Project: Scrapbook - The Cellist~

Jessica's talent & interest in music isn't surprising. Prior to my pregnancy, I begged my parents to let me have my 1925 Wurlitzer baby grand that my dad bought for me from one of his customers. They knew I loved playing and although it is truly a beautiful piece of furniture, agreed to part with it for my benefit. While pregnant with Jess, I'd play piano for hours. Performing for her at times, I would sing favorite tunes of Bonnie Raitt, Stevie Nicks, Pat Benatar & Elton John, as if I were a rock star. I'd also play classical recitals of Bach & Beethoven, Sonatas, Christmas carols, and pop tunes from the 60s. I don't have a large repertoire of pieces that I am ultra-familiar with, just a small collection of music I was given by my piano teacher or that were randomly purchased at music stores on the rare occasion, when I longed to learn more or wanted to buy a favorite group's album's music. My husband is a great guitarist. Sometimes he'd play along side with me. Towards the 3rd trimester, you know, when you can barely roll out of bed and your toes look like little piggies on a board, my husband, Marty, would play softly on his guitar to calm my eager spirits. (Eager to have this baby and be able to get in and out of bed easier!) "Honey, sing me Pecan Pie...." I'd often request, and he would. "She's as sweet as one of her pecan pies...." He'd sing in his soft, mellow voice, strumming soothing notes from his childhood guitar. The song is actually called "Angel Eyes".

When Jessica was a baby, literally 10-ish months, she'd *scream* in a high-pitched, crystaline voice, so we dubbed her *Mariah*. I've never heard a baby do this before! She got a huge kick out of it, would become giggly and rapidly kick her feet up & down into the air. Perhaps she was getting me back for all those inutero concerts I'd throw for her because it wasn't just a scream, it was a piercing shrill! I'd laugh at her and say, "Wow, Mariah!" And she'd scream some more with rosey cheeks & twinkling blue eyes and I'd laugh more...

As a young mother, I wanted each of my children to learn how to play a musical instrument. Music has been a friend to me, a cathartic outpouring of love, happiness, sadness and loss, throughout my early childhood and into my adult life. I signed up both the girls for piano lessons with a Russian, music major, named Goulnara Iliasova - a concert pianist. Now, Goulnara was perfect for Jacqueline, since they are cut from the same cloth. Extremely meticulous perfectionists! Serious minded & very conscientious. Jessica? -- Jessi has a fairytale glimmering through her mind most of the time. She *liked* playing piano, she just did not *like* practicing. Goulnara became frustrated with me not supporting the homework she assigned for Jessica. Jacqueline, on the other hand, would do everything Goulnara requested, making life for Goulnara easier. I recognized Goulnara's frustration with Jessica and felt badly for them both. Jessica slowly dropped out of piano lessons. My heart dropped. I feared that she wouldn't go back to it and it saddened me, as a mother, knowing how wonderful music can be. I wasn't pushed to practice as a child and I didn't believe in pressuring my children. If they played music, it was because they were moved from a natural desire to play & learn. Now, looking back, sometimes I wish I had persisted a little simply because as you grow up you don't have the time for lessons. Whether you play or not, at least the knowledge is there if the interest arises again. But ... had I pushed Jessica to play piano, she may not have leaned toward Orchestra in grade school.

One August day, Jessica came home from school toting a HUGE cello inside it's even larger case. I was rather intrigued with her for doing this! Quizzical, actually! It was also a very intimidating instrument to me, not only because it was almost as tall as me but I could never understand how people played stringed instruments! {Where are the notes on it? There aren't any markings on a cello? How do they know if they've hit the right note!? How is she gonna learn that? Where are the sharps & flats?} She informed me (Jessica rarely asks to do anything; she tells me what she is going to do), that she had signed up for orchestra. My first question was, "Why didn't you pick the violin?". It is a smaller instrument and, to me, seemed more feminine at the time. "All the violins were taken. I like this one." she said matter of fact. "Jessi? Are you sure all the violins are taken?" I asked, knowing when Jessica wants to do something, she'll just do it for that reason, and thinking it would be difficult for her to shuttle it back and forth from school. "Yes, Mom.... I want this one!" Mildly disappointed with the choice of instrument and still a little upset that she hadn't proceeded with piano, I wondered secretly to myself whether she would continue playing or give it up after a year. I thought it would be "harder".

Eight years later ... Jessica graduated from high school as the Orchestra President. Her favorite teacher of all time is her Orchestra Teacher, Michelle Brians. Michelle is a lovely, young teacher with a lot of energy, enthusiasm and soft heart. Especially when it came to Jessi, she loved her and would often call upon her to help for tasks in her classroom. I was thankful for Ms. Brians. She made Jessica feel special and often praised her ability to play with feeling. Ms. Brians can play several instruments and has a velvety, jazzy singing voice that she shares with parents at orchestras or class events. She would frequently play piano & sing songs she had composed to her class during their lunch hour! The kids respected and admired her. Jessica also has a lovely singing voice that she has yet to tap into. I hope that she will gain more interest in this, as I love listening to her and her sister sing. To top things off, with her knowledge from orchestra and the few years of piano lessons, last year, Jessica started to dabble on the ol' keyboard and now plays songs from ear or like Cold Play. That just makes me smile ...

I am thankful to God that she chose Cello. She has a strong stage presence that is touched with a warm confidence. She lights up the stage. I love the deep, emotion-grabbing notes that Jessi lulls out of it. And like her Dad, she gets lost in the soul of it. Sometimes into that magical realm of fairies, hobbits & goblins she whisks herself into. Into beautiful dreams of love. Into her soul.

Opting for simple yet interesting introductory pages of the kids scrapbooks, this particular photo of Jessica was converted to black & white and cropped to focus in on her hand & instrument. I love the classical lines, patterns of dress & instrument, and delicate way she holds the neck of the cello...

Materials List ~

  • The Luxury Stack, Pearlized & Metallic, Clr. Pink Leafy Scroll
  • Core'Dinations, Black Magic, Canvas Texture, Clr. Black w/ Pink
  • The Paper Studio, Ribbon Scrap Pack, Clr. Neutral, Clr. (3) - Black, Sheer, & Polka Dot
  • Ties That Bind, Tiger's Eye Tassels, #72030-00086
  • The Paper Studio, Cardstock Stickers, Believe Sticker, #330282, (3)
  • Life's Journey, Metal Art by K&Co, Metal Art Frames (2), Clr. Pewter
  • The Paper Studio, Spare Parts, Slide-on Alpha w/ Stkr Rnd Blk, #RHR-BLK
  • The Paper Studio, Spare Parts, Photo Corner Brads Metallic, #D253-MET, (2) Clr. Pewter
  • The Paper Studio, Spare Parts, Mini-Round Brads, Clr. Black, #D01-BLK, (6) Ant. Black
  • The Paper Studio, Spare Parts, Antique Brads - Round, #DB-101-C, (2) Clr. Pewter, Leaf



  1. Oh my goodness! You are a gal after my own heart! I was stopping by to thank you for the beautiful comment you left for me & instead I stumble upon a dream! I have been a scrapbooker (devoted) for over 12 years now & I am desperately inspired by your gorgeous pages! I just might have to scraplift your color combo on your golf layout! I love the tones :) You are truly creative and inspiring. I had a blast looking through your blog & I can't wait to see what you post in the New year! Have a beautiful New Year and best wishes!
    Oh & Thank you!


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