Some news

Happy new year!

It has been a great but crazy few months! Ian and I bought a house and moved, and we are still in the midst of renovations! Albus is getting accustomed to his new palace (it seems he is king of the new house, just like before...!), he is finding new places to hide and play. The holidays are almost over, soon I get back to work at the KWS, but I still have a few more days to keep making progress on the Barber concerto, which I will be playing with KWS in April. It has been a tricky balance of rest and practice since I have had problems with tendinitis in the left arm since late October. It is getting better though, so I have hope! Ian and I are thinking of adopting a new cat or kitten in the near future, we'll see how this develops!

P.S. People in the Kitchener area, check out an article in the Grand Magazine, I also made the cover...!


Playing with the husband and more

First thing I want to say is how much fun I had playing across the orchestra from my husband Ian (rock star bass player) again for the first time in years last week! We were both mentors for the National Academy Orchestra of Canada with Boris Brott. We played some "best of" opera, and had a really fun time, shout out to Megan Jones and Boris for their vision! Ian, you did a great job, I am so proud of you!

At the same time, I also started my Bachelor of Interior Design classes online! I have to say, I already love it! I started learning about drafting by hand, and discussed my influences in design and architecture with my classmates.  A lot were from NYC, no surprises there, NYC was such an amazing city to live in! A few of them were the Chrysler Building from the Art Deco movement, and the Hypar Pavilion accross the street from Juilliard as part of Diller Scofido + Renfro's redesign of Lincoln Center (go check out their website, they are amazing!).

Albus has been loving the time I now spend studying and writing for my classes, he comes into my office/studio and curls up in his basket by the window. Of course, he would never be caught in there when I practice (he hates the sound of the violin), so it has been nice to have company at least for a portion of the day!

As if all that wasn't enough, I also organized all my music by composer, alphabetically, and put all that music in a filing cabinet... It took HOURS but was definitely worth it, check out all the stuff I have below, and how little space it takes now! I was getting tired of never finding what I was looking for, like the piano part to Beethoven concerto, which I am playing in a few weeks with the NAO and Boris Brott (see concerts for tickets).

I admit it, I have been neglecting my workouts lately, but it has been so busy! I'll have to schedule them in my calendar from now on..! I continue to see my osteopath, which is really helping relieving tension in both arms, neck and back from playing! I am also excited to see a naturopath this week, I'll let you guys know how it goes in my next blog post!

Some news and an anecdote featuring Albus

Beethoven concerto is coming along, I have been working on re-learning it by memory, and I find it so much easier than the last time I did it! Of course, it could be because the last time I learned it, I just had a concussion... All joking aside, I am feeling more confident in my skills as a violinist lately, which is really great! In all honesty, and from experience, I know that this kind of feeling comes and goes, so I plan to enjoy it as much as I can while it lasts and get some good practicing done!

On a completely different note, I have some exciting news to share, I have been accepted to a Bachelor of Interior Design online through the RCC Institute of Technology! I am so happy and excited about this! Don't worry, my work as a violinist won't suffer, all it means is that instead of watching TV, I'll be learning a whole new skill set! By the end of the degree, I'll be able to design a home, isn't that amazing? That won't be for another 3 years though...

And now a little about Albus... He has been very good, except for the last two times we took him out for a walk in his harness. He has been very jumpy when he's outside, and as a result, got out of his harness twice..! That is terrifying for Ian and I because we have a busy street nearby... So here's what happened. The first time, Ian got my phone for me (I was holding the leash) from the table in the yard, and as he was coming back towards Albus and I, Albus got spooked and bolted, taking the leash out of my hands. He ran through the neighbor's yard, still trailing the leash, then realized it wasn't his house, and went through the fence between our yard and the neighbor's. The leash handle got stuck in the fence, and he managed to get out of his harness. Panicked, he ran THROUGH the screen door and inside the house. We were afraid he got hurt, but he was fine, just a little freaked out. The second time was many days later, and we made sure his harness was nice and tight, but he still got out of it by circling a tree (Ian couldn't follow him, he was going so fast!) and backing out of it... That time the glass door was closed, and he had the good sense to stop and meow for me to open the door. After all that, I don't think we'll be taking him out for walks again... Anyway, I leave you with a cute picture of the little bandit, check again soon for another post! 


The king of concerti

Last week was all about easing back into playing. I started practicing Beethoven concerto for the concert coming up on August 1st, and it has been really fun to revisit! Albus has not been a fan though, he really doesn't like the sound of the violin in general, but I don't think that it's a reflection on my playing..! It's just hard for me to disturb the cutest sleeping cat ever when I start practicing (see picture below)... Luckily I know there are plenty of other rooms for him to go snooze in, so I don't feel too bad. I call Beethoven concerto the King of all violin concerti, I love the simplicity and easiness of the music, and I'll be working on making it sound that way for the next month and a half! I've also had the time to go to the gym more regularly, both for yoga and working out, and to stay motivated, I've used a few essential oils. My favorites right now in the practice room are citrus and mint combinations (I love diffusing wild orange and peppermint, or lemon lime and grapefruit), they keep me focused and awake in the heat of South Western Ontario! At the gym, I really like the blend "Breathe" (bay laurel, eucalyptus, peppermint, tea tree, lemon, ravensara and cardamom) on the chest and throat before starting, and Cypress on the legs right before leaving the gym. I've also had a few projects on the side, like trying new recipes ("Super-fast beef hash, baked potatoes, goddess salad and lovely butter beans and bacon" from Jamie Oliver's Meals in minutes, Ian and I really enjoyed it), refinishing an old window that we found on the side of the road to make it a frame to hang pictures and notes in, and gardening. Wow, I didn't really realize how busy we've been until I wrote it down... This week, I'd like to paint, maybe sew something, and of course continue practicing! We'll see how it goes, I'll try to write a post every week, so check back soon! 

Albus sleeping in practice room

Relaxing in my first week of vacation

I just started my vacation a week ago today, and with a lot of accumulated stress from the season at KWS, I am just trying to relax as much as possible... I gave myself a break from violin, at least until tomorrow, because then I have to start practicing for summer gigs (see calendar tab)! This morning, Ian and I went to the patio in our garden, had our coffee, walked our cat Albus in his harness and gardened. I find that gardening is a great way to let go of stress, at this time in our garden there is an amazingly fragant white flower (first picture shown below, I don't know the name, if you do, let me know!), so the smell is great, and I find in general that playing around in dirt is very therapeutic. Anyway, here are a few pictures from the garden this morning, hope you enjoy!