Friday, April 28, 2017

Let's Finish The Tour!

In my last post I took you on a tour of this gorgeous Victorian home. I didn't show you much, just the ceilings and the Nickelodeons. While those things were impressive there was more to the house. So come on in for the rest of the tour . . . 

First, let's meet the current owner, Carl Miller. He graciously invited 236 people into his home. I don't know much about him, but it was easy to see that he enjoyed collecting antiques.

I've always been in love with grand staircases. This one did not disappoint with it's gorgeous, rich wood. It was said that Dr. Dibrell was so caught up in the booming machine age that not one original feature was handmade; it was all mass produced by machines. He definitely was a forward thinking man! In contrast I cherish the handmade. I don't think that makes me backward thinking, just nostalgic. I had to wait a long time to take a picture of the staircase free of people. Patience is good when your a photographer!

Antiques filled the home; furniture, vases, clock, lamps, quilts, anything you could imagine.

The main bedroom was fit for a king. I didn't get a lot of pictures inside the home. Unless I was shooting up or at a specific item close to me, there were just too many people in the way!

The door hinges were even ornate!

Fireplaces, of course, were used for heating. This grand house has eight! They were definitely going to stay warm. The fireplaces were not simplee. They were all different in style and color and decorated with tiles. During nice weather they could choose to sit on one of seven porches.

We think nothing about large homes, but at the time this home was built Little Rock had only been a city for 61 years. The first structure build in Little Rock, described as a cabin or shanty, was built only 72 years before the Dibrell house. During this time period this house was definitely a mansion. The Dibrell house was built for around $1,000. Of course, that was 1892, when the average days wages was $1 to $1.50!

I'm always excited when the Arkansas Historic Preservation program tours historical homes near me. There is no other way I'd get to see inside!

Hope you enjoyed the tour!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Let's Take A Tour

The first Friday of each month the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program conducts a tour of historical homes, churches, or buildings in the central Arkansas area. I've been attending these tours for several years. It's such a wonderful opportunity to see inside beautiful and fascinating places. The last tour was of the Dibrell House built in 1892, the home of Dr. and Mrs. James A Dibrell, Jr.*  By the 1960's the house had been structurally changed and divided into apartments. An extensive restoration began in 1967 to restore it to it's original appearance. The house is of a quality rarely seen outside of museums. I don't know how else to describe it, but simply beautiful.

The home became known as "the gadget house" because of Dibrell's love of devices. The house had electric and gas lighting, an electric doorbell and a burglar alarm. There's also a system of speaking tubes (intercom) and a heating system that warmed every room in the house. All these things were very unusual for that time. We're talking late 1890 to early 1900's here!!

I took a lot of pictures, but there were two things that impressed me the most. One was the incredible hand-stenciled and painted ceilings. My favorite ceiling was in what I would call the drawing room where guests would have been entertained.

The four pictures below show closeups of the ceiling. The same scene had been painted in all four seasons.

In the same room above the bay window area was this lovely stenciling. It was so light and cheerful with pretty flowers and bluebirds.

Now, to the best part of home. The current owner is a collector of antiques. The house was filled with vases, books, and furniture. But, there was one collection that topped them all . . . his collection of eight Nickelodeons. Nickelodeons are amazing mechanical music machines. All eight of them were in pristine condition. One of my favorites was the Mills Violano-Virtuoso. Here's a link if you'd like to hear one playing. The Violano-Virtuoso was introduced in 1912 as "The Mechanical Musical Wonder of the world."

All you had to do was put in a nickle and they played the liveliest tunes.

My other favorites were a gorgeous piano Nickelodeon with stained glass and a banjo one. Some of them even had other instrument sounds as well, such as drums and tambourines.

I could have stayed in that room and listened to them for hours. Their music makes you want to kick up your heels and dance a little! Listening to the nickelodeons made me realize just how much music can affect us. They sure brought out the smiles!

I hope you enjoyed the tour. It was very hard to get good pictures as the crowd was large, 236 people attended. Made me wonder how strong the foundation was!!

Until next time,

* Dr. Dibrell was "a founder of the University of Arkansas Medical Department (now the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences - UAMS) and served as its second dean. As a practicing physician and dean of the medical school, Dibrell was responsible for many of the developments in medical education in Arkansas at the turn of the century." Encyclopedia Of Arkansas

Friday, April 14, 2017

Liberate Your Art 2017

This past few weeks there has been a large group of artists anxiously watching for the mail carrier. Why? Because it’s Liberate Your Art time! What is that, you ask? It's a postcard swap that Kat Sloma hosts to "foster connections between artists in different places and mediums." Those who participate create a work of art. The art might be painting, sculpturing, needlework, pen and ink, or photography. Then a picture is taken of the art or in my many cases photography is the art. Next the photo is made into a postcard. All your postcards can be the same or you can create five different ones. Lastly the postcards are sent to Kat, who swaps them all and with a few wonderful volunteers prepare them to be mailed around the world. When we receive the postcards we're encouraged to take of picture of them in or around their new home.

This year there were:
146 participants
876 pieces of art liberated
12 countries
30 US states and territories

Let me tell you about the postcards that I received.

The first postcard that arrived was from Val van der Poel of Wynndel BC, Canada. It’s a beautiful painting of a valley entitled “#762 Birds Over Erickson." I would love to live in such a beautiful, peaceful place. If you’d like to see more of her word drop by her website.

The second postcard was from Carol Collier of Washington State. It’s a unique view of farm equipment. The light on the equipment is beautiful as well as the fascinating sky and trees behind it. The quote on the back reads, “Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing.”

The third postcard was from Christine Barker in Calgary, Alberta Canada. It’s a beautiful piece of digital art. The colors and lines fascinate me. It’s almost like I can reach out and feel the textures. The quote on her postcard, “What we play is life.” Louis Armstrong. You can see more of Christine’s work on her website.

The fourth postcard was from Marcia Hill in Worcester, VT. A pastel painting of Worcester Village. Another beautiful, peaceful place to live. I especially love the white church with tall steeple. On the back, it says “Art is the voice of the Soul. Speak Up!" You can visit Marcia at her website.

The 5th postcard was from Jane Martin in Roanoke, Virginia. A delightful painting of a potting bench and flowers for spring. The quote on the back is “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” Pablo Picasso. Visit Jane at  her website to see more of her art.

As a special treat we all receive a postcard from Kat. This year she sent a digital painting of colorful leaves. It was a treat for the eyes after such a dreary winter! The back of her card reads "Experiment, Play, Create, and Liberate!"

I almost forgot to include the postcard I sent. I have this fascination for flowers and vines that are tenacious; that have the strength to overcome poor conditions and grow. They encourage me to keep on when times get a little tough. I also love old buildings, so when I saw this vine on the side of a rock building I had to take a picture. I added a quote on the back, but I failed to write it down and I simply can’t remember which one I used. Oh well, I’ll do better next year.

Each year Kat puts together a video of those who wish to include their art. I would like to encourage you to hop over to her blog and watch it. It's an incredible display of many different works of art. Just click right here.

This has been a fun postcard swap and I’m delighted with every card I received. I’ve done this swap since Kat began seven years ago. Each year I am truly amazed at the incredible art that is shared.  If you’re interested in participating next year It’s simple to do. Just go to Kat’s website, sign up for her newsletter, and she’ll let you know when it’s time next year for another swap. I encourage you to try this. You have a whole year to think about it, create art, and have the postcards made. Kat even gives help with making postcards or suggestions for having them printed. It’s fun and you will love getting mail! I promise! 

Liberate Your Art 2017

Monday, April 3, 2017

Some Days - Scene & Story March 2017

Some days aren't easy.
Some days are filled with chores and appointments.
Some days hold too many responsibilities.
Some days bring hurt and sorrow.
Some days anxiety can't be controlled.
Some days I need to hide and rest.
After a while, I'll be refreshed and smiling again.

"thank you nothingness
thank you clarity
thank you, thank you silence"
~ Alanis Morissette

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I'm linking today with Scene & Story hosted
by Lee and Sarah.
You can see all those who link up on Sarah's blog.
Join us each month as we choose a photo and tell a story.