Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Dashees Garden Tuesday 38

       Recently I found a lovely sweater at a thrift store.  I decided that if it did not fit me I would use it to make a bag.  My choice was the latter....
     I am pretty happy with the bag, and it was fun to do.  
     The bag was a cotton sweater so I could not felt it.  After washing, disassembling and pressing the sweater, I made a template and cut out the pieces.  To make the fabric easier to work with I fused the front and back to lining pieces cut from washed gray wool.  The process was OK, but I think it would have been easier to fuse the two fabrics before using the pattern.
     Before sewing the pieces together I "fake" serged the edges (I don't have a serger).  I had to keep cleaning my needle because of accumulating goop from the fusing substance, but it wasn't too much trouble because I did not have many pieces to sew!
     To finish the bag I added gray wool edging to the top, a strap, a button on the outside, and velcro inside to close the bag.
     Note...fusing the sweater fabric to wool resulted in just the right stiffness for a purse.  It is also strong!   I am quite pleased with the result.  I will have to try another bag...

Friday, January 27, 2012

Weekly Music Nugget 42

     Short one, at least the one from me....
     I really like this You Tube video.  In the Comments section is a link to another primer for inexperienced classical listeners; I have yet to check it out but it looks very good.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wednesday Thoughts

     I suppose this post is really a Sunday Musing post.  I am under the weather and off schedule this week.
     Yesterday I went visiting teaching ( see lds,org for what this is) and shared a particular scripture that has been on my mind again this morning.  The scripture is Doctrine and Covenants 81:5, "Wherefore be faithful; stand in the office which I have appointed you; succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees."
     The phrase which I have been pondering is "lift up the hands which hang down".  What are the hands that hang down?  I think the answers are many, but one is people who are discouraged and depressed to the point of not being able to lift up their hands in service or work.  They have been immobilized by physical or emotional problems.  Another answer is individuals who have lost their connection to spiritual light.  They choose not to lift up their hands of spiritual commitment.  Perhaps they have become discouraged about the reality or loving nature of God and have embraced cynicism.  Perhaps they are nursing deep grievances or battling anger.
     We might be able to lift  hands by patient, loving and consistent encouragement.  Maybe we need to be extra kind and gentle. Perhaps we can physically lift  by giving them opportunities to share themselves in work or service and doing it with them until their hands are strong enough to do it on their own.
     I am disturbed by the often contentious atmosphere of politics.  The longer I live the more it seems that contention does not solve problems.  It creates them (which is the goal, I suppose--to get people upset--and it works).  "A soft answer turneth away wrath" is wise counsel (although sometimes we have to exercise a lot of patience before it bears fruit).  It is so easy to react to contention rather than hold our emotions and tongues in check.  It is so easy to whine and criticize.....like toddlers.
     Well, enough of this.  I suppose the best place to start with change is one's self.  So let it begin!!

Monday, January 23, 2012


     I first tasted trifle while a college student at BYU.  For a couple of semesters I worked part-time as an early morning janitor and on Saturday mornings a fellow worker would bring in trifle for us to eat when we were done.  She learned how to make it while growing up in South Africa.  I also had a room mate about the same time who had learned to make trifle from a friend who had lived in South Africa.
     Both girls made trifle the same way.  It consisted of layered stale yellow cake, jello with fruit, and Bird's Eye custard.  Whipped topping could go on top.
      Nothing special...their trifle was pretty basic and plain, but it was delicious.  I loved it.  I think the special ingredient that made it different from the US version  was the Bird's Eye custard.  I found it here and have used it in past years; it has a distinctive flavor.
      Nowadays I will have to try a lower-carb version.  I think I will......sugar-free cake, raspberries,white chocolate sugar-free pudding (to die for) and some Cool Whip......or maybe I will splurge and have whipped cream.  Naughty!!!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Weekly Music Nugget 41

     Today I would like to share some music by George Gershwin, one of my favorite composers.  Below is a link to his work Lullaby, written in 1919.  It was written for string quartet but is also performed by string orchestra.  The link below is for the latter.  Quartet performances can also be found on Youtube.
     Love this piece....enjoy!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Dashees Garden Tuesday 37

     Creating Pinterest boards filled me with many embroidery/sewing  ideas, and I had to try one of them out.  I am making a wool flannel purse.
     I began by making a pattern (I used stiff felt I had; it kind of sticks to the wool).  After cutting out my pieces I drew an embroidery pattern on paper that irons onto the wool and adheres lightly.  It's easy to remove.  Unfortunately I do not remember what it is called....got it at the local JoAnns a few years ago.  It is nice to use if you are embroidering a small project; you just draw your pattern, stitch through it and remove it when done (not easy to remove if stitching is intricate).
    It turned out not to be a good idea for the purse because it kept coming off while I worked.  I only used it for placement of the first wool flower, and I had to cut the flower out of the paper first.  After that I took the paper off and lined up the other flowers with the first.  I referred to the paper design to begin the vines, but then I decided to just do it freehand.  Seems to be working.  Here is what it looks like so far,

          The back side will be similar, and the lining will be felted wool knit.  Nice and cozy!  It is a work in progress, so maybe there will be changes along the way.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Weekly Music Nugget 40

     I just finished reading a blog article about the importance of teaching stillness to children.  It was thought provoking, and I have been pondering the importance of silence in music.
     I remember being told repeatedly by my private violin/viola teachers to wait longer at a dramatic pause in my music.  I've also had the experience of conducting a group and wondering if I waited long enough in a pause.  I have also listened to performers who don't wait long enough.  Our minds seem to play tricks on us at these moments; the silences seem longer than they are. And they are so uncomfortable.....what do you do during the silence?!
       I suppose scattered moments of silence are like coming home to a quiet house after being in a noisy workplace.  It might be unsettling.  Maybe it's like carefully planned areas of white in a colorful painting.  A needed break... 
      Stillness is reflected in nature.  I am thinking of the profound silence in the aftermath of a snowstorm, or the silence of night.  We are part of nature, and we need quiet time, too.  We need to learn how to cultivate those moments so we can benefit from them.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Organizing tip

     Not my tip....but something I found on Pinterest.  It's a decluttering calendar at http://www.mysimplerlife.com/decluttercalendar.htm.  The calendar for each month has a daily decluttering chore to do.  They can be printed.
     Tomorrow's job is to "Throw out the junk in your junk drawer". I think I can manage to do that!  I think the calendar will be very helpful, even if I only do one thing a week. Better some progress than none at all!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

New Love

     Well......it's not a person.  It's Pinterest.  I started building boards last night and I am hooked....LOVE it....so much fun!!  It also really gets the creative juices going.
     If you don't know about Pinterest, here is some info....it is a place to build and share virtual bulletin boards of computer images you like.  Kind of like scrapbooks of collected computer images.  Check it out...google Pinterest.  Also user friendly (for older folks like me...).

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Dashees Garden Tuesday 36

     Just another piece of hoop art.  Maybe I will put some in my shop when I am satisfied!
     This one is done with crewel yarn on white wool.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sunday Musing 14

     Late this week I listened to a wonderful talk by John Welch on BYU Forums.  It was about stretching ourselves, our minds in particular (http://speeches.byu.edu/?act=viewitem&id=1958). One of the ideas he presented was that thinking is a process of creation.  This implies that we have the power to manipulate our thoughts, or to direct/change them.
     I have been taught the power of thought, but I don't remember ever hearing it referred to as a creative activity.  I like it.  The word creativity implies fun.  I often get my buttons pushed, so to speak, when I hear talks about having a positive attitude, or how important attitudes are.  This approach doesn't do that....progress...the door is opening.
     When I hear talks about attitude change I often end up feeling bad about myself instead of being inspired.  They remind me of my battles with worry and self-confidence (I am getting better), and I begin to doubt.  I get frustrated and discouraged.  Thinking of thought control as creative reminds me of making something from materials on hand, and how fun the process is. In that light thoughts become a real substance that can be manipulated.  I can upcycle them, redirect them, or make something new.  I can make improvements on my product, and it can go on forever.
      Thought creation is a kind of spiritual process.  It precedes creation of the physical.  I suppose God himself began the creation of the world with ideas.
     Lots for my mind to play with!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Weekly Music Nugget 39

Well, I have dogs on the brain.  I am thinking about my efforts to teach Laddie (our dog) to sing.  He tries......he really does......but this dog takes the prize.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Twilight of the Dogs

     During Christmas break we visited my sister, her husband, and sons.  They also have a dog, a young female that is half and half beagle and basset hound.  She looks like a very large dachsund.  Her name is Cincy (named after Cincinnati) and she is a bundle of energy.
     Our dog Laddie was with us, and he is a much older Westie.....10, to be exact.  He has entered middle age and is not interested in chasing a crazed young female around a house.  But Cincy would like nothing better.  And so it went.....Cincy running and jumping all around Laddie while he stood patiently and endured it...up to a point.  Then the fangs came out and he bit her in the neck.  Enough said.
A quiet moment... Cincy is taking a break.  Laddie says that the bite has taken effect, judging by her eyes.

Musioilarose 5

     During the Christmas season we drove out of town to visit family.  The week before we left I felt myself fighting something that felt like what I call the "creeping crud", a nasty respiratory illness.  I could not get sick...we were leaving town!  I wondered what oils I could use to kill the bug and boost my immunity.
     I did some research online and decided to use what I will call "the big gun".  For me this was a capsule filled with two drops each of frankincense, melaleuca, and oregano oils.  I took one every hour the first day, and about every two hours the next day.  I reduced it further (3-4 x a day) after that. 
     Whoa......I did not get sick!  Seems to have done the trick!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Dashees Garden Tuesday 35

     Started more hoop art.....here is an unfinished sample, a simple embroidered flower done on a piece of wool tartan. The center is beige French knots.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Sunday Musings 13

     Sometimes I need a break from my blog, and I took it during December.  Many of us take mini-vacations from other things in life, such as diets, exercise, work, meetings, etc.  There is often nothing wrong with an occasional break, but the return to the former might be difficult.  Sometimes we do not return and the behavior/activity is discarded or lost for various reasons.
     This morning I read an article that touches on the state of our country (http://lds.org/study/prophets-speak-today/unto-all-the-world/be-an-active-participant-not-a-silent-observer?lang=eng).  Religious freedom was discussed, as well as our responsibility to understand the Constitution, the freedoms protected therein, and the need to communicate and defend what we know.
     When I was young I grew up attending a local Methodist church.  Church participation was well integrated into my family life......except in the summer.  Summer was vacation time, and my parents seemed to think that included church activities.
     At some point in time society began to take vacation from church.  Many factors were involved in this, one of which is the concept of taking a break from church attendance.  It did not seem important (another topic...).  Judging from the school experiences of my children, regular church attendees are rare now. Vacations became permanent breaks, and the generations following those vacationers don't understand why people go at all.  It is so bad that our religious freedom is slowly eroding.  A frightening prospect in this country!
     The word "remember" is repeated quite often in the Book of Mormon.  "O remember, remember..." often refers to our great blessings and what the Lord has done for us.  As a society we have forgotten.

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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.