Monday, July 26, 2010

Opened Etsy Store for Handcrafted Wares!

        For whatever reason,the Gigulele Bags & Strap Pals™,fiddle cloths,fiddle flyers,& pick pouches I make just don't move on eBay. I have no idea why,I sell the uke gig bags fine in person,but put em on eBay & I get lookers & nothing else. What to do? I  decided to place them in a handcrafted friendly environment on Etsy & see how it goes. I'll be placing the embellished violin tailpieces there too,in addition to hair bands. Here's an environmental/go green soprano Gigulele Bag™ I have up on Etsy as of this writing:
    If any of my readers are interested,please click on the Etsy widget I placed to the left side of the page,or visit my Etsy store   where you'll see more ukulele gigbags made with Hawaiian prints,froggies,and more! They are lightly padded,and while not of the caliber you'd use to throw in the cargo hold of a jet,they are simply divine for taking around town,to a jam,to a lesson,music fests,and so on.                 

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Introducing: The Gigulele Bag! ™

A co-worker recently asked if I would make a gig bag for her soprano ukulele- a pineapple one. First I tested one of the ones I was making with side handles. Thankfully,it fit! Then came out of nowhere a request. "Can you make it where I can carry it over my shoulder like a purse and perhaps put a drawstring closure at the top?" Hmmmm. I told her what I could come up with,but a drawstring closure was out of the question as it wouldn't work with batting. And it had to be Hawaiian print. Luckily,I had purchased a yard for a sweet deal online. It's not my fave pattern fabric,and I realised I had placed my personal taste ahead of the customers wants. As ukuleles are seen to be hawaiian,of course it should be in the coordinating print gig bag! So when I got home,I worked with my usual pattern & I had a thought-make it to where the uke goes in head first & place a strip of velcro across the top. It worked! She loved it so much the uke now stays in it's gig bag and she doesn't play it at all. (Something wrong with that picture) Well,thanks to her this is the new standard design and I had come up with a name for my gig bags but didn't want to use it till I got domain names for it. I call them "Gigulele bags". Rightdown catchy,isn't it? I also made this one:
         Both will be up for bid in my ebay store this evening. And I have more planned. 
I got an early b-day gift-a baritone ukulele! Went to a local store that was running a BIN on ebay. Dad prudently wanted me to play it first-good thing I did cause I didn't find the Lauren too hot or high quality. I got the floor model Savannah BU-200 at a discount because of "shop wear" ie little dings & scratches from being sampled by prospective buyers. Here tis:
   She's a beauty,and all for $50. Sounds great tho I need strings for it-I didn't realise the ones on there are as old as the hills-the lighting in this little store was by no means grand. Has great sustain and a very sweet sound. Good volume,action & feel. Been playing ren tunes,Irish music,Yule carols,and the next project will be TJB tunes. (for those of you younger than 40 that stands for The Tijuana Brass. Loved em as a kid & had no idea their videos are on Utube. I didn't know there was any videos of them at all!) Hopefully I'll have 2 of their songbooks by the end of the week.
    New books will be coming into the store soon-baritone uke & dulcimer books. Tinwhistles continue to be a hottie.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Freaky Mist,July Shower,and Redesigned Uke Gig Bag

   This past Saturday we had increasing clouds-the type of clouds I would see gathering when I lived in TX many years ago which always meant a sudden strong shower. Well guess what-we had a sudden shower that lasted for about 15 min or so. I was watching my every Saturday "Celebrity Ghost Stories" and when I looked outside I saw this low lying mist rising from our street. I went outside & it was the entire street with this low lying,wandering,floating mist. So I grabbed my camera & started shooting. (One bright neighbor thought it was from a neighbors bar b que)
   It was delightfully mysterious in appearance and danced with the slightest breeze. How ghosty is that??
           Aside from freaky weather patterns,at the suggestion of a co-worker & ukulele player,I redesigned my ukulele gig bag pattern and it's turned out to be much better. Less pieces to cut out,you carry it over your shoulder,and it has a good strong velcro closure. And I've given in to Hawaiian prints. Personally I don't care for them, but this woman insisted it had to be "that print" and I'm wondering if that's why I hadn't been able to sell any except to her. 
          My orchid continues to thrive and I'm getting the "Orchids for Dummies" book. So far so good.  Another huge help has been on Twitter I'm following @OrchidCareLady and she's offered great watering advice. I think I was drowning my orchids I had before & didn't know you water em early in the day so they can dry out. 
           I'm also lending encouragement to @ukestarstraps on Twitter as she makes the most groovin ukulele straps you ever wanted to see. She's a little shy on Twitter,but does perform here & there with a Ukulele group.
           Speaking of ukes,I'm hoping to get a baritone for my upcoming b-day.  Being a guitarist since I was 11,I figure I know how to play one already. I'm ok on soprano but it requires effort on my part to do well melody wise tho I've memorized a lot of chords. 

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Thank You's Mean So Much....

     As many of you know, I work a part time job at a college. Every so often I get to play receptionist/help desk sort of thing. A student had called in the morning,and I did what I could to help her out on the phone. She asks me if I ever shop at Costco & tells me she's bringing me flowers. I tell her she doesn't need to do that,I'm just "doin my job" and she insists. I'm imagining a cute cut bouquet. She arrives an hour later with this drop dead gorgeous orchid plant! It's over 2 ft in height,planted in a narrow tall ceramic pot. (and in my fave color!)
    While I simply work the part time gig to support the budding biz & pay for my own medical insurance,it is for the most part a pretty thankless place to work. Only time you get attention as a cashier is when you don't balance,and when you balance 99.9% of the time not a word is said. But that's not why I'm writing this entry. 
    I can't tell you how good receiving this gift made me feel. To know someone out there appreciates the good you do,that you made a positive change in their lives,is just awesome. It's why we're here on this planet at this time. To help & nurture others in our own unique way. To connect with each other in the great "web of lights" & keep the light show going & make it brighter! And if you've ever been in a really dark place in your life & emerged back into the sunlight,you're even better equipped to help those who are in their own "dark spot" because you've been there & have a good idea of what it's like.
    Personal project wise,I obtained a 6 string concert uke in an online auction for $5.00 as it was labeled as a miniature guitar. I need to get a saddle for it-but have the strings on & hoping it'll sound decent when it's done. Unusual that it has a tailpiece. No brand name or anything like that. 
    I'm back to making ukulele gig bags to sell again and am going to be changing the design a bit-I'm going to be including a loop in the back so you can hang the bag on the wall with the ukulele inside. That idea occured to me yesterday as I'm making a custom order for a woman using a surfer/Hawaiian print. In the meantime I'm keeping one I had made previously for me as my old Hilo needs a bag. It's got comical kitties on the fabric. I also made a pattern for the concert size uke & need to make one to see how it turns out. 
    Fiddle playing wise I picked it up after about a week of now sawing and was pleased that I can now play "Mary Had a Lil Lamb" and "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star",making it not only recognizable but meaning I've learned my D & A scale. (DNA scale?) *laughs*  Not that I'll get any requests for those hot tunes,but it does mean I'm progressing. And that's what counts.