Thursday, March 29, 2012

IBOX has Great Sound

I am not often interested in  the promotional stagings in store aisles, today was different. Well you can't resist stopping to see how the great music was coming out of the empty pizza box! The young man smiled, he had me at his table for a demo.  The little box with a couple little wires for connecting to the audio port on electronics was making some big sound. Lap Top, ipad, phone, ipod anything where you might want  to project a larger volume. But wait personalize that volume to the setting, just me so stick it to a drink container.

This little piece separates from the main box and you can stick it to almost anything to project sound. I know you are shaking your head , I was skeptical but then the young man said beach this summer and stuck the little pod onto a Styrofoam cooler.....enough sound for the whole beach!

You can play music from a manila folder!

I had to keep experimenting...

oh yea it plays really well on a cough drop bag!

This little gadget can take my sounds from my devices and share everywhere- how fun is that?

you can check out more about IBOX on their site

I figured you would still be skeptical so I made a video, you can see it working here:

I just love to find new technology to help my storytelling. This little piece will be for work and fun. I'm sounding off for the IBOX     I LOVE IT!

IBOX is available in test markets and main stream marketing in June 2012.
My local BJ's will have the promo table up this weekend only!
I was able to get mine at below the price on their website as part of the promotion.

other reviews:

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Mystic Seaport Sea Chantey Class

I tried ignoring the posting for this class.  I went back and looked again. There is definitely something to this music that made me sign up for class for 4 Saturdays in the spring! I have always felt the draw of the sea, that remaining salt water in the veins from  generations of family who loved and worked the sea.
First class was so much fun. We sang many  of the songs and now are choosing a song we will sing the lead on. My intent of learning some of these is to be an addition and understanding for a nautical epic I'm working on.
                                                     I am drawn to the images and scenes of the nautical world. The simple knots and coiled ropes, the ships at dock the ripples on still water and the gull overhead.
Against a gray sky two crew members climb aloft to tend a ship in port at Mystic. After class I wandered the village for a few minutes snapping pictures. It was a call of a gull that made me look up, as if to say you didnt see this and I took the quick moment to focus and capture the image. Somehow with the singing of the music and understanding the kind of ships work that the songs were created for makes it all seem much more alive.

other sea posts:

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Impressed at Garner Storytelling Festival

      I was visiting North Carolina and did a couple of mornings of storytelling at my granddaughters pre-school. It is entirely my pleasure to bring storytelling to these little listeners many hearing live storytelling for the very first time. It marked the beginning of a new story...
I posted the picture on my Facebook page and received a message from storyteller Willa Brigham  telling me about a festival coming up in the town of Garner, NC.  It was decided I would take my granddaughter to the festival and introduce her fully to Grandma's world of story.

Garner Storytelling Festival is a magical mix of professionals and school children sharing a stage and their stories, along with music, poetry and puppetry. Eleven schools and 2 library systems were involved so the energy level was high. This was the festivals ninth year and you could tell as it worked like a well oiled machine, seamlessly moving from the opening performance to the breakout sessions.

As student storytellers took their turn a professional stood there to welcome them to the stage and thank them after their story. The stories shared by the youngsters were gathered from books or original and all crafted well and shared with poise and professionalism far beyond their years. It is a great piece of work to prepare and train these young stars to shine in that moment, I was more than impressed! Faces were beaming as students walked back to seats after sharing their story, success and those moments in the lights certainly left a glow on each child.
           Professionals at the festival this year were; Timmy and Susana Abell, the featured artists. ( please return or follow me for the next installment, in a few days  a review of a CD, Stories to Grow On ; by Timmy Abell). Sharing the stage Willa Brigham, Emmy Award winning host of the PBS television show Smart Start Kids, John Golden  a storyteller of North Carolina's rich history and Cyndi Bailey Morgan a teller of Jack Tales and International  folk stories.
       Behind the scenes there must have been some long hours securing the long list of supporters, coordinating the schools, developing literacy links to curriculum, juggling schedules, contracts, materials, site organization, and registrations. We all know about the silent work of many and I am sure there is a great team behind this great day of story.  I know I was warmly greeted and welcomed and felt at home in this gem of Wake County libraries  and educational institutions. Bravo for a job well done and stories to dream on for a long time to come!

prior blogs from the North Carolina trip:

Monday, March 12, 2012

Duke Gardens Magic pt 2

Want to make a magical tour of Duke Gardens more so? How to tour a large public garden with a toddler and enjoy it? Bring a story for sharing and create the magic for a wonderful day.
Here is the recipe for success:

To one toddler age 2( she will correct you and tell you she is ALMOST 3!)
add a story with characters and travel.

Our Story:
3 Billy Goats Gruff

Here is a link to an edition of the story you can buy.

Imagine a troll here!
add to story 

add one
A stick, common place, under the tree, given by nature variety

Now empower the stick to rid bridges of fear causing trolls! With the enabled  wand toting tot you are now off to rid the gardens a storytelling's legendary goat chomping troll!

Watch the winding paths and many bridges, each an opportunity to exercise the new wand.

Which way to the next bridge?
Trip trap trip trap overthe bridge
Abracadabra!! Free to cross!

                                                            Presto Magic! No troll here!
                                                        Onward we have power now!!

                                                     no problems here, Grandma!
                                                More Bridges, YEEAAA!
                                            Brother Turtle happy with the troll ridding work!
                                    Sister Squirrel laughed when the trolls ran from the gardens!
Now you can just relax and enjoy their beauty, Sarah P. Duke Gardens at Durham North Carolina
                      Thanks for coming to visit again! What story will go on our next visit?
                                                                      Wait and See!

Here is the link to part 1 thanks!

another NC visit you might like:

website for the gardens:

Friday, March 9, 2012

Duke University; Garden Magic in the Making pt. 1

A spring day of warm sun, gentle breeze, scent of flowers and bird song was perfected by a visit to Sarah P.. Duke Gardens in Durham  NC. Join my photo tour of our magical couple of hours and celebrate spring!

The water cascading from this fountain was captivating. The flowers in the center of the fountain are a combination of metal and enamel, they are Iris - my favorite.

Nothing says Grand Gardens more than an exquisite fountain as an entry focal point.  Duke Gardens reminded me of a visit long ago to Longwood Gardens in Pa.  Formal gardens with incredible landscape vistas and no shortage of gardeners to keep it looking perfect even as the season is renewed and  so much is to be done.

This is the fountain at the center of that focal point it is joyous and surrounded by seating and beds of flowers to be the burst of color expected in a few short weeks.

Similar to the grand landscapes of Newport RI, these gardens are enhanced by formal structures for rest and contemplation.

A professional photographer and a bride made their way through the gardens capturing perfect memories.
                               AHHHH! Spring is in the air!  

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Museum of Life and Science Durham NC

Today I visited the Museum of Life and Science  at 433 W. Murray Ave. Durham, NC 27704 What a great day we had!

Toddlers, Moms and Grandmas all found things to truly enjoy. My breath was taken away by the magic of the butterfly house. The girls had so much fun on the Dinosaur Trail.

 We walked the paved road to the Wildlife exhibits. The weather had shifted over night from the cold dreary gray to warm sun and blue skies and it was this weather that must have made the animals so happy they we out and about. There was a bear bathing at the waterfall. After bear shook off he ran across the incredibly well designed and extra large compound to challenge his friend to a wrestling match. What a treat to witness the natural joy of spring.
Watch a video of the bears:

On to the Lemur compound. Here the ring tail wonders were very active. This compound gave them natural environment with the  added attraction of  playing landscaping.  Our bugs, butterflies, dinosaurs and farm animals wore us all out and we didn't even explore the  Catch the Wind section. On my next trip to North Carolina I am going to be sure to visit the  Museum of Life and Science with my Grandchildren, I recommend you visit too.

                                                              Caboose is at the end!
Link to another day another museum:

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Cloud Story Garden

     I was flying south this week and marveled at the incredible cloud formations . Leaving a snow and ice filled Connecticut I flew to Detroit over an ocean of  rolling sea like clouds. Great furrows and ripples small, decorated the  sky below our wing. Some clouds were of cotton candy consistency and others looked heavy with pending storm moisture.  They all reminded me of stories with clouds like Jack in the Beanstalk. This was certainly the world Jack mounted his beanstalk to find.
There is Dorothy's clouded sky that brought on the tornado that whisked her to Oz.  Some of these clouds hid that menacing force beneath that billowing pretense of peace.

This river view reminded me of a segment of Around the World in 80 Days,the Jules Verne classic. I recently read a passage with a young man who loved the vocabulary and the time difference. We talked about all the things you might see traveling around the world.

As we got south of the huge storm that gripped most of the nation I was entranced by natures order in  the cloud formation out my window. This is the furrows and seedlings of greater things to come. It is the very beginning and the clouds planted will travel on and who knows what they will drop. New England will probably get snow from this  garden where North Carolina will get a spring rain.

Planting seeds of story

Now my thoughts turn to music of clouds and first to come up from musical memory is the Judy Garland classic, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow". Not particularly a cloud song it certainly celebrates the survival of the tornado in The Wizard of Oz and the magic and promise of a rainbow in the sky.

My second song is the  1970 Joni Mitchell hit, "Both Sides Now". This was one of the first pop songs I learned to sing. I thought of the words to this song several times on my flight this week. "...I've looked at clouds from both sides now, from up and down and still some how, it's cloud illusions I recall...I really don't know clouds at all".