2nd Place in Songwriter Competition from Melbourne Beach, Florida
The Violettes by Becky Annual Youth Composition and Songwriter Competition is national, so winning is not easy. We would like to present Carli Tuttle, 2nd place senior songwriter winner. Thanks to U.S. Music Corp. for the donation of her guitar. Carli hails from Melbourne Beach, Florida.
Carli Tuttle, 16, attends Melbourne High School where she is the FCA Worship Leader and is a performer in the Melbourne High Masquerade Musical Theatre. She won a songwriting competition in Nashville last summer at Annie Moses Band Fine Arts Summer Academy and was given the amazing opportunity to perform her original song at the legendary Bluebird Cafe. Her favorite subjects in school are History, English, and Anatomy. She also plays volleyball for her high school varsity team. Carli started guitar lessons at the age of 8.... She also plays the piano, electric guitar, and ukulele. She started writing songs when she was 12 years old. Carli loves encouraging her siblings to sing and play instruments. She has 3 brothers and one sister.
Music Art Cards to Benefit Youth Music Competition
The Youth Music Competition will earn 100% from card profits thru the end of May 2016, and 20% after that. Please support our work with card purchases at this LINK. You can buy a set of all the same or an assortment. We are currently working on more cards, and love requests.
Suzy Chaffee Chooses Guitar Purse
American Gifts are sought after according to my web site statistics, and what could be better than a Guitar Purse with an American Flag hand painted on it? But I was surprised that this is what my sister-in-law Suzy, whom I haven't seen in about 15 years, chose when I offered her a choice of purses at Xmas. She previously asked for a Violettes Piano Purse to gift to a granddaughter's Piano Teacher, and a Cello Purse because her daughter and granddaughter are cellists. Suzy is BTW Cool (Guitar) Purse -un 38!
I asked her if she will keep her guitar or gift it. She is contemplating it as a special gift for a musical young lady who plays the piano, sings and is currently in another musical at school. And she says she also wants to get a "paint it yourself" guitar for one of her crafty granddaughters.
- 1. Violettes: You have many talents. You do paintings (on saw blades). You did inventory control for a business for many years, then you opened a childcare service for many years - any thing else? Do you have other hobbies or talents. I know you love to read - what are your favorite kind of books?
Suzy: I love a good mystery book, especially the old British authors. But any old mystery will do in a pinch. I have signed copies of books by some of my favorite authors. My dream is to
visit England some day and see the settings of some of the stories. Plus that would give me a chance to visit gardens, which is a passion of mine. One winter a few years back I read EVERY flower gardening book in the Boise Public Library to prepare for spring in our garden. I like perennials in blues and pinks best. No orange or yellow in my garden .. thank you very much. I don't have as much time to crochet and sew as I'd like but I still keep my hand in when I can. My next project is to sew a brocade jacket for myself. I searched for years for the perfect fabric and finally found it this winter.
- 2. Violettes: You grew up in Northern CA logging country and Boise. You married and settled in Boise. Was anyone in your family a hobby or professional musician? Or did your kids start because it was offered in the schools. Sammy played cello in orchestra and trombone in marching band. Did anyone else take up an instrument? Did any of them continue with private lessons?
Suzy: My grandmother played the piano for church until she was 90 and the family always gathered around her at home to sing along when we visited. My mother also played the piano and would play each night as we kids drifted off to sleep. She was the song leader at church for years. My dad would often get out his guitar and sing songs like "Froggy Went a Courtin". I've always regretted that Mom let me quit piano lessons because I didn't want to keep my fingernails short.
Sean (son) played the clarinet in school and took piano lessons in college because we said we'd get him a motorcycle if he did. :) Stacey (daughter) played percussion in marching band and had drum and flute lessons. Sam (other daughter) had cello lessons with Mr Bratt for years. She still plays the cello with our granddaughter Abby. Abby takes piano and cello lessons and is in her school orchestra. This year Abby's "other" grandmother gave her baby grand piano to Abby when her piano teacher said she needed to "move up". Grand kids Jordan and Riley both play the flute and Riley is in her school orchestra.
- 3. Violettes: You must love nature, as you drive all over the place. Tell us what you like
most. Taking photos, getting out into the fresh air, and certain parks or places?
Suzy: We do enjoy seeing the wonders of nature within driving distance of Boise. There are gorgeous mountain vistas, streams, rocks, rivers and lakes in Idaho. But it's been especially interesting to see all the places of history like the Oregon Trail. There's something awesome about walking where wagons rumbled across the land over 150 years ago. Or going to historic gold rush towns like Silver City or Idaho City. It makes me realize that our roots can go deep.
- 4. Violettes: What do you like about living in Boise, as I have only lived on coasts?
Suzy: To tell the truth I'd rather live on the Oregon coast. I miss the ocean... and fog. Boise is close to wonderful sights but it gets pretty hot in the summer. We definitely have four seasons in Boise.
- 5. Violettes: Tell us about your grand children!
Suzy: We live in Boise because that's where some of our kids and grand kids live. We love to take our youngest granddaughter to the zoo like we did her older cousins. We are trying to figure out how to visit the Oregon zoo in Portland and Port Defiance zoo in Tacoma with as many grand kids as possible soon. Ethan wants to be a zoo keeper now and then a zoo director after college. Jordan is working on becoming a teacher. Ben's in his first year of college and not sure yet what he'll end up being. Riley and Abby have both expressed an interest in being doctors when they finish school. We just like playing games with all of them and seeing them grow up happy.
Please enjoy shopping at Violettes by Becky for Gifts Ideas for Music Lovers!
Brittany Cox - Cool Guitar Purse -un 34 Pins her DIY Music Gifts
I met Karen, Ms. Cox's mother-in-law, while shopping in Blowing Rock, NC at Chico’s. She purchased one of Violettes' DIY Music Gifts. Ms. Cox chose to pin buttons from concerts she attends on the Guitar Purse instead of painting it. So unique! Karen gave me a testimonial quote and told a little about Ms. Cox.
“The guitar purse that I purchased from ‘Violettes’ is truly the most special birthday surprise I chose for my daughter. It is so unique just like her and she loves it when people notice it and comment on it. She carries it all the time.” Karen O. NC
Brittany has always loved art and music. She is a self taught violinist and loves the music by Lindsay Sterling. Working as a CNA at a facility she delights her elderly patients. They all love her cheerful personality and are amused by her ever changing punk hair color. She has had bright blue and intense violet. Brittany loves auto mechanics and auto body work with her husband. Brittany love the outdoors and hiking in the Blue Ridge mountains of NC. Her newest hobby is martial arts and this quote describes her perfectly: “Though she is small, she is mighty.”
We had a chance to also hear from Brittany Cox, (clearly a "Cool Guitar Purse -un") who received one of Violettes' DIY Music Gifts:
I'm a nurse aide who takes care of Alzheimer's and dementia patients. Some interesting things happen at work and I like working with the elderly. I am a martial arts student, painter and musician. I'm a huge nerd and I love to play video games and cosplayers at conventions.
I play the violin and I practice karate, aikido and kickboxing, and staying healthy is important to me. I have a wonderful husband who enjoys many of the same things that I do. We work on fixing old cars together in our garage.
Yes, Education Matters or Cool Guitar Purse - un or People No. 21
This evening, I volunteered with Kiwanis - the generous club that donated $1,000 for our Violettes Youth Music Competition. With a Guitar Purse strapped on my back, I did the measly job of helping to guard food for the 1500 teachers attending the 10th Annual "Reach them to Teach Them" event. The faith based event, masterminded by middle school teacher Amy Crawford, is to encourage and inspire public school teachers. It is to remind teachers just how important both they and their jobs are. The program was not only inspiring, but it had me laughing and crying throughout. -- All to encourage education matters.
Being with the food, I missed the beginning with teachers awards and introduction to Hallerin Hill's presentation. This program was so inspiring, it made me feel like signing up to be a teacher. The line up of speakers was incredible.
- Amy Crawford talking about how teachers are like ancient Greek Carpenters building
ornate Orthodox Churches for which they may never see the final construction in their lifetimes. But the carpenters knew that it was worth their time, effort and skill. In the same way, teachers may not see the results of their influences on the children that they work with. She urged teachers to not only teach to the head, but to the heart. She gave them cute momento tape measures as a reminder that there are only 18 inches from the student's head to their heart.
- Hallerin Hill performed a short one man 3 Act play/poem that he wrote giving the message for a student that the only one standing in your way is yourself. And a reminder for teachers not to pat them on the head and tell them everything's ok in protection, but to encourage them to dive in and take the challenge. If a video of this becomes available soon, I will post it here. It was extremely outstanding! (Education Matters! - Some need a push to take the leap.)
- Principal Salome Thomas-El from Pennsylvania talked to us about growing up in the projects. He told us how he managed to rise above the statistics to go on to college and beyond. He has hysterical anecdotes throughout his story about the roles of his mother, teachers, himself as a teacher and principal.... He says this "no child left behind" was "no child left with a behind" when he was growing up. A major message through his talk was again that the child must have his own self esteem and reason to give it their all. He taught children to play chess. So these little elementary school kids were toting around chess boards, and everyone thought they must be smart, and the chess kids began to think they must be smart. Then he had them challenge other schools to play chess, so these kids had a reason to work at it. When they were winning and thought they didn't need to practice, he had them play older students. Then they had to practice if they were going to win... What stunned me listening to his talk was that even though all the speakers were talking about underprivileged populations, it is the same story for the top kids as it is for the bottom kids. Challenge them so that they are inspired!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- And, if that's not enough, Jimmy Wayne told and sang his story. I have to say he is one cool Guitar Purse - un! He is a former foster kid turned country music singer-songwriter. His mission has been to raise awareness of kids that are kicked out of the foster system to be on their own at age 16. Most of the girls become pregnant in the first year, and the majority of the boys end up in jail. He had a teacher very briefly who made him concentrate on his writing. This made a difference in his life. I will have to read his book, "A Walk to Beautiful". Mr. Wayne had an opportunity to go to school on a regular basis for 3 years in high school. He didn't miss one day. He really appreciated the opportunity because he knew by this age that education matters.
- Amy Crawford talking about how teachers are like ancient Greek Carpenters building
Singer-Artist, Haley Cooper is a Cool Guitar Purse - Un, See for Yourself!
Violettes: You teach for one of those Paint and Canvas Companies. This is a job working with people having fun!! What is the funnest and funniest part of this job.
Haley: I enjoy teaching people to paint who have never picked up a brush before. They work
very hard to get everything perfect which I totally understand because, well, I am a slight perfectionist! Haha! The best part is to watch someone overcome their left brain and embrace their right. To accept the mistakes that happen along the way. Because, creativity allows us to make mistakes and art is just knowing which ones to keep!
The funniest pictures I've seen while teaching are when a girl brings her husband, boyfriend, or brother. He usually adds his own flare. Once a guy added a ship sinking the the ocean scene along with Godzilla and drowning people. My husband, Josh, has done the same type of thing when he has come to my classes.
Violettes: I seem to have heard about you having crazy dogs!
Haley: Yes, I do have crazy dogs! Chief and Willow are both full Siberian Huskies and Atlas is a Lab/Malamute mix. Atlas, although the youngest, towers over the other two. My favorite crazy thing they do is when I make spaghetti. Although they can't have the sauce, I do save them a noodle and some ground beef to the side for a treat. Chief talks, more like yells, at me to give it to him. Once he brought me his empty bowl and when I didn't fill it with his Italian make-shift meal, he went into the living room to tell Josh I wasn't listening. Haha! Of course all my dogs play so rough with each other they sound
like they are going to kill each other. They love to trick one another outside then quickly grab the toy they wanted from the one that fell for the trick. They all have quite the personality.
Violettes: You grew up singing and playing guitar in church, and playing in a band. That's how you met your husband. You are practically a newlywed. Do you have any fun stories about him finally noticing you and getting together? What is the toughest part of being a military wife? i know you must be proud. Is there a fun part of being a military wife?
Haley: My husband and I did meet in high school and were in a band together. But, we were not high school sweethearts. He was on his own crazy path at that time. He was a trouble maker in high school! Haha! When I was in college we also lead church worship for youth together along with our old band mates. As a group, we would go to late dinners after church on Wednesday nights - - that's where we started to grow our friendship which eventually ended up in us getting married. After my first full year of college, in June, Josh was heading off to Air Force basic training. Before he left he gave me a blue topaz necklace and told me that he would come back for me. Before that day we had never really discussed where it was headed nor did we vocalize we were in a official relationship. We both just knew that this is where God was taking us. Three months later, at basic graduation, Josh got down on one knee (in front of 900 grads and their families) and proposed. And that was that!
The toughest part about being a military wife is the not knowing. Josh will probably never be deployed overseas, thankfully. (if he was he would be given a body guard and would stay out of the line of fire). But, his job requires high security so I can never know what is going on. So if I were to ask, "how was work?" He will say it was good. Maybe tell a joke he heard and that's all. Being away from family and friends is tough too. Thankfully, we are only five hours away but it sure is nice to be home and around people who truly love and support you. Making new friends is tough as an adult.
A fun part about being a military wife is you get to see new places you'd probably never see or live in unless you were in the military. We have been to Monterey, CA. (cute, peaceful fisherman town), San Angelo, TX. (the middle of no where) and Augusta, GA. (land of the Masters). We have also seen and traveled through so many cities getting to these places.
Haley sells Rodan & Fields skin care products at this LINK.
Contact her with questions at: firstname.lastname@example.org
to shop for a
Cool Music Purse - un No. 2: Ms. Breeland Donahoo
is Ready with "Festival Fashion" Accessory from Violettes
Violettes: You are one of the coolest people I know. I'm so glad that you love your Cowboy
Boots Guitar Purse! You were in a lot of plays in high school, after which you have taken a lot of acting and "acting for television" classes. What classes are you taking now?
Breeland: Improv Acting
Violettes: Have you been in any TV shows?
Breeland: The pilot for "Nashville", several episodes of "Homicide Hunters" and "Killer Couples". I'm in the process of auditions now.
Violettes: You are so stunningly beautiful. I have always heard rumors that you earn money from commercials. How young were you when you started getting those jobs?
Breeland: Age 15
Violettes: It's fall and the holidays are approaching quickly. What is your favorite holiday?
Breeland: Halloween. I can't wait to be a cowgirl with my Cowgirl Boots Guitar Purse. I need to get some boots.
Violettes: What are some of your favorite activities?
Breeland: I love going to the theatre. I love going places with my Dad. We go to the symphony, and we play golf with my brother once a week.
Violettes: Who are some of your favorite music artists?
Breeland: James Bay and Tori Kelly
You are definitely one cool Violettes Guitar Purse owner!!
Cool Guitar Purse - un No. 1
We are starting a series about our music purse owners and clients.
Meet Jacie Shields -
She loves her guitar purse so much that she used it every day for 2 years, then ordered another of the exact same. She says: "The quality of your bag is amazing. I love my purses with personality, and your bags have it! Not to mention all the comments I got on my last bag! I've also order 2 diy bags, because I love art! I can design my own."
She and her husband own a wholesale landscape material company (www.fresnobark.com). Their business is in the Fresno/Clovis California area.
Jacie home schools her 4 children. Her children are involved with Inspire One (www.inspire-1.org) choir and Irish step dance. Her eldest plays piano and her son is a drummer/percussionist with We Got the Beat (www.wegotthebeat.org)
"I am a big creative arts lover. I love to sing and was in high school choir and part of Fresno Community Choir. I am a self taught guitar player, and love to draw and paint. I also enjoy sewing, cross stitch, cooking, baking, and any craft.
Right now we live in the country with hopes to buy a country home. I love our chickens, which we started raising last year. We also have a small dog, 2 cats, 4 red ear slider turtles, and fish."
Jacie is definitely a cool Guitar Purse - un, don't you agree?!!
Wedding Blogs - New Tips for Planning a Wedding
Do you love country music so much that you are having a country wedding?! We are now " The Knot Vendors " to the rescue. Last minute bride or bridesmaids gifts here! Sign a Wedding Guitar Purse! Requests welcomed! A Cowgirl Boot Guitar Purse would be fun too.
It's June - wedding season. If you have a June wedding, I hope it's long planned by now! There are many wedding resources out there. It is so fun to plan this event, especially if it's your own. I suppose many people get stressed out, but having an excuse to listen to bands and taste cakes at all the best local bakeries - how fun is that!?!! Weddings often happen in the prime of your life when you are trying to get ahead as a young professional. Please be careful! I have seen at least one young lady engineer almost lose her job planning her special day during work hours.
Will Violettes Be at the CMA Festival this Year?!
For all practical purposes, Violettes will be at the CMA festival! As an engineering student, one of the first jokes we were told (in the male dominated world) goes - "What is the difference between a mathematician and an engineer? " To make the joke a little shorter - If there is a beautiful lady at the end of the hall, and you are told the rules are to run half way to her when the whistle is blown then stop, then run half way to her again and stop, and again... So the whistle blows and the engineer starts running, but the mathematician just stands still. When the mathematician is asked why, he laughs and says well everyone knows if you are only allowed to keep running half way there, you'll never reach her. And so the engineer is asked why he is running, and he says, for all practical purposes, you will get close enough.
Thanks to Violettes Songwriting Contestant winner, Hanah Breck, we will be vending at the Country Fan Jam. This is a brand new event in Nashville that takes place at the fair grounds at the same time as the CMA Festival. There will be affordable concerts with rising music stars each day. So make sure to select your festival fashion statement from Violettes' hand painted guitars and leather fiddles ahead of the crowd. The level of stars that will appear include past NBC The Voice Stars, Wisewater, Wade Hayes, Ray Scott, Buddy Jewell, Tonya Watts...
Speaking of which, check out the fabulous Sarah Potenza with her Violettes Guitar Purse!
Now check out Hanah Breck with her very own Violettes Guitar Purse. She will be performing at the Country Fan Jam event during the CMA Festival.
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