Thursday, December 1, 2022

Korinthian Violins A B C

My new book is out! I mostly made it as a cute little gift to have in my shop, but copies are available on Amazon if anyone wants one. (And if you like it, please give it a good review!) It's a tiny paperback for $15.

For anyone who simply wants to see it, here it is! Enjoy. (And I'll type the text in case it isn't readable in the images.)

This book is dedicated to Robyn Sullivan and Carol Kraco. Both spent many years contributing their time and talents to make Korinthian Violins the place it is. They have moved on to new adventures and they are missed. We hope this book reminds them of fun days in the shop they helped run for so long.
Welcome to Korinthian Violins! We are a small violin store in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, only a couple of blocks from Lake Michigan. We think our shop is special, and we want to show you the reasons why from A to Z. (And if you are reading this in our store, see how many of these things you can spot in real life!)
A is for Armadillo. This cute little sculpture has been posing in our store practically since we opened in 2008. He was made by Detroit artist Dick Cruger.
B is for Box of Crayons. I liked this broken violin body and found a new way to use it. Sometimes repurposing things makes the world a little more interesting.
C is for Clock. This large music clock on the back wall was the first thing I made for our store. Do you know what all the music symbols on it are? (If not, find a musician to ask!)
D is for Drum. This drum came from West Africa and used to be in my parents' art gallery in Michigan until my dad passed it on to me for my music store.
E is for Escher Lizards. This floor puzzle is based on designs by M. C. Escher. Repeated interlocking patterns like these lizards are called "tessellations."
F is for Fancy Floors. Our building is over 100 years old, and still has the original tiled floors, which I think are beautiful even with the cracks.
G is for Gifts. We have lots of fun gifts, many of which were made by me, or people I know.
H is for Halloween! Korinthian Violins won a neighborhood association award for our Halloween window display in 2020, which included this Cell-O-Lantern.
I is for Intersection. Korinthian Violins is at the intersection of Rusk and Delaware Avenues.
J is for Jar of Tips. Bow tips! Sometimes people put money in the jar, which always makes me laugh since the jar is a joke.
K is for Korinthia! I love having my own violin store! People are often surprised that it's my name on the window.
L is for Lamp. We find lots of things to do with broken instruments. This cello lamp can be found in our teaching studio.
M is for Mold-A-Rama. Our family collects figures from Mold-A-Rama machines around the country. We have our own machine that makes a corythosaurus dinosaur.
N is for Novels. I like to write books! Just because people know you for doing one thing doesn't mean you can't do other things, too.
O is for Open. I like that when the case on our front door is open it means the store is open to visitors.
P is for Peeps Violin. Our family enjoys entering the Peeps art competition at the Racine Art Museum every spring. I have also had on display a Peeps orchestra, and a Peep-A-Rama machine.
Q is in Bow-Quet. We find many ways to recycle things at Korinthian Violins, like these broken bows.
R is for Rubik's Cube. I love having my very own cubes for my collection! We offer free cube solving at Korinthian Violins.
S is for Sparkle Cello. No, it doesn't play, but it's very pretty, especially in the sunlight inside our front window.
T is for Toy Box. Cellos are fragile, and many got broken when our store used to rent them, so we found some of the broken ones new uses, like this one for toys.
U is for Ukulele. I thought it would be fun to play ukulele during slow days, but our store is very busy, so it just keeps me company on my bench.
V is for Viometer. I use this tool to help measure new players to see what size violin they might need.
W is for Walking Sundae. A business in our space once sold walking sundaes and the sign is still on our side window. (That's a treat that looks like a sundae, but is made from less-melty things such as pudding and cake.)
X is for Xylophone. We have a couple of xylophones in our store, but my favorite is this one made from bamboo.
Y is for Yellow Stand. And its friends! We love having colorful stands for sale, and we put them all in rainbow order in the window every June for Pride.
Z is for Zebra. Because Z is always for zebra. Our zebra's name is Buzz, and you can hunt for him in a different spot every time you visit. (Searching for a buzz is very common in violin shops.)
Thank you for spending time with the A B Cs of Korinthian Violins! If you want to know more about our store, please visit us on our website at: (And much love to my husband, Ian Weisser, for being the other half of Korinthian Violins, and for showing me how to format this book.)

Friday, November 11, 2022

Halloween 2022

There is only one costume to document this year, but it's a doozy. Please take a moment to admire Mona as a Birdhouse:

I miss making costumes. That stopped abruptly in 2020 (along with most things), but now that Halloween events are back, Mona was inspired to make herself something cool this year. After weeks of holing up in her room with lots of cardboard and paint, she emerged in time for Trick-Or-Treat as a Birdhouse, and I am in awe.

As were most people. Mona didn't collect candy, but she did walk around the neighborhood with me and our dog dressed as a pumpkin leading the way. She couldn't see well, but she could hear one person after another say, "Oh, how cute, that dog's a pumpkin, and OH MY GOD LOOK AT THAT!!!!" Several people declared the Birdhouse their favorite costume ever.

Here is Domino the pumpkin:

And here are some details from Mona's costume, along with her doing last minute work on it before Trick-Or-Treat. I love the sewing she did on the wing tips. The feet were actually some claw-gloves she found at Target that she modified into shoes.

Our area gets a lot of Trick-Or-Treaters, and there's always one neighbor who goes out in his roller skates and juggles in the street to entertain everyone. We had fun meeting up with people on our block that I feel like we haven't seen in forever.

We then drove over to the violin store, because the street behind it is a spectacular Halloween extravaganza. Many hundreds of people got to admire Mona's costume over there. Apparently in the minute and a half I ducked inside the store to turn on our Cell-O-Lantern in the window, several little princess girls gave Mona a hug.

Bay View really goes all out for Halloween, and after a couple of Covid ruined years everything was up and going again, including the block that does a whole Nightmare Before Christmas decorating event, and the house that raises money for charity that this year chose the movie Beetlejuice for its theme. I don't have many decoration photos, but I will share this inside joke that was my favorite. There is a man in Milwaukee who looks like Wolverine from the X-Men who strides around shirtless (sometimes with a little dog) and he's referred to as the "Milverine." Milverine sightings are always fun. Someone put up a zombie version of the Milverine and it's excellent:

I'll take a moment here to note that this fall was one of the prettiest I can remember. Warm and pleasant, beautiful leaves.

I'm still considering what I want to do with Halloween going forward. I'm pleased Mona still wants to make a costume, but when she moves on to someplace new, all we'll have left is to hand out candy. I have ideas for how to decorate our house that could be exciting, but no real time to do that soon.

But at least this year we got to experience a truly great costume. Mona's amazing.