Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Our first Piano Roll-- Rowan was displeased

Rowan really had no time for Mack the Knife.  Granted, it is a rather horrifying song to play for a baby, but I didn't really think of that before I started singing it and came across such choice lyrics as "On a tugboat by the river lies a body oozing life"  Whoops!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Let the realization of my dreams commence.

You may or may not recall that before we moved to Michigan, I started talking about an old-time radio show that would be centered around pop tunes of the turn of the last century...

Of course this was inspired by the fact that my Memere (grandmother) had a player piano which we all loved-- and many many piano rolls which I have in my possession in Michigan.  I promise I'll share them, Ben, Joe and Greg!  I didn't mean to abscond with each and every one-- well yes I did, but only because I planned to acquire... THIS!

It's here!  It's here!

It's a Duo/Art, and I think it was manufactured in the 1940's or 50's which is rare, because players were at the peak of their popularity in the 1920's and fell out of favor after the Great Depression.  Most of the pianos that we saw before this one were Gigantors and in terrible shape.  But this one!  I swoon.  Here's a peek at the player mechanism:

Many amazing surprises about this piano.  
1. We bought it from its original owners, and it's in impeccable shape.  Needs to be tuned which is happening next Tuesday

2. They gave us all of their piano rolls!

Many things which make my heart happy, such as 
  • selections from The Sound of Music
  • Cabaret
  • Mack the Knife
  • Mame
  • Many Beatles songs
AND! hidden among this veritable treasure trove is a Celebrity Series Roll.... do you see it?

Why, yes!  Yes that is The Godfather played by Liberace.

Now, back to the continuing surprises:

3.  All of the original manuals for the piano were in the bench!  Here are a few favorite (and informative) pages:

We are TOTALLY getting those barbershop style hats for our friends to wear when they're playing the piano.

Thought these were pretty informative!

And then we have the marketing flyer. I truly believe that we will have evenings that look exactly like this:

Please draw your attention to the "Ukelano" attachment!  I have to ask our technician about this...

an oldtime razz-ma-tazz piano sound?!? Be still my heart.

So, in short, please be on the lookout for the impending web broadcast of the Orion Victorian Old-Time Radio Show.  Starring everyone who ever comes over to our house.


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Summer's here!

I thought that I'd still be able to blog a bit since January, but no.  Things got too busy.  I'm teaching a ton and singing a ton and then there's this:
He turned one by the way... incredible. 

But now it's summer!  glorious summer!  We have such plans.  Last night we sat and wrote a (5 page) list of all of the things we wanted to do this summer.  Obviously, we will not get them all done, but at the top of the list (right after acquire a piano.  We're musicians!  How do we still not have a piano?!) are our Bedroom and the back patio.  Remember our bedroom?  It basically still looks the way it looked the first time we saw the house:

 Sad. sad. sad.  There is no taxidermied fowl anymore.  But that's about all the change that has occurred.  PLANS!

1. Build this awesome Master Closet System designed by Ana White



3. Re-floor

4. Perhaps vault the ceiling?  We're thinking that we could cut out the drop ceiling and vault it up into the attic, but that may be more than we are capable of doing ourselves, so we'll see about that one....

5. Re-tile and paint the bathroom 

Now, Back Patio options abound.... here's some inspiration that we're working with:

recycled-glass-lantern-a787.jpgwire-lanterns-c178.jpg     wood-slat-dining-collection-f726.jpg


We have an arbor already back there, and hung a few cute lanterns from it for Drake's birthday party last year

We took down the fake ferns and the hmmm... what do you call that?  That wooden stuff that goes between the structure of the arbor?  that stuff.  

So now we want to get some outdoor fabric that we can use as a shade cover and will be beautiful and flow-y
5106275.jpgsomething like this

So now to catch you up!  Here's the work we've already done that I'll be reporting on over the next few weeks:

  • Stripped, and used paintable textured wallpaper in the downstairs bathroom
  • Painted over the wood paneling in our hallway and started two gallery walls
  • Planted an herb garden in one of our windowboxes!
We'll also be working alot on landscaping this summer, so there will be countless reports on that I'm sure.  I can already report that in one of my first gardening experiences of the season I was pruning back some decorative grasses that have gotten out of hand and almost hit a frog with a hoe, then I screamed and ran inside.  

Summer!  hooray!!  
See you soon :)