Gift ideas for Music Lovers
Gift Ideas for Music Lovers -
Recording of Young Violettes or Band Poster?
Dear Gentle Readers,
Or a Guitar Purse?! You arrived here because you love that all girl rock group called Young Violettes that you see in a television Commercial. You are not alone! Our Violettes website statistics from the last three months is posted below. It shows over 4,000 people landing on the Violettes by Becky site looking for info about the Young Violettes (or Violette) Group. I have spent a lot of time researching this for you, and have posted several blogs on this group. I can tell you that it is just a TV commercial, However never fear, because music festival season is approaching fast! And if you love girl rock groups you should love our Gift ideas for Music Lovers. Enter Free Drawing at the bottom of this page.
Since so many folks land here, we would love to know a few things. Can you please answer some questions below? Put your answers in the comments section at the bottom of the page. THANKS!!!!!
- 1. Tell us about the music you hear from the Young Violettes Rock band, as I have never seen the commercial.
- 2.Please describe for me how these Young Violettes are dressed? Eclectic fashion, genes and t-shirts...?
- 3.What kind of music genres is your favorite?
- 4.Are you people male or female looking up this group, and are you under 20, or between 20 and 30?
- 5.Do you know that our Guitar Purse makes a great gig bag or man bag painted black with your initials, and are purchased for and by men to hold a head mic., spare picks and strings...?
- 6.In fact, our Hand Painted Guitar Purse can have any painting on it that you like, even your pet, Old Blue! alternatively, if you love crafts, you can send for a DIY Bag to paint your own.
- 7. Lastly, if there were a Young Violettes Rock Band, would you buy a recording of them, tickets to their concert if they came thru town or/and a poster of them?
Nashville Tourism or Greece?
If you're planning the Nashville tourism route, you'll need a Violettes Guitar Purse or Fiddle Purse for your outfit. If you plan to attend the Symphony or Opera there, our Grand Piano Purse or Violin Purse maybe more your style. Either for Greece or Nashville, it's that time of the year to plan your summer vacation. So, I sit here spending my days studying Salesforce Apps and have neglected the duty to plan out our 25th Anniversary vacation. Oh, I've gone thru a couple of motions, but not proper planning for such an opportunity. The main thing I think is that I need to bring a suitcase full of "supplies" for refugees that we surely will bump into.
Since my husband hasn't managed to get an updated passport yet, we may have to check out the Nashville tourism scene this year for a quick short get-away - postponing our big vacation a year; as we want to go before the big summer crowds arrive.
Going to Nashville?
I have stayed in some great airbnb's on trips to Nashville. If you want to get the better deals, you need to book early. A top attraction in Nashville, after a festival, is the Country Music Hall of Fame. I have never been on their studio tours, but instead, we stopped at an out of the way studio on our own during a non busy time by luck, and got a private tour. In one of my many trips to Nashville, I stumbled on the beautiful area around Percy Priest Lake. (I am more of a country lover and hiker than a city slicker myself). Of course there are all the music and music star related museums and concert venues. And endless foodie delights in a city so rich in culture. Don't forget to bring your star gazing shades, you just might bump into someone famous. For specific recommendations, contact me thru the bottom of this page.
Going to Greece?
But as for Greece, Santorini vacations are rated as the most romantic on lists for honeymoons around the world. Rent a sailboat to an otherwise unreachable beach, have a wine cooking lesson, visit the excavations, see museums of a different sort than you'll find with Nashville tourism. ;) And then climb to the top of a volcano for sunset. The main relatively new museum in Athens is spectacular, and of course is a must.
A note for traveling in TN. You'll find Violettes Guitar Purses for sale on Beale Street in Memphis, In Nashville Boutiques, in Knoxville at the Soap and Candle Boutique and in Townsend in the Wood-N-Strings Dulcimer Shop (a must stop).
If you're going to Nashville during one of the endless music festivals, purchase from our Gift Ideas for Music Lovers to compliment your eclectic fashion needs in advance. Remember the Guitar Purse is hand painted, and our artists love requests.
Lastly, if you have time don't forget to visit the Smoky Mntns and Dolly Parton's attractions in Pigeon Forge, TN. Here is a TN Tourism link: http://www.tnvacation.com/guide/
Enter our drawing for a free Guitar Purse by clicking the "button" above!
It's the Ultimate Music Lover Gift, And I Got It!
Most people are music lovers to some degree, whether they listen to the blues, attend Jazz Festivals, appreciate the music in their dental chairs... But besides one of the Gift Ideas for Music Lovers, such as a Violin Purse, Guitar Purse or Grand Piano Purse from Violettes, the ultimate gift is a shiny new instrument. And I have one coming in the mail!!!!!!!!!!!
I desperately wanted a higher level flute when I graduated high school, but never mentioned it
to anyone ever until now! Although I carried my flute everywhere I went, like hiking and even in the car to practice during red lights, and although I received the high school orchestra award, I knew that I would be playing less and less as I grew older. I saw a $2,000 Haynes flute for sale that I really wanted, or maybe I tried it out somewhere, but that sounded like an enormous amount of money for one headed to college (in those days and these days too). About 5 years later, I noticed that that particular flute went up in price to $13,000. I suppose, it was the price in silver. I kicked myself figuratively for years. While I was a flautist in my Rock Mechanics Professor's Comedy Opera Company Orchestra at UC Berkeley and continued to teach private lessons at a music store for several years, I did play less and less. Wherever I moved for an engineering summer job, I seeked out places to play or people to play with, and continued to carry my flute on hiking and backpacking trips.
I played to my daughter when she was in my womb, and even after she popped out; but with kids, my time priorities changed greatly. When we moved to Knoxville 20 years ago, my own music making went into hibernation. I had asked so many people to play until I gave up. I started playing a little with my kids, as I talk about in previous blog, "50 Ways to Lose Your Loved Ones".
Why the Ultimate Music Lover Gift Now?
Maybe 5 or so years ago, I saw an ad in the newspaper about the Music Study Club in January. Not knowing what it was, but seriously missing my own music making, I attended. Little did I
know that they would make me perform in front of them after not playing all these years! I joined a flute quartet in the club. This was fun socially, but since the other 3 flautists had been college music majors and professional musicians, I usually ended up with 3rd or 4rth part. Playing in a flute quartet is not nearly as fun as playing with a varied group of instruments, but it is fun socially, and I continue to meet a lot of great people and hear great personal performances! After all these years in Knoxville, a new member made an announcement that a community orchestra is forming in Knoxville, the "Scruffy City Orchestra". I think that I literally jumped over people to ask to get in. (I don't think anyone noticed.) We had our first rehearsal, finally, after a snow delay. It was like I died and went to heaven (if a Jewish Unitarian is allowed to say that). I thought that I would never play in an orchestra again in my whole life! I was in the right place at the right time! Of all the flautists in the University town, and little old me in the right place at the right time! (Did I already say that?) I messaged a flute teacher to say that I may need to line myself up in her studio pronto. I had a night mare that I was kicked out for intonation problems. In the first rehearsal the conductor had to tell me that the g was a trill!!! I was so embarrassed that I couldn't trill my ring finger. I guess I am so old and haven't moved that finger quickly in so many years. Another fluatist told me that if I am going to play in an orchestra, I really ought to get a new flute, "tell your husband that you need a new flute for your 25th anniversary next month". I said WHAT!!!??? RIGHT!!!! She said it is probable that it is the mechanism in my flute more than me that was the trill problem. So I headed to take my flute in for repair, and the repair man was away for a week on vacation. I tried a higher end flute at the local music store. BINGO! Although the tone of the flute sounded shrill, the key bounced off my finger and I could play it as a tremolo (faster than a trill)!!
What happened after that, I will not bore you with any longer but my musicianship just improved 10 fold, and maybe I won't get kicked out of that orchestra.
How is My Musicianship About to Improve 10 Fold?
Let me tell you that I have been playing on a "toy" flute for 40 years, and all I can say is no wonder this and no wonder that!
- 1. The flute "mechanisms" work much much better. They keys bounce off my fingers; I can fly thru runs and trills. So now I need work to get the runs even.
- 2. The flute is designed to be in tune with so much more hand work in a high end amateur flute. Several professionals have suggested that I work on intonation! Like my daughter's violin teacher when I played trios with my kids, said that my sharp notes hurt her ears. And there have been a couple of other incidences. I worked on it a few times, but with a flute not made to be in tune, it's pretty hard work!
- 3. Dynamics are night and day!! There is no work on this new flute to start loud on a low note and run up to the highest note pianissimo. I can't get over this!
- 4. The low notes and the high notes pop out! Normally, it is hard work to get them out, and often the low notes won't sound, and the high notes result in an out of tune squeak or just vibrating lips.
- 5. The tone is much warmer and it projects too!
- 6. There are cheat keys on the flute!!! Sometimes on a flute, to change notes, you might have to move four fingers, so imagine trilling clumsily with the 4 fingers moving up and down. There are secret new keys added so that you only have to move one finger to trill!
- 7. I always have been embarrassed that I don't have a flute that can play the lowest note. Now I've got it!
- 8. There are key movements added such that the commonly worst sounding notes for flautists are better sounding and better in tune.
Is that enough? So last week I tried the flutes of the other 2 orchestra flautists. They were semi professional and professional models. I asked, "do you have more flutes at home?" "Oh yes!" "I said, so do I, I have a $100 flute that I bring backpacking." That got a good laugh considering one of their flutes was over 100 times that cost.
Now where is that flute teacher that I messaged! I never did get around to learning Chaminade or even Fight of the Bumblebee. Let's Go! I'm excited and inspired.
Ms. Bobbie DeRidder Gives Violettes Violin Purse as a Gift Again
Giving a Purse as a gift may be unusual, but our music purses scream of East TN with their Instrument Shapes. Knoxville calls itself the other music city. (See "Other Music City Blog"). I sit down to interview Bobbie, who first purchased a Violin Purse for a Texas violinist daughter in-law, then another Violin Purse for a Florida Granddaughter. Before I could get one of my standard interview questions out of my mouth Bobbie says she brought a book to loan me, and she launches into telling me her long TN family history. It was fascinating, so I urged her to continue.
Bobbie DeRidder tells that her family owned a farm property by the French Broad River in Jefferson County, East Tennessee. After the Revolutionary War, properties "stolen from the Indians" were divided up and given out. So, it had belonged to her family that long until they were forced to sell for the construction of Douglas Dam. (Douglas Dam construction began in 1943.) Bobbie says the property had tenant farms with 2 tenant farmer houses, and her grandmother grew up there, and lived with her family. Bobbie loved to farm. And she loved large open spaces where she could "roam freely". Her family moved off the farm to Dandridge when she was nine. This actually was a good move for her father who ran the road department for Jefferson County. Their new property was large, and her Mom had a very large "marvelous" garden and a chicken house.
Dandridge was a place where Bobbie could "roam freely". Bobbie and her older sister each had their own paper route in Dandridge! Bobbie held this job from age 10 thru high school. After which she went to UT Knoxville to major in Accounting. She obtained her CPA license and only recently stopped working (doing taxes) due to numerous health problems. I think she's allowed to slow down at 83!
Bobbie has so many hobbies! She used to Ballroom Dance with her husband, and still dances some. She is an avid eclectric reader. She belongs to a book club which reads some "hard" books, such as the one she brought me to read, Zealot The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan. My Mother is already loving the book, thank you very much. She also enjoys mysteries. She is currently reading a mystery called The Man on the Washing Machine.
And Violettes asks about Bobbie's music background after Bobbie says how much she loves the violin purse as a gift because it's so unique. Her mother played piano. She and her sister had
some piano lessons, but not for very long. Bobbie has 4 children, including a multi-talented musician son who lived in Austin, Texas and recently died, and another son who lives in Knoxville. He assists families with financial management. One daughter works for the US Forrest Service and lives in Cleveland, TN and the other daughter lives in Seaside area in Florida. She owns a Jewelry Store called "Magpie Jewelry", and her husband runs 2 restaurants which she recommends, both called "The Perfect Pig".
I have been surprised to bump into Bobbie while hiking in the mountains! She is an avid hiker (until recent health problems). Bobbie belonged to the Smoky Mountains Hiking Club for many years.
Cool Purse -un 37 is Proud Guitar Bag Owner
One of Violettes' Gift Ideas for Music Lovers
Responsible for bringing classical guitar music to East Tennessee, Mr. Lawrence (Larry) Long is full of excitement talking about his journey as a prominent player, composer and above all teacher. And what fun his stories are to hear!
First he tells that he presumes his classical music training came from playing in the crib at age 3 when his Mother would have soap opera shows on in the next room every day. In those days all the intro and background music was classical!
The family moved from Sevierville to Knoxville for his Dad's grocery store business, and Larry grew up working
in grocery stores during the summers "learning the value of hard work". Larry had started music with the public school music program in Knoxville choosing to start on French Horn in Elementary, changing to Trombone in Middle School and Tuba and the upright Bass in High School. He credits a high school career day with guiding him to decide on a music education major at UT Knoxville. His senior year in high school, Larry went to the All State Band with the Tuba, staying with a family during the program. Their daughter owned a guitar that was never used. Larry asked his Dad to buy the guitar (for $25) when he came and picked him up, and Larry taught himself all the notes in the back seat on the way home. That summer after his senior year, he wanted to concentrate on learning the guitar and take lessons rather than working long hours in the grocery store. His father went thru the roof!! At that time, everyone with long hair was strumming on a guitar, and it was associated with taking drugs. So, asking this of his father was almost like asking if he could take drugs. It was a big NO.
Off to UT Knoxville for Music Degree
Attending UT was great, as Larry got much personal attention from some great teachers. The composition teacher was also conductor of the Knoxville, Symphony - Mr. David Van Vactor urged Larry to join the symphony with his upright bass. Another teacher urged Larry to answer a guitar teacher ad, even though he had only been taking lessons for 3 weeks! And another told him to join the Army Band in Europe to get some experience!
- - Teacher Interview: Larry showed up to the Guitar Teacher interview in a suit and a tie after only having 3 weeks of lessons! This was at the biggest private music school in the country headquartered in Knoxville. They taught lessons for every instrument, but they didn't yet teach guitar. The owner invited all 20 of the guitar players up into a big bedroom. Most of the guys had long hair and genes. Some of them had 20 and 30 years of experience on the guitar. The owner pulled out a music stand and put music on it. Larry was the only one of them that could read music and he got the job!
- - Experience with the Army Band (1958 to 1960): Larry joined the 76th Army Band, the #1 band in Europe stationed just outside of Paris. (In 1960, they moved to Germany). Larry could play any instrument that was needed. They played all over France and it was hard work. They started marching where the US Army had liberated the first town on one coast in WW II. They marched thru the town, then on to the town that was liberated next, and so on. Several guys in the group didn't drink and had to stay behind. In each town the mayor would give them a toast with wine. By the end of the long marching, they were exhausted but happy. Larry played trombone, french horn, and bassoon, flute and piccolo parts on an electric guitar when it was needed for one concert.
Meeting Segovia: After graduation from UT, Larry played upright bass in the Knoxville Orchestra, but liked guitar so much that he taught guitar. In 1962, Segovia came to play with the Knoxville Symphony. That very week, Larry had signed up for classical guitar lessons, but hadn't had his first lesson. In his symphony suit, he walked up to Segovia and asked him which of his 3 guitars he was going to play that evening. Segovia called his wife over who brought his guitar. Segovia handed his guitar to Larry to try! That was a thrill he never forgot, and the concert was an inspiration for learning classical guitar music. Larry took lessons with C. Ivan Maracle from Toronto. Larry says a problem with electric guitar is you always need an accompanist. So classical guitar was very attractive. Larry knew that if he were going to teach classical guitar, students would have to hear it (since there was no you tube in the day). So Larry brought the Guitar Society to East Tennessee. He eventually had 90 guitar students, and had to quit his symphony job after 9 years. He taught Guitar students at UT Knoxville in addition to in a studio private lesson students.
Guitar Society: Larry founded the Oak Ridge-Knoxville Guitar Society bringing in world class classical guitar players. They all stayed at Larry's house for some southern hospitality. Larry was President/Program Director from inception in 1971 to 2002. They had 9 concerts a year, and his wife was an expert publicist producing big crowds. Birdie wrote careful articles for the newspaper with personal performer interviews and gave announcements to several radio stations. Professional Guitar Players coming in from all over the wold usually doesn't happen if you don't live in New York, LA, Boston, Chicago, Paris, London...
Meeting Mr. Sakellariou: One of the visitors Larry welcomed to perform in the Guitar Society was George Sakellariou. Just before he arrived, someone gave Birdie a free pass to a psychic. Jokingly, Larry said he'll go and he did! Amazingly enough, the psychic told him that he would meet someone from California that would make a big difference in his life!! In walks Mr. Sakellariou, a student of Segovia, faculty at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. This man became a lifelong colleague and friend. He later volunteered to record much of Larry's music. Larry has composed and arranged volumes of music. Larry gave me a copy of his Mel Bay book, "Conversation Pieces", consisting of all original classical guitar solos by Lawrence Long for the beginner and intermediate player to enjoy. It comes with a recording of all songs by renowned classical guitar player, George Sakellariou. The recording below is a "Toccata" from Bach's Tocatta and Fugue in D Minor arranged for classical guitar by Larry, played by Mr. Sakellariou.
Larry Leaves a Legacy : Mr. Long is very proud of all his students and can remember 18 students who played guitar in college some of whom were on music scholarships. and 13 of his students who became guitar teachers. If you google Lawrence Long on you tube, you will find many people playing recordings of classical guitar music written by him, some of whom, his students. Of all the awards and citations Mr. Long has been awarded, he is most proud of the "Who's Who Among America's Teachers" Award.
What Else? I see some interesting Civil War prints on Larry's wall. Larry and an art professor at UT Knoxville started a civil war group. They made Civil War presentations up and down the east coast. While Professor Dick LeFevre, who eventually produced 32 (stunning and "neutral") Civil War watercolor collages, was the MC, Larry performed music with or without a full band on original Civil War instruments. Larry arranged the music, which was partly background in the presentation, and partly highlighted. He fondly remembers performing with such talented performers as Multi-Instrumentalist, Rachel Schlafer-Parton.
Cello Themed gifts are the Same as Violin Themed Gifts
with End Pin Modification
All are great gift ideas for music lovers!
Cello Themed Gifts are on Kathy Plank's mind when she buys for her granddaughter in Ireland. Kathy says the Music Purse is now an International Bag, as her granddaughter is moving to Switzerland! Kathy is from a musical family, and has many musical relatives. She says (it used to be that) getting together with her side of the family meant everyone pulls out their instruments and plays whereas the other side of the family is TV and football bonding. Me too Kathy. Me too. So the cello player granddaughter loves her Violettes Music Purse! She uses it as it is meant to be for musicians with her "music stuff" inside.
As I interview Kathy (I know that she is a talker, and let her just talk rather than interview), we
reminisce about when we first met. She is one of several people that I met when I first moved to town about 20 years ago when she first moved to town. We bumped into each other five years later with daughters in the same girl scout troupe, and then with kids in the same middle school and high school. Now she is a neighbor!
Not a better way to get to know a neighbor than by interviewing them for a blog!!! Thanks Kathy, and Thanks again for purchasing one of our cello themed gifts!
Kathy Plank comes from an Irish family who settled in Baltimore, Maryland. Kathy says there is a large Irish settlement there, and her relatives first moved there in 1854. She had 5 siblings and her father died when she was 4. So the family all had to help out Mom and became very close. When the oldest brother started working, he handed over all checks to help the family. When the kids were old enough, Kathy's mother worked at the library. She brought the 4 girls with her and plopped them in the "Maryland Room". And, Kathy says, it was like candy getting to read anything that you could think of about Maryland. About the food, culture, fauna and flora, government, history... She loved learning about when President Lincoln put Maryland legislators on arrest!
"In early 1861, Maryland was walking a tightrope between the Union and the Confederacy. In addition to being physically between the two sides, Maryland depended equally on the North and the South for its economy. Although Maryland had always leaned toward the south culturally, sympathies in the state were as much pro-Union as they were pro-Confederate. Reflecting that division and the feeling of many Marylanders that they just wanted to be left alone, the state government would not declare for either side.
For the Federal Government, however, there was no question about which side Maryland had to take. If she seceded, Washington D.C. would be surrounded by hostile states, effectively cut off from the rest of the Union. The situation came to a head on April 19, 1861, when the soldiers of the 6th Massachusetts Volunteers, moving through Baltimore on the way to Washington, were attacked by a pro-Southern mob. When the mob started shooting at the regiment, the soldiers returned fire, and when the smoke had cleared, four soldiers and twelve civilians had been killed.... " (SOURCE: Taken from Maryland State Archives, "The General Assembly Moves to Frederick, 1861")
On Sept. 11, 1861, Abraham Lincoln had Secretary of War Simon Cameron order the arrest of Maryland legislators who are openly pro-South.
Kathy held jobs as a reporter and on the PR (public relations) staff for a state agency. Part of her job as PR person was to do event management. When the state decided to give awards for small businesses, she managed the affair. She managed in such great detail, that she tasted the food and checked the displays at the venues before deciding where to book. The first event had a very low turnout, but word got around at how good the food was. By the 3rd year, the turnout was so high that they had to close off the room and used closed circuit television to show the awardees.
Kathy and her husband moved to Knoxville about 20 years ago because her husband began teaching law at UT Knoxville. This was the first time she ever lived away from her 3 sisters. She had never had to make friends before because she had all the built in friends she needed in her sisters. That was her biggest culture shock.
Kathy and her husband raised 5 children (2 by his earlier marriage). They all began music lessons in public school, but several continued with private violin and piano lessons. With that many children, she has put herself on hold driving kids to all types of sports and music lessons, art camp, girl scouts, dance class, cheer leading, theater, horse back riding , beauty pageants... Two of her children have disabilities, so that adds to her hectic life. However, growing up helping to organize and care for a disabled brother and sister has made her youngest daughter such an outstanding person to be proud of.
How about Kathy now? She loves to cook and bake. She grew up loving to sing and can belt out songs about carrots while cooking. You don't think those musicals are for real, but for some people they are! She currently goes to Fitness Together where she has a personal trainer and lost 30 pounds. When her husband got jealous and signed up too, she informed him that eating habits have to figure into the equation. Kathy says laughing, what do you get when you cross an OCD personality with a diet. So they started having to weigh all their foods. With Kathy's trainer, she is proud to be able to dead lift 115 pounds. This is very good for a 4 foot 10 person. In addition to the trainer, Kathy takes Real Hot Yoga*, and loves her teacher Jill Bartine, the Knoxville "Flutist Yogini"!
*I learned that Real Hot Yoga means that they do stretches in a very hot room so that muscles are already warmed up for stretching.
Visit ViolettesbyBecky.com for Cello Themed Gifts!
There'll be Gifts for Music Lovers at the Mountain Makins Festival, So Come on 'Round the Mountain to See Us!
Violettes has to pick and choose Festivals. There is certain to be a crowd looking for gifts for music lovers at the Mountain Makin's Festival. And, we have been invited to enter the creativity competitions, including a new vendor category. I see authors such as Lisa Soland, Bill Landry and Sam Venable will also be at the festival!
Our new Elegant Black Diamond Violin Purse or Gig Bag is our largest style Violette. The one of a kind Handmade bag designed and sewn by Becky, has lots of special details and makes a perfect violin gift. There are golden heart tuning pegs, and the zipper pull and "chin rest" give a flash of color. The f-holes have golden
beads sewn on and glued for security. The side edge has black cording to emphasize the sleek shape, and the front side edge has exquisite sequence flower detail. The back flap has edging detail hand sewn on for elegance and wear.There are pockets both inside and on the back. There are two pockets inside and places to store glasses, pencils and hang keys. On the outside back, there is a small upper pocket as well as a two compartment lower pocket. There is a flap on the lower pocket that loops closed to contain or hide larger items. As a Gig Bag, string musicians carry rosin, extra strings, a small metronome, a tuner and even a shoulder rest. The outside back pocket will fit the largest size cello string pack.Dimensions: 14 in. L by 7 in. W by 2.5 in. D.
Come on out to see us at the
40th Annual Mountain Makins Festival
October 24, 2015 — October 25, 2015
Category: Festivals & special events, History & heritage and Kids & family
The 40th Annual Mountain Makins Festival at historic Rose Center in Morristown is a weekend folk life festival. The festival honors the rich traditions of the past, and supports modern interpretations of those traditions. More than just a fine art and craft show, visitors to the family-friendly event enjoy two stages of mountain music, storytelling, prize-winning dancers, regional authors, children’s activities, and abundant good food. One special feature is the live demonstration of traditional crafts such as blacksmithing, basket making, wood turning and more.
Preview Party on Friday evening (10/23) features live entertainment, gourmet food and advance purchase of the crafts. Four time “Top 20 Event in the Southeast.”
Rose Center is located at 442 W. Second N. Street in Morristown, TN. Contact: 423-581-4330; email@example.com; rosecenter.org; facebook.com/mountainmakinsfestival.
Classy, Charming, Confident and Definitely Cool!
( And Loves our Gift Ideas for Music Lovers )
Staunch supporter of all the arts, an always smiley Janice Brandt, purchased a Butterfly
Guitar Purse for a grand daughter. Her daughter in-law was gifted a Piano Purse, and she says she wants to get a Violin Purse. I think they appreciate our Gift Ideas for Music Lovers in that family!
A long time ago, Ms. Brandt started majoring in Art in college. She got side-tracked with a husband and 4 children, but did make it back for a BS and MS degrees in education. She later got a PhD in Urban Services, all from Virginia Commonwealth University. She taught Middle School Math as a career. But when she retired, she and a friend opened a business giving personality tests to company employees. She says this was popular at the time to make sure employees had compatible personalities.
I never heard of personality testing for hiring, so I googled it. It still happens apparently, see THIS ARTICLE**,
from Cornell HR Review Jan. 2013. Reading about this subject - the testing must be used in a valid manner to be legal.
Back to Ms. Brandt, known affectionately by her family as Mimi (Pronounced Meemee), she ls now residing with one of her sons and family in Knoxville, TN. Having visited her four grandchildren here from Virginia for the past 24 years, she has enjoyed seeing the children in concerts, plays, musicals, science fairs and etc. The grandchildren grew up with violin, piano and voice lessons. Ms. Brandt must be proud of those 4 children, all with music gifts.
In her younger years, Ms. Brandt enjoyed playing tennis. And for well over 20 years, she has crocheted shawls with a group of friends (and now by herself) to donate to Red Cross. Today, in her 80s, she is still very active, walking for exercise and taking art classes at the O'Connor Center in Knoxville. She loves going to concerts and plays. And her choice in reading - Biographies.
A Crafty Person, Katherine Gross,
Owns a DIY Guitar Purse.
Violettes: You do incredible art projects to decorate everything and everyone in your life. Which piece caused the biggest "stir"?
Kat: Wow. That’s a hard one. For me, each of my projects is meaningful in its own way. Most recently, my favorite craft project has been a ribbon banner featuring various metallic ribbons. I haven’t worked very much with ribbon as a focal point in my crafting, but I really loved how the piece turned out.As for the piece that caused the biggest stir with others, I would have to say my
large 9 square ft. canvas of daisies that I painted for my dorm room last summer. Everyone who sees it loves the use of color and line; it really helps to create a sense of home in an otherwise drab living space.
Violettes: Tell us about being on the teacher path, and how that feels.
Kat: I’ve always known that I wanted to be an elementary school teacher, so it’s been really interesting to see how my perspective on teachers and education has changed, especially since coming to Vanderbilt. In many ways, the joys of being a teacher and sharing my love of learning with my students have stayed the same over the years. Thru my studies and experiences in the field, I have developed a fascination with the intuition, innate curiosity, and higher-order thinking skills that children possess but often do not get to chances to develop in classrooms. I’ve also had to come to terms with some of the harder aspects of being an aspiring teacher. The hardest, for me, has been dealing with the fact teaching at the elementary level is not held in intellectual esteem by many. Unfortunately, our craft is judged by its outermost layer of superficiality: the bright colors, games, appeals to children’s likes/dislikes, etc. Critics do not understand the level of intense cognitive study and intentional planning that goes into every instructional decision that teachers make. It can be very frustrating for me. But I am extremely thankful to be surrounded by a community of educators within Peabody College and my supportive family who remind me that at the end of the day, I do what I do not for the approval or recognition of others but for the purpose of changing the lives of my students.
Violettes: I find learning skills interesting as well. And, I believe you are top of your class level bright, and you will be one of the exceptional elementary school teachers. I have run across many. However, it can be an easy field to graduate from, and a lot of people that are taking the easy road also take that path. Thank you for being in a place where you are sorely needed! Don't fret - you will stand out and be noticed and appreciated!!!
Tell us about your summer overseas. Are there any funny or any entertaining stories from that?
Kat: It was incredible!! I had never been to Europe before so it was quite the experience travelling around Italy, Switzerland, and Iceland. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten so much pasta in my life! The best way to describe Iceland is “once in a lifetime”. My mom and I snorkeled in the glacier water that flows in between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. It was so cold!!! (36 degrees F), but the views were absolutely stunning. I also got to descend into an extinct volcano with a fully preserved magma chamber. The colors of the minerals inside the volcano were breathtaking!
As for funny stories… The man who sold me a leather jacket in Florence proposed to me. Anything to get a good deal, right? Oh! I just remembered another one. While in Iceland, I was missing my cats like crazy so we would visit this shop everyday that had a cat who slept on a chair inside. One day, as we were turning around to leave, I noticed a t-shirt that said Knoxville, TN and had a picture of a biker shop on Kingston Pike that I drive past all the time! What a small world.
Violettes: Your family is so close, both physically and as a family - how cool is it that they hop over to come to celebrations and games with you?
Kat: It is really wonderful. My family members are my best friends, and I don’t think I could handle not being able to see them very often. With my older brother moving to Atlanta, I’ve really gained some appreciation for having my family all together in one city for the past few years. Even though we don’t get to see each other as often this year, our family group text is also buzzing and full of goofy conversation.
Violettes: You went to a concert with your brothers - how was that?
Kat: It was amazing!! I had the idea to get Imagine Dragons tickets for my little brother’s birthday since he had never been to a concert before. Our seats were amazing and the lead singer even ran up our aisle during the show! My brothers got to high-five him! Concerts in Nashville are one of my favorite things to do. So far I’ve seen One Republic, Dierks Bentley, One Direction, Lorde, Ed Sheeran, Small Pools, Iggy Azalea, and Augustana. I’m seeing Taylor Swift this weekend and Of Monsters and Men and The Band Perry later in October.
Violettes: Wow, nothing like Gift Ideas for Music Lovers - we hope you wear your Guitar Purse to all those concerts in Nashville!
Yes, Gift Ideas for Music Lovers Fit, in Nashville
We have been excited for a long time about having a booth at the Mini Maker Faire at the Adventure Science Center in Nashville. It's largely about science, but they welcome do it yourself style crafters too. Violettes carefully laid out a table showing all the tools and stages of making a handmade Violin Purse. (It takes between 7 solid hours and 2 days to make each one). In addition we had a paint it yourself guitar purse table. Voila, our Gift Ideas for Music Lovers merchandise is a maker item. I was so disappointed not to be able to roam around to see the exhibits - as there were so many fascinating displays! Even though the clientele was largely young parents with very young kids, it was fascinating for any age.
This gentleman had such a colorful whimsical costume, I thought he was part of the Faire. I was able to chat with him, and he was an attendee with many serious messages. He explained details of his outfit, and his daughter's appearance. He showed me the dinasaur on his collar with a little vegetable like "dinasaur food" propped below. "We are too wired today, and out of touch with the earth." And native Americans are not represented in modern explorer films such as Star Wars. (He is part Cherokee). His daughter wanting to attend at the last minute represents Xmas gifts getting away from the meaning of Christ. Hard to see, is a feeding tube coming out of her Xmas wrapped box....
We had several Star Wars visitors, including a woman wanting a special order Star Wars Guitar Purse! "With the pending new Star Wars release you would make a killing with Star Wars Guitars"' she said. At first I was puzzled. We talked some about legalities of making Star War paintings, and she was quite knowledgeable. Then I realized, Star Wars fans are serious fans. So it only makes sense for the Nashville clan to have Star Wars Guitar Purses! So there we have a new niche for the Violettes "gift ideas for music lovers"!
The fun thing about being a vendor is meeting folks that one would never ever bump into or have a conversation with in any other situation. I met a very dedicated high school science teacher (exhibiting robots with his students), who was busy building a Nashville science department, and grooming the kids for robotic competition. - - So rare and great to meet such an enthusiastic science teacher, although I know a few.
For More information about the Nashville Mini Maker Faire, visit the web site.
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