Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy,Healthy,& Prosperous 2011,Everyone!

Here we are at the end of the year-already! Who knew? And as usual,I'm looking back to see what could I have done better,as well as projects for next year. Today is the day I hem a pair of jeans I got over a month ago. Funny how the holiday season seems to relax one into procrastination. I've been asked about New Year's resolutions and like most people,I don't keep them-in my mind once something is a "have to" my inner rebel seeks any excuse to get out of it. So I have decided to trick myself. Instead of the standard list of commands,I am doing a "What if I...." list. Which looks like:
"What if I started stretching,etc,3x a week?"  (notice the word "excersise" is forbidden!)
"                        " playing fiddle,etc 2-3x a week & not letting other things distract me?
"                        " keep track of finances on a monthly basis instead of saying "I'll do it but I have plenty of time" only to see it's the last day of the year?'
     So the experiment begins. It's more playful,more of a try it & see which of course will tug at my curiousity. Then I'll have to find out how it goes. Three items are enough for now.
      Christmas was groovin-I got a small Bodhran from my Dad,which means I can start drumming again as a meditation. I've had a whopping 18" bodhran forever that needs a new head on it,which I have. Problem is no matter what I do the thing won't go on right when I try applying the bracket & tightening them. So that one will be going on eBay as a "fixer upper" for someone more skilled than I to get into playing condition. But back to the new one I got-beautiful deep tone,a Walton's. Now I gotta dig up my tutorial books & get back to reading "Drumming the Spirit Alive!" a book on spirit drumming. 
      Yesterday was great as well. This house has been freezing the last couple of days,& my hand knit slippers just weren't cutting it as there's a chill on the floor. Wound up at a Sears outlet,and while slippers weren't on the shopping list I did come across a pair of Isotoners. In my size! (I have small feet which is a pain for footwear shopping.) In periwinkle with cute little embrodered flowers. For $6.00. Was $20. They keep the chill off the soles off my feet & I'm a happy camper! 

     My newest invention for uke-a dustcover that I need to get a catchy name for. I have two in my eBay store right now. I think they're swell! And-I finally finished this:

     That's a gig bag for my baritone ukulele-fully lined & padded-Now it has a safe place to be and I can take it places! (If you're wanting one for yours please contact me-I made a pattern for it) 
     Ads will be in Fiddler magazine for the Etsy store as it needs a bolstering. In the main store,I'm seeing tenor banjo books are in demand. Will be adding a few titles early next year as well. Set your goals and work towards them in 2011! And drive carefully tonight (or not at all if you're sipping bubbly!)


Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

   It's Christmas eve and I just had to include a snapshot of the tree this year! Got the bubble lights on it with decorations from childhood,along with more modern Hallmark ornaments & ones I had cross stitched in years past. The heavy rains have passed,thankfully,and we're back to sunny blue skies. 
   I got brave & opened a Utube account under the name "SherrieBariUkeDiva" as I figure if all those other folks can make video of themselves playing,then so can I. Videos forthcoming of mandolin,ukulele, & 6 string banjo playing. (fiddle will be later!) I can't believe how this month has swooshed by. I have a to do list while the college is closed which includes hemming & sewing. I've placed an ad in Fiddler magazine to promote my handcrafted musical accessories. 
    One thing I've learned this year is to start shopping for this holiday in spring-in case the budget gets extra tight like this year has been. 
    I'm grateful tho,for being able to make so many things for myself like slippers,neckwarmers,etc that my budget has been to tight for. Next years list will include adding things to my wardrobe like a new pair of rainboots,cowgirly boots,and starting the purchase of thermal wear. And maybe splurge on a cowgirl hat or two.
    My thoughts go out to all those who lost their homes in CA,AZ,UT,&NV due to the rains,floods,and mudslides. Of all the times of the year this had to happen,something about it happening during holiday season makes it all the worse.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Stormy Weather Yet Full Of Cheer!

     Christmas is getting closer by the day. It's a little unusual this year as there's a series of big rainstorms upon us here,and Californians are not used to inclimate weather at Yuletide-rains usually hit in January-February. I don't think the outdoor lights will be put up due to the weather but thankfully I did get a new strand of colorful LEDs to go around the window. One or two more cards to be sent,packages are already out,But the decorating remains to be done. In a bag is new yarns I had purchased at my favorite crafts store to make myself a new cowl and fingerless gloves. I'll be doing that while watching football. Overall the universe has blessed me big time this month-I received the issue of "knit Simple" I wanted but thought my subscription had run out on,I found a wonderful 15% off entire purchase  online,(Good all Dec long!) in that trip I found the last ball of yarn in the right dye lot to finish a gift for a friend,I picked up a pair of reading classes in a bright see thru pink frame that I had my eye on the last 3 times I was there,and a batch of yarn in cheery colors for a cowl for myself. Biggest surprise is when I was checking my receipt to see how much I saved I saw that the cashier never rung up the glasses.
    I'm still working on carols for the baritone uke and have decided to self publish a book of them in tab next year as well as start arranging Irish tunes. Looks like baritones are the most neglected ukes of all as far as songbooks,etc.  

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Joys of the Season!

Goodness! I hadn't meant to be away for so long. My part time job at the college went from nearly laid off to full time-at which point I was too tired to do much computer-wise after coming home. Decorating still needs to be done-and I'm arranging carols for baritone ukulele.    
   Unexpected surprise-thumbpicks are now a hot seller in the store-I have nearly sold out at this point and I need to place another order. Weather here has been a mix of near 80's with cool cloudy days and forecasts of rain for later in the week. 
    I love this time of year and a full moon on the Winter Solstice will make this a most magical time indeed! I'm buying more LED lights to make my celebrating more green-I picked up a new strand at Big Lots! last night to go around the frontroom window. 
    The economy has reminded me of how much we equate the joy of this holiday with how much we have to spend on things-and with so many of us on a tighter budget than last year (myself included) I had to readjust my thinking into what really brings joy at this time. Dad will be getting fewer gifts this year but the real joy is being together-decorating the tree,the twinkling lights,the music,and for me,the special enchanted feeling and the return of the sun and longer days-tho I am a "Holly King Girl" I have come to love springtime. 
     Another unexpected seller has been crocheted fingerless gloves that I've been making. I hadn't crocheted in ages- but I stumbled upon two easy patterns that have done well. 
     I made my trip to Hallmark & got a card or two,in addition to "splurging" on a beautiful small stained glass suncatcher of a pointsettia surrounded by ribbon,pine,and holly. It's up in the window of my room & adds a festive touch.