Friday, September 16, 2011

What's New?

Fall is in the air, and a variety of things are going on with us. Today, someone included a pair of earrings from Beaded Jewelry by Susan in her Etsy treasury.
Last weekend, we enjoyed the CD release concert by Mean Lids at the Iron Post. Miriam (Mimi) Larson played flute, mouth harp, train whistle, kazoo, and various other "special" musical instruments as well as performing beautiful vocals. Ben Smith tore up the sound barrier with his fantastic violin (and the baritone violin) and did a few very lively banjo numbers as well. He and Matt Turino did some vocals too, and Matt joined in with his fiddle for some numbers and his guitar for others. They did some "old-timey" tunes--Western swing, waltzes, jigs and reels--in the first set and then the second set was straight from the CD and all original instrumental numbers. These were really great because they are all excellent composers as well as accomplished musicians (and they have nice "lids" as well.)
Also managed to discover some wonderful new literary fiction authors lately:  Stefan Merrill Block's The Storm at the Door; Margaret Leroy's The Soldier's Wife; and Ellen Feldman's Lucy.

Thinking ahead to October, I have ordered a big bunch of tiny bulbs: species tulips, the short, small tulips from which the big Holland beauties were developed. They are charming and just the right scale for our raised beds (I am hoping I can plant these myself sitting on the garden bench).
Sara and Theresa Jones are continuing to attend the Saturday Farmer's Market in Urbana with Beaded Jewelry by Susan items for sale, and the Provena Hospital sales to raise funds for the Women's Center continue this month (once a week) and include my earrings as well. I am looking forward to a bead show at the end of October in Collinsville to find some great new beads. Have had a few sales on my Etsy website lately as well!

Last project is trying to get some copyediting work to help with generating some income, so took an editing test today! Hope all goes well for all of you. Please feel free to post comments or questions anytime.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Fundraiser Sales Begin!

Tuesday was the first of the in-house sales this month of earrings from Beaded Jewelry by Susan at the Provena Hospital fundraisers for the Women's Center. All employees and patients will have three more chances this month to purchase these lovely earrings, and again part of the proceeds will go to the Women's Center. The next sale will be Monday, September 12, at Provena Hospital.

In October there will be two big events that will be open to the public as well. More on that later . . .

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Another Great Saturday Night Gig

Just a quick note to say we enjoyed another great Saturday night music gig at the Iron Post. Bate Calado was playing, and Elis Artz was substituting tonight for Gina Reynolds, who is in Brazil, on several numbers. The music and singing were terrific! Rick Deja's saxophone is so sweet it seems to be talking, singing, and even crying sometimes! He did a number of virtuoso solos, but one in particular was outrageously impressive. Eduardo Herrera's guitar work was also exceptional this evening. As always, the bass with Dave Cubberly, the drums with Andy Burton, and the percussion with Cody Jensen (including the lovely triangle and tambourine) provided just the right mix. There were a number of wonderful tunes by Antonio Carlos Jobim, one of our favorite Brazilian composers, along with some other numbers that we hadn't heard before. Thanks so much, guys!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Fast Week

This week really went fast. We went to hear Desafinado as promised on Saturday and I got some photos for the blog. Now here it is Thursday night already and I am just now writing the blog! Tomorrow is David's 70th birthday, so I won't be on the computer ... we've planned a picnic lunch at Homer Lake, some enchiladas for dinner at La Fiesta, and friends coming back for cake afterward. Then on Saturday, Bate Calado, another Brazilian band, at the Iron Post.

This time, we got the new CD by Desafinado, with lots of wonderful originals, some of which they played on Saturday at the Iron Post. Thanks to Hurricane Irene, Giraldo Rosales was still in Costa Rica, so no congas this time.
However, there was plenty of interesting percussion sounds. In addition to mandolin and a small electric guitar-like instrument, Luciano Tosta played tambourines, gourds, whistles, chimes, and "bongers" (my term for the strange instrument).
And Cody Jensen was there with drums and cymbals as well, if you can see him in my dark photo (the lighting in that place isn't much).
It was a real treat to have Greg Jahiel back with the group on guitar and vocals in Portuguese. Greg is also a very talented composer.
 Here's another shot of Greg, but the mike was in the way!
Partway through the first set, George Turner joined the group, with his lovely melody guitar works.
Tom Paynter (are pianists always photographed from the back?) made excellent use of the nicely tuned Baldwin. Tom told me he thinks the Baldwins are as good as the Steinways any day.
You still can't see his face, unfortunately, but Tom's flute is so distinctive, it's a definite ID. He seems completely absorbed in playing piano and then suddenly grabs up the flute at just the right moment and sends a trill thrilling down your spine!
Or he surprise you with the accordion-like sound of the air-driven melodica mounted above the piano. You can't see the tube, but he is blowing while he plays.
This is my last attempt to get a better photo of Tom (not just the nape of his neck) as he returns to the ivories. He did a number of piano solo moments in various pieces that night, and they were truly impressive. His playing is not only virtuoso, but inventive and always intriguing.
Well, her head got cut off here, but you can see the lovely multicolored sundress worn by Elis Artz, great Brazilian singer!
That's better! Elis is back from a couple of months at home in Brazil with a new haircut but the same rich, resonant voice! She's been writing lyrics for some of the new compositions by the band too.
Isn't she lovely?