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Monday, March 31, 2014

Music Monday Beethoven Style

Good morning and happy Monday again!

I thought I would share a wonderful YouTube video with you of David Oistrakh playing the 5th sonata for piano and violin.  It is a beautiful recording.

Enjoy!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Music Monday

Happy Monday once again!

The UWM Symphony Orchestra has a concert on Friday night, so I thought I would share the program with you this week.  We are playing the overture to Nabucco by Verdi (super fun and exciting to play and to listen to), the 3rd Symphony by Schumann, and the Schumann Piano Concerto in A minor (the soloist is exquisit!)  It will be a wonderful performance and if you are around, it's Friday night at 7:30 in Bader Hall on the UWM campus. 

(Here is a sneck peak of the symphony)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Spring wonderfulness

Hello again!  I have been relaxing, enjoying the warmth and catching up on some fun reading and projects.  

I finished one of the two place mats' tops that will match a table runner I'm making and have put the binding on my mom's gorgeous king sized bed quilt.  My Christmas gift to her was doing the binding (she really doesn't like binding...) after the quilting is all done.  I finished it in an hour and 45 minutes.  Not to shabby for my first king sized quilt :)  She just needs to finish up quilting the borders and the pillow shams.  It has been a project 2 years in the making, and is going to be stunning when it's all done and on her bed!

I also spent way too much money on thread in an attempt to match colors for my Twitter quilt top.  I have been working on it slowly but surely for the past month, and my goal is to take home the top completely finished.  So I just need to add the borders and finish securing the applique flowers and flower centers.  It shouldn't take long.  I am planning on setting up the iHome while I'm sewing and listening to the 5th Harry Potter book :D

I am also practicing lots of concertos.  I have 2 Viotti concertos and 2 de Beriot concertos, as well as the 2nd and possibly 3rd movements of the 5th Beethoven sonata and a host of exercises and etudes.  Lots of fun.  I really needed some time away from my instrument, but I am enjoying getting back into the swing of it now.  I think being on break helps with that. 

Next week will be busy again: there is an orchestra concert next Friday, it is going to be really good, and I have volunteered to help create accessible print materials for other students on campus.  I had a violin student a few years ago who had some vision issues and needed enlarged music as well as enlarged everything for school, and she was always frustrated when she couldn't see what was handed out because someone forgot, so this is something I would love to do to help out another student and make their life just a little bit easier.  It's easy to forget sometimes that I really am lucky.

I am experimenting with fonts and sizes and stuff, so don't be shocked if things are different in the next few posts!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Emotional Music

Happy Monday once again!

I thought I would share a thought from my violin professor: "Music is the only time in life you cycle through 25 emotions in 10 minutes.  It is exhausting.  Get used to it."

So true :)

Friday, March 14, 2014

Bee Block in record time

I finished packing for my trip home early today, so I thought I would get started on my bee block for March. Yeah...it only took half an hour including choosing my fabrics and cutting them. :) isn't it nice when that happens? This block really pushed me out of my comfort zone too, I'm not comfortable with curves (so I deliberately did two curves on the pink and purple strips) and I REALLY don't like improv sewing, which this kind of is. But, it turned out cute which is all that matters to me :)




Sorry for the dark picture, it's actually quite sunny out, you just can't tell...

Have a wonderful weekend, I'm on vacation to see my family for spring break!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Music Monday

I was pleasantly surprised to find a piece by Anton Webern in my 20th century music history class that I absolutely fell in love with.  Im Sommerwind was composed in 1904 and is a lush and romantic sounding orchestral work.  I love listening to it.  This video is Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Enjoy and Happy Monday!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Happy sewing

I had been wanting something with a clear ID pouch for my bus pass so I don't have to take off my mittens to ride the bus on cold days :) I made one myself, just making up the pattern as I went along. It was interesting. Functional. Not super pretty, but the fabric is cute. All in all, it worked, but I was on the hunt for something better.

This was last November. Yes, I was cold enough in November to not want to take off my gloves for 15 seconds to flash my ID to get on the bus. I have no tolerance for cold. Flash forward to about a month ago and one of my favorite pattern designers, Erin Erickson of Dog Under My Desk (check out her page it is awesome!!!) started posting Instagram pictures of a wallet she was designing. It had a clear ID pouch! Yes! I waited with baited breath for the pattern release, snapped it up and then had absolutely no time for sewing. Sigh.

I decided to make one as a trial run and started on Wednesday evening. It was a long day after a long couple of weeks and I really wanted to see how my new sewing machine handles it. (Really quite well)

I spent about an hour and a half Wednesday night on it, then went to bed, not wanting my sleepiness to interfere with the finished product. After waking up insanely early, I haven't seen 5am in a while, I finished Thursday morning with maybe another hours work! It's cute and functional. I don't plan on stuffing much into it, just my bus pass and the various cards and things I need on campus so it's not really a wallet for me, more of a glorified card holder, but super cute and stylish :)



This is the crazy picture I took right before class started to send to my mom :)

I have another crazy week coming up: midterms! Lots of studying, listening, and practicing to do. I'm playing the first movement of Beethoven's fifth sonata for piano and violin for my repertoire class midterm and I have a take home essay and in class exam with listening example, score identification, and short answer for my 20th century music class.

Then it's spring break! Home to CO, and learning to use the long arm quilter :) and working on the rough draft on my 10 page paper on Aaron Copland, the final draft is due shortly afterwards.

I hope you have a great weekend!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Music Mondays

Happy Monday!

I know there are a lot of people who don't like Mondays, but I am not one of them!  I love the beginning of a new week: lots of new possibilities!

I was listening to the Elgar Cello concerto performed by Yo-Yo Ma this weekend while studying, and thought I would share a great video of it with you from You Tube! Just click on the link and you can hear the first movement with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Yo-Yo Ma in Carnegie Hall in 1997.  It is a lovely performance.  This is currently my favorite cello concerto :) 

Enjoy!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

A Waiting Game, and happy news :)

The applications are in, the auditions done (except for the back-up program) and now I'm waiting.  I hate waiting: constantly hoping to get accepted into my first choice, fearing that no one will take me, second guessing my choices on repertoire, remembering things that should have gone onto the resume, and mostly just not knowing where I will be in 3 months.  I'm a planner.  I knew which programs I was applying to by the end of December.  I had everything planned out as to when things were due and what I needed to practice to audition by the end of December.  I finished the first round of applications two weeks ago and the last round last Saturday.  I still haven't heard back from any of them.  Ahhh!!! I am almost tearing my hair out.  I can't plan anything past May 16, the last day of this semester.  I don't know if I will be keeping my apartment for the summer/do I need to put my things into storage?  Where will I be living this summer? Back in the CO mountains or the coast of Maine?  Where will I be living next fall?  I need to look for an apartment, but I don't know when I'll be back to sign a lease.  These are not small questions!  So, if you couldn't tell, I am super impatient and like to plan really far in advance.

While I'm stuck in this waiting game though, I have been listening to a huge amount of music, practicing like crazy, except yesterday (I gave myself a day off...I really needed it too!), doing LOTS of research for my term paper, reading a bunch of things about 20th century music, trying to figure out how to use up all of the food currently sitting in my pantry, and slowly catching up on all of the cleaning that I have been avoiding in the apartment for a while.  (December, I think, was the last time we truly did a deep clean)

I mentioned last time I would like to start a new weekly(ish) post.  I am pondering Music Mondays which would be anything short and sweet and music related: a link to a great performance on You Tube, talking about a new piece I just discovered, a quick composer bio, whatever catches my fancy... We will see how it goes :)

Today was spent avoiding the snow.  Stupid snow.  Stupid WI winters that go on forever.  (Ok, I feel a little bit better now.  Not much, but a little.  Seriously, why would you choose to live somewhere like this???)

I did decided to buy a new sewing machine though!!! So exciting :)  I love it so far: other than user error (I keep forgetting that I need to change the needle position when I turn it on which has led to a couple of broken needles) it is a pleasure to sew on it!  It runs really smoothly and quietly and I have had a lot of fun playing around with the fun stitches programed into it.  I stitched up the top of an adorable couch quilt I have had sitting in a bin for over a year.  Actually, I posted about it last February!  I still need to add the borders, but the rows are pieced and the applique flowers are laid out and pinned to the top.  The next step is stitching them down and then I'll add the borders, baste it (I'm seriously considering spray basting), and quilt it!  There are several new-to-me techniques I want to try on the remainder of this quilt: free motion swirls quilting, spray basting, and a pieced backing that will use up all of the remaining scraps from the fabric I purchased from the top.  The other projects I have lined up to test all of the wonderful new features of this machine are a zipper pouch for a dear friend, pot holders for me and my roommate, finishing the quilting on my bed quilt, stitching down the applique on the garden quilt block, mending my super cute tank top, finishing the quilting on a table runner with free motion stipples, and making an apron.  Yep, those projects pretty much cover the gamut of what I sew: bags/purses, clothes, household stuff, and lots of quilts!  They will probably also take me the rest of the semester to finish :)

Hopefully having Music Mondays will inspire me to post more frequently and have less wordier posts.  That's all for now!