About Me ColorJoy Home Page Free Stuff About Me Contact Me
ColorJoy Home Page
ColorJoy Home The ColorJoy Blog Buy Patterns, Recipe Books, CDs Patterns Schedule & Potential Classes Recipes & Food Information The LynnH SockTour LynnH Polymer Clay The Fabulous Heftones - Lynn & Brian

Archive for April, 2004

Boo Hoo, it’s Snowing!

Saturday, April 3rd, 2004

Yuck. This morning I did not need a coat in Lake Orion at 9am. I didn’t even need it when I left town around 4pm. By the time I hit Flint on the way back (maybe 40 minutes), there were sputters of rain. By the time I got back to Lansing, another hour later, it was raining steadily.

I went into JoAnn at about 6pm. I got out at around 9:40 and there was enough snow that we had to brush it off our cars before driving home. It is slushy but it is building up a little.

I got home and my lone daffodil appeared to be covered in ice, although it was pretty dark to see details. But look at the photo I was able to get with a flash on my little digital camera! My sweet daffodil and my beloved violets, behind the snow line (the house protected the plants for the most part). Proof indeed.

I have noticed that we always get snow at least once in April. It may not build up much, it may not last long, but we get snow. I’m just hoping that today, the third day of the month, might be the last one. I’m crossing my fingers for good luck on that.

Speaking of April 3rd, today marks either 48 or 49 years since my parents were married. My dad died after they were married 18 years, but we of course still remember the date. Happy Anniversary, Mom!

More Spring… and a Surprise at Aladdin’s

Friday, April 2nd, 2004

It was another glorious spring day. It was in the upper 50’s F and sunny, although the wind was really blowing. I found this garden of crocus blooms at my bank while running a long list of errands. I just stopped dead in my tracks and got out the camera. It was the only right thing to do. I wanted you to see these, too!

I’ve spent much of my day organizing for upcoming classes, the next of which is my Polymer Clay class tomorrow at Heritage Spinning. However, around dinnertime I switched to dance as a focus for several hours. We had a rehearsal (preparing for our annual show which will be on April 17 at Hannah Community Center, anyone want to go?), and then we headed over to Aladdins. Tonight the leader of Habibi Dancers, Yasmina, danced… with Eshta. It was an all-star show any way you want to see it!

I can not tell you how lucky we are in Lansing, to have Yasmina as our troupe leader and teacher. Her background is in ballet and other danceforms, and she is very focused on technique. She is an incredible instructor and choreographer. When we go to other areas of the state and dance with other troupes, we are always welcomed by the other dancers with high respect. It is not that other groups love the dance any less, but we just have a fabulous instructor and she makes us look good!

Eshta used to live in Lansing, and she was in Habibi dancers (she still is technically a Habibi, but hasn’t been rehearsing with us for a few years). Then she moved to Egypt and other locations in the mideast, and danced professionally there for a couple of years. She’s home for a bit, I’m not sure her exact plans but I know her intent is to return there sometime after the Habibi show.

In any case, tonight Yasmina and Eshta put on quite the show at Aladdin’s!!! I didn’t get any good photos of Yasmina (I was so busy watching her dance that I didn’t take many photos of her) but here is a studio shot of her balancing a sword on her head. She can keep it there while doing a lot of moves, as well. I did get a shot of Eshta tonight, in a feathered costume she got in the mideast. Doesn’t she look great?

When I walked in to Aladdins, I got a huge surprise. Susan Eyde, one of my friends I used to dance with, was there. (Before I was a Habibi, we had a small apprentice troupe called Banat Habibi, or sisters of Habibi, and Susan and I danced together in that.) Susan has lived in Tucson, Arizona, for at least three years now, maybe four or more. I have not seen her in at least two years. And there she was at Aladdin’s! Her brother got married Thursday and so she was up here for that, just the right timing to come to the Friday show. I got to sit with her and her sister during the performances. I was so excited to see her after all this time. She looks really happy.

Susan has started doing performances in Arizona, with a magician. They call their act Magic Dance Theatre of Sarlot and Eyde, or Dance of Illusion. She seems to really enjoy doing that. She has always danced, even as a little girl she would dance for hours in the yard. It is so great to see her doing the life of her destiny. I’m happy for her.

Heftone Banjo Orchestra

Thursday, April 1st, 2004

Cool belated news… Brian has been working on many recordings, as I’ve mentioned here. The one he did for holiday gifts for family and friends, he called the “Music Box Rag” by his Heftone Banjo Orchestra. It actually was his second album for this concept. The first album of Heftone Banjo Orchestra is called “Ta-ra-ra-Boom-de-ay!”

Both albums (in CD format) are instrumental only. They feature Brian overdubbing himself, playing several different tracks on different types of banjos. He has a banjo ukulele, a banjo guitar and the Heftone bass which looks like a bass banjo. The first album he played lead with a banjo mandolin as well.

The first album was a compilation of fourteen different numbers, all of them in the public domain except one that Brian wrote himself. Many of them are familiar tunes: Oh, Susannah, Buffalo Gals, Pop! Goes the Weasel, Yankee Doodle, Can Can, and Hail, Hail, the Gang’s All Here.

The second album is mostly rags, twelve in all. Lead is on the Banjo Ukulele, no mandolin. Lots of tracks, so that it sounds like a lot of folks playing. The album cover is amusing, it shows eleven guys playing in an ensemble. However, if you look more closely, all eleven of them are Brian. Some of them he has long hair, some short, some with glasses, some without… but all Brian. He did a good job editing these photos and making them look like one.

So what is the coolest news about these yet? Brian works with Bob Blackman, who I wrote about a week or two ago… he has had a folk radio show on WKAR (The Folk Tradition) for twenty years, every weekend.

Well, Brian is pretty excited about his recordings, so he of course shared one with Bob (and other folks he also thought might be interested in his project). We found out after the fact, that Bob played Dill Pickles (click title to download in MP3 format), a piece on the second album, on his show this weekend. I guess he sort of did it at the last minute, so we didn’t know about it until it was over. Maybe we would have been near a radio and maybe not, but it’s sort of exciting! Brian got on the radio with his one-man band/project.

Brian has a website set up for his Heftone Banjo Orchestra. You can find it at http://heftone.com/orchestra

He has all the tunes from both albums at this site, available for download so you can listen to them one at a time (in either ogg vorbis or MP3 format). He has information on all the instruments he used on the projects. He also has links to Elderly Instruments, the music store, where you can buy his two CD’s on their site.

OK, so I’m proud of my sweetie. But hey, he’s an amazing banjo player. He’s an amazing ukulele player. That’s how I first learned who he was, around 1990. I went to the Ten Pound Fiddle coffeehouse concerts where he sometimes performed. And I loved his music even then, when my life was very much different than it is now.

If you have a minute, perhaps you’d like to go over to Brian’s page and download a cheerful tune? You’d be more than welcome to visit!