From the Studio: Riff

Welcome back to my piano art studio! Today I have a series of questions for you—their answers too, of course.

Patterns? or random?

What’s your preference? As for me, I believe random is beautiful in certain situations, but my inclination is toward patterns. “A place for everything, and everything in its place,” right? This is why patterns appear in so many of the things I create from piano pieces. There is order in nature, there is order in music, and there is order inside a piano. Why not create more order from the pieces I find there?

How big is it?

Measuring at 24 x 36 inches, “Riff” is the largest canvas piece I’ve created to date.

What was your process?

To begin with, I selected a variety of piano action pieces from among those I had previously cleaned, separated, and sorted. Then sitting on the living room floor, I arranged them in a three-foot circle. When I was satisfied with the arrangement, I placed them onto a 24×30 piece of plywood. I considered mounting them to the plywood, but changed my mind and went with the canvas instead.

Since the finished product would be rectangular rather than circular, I removed all the pieces that appeared beyond the boundary, leaving me with 196 pieces. The ones that lay along the edge were cut and sanded, to give the illusion of a continuous circle without having to show it in its entirety. I painted the gallery-wrapped canvas in a nice neutral tone, and also hand-painted every action piece. When the paint was dry, I glued the pieces down. To finish the piece, on the back I installed two sets of picture wire and D-hooks—one to use for vertical hanging, and another for a horizontal display. It truly looks good either way.

What does it mean?

The circle was divided in half, representing the two parts of a standard musical staff: treble and bass. To color the pieces, I used vermillion on side and turquoise on the other. The parts in the center of the circle bear the darkest hues of each respective color, and the “ripples” which extend from the center grow increasingly lighter in hue. Additionally, I created a wavy line of white running through one side and another of black on the opposite side, representing the ivory and ebony of the keys. These were accompanied by one piece each from the other side, to represent the harmony created by playing the notes together.

Where did the name come from?

This one was dubbed “Riff,” a term I came across while learning to play guitar. A riff is a repeated chord progression or refrain; a pattern of sound that forms the foundation for the composition. This piece is a pattern in the form of a circle, so the name fits, don’t you think?

How can I make it mine?

“Riff” is currently available for sale. If you’re interested in learning more, simply click here.

♬ ♬ ♬ ♬ ♬ ♬

Thank you for joining me on this tour of the studio. I look forward to seeing you on the next one. Until then, I invite you to check out photos of my other work in the gallery. Enjoy the rest of your day!

Coming Soon: Angela’s Piano Barn

The past few months have been busy, busy, busy! Can I get an amen? In that regard, my story is no different from yours, I know.

Here in my studio some exciting changes are taking place! In short, I’m getting a brand new workshop/studio right in our back yard. Here I’ll be able to consolidate the tools and materials currently located in several rooms in the house, in the garage, and in a rented storage unit. The transition is coming along more slowly than we had anticipated, but it’s coming.

We bought the shed pictured above from Graceland Portable Buildings, and it was delivered in early November on a day of drizzle by the ever-so-skillful Kelsey Cunningham. We had to take down the fence between our yard and the neighbors’ yard, remove two trees, and move a 500-lb propane tank out the way. Even at that, Kelsey had less than two inches to spare between the corner of our house and the corner of our neighbors’ shed, but he got it in with no damage to any of the structures. My hat’s off to him! He’s good! Not only that, but he used his tow dolly to help us put the propane tank back in place. Some friendly neighbors had come over to help move it out of the way at the beginning of the day.

Graceland Portable Buildings has locations nationwide, but Kelsey only works locally. I highly recommend both for your storage needs. And no, I’m not being paid to tell you this. I’m just a very happy customer.

My husband Patrick and I immediately began to convert the shed to a workshop/studio, and the children have pitched in here and there as well. My sons helped me pick up a set of kitchen cabinets that were donated for the cause, and Matthew also worked with his dad and me to hang the drywall. Pat ran the wiring for the lights and outlets, and he did such a good job that the inspector asked if the shed had come prewired. I painted, speckled, and sealed the floor.

The shed sat untouched for a few weeks while all of us were busy with work, but recently Pat and I went back out there to make more progress. We finished hanging the drywall, hung all the trim, and then mudded the drywall. We had some bits of leftover shiplap from another project, and I was able to put it to use in the workshop. I measured and cut the pieces to fit the portion of wall just inside the door, and Pat hung it. Most of the wall is now sanded and ready for paint, but we still need to caulk. Also, I’ve removed the doors from the cabinets, cleaned them, and prepared them for primer and paint. With Pat’s approval, I moved some piano pieces into the workshop, even though it isn’t finished yet, because frankly we were all ready to have a little more breathing room in both the house and the garage. Granted, now we have to be patient as we continually move things here and there to get them out of the way of progress.

♬ ♬ ♬ ♬ ♬ ♬

Thank you for joining me on this tour of the studio. I look forward to seeing you on the next one, in the new year, from my new studio. And, yes, there will be an update—with more pictures—when the workshop/studio is completed. Until next time, may you have a Hopeful and Happy New Year!

How to be calmer and improve your music making — A Piano Teacher Writes…

In this guest post, music teacher and vocal coach Rosemary Wiseman introduces her book ‘Zoom88 – How to be calmer and improve your music making’ Recently I was reading in my journal about the first time I ever read a copy of Music Teacher magazine. It was while I was waiting for my interview for […]

How to be calmer and improve your music making — A Piano Teacher Writes…

I just ordered the book. When I’ve been able to put some of her principles into practice, I’ll come back and give it a review.

But for now, I ask you to read more from both Rosemary Wiseman and her host for this article, Francis Wilson.

From the Studio: Fortissimo

Welcome back to my piano art studio. Please allow me to share with you the latest creation from the Encore studio and the thought that went into it.

One of my favorite things about creating piano art is getting to participate in local craft fairs and art shows. While not an extrovert by nature, I do love meeting new people, hearing their stories, sharing mine, and seeing the sparks that fly when we connect. Often I’ll meet someone who plays another instrument besides the piano, and several of them have asked me to come up with art that represents their instrument in particular, rather than music in general. That is a worthy need, and I’ve been brainstorming for more than a year now to figure out how to create art that appeals to other instrumentalists. (Forgive me. I’m slow.)

Granted, I have made a Hornist, and have plans to make other instrumentalists “holding” and “playing” their instruments. But those are difficult and extremely fragile. Frankly, they scare me.

My first Instrumentalist

The “Hornist” was made on commission, and someday there will be others, including a trumpeter, flutist, violinist, and guitarrist.

As an alternative to the instrumentalist, I wanted to come up with an idea to showcase only the instrument itself. My original idea was to use the piano pieces to form assemblage art, essentially “building” a two-dimensional instrument on canvas, using only piano pieces. The trouble with this is that most of the pieces are straight and angular, and most instruments have curves. How could I get the curves without a lot of cutting and sanding? And if I did cut and sand, would the pieces be recognizable as piano action when I was finished? I decided to ditch that idea and think of something else.

YouTube has become a sort of classroom for me, as I spend a fair amount of time watching other artists demonstrate their skills and then trying it for myself. I gather ideas for how to complete the various projects stored in my mind, including the hoped-for Instrument Series. It was while watching an abstract artist at SurajFineArts that I thought of an idea that might work. He drew several curved and overlapping lines on the canvas, then filled in each area with varying values of the same color. By the time he was done, we saw an image of a woman seated there. I thought I could do the same thing, but with musical instruments instead of a woman, and incorporate piano action pieces onto the canvas to make it a mixed media piece with some extra dimension. The video that inspired me is here:

More time went by, during which I practiced making line drawings of various musical instruments in my sketchbook. But before I had a chance to test that idea with paint on canvas, another one came to mind.

Much practice has made me adept at bending piano strings into various shapes, often with nothing but my two hands. That’s when I decided to think outside the box—or in this case, outside the instrument.

So, combining the original idea to create assemblage art with the second one to create line art, I shaped the instrument with a piano string and made the action pieces an integral part of the visual representation of music. With a 24″ ruler, I made sure all the non-round pieces lay along imaginary lines that all merged at the lower left-hand corner of the canvas. I wanted them to appear as though they were proceeding from out of the instrument.

Brainstorming a new idea

First I drew a rough sketch of a piano on a sheet of paper, then placed it where I wanted it on the canvas.

Next, I selected a variety of action pieces and arranged them randomly, though not haphazardly, on the canvas.

The next step in the process was to decide how to paint the background. Lately I’ve been watching quite a few fluid art demonstrations, and I considered using one of those methods for this one. However, my most recent attempt was pathetic, so I decided to stick with a tool I’m familiar with, the brush, but to use it more abstractly than what is usual for me.

Another YouTuber I’m particularly fond of is Molly of Molly’s Artistry. She usually does fluid art, and particularly Dutch pours, but once in a while she’ll show us an abstract brushed painting, often combining the brush with fluid art techniques. She did just that in one particular video, and I loved it! However, I thought the balloon kisses that she added toward the end would be too much for what I wanted to do, so I watched her paint the canvas several times, slowed it down and watched again, then paused the video at 1:28 and on a scrap canvas attempted to duplicate what she had done up to that point. Here’s the video I modeled:

When I was happy with the result and had gotten plenty of feedback from my family members, I watched Molly again, then painted a fresh canvas.

Another decision was whether or not to paint the action pieces. I liked them unpainted, but ultimately (obviously) decided not to leave them that way.

To add emphasis to the piano, I filled it in by applying heavy body black and white paint with a palette knife. I wanted this to also be textured and rough. When the paint was dry, I applied two coats of gloss varnish, then glued the action pieces in place, and finally “sewed” on the piano string using lengths of wire for “thread,” reinforced on the back side of the canvas with buttons and hot glue.

Oh, yes. . .the name? “Fortissimo,” because my mind hears the music loud and clear when I look at this canvas. Future pieces in this series will likely be named after their featured instrument, but for this one, “Piano” would never have sufficed. Don’t you agree?

♬ ♬ ♬ ♬ ♬ ♬

Thank you for joining me on this tour of the studio. I look forward to seeing you on the next one. Until then, I invite you to check out photos of my other work in the gallery. Enjoy the rest of your day!

From the Studio: Monster Mash

Welcome back to my piano art studio. Please allow me to share with you the latest creation from the Encore studio, and tell you why and how I stepped outside of the box for a change.

In our family, the time between dinner and bedtime are often spent watching a couple favorite TV shows or a movie. I’ve taken to cleaning piano parts while I watch, as a way to “redeem the time.” It’s fairly tedious work that requires no mental exertion whatsoever, so it’s the perfect thing to keep my hands busy while my mind is at rest. Anything that cannot get a water bath gets a good scrubbing with a wire brush. Then I separate the many pieces with a pin extractor built expressly for this purpose. The pins are collected into a jar, and the pieces are sorted and stored. Some of them after separation, if they don’t have felt on them, can get that water bath, which gets them cleaner than brushing alone.

One night as I scrubbed, separated, and sorted, I ended up with quite a few wippens that still had a flange glued to them. The glue was stubborn, and I wasn’t able to break them apart. I held one of them up and said to my 19-year-old daughter, “Hey, this kinda looks like a zombie.” She agreed. Now, if my children’s fascination with zombies is any indication of the general popularity of these mythical undead, then I thought perhaps I should look into actually using the zombies in a painting.

My paintings all get musical names. It’s a thing I do. Sometimes I use a single term that describes the theme or purpose for a particular piece. Sometimes it’s a song title. Naturally, my mind went straight to the song “Monster Mash.”

With Halloween fast approaching, I pushed myself to get this project out of the “do” stage and into the “done” stage. The hardest part was deciding which colors to use and how to use them. I listened to recordings of the song and learned that it came out in 1962.

“What if I used a color palette from the 60’s?”

“Great idea, Angela!”

“Thank you!”

(Don’t mind me. I’m just talking to myself. Lol)

Not all wippens look alike, and only one piano has given me a set suitable as zombies. But if I put 13 zombies on each canvas (Yes, I chose that number deliberately.), I have enough for five paintings. In my Google search of 60’s colors, I also found five patterns I could use in the background. In that way, although I employ the same color scheme for each one, changing up the patterns will allow me to present five one-of-a-kind paintings.

It took four tries to get each color just exactly as I wanted it, neither too psychedelic nor too understated. I have no formal training in art, so mixing paints is more a matter of happenstance for me than science. But I learned a lot in the process, including how to judge what the color will look like when dry. My math skills were put to use in determining the angle for each ray and its placement on the canvas. I used a protractor and ruler to measure the angles and mark the lines; but when it came time to paint, I used only a three-quarter-inch flat brush and a steady hand. After all, this is a party, so I didn’t want it to look too sterile. At the same time, I had confidence that I could paint in straight lines well enough to make this look professional.

The first painting is complete, and that’s probably as far as I’m going to get for now. At this point I plan to release #2 in October 2021, and #3-5 will all be released in October 2022, in honor of the 60th anniversary of the hit song for which the painting is named.

“Monster Mash” #1 of 5 is currently available for sale on Etsy. Please check it out. I offer free domestic shipping on everything in the shop, and I’ll work with you for a fair price on international shipping.

♬ ♬ ♬ ♬ ♬ ♬

Thank you for joining me on this tour of the studio. I look forward to seeing you on the next one. Until then, I invite you to check out photos of my other work in the gallery. Enjoy the rest of your day!

Smorgasbord Afternoon Video – A three year old plays piano… very well.. — Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

What a talented little girl.. I am sure a wonderful future ahead of her.. thanks to  Treblebass hk

Smorgasbord Afternoon Video – A three year old plays piano… very well.. — Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

We’re Going to the Fair!

This year has been one wild ride. Can I get an amen? Businesses were shut down and then reopened at a fraction of their capacity. People began hiding their faces behind masks. All the spring craft fairs were canceled or postponed until fall.

Summer came and matters grew worse. Notices began to pour in announcing the cancelation of even the fall and winter craft fairs. At first it was just the indoor events that were nixed. But when they even canceled the outdoor events, my heart sank.

Sure, I got my money back, but that’s not what I wanted. No one can stay in business by simply receiving back their investment. You have to multiply your investment in order to grow. And as artists who depend primarily upon in-person sales, multiplication cannot happen without giving us the opportunity to greet our potential customers and show them what we’ve made.

What I really don’t understand is how it’s okay to shop at Walmart, but it’s not okay to attend an outdoor event where the vendors are spread well apart.

And while I’m on the subject, how is it okay to stand in line to enter a store, then to share aisles with other shoppers, then to stand in the checkout line, but it’s not okay to stand in line at the polls? This is a double standard, people. The stores dedicated the early hours for at-risk people to do their shopping. Why not do the same thing at the polls?

Enough of my rant.

But I ranted so that you can imagine my utter joy at discovering that a craft fair I was interested in was NOT CANCELED! Hallelujah! I had not actually signed up for this one because it’s out of state, and I don’t yet know how to handle the collection of Alabama sales tax. But you know what? I’m going to learn, because I’m going to be there!

For weeks I’ve been searching for the business card of the woman who invited me to the fall festival so that I could find out if it was still a go. No luck. Then yesterday morning I decided to do an Internet search for the event, and I found it! Then something led me to click on the event in my calendar. (Yes, I put it in my calendar months ago.) And believe it or not, right there in my calendar was the contact info I’d been looking for all along. I called Sherry to let her know of my interest, and she said, “I’m so glad you called. I’ve been looking for your business card for weeks!” LOL. We’re two peas in a pod.

So, in a few short days I’ll be packing my display racks, tent, tables, and wares into my pickup truck and heading to Luverne, Alabama, to their 5th Annual Fall Festival. Will you be there? If you live close enough, do come out. Wear your mask and keep your distance, but COME. You’ll be glad you did. As you can see by the notice, there’s lots to do for everyone at the Fall Festival:

  • Live music by Chris Eiland
  • Crenshaw Kool Ridz Car Show
  • Local Artists
  • LHS Art Show
  • Flyin’ Pigs Petting Zoo
  • Activities for Kids
  • Food Vendors
  • Community Awareness Programs
  • Door prizes every 30 minutes

See you there. . .and I’ll see you at the polls!

From the Studio: Keyed Up

Welcome back to my piano art studio. Today’s tour features a piece known as “Keyed Up,” one of the longest-standing and most popular items in my inventory.

The first thing I ever made with piano keys was what I now call the small “Keyed Up,” a set of keys with their extensions cut off, leaving only the black and white parts we all recognize as piano keys. They were glued together in a staggered formation, rather than straight in a row, and I installed cup hooks on every other key. The first one utilized two full octaves, but I immediately reduced the length to 1½ octaves, not only to help me better meet the demand for this item, but also to make it more stable.

“Keyed Up” small

Making a “Keyed Up”

Preparation

First, the keys have to come off the piano. This is usually easy, but not always. It depends on how the piano is assembled. I can generally figure out fairly quickly how to remove the music shelf, action, fallboard, and any other strips of wood that stand in my way of getting to the keys. However, one manufacturer in particular (Knabe) has me stumped on a rather old piano. I never was able to get the fallboard off because I couldn’t figure out how to access the screws upon which it pivots. But I needed the keys to fill an order, so I carefully maneuvered them up and off their pins then slid them out from under the fallboard.

As I remove the keys from the piano, and throughout the preparation process, I try to keep them in order. That is helpful, not only for creating the “Keyed Up,” but also other pieces in which I use keys together. They are always filthy dirty, so they get a bath in the sink with warm water and a special cleaning solution. I learned not to let them soak because soaking tends to loosen the glue that holds the ivories (whether genuine or not) and ebonies onto the extensions. Instead, I place them a few at a time into the water bath, scrub them on all surfaces with a grout/tile brush, then place them on wire racks to air dry. Drying time takes at least 24 hours, and preferably 2-3 days. Another hard lesson learned was that the “Keyed Up” can warp if there’s any moisture in the keys when it’s assembled. That happened to the set I made for myself. I haven’t received any negative feedback from others, so hopefully mine was the only one that messed up.

Once the pieces are thoroughly dry, if I’m making a small “Keyed Up,” I take the keys to my table saw and cut the extensions off. The extensions go into a bin for use in another project, and the cut ends of the keys get a careful sanding on the belt sander.

Assembly

Using wood glue, I mount the keys to a piece of 1/4-in. lauan plywood. I purchase the plywood in 2′ x 4′ sheets and cut it down to roughly 6″ x 10″ and sand all edges. When the glue is applied and all the keys are in place, I then clamp it down very securely and leave it to set up for a few hours or overnight. Old extensions cut from other keys help me apply equal pressure to all the keys.

Finishing Touches

When the clamps come off, I drill pilot holes into every other key, then screw in the cup hooks. On the back I place a half-sheet story behind the art, including details about this particular piece, then add two sawtooth hangers across the top and two felt bumpers (felts from the piano) in each of the bottom corners.

From the beginning, I designed the “Keyed Up,” both large and small, as a place to hang your car/house keys—keys for keys, if you will. Then one day a lady purchased a “Keyed Up” at a craft fair and told me, “I’m going to use this to hang up my necklaces.” What a brilliant idea! Now I’ve done the same, as have several others.

A Fresh Idea

The large “Keyed Up” includes the keys in their entirety—extensions and all. The term extension may be my own word, and it refers to the bare wood portion of the key that extends into the body of the piano and interacts with the action. On diagrams, I’ve never seen any other designation than simply key to represent the whole.

It didn’t take long for me to realize that not all keys are the same. For the most part, the dimensions of the visible portions of the keys (the ebonies and ivories) are standard, but the lengths and styles of the extensions vary greatly, depending upon not only the size of the piano but also on the manufacturer. When I used shorter keys, I had no trouble leaving the bare wood portion “blank.” But when I began creating large “Keyed Ups” using the longer keys of upright grands, I received feedback suggesting that I come up with a way to fill in the negative space.

So I came up with an idea to fill in the space using a hammer from the piano and some hand-crafted lettered tiles (made from key extensions). I like it, but this isn’t for everyone. What if the buyer wants to hang something other than keys? Granted, “KEYS” could refer to the part of piano represented here, but maybe there’s something better—or at least different—that I can do.

Perhaps I could write a message across the key extensions. This seems like a good idea, but it’s been hard trying to decide exactly what to write on them. Should they all be different from one another? All the same? And if the same, what in the world do I choose?

Will you help me decide? If so, please complete the survey below. And if you like, you can go a step further by leaving me a comment with your own suggestion or feedback.


Thank you for joining me on this tour of the studio. I look forward to seeing you on the next one. Until then, I invite you to check out photos of my other work in the gallery. Enjoy the rest of your day!

 

Coming Home

This girl has been trying to maintain not one, not two, but three blogs for the past few years. Needless to say, it got a bit overwhelming, especially since I tried writing on at least two of them every day. It took longer than expected, but overwhelm eventually hit, and I sort of crashed and burned. I couldn’t simply cut back, so I stopped writing altogether. A few previously scheduled posts kept my websites on life support until I was ready to wake them out of their literary coma.

But I did not stop creating piano art. In fact, here’s a sampling of the latest work to come from my studio.

And there is so much more still waiting to make the leap from idea to icon.

Not only am I happy to be working in the studio, I’m also very excited to be coming back to the blog after an extended absence so I can get my finger back on the WordPress pulse and reenter this society which I’ve come to know and love.

This past week, as I worked on reviving the writing mode within, I began by setting more reasonable goals for all three blogs. Yes, after much deliberation, I’ve decided to resume all of them, but I’ll bring a little common sense to the table this time.

What can you expect here at Encore?

The plan is to write once a week, on Tuesdays. I’ll continue my two series, From the Studio and Piano History, generally alternating between the two; and I’ll also share more curated posts from others. Curating does two things: (1) It helps my fellow writers expand their audience, and (2) It motivates me to spend nearly as much time reading as writing. After all, if we aren’t going to mingle with one another, why do we bother to write?

During my absence, WordPress changed. A lot. But change is good. Granted, in some ways, I feel as though I’m starting over again, knowing little to nothing about blogging. But it isn’t really true. I have a foundation upon which to build. And I’m truly excited about the new ways (or at least more accessible ways) to turn the blog into a platform for earnings. This makes my husband happy too, knowing that I now have the potential to see a return on the many hours of effort going into this endeavor.

I speak for many artists and small businesses when I say that the Covid-19 pandemic has robbed me of several opportunities to reach my audience face to face. Online sales are up, but they have not yet reached the full potential that was there with in-person craft fairs and art shows. I think it’s because the real me does not get to connect with the real you. That’s one reason why I’ve written this down-to-earth article. I want to speak candidly with you, take the mask off and be real with you. The financial aid available to other small businesses does not apply to me because I cannot state with certainty just how much income I’ve lost because I don’t pay myself a salary. The best I can do is estimate based upon historical sales, but that isn’t enough to slice through the red tape. No, I am dependent upon the love and concern of family, friends, and followers like you who are willing to say, “What you’re doing is important. It matters. And I want to help you keep doing it.”

How can you help?

There are four ways you can help Encore! Old Pianos to stay in business:

(1) Make a one-time or monthly donation. I recently added a donation button to Encore’s home screen. This is something new that awaited me when I returned to WordPress, and I decided to jump on board. That said, if you have found my site helpful and/or interesting, I’d appreciate your showing the love with a one-time or monthly donation.

Your donation will help me be able to dedicate more time to painting, creating, and writing. I’m currently working a part-time temporary job outside the house, but I have no desire to work permanently for someone else. My heart is here in my studio, and my passion is making people smile by providing them with unique piano art to celebrate their own talents and contributions to society. I’d love nothing more than to be able to stay home and keep doing what I’m doing—saving old pianos from the landfill—and to keep getting better at it by means of study and experience.

(2) Make a purchase. Do you see something here that you just can’t live without? Why not make it yours?

And what about the musicians in your life for whom you typically purchase a gift? Your child, sibling, parent who sings or plays an instrument? And don’t forget the teachers. Most of my items are actually purchased as gifts for music students, music teachers, choir/band directors, etc. Sometimes the entire band/choir will go in together to purchase a substantial gift for their leader.

(3) Spread the word. This is the most important of all, for the best advertising is word-of-mouth. Have you enjoyed getting a behind-the-scenes look at how my piano art comes together? Have you been able to make an informed decision on the purchase of a piano after reading one of my history articles? Or perhaps I’ve helped you identify the year your piano was made. Have you been delighted with the gems I share from my fellow bloggers? And have you been the giver—or recipient—of a piece of piano art, or perhaps a key chain or home décor item? Do you simply appreciate the fact that my end goal is to help protect our environment by repurposing old pianos that others throw out? Then tell your friends because maybe what resonated with you will also resonate with them.

(4) Donate your old piano and worn-out pieces. This last option is rather exclusive, but no less important than the rest. Perhaps you’re a piano technician, or you know one, who grieves each time you have to burn or otherwise discard the old, worn action parts. Why not send them to me? I can make great use of them.

Or maybe you own a piano that was destroyed in a fire or other disaster. I have traveled as many as 200 miles to retrieve a load of discarded pianos and sundry action pieces. And do you know how I learned about them? Through word-of-mouth! Someone passed my name along, and before I knew it, my sons and I were traveling two states over to meet a wonderful retired technician and his daughter and grandson. In fact, that’s how almost all of the 20 pianos came to me, through word-of-mouth.

And if the piano has special significance to you, I can give you a gift in exchange for your donation. Many a donor now has a piece of their cherished piano in their home, serving a practical or ornamental function while also reminding them of the many memories made while seated at those keys.

So, yes, I’m home. . .back home with my WordPress family, and asking you to receive me with open arms as I reach out to you. As I click the “Publish” button, I can almost hear you say, “Welcome home!”

A Much-Needed Face-Lift

Last year I moved my piano art from another website host to WordPress. The intention behind this shift was to make it easier to manage my online presence, as all three of my sites would then be in the same place. Well, it has been a learning experience, to say the least. Initially I ended up with a site that was merely a blog with a gallery page, when what I wanted was a gallery with a blog page. So today I explored my options and selected a new format that should prove much more pleasing to the eye and easier to navigate. It is still a work in progress, but it’s finally starting to become what I had envisioned.

The home page now features photographs of my piano art, with links to my Etsy shop for the convenience of you who would like to make a purchase. I haven’t finished uploading photos of my newest work just yet, but I promise they are coming.

Also, ever since the new year began, I’ve been trying to get back to writing Encore blog posts, but so far my schedule has not allowed it. The articles will come, in due time.


2020 Florida Fairs and Festivals

Below is my tentative itinerary for this year. It’s much more sparse than last year’s schedule, and I’m also staying closer to home. But all that is because I’m working on getting into a store! I can’t wait to tell you about it as the story unfolds…. Meanwhile, if you live in Northwest Florida, I looking forward to seeing you at my table at one of these venues:

 

Cantonment

Fall Fling Arts & Crafts Fair

3475 Pine Forest Rd., Cantonment, FL
Saturday, September 26, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

 

Destin

Spring Craft Show

Destin Community Center, 101 Stahlman Ave., Destin, FL
Friday, February 17, 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Saturday, February 18, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Holiday Craft Show

Destin Community Center, 101 Stahlman Ave., Destin, FL
Friday, November 20, 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Saturday, November 21, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

 

Fort Walton Beach

St. Simon’s on the Sound Arts & Crafts Fair

28 Miracle Strip Parkway, Fort Walton Beach, FL
Friday, November 6, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, November 7, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

 

Milton

Riverwalk Arts Festival

Riverwalk Park in Historic Downtown Milton, FL
Saturday, March 7, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, March 8, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

 

Pace

Alyssa’s Outdoor Market

Alyssa’s Antique Depot, Pace, FL
Saturday, April 11, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Alyssa’s Mother’s Day Mini Market

Alyssa’s Antique Depot, Pace, FL
Saturday, May 9, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

 

Pensacola

St. Joseph’s Blues & BarBQ Festival

140 W. Government St., Pensacola, FL
Saturday, May 2, 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 3, 1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Pine Forest UMC Arts & Crafts Festival

2800 Wilde Lake Blvd., Pensacola, FL
Saturday, November 14, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.