DANCING BETWEEN THE NOTES


I listen to music. I listen to music a lot. I listen to music while I’m working on writing my books, while weaving tapestry, while cooking, or just when I’m removed from the world in my mind, which is often.

Sometimes I listen to music all day and all evening and sometimes I leavemy  music playing all night as my computer choses music in shuffle mode, eventually playing more than three-hundred seventy-five selections. I listen to one music artist after another as each offers their best work.

I love 70’s music. I love 80’s music. I love 90’s music and I love rock and roll. And I love
songs about loss, songs about hope, songs about life lessons learned, songs about heartbreak and songs about in ‘your face take it or leave it love’. And I love Jazz. And I love Classical.

Opera, not so much.

I love Eric Clapton when he’s hot, Giovanni’s Destiny album, Chicago, Barry White, Carly Simon, and Bob Dylan. I really love Bob Dylan.

I love Fleetwood Mac-especially Stevie Nicks, and Andy Williams, Earth, Wind & Fire, and I love The Bee Gees. I love Roy Orbison, John Lee Hooker’s “Healer”, and Joe Cocker. I love Joe Cocker way past reason. And I love Bob Seger the same way.

I love Carlos Santana, and Sting, The Mavericks, and Bill Medley. I love Teddy Pendergast. And Genesis. And Ronnie Milsap. I love Joni Mitchell, and although Country Music
isn’t my favorite, I love Keith Whitney.

I think you get the idea. I love any music that can move me.

There’s more to music appreciation for me. It happens between the notes. I hear more, feel
more, as if something extra is going on between the notes. As if I feel something in the
background that doesn’t come forward at all, except for me.

It’s been this way with most things all of my life. There always seems as
if there is more to something than what can be seen, easily detected, or even felt
by most people. It’s one of the reasons I wasn’t a particularly good school student. Tests were that way for me too. Multiple choice questions didn’t have enough choices. As if A) should have had an A.1, an A.2, and an A.3, and so on. The questions were too simplistic and short sighted. There should have been much more to them. There should have been something deeper to delve into.

You may have guessed by now that I never did learn how to give my teachers what they wanted from me. To be fair to  me, they didn’t give me what I wanted from them either.

I don’t know what more I can tell you about Dancing Between The Notes. I’m simply offering something of myself to you.

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I LOVE BEING A SELF-PUBLISHED AUTHOR


At an early age when I first began to love writing it never occurred to me that I would eventually be driven to write entire books – and to eventually see them in finished, published form. When I was a school student I wasn’t that kid educators anticipated would someday have the determination to be a writer. I was, in fact, that kid school teachers didn’t know what to do with. It didn’t take them long to simply leave me behind. They moved forward, teaching large classes, often numbering twenty-five to thirty students. There was more than enough work for them teaching kids that fit into the usual, acceptable, categories than to bother themselves with those of us who didn’t.

Oh, I’ve always been a dreamer. But unlike the educators of my day, I think being a dreamer is a good thing. Being a dreamer is a freeing way to be. Being a dreamer provides me with a wealth of material that can be put down on paper in solid form. Dreaming opens up an entire world of possibilities. I’ve never been sorry that I’m a dreamer. (Except, perhaps, at report card time.)

I’m not a serious writer either. Not the kind that wants to make a huge impact on her readers. I don’t like politics, not in government and not in relationships. I write to entertain, and to gently introduce my opinions to my readers through my characters. I let them say the things I want to say myself or what they’d say based upon their personalities and backgrounds. I let them develop and grow, and I let them learn about life and about themselves.

And I love researching my character’s locations in the time frame of my story. These are geography, history, and foreign language lessons that can’t be had in the usual classroom setting. This research has a purpose. It moves me forward, expands my outlook and understanding of other cultures, and it decorates my life in ways that can’t usually be had without the financial means to indulge myself with extensive travel opportunities. I think that I’ve learned more from writing in just a few years than I learned in all the years I spent in school. And I’ve had much more fun and entertainment, too.

Here is a list of my finished books, (8) and books in progress, (3). They are (or will be by Spring of 2011), available at lulu.com in paperback and e-book, and at Amazon and Amazon Kindle.

Eva Wynn-Roger’s Small Hotels Mysteries - 1. The Lodge of The Four Winds,

2. A Wedding Cruise on The Blue Moon, 3. The Spirit in The Garden (Available Spring 2011)

Annika of Wilderness Hotel - 1. The Finnish Spies, 2. The Intruder (Available Spring 2011)

 

The Kansas City Marvels - 1. The FBI Briefcase, 2. The Seven Diamonds, 3. Where’s Carmine? (Available Spring 2011)

The How-To Series: How to open a Designer Shop and operate with just two people. 1. How To Open A Designer Pie Shop, 2. How To Open A Designer Cookie Shop, 3. How To Open A Designer Sandwich, Soup and Salad Shop.

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YOU CAN Open a Designer Cookie Shop


A book to teach you how to Open a Designer Cookie Shop

One morning I was jarred awake because I sensed a presence by the bed. Then I smelled the hot sweet breath of my youngest child. His dark eyes gazed curiously into mine. When he became aware that I was awake his wet little mouth spread into a wide chocolaty grin. There was a small chunk of walnut perched upon one of his two bottom front teeth and powdered sugar dusted his rosy cheeks. A slurry of chocolate had been slobbered down his chin and it was dripping onto his knit undershirt. He’d escaped his crib again. He had recently had discovered that if he pushed a chair over to the cupboard he could climb up and crawl onto the counter to gain access to the canisters. Somehow he managed to open the cookie tin and help himself to one of the Chocolate Crackles I’d baked the day before. When he saw my lips begin to form the scolding words he knew would be coming he retreated. His soggy double flannel night diaper sagged down between his legs exposing his little bottom as he toddled away.

I remember this scene with aching nostalgia. I was still a young woman, and I’d had one child after another. He was my fourth. He was a tough little guy, all boy, and he got into everything. I baked back then. We couldn’t afford store-bought sweets. In retrospect, even though there wasn’t much money to spend on groceries there was almost always something sweet in the house, always freshly baked with pure ingredients. I knew what my children were eating.

Designer cookies are not store bought cookies. Nor are they baked in a factory. They’re not laced with ingredients fashioned from chemicals. They’re baked with those same ingredients that were used at home in earlier times; the same stuff used back then by your grandmother, your mother, your aunts, the neighbors, and church ladies. They were mostly plain, fresh, tender and chewy, or crispy melt-in-your-mouth, and wonderfully sweet.

ABOUT DESIGNER COOKIES

Designer cookies are not store bought. They aren’t baked in a factory. They’re not prepared with ingredients that are less than what would be used at home. Designer cookies are the kinds made by your grandmother, your mother, aunts and church ladies. But let’s face it folks, as delicious as those cookies were they were usually plain. There isn’t anything wrong with plain. I hope you make those plain cookies for your customers. My very favorite plain cookie recipes are here for you in this new how-to book, too. And I hope that you make dressed-up cookies. Crunchy cookies frosted first on one half with chocolate icing and frosted on the other side with creamy vanilla icing. Make cut outs, decorated cookies, filled cookies, and thick, rich, square bar cookies. You see, there just may not be an end to the kinds of cookies you can make in your Designer Cookies Shop. Wrap big cookies in colored cellophane and push sticks into their centers to make them look like lollipops, make cookie bouquets, box assorted cookie arrangements cushioned in colored tissue lined boxes, offer to send giant cookies to client’s friends and loved ones on their special day. What you don’t want to do: Don’t make those cookies that have that grainy mush-mouth feel. Those are made with the kind of flour that provides a soft batter best used with cookie machines. I’m not saying that there is something terrible about making cookies with mushy dough that can be fed into a cookie portioning machine, but in my opinion, the finished product texture resembles store-bought cookies. That’s what you want to avoid when selling superior cookies from your Designer Cookie Shop. Why would anyone buy your cookies if they can get the same thing at the grocery store, including in the bakery department?

You don’t need a cookie portioning machine. You need spoons, and scoops, and rolling pins and a love for baking delicious high quality cookies.

Open and Operate your Designer Cookie Shop with Just two People at: lulu.com

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Photographing My Work


Red Tulip On Yellow

          Photography isn’t my strong suit. Oh, I can envision the result I’m after. I can push the little button on the camera, but I have to accept what happens after that. If the image is good, it’s only by chance and the credit belongs to the camera.
           I want to do more. I want better photographs. I want to know how to make the camera do the things that I envision. I want to push the right buttons, and I want to stand in the right place so that when I aim the camera and push the button to snap the photograph, the resulting photograph is exactly as I envisioned.
          So I bought a new camera.
          Now, if my point and shoot produces fairly good photographs, just by chance, then, I reasoned, a new digital SLR camera with lots of buttons should do much better. At least, that was my reasoning.
          I was in luck. I managed to snap up a great camera at a great price. It was forty percent off! It was a sign. I believe in signs. I had to have it and I bought it.
          My new camera is a beautiful thing. It has buttons all over it. It has buttons on front. It came with a lens and the lens has buttons on it too. And it has buttons on the top, and in the back. This camera is a button wonder. Each button has a use. I only have to find out what that use is.
          I should be in luck. The camera has a manual. A generous one. It’s one-hundred-thirty-nine pages. Each page is filled with tiny print explaining the function of each button. There are tiny pictures on each page too. They show the budding photographer how each button is to be used. Some pages have diagrams, and actual pictures demonstrating how each function of the camera is to be used . . . in combination to almost all the other functions of the camera.
          The learning curve is daunting.
          So, I signed up for a photography course taught online. The instructions are delivered by email, the classes are small, and the instructors are touted as highly accomplished professionals. The lessons are to travel back and forth via cyberspace. Individual attention is one of the main features offered. The best part of it all is that there is a 100% money back guarantee if not satisfied in a short amount of time.
          I’m not satisfied.
          The first lesson is as clear as mud. The individual help I asked for has not arrived, and I’m in way over my head.
          What can I do? I did the only thing I can do. I’ve asked for my money back. I haven’t heard about that, either.  
          I have a lot of photographing to do. I’m working on a new tapestry and I want to record my progress.
          Now, where did I leave that point and shoot camera?
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CREATIVITY, TAPESTRY WEAVING, AND WRITING – TEACHING MYSELF


My grade school

I didn’t learn in the same way that most of my school classmates did. The direct route to learning, the one that seemed so natural to them, was as a foreign language to me.  The schoolroom noises were distracting. The scraping of shoes on the wood floors, the desk benches, children sniffing and coughing, the dull sound of chalk leaving marks on the blackboard as the teacher made notes for us. The chalk sliding across the board sometimes made a squeaking noise too. The distractions cluttered my mind so that I couldn’t gather my thoughts. I protected myself by retreating inside my mind where it was quiet and where I could envision stories and scenes, and imaginary happenings. Interesting things. Things I could change if they weren’t developing as I wished, things that I could control.

This was the high school in the town of my childhood

The old high school

Later, when I was in seventh grade, tests were given to the students indicating their IQ level. And others that judged each student as intellectually ready to move on to the next grade in school. I wasn’t in the small group thought to become someone important in life. In fact, I suspect that I was simply riding along from grade to grade with the others because it was easier for my teachers that way.

The test results eventually were returned to the school. The Jr. High Principal was in charge of discussing the results with each student. In due course I was called into his office for my meeting. As I sat before him, the man picked up a slim pile of papers, looked at them, puzzled expression on his face as if he’d seen them before but hoped he had read the words wrong. He shook his head, and then shook the papers in my direction.

“You should be a straight A student,” he said. “You shouldn’t even have to try for high marks.”

They didn’t tell the students, or their parents, the results of IQ tests in those days. perhaps it was a well-meaning ploy to avoided sorting kids into select groups with certain expectations for their performances, but it was easy to see that he was disappointed. It was as if  he believed I had been feigning mediocrity and, out of spite, had been keeping my intelligence a secret. I was on the rebellious side, so that opinion of me wouldn’t have been unexpected. If I had thought it safe I would have told him that in school I lived in another world entirely, or rather, in captivity, as I thought of it. I shared my inner world with no one.

I suppose I was normal in every other way. I had friends. Friends of all ages. I chose my friends for how they interested me. A few were younger, most were my own age, and some were older. I looked at people as individuals, not as age groups. It was a little different from the way most of the other kids in our community chose their friends. Kids usually formed their friendships from within their own age group, or rather, their grade at school. I’m sure that had much to do with being in the same class from kindergarten all the way through graduation day as a high school senior. Most were even from the same church Sunday School classes from a very young age. The town was small. The population stayed at about nineteen hundred. The school served kids from town plus those children from the farms in the surrounding countryside.

I certainly was not a cookie-cutter kind of kid.  I learned to teach myself those things I really wanted to know. 

I still teach myself. I taught myself how to weave on my multiple harness looms. I was privileged to be able to participate in some very high quality weaving workshops, but on these occations I fell back into that mind blocking technique, and waited until I returned home to delve further into what had been taught. Because of this quirk in my nature I developed some interesting techniques that I found nowhere else.

Later, I taught myself how to make art felts, testing and testing, until I had repeatable techniques defined. Now I teach myself how to weave tapestry. I buy books. I grasp a certain amount of knowledge from them, but I have to come from a different direction when figuring out a tapestry weaving technique. Pictures help a lot. It’s easier to envision what is happening then instead of simply reading the words of direction.

I taught myself writing, from an early age, and shared that with no one either. And several years ago I learned how to put a story together in a book and self publish it. And I taught myself editing. That’s still ongoing. I manage to miss the most glaring errors in my writing because they sneak in and later I wonder how I could have not seen them.

And I press on.

I get up every day with so many things waiting for me to do that it seems impossible to believe I’ll ever get them all done, never mind get them perfect. That’s the beauty of it all. It can never end until I end. I hope I leave plenty behind for others to enjoy.

Island Par

 Please comment. Share the ways you learn, where you think your creativity comes from, and what art you can’t stop doing. Continue reading

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YOU CAN OWN ORIGINAL ART AND FINE CRAFT


That’s right. You can own original art and fine craft! You. A rash statementyou think?

Well, let me list just some of the ways that you can own wonderful original art and fine craft. How you can afford to hang one-of-a-kind paintings and fine tapestries, that were many weeks in the weaving, on your walls, display gorgeous sculpture on your fireplace mantle, and have marvelous stained glass as your very windows, made just for you by a skilled glass artist.

Normally it can be within your income to dress your dinner table with rustic or classic, hand-woven place mats, tablecloths or table runners. Place fine, high-end, one-of-a kind decorations on your holiday tree and a unique handmade wreath on your front door. Gift your toddler or someone elses child with superior-to-imported, hand crafted, wooden toys.

But, think about this. How can you be certain that what you like is real art? What is real art anyway? And what is fine craft?

Handwoven Small Tapestry

Good news! Opinion on what constitutes real art or fine craft is subjective. That means you get to decide what is real, and what is fine.

Every individual makes judgements based upon experience, personal opinion and taste. Experts do that, too. And indeed, many do have significant education in art history and appreciation. But in the end personal opinion and their own taste, guide them. Later this unique mix of formal education and personal taste gets passed on to us in a sales presentation in a gallery setting. Because we sometimes believe that others know what we should like, we let them influence our choices. Prospective purchasers of art are often so intimidated by what they think they should know, and do not know, that wonderful opportunities to own original art are missed.

Poppy

You come to realize that the same things we are driven by, opinion and personal taste, drive art experts. They are further influenced by duty to place of employment, not to mention fidelity to educational background. But the knowledge of another may not be a good thing when it prevents you from having affordable art objects around you, things you are attracted to that add depth, color and visual excitement to your daily life. These are things most people can well afford to buy.

And here is more good news. Art is anything made by an artist that is meant, by the artist, to be art. But how can you tell if what you like is good art? The answer to that is, if you like it, then it’s good art. Please yourself

What then, when so much original art is available at so many places, at very reasonable prices, prevents some people from buying? It’s usually the same things that prevent us from venturing into other unknown territories:

The fear of appearing ignorant.

The fear of making a mistake and looking foolish.

Actual lack of knowledge about the many forms of art.

Not knowing how to locate affordable art.

Worry about overpaying or being cheated.

Extraordinary two and three-dimensional art is for sale at every street fair:

Oils, Acrylics.Watercolors and Pastels, Metal, Glass, Sculpture, and emerging modern versions of ancient mediums, like Felt Art, sculpted or framed and unframed; all original, are available in abundance at prices no higher than those prints, (imported and sold by the many thousands), at department stores. Wood carvers create right in front of your eyes, giving you a deep understanding of the time, the skill, and imagination, that goes into their exquisite works of art. Sometimes you’ll see hand weavers working at their looms to demonstrate the way that their tapestries or quality household textiles are made.

Purple and Yellow Tulips on Black

Both professionally skilled and fine craft artists prepare for art fairs months ahead of time. Some lay the groundwork an entire year in advance for just one three-day art fair. Others schedule a number of art fairs each year, and continue to make art, every free on-site hour, even while manning their booth, selling their fine art and craft.

The Internet: Sites that sell every kind of art imaginable abound on the Internet. Enter your search words. Any combination of descriptive words will do: Art for Sale Online, Watercolor Art, Paintings for Sale, Tapestry, Felt Art, Textile Art, etc. You can have your pick of many individual artist sites, online galleries, and sellers groups, to help you to choose the kind of art you desire for your home and business, and at almost any price, often beginning at fifty-dollars or less. Of course, the more skilled and experienced the artist, the better price he or she can command. If you can’t find affordable art on the Internet, you just haven’t looked.

Red Tulips with Yellow on black

Online Auctions: There are almost countless opportunities to bid on original art on online auctions. Prices range from the ridiculously low, (which is often partly made up to the artist in inflated shipping costs), into the many thousands of dollars. Every genre is represented, so make certain to search the areas in which you are most interested. Don’t neglect to view other types of art for sale, though. You could be surprised at what you find. You may even discover an art category you have never heard of B and make it your new favorite. Check out some of these:

  1. Painting B Watercolors, Oils, Acrylics, Pastels
  2. Sculpture
  3. Photography
  4. Decorative
  5. Fine Crafts
  6. Fiber: Felt Art, Hand-woven Textiles, Tapestry, Mixed Media, etc.
  7. Pottery
  8. Glass, metal, and various other art media

If you aren’t certain about actual values, watch the bidding on auction sites to see what happens to the final prices of the kinds of items in which you are interested.

Local art galleries, artist co-ops, and personal artist studios: Excellent sources for original art at prices within reach of the ordinary consumer. Ask around. Check your local telephone directory, and shopping guides, for listings. Take a morning or afternoon to visit several of these rich sources of artwork for sale.

Poison Mushrooms

Artist colonies: Artist colonies consist of a collection of artists creating various kinds of two and three-dimensional art. Artist colonies are organized to accomplish several goals. An important one is to demonstrate to the public and to art students, the actual processes of making art. The participants of Artist colonies sponsor occasional free events.

Festivals: Ideally meant to be a spectacular showcase of various art media, in an appropriate setting, and offered for sale to all and sundry. Art festivals are usually community-sponsored in conjunction with major local celebrations, and usually very well advertised. Festivals are often attended by thousands. Music and other entertainment are often provided and food vendors are plentiful. Festivals are often held on national holidays such as Memorial Day, The Fourth of July, Labor Day, and celebrations close to Christmas and other religious holidays.

Water Lily Tiny Tapestry

Gallery Walks: Advertised, organized, visits to galleries in your area. Usually recurring at predetermined intervals, for instance on a certain day each month, one weekend functions, once or twice some years, or more, or seasonally, etc. These are generally set up by local or regional art associations to benefit the membership and called Aart hikes@ by some, so be forewarned, wear comfortable walking shoes.

Artist Studio Tours: View the work of the artist, and if you find something wonderful, purchase original work directly from the studio. Make appointments with artists to see the inner workings of these creative people, and perhaps you will spot a wonderful piece of art to buy directly from the artist. Oftentimes the information to make contact can be had at your Chamber of Commerce, from a gallery where the artist shows finished work, or advertised on the Internet.

Artist Co-ops: Group of artists, making various kinds of art, gather together to form a special kind of business called a Co-op. Sharing all the costs of a facility allows the artists to work in a well-equipped studio in the company of like-minded people. Sometimes open to the public during normal working hours, and other times special arrangements are made to view artist process and to allow the purchase of original works.

Poppy 2

Private Gallery: A business like any other. Art is juried by gallery personnel. If accepted for showing and for sale, the art is left on consignment. The gallery takes a share of sale proceeds to pay for facility expenses and to make a profit and the remainder is paid to the artist upon sale of the art. Regular business hours are kept.

To discover your true taste in art, pay attention to those things that attract you when shopping for other items. Those are clues to the kinds of art you may want to collect. You’ll notice colors that you love to have around you all or most of the time. They may already be part of your home or office decor. Pay attention to shapes that excite or calm you. Eventually a clear pattern will emerge.

 Get started on this great discovery journey today, because you now know that you can find wonderful art for your home or business B at prices that fit well into your budget.

 Good art is available everywhere. You only have to be willing to look.

 

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