Like softest music to attending ears

A small stuffed mallard is eyeing me from the corner of my desk. It knows that I am late composing this third entry in my blog, which I intended to publish this afternoon. The little duck saw me earlier when, instead of writing, I suddenly crafted a support structure for my poor flopping peony outside. But peace, good duck, it’s time.

This week began with housework, since we needed to gorgeous the place up for two showings with potential buyers. We’ve been trying to sell our home in southern New Jersey for a year now. It’s a beautiful home in a beautiful neighborhood, with a meager price tag compared to where we’re going next. We’ve been trying to return home to Maryland, to a town just north of where I grew up and met my husband. Shawn and I have been all over the country — and across the planet — since then, adding two children along the way. And now we’re going to raise them where we started… or we’re trying to, at least, when a family finally picks this Jersey house for their next home. In the meantime, I’m dreaming about entering the robust arts scene in Frederick, MD. That community has great opportunities for the professional artist, and I do believe it will be an excellent next step in my artistic development. But how should I debut, I wonder? Which side of the pool should I try first: ease into the water via the stairs, or take a running jump off the diving board? That all depends on exactly what is going on in Frederick when this house does go under contract. Let’s hope for perfect timing.

After our two showings, I returned my attention to the music sign commission. Each detail from the original was carefully recreated, from the tiniest piece of veneer for the frets to the triple layers of paper for the music book. The scariest part was, once again, drilling through the back board, papers and acrylic spacers, and into my heretofore babied African Paduak guitar, in order to mount it securely in place. Everything else was significantly easier, since I had already done most of the designing and figuring the first time around. At the end of my work day today, I finished. Now to leave everything to cure overnight, and then I’ll need to figure out how to package this intricate piece so it arrives in New York safely. I suppose trusting the mail will be the truly scary part! Go forth, little sign, and make a young musician smile.


One last project snuck its way in, right at the end, for the previously mentioned flopping peonies. This is my first year with blossoming peonies, and they are amazing delightful things that stood upright until last night’s storms came through. Fortunately only one of the plants was blossoming at the time, but when I got the kids off the bus today, I didn’t like seeing the peonies’ big red faces looking ashamedly at the ground. So instead of running in for some ugly stakes or tomato cages, I drew up a picket-fence shaped trellis-type thing and cut it out of clear acrylic. I love how it turned out: it does the job of stabilizing the drooping stems, while looking nearly invisible in the landscape. It barely even shows up at all in these pictures, despite being about 10” across and 19” tall, with 2” wide sides. Plant supports like this would be easy to sell and ship, except I’m not sure people would buy them for the $18 or so I’d have to charge (each) to make it worth the cost of materials. Oh well, I’ll at least make them to shake the fell purpose of my own fallen garden beauties.


Next week, it’s on to a commission for personalized birthday party favors! Catch you next time, audience. Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend, and all my gratitude to the men and women who sacrificed everything to defend our nation.

P.S. Apropos of nothing, a few days ago I realized what has quite possibly been my favorite piece of music, ever. It’s a theme from “The Mission” by Ennio Morricone, called “Gabriel’s Oboe.” If you listen to Yo-Yo Ma play this piece, you will know what life sounds like to my little human ears.


Thoughts? Questions? Feel free to Like or Comment below!