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

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Weekly Music Nugget 27/ Familiar Classics

    This week I thought it would be fun to write a post about classical music used in TV shows and commercials.  In searching the internet I found a list of some.  A link to the article is below.
     The writer, a musician, receives  requests for the names of classical works which  have been heard in media such as television.  His list includes the top ten of these.  If you want to hear them, I am sure you will be able to find YouTube videos of each.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


     During our summer trip to Yellowstone we saw some beautiful waterfalls.  A few photographs are posted below, with names underneath as best I can recall.  We were greeted at Fairy Falls by a bull elk in the distance.  I included a picture of him.
     We hiked to Fairy Falls and were alone when we arrived.  I walked up to the falls first, stopped, and surveyed the hillside to my right in hopes of getting a photo of Mr. Elk.  When I spotted him he was looking straight at me.  It was a fantastic moment....beautiful and scary!

Gibbon Falls?

Lower Falls

Lower Falls area (canyon)

Waterfall at Falls Campground, WY (I think...somewhere in that area, off US 26)

Upper Falls

Fairy Falls
Fairy Falls

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Dashees Garden Tuesday 27

     Hope to have some new items in my Etsy shop this week.  I have been working on more wool hearts, sometimes using felted wool from sweaters.  Such fun!  The heart below is an example.  This heart is not fused anywhere; just hand-sewn except around the outside.  It is about the same size as the hearts in previous posts.

Monday, October 3, 2011


     While on a walk Saturday I found this pod of milkweed plant seeds.  I don't recall ever seeing one intact out of the pod shell.  It looks a bit like a pine cone.  The seed fibers are very silky and soft! 
     I put the pod on a shelf outside my front door.  When I walked out yesterday I discovered that the pod had popped open.  In its place was a large, fluffy ball of milkweed seeds.  Very interesting....I did not know the pods popped open.


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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.