No. It hasn't snowed in south Florida!
Handsome has been playing concerts for the past two weeks, and
there are still two more concerts this weekend. That means a lot
of Christmas songs...carols and other festive and lively tunes.
I attended the last pre-concert band rehearsal on Thursday evening
as I prepared to record the North Port Band performance. It helped to
see the music and find out when and where the solos would occur. I
really enjoyed listening as I took my notes, and I learned something useful.
I know you've heard of sleigh bells before, but perhaps not in this context.
|Web Image - Ludwig Sleigh Bells|
This is what sleigh bells look like when they're played by a concert musician.
In order to play them, they're held vertically (bells down) in one hand
and then struck by the other hand to make them jingle. Close your eyes and
you can imagine the horses or reindeer pulling a sleigh through the snow!
During the break in rehearsal, Joanne (who I used to sing with in the Chorale)
came over to tell me that her palm was really bruised from playing the bells.
(She's a member of the percussion section for the band.) I looked at her palm and
could tell that it wouldn't feel good for her to strike either the top of the bells or
even the top of her bell hand with her sore palm. I had an idea, but I didn't tell her
about it. She soldiered through the rest of the rehearsal and we all went home.
Saturday, when I got home from Coffee Club, I decided to work on my idea.
I had a brand new package of Dr. Scholl's Arch Support Gel Inserts.
I had decided that their crescent shape would work perfectly for my purpose.
I grabbed one of my holiday-themed charm packs and chose five different squares.
I also needed two pieces of thin cotton batting and velcro to complete my supply list.
I sandwiched the gel insert between two pieces of batting and then put a piece
of holiday fabric on each side. I trimmed to about 3/4" all the way around the gel
and then (using a zipper foot) sewed through all layers as closely as I could all around.
I made two straps and after they were attached, I sewed on a single-fold binding.
I hand-stitched the back side of the binding, and then added velcro to the straps as
my last step. I checked for size as I sewed it together to be sure that the finished
piece would be a comfortable fit. You can see how it turned out below.
On Sunday, just before the concert I caught up with Joanne and said I had
a little something for her. I had it on my hand, so that when she saw it she
knew exactly what it was. When I took it off and placed it on her hand she
giggled. She was thrilled to have a pad to protect her hand and said that
she'd be able to really make the bells ring out because she wouldn't be
afraid to hit them with her palm protected by my invention.
Then I told her that I'd given my creation a name. It's a
She laughed out loud, gave me a hug and headed off to play the concert.
Afterward, she told me that it worked like a charm and said I should
consider making them to sell. I hadn't thought about that, but I was
glad that I was able to keep my friend from injuring herself for her craft.
Today, I'll be teaching the second session of my applique' class in Venice.
No dashing through the snow, but definitely living in a Christmas wonderland.
Have a great Friday. Are you ready for the weekend?