Violettes By Becky
Insurance Agents get to Meet Artists!
Ms. McFarland was brave to order one of the original handmade Piano Purse Prototypes.There were many funky versions. Most of our handmade products take 1 to 2 full days to construct. This one was quite nice. But just in case it was too funky for her, we included a final piano purse version in her delivery, which she gifted to her daughter.
She comments: "I love my piano purse! I use it and wear it when I go out to dinner and get lots of compliments and interest. I picked the piano purse because I love piano music!
I listen to piano instrumental music at work and at home." Yes, I love this music too!
Ms. McFarland says she is "By day an insurance broker - but my superpower is being Meemaw to 4 adorable little grandsons"! That is special!
She loves the outdoors: swimming & kayaking in the California Northstate (Redding - Shasta Lake City area) Everyone here loves the outdoors.
We do have Fun Times in the Insurance Office
It looks like meeting such a diverse group of interesting people is what is fun for Ms. McFarland.
We have insured gift shops and restaurants in San Francisco,
A Vegan Raw food festival in Santa Rosa for a weekend,
And other outdoor venues for assorted weddings and parties.
We insured an Artist who painted murals for the City of Hayward
(on some of their buildings and a theater). We were insuring him and his
staff in case someone got hurt while standing on scaffolding while doing the
drawing and painting. The fun part was meeting the artist and taking
pictures for the file.
We insured a contractor who was remodeling Clint Eastwood's home
in Carmel CA. Beautiful home!
Looks like fun office - mates! Ms. Mcfarland says:
We love our work - "We work all week so we can play on the weekends!"
In the great Outdoors of course!
Click here to Purchase Gifts for Piano Players or anyone who just loves piano music on your List!
Happy 90th Birthday Today to my Mother!!!
Maria Brody can not be separated from her Violettes Piano Purse, nor from her cat. Her husband, 1 grandson and 1 granddaughter were
talented pianists. (Hopefully the grandchildren who are now both studying physics, make time to play again in the future). People where ever we go, notice her piano purse. So the bags are not only great gifts for piano players, but they are gifts for wives, mothers and grandmothers of piano players.
My Mom had some piano lessons as a child, but she was a ballet dancer. She danced in the Vienna Opera House at age 12. She was "caught" in World War II, escaping to England at age 13. She came from a "well to do" non-religious Jewish family, who had to escape Vienna. Her father was able to pay off Hitler's men temporarily, but her family took off in different directions...
After graduating from the London School of Economics with an Economics degree, she took the RMS Aquitania ship to America to be reunited with her mother in New York City in 1947. She lived there for a year taking Modern Dance lessons from famous Dancers Jose Limon, Dorris Humphrey and Charles Weidman. Then she moved to Cambridge near her brother, who was attending MIT. She met my Dad at a dance and they married in 4 weeks. So she turned down a dance troupe offer to travel for "stability" with a (difficult, but brilliant talented) Harvard man. She had come from a difficult family and went thru difficult times escaping the war. Who can blame her for diving into a marriage. (It was a difficult one!)
My father was so dominant, and my Mother was devoted to satisfying every whim of everyone (like many of us mothers). We, her 4 children, never completely knew who the real her was. She probably didn't know for quite some time either. (She took many writing classes, and one time wrote that her feelings are flapping in the wind. She says they aren't anymore.) We do know however that she can not pass a street musician without dropping money! She is a big supporter of the arts. We know that if we
had any kind of a desire to take any kind of lessons, she made it happen. She taught her first 3 children (and all the children in the Seattle neighborhood) dance lessons in our house. She is creative - when she was in her 20's, she loved making pottery and painting whimsical scenes on tiles that were assembled into tables. Later she sewed a lot of my clothes. When I was in elementary school, she taught herself and me to sew. And she was a great cook. Our family foodie tastes have been passed on thru the generations. And I almost forgot - she was always wanting to go camping. Being in the mountains was of utmost importance to her being. In fact, last year I took her on an overnight camp out in Pisgah Nat'l Forrest, North Carolina, and she loved it. I filled the entire back of the minivan with mattresses and soft things. We slept on top of a giant pile of soft things in the tent like in The Princess and the Pea story. (One of the best sleeps I ever had!)
She worked in my father's doctor's office as a nurse and secretary for most of my upbringing. She loved the people she met and she loved helping to care for them. She went to night school to get a nursing degree so that she could give shots... in my father's office. A few of the patients still send her Xmas cards!
Who is my Mom? Now we know because she lives with me in Tennessee.
- - As always, she can survive on cake alone, and will whip up whipped cream to eat with a spoon from a cup!! (Her Austrian heritage!)
- - She is always reading a diverse selection of books - science, politics, romance, culture, religion and even poetry!
- - She often runs upstairs to her room for PBS programs in the evening whether about Math, science, a Biography, any history series, opera, ballet or a symphony. Yes - she jumped up from the dinner table one evening saying she must hurry - there is a program about math on! Duane and I looked at teach other. I think it was actually on Galileo.
- - She insists on "carrying her weight" around the house doing laundry, dishes, watering flowers, sweeping the porch and begging me to let her cook.
- - She wants to treat our cat like she took care of her husband, serving it the best food, constantly. She gets lots of exercise letting him in and out all day.
Perhaps she is having 9 lives. Happy Birthday Grandma!!
If you have any memories of her leave them below. Thanks!
I guarantee, she would be thrilled if you bought our Gifts for Piano Players for the Pianists, their mothers and grandmothers and the Piano Teachers on your list !
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.
Ms. Chloe Conn from Nashville
Loves Photographing Concerts
Resides: Nashville, TN
Degree: Computer Science
Fashion Style: Eclectic Bohemian
Quote: “My purse is my new favorite statement piece and just makes sense to have it in Music
City. I carry my guitar purse to all the shows I go to and have gotten so many compliments… With my new guitar purse I have been able to start conversations that have led to making connections that will benefit various aspects of my life. From meeting fellow concert goers, to making professional connections with graphic designers and photographers.”
Violettes by Becky: We are so glad to hear Chloe!
Favorite bands: at the moment are 21 Pilots, Iron & Wine and Pretty Lights. I have Spotify and exploring new music is my favorite hobby. In Nashville there are always live bands at almost every restaurant and bar. My newest favorite local band is a bluegrass band called Volunteer String Band. Pretty Lights is a groovy band that I just introduced to my mom. She likes them because "It's good driving music."
Passion: Photography – I love photographing live concerts (Music Art)! I was Head Photographer for my college and I have been doing photography of events ever since I can remember. Nowadays I do a lot of volunteer photography for Environmental Foundations in the Nashville area along with freelance photography/web design for weddings and other events. I also love doing nature photography because I absolutely love the outdoors.
Other Loves: Hiking, camping and kayaking are the best form of meditation
See More of Chloe's photography on her facebook page:
Sunflower Eyes Photography and Design (and don't forget to give it a like!)
Run into Famous People in Nashville?
I am originally from Franklin, TN where there are a ton of celebrities.
1. In high school I would go to a local coffee shop in the mornings to get homework done. On occasion, I would see Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman there in their matching tracksuits. I guess they would get a cup of joe after their morning run. Anyways their tracksuits would be all black with a stripe of color down the side. From lime green to pastel pink they would always be matching. I thought it was cute and the sign of a power couple. One time even built up enough courage to talk to Keith about the weather! Sometimes I see them in Green Hills, Nashville at Whole Foods getting gelato. I always know it's them because they have the nicest car with the butterfly doors!
2. I worked as a Lifeguard at the local recreational facility. It was right after Hurricane Katrina happened and about a hundred or two displaced victims were bused to my facility where we had set cots for them to stay. So I came to work and helped the victims get settled and cleaned up and also played with all the children who didn't have anything to do. Around dinner time the facility got a call that someone had donated two hundred pizzas! It was such a gracious donation and we were very happy that everyone there would have food for the night. So when the pizzas started pouring in, I got in line with my other fellow lifeguards to start handing them out. As we were frantically trying to pass out pizzas we heard some chaos going on in the hallway and sure enough it was Billy Ray Cyrus who came to help hand out all those pizzas he donated! He was such a nice guy and offered to take photos with all the victims and even handed out signed photos of Miley Cyrus. I will never forget that day!
Have Some Fun with our Music Purse - Unality Test
Or, Not too early to look for Gifts for Musicians
Need help deciding gifts for Musicians or for yourself!? Find out what Kind of Guitar Purse (or Violin Purse) you should sport with this all too fun test!
If need Gifts for Musicians this holiday season, take this test for each to help with your purchase decision. Share your Answer on Facebook to get your $10 Off Coupon.
We have a Cool Guitar Purse - Un Blog Series, and have learned that all our music purse accessory owners are Fun People. If you want to stand out when you go out, don't forget your Violettes Guitar Purse or Violin Purse or Piano Purse.
Go ahead - make a Fashion Statement today!
Don't forget that our Music purses also make perfect music gig bags for spare strings, gloves, picks or rosin or fill with concert tickets as a gift! Wonderful Gifts for Musicians!
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!
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. 8, Darlene Boardman Piano Purse, Violin Purse, Uke Purses - Gifts for Musicians
Ms. Boardman is a charming smiley lady, and she's crazy over the Violettes line of Purses.
Being a pianist, violinist, violist, composer, arranger and vocalist during her lifetime, she can't get enough of Violettes Purses. I called her for a phone interview. She says that when she gave one of her Ukulele purses away as a gift, she missed it dearly even though she has another with a different painting. I told her I feel the same way about them, but I am getting over it for the need to earn a living.
We are always excited to see Darlene and her husband, Charlie. We are so lucky that they stop at Violettes whenever they come to town. Darlene grew up in Monterey County, California, but now lives just outside of Charleston, South Carolina. She grew up in a family that naturally played music together, then raised the same kind of family. She says, when she was small, she thought that everyone practiced piano every day. She first sang on the radio at age 4 on a religious program with her older sister.
Darlene continued reminiscing for me, and said she played violin in the Monterey County Symphony. She was hired by the Pacific Grove Simmer School of Music to stage a musical production for baton twirlers. It was so much fun! She not only choreographed the baton twirlers, but wrote, directed and produced the show. Her Mom made costumes and her Dad recorded the musical soundtrack. She chose "Cinderella" because even the youngest beginners had an important role and all levels of ability could be incorporated. So it was fun for all.
She is very proud of a high paying job she had for a while, Directing the "Army Language School" Men's Choir in Monterey.
Darlene claimed 2 of our lovely Ukulele Purses painted by talented artist, Laurel Hooker.
Darlene is fun spirited and artsy. She used to love to make charcoal portraits of people and says she would love to paint her own guitar purse; but now her eyes are failing her to do this kind of thing. She asks me to come visit, but not without my flute. Her husband and daughter were/are also flautists. They moved onto a golf course property, but don't play golf. She says Charlie loves it. He can peek outside at the golfers in the morning to know what weather to dress for. I say, Darlene - tell me more about how cool you are for my blog. She says, "I get cool in the winter, and in the summer I stay inside to remain cool." So there you have it from one cool woman. These Violettes Purses are such fun Gifts for Musicians. Darlene keeps a Violin Purse, a Piano Purse and a Ukulele Purse for herself, and gives the rest for gifts. She is a Coachella Fashion queen!
Sarah Potenza (of NBC the Voice Fame) is a Cool Guitar Purse - Un Too! (Cool Music Purse - UN No.7)
She calls herself, "The Boss"! You know she's cool! And she owns a Violettes Guitar Purse. We are talking about gifts for musicians from Violettes by Becky. But, let's talk about gifts from musicians! Ms. Potenza brings us her sweat from over 7 years of pounding the roads with her band, first as "Sarah and the Tall Boys", and now as a star from NBC's The Voice...
"I’m a songwriter who writes stuff that’s indie, soul, folk, blues…" her bio says. Her new album “My Turn” will be available in the Fall of 2015 and she is currently on tour in a city near you! And Violettes can proudly say, we donated to her Kickstarter Campaign. She has a gift to share with us! Along with her sweet husband Peter Ian.
I had a great chance to ask Ms. Potanza a few interview questions right here in Knoxville at our WDVX Blue Plate Special, but I was quite sick with a sore throat, and I told her so. It didn't faze her - she said no big deal, let's get a photo, "I just won't rub my eyes". She and her husband, Peter Ian, seem to love posing as you can see! Then she promptly used hand disinfectant. (I sure hope she is not sorry that she was near me!)
So, though we didn't get an interview of dear Sarah, we did get her essence of cool!
If you want cool Gifts for Musicians on your list, click this LINK!
Is a Violin Purse for Everyone? Go Ask a Journalist!
When I first wrote Ms. Booker to ask her to tell us about herself for our "Cool Violin Purse - un Blog", her journalist instinct stepped forward! She wrote a really special account about her Violettes Violin Purse as she uses it, and about how she see's the bags as great gift ideas for music lovers! Thank you so much Briana! I had to write her back to stress that we want to know about her personally. --A Cool Violin Purse-un INDEED!
"As for fun, I like photography, culinary cooking and journalism. I also like wine tasting and nature walks. I'm really big on community service, especially with a focus on education and women's rights. Currently I am getting ready for the She's the First annual Baking Fundraiser, which goes towards a scholarship for young girls in developing countries to receive an education. I also do philanthropy work at my high school St. Paul's School for Girls to help get a girl through schooling for college. Lol, I'm not too exciting when I take away the digital parts. It's just something I love to do."
Ms. Booker's Awesome Account of her Violettes Violin Purse!
My name is Briana Booker and I am a content curator and digital strategist for entrepreneurs as well as small and large corporations with a mission to serve the community by supporting community social good initiatives. I especially love to support powerful women led brands through my lifestyle magazine fromgirltogirl.com.
As a woman who juggles between roles, I was looking to buy purse design to make my work-life balance easier. My life got much easier with a Violin purse from ViolettesByBecky.com.
What I love about the handbag is it’s office-friendly feel and variety of storage components. The black guitar purse is not a bag I have to think hard about matching with outfits because the external black canvas backdrop is truly a seasonal essential.
For example, I carried the purse on my shoulder during my attendance to Mashable.com’s first annual Digital Beltway Conference. It was one of hottest summer conferences techs around the nation wanted to attend and here I was as a travel journalist reporting in the Mashable VIP lounge.
As a travel journalist it’s always important for me to carry a handbag designed to keep my belongings secure. It’s just as important for me to have a stylish fashion bag to enhance my professional look during such networking events. The Violettes By Becky bag does not let me down. The lightweight purse has a sophistication all on its own and serves as the perfect conversation starter for its unique look and feel.
In fact, it’s bold, yet slender design often lends me compliments here and there as well as several business cards. When writing for so many brands, it’s important for me to have a purse with sharp detailing like a zipper with the look of violin strings and buttons to more additional fixtures for ultimate traffic stopping effect.
Not to mention, I appreciate the durability of one of my fashion and beauty bags because I can wear it with confidence to fit all my essentials. If you are looking for a uniquely dressy bag, I highly recommend browsing bags from Violettes By Becky. The company has a bag for women of all ethnicity and professional walks of life. Yes, there’s a bag for the school girls, musicians and techs like me. Yes, there’s a bag for new moms and retirees alike. Don’t simply take my word for it. Have a look for yourself.
Even for birthdays and holidays, I recommend the handcrafted bags for their skinny straps and affordable glamour. It’s comfortable, easy to carry and just an all round fashionable bag. So don’t be surprised if it makes my list of favorite things of 2015. What can I say, I am a woman who feels proud to say: I browsed. I purchased. I wore. Violettes By Becky is a brand bringing back the sexiness of feminism.
And yes, I have a vigorous method of determining my ideal presents for people I truly love and adore, but that’s a story for a latter-day. Leave a comment and let me know what bag fits your lifestyle.
Thank you for your awesomeness Briana!!! Click this LINK to SHOP!