December 14, 2012

Dashing Through The Snow...

 No. It hasn't snowed in south Florida!
Handsome has been playing concerts for the past two weeks, and 
there are still two more concerts this weekend. That means a lot
of Christmas songs...carols and other festive and lively tunes.

I attended the last pre-concert band rehearsal on Thursday evening 
as I prepared to record the North Port Band performance. It helped to
see the music and find out when and where the solos would occur. I 
really enjoyed listening as I took my notes, and I learned something useful.

I know you've heard of sleigh bells before, but perhaps not in this context.
Web Image - Ludwig Sleigh Bells
This is what sleigh bells look like when they're played by a concert musician.
In order to play them, they're held vertically (bells down) in one hand
and then struck by the other hand to make them jingle. Close your eyes and
you can imagine the horses or reindeer pulling a sleigh through the snow!

During the break in rehearsal, Joanne (who I used to sing with in the Chorale)
came over to tell me that her palm was really bruised from playing the bells.
(She's a member of the percussion section for the band.) I looked at her palm and
could tell that it wouldn't feel good for her to strike either the top of the bells or
 even the top of her bell hand with her sore palm. I had an idea, but I didn't tell her
about it. She soldiered through the rest of the rehearsal and we all went home.
 Saturday, when I got home from Coffee Club, I decided to work on my idea.
I had a brand new package of Dr. Scholl's Arch Support Gel Inserts. 
I had decided that their crescent shape would work perfectly for my purpose.

I grabbed one of my holiday-themed charm packs and chose five different squares.
I also needed two pieces of thin cotton batting and velcro to complete my supply list.

I sandwiched the gel insert between two pieces of batting and then put a piece
of holiday fabric on each side. I trimmed to about 3/4" all the way around the gel
 and then (using a zipper foot) sewed through all layers as closely as I could all around.

I made two straps and after they were attached, I sewed on a single-fold binding.
I hand-stitched the back side of the binding, and then added velcro to the straps as 
my last step. I checked for size as I sewed it together to be sure that the finished 
piece would be a comfortable fit. You can see how it turned out below.
 On Sunday, just before the concert I caught up with Joanne and said I had
a little something for her. I had it on my hand, so that when she saw it she
knew exactly what it was. When I took it off and placed it on her hand she
giggled. She was thrilled to have a pad to protect her hand and said that
she'd be able to really make the bells ring out because she wouldn't be 
afraid to hit them with her palm protected by my invention.

Then I told her that I'd given my creation a name. It's a
Jingle Pad!
She laughed out loud, gave me a hug and headed off to play the concert.

Afterward, she told me that it worked like a charm and said I should 
consider making them to sell. I hadn't thought about that, but I was
glad that I was able to keep my friend from injuring herself for her craft.

Today, I'll be teaching the second session of my applique' class in Venice.
No dashing through the snow, but definitely living in a Christmas wonderland.
Have a great Friday. Are you ready for the weekend?
DonnaAcornSignature

10 friends clicked here to leave a note for me:

The Feathered Nest said...

Oh Donna, you are so precious!!!! And thoughtful too! I bet her jingle pad helped her so very much....I just love how creative you are ~ look at how wonderfully it fit your hand too! If I don't talk to you again, please know I hope you have the most wonderful and blessed Christmas ever dear friend!!! Sending you hugs and love, Dawn

Terri Sue said...

I can't tell you how many times I've seen those played, but being only played "usually" at Christmas, I have wondered if it could be painful. You might have another moneymaker. Just get Handsome to tell all of the percussionists he knows to start spreading it through their unions and you will have order galore coming in at this most busy time of the year.

laurajane said...

Donna you are an absolute genius.A very practical and pretty idea.
Xx

Shirley said...

Donna, You are awesome. You usually find a way to help people and that is absolutely wonderful. If I didn't live so far away I would love to take one of your classes. Have a wonderful weekend. Hugs and Prayers from Your Missouri Friend.

Twyla and Lindsey said...

Oh Donna, how very sweet and thoughtful of you! I believe you can just create anything! You are so talented. I know Joanne is so thankful for your kindness. Twyla

Createology said...

You are brilliant and a wonderful generous caring friend to help the Bells Ring without pain and injury. This little Jingle Pad is beautiful and practical and made from the heart...the PERFECT GIFT. The music you are enjoying must be so relaxing and beautiful. Holiday Bliss Dear...

Raewyn said...

What a great - and thoughtful- idea!! I hope your appliqué class goes well.

Minimiss said...

You're a clever and caring friend, Donna but then we already know that. Enjoy your appique class.

Michelle May said...

Ok..that is just totally cool!

Queenie Believe said...

Donna to the rescue, yay!!! Awesome jingle pad!
Have a great day.
Always, Queenie

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