classical music

Good Monday morning…whoa I am tired.  This is a wicked morning to be blogging.  I’ll tell you why in a second.  But first…the project:

OK…so I got these really cute socks from a local store for the girls:

I wanted to think of a really fun way to give these.  I found a large spool of ribbon which had almost all been used up.  You know the kid of spools for wide Christmas ribbon etc.?  So I took the remaining ribbon off of it.  I then got out the largest circle nestabilities as well as my Spooky Sweets II set and went to town.  I thought this was really sweet and the best part?  If you needed to, these could hold more than one pair of socks.  Just wrap the socks around the spool.  I love it!  Easy Peasy!  I can’t wait for the girls to see it!  They LOVE crazy socks!

Isn’t the Spooky Spool cute?  It was so fast.  YAY for fast!  OK…I am really feeling a little loopy this morning.  So…last night I had a concert.  Well…not really a concert…it was a Salon.  You know…the sort of things they used to have back in the 19th century in people’s living rooms?  Except this salon was NOTHING like that I am sure.  It featured world- class musicicans who basically dazzled each other in their respective genres.  The program featured things like classical flute and guitar, bluegrass, jazz, Bulgarian women’s singing group, a whole orchestra (yeah!) and us…the Eakin’s Consort.  We performed three English Madrigals.  The crowd ATE IT UP!  It was fantastic.  now mind you…they were three very difficult English Madrigals, so we were really getting our groove on last night.  This was the 22nd Anniversary night of the Salon.  It is put on by an extremely famous composer in the area.  Anyway, it was good times.  We didn’t perform until 10:00pm though!  We also had to go out afterwards and get some eats, so I wasn’t home until 1am.  It will make for a rough day at work today I am sure!  So I am off to get cleaned up and go teach at Drexel today.  Making sure I stop at Dunkin Donuts for a lot of coffee!  I am just feeling really grateful for all of the inspiration last night.  I just ADORE bluegrass music.  There is just something about it which makes me so happy.  I never listened to it growing up, but within the last couple of years I have become a huge fan of it.  So the inspiration, the people, our consort of singers.  Well…it was just a really great time.  My life is blessed I tell you. 


STAMPS:  Spooky Sweets II

Paper: Plum Pudding {PTI}, Only Orange SU!, Stampers Select White{PTI}

Ink: Midnight Black Versa Magic

Other: An used ribbon spool.


Well…in a couple of minutes I will be leaving for the last day of recording.  We are all pretty tired, but so it goes.   When making recordings you never feel like you can ever relax, even when you have a break.  The excitement of something special is in everybody, mixed with a little tension because you can’t be the one to screw up a take.  I have learned to balance these things in the earlier hours of the process by just breathing slowly and taking the time to enjoy the friendships we have with each other.  How nice it has been to make music with my friends and to see George Blood again.  George is the recording engineer and he and I have done several projects together over the years and it has been more than a rewarding time.  He is always kind, caring, smart and lovely.  If you would like to read some news from the composers point of view, you can go here: Kile’s site also has a permanent spot in my blogroll.  He summarizes the past two days in a concise way.  We had a glowing write-up in the Philadelphia Inquirer today in the magazine section about our recording.  It is so nice to be a part of something quite historic.  Pictures will come…I am working on getting them!  Have a great day!

Hi everyone!

I wanted to pop in with a text only post for a quick second.  I know most of you are enjoying your time at CHA, and some of you are vacationing with your family and making the most of this nice summer.  I wanted to let you know that I am here at home for a couple of days.  I am about to head into a recording session this week with The Crossing and Piffaro.  It will be an intense yet rewarding couple of days.  We will be recording a piece that my dear friend Kile Smith wrote.  I am very much looking forward to making music with the best of the best this week.  I will be sharing some posts with you in the coming days, including a new set of papers from Demi Design.  Unfortunately, it seems that some of my files have been corrupted somehow in my other papers that are posted on here.  I plan to go through each design and pinpoint problems.  I apologize to everyone if you have printed out these files only to be disappointed because they were not 6×6 or they got bigger or smaller somehow.  I am hoping in my next post of the new papers there will be no problems.  PLEASE feel free to e-mail me at if you run into a problem and they do not print out as 6×6.  I tested these upcoming ones, and they are fine for me, but who knows when you put them up on the blog…strange things may happen.  If this does happen, I will send you each file via e-mail, but HOPEFULLY this will not happen.  Look for the papers sometime tomorrow.  It is nice to sit and chat for a while.  I have a lot of music I must look over as tomorrow is our one and only rehearsal.  Thanks!

Ever feel like you need to live out loud and have a moment when you feel like just going for it? Well…here I chose and just let myself do it! I pulled out my Pretty Petals set from Kitchen Sink Stamps and my copics and adirondack black ink and just went for it! Sometimes you just have to be bright and unashamed about it!

OK…so I have a LOT going on this week. First off…the Papertrey release is tonight. I will be sharing my projects with you early tomorrow! I am also busy preparing the Stamp Simply Challenge in my head…not on paper yet. Also I have three concerts this weekend. I am busy learning the music for that since I didn’t get it all that long ago. I also received a nice photo from a colleague at school of me singing the solos in the Rossini….remember…the piece I was DREADING??? I still don’t like the piece, but the photo is lovely. I also found out that next year the piece will be Bach’s Magnificat, so all of a sudden I was a lot happier about the fact that I felt up against the wall with the Rossini this year. The Bach is one of my favorite pieces. Well…for that matter…anything by Bach is my favorite! I also put up some new videos on my myspace page of the Pergolesi Stabat Mater. Here is the picture of me singing:

Have a great day!

 crossweb01_01.jpg   I must be having a great couple of months.  A while back I had an audition for the most important (well at least in my opinion) all professional vocal ensemble in Philadelphia.  I have been asked to sing with them for their concert in April!!  I have some very good friends in this choir.  Please take time to read about Donald Nally the conductor as well.  They specialize in new music 20/21st century.  Please visit the site if you want!

Here is a you tube clip of them as well.  This is the BEST piece written by my very good friend and colleague Kile Smith.  Kile plays percussion and sings with me in our early music ensemble QuidditasKile is a well known composer in Philadelphia.  The piece was written for the Crossing Choir and Piffaro the Renaissance Wind Band.  My two loves…new music and early music coliding!!  I beg of you to go and listen.  It is worth it.  This is an Epiphany Vespers based on Lutheran hymn tunes.  If you have ANY questions about the instruments they are playing, please ask!  I will answer them in the comments section so if someone has the same question they can find the answer there!

Well…before I get to the really good stuff, I had rehearsal this morning (Saturday) for the Bach Magnificat.  I am the alto soloist.  So I took some pics of rehearsal for you, just to show you it really isn’t all that weird or scary the thing I do for a living.  So, this is the cathedral that I am singing in tomorrow for the performance:


This is a couple of pictures of rehearsal.  Sorry…none of me because I was singing and I wasn’t sure if I was even allowed to take pics, but I sneaked some anyway.


(The synthesizer is for the harpsichord sound.  It is a lot less finicky than a real one.)


The chorus members are on either side, and I am in the front pew waiting to sing a lot of solo stuff.  Blah Blah Blah….let’s get to the fun stuff!

OK…so I get an e-mail from a friend of mine who is the wife of a trombone player in the Philadelphia Orchestra.  It reads something like this:

My husband requests the presence of your husband to play tuba tomorrow at the Kimmel Center for the annual Tuba Christmas.  Come dressed merrily and festively…with your tuba dressed that way too! 

I got this e-mail at 10pm last night.  Well…I sort of MADE my husband say yes to this!  Now you know my dirty little secret.  My husband plays tuba!!  🙂 (he is a German teacher in REAL life)  He is a man of many talents my dear friends.  So…I got out my crafty supplies…and went to town.  How did I do?


So he along with 73 other tuba players played a whole concert for free today in the Kimmel Center.  OK…it REALLY sounded nice.  I walked in a little late from my rehearsal, but was so taken back by the sound as soon as I opened the door!   It was really cool.  He was a BIT intimidated though by the fact that he was sitting in between the pricipal tubist in the orchestra and our friend the trombonist.  I told him they don’t care, it was just about having fun.  Here is a picture of him with the gang there.


That is John, our trombone friend, the principal tubist of the orch. (she is around 22 years old and got that job!  WOW!) and her boyfriend who is also a trombonist.  Here is a pic of a chunk of the ensemble:


Now is this Christmas or is this Christmas!!  LOL!!!!! 

BTW: If anyone is interested in hearing me sing, you can go to my myspace music page and listen.  You don’t have to be a member of myspace to do this.  Here is the link:


Here is a belated birthday card for my favorite singer, Andreas Scholl.  Happy Birthday Andreas! (late) oops.  I guess I am not the best fan in the world!   

I had a great morning.  Went over to Philadelphia and sang a Caldara mass as well as Cantata 139 by Bach.  The Benedictus in the Caldara was an alto solo which I did as well as other spotty solos throughout.  It was so much fun to sing with Tempesta di Mare.  Two Baroque oboes just made my morning!  AAAHHH…I love what I do 🙂

Card recipe:  Paper: Black SU cardstock run through cuttlebug embossing folder, White glossy cardstock

Stamps: SU music backround, Papertrey Ink sentiment

Ink: Sky Blue Versamark Brilliance Pearlescent pigment ink.

So….this weekend I am booked with concerts.  I had one last night, and one today and tomorrow.  Here I was last night “getting my early music on” and singing medieval French  with lute.  I know I am a geek.  Whataver.  Don’t laugh at my freakish face because I have decided that every picture I am in while singing looks insanely horrific.  The poor audience actually has to look at me like this?  YIKES!


I plan on getting that tuorial for the gerbera daisy in today before I have to leave.

priscillashawm2.jpgwhaaa-and-dulcien.jpgbeckywithtransverseflute.jpgbeckyrecorder.jpgpriscillashawm1.jpgpriscillaandkile1.jpgHello dear friends!  Hope you all had a great weekend.  I wanted to share some pictures with you of my concerts I had with Quidditas.  Many of you probably don’t know what some of these instruments are, so I wanted to introduce you to some of them.  Not all of them however, because two of our regular players were not with us for these two concerts.

The first picture and a couple more shots of it underneath are pictures of Priscilla (queen and goddess of the woodwinds)  playing the SHAWM.  This is a little info. about it from Wikipedia!   The shawm was a medieval and Renaissance musical instrument of the woodwind family made in Europe from the late 13th century until the 17th century. It was developed from the oriental zurna and is the predecessor of the modern oboe. The body of the shawm was usually turned from a single piece of wood, and terminated in a flared bell somewhat like that of a trumpet. Beginning in the 16th century, shawms were made in several sizes, from sopranino to great bass, and four and five-part music could be played by a consort consisting entirely of shawms. All later shawms had at least one key allowing a downward extension of the compass; the keywork was typically covered by a perforated wooden cover called the fontanelle. The bassoon-like double reed, made from the same Arundo donax cane used for oboes and bassoons, was inserted directly into a socket at the top of the instrument, or in the larger types, on the end of a metal tube called the bocal. The pirouette, a small cylindrical piece of wood with a hole in the middle resembling a thimble, was placed over the reed—this acted as a support for the lips and embouchure. Since only a short portion of the reed protruded past the pirouette, the player had only limited contact with the reed, and therefore limited control of dynamics. The shawm’s conical bore and flaring bell, combined with the style of playing dictated by the use of a pirouette, gave the instrument a piercing, trumpet-like sound well-suited for out-of-doors performance.

I am sure that is more than you needed to know, but just know that it is a member of the “louds” family of instruments in the Medieval and Renaissance periods.  There are two classifications of instruments.  Louds and softs.  the shawm as well as the dulcien are indeed loud instruments. 

The dulcien is like and early version of a bassoon.  This instrument has a wonderful sound that sounds great with my voice, hee hee.  That is the one pictures where I look like I am singing with great furvor and have the scariest face imaginable!

The first instrument I am holding next to the tree is in fact a transverse flute.  This is an open-holed wood flute (which I own, but am just learning to play) made during the Renaissance period.  This has no keys like the modern flute, which makes it an absolute bear to play. 

The last instrument is a recorder.  The one I am holding is a baroque recorder.  I don’t know why I forgot to get a picture of Priscilla’s recorders, but she has Renaissance ones.  I will try and remember next time we have a concert.  My recorder is made out of ebony with ivory rings.  Something they obviously don’t make anymore. 

SO…in honor of over 2,000 hits in less than a month (holy cow), I will be making a tutorial on the beaded pen holder that I will post sometime on Wednesday when I am finished making it.  I was going to do some more blog candy, but I just did that for the 1,000 mark!  Maybe at 3,000!  Thanks so much for coming by and visiting.