Wednesday, December 30, 2009

"Hymns in the Key of Grace" now available online!

"Hymns in the Key of Grace" is now available for purchase online!

Since we're still in Boxing Day Sale madness, we're offering 30% off all multiple online purchases.

To purchase, please visit here.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Week

A very Merry Christmas to you!

Yes, it's still Christmas. In our family tradition, we celebrate the 12 days of Christmas, which means we don't take down our decorations or stop celebrating until January 6, Old Christmas Day, Epiphany. Of course, Mom's birthday is January 8 (Elvis's birthday!), so we really don't stop celebrating til after then.

We had an incredible Christmas! After our final caroling gig on Christmas Eve, we had a wonderful church service at St. John's! Gerald was still unable to play guitar (find out what happened here), so he took lead on a lot of the vocals, and I had the chance to sing harmony. We spent Christmas Day and Boxing Day relaxing with family, and returned to St. John's Sunday morning to play for our morning service. We were blessed to have Chris McKhool join us again. With his fiddle, Monique's piano, and our particular talents, we're a great team. Hoping this combo doesn't have to end just cause Christmas is over! (yes, that's a less-than-subtle hint!)

Since then, there's been lots more relaxing and eating, eating, eating. Today, I wrote my January article for, and wrote a few of my professional thank yous, and then more eating.

Seriously though, this is my week for reflecting on 2009, and planning for 2010. I love this time of year - the world is fresh, exciting, and full of potential. Hope you're feeling inspired too!

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Day After Christmas Carol Service Day!

We were all up far too late to do any decent writing last night. As I write now, I'm listening to lovely Christmas music, and gearing up for a very Christmasy day of tree decorating, gift shopping, and making chocolate!

So, yesterday was all Plan B! Gerald stayed home in the morning, resting and recovering from Friday's 'incident'. We were scheduled to sing at St. John's Weston, and it was the first time in years I sang somewhere without him. Their awesome organist, Marianne, stepped in and accompanied me on most of my songs, and I played guitar for "Infant Holy, Infant Lowly." Sometimes, having to change things at the last minute can wreck havoc, but sometimes, it gives you a new energy and a we're-all-in-this-together feeling. Happily, the latter happened yesterday morning. I sang well, people loved it, and there were lots of smiles and long conversations at the coffee hour after the service.

Gerald really wanted to rest up so he could be part of the Christmas Carol Service at St. John's York Mills last night. With the organ, choir, handbells, and praise team, it's one of the most musical and wonderful services of the year. We revamped our songs so Monique did all the accompaniment on piano, and we could have 3 voices on all the songs. Overall, things went really well! The carols were great, and our songs (non-traditional as they may be) were really well received. Mom and Dad came to the service, so it was reunion night as well.

Now, to get to that chocolate...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Gerald's Accident and Plan B...

Yesterday morning, we were getting ready to head out for the day, when I heard a horrible yell coming from outside. Gerald had somehow got his right hand caught in the car door. It was crushed and bleeding and awful.

Long story short, we spent the day in emergency. Nothing is broken (praise God!), but his hand is severely cut and swollen. Today, he's still in pain, and exhausted. We've been told it'll be a week before he feels better, but til then, there is no way he can play guitar!

This has drastically changed our plans for tomorrow! In the morning, we were supposed to be guest artists at St. John's Weston for their Christmas Carol Service. I contacted their wonderful organist, Marianne, and she's going to accompany me on 3 songs, and I'll play guitar on one.

In the evening, we're scheduled to appear with the praise team at St. John's York Mills Christmas Carol Service. (Seriously - this would happen just before the biggest services of the year!) I'll be singing as planned, and Monique will lead all our songs on piano. If Gerald is feeling up to it, he may come along and sing, but we're going to play that by ear.

I'm dividing all my time today between taking care of Gerald and the puppies, and re-planning tomorrow. If you're the praying kind, please throw one up for us tonight for quick healing, and for our gigs tomorrow. I am so ready for an eggnog latte!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

St. Luke's, Centennial Park, and a Gospel choir!

This is my quick weekend wrap-up. 'Quick' because I need to get up at 6:00 am tomorrow, and as you know, that's not my favourite time of day!

This weekend was awesome! On Friday, we caroled for Toronto City Church's Christmas dinner. We were a surprise for the guests, and they loved it! We took requests, sang all our favourites, and were treated to dinner and Yule log cakes.

Saturday, we caroled at a seniors home in Etobicoke, and then made our way out to Oakville for a concert at St. Luke's Palermo. This was a fundraising concert for the Stephen Lewis Foundation, and we had an awesome time. Gerald and I did a full night of Gospel, Christmas, and original songs, wrapping the whole thing up with a lively carol sing-along. There was a great reception after where we stuffed ourselves and made new friends.

This morning at St. John's York Mills, we were treated to a visit from the St. Stephen's youth choir. This 16 voice Gospel choir features children ages 10-16, and they were fantastic! They brought a keyboard player and a drummer, and their music gave a new energy to the service. There is already talk of having them back next year.

This evening, Monika joined us for the Christmas celebration at Centennial Park in Etobicoke. Similar to Allan Gardens last week, this beautiful (free!) Christmas event features apple cider, sleigh rides, a bonfire, a brass quintet, and fabulous Christmas carolers (yes, us!). As it gets dark, they light candles throughout the conservatory, and the effect is so lovely and Christmasy!

Tomorrow will be a 3 gig day, starting at 7:30 am. Yes, A.M. Time for tea and sleep...

Monday, December 07, 2009

New CD - Hymns in the Key of Grace!

I'm thrilled to announce the release of my new CD, "Hymns in the Key of Grace"!

This collection of 'intimate' hymns celebrates our quiet moments with God. Featuring songs like "Just as I am," "Sweet Hour of Prayer," and "Just a Closer Walk With Thee," this album is perfect for reflection, prayer, or just singing along!

This special project features some wonderful talent! Producer Brian Speer created the perfect balance for our intimate ensemble. Jazz pianist, Teri Reid, created beautiful accompaniments and solos. My talented husband, Gerald Flemming, brought his own brand of creativity to the guitar arrangements. My dear friend, Tara Jackson, added her voice to the background vocals. And Gaither Homecoming artist, Allison Durham Speer, joined me for a duet of "In the Garden."

"Hymns in the Key of Grace" is the perfect stocking stuffer, hostess gift, or present for yourself!

We're not set up for online orders yet, so to purchase, please drop me an email at

"Hymns in the Key of Grace" and "Real Big Fan," can be purchased at all live performances this December! For a full list of concerts and other events, please click here.

Hope you enjoy the artwork! The photos were taken Shannon Fontaine, and the graphics were designed by Lyndsay Brewer, both from Nashville.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Allan Gardens - Christmas has begun!

This morning's service at St. John's was great! We did 2 wonderful songs that were new for Gerald and me - "Emmanuel (Holy Manger Ground)" by Chris Tomlin, and "My Deliverer" by Rich Mullins. Both were great, and I think Gerald and I are going to add "My Deliverer" to our program some time.

This afternoon, Monika joined us for Christmas caroling at Allan Gardens in Toronto. Today was the official start of their Christmas Flower Show. I think this is the sixth or seventh year we've done this event, and for me, it signifies the start of my Christmas celebrations. Allan Gardens is one of my favourite places in the city at any time, but it's especially beautiful this time of year. The Victorian greenhouses are full of special arrangements, Christmas cactus, rosemary trees, and poinsettias in every shade of pink, white and red. Yesterday, they had cider, cookies, sleigh rides, and Christmas carolers - us! We've been going so many years that we've gotten to know many of the regulars. One mother told me that we're in all their Christmas photo albums, and that her son has been coming to see us each year since he was a baby.

Next week we'll do a similar event at Centennial Park in Etobicoke. The season has begun!

Friday, December 04, 2009

St. Barnabas, Peterborough

(Very, very late and very, very tired. Will probably post this after the fact...)

Tonight's concert was awesome! We were invited to sing at St. Barnabas Anglican in Peterborough - a new church and a new area for us. The music was a mix of old and new, Gospel and Christmas, with a little Country thrown in for good measure.

We came up with a new program tonight, and I think it really worked. In addition to mixing Gospel and Christmas, we also did a mix of acoustic songs and songs with tracks. We ended it all with an "authentic" Victorian caroling experience. And let me tell you - these people could sing! I found out after that several of the choir members were in the audience, which explained the gorgeous harmonies.

Tonight was also the first night I was able to sell "Hymns in the Key of Grace." It felt so good to see it on the table!

We've already been invited back to St. Barnabas for next December. Yay!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Wrapping Up & Starting Up

"Hymns in the Key of Grace" is now at the manufacturer! Tomorrow, I'll see a proof the graphics, and Thursday I'll pick up CDs!

Can't believe we've finally reached this place!

Tonight was also our first Christmas gig of the season. Overall, it was good and fun and well received. At this point, we have 22 gigs, including church services, for the month. We'll probably pick up a few more as we get closer to Christmas.

Time for lots of water, rest, and vitamin C.
A little eggnog every now and then won't hurt either!

Listening to the mastered hymns...

I'm currently bringing navel-gazing to a new level. At this moment, I'm listening to myself, looking at a photo of myself, while writing about myself.

Never has the word "diva" seemed more appropriate.

It's actually far less self-indulgent and far more practical than it sounds. Tomorrow is the absolute deadline to get my hymns CD to the manufacturer. God willing (and I pray He is), I'll be able to pick up CDs Thursday afternoon, just in time for our concert in Peterborough on Friday.

I picked up the fully mastered music this afternoon, and that's what I'm listening to right now. It sounds so beautiful. Yes, I'm biased, but I'm also highly critical of myself. Teri and Gerald did such a beautiful job on the accompaniment, and Allison and Tara's voices sound fantastic.

When I think back to my original concept for the album, it's like looking at a line drawing. What I'm listening to now is a painting with colours and layers and dimension.

The graphics still need a few tweaks, and I'm praying that will be done by tomorrow afternoon too.

I can't believe it's almost done. I'd get really excited right now, but I'm way too tired.

I'll dance about it in the morning.