Saturday, January 30, 2010

What A Blast!

Well, I have landed back in reality with a thump after a fabulous week of music-making. It's hard to pick a highlight of the week, but the Cajun and Scottish fiddlers were fantastic. Playing in a chamber group was a new and wonderful experience, as was playing in an orchestra with ages from around seven to eighty. It was also wonderful to behold teenaged boys and girls getting so much positive experience from playing the violin - suddenly they were in a millieu where what they do is not "nerdy" but normal - I think many of them went away with great memories.
Here are a few pics...........from top to bottom: Tout-le-monde (sans moi!); double bassists - check out 9 y.o. Monty with his mini-sized bass; early morning swimmers; my chamber group; Colin, the Scottish fiddler.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Off to String Camp

Well, my bags are packed and I'm almost ready to head off in the morning for a week of intensive music making at LYCO's annual string camp. I will be "camp mother" to a cabin full of 14 - 16 year old girls..........might be interesting?

I'm really a wind player so in order to not feel like a fish out of water and at least be able to participate a bit, I've been learning to play the violin since November. Surprised myself how much I enjoy it. Wish someone had put one of these into my hands when I was six!
The camp is at the beach near Ulverstone - a great setting - and the weather looks set fair, so I think it is going to be a fabulous week.
Adios, amigos! I won't be posting until next week.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Lelah Mae

Last year when I was in Columbus, Ohio I met a wonderful painter called Linda Apple. I spent a week staying with her....she is a warm, funny, smart and talented person with whom I felt an instant rapport. To thank her for her generous hospitality, I made this little doll while I was staying with her and dressed it in a scrap of fabric that had been in her mother's stash. Linda named the doll "Lelah Mae" after her late mother, which I found very touching. Linda recently emailed me some pictures of the doll, which I had forgotten to photograph. Here they are. I particularly like the picture of the doll seated aginst the yellow wall on the painted cupboard with one of Linda's paintings above it.
You'll be doing yourself a great favour if you visit Linda's website and have a bit of a peek at her art:

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Intrepid Isabella

Intrepid Isabella about to embark on a a long journey dressed in nothing but her striped socks!

Friday, January 8, 2010

In Praise of Old Dogs and Cats and Ripe Tomatoes

I'd like to introduce you to Zappa, our grand-dog. she belongs to our son who often works out and about, so Zappa gets to spend quite a lot of time with us. She is a dear, sweet fifteen old cattle-dog cross with a lovely temperament. Sometimes she forgets she is an old lady and romps around like a puppy - then spends three days sleeping it off! And this is our cat, Puss (yeah, I know, very imaginative!) She has reached the grand old age of twenty-one. She's blind in one eye, partially deaf and a bit stiff in the hips, but she still has a healthy appetite and seems happy and pain-free. I've never known a cat with such a sweet temperament - not a mean bone in her body.
The tomato is our first for this summer......judging by all the unripe ones, we are going to have a bumper crop. There is nothing as good as a home-grown tomato.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The sad, but strangely uplifting tale of Lucia

Lucia was a treasured cloth doll handed down through generations of the Appleby family. In 1924 she became the beloved possession of nine-year-old Poppy Appleby, who kept her in a metal trunk with her best treasures.
In December, 1925, the Appleby home was destroyed by fire that started when a coal fell out of the parlour fire and quickly spread. Poppy and her Aunt Matilda were the only survivors..........apart from Poppy's trunk of treasures which miraculously came through the fire reasonably unscathed.

Poppy and her Aunt Matilda (who was a wonderful seamstress) set up a new home in a small cottage not far from their old home and traumatic scars notwithstanding, managed to live a long and happy life together. Poppy always had Lucia, smoke-damaged as she was, to remind her of her family and the terrible night she lost them. Under Aunt Matilda's instruction, ten-year-old Poppy made new clothes for her doll to replace the ones ruined by smoke and her face and limbs were gently cleaned to remove as much of the discolouration as possible. Nothing could be done, however to remove the stains from Lucia's cloth body.
(Of course, this story is pure fabrication, but I had to think of some explanation for the stains on this doll's body! I was attempting to add just a little staining using walnut ink, but it just came out of the spray bottle way too fast. Ya gotta laugh!)
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