The Art of Gaity


 at the pianoSuite in F – Allegro

Georg Friedrich Handel

Suite in F – Allegro

I read a line not long ago that said, ‘the best things to know are the hardest to learn.’  I think that idea applies to this piece.  It has been a challenge to learn, but well worth the effort as it is soooo much fun to play.  I hope you will be able to hear some of that delight as you listen.

As I selected images for this video, I couldn’t help but notice the wonderful historic costumes.  These images are a testament to the fact that contrary to popular thinking, formality and frippery are compatible with frivolity and fun. So sit back and listen, or perhaps join in and kick up your heels. :)

IMG_9562 IMG_9558

Folk Art Adventure


What started out as a ‘fun little project’ has turned into a colossus of detail.  I began with a collection of flowers and other elements cut from various fabrics.  I bought a variety of beads and of embroidery floss for embellishment and started in.IMG_9322I have seen many examples of “folk-art” having had the opportunity to visit The Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe.  I am intrigued by the nature of this category of art with its bright use of color, eclectic and unexpected pairings of materials and designs, and endearing inattentiveness to quality or standard that magically comes together with a kind of flea-market cachet. It is such a departure from my natural bent towards creative order that when I saw a display at a local shop, I thought I’d like to give it a try.


I’ve discovered that I like the somewhat tattered and unplanned look.  There is a certain creative freedom which develops in the absence of exacting precision; I can use any color thread and don’t worry about evenness of stitches or tidiness of French knots and I can stitch on beads with abandon.  There are no rules, no dictates, just art and that’s fun! IMG_9356

Holiday Entertaining


A Celebration of Hearth and Home

I love the holidays, especially Thanksgiving.  There is nothing quite so satisfying as a house filled with the aroma of roasting turkey, the lively banter of family and friends and the carrying on of traditions.

My menu is strictly traditional with roasted turkey, dressing made with toasted pecans and pork sausage, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry chutney, fresh green peas and roasted beans.  When it comes to desserts, we are a bit less traditional opting for a creme brûlée with fresh raspberries.

Please, you’re welcome to come along and join the party!


Practice Makes Perfect


Bach’s Invention No. 13

Images by Carl Larsson

In September I committed to practicing 15 minutes day with the goal of mastering Bach’s Invention No. 13. It was hard work and there were times when I thought I might never reach my goal, but after weeks of staying with it, I think I’ve done it.  I hope you enjoy listening as much as I enjoy playing it for you.

Thank you, Cassandra, for being a source of inspiration for this achievement.

Autumn Cathedral


Autumn’s Great Procession

This photo was taken near the Buena Vista Ferry that crosses over the Willamette River. I saw the stunning colors in a grove of deciduous trees along the road we were traveling; it was in coming to a full stop to take a photograph that I noticed the long rows of plantings that seemed to stretch forever; the Cathedral-like feeling was striking… the long red carpet extending down the aisle to a gothic arch framed in green garland prepared for Autumn’s Great Procession. It was breathtakingly beautiful in the afternoon light and I hope I’ve captured a bit of that presence in this photograph.


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Oh No, I’ve Turned Into One Of “Those” People…


the kind who visit cemeteries and take photographs of headstones.

Crawfordville, Oregon

Crawfordsville, Oregon

So, what sparked this trip to the cemetery?

 Well… I have a photograph of my father with his grandfather and uncle that was taken c. 1930 in Brownsville, Oregon.  I love the photograph as much for its family history, as for its composition.  The imposing figure of my great-grandfather who, as a church pastor, loomed large in family lore, my great uncle with his boyish nonchalance, graceful fingers gently poised over the Collie dog, and the mysteriously resolute curly haired moppet, my father, holding a “golden apple” are as endearing as they are enigmatic to me.

Geil Men

And so it was, after a lifetime of knowing I had family in the area, I decided to make the pilgrimage to Crawfordsville, the location of the Union Cemetery where the earliest members of my family to come to Oregon from Rockingham County, Virginia are buried.

 Union Cemetery, Crawfordsville, Oregon

I cannot count the number of times I’ve driven up and down Interstate 5 past the exits to Brownsville and never once stopped to explore the area.  I had not heard of Crawfordsville until my research into my family history.  It’s a quiet, quaint and beautiful place tucked away along the Calapooia River.

Union Cemetery, Crawfordsville, Oregon

It was in Crawfordsville that I found the headstone of my forebear, Henry Ralph Geil. The headstone read, “A Man who walked with God.”

Henry Ralph Geil

To my surprise I found another headstone for my great great grandparents.  I had no idea they were buried here.

John S. Geil

John S. Geil, 1859, and Alice (Shank) Geil, 1864, who came to Oregon from Rockingham County, Virginia.  Alice (Shank) Geil was the daughter of Gabriel Shank, a Lt. in the 10th Virginia Regiment who carried his regimental flag in every major battle of the Civil War.

John S. Geil, Alice Shank Geil

After visiting the cemetery we drove into Brownsville.  It is a beautifully preserved little town that I will surely go back and visit again.

Brownsville, Oregon

Brownsville, Oregon

Brownsville, Orego

Vintage Illustrations.


Taking Inspiration from Historic Costume


I’ve always had an interest in historic costume; I imagine most of us who sew share this interest, as studying past fashions can provide endless inspiration for contemporary designs.  I recently came across a collection of charming illustrations of British children’s costumes from the 18th and 19th century that I wanted to share with my friends in Sewville.  I adore these and plan to frame a set to hang in my sewing room… they are so sweet.   I’ve put a couple up in my RemnantWorks Etsy shop and will be adding more as I have the time.



British Children's Costumes Illustrations


British Children's Costume Illustrations






Peppermint Delights

Here is my contribution to the Christmas potluck being held tomorrow at work.

I made yellow cupcakes and frosted them with mint flavored frosting and then crushed peppermint candies for the topping.

Christmas Cupcakes

They look delicious to me; too bad I’m off desserts.

I’ve been off sugar for so long that just the little bit of frosting that I licked off my fingers sent me into a sugar overload… really it did. :)

I hope you all are having fun preparing for the big day.  Wishing all the best of best holidays!