Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Hello everyone!
It has been a while since I put up a post.

The soap shop is doing well.  We make the soap and it goes as quickly as we make it.  Look for a new special Holiday scent coming soon.

In violin news, I can report I have a big smile on my face.   The online project that I have been working on, Thaxted with my friends at published!!!!!    I am so pleased with the result.

Happy Fall and November.  

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Happy Fourth of July and Summer!

Happy Fourth of July.. and actually Happy Summer Days to all!

About the Violin:
  • I have been practicing my Star Spangled Banner - much easier and prettier than last year.
  • I have been enjoying a bit of fun playing some "fiddle" type tunes.  Stiches in my Britches.   A friend sent me a link to jam along with a video. I think it will be fun. I can't wait to get up to speed and get some toe tapping. 
  • I am still working on Thaxted, from Gustav Holst's Jupiter, a project on the site.   Goals after Thaxted are to get back to a version of Swan Lake, and a few other songs.
Georgia Peach homemade olive oil soapAbout Soap:
I made a new soap. Georgia Peach, with a hint of clove.  It is lovely and so summery fresh.  To order Click Here.

About Books:
I am so thrilled that I am reading with my old book club and some dear friends.  We are reading  The Fall of Giants by Ken Follett.  We had a July 1st start date.  I am enjoying the books so far. I am also reading Pillars of the Earth by the same Author at the same time.  This will be a test on my brain.  

About Knitting:
I am working on Vodka Lemonade.  I call it Vodka Pink Lemonade.  I will start the sleeves this weekend.  I can't wait to see it finished.   It has been an enjoyable knit, mostly cruising and an occasional lace reward to break up a lot of stockinette stitch.   I found a little crochet pattern that I might work into something spiffy and fun for my newest grand daughter. (My Niece brought this to my attention). So very cute right?

I am planning on having a great Summer of knitting, violin, quilting, friends, and grand children.  I do have a busy work schedule this summer, so the hobbies and fun are carefully budgeted in to my life. With extreme pleasure, of course!  Any great plans that you would love to share?

I hope to have some new soap and new songs under my belt the next time I check in with everyone.  Maybe even a few summer escapades to share as I am now a bicycle rider....( to be continued.........)

Sunday, June 8, 2014

What Happened to May?

May slipped by.... and now the first week of June has blinked by as well.  Summer is here to stay.  I don't mind. I am used to California, after 48 years I am seasoned triple digit survivor.

HomeGoodsByToni has a Facebook Page. Welcome all.   My partner and daughter is usually the voice behind the page, but if you  tag me I see the comments and respond also.  Like the page to hear  about the great specials each week.

HomeGoodsByToni had a soap event in May. It was at Bounce U, a fund raiser for Make a Wish Foundation. It was our first official public appearance. We had a blast, new scents, and soaps and a lot of happy soap buyers.  Pictured is Jessica, what a cutie.

Violin News:  I am working on a project with the fine friends at on "Thaxted."  I will keep you all  posted.  I might even have a video by June 20th to share. Yes, that is a deadline, go ahead give me a bit of pressure.  I have a nice online friend helping me get the "Fiddle" and the "Jig" in to my Swallowtail Jig. So he gave me a little song called Stitches in my Britches to play. It is really fun.  I might have a clip on that one soon also.  I am playing 45 minutes to 1.5 hours a day.  I see progress at times and other times it feels I am not making progress. 

On Memorial Day, I thought it would be fun to see how well I could play The Star Spangled Banner. Last year I learned and practice for 3 months to make a somewhat sketchy video to post in a Fourth of July Forum.  This year I pulled out the sheet music and had it decent in about 30 minutes.  That is progress I told myself.   That lead to a binge of pulling out sheet music from songs from a year ago and playing them, and I have to say I feel happier in the whole over all progress.  Especially since songs from a year ago had the music marked with the letter number over the note, and I had learning tapes on my violin.

 Spring and Summer has brought forth some mediocre gardening and flowers. But I am enjoying the fruits of the labor of my watering.

and a bit of mediocre photography also.

On the craft front:

A sweater  is emerging from my needles, and a cheerful quilt is on the way.
More about the projects later.  I am behind in blogging.   I'd like to sit down and read some soon also.   I 'd love to hear from everyone.   Have a great week, thanks for stopping by.


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Dexter's Domain and Spring 2014

Dexter is very happy this time of year.  Cool mornings and a lot of shade and bugs!    What more could a hound want.
I love the roses.   These Roses always bloom so fully this time of year.  I always think of my daughter and prom when they bloom.  Good memories and hearty flowers. They thrive on neglect, and I am oh so thankful.

*edited this was pre-rainy weather.  :). Happy rain drops!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Lavender Tea Soap

 Lavender Tea Soap with Lemon.

The soap is our usual 100% Olive Oil base.  There are finely ground lavender buds in the body of the soap. And to make it pretty the bottom is set with full lavender blossoms.  The scent is light and reminiscent of Tea.  The soap has high quality lemon essential oil.  There is no artificial coloring in the soap.  It is one of our most natural bars, that just happens to be lovely also.

Our most popular selling soap - we can hardly keep in it stock.  Raspberry Vanilla.  (pure olive oil base, Sun-ripened Raspberry fragrance with Vanilla Bean Oil, and smidge of  food coloring to make it pretty).

What's Cooking (besides soap)

This past  week I had a carb craving ... specifically sugar/dessert type craving.  So I hit the internet for low carb cheesecake. I am glad I did.  I learned to use almond meal for crust. (mighty tasty) and I have a delicious low carb yummy treat.

The recipe is here ...
I give this recipe a five stars.  It was easy to make and delicious. (Disclosure..this post was supposed to go out a week ago... I have been inhaling carbs for the past week.)

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Violin News - Sundays are Violin Days

Sundays are good days for violin..well for me an especially good day.  I get to play throughout the day and I get a lot of string time. Soap is cooking and I get to blog and play the violin. 

There are three songs that I keep playing and playing.  I have never mastered them  by any means and the last few weeks I spend an hour each day practicing them.

 1. The Godfather Theme  ... I need to get it right, I don't a want someone to breaka my face).
 2. SwallowTail Jig... seems to be the song that keeps me in the fiddle land instead of my lofty dreams of all classical violin.
3. Minuet 1, Bach ... the song at the end of the first violin book.  It seems to me I play it WELL, I can seriously graduate to book 2.

I am hoping that in the next Sundays to come I will have sound clips to share with  you and I hope that on Sundays you will join in...what are you playing? What would you like to play?   What is on your to do list ?

Happy Sunday.

Peace and Cheer.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

On April Gardening

Hello and Happy Saturday.

This week there was some time for gardening. My regular yard, trees, scrub, flower beds are a mess.  I was overwhelmed.  So I focused on the potted garden.

I had a good time out in the semi sunshine planting.  The goal here was to put in some Pansies and Sweet Peas.(Okay Spell check made me spell Pansies like that....I hope it is right).
 That was before....Here is after.  (Noelle in the picture)
The Sweet  Peas are not fairing super well.. I hope that changes. 

I am hoping for a nice place to sit and soak up the sun and play some violin songs/fiddle tunes.
I mean my noise can't hardly be as bad as weed eaters, leaf blowers, lawn  mowers, kids, dogs, and traffic.  Ah...Suburbia.

This afternoon a nice batch of Eucalyptus Mint is far as soap.

Happy Weekend.

Toni  (note to self ..clean dirt smudges of garden pots..)

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

On the needles and out of the molds

On the needles.....
I have Celaeno, a beaded shawlette coming along nicely.  Also a Corrugated Baktus scarf. It is knit night yahoo!!

Out of the molds... 
(Sneak peak)
A very natural soap...with essential oil.   And a new soap mold... Lavender Vanilla has a new look!  

Into the garden... Sugar snap peas.  

Happy Wednesday to all!!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Formerly - A Circle of Books

Hello Friends!

I have blogged for years at A Circle of Books (books and reviews) and A Blog of My Own (crafts and family).  I am starting it all up fresh and new from a new blog where I can write about all the things that I like to share.

I hope that many of my blogger friends will join me again.  I hope my old and new Facebook friends will join in and read also.  I also would love to see my new friends from the Fiddle Forum here.

I still read and knit.  However lately.... I play violin, I make Soap and I cook.    I play violin obsessively whenever I am not making soap or cooking.

So what am I going to be gabbing about?

Homemade soap has become a great passion for me.  Ever since I have made it and tried it, I can't imagine not making it.  I am on a fresh journey with my Soap Shop with the help of my lovely daughter, Jessica who keeps things organized and in tip top shape.    I can't wait to release new soaps for  our soap customers.

I love to talk about violin, violin music, and all kinds of classical music.  I am also ready to finally share some sound clips of my violin progress and I hope that we can have a lot of great violin conversations here.  I am casually learning the guitar also.

Knitting, oh yes I still knit and love to share and talk about knitting projects.   I love my knitting group and I hope that we get to pow wow here also.

Books, I still read and occasionally I would like to review a book and get some literary discussions going on.  I value all the reviews and input from years of bloggers that became such lovely friends.

There will be a lot of changes and additions to this blog over the next weeks. (sidebars of Dexter, Soundcloud, photography, and all things cool!)  I hope everyone enjoys and comes by often.

Thank you!  I am so very excited about all of this.

Peace and Cheer!