Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Don't Delay

     This morning I went for a walk without my camera. I thought, why bother?  It's ugly outside-nothing but mist, mud and dead trees.  The snow is melting.  Depressing.
     On my way home something caught my eye.  It was a group of dried oak leaves that had hung to their tree all winter.  Their copper color was striking against the melting snow, gray mist and black trees.  I thought, oops...should have brought my camera.
     I wondered if it would be worth it to come back after my walk.  Maybe, but on the other hand, the moment might be lost.  I tried anyway, and sure enough, the beauty of the scene had faded.  Most of the fog had lifted by the time I got there, but I took a photo anyway (see below).
     If only I had been prepared.  How often do we get in our own way by having negative thoughts, poor judgments, lack of faith, and so forth ?!  If only I had tried to be hopeful and had an open mind!  Message to me is to have faith, even when things look bleak.  One never knows what is around the bend.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Dashees Garden Tuesday 41

     I have been making more hoop art and experimenting with fabrics and embroidery.  A few photographs are below, showing some of the results. 
     The coral linen pieces with squirrel embroidery were cut from two vintage tea towels I found many years ago.  I think they are very cute.
      Other embroidered work is cut from vintage pieces I own.  Some pieces were in last week's post.


Friday, February 24, 2012

Weekly Music Nugget 46

     Finally, on February 24, we had substantial snowfall.  It has been a mild winter!  The snow is heavy and wet, perfect for snowballs.  And it is already beginning to melt.
     It was very beautiful this morning so I took a few photos, which are posted below.
     In honor of the snow I have posted a link to a little piece by Mozart called Sleigh Ride.  This work reminds me of my brief experience as an orchestral percussionist.  One of the orchestras I play in performed this work many years ago (2 or 3 times).  There are string parts for all except the violas.  So---what do you do to violists who have nothing to do?  Teach them to play sleigh bells.
     It was decided to give the jingle bell part to the first stand of violas, which consisted of me and my stand partner. At last I had something to do........HAH!!!!!  Just listen to my part of 1-2-3,1-2-3, etc. ad infinitum.  A viola waltz part is more interesting...and less conspicuous.  Mozart should have known better (after all, he played the viola).
     Link  is here (oh...the FABULOUS bells begin about 42 seconds in)... 

Our new snow-tree garage


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Dashees Garden Tuesday 40

     Well, I am late this week, but here is the latest.  I am making hoop art from vintage embroidered linens.  I don't have a good surface to display them yet, but I am tired of waiting.  So here are a few, on the bed.  Hopefully I will have a display board soon! 
      These are fun to make; very satisfying.  The two small hoops have an Asian feel, I think.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Embroidered Knitwear

     While perusing the Lamb Races blog post I discovered some lovely embroidered knitwear.  The author of the blog, Kristin Nicholas, has made some You Tube tutorials which show how to embroider a completed piece of knitting.   Check out her blog (see my previous post The Lambs) for pictures of embroidered items such as mittens.  A "must try" for me!!
     The link below shows how to make fern stitches on knitwear.  Pretty!!

The Lambs

     Before living in Wisconsin sheep were animals I only read about... just cute, white animals that said "baaaaaaa".  Of course, I also had my black stuffed Dashee with me at bedtime.
     Several years ago, while visiting the sheep barn at the Wisconsin State Fair, I fell in love with  sheep.  They were so soft!  I loved feeling their wooly coats.  I also noticed that they did not all sound the same.  Some bleating is high-pitched, some low.  Some speak long syllables, some short.  The "aaa" sound varies, too.  I was enchanted with the sounds of sheep.
     I am having some TMJ issues and woke up very early due to pain.  I decided to add things to Pinterest to distract me, and my sheep board grew a bit.  In searching sheep images I discovered this cute blog post with a video called "Lamb Races".  Listen to the bleating!  So funny and cute!!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sunday Musings 15

     This morning I browsed through a book that my mother gave me for Christmas when I was 14 years old.  It is a book of religious poetry called Forget-me-nots of Love.  The poetry is not particularly good; it is simple and sentimental.  For some reason it touched my heart.  I would take it out and read a few pages when I was having a rough time.
     Years later it was packed away with my things and not revisited until about ten years ago.  When I picked it up this morning I had not looked at it for several months.  I surveyed the white cover on which is inscribed the title surrounded by two swags of silver forget-me-nots.  I immediately recalled the talk by Dieter Uchtdorf (an LDS church leader) to women last October called Forget Me Not.  It had included discussions and analogies using forget-me-nots (*+%28name%3a%22Dieter+F.+Uchtdorf%22%29).
     This talk had been especially meaningful to me because my mother liked forget-me-nots.  When I was young she planted them by our back porch. For some reason I did not connect his talk to my book until this morning.  While pondering this I had some additional thoughts.
     On the first page of my book is a pretty illustration of a bouquet of many blue forget-me-nots with one beautiful pink rose and three rosebuds.  The rose is half-open; it is at the perfect stage of bloom.
      It came to me that most of our blessings in life are like forget-me-nots.  They are easy to plant, easy to grow, and numerous.  We often don't notice them for those very reasons.  They are small and common to us.  Nevertheless, they are very beautiful.
     On occasion the Lord gives us a blessing  so perfectly suited and meaningful to us--so deeply personal--that His hand in it can not be missed.  It is the one perfect rose in the bouquet.
      One perfect rose or a mass of pretty, cheerful, tiny one more beautiful than the other?
      The trick to appreciating the little blue flowers is to re-sensitize ourselves to their worth and beauty.  I think one of the keys to doing this is gratitude.  We need to take time to notice and ponder our blessings and who they ultimately come from.  We need to do this often, even daily.  Even a little bit  helps us see and love the forget-me-nots and their gardener.


Friday, February 17, 2012

Weekly Music Nugget 45

     I love the Adagio of Brahms Violin Sonata No.3 in d minor.  The link below is for a You Tube video of Sophie Mutter performing it.  It's beautiful....beautiful interpretation, beautiful playing, exquisite accompaniment. 
     As I listened I thought that this movement might transfer well to the viola.  I have been working on it....oh, what a still my heart!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Saved by the dog

     Yesterday, while practicing in the early afternoon, I became very tired.  So tired I just had to close my eyes for a minute or two.  I just could not focus.  So I closed my eyes, aware that I was holding my viola with my left arm  I have done this before, many times.  Just for a minute.
     Next thing I knew our dog woke me up while pushing the door open.  I realized I was just about to go into deep sleep.  I suppose if he had not noisily entered I would have awakened to the sound of my viola hitting the floor....and breaking. 
     Hero of the day-

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Yummy Dessert

     Yesterday I decided to bake a Valentine's Day cake using almond flour instead of white flour.  It was wonderful.  I served it with raspberries and sugarfree white chocolate pudding to which I added almond extract.  In the end it didn't really need anything else.
     The cake is basically almond flour, divided eggs (beaten whites are the leavening), sugar, and butter.  I added some Mexican vanilla, but next time it will be almond flavoring.  I also reduced the sugar a little bit (2-3 TBLSP).  I baked it in a heart shaped pan (about 9") and sprinkled the top with a few salad candied almond slivers.  The texture was great....very moist and fine-grained.  Delicious......and the house smelled great while it was baking.  A lovely cake.  I want to try it again with Splenda or a Splenda/sugar mixture.
     I recommend serving it plain, with maybe a dollop of whipped topping and/or raspberry jam  (low-sugar).
     There is a variety of recipes online; the one I used is pretty simple.  The link is below.  Sorry no pics....we ate late yesterday and today it is just too messy!!   My Pinterest board has some almond flour baked products under the Good Food category...check these out.  My next project will be muffins.
     Oh....why almond flour?  My husband and I count carbs, and almond flour is much, much lower in these than regular flour.
     The link...

     Forgot this....where do you get almond flour?   You can make it yourself in a blender or food processor, but I used Uncle Bob's almond flour ( powder).  This is the grocery store brand that has all kinds of whole grains, cereals, oddities, etc./ comes in clear plastic bags. is expensive (but worth it).  I found it in a BIG grocery (Woodman's in Milwaukee area).  Might also try a health food store.

Musioilarose 6

      I have been using a lot of DoTerra's Citrus Bliss essential oil. It is an oil blend containing citrus oils and vanilla.  The smell is divine....I love to take a few whiffs after I put it on.
     Citrus Bliss  seems to perk me up.  I tend to get depressed in the months following Christmas, and this seems to help my mood.  I think any of the citrus oils help with this.   DoTerra also sells lemon, grapefruit, lime and wild orange oils, and they are some of the least expensive.  LOVE the citrus oils.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Weekly Music Nugget 44

     This is Sunday Musing day, but I had a concert this afternoon and I have music in my head.  I have included a link below for a great article about practicing.   Kind of spiritual, I suppose.  Don't be put off by the blog applies to women, too.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


     I have been looking at our summer vacation pictures.  I am tired of winter.  I loved the Badlands, at least the first day we were there.  The weather put on quite an early evening show for us.  Just felt like posting photos; the sky was fantastic!  A close look at the photo below will reveal a faint double rainbow.

       Two nights ago we ate bison.  Reminded me of Buffy...

Musioilarose 5

      Guess its time for an oil use update.  I took a break from lemongrass last month but now I am back on it, at least most days.  I have not had any tennis elbow problems for awhile; I attribute that to being proactive with my oils.  I have also discovered that  lemongrass is even more effective if I put 1-2 drops of peppermint oil over it.  I am growing quite fond of peppermint oil.
     For some time I have had some minor aches and pains in my neck/left shoulder area.  I am convinced they are rooted in my viola playing. I am not going to stop playing, so I have been applying lemongrass and peppermint (sometimes I also use the Deep Blue blend) to both and they are slowly improving.  I have gained mobility in my left shoulder (yeah!!) and my neck is doing better.
     Three cheers for DoTerra oils!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Dashees Garden Tuesday 39

     Last week I made another bag.  This one was easier because both fabrics were felted wool.
     The process was similar to my first bag.  The outside was cut from a felted wool sweater.  The wool lining pieces were fused on.  Binding and handle were added, as well as a velcro fastener.
     Because of the bulk and to be accurate, I attached the binding, velcro, and handle by hand.  Finished size is about 12" by 12".
     The sweater was small and only had a design on the front, so the back of the bag is plain gray wool from the sweater.
     I love this bag.....such a nice weight and stiffness!!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Weekly Music Nugget 43

     Ah, cell phones....some of them just can't be quiet.  The one below erupted during a concert, but a quick-witted violist put him in his place.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

My Boards

     This title refers to my Pinterest boards.  I am really enjoying making them!! 
     Just wanted to list some of the benefits that come from creating Pinterest boards....
1.     I have a quick visual reference to websites I like (each board item should have a link to the original source).  This means I can find recipes, craft ideas, decorating ideas, fashion ideas, etc. FASTER.  I don't have to hunt through a bookmark list looking for what might be the right link.  And I have a photo...
2.     I can follow boards of people with similar interests and "Repin" their finds, cutting down on my searching time.
3.     Sometimes I see something cool on the internet and forget about it because I have no place to "put it".  Now I can quickly "Pin it" to a board and have a quick future reference.  It's OK if I forget!
      Oh, this is really fun.  Yuh got to try it....

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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.