Monday, June 25, 2012

Scottevest is perfect for a Sailing Trip!

I was so blessed at TBEX12 in Keystone, Colorado, when I became the proud recipient of a red Scottevest. It is the ultimate travel vest with 17 pockets in a lightweight, breathable poly fabric. This company is so awesome they provided these vests for all the attendees at TBEX12. Wow, I am impressed with them and have become a loyal follower.

I will be going on my third week long sailing trip and as I considered what to bring, my vest became my number one item. The living quarters on the 45 foot Hunter sailboat are tight so the less I bring, the better. By wearing my vest, I can breeze through security at the airport by just slipping it off. It also means I don't need to carry a purse and can carry-on my ukulele instead. Additionally, when climbing on and off the sailboat, one must be aware of things carried so they don't slip into the water. Cameras particularly do this. There is a special pocket for the camera and a memory card pocket as well.

Just to give you a better overview of this remarkable travel vest, I'll list some of it's other featured pockets: handwarmer pocket with a water bottle holder and an extendable key holder; lipstick or chap stick pocket; change pocket; eyeglass and chamois pocket with cleaning cloth on elastic cord; two pen pocket; ID pocket for drivers license; Travel Document pocket for passport, etc.; cell phone/MP3 pocket; budbucket pocket x 2 for your earphone buds and a collar connect which holds wires to the Ipod in place; IPad pocket; a secret pocket; a large back pocket. There are also personal area pockets.  The vest is engineered to evenly balance the weight of the things we carry so it's more comfortable than carrying them in a bag. There is also a streamlined look to the vest so items in the pockets do not crate unsightly bulges. How awesome is all this?

When I was handed the vest, I was also given "a tour" of it. I was amazed at the insight put into this marvelous piece of clothing. Their tag line is: Scottevest For the Trip of Your Life.  Vests are not the only clothing they have available. They have pants, shirts, dresses, hoodies, jackets and even men's underwear, all with their pockets.  I hope to start a collection of Scottevest clothing for my many travels and good times! I think I'll start a gift registry with Scottevest!

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Friday, June 22, 2012

How This Blog Got It's Name

It all started with a teacup.
I inherited some lovely registered English bone china tea cups from my husband's side of the family. Each cup and matching saucer was different from all the others. The collection was too exquisite to use but I had fallen in love with them. I soon discovered that other English bone china tea cups could be purchased at reasonable prices from various stores, including places like TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Ross' and even garage sales. So my collecting began. Soon I had many beautiful cups and saucers. I displayed these on a wall rack and loved admiring them. A few favorites I used,  for coffee, not tea. I was not a tea drinker.

However, one night inspiration struck. I was laying in bed when it occurred to me that I could start a business bringing old fashioned tea parties to the elderly and homebound. I was very excited with this possibility and set about doing exactly that. I got copyrighted and trademarked for Travelling Tea Lady. I had brochures made and started my business.

My table settings were gorgeous. I used the hand made quilts I had sewn for the table coverings. This set the color scheme or holiday theme for each party. I had a variety of two and three tiered plate racks and my menu was luscious and loaded with both savory and sweet treats.
Autumn themed tea party
Christmas themed tea party
 I had a very popular business with compliments that my tea parties were outdoing the Savoy in England and the Brown Palace in Denver. I offered a complete package of entertainment. Background music, colorful arrangements of food and decorations, lovely tea pots with the best teas available were brought to the homes of those who wanted to entertain but could no longer do it themselves. I had one faithful customer that booked me every month. She delighted in inviting her neighbors, church ladies, card group ladies, relatives and friends for a royal tea party. 

My business was as much of a ministry as it was a lucrative career. Eventually, to the dismay of my customers, I closed up the tea shop and got a "real" job. However, the name continues and many of the precious little ladies I served are no longer with us but I hope I was able to bring them the joy of celebrating with their friends.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Playing My Uke

Tonight I am focused on playing my ukulele. About a year and a half ago my dear friend, Christy, and our husbands, sailed from Marina del Rey to Catalina Island. Christy and I found a store on the island that sold the prettiest ukuleles I had ever seen. With zero, absolute nada musical knowledge or expertise Christy and I decided to become ukulele players. After all, the uke is small,and  it only has four strings. What could be so hard about this? My first ukulele was hot pink with white flowers and I named her "Tahlula". I loved my little ukulele so much that I was determined I would learn to play her. With only a slight hesitation, I took Tahlula to my first Uke Song Circle in my town, Arvada, It was quite a shock in the first place to find there were other ukulele players right here in my own home town but I was delighted at how welcoming they were to a newbie like me. At my very first meeting, the leader looked at my pretty little uke and said I could "borrow" one of his for the evening. Later I found out Tahlula was considered more a toy than a serious musical instrument. However, I was hooked and determined to conquer this musical oddity I had tripped upon.  

In the pictures above you can see I have come down with the dreaded UAS disease.."Ukulele Acquisition Syndrome". My total includes Tahula, another Aloha soprano, a Mitchell Concert and a soprano Kala Travelling Uke.  I have also branched out into the delightful world of all things Uke. I have T-shirts, posters, tuners, music stands and notebooks full of song sheets and plenty of music books full of songs I hope to one day be able to play.

On one of our sailing trips, Christy and I found out that a favorite, awesome, ukulele player we had fallen in love with, Aldrine Guerrero, was going to be in California giving a workshop and concert at the same time we were in town. We delayed sailing a day to meet up again with Aldrine. We had met him at the Denver Uke Fest in 2011. 
Christy, Me and Aldrine at Uke Fest 2011 in Denver
While in this great ukulele store, Island Bazaar, in Huntington Beach, California, (below) Christy and I found matching soprano Kala travelling ukuleles. They even have a compass on them so we won't get lost.  
Me and Aldrine at Island Bazaar

Highlights of my uke adventures have been signing up as a VIP attendee at two Ukulele Festivals in Denver. This year I felt like a  groupie waiting to have my travelling ukulele (see story of it above) signed by the world famous Jake Shimabukuro 

See how we lovingly gaze into each other's eyes! Ahhhh

My travelling Kala uke getting signed by Jake Shimabukuro

Christy and her husband, David, are my faithful partners in fun. So far I haven't been able to convince my husband to play the uke. He's happy with his alto saxophone and clarinet.  At the Uke Fest this year, Christy and I were unexpectedly photographed by the Denver Post.  I found this picture on line of us in one of our workshops. You can see how hard we are concentrating. We really want to learn to play our matching Kala tavelling ukes.  

The Denver Ukulele Community. is my home base when I'm waiting for the next annual Uke Fest to roll around.  (You can find me in the red sweater on the changing pictures at the top of the web page.) This group is tons of fun and I can sing and play, as best as I can, until my heart is content at their monthly meetings. They welcome one and all and never lack in being "awesome" as our fearless leader, Doug Brown,   loudly proclaims. 

It's been quite an adventure since buying my first, pretty ukulele, Tahlula. I have come a long ways in learning chords and strums and even a few songs. Practice is mostly what I need and that will come between my blogs and full life of many other things. I'll keep you posted on my progress. 

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