Thursday, April 19, 2018


I'm a little bit of a fabric lunatic." -- John Malkovich

 Bags. Big ones. Small ones. Ones in between.  ....
 Beading. Trims. Fringes.  Sequins. Pearls......
 Messenger bags. With flaps. With pockets. With feathers....
 In the springtime of the world.
 Kittens that watch. Sewing machine. Needle. Thread. Fabric.
 Mr. Poo helps.Sorts binding. Keeps it handy.
 On days when the mountains show that they too have snow melt.
 Sari remnants. Sari strips. glitter. Bling. Bling. 
 "There are no boundaries for what can be fabric....." 
                                          - Issey Miyake

 Backing. Lining. Filler. Main fabric. Random sari strip choices.
 Straps. Pockets lined. 
Your soul is infinitely creative. It is alive and expansive in nature." --Debbie Ford

 Attaching bling. (Never can have enough bling.)
 Paint the flap for the messenger bag. Random Sari strips.  Beading. Bright.
 All rough edges exposed. More interest that way.
I'm a material girl - want to see my fabric collection?"  ~Author Unknown
 Crossbody. Done. Ready for the next ones......
I love sewing and have plenty of material witnesses."  ~Author Unknown
                                                  Quilts airing. 2016. Smokey

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Inventory At Dawn

 INVENTORY at DAWN by  ELEANOR SALTZMAN (1904-1946) One of my favourite poems.The  images she describes are so natural. So real.......
 I have gathered violets in April
 And watched the silent falling of a star.
 The wind has touched my hair......
 and I have laid my ear against the earth
 to hear grasses....
 I have shocked the new bound oats
 In summer and walked bareheaded in the rain....
 Thrilling with the thunder.
 I have baked a ham and sat with friends at supper.
 We talked of ghosts and Bach and vegetables, 
 and filled our  coffee cups again.
 I have kissed my heart goodbye at nightfall.....
 And I have loved, but deeply.
 And still, to sit in the sun, to know the breadth of tenderness deep as the earth.
 And bread. And sleep. and waking after pain.....
 To eat my breakfast at Walden. To feel hush of snow against my lips.
 And still to love.
 But Deeply....
 Poem "Inventory at Dawn" by Eleanor Saltzman (1904-1946) from the "1000 Beautiful Things Collection. 1948"
Photographs 2018

Tuesday, April 10, 2018


 "When you play a violin piece, you are a storyteller, and you are telling a story..." -Joshua Bell
It didn't come as a surprise that I would finally decide to give up playing  violin.  I was diagnosed 35 years ago with  crippling  genetic osteoarthritis. Rare. So rare, that it took two specialists and a team  to tell me.  I was in my twenties. They had never seen it like that before ,at that age. I was warned that I should quit then, and if I continued on would only  have maybe 3-5 years of playing time. Well,  it's been 35 years . Maybe a tad too long. But it has been amazing. And that Violin has travelled far and wide. It seemed to like California an awful lot.   I wouldn't change a thing...........
I think most kids start out with Suzuki violin. Scratch Scratch. Screech. Festivals. Concerts. Parents pulling out their hair. Mothers yelling like they're at a hockey game: "Stop fiddling with your feet!" Huge groups of kids sawing away. Tedium.....but necessary.Part of the discipline. Part of the training.
 1975 Versailles
 As time went on, violin became more interesting. Less tedious. When I was 14, I got the chance to go to Europe with a choir. I was given the opportunity to perform violin at Westminster Abbey, Brighton, Belgium, France, Versailles, Switzerland ( where we performed for our supper). I played Handel Sonata #6.That was the only piece I  had prepared. I could play. I was kind of a smarty pants. Knew  I was good. By the time we got home I could play the piece backwards and forwards. I was bitten by the performance bug.
1975, Carmen Gozdan far right
 We were a tight knit group. Music will do that. You become a team.
Dorian String Quartet. Karen, Blaine, M , Carol (1983)
 I think one of my greatest loves were  String quartets. Brahms, Mendelssohn, Schubert. Strength in the perfection of the notes winding in and out. Perfection in the sounds intertwined. By the time I was in University of Victoria I had two Violin Degrees. Later I added a piano degree.  I used to skip out of theory and history classes cause I'd done most of it already.I was bored. Shame, cause a lot of the profs were great. I remember arguing with the Fugue teacher on the days I DID go.  I was just there to play. The playing was incredible. I would go in to do the written final tests and do fairly well, given that I was hardly in class. 
 My violin was, and is, something special: Italian. Joseph Baldantoni 1823. One of ten Baldantoni violins. It had been damaged in WW2 and found in Belgium. But repaired by the violin maker. A gift from his widow , when I did my AR exams. My teacher procured it. All I had to do was perform a private concert for the elderly widow. So one Sunday afternoon, after we'd had our tenth cup of tea, I played. Everything from my exams, including Bach E- Concerto, all  movements, and repeated everything twice. Debussy, Szymanowski, I even played the first two books of Suzuki songs.Beginner songs.Baby lullabies. I thought it would be hilarious since the lady had fallen asleep...... My teacher was a little ticked at me. She wasn't amused. So I behaved myself and kept playing. Nicer stuff. When the lady woke up she said  she'd had a lovely afternoon, and I could have the violin. A gift. She told me to play it, for others, as a gift. It's your gift to play AS a gift. She wished me well. I never saw her again.
Feast of Lights
 I then got the bright idea that I needed more excitement. I was accepted to University of Redlands California.  The best five years of music  I have ever known. Violin took on a new life. Had new purpose. There was meaning and a driving force behind everything we played.
 Lake Arrowhead, CA
 Weddings at Lake Arrowhead, recordings in Hollywood. We played for Lorimar Studio parties, Churches, Symphony, Feast of Lights. More churches. Redlands Symphony Orchestra......To be surrounded by SO much talent, and so many opportunities. Lyndon Johnston was the violin prof. Gifted . Understanding. Inspirational. 
 In 1986 we toured up to B.C. to Expo 86. Alexander Henderson sang with our  chamber orchestra.
 We were a tight unit. (Karen, Robin, Mike Pickering ( classical Guitar)
With Robin at Edmonds Chapel. Sept 1987 Robin and I played gig after gig.

 And students. So many students and more to come. Whole families coming for lessons. Adults. Grandparents. Everyone wanted lessons. Wanted to make music. There is a definite connection with healing and music and being creative. It was like all of California was tapping into it.End of the year concerts were held in huge private mansions rather than in concert halls. 
 Rialto Country Club Wedding. June 6 1987. Jing Yu, Robin and myself. HOT day. We decided to wear silk chiffon. It stuck like glue, cause of the humidity.
 Riverside, Nov 29 1987 Seventh Day Adventist.No chiffon. Just black satin.We were always colour co-ordinated.
 Corona Baptist Wedding. Same year.  We were introduced to a Hawaiian singer named Becky. She sang down the house to the glory of God. She filled that space and then some. We wore green satin that day. We were rather shiny in our green. 
 Kimberley Crest, 1987. Fall. Jing Yu, Lauren, Robin. Outdoor string quartet music.Fabulous day. 

 United Way Reception, again at Kimberley Crest, Redlands.built in  1897 for Mrs. Cornelia Hill, (Kimberley Clark paper company)

                                                Russ, Judy, Trevor, Meredith
 And still more students. Three of my favs:  Meredith Tres and Sharon. I had no idea that our families would become so connected, to this day. I learned that teaching was not just once a week, but  a forever thing.
                                                       Yucaipa Methodist with Robin, one of my nearest and dearest.  For once we weren't in satin or silk.  
 There came a time that the fun had to shift gears. It was grad concert time. I got the privilege to perform with my prof Lyndon. We did the Bach Double.  Perfect sendoff . And Masters grad was done and over. In California they did it up  fun fun fun. Outdoor Greek Theatre with the writers of "Cheers" doing the speeches. And a massive outdoor party on the hill later. Palm trees waving in the sky. 
 "The violin, the most human of all instruments..."--Louisa May Alcott

 Violin back in Canada, life was  much different musically. Small orchestras. Talent  every which way. Small towns. Military bases. Maritimes. Central Travel.
 Apple Trio, Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia.  1992 (Phil, piano, and Kurt, flute)
 With Measha Gosman, in Fredericton, before she Was Measha Brueggergosman. Singing sensation. We were good friends. I played  violin obligato to her voice. We would eat almond bark and chicken bones ( candy) at rehearsals.  She was so real. So unique. Music soared from her. 
 1994 with Rebecca Roberts . We were recording our first CD. The only CD I did with classical violin. One of our favourites was Tempo di Minuetto by Kreisler. Still is one of my favs. And Rebecca is still close in heart, even from  all those miles away.
 Then  all the way back thru we toddled to the west cost thru  Edmonton, to White Rock B.C.  We did tons of concerts and music for Festival of Lessons and Carols. And a few students on the side. Thirty five years of playing longer than they said I would.  And now it's time........ 
  Every time I have played over these 35 years  I would say quietly to myself: "Thank you God for letting me play one more time!"  There is So much more to do. Now it's time for a new voice......
 “It throbbed and pulsed, channeled by  fear, love, hope, and sadness. The bow stabbed and flitted across the strings in a violent whorl of creation; its hairs tore and split until it seemed the last strands would sever in a scrape of dissonance. Those who saw the last fragile remnants held their breath against the breaking.  The song held. More than held, it deepened. It groaned. It resounded in the hollows of those who heard. Then it softened into tones long, slow, and patient and reminded men of the faintest stars trembling dimly in defiance of a ravening dark. At the last, when the golden hairs of the bow had given all the sound they knew, the music fled in a whisper...." -A.S. Petersen ( Fiddlers' Green)