Sunday, August 29, 2010

Records of the Past

Records that didn't sell... and cats

This weekend, my husband Terry had a garage sale with a theme: Rock & Roll. He was doing some major housecleaning and decided to get rid of a lot of his old vinyl, 45's and cd's, plus vintage publications and anything music related. The cats did their part, of course!

Boxes full of 78's

I asked if I could put a few boxes of old 78's out there. They were definitely not rock & roll. But I thought maybe people who were interested in records may find them interesting.

Roses of Picardy

Turns out I was wrong. Not a single 78 was sold. They all got carried back into the house after the sale was over.

Davis Phonograph Turntable & Stylus

I decided to go through some of the records and put a few on the antique phonograph. I love the sound of good old scratchy recordings from the past! Some of the sleeves are very pretty, although not in very good shape.

Columbia record

Brunswick Record

Victor Record

Here's my phonograph, a tabletop model from the early 1900's. It needs to be hand-cranked in order to play.

My Davis Phonograph

The manufacturer is "Davis Phonograph Company" from Chicago. I didn't find any references to this company anywhere on the internet.

Dusty manufacturer's label

I bought a little tin where I keep my needles. The needles have to be changed often to prevent the records from scratching.

Tin of 78 needles, cover

Tin of 78 needles

Speed dial

Here's a great classic from John McCormack called "Roses of Picardy." I just love the way he rolls his "R's!" I recorded this earlier today. Enjoy!

P.S., You will need to turn off my background music ( at the bottom of my page) in order hear this!

John McCormack and Victrola recordings

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Sunday, August 22, 2010

My New Sculpture Garden

Look! I now have a sculpture garden!

Work crews have been tearing up our street for the past month, and lookie what they left for us this weekend! Modern art! There it sits, right in the middle of my former wildflower garden. Fortunately, we had just finished killing off the entire garden to prepare it for a new look. Looks like that isn't going to be happening anytime soon!

My curbs are no more.

My curbs are gone, and chunks of clay, cement and stones are strewn throughout the grass. I guess that area will not be mowed for some time.

Look what they did to my parkway!

The major thoroughfare at the end of the block is being widened, and all adjacent streets are being torn up and used as staging areas. They are closing off our street permanently and making us a dead end. I guess we'll get a lovely new Dead End sign for our corner very soon!

I-beams on my lawn!
These I-beams were on the lawn all last week.

It's a mess out there!
So were these bags of cement and some long tube things.

Probably what it looked like back in 1873...
I hope this means we'll be getting sewers at our end of the block... as you can see, we really need them! We are the lowest spot in the area, and our back yard and garage floods during heavy rains. The ground is almost solid clay. I guess this is what our street may have looked like back in 1873 when the house was built. I have to drive through this to get out of our driveway.

Searching for treasure on our street
I peeked out the window one evening and saw this guy with a metal detector looking for treasures in the middle of the street. Hope he found something good!

Let's go around back, away from all the construction, to see what's going on in the garden...

Wonder of Staffa
The Wonder of Staffa asters are really pretty this time of year.

Hyssop & bee
The bees are all over the mints and the hyssop.

Butterfly Weed
The Butterfly Weed still looks pretty.

Faded Nikko Blue Hydrangea

Faded Annabelle Hydrangea
And the hydrangeas have faded to their soft, muted tones.

Hummingbird Moth 1

Hummingbird Moth 2

We now have Hummingbird Moths in our yard! I first saw them last year in downtown Chicago's Millennium Park. They are moths that, at first glance, look like hummingbirds because of the way they fly around the flowers, drinking nectar. I switched my camera over to the video mode and got a quick clip of the moth and a swallowtail butterfly on my butterfly bush! It's only a few seconds, but you can view it here:

All this week, I took advantage of the cooler weather by taking some walks around downtown Chicago on my lunch breaks. Here are some of the sights I enjoyed most:

Millennium Park, monarch & bee
Lurie Garden, Millennium Park, Chicago

Trump Tower & The Wrigley Bldg., Chicago
Trump Tower and the Wrigley Building: Old & New

Wrigley Building & the Chicago River
View along the Chicago River

Navy Pier, Chicago
Navy Pier

Geo. Washington, Robert Morris & Hyam Salomon, erected in Chicago 1930's
Now this is the kind of sculpture I wouldn't mind on my lawn!

Chicago Pigeons
Happy pigeons

One of the many cruises on the Chicago River & Lake Michigan
One of the many cruise ships on the Chicago River & Lake Michigan

What have you been up to all summer?

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Sunday, August 15, 2010

To-Do Lists and Inspiration Management 101

Recipe-Note To Self
I think this note-to-self was to remind me to type these recipes into my electronic recipe file?

Are you like me? Do you scribble down notes to yourself about things you need to do? Or about inspirations you get? Do you save magazine articles, paint swatches and sketches?

Garden Ideas
This was one of my garden layouts. I always draw things up before I dig!

I have stacks of papers, pictures and items that contain important (to me, anyway) ideas about projects I want to accomplish, design ideas, gardening lessons learned... stacks of information that I don't want to toss because I haven't acted on them yet, or because they inspire me!

Library Inspirations
Great ideas for my library that I read in my back issues of Victorian Homes

Bookshelf Thoughts
I like to really plot things out before I do them!

The years have piled up along with the stacks of papers, magazines, brochures, and other reminders of great inspirations. They are (sort of) organized into categories. I have them in labeled boxes and file cabinets.

File Cabinet Storage
Some of my brilliant ideas are kept in this antique file cabinet!

But whenever I want to access some of my thousands of ideas, I have to search through hundreds of other things before I ever find what I'm looking for. And then I'm distracted by other bits of information I come across, and often forget what I was searching for in the first place!

Closet Organization 2
I really am organized with my "things," just not with my "ideas"

I need some kind of system. Something I can access through the computer. Then I can throw away all my paperwork. After all, that is what "going paperless" is all about, right?

Storage Room Organization
See? I know right where I keep my wedding dress, in case I never need it again!

I need to scan in all my old drawings and photo references. Then I need to transcribe all my cryptic notes to myself.

Storage Room Organization 2
It's getting to be too much information to store the old-fashioned way!

Finally, I need to make all this information searchable. I will have to keyword everything so that I can find it all with the click of my mouse.

Places To Go

Victorian Room Inspiration

Kitchen wall ideas? Here it is. My ideas for next year's garden? No problem.

Color Inspirations

I will need a program that does it all! Does anyone have any suggestions? I've used Filemaker and Portfolio in the past. They are programs that seem to handle both photo and copy content, and are searchable. Are there any programs that are newer and easier to use?

Design Inspiration

Cool Architectural Details

Back Stairwell Paint Colors

Also, I don't want to ever lose my ability to access this data. If I toss out all my old paperwork, it's gone for good. With the way programs come and go these days, and with system upgrades unsupported by some programs, I'm afraid that down the line, all my information may be lost and unaccessible.

Victorian Homes Magazine Collection

Magazine Organization
It would be SO SWEET to create a searchable file for all the articles and pictures
I use as reference in my 25-year collection of Victorian Homes magazines!

It would be wonderful to be so organized! I love organization, and I really do have so many other things organized and easily accessible. I would love to have all my ideas organized as well!

Let me know how you handle this kind of organization, what works for you, and what doesn't. I would love to hear your ideas!