Ordering a Mask

There are a few options for ordering a mask (style and pattern). Email me ( with the information below.

If you want to choose from ones I already have made up, check this link. Email me the size/color combo(s).

1) Which Style do you want?

ALL styles have a pocket at the top for a nose wire, which is removable for washing or replacement, and are 2-layer with a quilting cotton or batik front, and cotton back.

Style 1: Traditional Ear-Elastic

This mask is easy to take on and off, and the elastic is sewn in, so should hold up to long-term wear. It requires sizing, so please measure your face and include these numbers:

Measurement: from the little cartilage nub in the ear, across the tip of the nose, to the other side (no need to form against the cheeks or squish your nose).


Style 2: Adjustable – tie to length

This mask has round elastic which you’ll tie yourself to any length you want, to optimize fit without needing to measure. It has more flexibility, but you’ll have a knot to contend with and it requires some fiddling at first until you get the elastic tied to the correct length.


Style 3: Adjustable – lanyard style

This mask loops around your ears, then the strap tightens behind your head with a plastic toggle. It can be thrown in the wash, but I advise a lingerie bag, since the strap can easily tangle in the agitator or other clothing.


2) What fabric do you want on the front?

If you want to choose from ones I already have made up, check this link. Email me the size/color combo(s).

Otherwise, suggest a few favorite fabrics from My Fabric List (I suggest sending a few, just in case one is gone)


Fabric for masks

Fabrics for mask fronts

This is the outside of the mask that the world sees. Most are standard cotton. If they are different, I’ve noted it next to the fabric name.

The inside will be either cotton jersey or a breathable cotton. Let me know if you have a preference.

01 – White and silver music

02 – black music

03 – patriotic music (glittery)

04 – sharks

05 – Gramma’s red check


06 – brown swirls

08 – blue and tan plaid (thin)

09 – brown plaid (thin)

15 – garden

18 – whales

19 – brown with dots

20 – green and yellow

21 – Plant cell batik

22 – Turtle batik

23 – light blue batik

24 – teal with texture

26 – blue and green strokes

27 – royal blue coral batik

28 – teal coral batik

60 – blue bubbles

29 – purple and blue bubble batik

30 – green and blue bubble batik

31 – cream coral batik

32 – pink weave (thin)

33 – mint colored solid

34 – black

35 – light blue

37 – teal tie dye

38 – gray and tan dots

39 – striped seagulls and sayings

40 – orange tie dye

41 – swirls

42 – green abstract

43 – leaves

44 – Olaf

45 – solid medium blue

46 – stripes (not 100% cotton)

47 – Grey Sateen (thicker)

48 – Tan (thicker)

49 – Tan (thinner) – ran out of woven, now solid tan

50- bandana fabric (thinner)

51 – lighthouses (upholstery fabric, still breathable)

52 – science girls (very little left)

53 – purple flowers batik

54 – light purple plants batik

55 – Fish batik

56 – navy bubble batik

57 – cream swirl batik

58 – mushrooms

59 – solid pink


61 – green topo batik

62 – solid orange

63 – light purple woven (lighter)

64 – blue and green dots

65 – floral

71 – White Polka Dots

72 – Red Spots

73 – Green triangle leaves

74 – Blue Squares

75 – Green Scribbles

76 – Green fronds

77 – Brown Circles

78- Brown Emblems

79 – Mermaids

80 – Ducks

81 – Polka Red

82 – Stripe Green

83 – Polka Gray

84 – Checks Gray

85 – Stars Gray

86 – Stars Teal

87 – Flowers Teal

Mask Instructions

Crafting, pandemic edition.

I’ve been making masks over the past few months, and wanted to put my method up with a few pictures in case it’s helpful for anyone. Here’s what they look like finished. They loop around the ears like medical masks, and have a removable nose wire.   Thanks to everyone who sent me pictures!  From them, I can tell that my face is smaller than average, so I’m making the masks bigger now 🙂




1 – Cut 9×7.5″ square of two fabrics, one for the front, one for the back. I use 100% cotton quilting fabric for the front, and prefer a t-shirt material/jersey/flannel for the back, since it’s softer against my face. Put them right sides together.

2 – In the seam allowance on the back of the stiffer layer, mark where you want to attach the elastic. I go up a bit from the bottom, and down from the top far enough that it will be just below the fold for the wire pocket.

3 – cut elastic to desired lengths. This will depend on which elastic you’re using, but 7″ per side works for a medium-size mask with what I’ve been using (loose on me but still functional, the right size for most folks I’ve talked to).

4 – Sew around the edges, leaving a gap at the bottom for turning, and insert the elastics as you go, with the loop on the inside. I leave a presser-foot-width seam allowance. If using jersey, I find it much easier to sew with the cotton side on top, since the jersey stretches a bit.

I use long needlenose pliers to make it easier to position the elastic where I want it. The elastic is shorter than the distance between the attachment points, so I found it easier to position as I go rather than trying to pin ahead of time.  If using round elastic, sew over it a few times to ensure it’s secure.


5 – Clip the corners, then flip right-side-out.  Push out the corners so they’re crisp.

6 – Iron the seams (be careful of the elastic if it isn’t heat resistant – I’ve melted several!). Fold the top seam over about 1/4-1/3″ onto the back and iron well. Then sew it down as close to the bottom edge as possible to leave a pocket to slide the nose wire into.

7 – Iron 3 pleats into the mask. I iron in half, then the top in quarters. I iron the bottom at slightly less than a quarter. Then use these as guidelines for pinning. With the pleats, I aim for 3-4″ height.



8 – Top stitch around the remaining 3 sides, making sure to leave the ends of the top pocket open, and making sure the gap in the bottom seam is fully closed.

9 – Wash (I use cool water with unscented detergent, then dry in the dryer on medium heat). Then I re-iron the pleats because I don’t like wrinkles.



Music Storage – Part 1

After many years of inadequate storage/organization, I’m embarking (slowly) on a voyage to organize my music.

Goals for storage:

  • Easy to find by instrumentation
  • Fits in my Ikea Kallax shelves
  • Portable for rehearsals away from home
  • Fits paper that’s 10×13 if possible, but 9×12 a must

I have found an inexpensive, temporary solution. Here are the pros and cons. Any suggestions welcome!

I currently have two brands of plastic, latching cases. I bought both at Michael’s (best price), but links to Amazon below.

1)  Iris Portable Project Cases (link)

Interior dimensions 12 1/2 x 10 1/8 x 2 1/4 (inches).  But it’s actually 3″ thick all told; there’s a lot of dead space in the lid that’s only useful if you’re willing to stack above the base height and close the lid carefully. Then you get 2.5″ of thickness (lid bumps in, so maybe 2.75″ if it’s letter sized and you’re not in a hurry).


The latches on these are ok. They’re just the plastic bending hinges, so I don’t know how they’ll hold up long term, but I got 6 and the plastic wasn’t warped on any of them, and the seal with a satisfying click.  They’re plenty large for nearly all my music. They stack nicely, and lock reasonably securely into the box below. The just barely fit in my bookcase, so that’s perfect; no dead space.  They are thicker than I need for most categories of music though, so while I have plenty o f 2-oboe and bassoon trios to fill a whole box, they’re not very efficient for other categories.  I know I can combine 2 or 3 categories in one box, but that defeats the ‘portability’ qualifier, since it means I drag a lot of extra weight around with me.


2) Iris Slim Portable Project Cases (link)

I wanted to love these. I wanted them to be a thinner version of the above case, so they’d stack neatly, but be more efficient for arrangements I have fewer pieces of. They failed on so many counts, they went back immediately.

  • Different dimensions than their thicker counterparts
  • Don’t stack with the larger size
  • Latches are super cheap, and half of them didn’t even engage when brand new
  • Plastic was thinner, and deformed more readily


3) Iris Slim Portable Project Cases with Buckle (link)

My feeling about these cases is incredibly mixed, but I got a good deal and have no better solution, so this is what most of my music is in at the moment.

Interior dimensions: 9.25″ x 12.25″ x 1.5″  They’re not much more than 1.75″ tall, so much more reasonable for most of the volumes of music I need to store. They don’t fit 10×13 music… this is only the problem for the occasional piece or two, and those go in the larger cases.  I really like the buckle; they’ve stayed closed so far when being thrown into gig bags, randomly in the back of the car, etc. The big problem with these is that the plastic is too thin, and the sides bow. They have a great channel to securely close, but the channel doesn’t always line up because of the distorted sides. They also don’t lock into each other when they stack. So when you pull out one, the whole stack falls over.

I also used some of my spare scrapbook paper boxes to hold the other stuff, including some ones meant for 12×12 paper to hold orchestral parts (not shown).  I really preferred my old method of using letter-size hanging files inside the plastic holders and magazine files, but too much of my music is 9×12 for this to work anymore. And the legal size ones still don’t help, since 10×13 paper is too wide for them.  I’m happy with a mixed solution, if anyone has other suggestions!

Or maybe we should develop a line of office supplies targeted toward 10×13 paper…  How is this not a thing?


Gift Baskets!

The Renaissance Fair on 12/1 was a great event; with music, food, and great local crafts. I had a great time: Saw so many friends, did some holiday shopping, and met a lot of new, interesting people.

I put together gift baskets using Beautycounter products for the fair, and have some remaining.  If you’re not done with your holiday shopping yet and see something that interests you, let me know! I’m happy to ship them as well if you’re not local.

Beautycounter is all about safer, high-performing ingredients, in products produced sustainably and responsibly. Let me know if you’re interested in more information!

Mozart K406 Double Reed Quintet – Performance

I’m really a huge fan of some of Mozart’s chamber works. In particular, I’ve always enjoyed his Serenade for Winds in C minor (K388), but it’s hard to get a group of 8 together to play chamber music on a regular basis. So you can imagine my excitement to learn that Mozart himself arranged the Serenade for a viola-quintet (K406), which translates really well back into a wind piece – for two oboes, two English horns, and bassoon! We played two movements from this past January in the Brockton Symphony chamber concert. What fun!

Melanie Hayn & Tegan Sutherland – Oboe

Mark Finklestein & Ashley Perry – English Horn

Bob Gemmell – Bassoon

Tweaks to Windows 8: Part 1

There are several things in Windows 8 that are clearly not meant for people using this OS for business or science. So this is a list (updated as necessary) of the tweaks I’ve found necessary to be as productive in 8 as I was in 7.

First, if you right-click the start screen icon on the taskbar, you can get to some of the things that used to be in the start menu: control panel, shut down, etc.


1a)The default search only finds files if they’re in libraries, which I don’t use. So select Indexing Options in the Control Panel, click the Modify button and add additional drives and folders that you want to be searchable.
1b) I also don’t want to search the web from the search pane, just my computer! Disable the online component via the Settings charm > Change PC settings > Search.
1c) Want to search from the desktop rather than going to the start screen? Keyboard shortcut [Windows) + S opens a search bar.

2) Booting. I almost never use the tablet-friendly app versions of programs… it’s a laptop and I want my desktop! So:
2a) right-click on the desktop taskbar, choose Properties and then open up the Navigation tab — tick the top option under the Start screen heading to “boot to the desktop”.

3) Touch-screen vs. trackpad. I’m excited to figure out how the touchscreen can enhance my efficiency, however some features are just plain ridiculous if you have a keyboard/trackpad. So here are some tweaks:

3a) Turn off hot corners. Right-click the desktop taskbar, choose Properties and then open the Navigation tab. Under the Corner navigation heading, you can disable the top left (open apps) and top right (Windows charms) corners.
3b) Turn off the feature where mousing from the right opens the charms bar. On lots of systems, this will be in control panel under your mouse options. However, my Asus has some crazy third-party software that I haven’t figured out yet.

4) Backing up. After all this effort, I definitely want to make a system image so it’s easy to restore if my HD fails. Launch the desktop Control Panel, then choose System and Security > File History window and the System Image Backup option is down in the lower left-hand corner.

5) Keyboard shortcuts. I absolutely hate having to hover in a corner to open the side charms bar. Nothing as annoying as a) having to pause, and b) having it open by accident when you’re working in a program and mouse over there. So
5a) Disable hot zone for charms
5b) Settings Charm: [win] + [ i ]
Charm Bar: [win] + [ c ]
Desktop: [win] + [ d ]

[win] + [down arrow] closes an App

6) Fuzzy programs
Several programs aren’t optimized for high-resolution computer monitors yet, like Google Chrome, Office 2010, ArcGIS, etc.  To remove the fuzziness, right click on the icon to open the program, and go to properties.  Under “compatibility” check the box for “disable display scaling on high dpi settings”. Hopefully new versions of these programs won’t have the same problems.

For full info, here are some of the sites I got this info from:

Citation language sorting problem: solved!

I’ve been having a lot of difficulty with the various citation management software packages based on the CSL language, as none has a built-in style that aligns with how we’ve always formatted our citations, particularly the sort order.

From my understanding, what we want for citations by the same first author:
– single author pubs in chronological order (oldest first)
– multi-author pubs in chronological order (oldest first)

This morning I finally did the research to come up with a solution that appears to work!

This should sort all papers by their first author. Then within that, it sorts between single-author and multi-author papers. Within each of those categories it searches by year

Method 1: via a direct CSL code editor

In the macro section, add the following macro:

<macro name=”Author-count”>

<names variable=”author”>

<name form=”count” et-al-min=”3″ et-al-use-first=”2″/>



Then, in the <bibliography> section, specify your sort as:


<key macro=”author-short” names-min=”2″ names-use-first=”1″/>

<key macro=”Author-count”/>

<key macro=”year”/>


Method 2: via

1) add a new macro

– named author-count

– add an element for names

– add an element to names for variable ‘name’

– under “form” select “count”

– under “et-al-min” select “3”

– under “et-al-use-first” select “2”

2) under sort, first use a macro for “author-short”

– specify “names-min” as “2”

– specify “et-al-use-first as “1”

3) under sort, then add a macro for “author-count”

– leave all options blank (default)

4) under sort, add a 3rd macro for “year”

– leave all options blank (default)

Setup tips for Windows 7

If you’re like me, you often don’t agree with what Microsoft thinks are useful features. Here’s a short compilation of the steps I take when dealing with a fresh Windows 7 install, which I’ll update as I apply them to my newest install.

1) Turn off automatic docking

DockingI find nothing more annoying than my computer assuming I want one thing while I try to do another.  It’s easy to turn off, but hard to find.

Go to the Ease of Access Center, make the mouse easier to use, and check the box to prevent docking.

2) Make explorer window only show useful shortcuts on the left.

I only use the “Favorites” and “Computer” groups, so I hide the others (network and libraries).

It requires registry entry changes (right click first to give yourself permission to edit):

change b080010d to b090010d

change b0040064 to b0940064

Full link to LifeHacker post.

ESRI continuous world aerial photography

While helping a student the other day, I stumbled across a background ESRI now offers in ArcGIS 10 with continuous world imagery.  Similar to Google Earth, it streams the orthophoto tile to your system and selects the most appropriate photo and resolution based on your view extent. While it does require internet connectivity to work, using this layer can save the time of downloading potentially hundreds of aerials for large study areas.

It is not as sophisticated as Google Earth (you get one image of ESRI’s choosing, no scrolling through history), but for simple tasks it’s great.

A word of advice when using. Turn the layer off until everything else on your map is set up, then enable the background layer. It’ll make your processes run much faster, since the map won’t need to download and re-render every time you change your view.

Some tips on projection.  These background files are in the web mercator projection (see link below), which is not compatible with the UK datum. Remember to set a transformation in your map document properties to correct this, or you’ll be ~half a kilometer off.