Violin Purse

  • High Tech Violin Lessons with Dr. Eddlemon

    An Outstanding Violin Teacher in Knoxville

    We are lucky to have violin teachers as fine as Dr. Susan Eddlemon in Knoxville, TN.  Dr. Eddlemon holds the distinction of being the first woman to graduate from the Julliard School of Music with a Doctorate Degree of Musical Arts in violin performance.  Her studio is probably the most up to date in the area with high tech capabilities to assist in teaching students!

    If you are dedicated and looking for a violin teacher who will give you a workout and lift you to your playing height, check out Dr. Eddlemon’s studio. I would know, my daughter took lessons with this amazing teacher and I highly recommend her!  -----------------------------------------------(Contact info:  865/ 617-3804;

    Dr. Eddlemon  hails from Ohio. She met her husband at Juilliard, and has lived in Knoxville for 26 years  near her husband’s family. She currently performs with the Oak Ridge Symphony, Knoxville Symphony, Bryan Symphony, Kingsport Symphony, and Johnson City Symphony.  She is the violinist for the Isotone Concerts and the Cumberland Piano Trio performing in our area of East Tennessee and  Southeast U.S.  She maintains a private studio for teaching and rehearsing.  Prior to life in East Tennessee, Susan and her husband lived in Canada, where she served as Associate Concertmaster for the Victoria, B.C. Symphony, the Calgary Philharmonic, and the Saskatoon Symphony.  From 1986 through 1990 she recorded and played throughout western Canada with the chamber group Music Mosaic.

    1. Violettes by Becky: You introduced my daughter to many new techniques, expressing them in new ways. Perhaps, some of it was my daughter’s age and readiness level, but not all of it. You had her hold ping pong balls on her violin while playing to improve her overall posture;  you loosened her stiff posture, helping her to move with her violin… And just as importantly, you pushed me out of the studio so that playing became her own. (Our background was Suzuki  violin lessons, and I started learning violin right alongside my 4 year old).

    Jenna’s  music reading level was forced to improve, the way you occasionally left her with sections to finish learning on her own. In the beginning, switching to your teaching method was tough for my daughter, but well worth the effort for improvement. In addition, Posting an 8 X 10 photo of each student in your studio is just one way that you show you really care about each student. Students can feel the caring.

    Do you think that you have techniques to offer that are not usually taught by other teachers? Do many students who come to you have areas they need to relearn?

    Dr. Susan Eddlemon:

    All of us have areas we need to relearn or at least revisit over the span of our playing years!   I teach universally accepted principles of string playing using "string vocabulary" which combines what has been passed along to us by previous generations with terms in current usage.  Young pre-college students learn these terms from me, along with words and terms I invent to respond to the individual student's need of the moment.  Learning the names of various techniques is always part of any discipline.

    2. Violettes by Becky: The technical level of your studio is phenomenal. You record piano accompaniments for a student’s piece at various speeds for them to take home for practice. You video your student right in your studio to play back for your student to listen and watch themselves during the lesson (just like they did at my son’s golf lessons)! You even record yourself playing a difficult passage in a teaching way for the student to bring home for practice. It’s been many years since I have listened to one of your lessons. What else along these lines do you do in your studio?


    Dr. Susan Eddlemon:

    I've been astonished at all the electronic tools we have that can help students reduce the time it takes to master violin playing.  Violinists can benefit from regular self-recording as part of the practice routine.

    My Clavinova has a metronome function which counts "aloud" in four different languages.  Using this function helps the violin student just beginning to learn to play music at sight.  Hearing the actual words, "One, Two, Three, Four" helps the student keep up the tempo and rhythms he is seeing on the page much better than just hearing an even "click" noise.  It's too easy to lose track of how many "clicks" have gone by in a single measure while you're busy figuring out which finger or bowing to play next!


    3.  Violettes by Becky: You have several hobbies including walking, watching birds ,camping (not to mention all your grandchildren – your current main hobby). How did you decide to become a violinist? Are you still glad of the decision? Do you have any advice for young people trying to make this decision today?


    Dr. Susan Eddlemon:

    I inherit string playing from my mother's family (learning to play the violin runs in families sometimes!).  Mom started me on violin when I was six years old; first because she played herself and second because we did not yet have a piano in our house (which she also played).  If we'd had a piano, she would have begun teaching me from that instrument; but she was keen to get me started studying music early, and reckoned she didn't want to wait until  whenever we could afford a piano ( which could have been several years).

    Arriving at my junior year in high school and realizing I was expected to study something after graduation, the only two interesting options for me were either further violin study or language study.  The second option did not appeal because I would have to continue sitting stationary behind a desk, reading and writing.  Even as young as I was, I knew my body needed to move around quite a bit.  One of my early ambitions was to become a cheerleader; but my Mom said I needed to choose only one after-school activity and master it.  "Do one thing and do it well," she said, adding "That's what my Mom taught me!"

    Best advice for young people making this decision:  If you cannot imagine doing anything else but pursuing violin, by all means do it; but consider your other interests also.  If you commit to violin performance and/or teaching, you will have to place all your resources (time, money, attention) to the study of it, for that is the only way to succeed in performance mastery.  And to teach well (which is how many of us make or supplement our living) you really should be able to perform the music you are teaching.  There are some parents who might say," Okay, study violin, but have something else to 'fall back on'."  With the violin, you must go all in,  you will not have time for "falling back."  If you go with fallback plans, you may be almost certain that you will indeed "fall back" and never master the you are best to leave the violin as a career option.

    4.  Violettes by Becky: Do you have a favorite composer to teach or to play? Why?

    Do you pick student pieces based on the student’s individual interest rather than following a book series? Jenna’ says  Zigeunerweisen by Sarasate was such a good fit for her, as she loved playing it.

    Dr. Susan Eddlemon:

    Hearing a student name a piece of music she would like to study and play always encourages me as a teacher.  If a student  knows enough to ask about certain pieces, it shows that she has developed interest on her own, has been paying attention to music she is hearing around her or to certain friends who are playing this music.  This is always much better than just proceeding on to the next piece in some particular book; especially if the desired music is not completely out of the student's technical range.  It gives incentive to learn new techniques, vocabulary, and advance the student's musicality.

    My favorite composer to play is J.S. Bach.  As a senior violinist I find his unaccompanied Sonatas and Partitas my go-to material for daily practice when there isn't anything else currently  demanding attention.  There are still movements in that repertory which I have not yet even learned!  His music continues to challenge just about every aspect of technique and musicality a violinist can face.

    5.  Violettes by Becky: I remember at one of your recitals, you explained who your students descend from, teacher-wise. It was fascinating. Can you explain that again?

    Dr. Susan Eddlemon:

    I remember that the line of student to master goes all the way back to Corelli, and through some French and German masters. I can remember that there were no Eastern European or Russian masters. But I cannot remember any particular names farther back than my teacher Joseph Fuchs's teacher Franz Kneisel.  Kneisel was the first concertmaster of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

    Now that I know how to use the Internet for such purpose, I'll have to look it up!  But any professional violinist will proudly tell about his or her master teacher and the music school where they completed their studies.  It continues to be a factor throughout professional life.

  • Youth Composition Competition - Bio of 2016 Winner

    Elise Arancio, No Stranger to Composition Competitions

    gifts for music lovers, violin gifts Composition Competition Senior 1st Place Winner

    Just turning 16, Elise Arancio is our 1st place Senior Composition Winner for the Violettes 3rd Annual Youth Composition Competition. I had the pleasure of meeting her in person to present the $800 check donated by the West Knoxville Kiwanis Club. She enthusiastically agreed to be one of our volunteer judges for the junior student composition entries next year.

    Incredibly, she wrote her winning entry piece in one month! What a gift she has.

    Elise is a sophomore at Lakeside High School in Atlanta, Georgia, and has been studying composition with Dr. Richard Prior for four years. She is a violist and actively participates in Emory University pre-college programs such as the youth orchestra and chamber program. Elise also plays the piano, and hopes to establish a career in musical composition and viola.

    In 2014, Elise was a national semifinalist for the PTA Reflections competition with her string quartet piece “Mechanics”. Her piece for wind ensemble entitled “Sprites and Spirits” earned a merit scholarship to Interlochen Arts Camp, which she attended in the summer of 2015. This summer, she will be attending the Curtis Young Artist Program at Curtis Summerfest for composition. Her recent commissions include a piece for the Emory Junior Chamber Orchestra, as well as a flute duet piece.

    Gifts for Music Lovers, Piano Gifts, Violin Gifts

    Please Remember that purchases of our Whimsical Music Themed Greeting Cards Make Profits for the Youth Competition. The insides are blank. The backs have serious or humorous practice tips. We take requests. Painted in acrylics by Becky, a recently finished request is below with the Practice Tip: Sleep On It. (Anyone who has experienced this knows that if you practice or try to memorize a difficult passage before going to sleep, your brain will work on it overnight.)

  • Student Bios for Youth Music Competition 2016

    Knoxville Songwriter, Emma Rowe, a music-themed gift company, held its 3rd Annual Youth Composition and Songwriter Competition for ages 10 thru 18, with scores and recordings submitted on-line. Volunteer judges are music professionals, who review the students’ entries not only for prize placement, but with an aim to provide encouraging constructive comments. The competition is divided into 2 categories, Composition and Songwriter, each with a junior and senior division.

    Two local students entered with impressive work, Emma Rowe, Junior Songwriter and Samuel Aba, Senior Composition. Emma won a 2nd place in the Junior Songwriting category.

    I had the joy of meeting Emma in person to deliver her certificate. She and her 2 younger sisters were on their way to a Daddy Daughter camping trip.

    Violin Gifts, Guitar Purse Gifts for Music Lovers Emma Rowe receiving her certificate for the Violettes by Becky Youth Music Competition

    Emma Rowe

    Emma is a 12 year old rising eighth grader. This fun, active girl loves many different styles of writing! She sings, acts and helps write shows for the musical theater troupe she has been with for five years.  Emma studies writing in her homeschooling co-op. She was the 2014 First Runner-up in the National World War II Museum Essay Contest. Emma is currently writing two books, one a non-fiction story set in an area of land in Kentucky she saw while on a trip, and another a guide to healthy eating. She hopes to publish both! She loves to read, swim, and play with dogs and cats. Those are only three of the many things Emma enjoys doing! She also entered the Violettes by Becky Music Composing Contest twice, entering an original tune and lyrics both times. Emma is grateful to her friends, family members, and teachers who edit her musical score compositions, lyrics, essays, and books.

    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.

    Gifts for Music Lovers, Violin Gifts Purchase Music Art Greeting Cards, Blank inside with Practice Tips on Back to benefit our Youth Music Competition.

  • Singer and Comedian Lulu Roman (from Hee Haw)

    Yes, That's right, Lulu Roman is Cool Violin Purse -un 42

    violin purse, gifts for Musicians, gifts for music lovers

    We have taken a break from our Cool Purse -un blog, but can't resist the excitement of a post that Singer and Comedian, Ms. Lulu Roman is a proud owner of a Violettes by Becky Violin Purse. She is a lovely and kind person, and tells me,

    Violin Purse, Gifts for Music Lovers, Singer and Comedian Lulu Roman, Singer and Comedian


    "I love my bag, it's small and it goes with everything. You can put so much in this small violin I will never use another purse."

    This lovely woman has so many credits to her profession. Just a few of which are, she was a guest performer at the inauguration celebration of President Ronald Reagan in 1980, was inducted into the Country Music Gospel Hall Of Fame in 1999 and the Christian Music Hall Of Fame in 2008.

    Today, she is still both a as a comedian and singer, and as a Southern Gospel singer has well over 16 albums. Google her work and enjoy!




    Becky Chaffee

    Owner of

    Violin Purse, Gifts for Music Lovers, Singer and Comedian

    Click here to shop for your Violin Purse or Gig bag Today!

  • Cool (Violin) Purse -un 39 is a Tennessee Native

    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.

    purse as a gift, violin purse, violin themed gifts We're so glad Bobbie thinks of our Violin Purse as a gift. They're loved by all ages, and a favorite of mine.

    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. 

    violin purse, violin themed gifts, gift ideas for music lovers Bobbie, left, and her sister in high school!

    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

    violin purse, violin themed gifts, gift ideas for music lovers Bobbie and her granddaughter

    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.

    Violin Purse, Gift ideas for music lovers, violin themed gifts Purchase a music purse as a gift today at Violettes by Becky!


  • How Did April Burt Become a Music Lover?

    Gifts Passed on Thru Generations from Cool ( Violin ) Purse -un 31

    violin purse, violin themed gifts, gifts for music lovers April's beautiful daughter with a Violettes Violin Purse.

    Miss April Burt purchased a Violin Purse as a gift for her daughter, a beginner fiddler in Canada. April is an amazing lady who, I think, can do everything. In addition to her social work career, she has been on numerous Boards, caters, and is also an artist. Her talent for creating perfect things shines through whether she is catering, flower arranging or painting. She has metastasized breast cancer and goes to treatment every three weeks. To keep active, she has found new avenues for her talents. While able to be productive in projects that her energy level will allow, she maintains a positive outlook through her battle with cancer.

    Growing Up Influences on April’s Many Careers:
    April grew up in a small community in East Tennessee. She played flute in school and listened to and sang along with Musicals and Show Tunes at home. Her mother enjoyed having dinner parties even though they were very poor. They made sure everything looked and tasted perfect.

    April became a social worker for 20 years, then a realtor. She has always been involved in community activities.

    After April’s children were out of the baby stage, she started catering small weddings. Though she took a few food classes classes on the side, she went to college for social work.

    Violin Purse, Violin themed gifts, gifts for music lovers April Catering

    Violettes asked about fun catering stories and events:

    April has had mystery gourmet dinner parties where the attendees are characters that dress up.

    Here is a story from years ago about one of her catered weddings in the sticks of east TN -

    She charged $250, which was a lot in those days. She was asked to cater to a small wedding party of 50 or so. It was a long drive to get to the wedding and she brought 3 of her kids to help her. There was no water available, so she had to fill up buckets to bring to make punch. She provided the punch, cake, nuts and home made mints which was common in those days. The family only paid her $200.

    Community Work: In the small TN community where April raised her children, she was on the Board for the “Community Concert Series” held at Tusculum College. After she joined the board the sales went thru the roof.

    The group held 3 concerts per year. She helped choose who to bring to the series. The choice depended on who they could get to their community. Ticket sales and earnings were the direct result of the decisions. When she joined, they brought Chanticleer and Bonnie Raitt’s father, John Raitt, who sung in the original Oklahoma Musical. John Raitt thanked April publicly and kissed her on the lips! When Pat Boone came, he also publicly thanked April and sang April Love in her honor. (Hearing the likes of Chanticleer influenced April’s daughter, owner of the Violettes Violin Purse. She became a music lover too, picking up fiddling as an adult).

    Music Lover, Violin Purse, violin themed gifts Music Lover and Flower Arranger too!

    Today April is on the Flower Committee, the Memorial Service Committee, she is heading a Refugee Task Force Committee and she is a small Group Facilitator all at her church.

    Living with Metastasized Cancer: April has a metastasized Inflammatory Breast Cancer in stage 4 and goes to treatment every three weeks. Her cancer is a type which occurs for 5% of breast cancers with a given of 3 years to live. She is on her 7th year. She keeps a positive outlook, and has found new outlets to remain active that require a lower energy level. She is newly a

    Mosaic Tile Art April Glass Art

    visual artist painting with acrylics and constructing 3 dimensional glass mosaics with alcohol ink on glass tiles.

    April fish paintingApril was chosen for a “Casting for Recovery” Program that brings patients to a weekend fly fishing. Fly fishing is known to be a calming sport.She fell in love with fly fishing, but one can’t do it alone. She now owns all the equipment and tries to fly fish as often as possible. She is even on the Board of the Great Smoky Mountains Trout Unlimited Chapter in Knoxville.

    Gifts for Piano Players, Piano Purse, Gifts for Piano Teachers

    Shop for Violin themed gifts HERE.

  • Cool Violin Purse -un, Ruth Brons, Takes a Violin Shop Tour

    "Bow Hold Buddies" on Calif. & Colorado Violin Shop Tour

    with Cool Violin Purse -un No. 27

    Ruth Brons is a Violin Purse owner and one of my business mentors. She uses her violin purse  as a gig bag on stage during holiday concerts. Ruth maintains a full violin studio, free-lances in the greater New York classical music scene, and is the entrepreneur of the award winning business, Things 4 Strings LLC. When I was first introduced to her, she told me about her experiences both with manufacturing and with getting products into each violin shop. See our first interview with her at: Violettes’ Exclusive Interview with Things 4 Strings Owner, Ruth Brons.

    Violin Purse, Gifts for Music Lovers, Violin Shop Ruth Brons                           Owner Things 4 Strings

    Things 4 Strings© accessories for beginning string players were developed in 2008 with the imagination and determination of violist/violinist Ruth Brons, and her mother, cellist, Martha Brons.  Initially developed for students in their own studios, Things 4 Strings© Bow Hold Buddies© for violin/viola and Cellophant© for cello teaching aids speed learning and optimize valuable instruction time. They make easy the typically difficult to learn, but critical for success, bow hold technique.


    1. Violettes: Your business, Things 4 Strings LLC, has come a long way in the last few years. Can you give us an idea of the size and how many wholesalers, retailers and countries you are in today?

     Ruth Brons: Gosh - we are growing every week! We currently serve customers in over 40 countries through our distribution network. Now partnering with our State of New Jersey's Business Action Center, we will  continue to expand service to our worldwide customer base.

    1. Violettes: What has been your biggest growth challenge? Do you any have new ideas coming?

    Violin Shop, Gifts for Musicians, Gifts for Music Lovers Ruth Brons: Re-tooling for higher production volumes is  a huge investment challenge we have been managing the last couple of years.  As for new ideas, we are looking forward very soon announcing a project we have been working on since the spring for the benefit of classroom string teachers.

    1. Violettes: You keep winning awards. Tell us about them.

    Ruth Brons: We have been very honored to have been recognized for our innovative and passionate work in music education. Important from a business standpoint, our Intellectual Property has been awarded patent protection by the governments of the United States of America, Canada, Mexico, Australia and the European Union. Locally, we were named the Most Inventive  “The West Orange Invention Lives Challenge" , of West Orange, NJ , the hometown of Thomas Edison and birthplace of thousands of his inventions. Last year we were cited for Excellence and Leadership as a Top Leading Woman Entrepreneur of New Jersey. Both this year and last year we were honored at the Annual New Jersey Family Business of the Year Awards hosted by Rothman Institute of Entreprenurial Studies of Fairleigh Dickinson University. Very meaningful to us is the following award given to us last November by our peers of the  American String Teachers Association: Kudos Award, for "tremendous impact" in the string education world.

    1. Violettes: You traveled during the summer presenting your products. Were you a vendor or demonstrator at music camps...?

    Ruth Brons: I have traveled, both here in the United States and abroad, quite a bit for Things 4 Strings LLC over the last 6 years. Usually the trips are to support our dealers or distributors by exhibiting at a music industry or music education event or conference. But this summer's travels were a bit different. As our accessories were presented at the Performing Arts Medical Association Conference in Aspen, we started our trip in Colorado to make sure this fantastic group of medical and arts professionals correctly understood our products -- and then we just ran with the idea of a fun dealer tour. We enjoyed visiting over 50 violin and music shops in Colorado and California! No two businesses were remotely the same, except to serve the musicians of our community.

    violin purse, gifts for musicians, gifts for music lovers Students all over the world use Bow Hold Buddies by Ruth and her Mother. Check if your Violin Shop carries them.
    1. Violettes: How are you balancing the growing business with your teaching studio? How many students do you have? Are you mainly a Suzuki studio?

    Ruth Brons: Things 4 Strings LLC absolutely grew out of my life in music. Teaching and playing is what feeds my soul. So I will always make room for that in my life, even though  I must  limit my teaching  to less than half my pre-Things 4 Strings LLC teaching schedule, and limit my performing  engagements to gigs convenient to my calendar. I currently work with 35 private students each week in my primarily Suzuki violin studio, and am currently looking forward to five holiday orchestra concerts next month. 

    1. Violettes: What is your favorite thing to do? Do you have time for it anymore!

    Ruth Brons: I love spending time with my mother, who two years ago relocated to a house in my neighborhood.My husband and I very much enjoy walks around the lake in our local county park, and (never enough)  B&B get-aways.

    Gifts for Piano Players, Piano Purse, Gifts for Piano Teachers


  • Violettes Ventures into Volunteer Land Again

    Making a Difference With a Music Bag Strapped on My Back

    Conversation piece plus that music bag is! As I bounce from wearing my Violin Purse at the United Way rewards luncheon to bussing tables for 5 hours at the Helen Ross McNabb Tennis Event, "Knoxville Challenger" wearing a new Guitar Purse, the rewards are high for this socially shy person. At the Luncheon, I am surrounded by men in suits. I start a conversation with the man next to me, an executive level engineer at AT&T, asking him questions about how "dirty" he gets his hands overseeing works with new types of optic installation. He finally can ask me about this crazy purse that I hung on my chair, and I can talk about my musical children, the fact that I am a flautist in disguise, how much I love violin music, and then for hours about my company. We talk about my music bag ventures until Robin Wilhoit interrupts. From the volunteer/donor luncheon, I take away a donation card to give to someone to have one thin dollar taken out of each pay check for United Way. So far, I haven't found anyone to take it. Will you? Please respond in area at base of page if I can mail this to you.

    For the Tennis Tournament table bussing, I consider painting tennis string like lines on a black

    Music Purse, guitar Purse gifts for music lovers Serving drinks and bussing tables with my Guitar Purse.

    guitar purse, and wrapping the end of the fingerboard after removing the tuning pegs, for a deformed tennis racquet purse, but my personal time is too tight to get this done.  AS it turns out everyone or their kids or girlfriends are interested in playing or listening to music.


    • The Helen Ross McNabb Center:  Provider of behavioral health services in East TN established in 1948 for mental health and addiction issues.
    • The "Knoxville Challenger":  The Knoxville Challenger is unique in that it benefits a charity. A United States Tennis Association (USTA) Pro Circuit event established 36 years ago, this event attracts elite tennis players. The tournament allows players to gain professional ranking points they need to compete on the major pro tours.  The USTA Pro Circuit is more than about world-class tennis. The pros competing in the event give back their time and talents to youth clinics, pro-ams (an event involving professionals and amateurs) and school visits.

    At the end of my shift, I see there are several volunteer openings not yet filled, so I sign up for my first ever shuttle driver shift for later in the week!!! This week, I have over 20 hours of volunteer work scheduled with 3 different charities. I don't get so much accomplished on the home front or with my other endeavors, but it feels good anyway.

    Gifts for Music Lovers, Guitar Purse, Gifts for Guitar Players Gifts for Music Lovers - Win Guitar Purse, but meanwhile support our work and purchase a Music Bag!


  • Violin Purse Owner Actor, Playwright turns Photographer


    COOL MUSIC PURSE - UN NO. 4 : Brandon Slocum Daughtry

    Ms. Slocum sent a Violin purse testimonial soon after she received her purse -

    There is special joy in handmade things, particularly one-of-a-kind treasures like my Violette. A gift from my mother, it has been a constant conversation starter; from the funky boutiques on Melrose Avenue to the Fashion District downtown, from Wilshire Boulevard to the weekend farmers' markets... everyone wants to know about my Violette.

    Violin Purse, Violin Gift Faery Angel Violin Purse - Violin Gifts from her Mother


    Violin Purse Brandon in the Redwoods


    Ms. Brandon Daughtry Slocum  retired after 30 years in the theatre.  A traditionally cross-trained artist, she worked as an actor, director, designer, and playwright. She says " My favorite work was in Shakespeare, stage combat, and senior theatre". She spent the last five years of my career as a mentor and loved watching apprentices of all ages grow and learn. After retiring, she moved from Tennessee to the coast of California and became a nature photographer. "I am addicted to viewing the world through a lens, and California provides ample inspiration." Below, we post Brandon's amazing work. You hear her voice reading her script in the video - what an awesome bedtime story for young children and any age!







    Without further ado, we present Ms. Slocum's new work----

    Violin purseViolin PurseViolin Purse

    Violin Purse

    Violin PurseViolin Purse

    Ms. Slocum says, "My alter-ego is Faery Dust. I curate a whimsical nature photography page on Facebook and produce a web series."

    Faery Dust in Vienna with El Hazard from Faery Dust on Vimeo.

    Gifts for Musicians

  • Violin Purse - a Special Momento for Community Leader

    Cool Music ( Violin ) Purse - un No. 3

    If there ever was ever a stylish upstanding member of the community - it's Ms. Bee DeSelm.

    violin purse, violin gift Bee in a hurry to route for her football team! Violin Purse and all.

    Bee cherishes her violin purse as a symphony player momento. She began her career as a nurse thinking she needed to give up her music. But the head nurse was generous to schedule her shifts around the Columbus, Ohio Symphony calendar. So there she began her dual career in both nursing and as a violin player in the symphony in 1942.

    Years later, she moved to Tennessee. Though she joined the Knoxville Symphony, she became involved with the League of Women Voters. She rose as a community leader and became the President, and continued her work on the State Board. With this work and two children, time constraints led her to retire her symphony chair. In 1976, she became the first elected woman to be a Knoxville, Tennessee County Commissioner along with Mary Lou Horner. Bee says, "it is important to note we were not the first women commissioners. After the suffragette movement won the right for women to vote, a female County Commissioner was appointed to the post".

    Amongst other things, Bee largely worked for public education causes. She worked so hard to upgrade one of the Knoxville libraries, that they named it after her!
    violin purse, violin gift

    Today at her assisted living facility, she loves tending to the roses. And like my own mother who lives with me now, she every so often falls into the rose bush. And like my own mother, says its well worth the risk of being scratched up occasionally! (The joys of aging).




    I stopped by the Senior Living Facility to interview and have lunch with Ms. Bee DeSelm once again. I give her rides to our music club (when I don't forget to swing by to pick her up). When I first visited her to personally deliver her violin purse, it was during the lunch hour of the facility. She insisted that we stop at every table in the dining room and discuss the Violettes music purses. She was fierce trying to sell to everyone in the establishment, and one women actually did end up visiting Violettes to purchase some gifts! I was as embarrassed about that sales push as if she were my own mother.

    Since then Bee has become a wonderful friend. She is the age of my mother, 90 years young. Bee was so excited when I brought her the violin purse the first time, as you read above, that she asked what she could do to help. I told her that she could make a video telling about the purse. She was delighted to do the task a year ago. It is presented below!

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