Monday, November 7, 2011

Ukulele interuptus

Sadly, I'm not making ukes and accessories for a while due to family illness. It would be wonderful if some of you ukulele lovers were to design and make your own! It's a lot of fun, and ends up being a one of a kind special and personal instrument. Send pictures and videos!

Ukes make you happy. Spread the word!


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Ukulele interpretation of Hendrix guitar

This was a fun commission. Hopefully it will be used to create the next wave of history making music. No pressure, you know who :)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Ukulele jewelry

Much more practical than ukulele cookies, but more difficult to bake. I went online to look for ukulele jewelry so I could proudly proclaim my devotion to the ukulele through talisman. I did not find much. Not daunted by this surprising oversight, I decided to come out with a line of my own. After all, the guitar is honored through pendants, earrings, charms etc. and I feel this is disproportionate concentration of homage.

Pretty large learning curve for me, working in Precious Metal Clay (PMC) which is 9.995 silver (as opposed to sterling, which contains alloys). The silver has a binding agent containing particles of silver. When firing, the binding burns away and the remaining silver is "sintered" which I think means all those silver particles fuse together.

In the hands of skilled artists and metalsmiths, some gorgeous sophisticated jewelry has been produced. Unskilled, not so much. However, here are some of my first attempts at making jewelry devoted to the ukulele.

More to come. I'm working on some more complicated designs...banana fronds, flip flops.. reversible designs, and some simplified ones: just the ukulele, like a charm, with a gemstone.

If you are inclined, I urge you to try this media. The possibilities are endless. You can even make small sculptures!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Filigree ukulele series meet the world.

If you want to see the sides, backs, heads, etc. of these new ukes, head on over to my website: Thanks for looking!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Tripplet Ukuleles

Eeenie, meenie, minney, moe.

Work in progress: These three are waiting to be assembled. Just thought I'd share a picture.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Purple Haze

I've been commissioned to make this Monteray Pop Festival guitar played by John Mayer or Jimi Hendrix into a ukulele design! Cool, huh? Does any one know who this Hendrix character is?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Brand new ukulele club!

Starting next Month,
The First Thursday of Every Month!
August 4th 7-8:30 ~ Donations accepted.
with Facilitator Uncle Zac from Norwalk CT

Annie says:

This past Sunday afternoon we had a full house of over 50 Ukulele neophytes and devotees attend Jumpin Jim Beloff's and his lovely wife Liz's, Beginner's and Intermediate Ukulele Lesson. It was met with such enthusiasm that Annie and Tim's dream of a Ukulele Club at the farm is going to happen! Starting next month, Uncle Zac, "the uke guy" from Norwalk has generously offered to facilitate the club which is open to all ukulele players or wannabees. We will have loaner ukulele's for you to play at each gathering, so don't let the lack of a uke deter you from this wonderful opportunity to have fun while making music and meeting new folks.
When you RSVP, let us know if you need a uke and we will hold one for you. And remember:
"Music Self Played, Is Happiness Self Made"!

Sticks and Stones Farm Retreat 201 Huntingtown Road, Newtown, CT 06470 Please RSVP 203-270-8820 Annie

I say:

The Farm is a pretty cool place. They grow moss there. And lots of nice rocks.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Concert ukulele more user friendly.

Well it was almost like going back to square one playing my new ukulele. Every note is in a new place! I'm studying classical music, so that's troublesome when reading traditional musical notation. But I suppose it's good for me, like eating broccoli.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

New concert ukulele

Well I just dug into my credit wallet and bought a concert size ukulele. I wish I hadn't. It's huge! The sound is lovely to be sure, but it's too big. To me, that takes away the charm of the sweet little soprano size that says: "play me!". The concert size (24" as opposed to the soprano's 21"), says: "I am a serious musical instrument. You'd better be a good musician."

I may have an attitude problem.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Ukulele cookies.

What do you think? Each one could have a different chord on it. A great way to learn chords?

Friday, July 8, 2011

Ukes are disappearing!

Just sold two more ukes! Also have a commission for a uke with a theme of "Le Petit Prince", and old children's book from the 40's. It contains much wisdom. Happy me! Gotta get to work!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

July workshops

Who (in Connecticut) doesn't know Jim Beloff? If you don't, or do, consider taking a workshop or two (description to follow) with him on Sunday, July 17th, 12:30-2:30 & 3:30-5:30.

Where? Here's the blurb:
~ Sticks and Stones Farm Retreat ~
201 Huntingtown Road, Newtown CT 06470
$25 a workshop, $45 for both
Preregistration a must. Make Check Payable to Jim Beloff
To save your space call Annie! 203-270-8820

Beginner Ukulele Workshop: introduces you to the basics of playing the ukulele including holding, tuning, strumming and making the chords. We will play through a dozen well-known songs learning new chords, strums, tips and techniques along the way. Bring a GCEA soprano-tuned uke and be ready to have a lot of fun. At the end of the workshop you will have made a new life-long friend—your ukulele! See uke there! Starts at 12:30 SHARP!

Intermediate Ukulele Workshop This workshop takes off from where the beginner workshop ends. More challenging arrangements and chord solos are introduced with sophisticated jazz chord changes. Also, finger-picking patterns and performance techniques will be highlighted. Time will be set aside at end of the workshop for those who would like to play a song. Starts at 3:30 sharp!

*Children over 10 years can attend accompanied by an adult.
*If you would like to attend but don’t have a uke, please let us know.

Jim Beloff is the author of The Ukulele—A Visual History (Backbeat Books) and author, compiler and publisher of the popular Jumpin’ Jim’s series of ukulele songbooks. This series is sold worldwide.
Jim has also recorded several CDs of original songs performed on the ukulele, produced Legends Of Ukulele, a CD compilation for Rhino Records, and made two how-to-play DVDs for Homespun Tapes. In 1999 Jim and his family introduced a new, colorful and low-cost ukulele called the Fluke and later a soprano-sized model, the Flea that have won admirers all over the world. Jim and his wife Liz own Flea Market Music, Inc., a company dedicated to the ukulele. They believe very strongly in their company’s motto, "Uke Can Change The World."

I have taken a workshop with Jim, and it was fun and informative. I'm looking forward to taking the intermediate class this time. Hope to see you there!

Friday, July 1, 2011

The smallest ukulele packs a big little sound!

There's a name for this ukulele, but I forget what it is. Have to get back to you.

I think it might be a Fetus ukulele...? Just kidding.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Be happier with a hand painted ukulele

Welcome to  my Ukes Make You Happy blog. For  my first post, I'd like to show you the most recent ukulele I have made and painted. It's called "Tree Love".

I usually have 2 or three ukes in the works at the same time. I painted the background on this one and there it sat, for a long time. I couldn't figure out what to do with all that dark. To get color on a dark surface, I have to paint the colored areas white, several times. Ugh, what a chore. So I ended up with a more subtle tone-on-tone look, that I like very much.