Saturday, January 30, 2010

Summer in January

Tonight I'm off to a lovely dinner party at my friend Anna's apartment.  It's a BYOB, pot luck, summer-in-January themed dinner, since we've been living with freezing cold temperatures here for the past week.  I volunteered to bring a dessert, and going with the summer theme, I made my first ever American Flag cake.

It's angel food cake with a cream cheese/whipped cream frosting, and berries (obviously).  I had some extra batter too, so I made some cupcakes; I already know it's going to be good!
Here's hoping we have some umbrellas for the drinks!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Ginkgo Pillow

When Nate and I went to Philadelphia back in October, we spent some time at the Fabric Workshop and Museum.  At the museum store there, I found this ginkgo fabric and instantly thought of my friend Shailer. She got married this past summer and I made that Amy Butler Midwest Modern quilt for her.
            Shailer's wedding theme was "lovebirds," but originally she had planned for it to be "ginkgo."  I happily bought a yard of this fabric so that I could make a pillow for her birthday, coming up in February.
            I thought that the sage color would go with some of the leftover quilt fabrics, but it didn't.  Then I brought a swatch of the gingko fabric to JoAnn's and couldn't find a single fabric that looked good with this stuff!  Desperate to put my own mark on this project, I finally decided to embroider some of the leaves with "veins."  It's only my second attempt - that I haven't thrown out - at embroidery.  And this is my first attempt at making a pillowcase.  The zipper was a little . . . frustrating.  But I persevered!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

There's Nothing to It.

"There's nothing to it.  All you have to do is hit the right notes at the right time."  -J.S. Bach

             When I was younger, we had this quotation framed, and sitting on my piano.  It's just a funny little thing, but oh so true.  I thought of it yesterday when I had a little "aha" moment with a student.
            The previous week, she had been working on a piece that was a song with verses.  In each verse, the basic notes are the same, but since the words change, so does the rhythm (more 8th notes to fit in more syllables, etc.).   She had an impossible time with it and I tried everything with her (well, everything I could think of) to figure out these rhythms.  She's had trouble with rhythms before - sometimes she just gets them right off, and sometimes to take a while.  Sometimes she never figures them out and we just move on (terrible, I know).
            Anyway, yesterday she played the piece for me with perfect rhythm.  I said "that was wonderful!  How did you get the rhythm so much better?"  Her response was that she just played the notes at the right time.
Oh!  Why didn't I think of that?!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Yearly closet project continued

So, as promised (mostly to myself) I organized another closet over this New Year's break.  This time it was my hall/catch-all/utility closet.  It started out as a quick project, but then little parts that I had to return/replace made it much longer, so I don't want to say much about it; I'll just let the photos speak for themselves.


and After: