Friday, March 22, 2013

My Kapsch Class Case

I haven't blogged in a long time, it's all on Facebook now, but I am so excited that I have to share this with the whole world, not just my Facebook friends. Last March, I finished making my beautiful cello. A short time before it was finished, I found a cello case in a used junk shop for $5. I did some repairs on it and it has done its job now for a year, but it is tired and I really wanted a new case.

(My handmade cello, viola and violin)

I shopped online and saw all the offerings available in Canada and the USA, but nothing really excited me. Then I stumbled on Kapsch Class Cases in Zagreb, Croatia. Not only are their cases very light, but they are a beautiful shape and I could get any colour that I wanted, and have it either plain or I could design my own. I spent a lot of time googling, but couldn't find any testimonials.

I decided several times that I was just going to buy something here in Canada, but I kept coming back to Kapsch. I was so hesitant to deal with an unknown (here) company on the other side of the world. After many messages back and forth with the wonderful people at Kapsch and a Facebook message to someone whose case was posted on their Facebook page I decided to do it.

I wanted my case to look Canadian, and particularly, reflect this beautiful Haliburton area of Ontario. Autumn is my favourite time of the year and one of the reasons is the beautiful colours of the leaves.

(The beautiful village of Haliburton)

It was such a pleasure to do business with Vedran. I sent him the exact colour (the RGB numbers which I never knew about before) and a collection of maple leaf pictures, along with a general idea of what I was thinking. They sent me a form to fill in with the exact measurements of my cello. 

I must say at this point that I was really anxious about wiring a significant amount of money to the other side of the world. I tend to be suspicious and having taken many fraud reports when I was working, I had some concerns, but I felt pretty good about it after all of the emails back and forth.

The hardest part has been waiting (approximately 8 weeks) to actually have it in my hands.

(The trip my case took from Zagreb, Croatia to Haliburton, Canada)

Much to my surprise, after it was shipped, it arrived by post from Zagreb, Croatia to Haliburton, Canada in less than a week. So here it is, my gorgeous cello case.

I couldn't be happier. The case is everything I hoped for; beautiful, light, and protects my cello well. The transaction with was smooth, professional and friendly. The price was no more than if I'd bought a B@m case. If you're hesitating because Croatia seems so far away, go for it. You'll be glad you did. 

Thanks again Vedran & Tajana. Feel free to use any or all of this post.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Kitchen Project

The kitchen project, aside from a couple of little details, is now essentially complete. Paul and Andrew worked so hard. They worked in the neighbourhood of 16 hours both Tuesday and Wednesday, 12 hours Thursday and 3 1/2 on Friday. Ken and I were helping when we could, staying out of the way when we should and kept them fed and watered, and beer'd them when the time was right.

Here are the pictures.

You can see the blue tile floor, black stove and speckled countertop. There were approximately 15 tiles that were cracked and lifting off of the floor. In the summer they would stick to bare feet. Nasty. The counter had a couple of burn marks. The two level island was the speckled top like the rest of the counter on the lower level, but the upper level was 2" ceramic tile that was different from the rest of the counter and it was impossible to write on it without something underneath. Although it doesn't show, on the work surface of the island there was a huge hole in the top that looked like it was intended for a double sink. There was a cutting board set into it and crumbs would end up in the drawers underneath.

The appliances were a variety of blacks and whites. The fridge was a side by side, which I hate and the ancient dishwasher didn't clean dishes at all. The stove cooked but the oven was inconsistent. There was no backsplash above the counter and the icy blue (almost white) paint had stains on it.

Now you can see the granite counter that is the same on the island and the rest of the counter. The backsplash is fantastic - above the stove it changes to stainless steel.

My stove, range hood, dishwasher and fridge are all stainless steel. The floor tile is black with a matte finish and black grout. Looks like I'm going to have to sweep more often, but it looks fabulous.

Although it doesn't show in the pictures, the sink and faucet were black, and it had scraped to grey in the bottom of the sink. Now they are both black granite/composite. The faucet matches the sink.

Standing in the working area of the kitchen here is a look to the right then to the left.



Then there's the other side of the kitchen that we call the sitting room. It was a separate room when we moved here, but we have it as part of the kitchen now. This is what you saw when we first moved here.

This is what it looks like after the Mister and Gryper opened up the wall and Paul and Andrew replaced the turquoise indoor/outdoor carpeting that had the pretty burn marks from the fire, with porcelain tiles.

Here is before the floor was done.

And now!

We are both delighted. It looks fabulous, it's a great working kitchen and a great party kitchen, which we proved last night when we had our concert band over for our Christmas get together. The guys left around noon, we played a concert in the local nursing home in the afternoon, came home and gave the floor one more quick wash and at 4:30, about 5 1/2 hours after Paul and Andrew finished the crowd started to arrive. Everyone loved the kitchen.

The guys were here from Tuesday morning until Friday morning. The house was in complete turmoil with their equipment in the kitchen and the foyer, and on the deck. The refrigerator and stove were also in the front foyer, the kitchen table and chairs in a corner of the dining room, and stuff in piles where ever we could find the space. Despite the awkward conditions we had a great time. Between the silly antics, the crazy conversations and the constant banter, we laughed ourselves stupid.

Thanks Paul and Andrew!!!

P.S. I just found this pic and thought ... yeah .. I should post it. This shows the sitting room the way it gets used.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

iPhones For Lupper

Last weekend The Grypers and The Cyclin's came for lupper. We had Salmon Baked with Birch Syrup, Carrots with a Birch Syrup Glaze, Steamed Broccoli, Roasted Potatoes and iPhones as the centre piece.

While we were eating, we were talking to Mushing Mum via Cheryl's iPhone.

Gryper & John need to catch up and get iPhones too! We need 6 for a full centre piece.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

My New Toy

My new toy arrived today. It's Cheryl's fault, she got me hooked. My bow is the same model as hers, but right-handed.

Here is a pic The Mister took of me. My form isn't great, but for day one, I don't think I did too bad.
Here is a pic of the target, when I had tp pack it in for the day.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Birthday Lunch

We celebrated The Gryper's Missis' birthday today!

Happy birthday Ma!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Story in Quarters

This is the Mister deep in the throes of creativity.

Four of us are writing a story together, one paragraph at a time.

Should be entertaining. We have no idea where it's going!

Thursday, September 08, 2011


So now I have the convenience of blogging from my iPhone. There is a new blogger app that makes it simple.

This is a test blog, maybe I'll do it more consistently now than I have in the past while.

This is a pic from our campsite at Susan's place. We just arrived here today.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Walking The Dog

When I walk the dog in the morning (and feed the deerflies), to keep it interesting, I've taken a few pix.

This one is a sunrise on Kashagawigamog Lake.

This is a pond where bullfrogs were grunting. It sounded prettier than the picture.

Rocks and roadside gardens.

I liked this large patch of milkweed.

This is my favourite, a closeup of milkweed flowers. No wonder the monarch butterflies love them!

This is a wild raspberry type flower but the name escapes me. I'll have to look it up in my book - which is out in the trailer, so not now.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


It's not easy getting my kids and their kids together all at once. We don't very often get to be together as a family on special occasions because the are all expected to split their time seven ways to Sunday. I try not to add any pressure to an already stressful time.

At Christmas I told them, that I was having a dinner at our place. It would be for Gryper and the Missus and all of my offspring and their spouses.

They were told it was non-negotiable and the only good excuse for not being here was death.

Saturday was the big day. We took pictures, hung out, had a hatchet throwing contest, road dirt bikes. Lots of food and laughs and a fire in the backyard in the evening. The ones who were here Sunday afternoon had the traditional get-together game of "Pit" .... The Mister made himself scarce when it got too noisy as that particular game always does. Granny won ... things are as they should be.

We have now got the 3rd set of five generation pictures in a row. Here's one of the whole gang.

We'll have to make this an annual event.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

BWana The Iguana

Finally I get around to posting the pictures of the double bass.

We finished it last Friday and then had the unveiling party and pot luck about 2 hours after we finished putting the strings on it. Before we put the strings on we took a picture up through the hole in the bottom for the end pin. If you look closely at the top block at the far end, it says BWana. The vertical post you see in the foreground is the sound post.

After the unveiling here we are both very proud of the work we've done and sad to see her go. Ian, her owner, will take her and play her "in the white" for a few weeks and we'll make any adjustments that are needed, then we will varnish her.
This is the back of BWana the Iguana clinging to the scroll. Bethany carved this completely. She did an awesome job. The way we did it was together we worked on the back and the sides. Bethany carved the neck and I carved the front.
Here is BWana from the side.

Here is Ian with his old bass and the new bass. There was no comparison in sound. The new one was the clear winner!
I love this picture of Ian looking down at it and looking quite overwhelmed.
Here is the jam session that followed the pot luck and unveiling. Everyone was so excited at hearing it.

Now it's on to my cello, Lucy. I'm booked in a course for beginning cello in July and I'm planning on playing "Lucy", so no time to goof off.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

My Granddaughter

Mya is a riot. She had everyone in the pharmacy section of the grocery store laughing and commenting.

She was looking them over for about 10 minutes while we were waiting to get a prescription filled. It was hilarious.

I Got a New Toy Too

CG is not the only one! I got a new toy too.

Mine's funner than her lawn mower!
A big sister to my iPhone.

Mine has all kinds of cool apps on it now, not like the bare naked one in the pic!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sigh - Tough Times - seems I can't Post - I trie

Okay, I figured it out.....

This place is gorgeous! I can't post a pic from my iPhone on blogger.

Suffice to say it's really really great. All-inclusive is wild if you've never
Done it before!

Just have to wait for pics.

Signed, fiddling in Dominican Republic - after swimming, snorkeling and playing.

Today: parasailing! Yippee!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I know, I know

It's been a long time since my last post. With FaceBook having all of "The Fam" checking in, it slipped my mind. Not to mention how busy life has been.

Alexis Jean (Lexi)

First, meet our Great Granddaughter, born March 5th. She was bright and wide awake immediately following her birth for about an hour. Her very first outfit that she wore was the bunting bag and hat that I made her.

This it the proud Daddy. Immediately following her birth.

Stay tuned for 5 generation pictures in the very near future.

Double Bass Update

We're hoping that it will be ready to glue together by the end of April. So far, any goals we have set, we've reached early.

The back is complete and the sides are complete. This is the front, which I have done most of the work on. I have about another hour or so with scrapers and the outside will be completely smooth. Then, I'll start the inside which shouldn't take too long. I've made the template for the f-holes and will cut them after the inside is hollowed out. Then, I'll make the bass bar to go inside.

Bethany has been doing most of the work on the neck/scroll/iguana. You can see here that the fingerboard has been glued on. The steps left to do are finishing carving "Bwana", then attach the machines (pegs) and carve the peg box.

We have borrowed a set of clamps from a friend, so there's no reason that we will not be gluing it together and hearing it played by the end of next month. We're both really excited about it.