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Posts Tagged ‘piano’

A Happy Memaw

Some women complain about getting older, however I am enjoying life as a middle-aged woman. One benefit for me is that I get to be a ‘Memaw’ to my granddaughters and that is one of the greatest joys in my life. I’m fortunate enough to have two beautiful granddaughters and two more grandchildren on the way. 🙂 The oldest one, Chloe, is 6 years old and the younger one, Missy, is 20 months. My daughter is due to deliver another little girl in July and my daughter-in-law, Tiff, is expecting in November.  I’m looking forward to having 4 grandchildren.

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 Memaw, Chloe & Missy

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There are many wonderful things about having grandchildren. To begin with, when they are babies I get to snuggle them for hours on end. The feeling is somehow different than when my own children were babies. The simple pleasure of holding your child’s offspring is indescribable. Plus, since you’re not the parent there are no other pressing things to do so you can simply enjoy the moment.

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 Snuggle time with Missy

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As they begin to speak it is wonderful to hear them say my name. I was actually going to go with the standard name “Grandma”, but as Chloe began to talk it became “Memaw” and in hindsight I actually like that name better. Missy is just beginning to talk and my name comes out more like “Mawwww”, or more often it’s “uh, oh, Mawwww”. No matter what it sounds like, just knowing that they are calling me brings a smile to my face.

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It is also an absolute blast when they are able to do some of my favorite activities along with me. As you may know, I love making jewelry and Chloe has sat with me at my desk many times and made her own jewelry designs. She is actually pretty dang good at it. 🙂 I’ll be anxious for the others to join us when they are old enough.

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 One of Chloe’s latest designs

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I also enjoy hiking and have been able to do that with both of them.  In the beginning they go along for the ride, but now Chloe is to the point that she is a genuine little hiker.  One side benefit to hiking with a baby on your back is that it certainly adds to the amount of calories you burn.

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 Chloe when she was too young to hike

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 Chloe on a family hike this past summer.

(Missy is on Anna’s back instead of mine. 🙂

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Another one of my favorite activities is cycling.  Yesterday I had the pleasure of riding bicycles with Chloe for the first time. She recently learned how to ride without training wheels and we spent part of the afternoon riding around our church parking lot. I think there are many joint rides in our future.

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 Chloe with NO training wheels–YIPPEE!

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Another activity I often do with Chloe is to cook and bake.  She likes nothing more than to help make some cookies or cupcakes.  I guarantee that when she helps me there are plenty of sprinkles and other decorations on whatever we make.  (OK, I also confess that we sometimes lick out the bowl — What happens at Memaw’s stays at Memaw’s. 🙂 )

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 She LOVES to decorate cupcakes!

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Since I also love playing the piano I’m just now getting them warmed up to that as well.  Chloe can play a wee bit and Missy just enjoys plunking away on the keys.  When Missy is here she often walks to the piano and pats the bench, which means she wants me to sit down and hold her on my lap so she can play a ‘tune’.  I think she may be hooked.

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 Future Pianist

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Yes, getting older means gray hair, wrinkles and more aches and pains, but the benefits definitely outweigh the physical signs of “maturity”. Besides becoming a grandparent I have become more comfortable with who I am, and I am now courageous enough (or maybe crazy enough) to do things I wouldn’t have done when I was younger. You can get away with some pretty eccentric things as you get older.  (like wearing a hat with feathers. 🙂 )

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One ‘crazy’ Memaw

***Photography courtesy of “Poppop”

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Music has always had a profound effect on me. Certain songs make me want to get up and dance, white other songs are sure to bring me to tears. Music seems to have the ability to reach inside of me and stir my deepest emotions. Depending on what I’m listening to it can be invigorating or calming, healing or even sometimes painful. I’ve often said that music is the “key to my soul”.

 

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In the past few years piano music is the one type of music that can touch me in especially profound ways. At times when I have found myself in a low place it has been the only kind of music that I could ‘feel’ in my soul. It has allowed me to tap into emotions that I had pushed down and tried to ignore. The music has given me an avenue to work through some of those feelings.  It has provided a real sense of peace and of healing at times I needed it the most.

 

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One song in particular can move me like no other—Crisofori’s Dream by David Lanz. The minute that song begins to play my heart comes alive. That song takes me through a myriad of emotions. It begins with a very sad feeling, but there are moments of joy as well. There are several ups and downs during the course of the song and my heart soars and falls along with those changes. One section always makes me feel optimistic and give me a sense that things will be ‘ok’. For me the song always ends with a feeling of peace. The last part of the song is the sad melody, but it somehow gives me a sense of acceptance and contentment.

 

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I’ve listened to that song countless times, but I am now able to feel it in a new way – playing it myself.  I played piano when I was younger, but had given away my piano some years ago. I recently made the decision to play again and bought a beautiful piano. Of course, the first song I learned to play was Cristofori’s Dream. The minute I began to play the opening notes I felt such a sense of ………. I don’t even know what word to use…contentment, peace, passion, healing, excitement, joy and even grief. I knew that I would be spending a great deal of time at my piano.

 

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As I worked on learning the entire song I didn’t really feel the usual emotions due to concentrating so hard on getting notes and inflections right, but as I conquered more and more of the music, I began to experience it in an emotional way. One evening I was playing and at one section I found myself beginning to weep.  Now as I play it, I am able to enjoy it and ‘feel’ the music.

 

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I’ve since learned several more beautiful and moving songs, but this one will always have a special place in my heart. When I just want to sit down and ‘feel’ the music this will most likely be the song I play.

If you want to ‘experience’ this song, here is a link to it being played by David Lanz. Cristofori’s Dream

 

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An evening at my piano with a glass of wine…….wonderful!

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Playing Cristofori’s Dream

***I was listening to Pandora as I wrote this and just as I was typing the last sentence, guess what song began to play………and yes, it still brings me to tears.  

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***(click on links below to go to jewelry and listen to songs)***

“Eclectic” is a word that has been used to describe me and I have to admit that it’s very fitting.  My tastes and styles vary greatly in just about every way possible and the music I choose to listen to is one of those areas.  I enjoy almost every genre from classical to head-banging rock and roll.  The different styles in my jewelry designs are also what could be called ‘eclectic’.  As I look at  the pieces in my collection I can almost ‘hear’ the music that might have been playing as I designed them.

One type of music I enjoy is the soft, ballad sounds of artists like Nora Jones, Natalie Merchant or Sarah McLachlan.  Many of their songs are about love, and the feelings those songs evoke  may lead me to create more ‘romantic’  pieces of jewelry, or at least ones that feel that way to me.  I find that these designs often have pearls in them and use warm-toned vintage metals.

Romantic Pearl Necklace  (click for more info)

“Come Away With Me” by Norah Jones (click to listen to song)

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Country music can inspire more rustic designs possibly with antique copper or ones that use components with a bit of a Southwest flair.  I have certain gems that just ‘feel’ country to me…Autumn Jasper or Blue Sky Jasper.  I often find myself singing along with the more familiar country songs.  (Being able to do that is one advantage to working at home.)

Rustic Blue Sky Jasper Necklace-Jason Aldean's "She's Country"

Rustic Blue Sky Jasper Necklace (click for more info)

“She’s Country” by Jason Aldean (click to listen to song)

As I’ve designed more Celtic pieces, I’ve also developed an appreciation for Celtic music.  There are many types of Celtic music from very traditional style which is very melodious and serene to a very edgy style that is predominantly drums—like the group Albannach.

Traditional Celtic Knot Necklace

Traditional Celtic Knot Necklace (click for more info)

Traditional Celtic Music (click to listen to song)

Sexy Summer Anklet--Celtic Byzantine--Albanach

Sexy Celtic Byzantine Anklet (click for more info)

“Alexander’s Welcome” by Albannach (click to listen to song)

(you MUST listen to the entire song to get the full Albannach experience.)

( I first heard this group at the Celtic Fling and I LOVE THEM!!!)

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I also have a deep love and appreciation for piano music–Michele McLaughlin, David Lanz, Joe Bongiorno and others.  This music can stir up strong emotions which then flow into whatever I am designing.  This type of music can sometimes make me more aware of the feel of the stones I’m working with or  make the colors seem more vibrant to me.  The jewelry designs created while listening to this type of music definitely have bits of my ‘heart’ worked in to them. (Even a few tears at times)

Cluster of Treasures-Christofori's Dream

Cluster of Treasures Necklace  (click for more info)

“Christofori’s Dream” by David Lanz (click to listen to song)

(see comment below You Tube video to see how I feel about this song.  It is truly an amazingly emotional arrangement.)

There are other days when I’m more in the mood for some serious Rock & Roll music—Aerosmith, Led Zeplin, Def Leppard……  That’s probably when my more edgy pieces are created—ones with lots of metal worked in to them..  I have to admit that when some of these songs start to play I can’t help but get a smile on my face and begin to ‘dance’ a bit in my chair.  There have even been times when a certain song comes on and I have to put my pliers down and simply get up and dance to the music. (Another advantage of working at home…..it’s usually not acceptable to get up and dance around in a cubicle.)

Sexy Summer Anklet---Walk This way

Sexy Summer Anklet (click for more info)

“Walk This Way” by Aerosmith (click to listen to song)

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Chains and Pearls Necklace

“Pour Some Sugar on Me” by Def Leppard   (click to listen to song)

These 2 songs definitely get me up and dancing—how about you?  

(I got to dance to Def Leppard at one of their concerts this past summer.   Yes, I can still have fun at a rock concert at 50 years old. 🙂 

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I’ve often said that music is the key to my soul.  I enjoy the way it can tap in to some of the  feelings inside of me and I’m also grateful that I’m able to express those emotions through my jewelry. 

Now…………..what do I feel like listening to next?………………….

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