Saturday, February 9, 2013

Yellow Party Skirt and Violin Endeavors

Hey 'yall!

I've tried to make clothing in the past and it always turned up less than ideal.  AKA far too heinous to consider wearing outside where other eyes could see the monstrosity of a piece of cloth that I conjured up together.  I found this tutorial though from Creative spaces.

It looked easy enough and it didn't make you cut those awful circle skirt weird shapes which I have not yet managed to make work out.  A while back I had gone to Jo-Ann's Fabric on one of their 50% off the clearance section days and found this lovely linen type fabric that I thought might work for this.  I ended up being just a little short of what they asked for which is why I think that my skirt looks more "tubular" and less "wavy" but I'm still happy with the result.  I'm learning!  Yay!  Being short, I don't think I can pull off the high waisted shirts very well but we shall see.

In other news, I've started up my violin again!  I have not regularly used it since highschool so I am anxious to see how long I will be able to keep it up.  I basically started back at the beginning again because I'm not confident in how much I remember.  I really can't afford a tutor right now, and more importantly I could never commit to a specific time every week when we could meet.  My schedule is just far too unpredictable.  So I had to look for a way that I could essentially teach myself.  I did a lot of research and found a lot of stuff that I thought could help me along the way.  I want to make sure that I cut down as many barriers as I can.  (I am the queen of finding excuses to not do something).

Glaesel Violin Ultra Practice Mute

Pirastro Goldflex Rosin For Violin - Viola - Cello

I'm really happy with all of them!  
The mute allows me to practice in this little apartment without the neighbors calling the cops.  In case you have never been around a new player of the violin, I will tell you it sounds like a dying cat.  This mute really just muffles the sound down and takes the edge off.

The book so far seems really great.  It does not travel as slowly as does many of the other books available on the market but at the same time it is very methodological and takes its readers through everything.  I also have the classic Suzuki books but I have found they are just impossible to learn from by themselves without a tutor!  It just can't be done.  It also is super super helpful that included are the soundtracks to every piece within the book (again, because I don't expect to have a tutor to tell me how it is supposed to sound).  I hope to be able to bring myself up to Book 2 by the beginning of the summer.  Honestly with my background I could probably be there now but I'm trying to really force myself to relearn the theory basics and techniques.

And then the rosin.  Well truth be told, I've always used the good old rosin in the wooden tube that always comes with the violin automatically.  That stuff always lasts for years and I never had to buy one myself.  Nobody ever told me that it worked poorly and I didn't know any better.  But when I opened up my case a few weeks ago and almost all the hairs on my bow had fallen off, and I had to get it all replaced, I started looking into rosins to start off the new bow on the right foot.  I had no idea there were so many options and factors to consider.  Light vs dark, winter vs summer, humid vs dry, solo vs orchestral, additions of metal additives like copper/gold/silver/etc, round vs square vs wooden casing, organic ....  Dear Lord!  Well in any case, I found an amazing website that did a double blind study with 40 different kind of popular violin rosins on their own individual bows to determine which ones really rose to the top.  The following two were the overwhelming winners.  

Andrea Violin Solo Rosin

This one was voted particularly quintissential for solo artists while the second is fantastic for group players.  

Andrea A Piacere Violin Rosin "Green"

 Both of these run about $30 which on first glance does not sound that bad, especially when you take into account that they last for years if cared for properly.  However, seeing as the kind that I am accustomed to using costs about $2 you can see this is pretty elite stuff.  I found that there are a lot of perfectly acceptable and very good rosins that cost about half of that, and even the reviewers of these rosins mention that these should be reserved for at least advancing students if not professionals since in their opinion beginners would not be able to appreciate the difference.  As I am clearly a non-connoisseur, I thought I would save this for a few years from now when I *hopefully* will be better at the craft.  *And with the gold addition, it just looked pretty* :-P  I really want to get to the point where I can go out and play some cajun/bluegrass/fiddle/celtic material.  That stuff is freakin' amazing!  Hopefully at some point I'll put up a little video of my music (even if it is just Twinkle Twinkle)

Do what brings you joy!




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