Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Playin Ren tunes & Other Creations

   I've been noodling a lot with mandolin since my music reading skills are improving,(well mandolin/fiddle as they read the same) and decided to start checking out some of the books I have in the store-Online descriptions only tell me so much,and seeing as I've always loved Ren & Medieval music,I ordered a copy of the book you see above for a review.
   In short,I've fallen in love with the book! It's spiral bound for one,so it lays flat on it's own-perfect for my ottoman/music stand when I'm playing mando in my rocking chair. The music is printed in a decent easy to read size,and the tunes are simple and magnificent. Each one has that "Ren Sound"! I'm addicted to the book. Once I have the basic melody memorized,I can easy add a 5th,an octave,a chord to fancy it up if I wish. Chords are given if anyone wants to merely supply rhythm. A lot of the tunes are short.there are long ones,but I like the selection of little tunes as it's easier to memorize. Hardest thing is picking a tune to start memorizing-they all have sounded good so far! You can find it in my store at Mandolin Babe's Pickin' Parlour
    If that wasn't enough,I've come across a good supplier of violin tailpieces that I can embellish. I did this one with an onyx cabochon & beads. It really turned out well.and I'll be working on more-including viola tailpieces. Bothers me terribly that hardly anything is done to customize fiddles as they sound so pretty. Everyone loves a distinctive looking instrument,and it doesn't have to be an expensive thing to accomplish. Plus it gives me a chance to start using up items I've had for longer than I care to say. Hit the link above and you'll see this beauty is up for bid. Yes,I'm still simplifying my life by getting rid of extras,tho some of these items are being a little stubborn in leaving. (ie no bids yet!)
   Do stop in the store if you haven't visited lately............

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Summers on it's Way!

And I'm finding myself enjoying the light half of the year more & more as I get older. Another amyrillis makes a beautiful display in the backyard-this is one of my favorites-gotta love the multi hues in the blossom! We had a good steady drizzle on Sunday night & on Monday for the first part of the day. Which means I need to get back outside & start weeding. 
If you asked me what colors remind me of summer,I'd have to say the good ol red,white,& blue. The 4th of July was always a special time when I was in grade school thru jr high. Seeing the fireworks show at the local park,lighting sparklers,moms fried chicken,it was just a time for celebration. But as I don't have a flag pole and seeing as the house is supposed to get worked on this year,meaning there won't be one for this summer, I found this cute piece of decor at my local Michaels & used the 40% off coupon I printed up. I 've always loved the look of bunting,tho I've never used real bunting in my decor scheme. Something for next year,I suppose! 
  Last but not least-I opened a 2nd store due to a deal Prostores was having. So do visit the Mandolin Babe's Flagship Store 
to see the new look with the wonderful looking cottage with the green door. I've linked it with the eBay store,which will continue to stay. Knowing how there seems to be just as many people who like eBay as don't,I figure I'd make both groups happy. 

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Photo Opportunities in the Yard!

I'm learning the hard way to take my camera out with me in the yard because I never know what I'm going to see while I'm out there. Top one is of one of Dads cactus' that bloom once a year-the shade of pink is gorgeous! 
       And then there's these Amaryllis that are just the most beautiful red you ever saw-there's a metallic sparkle to the petals-reminds me of nail polish! 

 Then there was this little guy (or girl?) I found today while whacking away at weeds. Didn't want to it to get hurt,so I gently nudged it up onto my gardening glove & walked it to the petunia pot on the porch. It liked the glove,so I took it off gently & went & got my camera. I couldn't believe how long it sat there,and it started warming up it's wings gradually. Dad was able to go get his camera & snap shots as well-until it flew away. The detail on the body is amazing-like little beadwork! 

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

And The Inspiration Keeps Flowing!

I gotta say I never knew there was so many handcrafty things I could make for musicians-and fiddle accessories seem to be the biggest catagory I get ideas for. You're looking upon a flannel bag I made to hold rosin. (I used a bag I already had & made my own pattern using scrap pattern paper) The flannel is "re-purposed" as it used to be a pair of my PJs. Very new flannel tho-the sewing job was so poor on these well known brand pjs that after 3 repair jobs of re sewing seams I realised I'd be better off to just start making my own. So this pair,after being all freshly laundered & softened,went into my fabric bag where I completely forgot about it. Yesterday,I was questioning as to whether I could make the bags out of cotton,tho flannel is a traditionally used fabric for this. While I stuck my hand in the over flowing bag and was groping for what I could find,out came the pajamas like a rabbit out of a hat. I was delighted! I had totally forgot I even had them. Best of all the plaid is an applicable to either gender fabric,and it assembled so easily. You can see my listing for them here and it should show at the top of the page in the new item slide show. I'm doing my best to give folks a chance to get away from the cheesy cheap mass produced imported items and start buying handcrafted,folky,made in the USA instead.