As I woke up this morning and looked at the clock the first thought in my head was “oh, my!” It was already past 7. I don’t know why I have myself conditioned to get up so early, even if I am not pressed. Maybe it is because I have the most control of things early in the morning before everyone else gets up and things happen that disrupt the day. Those of you who read often know how much I love the quiet of the morning. Today, I am sharing it with Mozart and some Glen Gould piano sonatas.
I love piano music. I love all music, but the piano is so calming and beautiful on its own. Many people – even those who know me, don’t know that I play the piano. It has been a passion of mine since I can remember. When I was just starting high school, my parents finally got an old Vose and Son piano and I took to it like a duck to water. Prior to that, I only had a small organ with the little buttons for the left hand. I think there were only 22 keys on the organ which really limited what you could play.
I spent my allowance money on lessons from a lady who lived two doors down. Her name was Angie and her and her husband both graduated from the Conservatory in Chicago. They had two grand pianos in their small living room that were set up much like Firrante and Teicher used to set their up – back to back and there were many summer nights I spent sitting outside in the quiet and could hear them playing Mozart and Debussy and Chopin. As a 13 year old, it really impressed me so much. I figured if the music has been around for 300 years, it MUST be good.
I went on to study in every spare moment. I didn’t date much in high school and I called the piano my ‘high school sweet heart’. When it came time for university, I was accepted at DePaul music school in Chicago after auditioning against several others. Most had music from when they were five or six years old, so at 13 I was a late-comer, but I made it by a whisker and studied there for a bit. I then attended Southern University in Carbondale, Illinois for a couple of years and the music director himself took me on as a student. I learned so much there, but it was then I realized that in order to pursue music as a career, I would have no life. I spent literally 8-10 hours a day in a 8×5 practice room with me and a stool and a piano. At 19 or so I didn’t really want that for a life, so I abandoned the thought of doing it and went on to other artistic things.
It didn’t dampen my love of classical music though. As an adult, I was able to purchase a Yamaha baby grand piano. It took me six years to pay for it and I did so myself doing sewing and selling my crafts. I had small children then so I really didn’t get time to study but I did enjoy playing for myself every now and then and looked at it as in insurance policy that when I had time I would get back to it. It was (and is) beautiful polished rosewood and the tone is incredible. I had to leave it in Chicago when I came here to Canada until my paperwork was done because of taxes and stuff. Now that I have my papers, I can’t really afford to get it here and it is for sale at a music store and online. With the economy as it is, it is a hard sell. I don’t really care though. I know it is safe and if it sells, it will help clear some financial things up for me here. If it doesn’t and I finally have enough to go get it, I will be happy not having to part with it. I get emotional when I hear some of the classical melodies that I used to play. There are lots of classical pieces in the backgrounds of movies and such and part of me longs for the time when I could escape through playing. Life is full of compromises though,and when the time is right, it will come. I know that.
Wow! Sorry for getting on that tangent! I guess what reminded me of it was that a buddy of mine on this list just posted some beautiful hair sticks he turned out of rosewood. They are so pretty and reminded me of my wonderful piano. Funny how things can trigger memories.
Today’s agenda includes drawing again. I am working on some Halloween candle tray sets and hope to have one or two drawn before sundown. I have some wonderful ebony and some holly and Padauk which I can use for the charms (ghost, bats and pumpkins) I won’t be making the trays in the exotics because I don’t have enough. We almost took off to Halifax yesterday because my partner got out of work early, but it was already after 1pm and it is a three hour ride there and the wood place closes at five. It would have been cutting it too close. It is a shame that it isn’t open on Saturdays. It makes it even more difficult to get there and you really have to plan a trip. (Poopie!)
The tray and charm project got so many nice reviews and comments from both here and the facebook crowd that I am amazed. What also surprised me was that so many liked the coloring I did on it. Traditionally I found that woodworkers in general don’t take kindly to coloring wood. That is why I always try to offer two versions of things. So people can visualize both options. But they loved the autumn colors and staining technique and it made me excited to do more like it. I have a sizable list of variations on that theme and I want to strike while the iron is hot as they say. I want to have about 20-30 designs and offer them all in a large package to so people can have them all. I like choices and I believe others do too.
On a last note, I also want to say how pleased I am that I am starting to see the little candy dishes (the tree and sleigh) pop up on a couple other forums. Nothing makes me feel better than to see my designs being made by others. After all, that is why I do them. It is wonderful to think that someone actually thought it was nice enough to take the time and expense to make it. It is very satisfying.
I hope everyone enjoys their weekend day. I have seen some wonderful projects presented here of late and it is really a pleasure to enjoy them from here on the computer. Take care and have a great day!
-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts Magazine, If you like reading my blog, come visit at Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"