Sunday, January 31, 2016

Neon Brown

I needed to make one more, to hopefully fit a seven year old boy coming to Canada soon!  Adapted in smaller form from the pattern HERE, which is the same pattern as the last three, fun and easy, once the special stitches are sorted out.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Video of the week: Who wrote Lully Gavotte?

I am totally stealing this from Timothy Judd at The Listener's Club!  In fact, I am not going to write a lot - just send you to his blog to read there! (If you didn't already follow the same link I shared on Facebook last week.

But I will embed two versions of this from YouTube, both of which are different from the way we find it in Suzuki Cello Book 3.  (Timothy's link to a recording by Mischa Maisky didn't work for me, this one does.)

Students: Who really wrote the "Lully" Gavotte?

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Dry hair - poof!

This morning Jade's hair is dry and brushed.  Poof!
Here is my first dress.
With a little coaxing by hand (scrunching), the hair can be somewhat controlled.
When she gets into play clothes, I'm thinking she'll need braids!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Doll spa

Today, I tried the boil wash on Jade's hair.  Here are a few pictures of our progress...

 Dry, there is no way to fit all that hair into the bowl!
 Filled the bowl with boiling water and dipped and brushed, dipped and brushed.  Soaked and brushed. Boiled more water and repeated.
Slightly tamer, but still curly with frizz.
 Added conditioner.  And more conditioner.  And more.  Brushed, combed.  Rinsed.
Starting to dry.  Still a lot of frizz at the ends.  Might try some more product in the ends, or... maybe a trim!  There's enough to spare, as it reaches her knees!  But even with frizzy ends - big improvement, I think!

She has a dress now!  Waiting for daylight for her next photo-shoot, though.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Video of the Week: Perpetual Motion Doubles

This week we have a teaching video with Abigail McHugh Grifa.  This bow stroke is not only used in Perpetual Motion, but again and again in cello playing.  We have some students learning Webster's Scherzo (Suzuki Cello book 3), who will benefit from this review!

Those not yet learning Perpetual Motion can have some fun giving this a try, too!

Students: What will help the motion go side to side instead of up and down?

Cuter already!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Bratz Doll Makeunders

I absolutely LOVE the made-under Tree Change Dolls (, both for the idea of recycling footless dolls found in thrift stores and for the idea of making the dolls look more like the little girls who play with them.  Their outfits are so cute, too!

So when I saw a few of these dolls orphaned in one of our own shops, I thought I would give it a try!  Here are the two I brought home:
Oh, that hair needs taming!  Google helped me find that the black haired (and legged?!) doll is a Bratz unleash your passion "Jade"... and this is what she would have looked like originally (from

I'm a little nervous about re-painting the faces.  My hand isn't that steady anymore, and I'm not the artist that Sonia Singh is!  I'm guessing my acrylic paints have all dried up after so many years, and I'm sure I don't have the 00 or 000 paintbrush or whatever it is she recommends (I can just see me spending .50 on the doll and $5 on a paintbrush...???  I have no idea what they cost.)  Maybe I will start with the wardrobe.

Speaking of wardrobe! There are several DIY make-under videos by Sonia on YouTube which I was looking for when I found one on caring for frizzy haired dolls... and that fellow had a "spa robe" for his dolls to wear while having their hair done!  (Yeah, I said "fellow" and "his".  No judgments here.) Jade and her friend here will not be quite that pampered. But I do want to get that hair under control!  Anyone have a doll brush?

Friday, January 22, 2016

It Needs a Name

My third hat using the pattern found HERE... but this one needs a gender-neutral name...

I've had the print and the green yarn in my stash for a while... and just finally realized they are coordinates!  Only scraps left of each now!  The only change to the pattern this time is one added row of double crochet at the bottom for a bit more length.

What would you call this one?

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Pretty Posies Hat 2 - Fiesta!

I made this one a little smaller.  And more fun. The pom pom makes me think of confetti!  Adjusted in size from the pattern HERE.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Video of the week: Bring Him Home - The Piano Guys

The Piano Guys' cellist has done a lot to bring the cello into popularity in the last 5 or so years. Mixing popular and classical pieces, many very high in energy, this pair has a wide following! 
Here he is playing (singing on his cello) a calmer and lovely "Bring Him Home" from Les Miserables (Claude-Michel Schönberg, composer).

Students: What is the name of this cellist?
Did you know his cellos have their own bios on The Piano Guys' web page?

Friday, January 15, 2016

2016 Holiday Stashdown Begins!

And fits into my latest hat thing, too!  Here is the "Pretty Posies Hat"!  The pattern can be found HERE.  Check your size as you make it (starts at the bottom, which is convenient for checking), but keep in mind that the decreases begin soon, so you won't want it TOO snug.  The original pattern picture shows a ribbon around the base - that can also be used to snug it up.  Or, one other member added ribbing.  I used a size 5.5 I hook, to keep it from falling over my eyes. :-)  The original had a large button at the top, but mine just called for a pom-pom.
Somehow, I am craving ice cream...


Sunday, January 10, 2016

It's own post!

Well, in order to enter in the CAL draw I need a separate link for multiple projects, so here is the white and pink cowl again!

Last minute 2015 Stashdown CAL projects

I've done a few more items which I need to post to enter in the CAL draw, deadline tomorrow.

Another "Not Quite a Slouchy Hat" (pattern HERE). I repeated round 7's pattern, rather than reverse it for round 8, in order to make it swirl.
A few more cowls based on the Whimsical Sashay Cowl (pattern HERE).
 I decided to work the green/black one in the round rather than turning for each round.  But in the end, decided I like the look of  the front and back of stitches in the original pattern like this white and pink one.
I only had a little of the pink left, which I doubled with the same DK weight yarn I used in my first W.S. Cowl, and one small skein of white "Craft and Rug" yarn, which I doubled with this DK "Raydiant", inherited from my mother-in-law (who loved to shop at Eaton's!).
 I used the same yarn with the green in my first W.S. Cowl, which made a very nice texture, but I like the way the subtle colours are seen with the white.  A bit hard to see here.
The first time I finished this, I was about three stitches short of white to be able to finish the last round.  So I frogged it and tried tighter stitches.  Okay, now I was ONE stitch short!  Argh!  So I frogged TWO rows and stitched them both tighter.  Somehow, then, I ended up with about 10 extra stitches worth of yarn!  I still have more of the Lady Fair "Raydiant"... curious how it would look worked up on its own. 

2016 Stashdown begins tomorrow!!  This year it begins with one pattern per month until the fall, when, again, there will be a weekly schedule. If you're interested in joining, HERE is more information!  There is no requirement to make every pattern, I just got a little obsessive about it for this year's 15 patterns! :-)

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Video of the Week: Piazzolla

Another lovely offering from Astor Piazzolla in cello quartet form! La Muerta del Angel played by the Boston Cello Quartet. Students: Tell me something about the composer, Piazzolla!

Friday, January 1, 2016

Video of the Week: Pavarotti sings Schubert Wiegenlied

We can learn a lot by listening to SONGS we learn on the cello being SUNG by SINGERS!  Everything we play is not a song... but those things meant to be sung are songs, and we should likewise sing them on our cellos.  Here is one example of a song we learn at the beginning of Suzuki book 3. 
We know it by the French, "Berceuse".  "Wiegenlied" (VEE-gun-leed) is the German word for lullaby.

Here is one example of how it is sung - maybe when the baby you're singing to is at the back of the cathedral?  :-)

You might like to look up examples of other singers as well.

This is the best cello video I found with the arrangement we play. What does she do to "sing" with her cello?

Perfect Fit

Here is the "Perfect Fit Newsboy" from the Sunset Family Living's 2015 Christmas Challenge... without the newsboy brim, and not knowing if it's really a perfect fit as I don't know who will wear it. I guess it's called that because it is made using front post double crochet, which makes it nice and stretchy. Good quick pattern!