
     Well, I am feeling better.... gratitude works!


Pretty Walls

     My sister and I were girls when the original Barbie doll was created.  We were captivated by  everything Barbie, especially the clothing. We collected and studied each  little pink catalog that came with clothing purchases, and we fantasized about which outfits we wanted.  We had two aunts who spoiled us at holidays and birthdays with our choices.
     In the early years of Barbie it was not easy to find things for her other than clothing, and even that was not available in our hometown.  I remember saving my money for trips to a big city where I might at least find a lesser outfit. Barbie things were not easy to get without WalMarts and the internet!
     We  improvised with what we could find around the house.  For me, sewing was an option and I made lots of Barbie cloths.  When we visited our aunts, they brought out doll furniture that their dad (our grandfather) had made for them.  I think we got doll beds there,too.  Everything just happened to fit our dolls.
     But Barbie had no house. Now...what could we do about that?
     A solution presented itself in time.  Sitting on the bookshelves in our den were shelves of Readers Digest books.  Anyone remember these?  Each volume contained a few condensed versions of books, and each was covered with a different, pretty print (see  My parents had lots of these; I remember perusing them to read  titles and admire covers.
     At some point my sister and I figured out that we could take several of these books and make rooms out of them.  Each wall had a different wallpaper, and they were pretty...and there were many walls to choose from.
     During my fifth grade we went crazy with room additions.  Over the course of a week, I think, our bedroom floor became almost completely covered with Readers Digest book rooms. Our mother would remind us to clean up the mess.  Again and again.  Of course, we were not eager to put the books away.  We had used zillions of them, it seemed.  And so they sat.  And Mother became more and more irritated at us.
     You see, our mother was one of those people who liked to have a neat, clean home, and actually enjoyed housekeeping.  She tried to engage us in it, but we were obstinate.  Especially was tolerable once I finally started, but getting to that point was an ordeal.
     And so it went with our room.  I do not remember what my mother did in the end, but it was bad.  Really bad.  Probably why I don't remember......  I think she finally reached her limit and just "lost it".
     That was the end of Barbie doll rooms, as I recall.  It was fun while it lasted..oh, those cool book covers!!  What a delightful find!  But I leave with a warning.....if your children indulge in something like this, give them a set maximum number of books to use and take digital photos of the mess before it is deconstructed.  That way they can see their mess thirty years later and commiserate with you!!


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Weekly Music Nugget 32/ Healing with Lemongrass

     This is an extra music post because I just can't wait to share an essential oil success story.  It is music-related.
     This week I began practicing after missing a few days because of a trip.  I warmed up slowly (see viola rehab post) , but I jumped into high shifts  too soon each day. I was trying out a new routine, and I learned that I must go back to beginning warm ups with simple exercises in first position.
     My left arm did not like what I did, and rebelled with tennis elbow.  Tennis elbow is one of the problems that drew me to viola rehab, but that was my right arm.  Left elbow was new, and it was pretty bad on Thursday.  By noon my elbow and wrist ached.  And ached.
     I thought, hmmmm...wonder if an essential oil will help...  Earlier this week my husband put lemongrass oil on his achilles tendon  and it has not bothered him since.  True. So Friday morning I combined it with a carrier oil (coconut) in a ratio of about 2 parts lemongrass to one part coconut.  I put it on all the affected areas.  There was quite a bit of relief after a few minutes...maybe about 65-75% less pain.  By noon my arm hurt again so I reapplied it.  This time the relief lasted longer, and I did not reapply it until night.  Reapplied it this morning, and today the pain is pretty much gone.  True story!!!
     By the way, I even practiced yesterday.  Carefully, but I was able to play without much pain.  How cool is that?!
     Love this lemongrass oil. 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Weekly Music Nugget 31/Memories

     When I was a child music was fun.  My mother entertained us with all kinds of music; I twirled and danced to Peter Pan as well as Waltz of the Flowers from the Nutcracker.  She played the piano and sang fun songs.  We listened to musicals and heard tales about my mother's sister who had played the lead in a few.  We listened to childrens' classics and Bozo on the Farm.  My sister and I pretended to sing, often when we were playing dolls.  We imitated our mother's "Big Lady" voice!  We went to concerts prepared, and enjoyed them. We were immersed in holiday music and involved in church choir when older.  My sister and I took ballet lessons, more exposure to music (although that was only fun when we pretended at home...another story).
     We also had musical fun with my Aunt Harriet, who was a multi-talented lady.  She taught rounds to my sister and me on our summer trips to the lake.  She would sing with us.  We loved it!  My mother didn't sing for fun this way...she tried, but it just wasn't the same.  My aunt would also tell us about and then sing excerpts from musicals she put together for her students at a school for handicapped children.  She told us stories about her professional singing experiences, and we were always aware that she continued to take vocal lessons.  Her home had an old piano that sounded pretty awful but was always available to play, which I did when young.
     I credit much of my interest in music to these women who loved and shared it with us.  Such examples...would we could all be like them!!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Farewell, leaves!

     Just a farewell photo to the autumn leaves.  The wind has been blowing hard today, and I am afraid November is really here!  Bye, beautiful colors!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Getting Personal

     In thinking about my blog I realized that I have not been very personal.  Guess I will open up a bit....with some questions and answers.  Maybe like a meme (whatever that is...).

1.What foreign country would you jump at the chance to visit?
     I have many on the list, but only one has been at the top since I was a child.  Ireland.
2.Favorite scent from Bath and Body Shop?
     A discontinued one...Sunripened Raspberry.  To die for!
3.Favorite season
     Usually autumn.  Love autumn air and colors
4.Favorite food indulgence
     hmmmm..too many to list.  Most tempting....the ones  I can't have around...great brownies, classic Toll House chocolate chip cookies, and my butterscotch shortbread cookies.  And Red Velvet cake.  And Kopps vanilla custard (to die for...heavenly). I had better stop...especially since they are all taboo.
5.Favorite flower
     Rose....but I also love pansies!
6.What would you like to have for your last meal on earth, if you could eat...
     My mother's fried chicken, really good garden tomatoes (maybe Brandywine),  home-grown young green beans with bacon and onion,  fried potatoes (LOTS), and one of the desserts above.
7.Ham or turkey for Thanksgiving?
8.What would you live in if you could have your fantasy come true?
    A white cottage near water...lake or sea...and a cottage garden in the front yard.  Brick or stone curved walkway.  Trellised roses.  Pink hollyhocks and roses and lavender and I could go on and on.....Fruit trees and vegee garden in back....and I would have a cat (I would have to be widowed and living alone for that...).  And a warm, cozy library full of good books and music.  Fireplace. And a gardening shirt with cabbage roses on it...something I like but not in style....lots of silk, too.....oh, this is getting good....
9.Childhood dream?
     To marry, live in the country in a tri-level house, teach violin and raise horses.  Children were always an appendage (that changed when I became LDS). I was not one of those girls who liked mothering and babysitting.
10.Favorite car
     I can almost always spot my fav....Jaguar.  The old ones.....very cool!!!!!!!

Musioilarose 1/ What the Tinman Needed

     Most of us know that the Tinman in The Wizard of Oz wanted a heart.  He thought he needed a heart.  In the end he discovered that he had a heart.
     He really needed something else.  He could not even communicate much without this, although we hear him try in the movie.  Oil.  He needed a good oil treatment.
     There are many analogies here, but my focus is just oil.  Essential oils, in my case.  I have been learning about these and trying out a few, and I am very pleased with the results.
      Positive experiences are accumulating, but I will just share a couple now.  This morning my husband asked me if I had a suggestion for something he could put on his Achilles heel that has been bothering him.  I did some research and suggested lemongrass oil.  He applied a drop, and within seconds he had relief. 
     Yesterday I came down with a mild tummy bug.  Today I tried peppermint oil.  I mixed two drops in my breakfast water ........WHOA!!  Not only did it help my tummy feel better, but I have felt all morning like the center of my torso is Candy Cane Lane.  It has a certain peppermint glow... very pleasant!  And a drinking glass is an absolute delight to sniff.  I just took another whiff.....AHHHHH....sweet peppermint with no carbs and calories.
     Well, I must share the company that has furnished me with such delights.  DoTerra (long O) is the name, and here is the link  The company sells top of the line essential oils.  Good stuff.  I highly recommend them. 
     Every time I think about or try an oil I feel good about it.  I hate sales pitching...not my thing...but I am pursuing this (I am in the process of learning how to be an independent distributor) because I continually feel so good about it.  It is as if there is an open door for me to go through ( by the way, if you want to purchase any oils, please go through me).  I think it will improve my health, both emotional and physical.
     Well, enough.  I have a plan to blog about oil experiences one day a week....not sure which day yet...but this week it is Wednesday!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Dashees Garden Tuesday 31

     I have just about finished my gray and white hoop art piece.  Oh, this was enjoyable to make!  I am still working on the back.  To finish that I trimmed the wool to a little over an inch and glued it to the inside of the frame.  I then inserted a firm cardboard circle that snugly fit into the back.  I am not happy with it so I will be making a new one.  I might cover it with cotton...and then, maybe not...
     Here it on it to enlarge.  The center of the vintage crocheted flower is filled with gray embroidery floss French knots, like on the leaf.  Tiny white beads were sewn into the ring around it.  This will be going into my Etsy shop this week.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Autumn Morning

     Goodbye, October!

"It was a morning of ground mist, yellow sunshine, and high rifts of blue, white-cloud-dappled sky.  The leaves were still thick on the trees, but de-spangled gossamer threads hung on the bushes and the shrill little cries of unrest of the swallows skimming the green open park spaces of the park told of autumn and change."
-   Flora Thompson  

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sunday Musings 8

     The past few days my husband and I have been showing the area of Nauvoo, Illinois to a friend.  Nauvoo, a small town on the Mississippi, is a historical site for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  In the area is a Visitors Center for the church, a restored village from the 1840s, and an LDS temple.  A temple was built by church members in the 1840s but was later destroyed.  The temple which is there now is a working temple, but also a restoration of the original.
      My purpose today is not to explain the history of Nauvoo but to share some pictures from outside the Visitors Center.  On one side is what is known as the Monument to Women garden, and the pics with statues are from such. The statues reflect various stewardships and responsibilities of women.  There are thirteen statures; I only show a few below (click on each to enlarge).  The following  link is an explanation of the monument: . of my favorites....gincko trees!!

I love the empty bird's nest in the upper left
         Just can't leave without posting a shot of the temple.  This photo is taken from the back of the Browning home in the restored village.  On the hill in the background is the top of the temple.  


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Weekly Music Nugget 30/ More Practice Tips

     This week I will not be able to post much, so I am doing my music nugget today.
     The link below is to a fine list of practice tips compiled by a violist.  Lots of good info here!!  I especially like the tips on concentration (look near the end of the "what to focus on" section).  Enjoy..........!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Dashees Garden Tuesday 30

     Below are some photos of projects in the making.  I am working on hoop art for now because I am intrigued with it.  It seems to hold promise as something that I can change a lot....a versatile medium!  It can also be made in various sizes, be personalized, and it is not an expensive venture.  Should be fun!
     The photo below is wool on wool, as I do on my wool hearts.  I will whipstitch the pieces on, embroider stems, and embellish the flower with more embroidery.  I will probably do it freehand; sometimes I draw a pattern on with a disappearing ink marker (always test it first!).  The pieces might be rearranged and trimmed.

This is a small doily on felted wool.  I will do  stem work in white embroidery...maybe leaves,too, unless I decide to add a lace leaf.  Maybe I will embellish with pink embroidery and or tiny pearls.

Not sure about this one yet.  I am going to let it sit like this for a few days and revisit it.  The background is a tartan wool.  I really enjoy wool plaids.

This is like the hoop art from last week's post except that the background is from a very soft felted sweater.   I might change it's placement again, but after that I will stitch the heart on, remove the basting, and see if it needs embellishing.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Farewell to Flowers

Grand Hotel

Flower shop at Grand Hotel

Grand Hotel porch
     Soon my flowers will be gone, thanks to future visits by Jack Frost.  I decided to post some pics of flowers at Mackinac Island from our trip there early last month.  It was so beautiful when we were there!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sunday Musings 7

     The fall colors have not been very pretty this year, but recently I had my camera during a morning walk and was rewarded with some beautiful scenes of light.  My camera just could not catch the beauty!  Click on pic to enlarge...

Friday, October 21, 2011

Weekly Music Nugget 29/ Comic Relief

     Well, I am getting stressed out.  Sometimes I would like to stand up in the middle of a concert I am playing and just yell.  Or throw something.  Or just howl with laughter.  Sometimes the formality gets to, off to another place.  Igudesman and Joo.......  you know, it is getting close to Halloween.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Dashees Garden Tuesday 29

     I am posting a day early because I will not have much time tomorrow.
     I  have been putting some hoop art projects together.  This refers to needlework projects left in their hoops which become frames.  Or something similar..
     The photos below are 1) a vintage doily tacked to black flannel wool and embellished with some small black French knots and beads, 2) I embellished a black wool heart with a piece of lace and embroidery and then sewed it to a piece of felted wool sweater.  Soft and cozy wall art...  Original size of each hoop was 5" diameter.
     Many variations of hoop art can be viewed on the Etsy website (just google Etsy).  It is fun!


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sunday Musings 6/ The Cluttered Life

     One of my sons was a pack rat when he was young.  His possessions accumulated and he was vehemently opposed to getting rid of just about anything.  It was usually not worth the battle to push him, so his room gathered more clutter and shelving as his collection of things grew.
     At age nineteen he left for Mexico to  be a Mormon missionary for two years.  He partially cleaned out his room and left for the airport with only the bare necessities that a missionary would need....and that was not much.
     When he came home he could not tolerate any clutter.  He complained that there was too much stuff in his room (left for him by yours truly) and that he could not think with all of it around.  As a mother I thought " last he has seen the light...." and breathed a sigh of relief!  But in the back of my mind I recorded the incident and noted that I might benefit by watching how clutter affects me.
     Yesterday I finally forced myself to clean up the sewing area in my office.  I am pretty good about keeping my office desk in order, but the rest of the room needed work.  Projects were piling up and getting buried.  I could not even remember what was at the bottom of the stacks!  I discarded things,  sorted things, reorganized storage, put things away and cleaned.  When it was done, I looked around and realized that I felt different.  And I could think.  The lack of physical clutter also freed my mind of stacked ideas and worries.  I felt lighter and happier.
     I remembered my son's experience and pondered it.  For me, cleaning my sewing area is viewed as something that is in my way; there are more important things to do, such as planning a new project and doing that.  I just don't want to take time-out to control the gathering mess.  Oh, I think, not now...I am having too much fun...or I have to hurry and get this done first....or, I don't know where to begin and I am tired just thinking about it...and, finally,  I feel guilty, and then I try to ignore the problem. I think, I can always do it later; memory will take care of where things are, and what needs to be done.  It always worked when I was younger!!  And then comes the day when I just can't stand the it anymore.  Hopefully it is small enough mess to tackle in one day. Cleaning spurt time!
     You know, I tell myself, you think you might feel like this more often if you put things away in a timely matter instead of just setting them aside in a pile for later??!!  DUH!!!  And so it goes.  Once again the spurt is over and it's time to try to improve my behavior.
     Controlling clutter needs it be addressed on a regular basis, and that takes discipline.  Yesterday I was reminded of some tricks to help. I will list them...
     1.  Make sure everything has a place to be stored.  Maybe some things will have to be discarded in the process of making space.  If something sits out for a long time, perhaps it does not have a home.
     2.  Many years ago I was in a book discussion about the book Everyday Sacred  by Sue Bender.  She needed to clean her art studio, and it was a very big task.  She discovered that it helped to assign herself a certain amount of cleaning time each day instead of focusing on what needed to be cleaned.  For example, a person might decide to devote 30" each day to sorting/cleaning basement clutter until the task is done.  I really like this idea.  Kind of like practicing a particular section of music each day with a timer. 
     3.  During this same meeting a mother who had raised many children gave some wise advice.  She learned that when her children were young she could usually count on having about 10" to do a task before she was interrupted.  She figured out what she could accomplish in 10" and worked/cleaned that way.  Better to chew off small bites on a regular basis then to try to woof it all down at once...and sometimes it's the only option!

     I think we often accumulate clutter in our spiritual lives and don't address it.  The clutter might be busy-ness that distracts us from the most important things in life, such as our families and our personal relationship with God.  Maybe we do not even believe in God anymore because we have cluttered our lives with activities that seem more fun or important.  Hopefully we address the clutter before something drastic happens that refocuses our attention...
     Well, this was a long one.  I think I had better stop!



Friday, October 14, 2011

Weekly Music Nugget 28/ Music Paper

       Blank sheet music can be printed at home if you have a computer and a printer.  Go to  It is free, and there is a tutorial to help you.  The process is simple; it does not take long to learn it.  The music can be just staves or there are options to combine staves, add clefs, bar lines, time signatures and key signatures.   I just printed a sheet for viola solo and piano accompaniment and it worked quite well.  Try this site if you just need a few sheets!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Mad Dancers

     When hiking I enjoy finding odd trees to photograph.  On a walk last week I found these strange creatures!  I have included captions with each pic.
The blond on the left really wants to dance

I think this might be a tango

Wallflower sticking out her tongue (she had a very bad hair day)

Swing, baby, swing!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Dashees Garden 28

     Recently I finished a small autumn quilt that I started a couple of years ago.  The top was created from two charm packs and squares cut from my stash.  I appliqued a few felted wool leaves onto the top.  The quilting was simple....just stitch in the ditch around the squares.  I wanted to get it done! 
     The filler for this lap quilt was flannel, so to make my life simpler I did not add a binding.  I couldn't find a stash fabric for it and I did not want to purchase some, so I just turned the edge under a couple of times and whip-stitched it. Voila! Done!


Monday, October 10, 2011

Evening Play

     Last week my family drove up to Port Washington to enjoy Indian summer by Lake Michigan.  We hiked, ate smoked fish and wandered out to the end of the pier in the photo below.  The air was warm and still...not very exciting to me...but I enjoyed a new surprise.  It was early evening and fish were jumping --even leaping out of the water.  Lots of them!  It was something I have never seen before.  Most of the fish were big (maybe over a foot long).  What kind...?  Salmon?  Lots of ducks, too...a few are in the photo.
     I tried to get a picture of the fish jumping but that was almost impossible, so you get the pier and some of the fish that were swimming next to it....


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sunday Musings 5

     Short and sweet.....not much time today and I am tired!  I am sharing a few photos from some recent short trips.  Fall colors are not especially pretty yet, but I had some previews of what is hopefully coming.  I have also included a milkweed pod that opened up since that was missing from my milkweed post.
Friess Lake

Park near Friess Lake

Park near Friess Lake


Morning mist on parkway pond near home

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In addition to being a violist, I am a wife and mother (three sons). I dabble in writing, handwork, sewing and photography.