14 March 2014

Typewriters in the Wild

Friend and creative colleague Hoja and I made a pilgrimage recently to Antiques on Second here in Milwaukee. This turn of the century brush factory boasts "37,000 square feet on three floors showcasing items from one hundred and fifty dealers." 

While my need to amass more typewriters has quieted, the joy of seeing the machines has not. And a recent acquisition of a newish smartyphone with a much better camera than its predecessor has made it possible to cheer my Typospherian's heart with mere images. 

Here's what we saw. Except for the modernish something peeking out of its case, priced at $45, all the machines were consistently priced at $69.95. Apparently this is the going rate in Milwaukee these days. 

I must confess the orange one did tempt me as it was small and solidly built. But not the color . . . no, not orange, not for me.  And there was something else. Not a typewriter and I know not what it was. It's last on the page here. If anyone knows what it is, please comment?



Looks like a machine to record on wax cylinders,
but too modern somehow. Anyone know?

12 February 2014

Keeping it Green

This is the view out our front door. It's been this same view all winter.  Some of the time bright like this, but more often grey'd over and dim.  The snow has been there pretty much since Winter Day 1. And it's been cold, really cold; all crisp and edgy cold with that strict and icy blue scent that the makers of men's cologne try to capture as that last final edge.

It's been beautiful this winter.  This image is a bit misleading, though. It shows what is not what it has seemed. The beauty holds itself in the sheer drama of biting cold and clear everywhere-white.  But the feel of it has been increasingly hard on the soul. There is so little color other than the white snow and grey skies.

So Beloved Spouse and I treasure the two things that have kept our souls reminded the colors we are missing: our houseplants and a painting by my late sister, whom I have referred to in this blog as Artist.

Jan Marie Jablonski


Hurry Spring!

01 February 2014

The Red Death Comes to the Midwest

I was invited to the Fire Ball Masquerade at rather short notice last week - and had barely 2.5 days to come up with a costume for the event.  And in that time I had two 8-hour work shifts and 2 nights of sleep!  And unlike Hoja, my friend and colleague in things creative, I do not have a stash of costumes. (Just some wigs and accessories.)  

One thing I do have, however, is lots of miscellaneous fabric.  So I opened the closet and fabric bins to see what would impress itself upon me.  What I noticed is that I have an awful lot of RED stuff at the moment.  So I let the color marinate in my imagination while I went to work and to sleep.  Halfway through, Hoja texted me to say that the theme of the Fire Ball this year was Gods and Monsters.  Images and themes began to burble up.

The Masque of the Red Death
Used by permission of pareeerica  

The Making

The pieces immediately to hand were:

A reversible cotton artist's robe.

A brocade dress jacket from which I'd removed the sleeves some time ago.

Two sets of brocade window valences.

 A bell-shaped lamp shade (mine had beads on lower edge).

Red brocade drape that matched one of the valence sets.

 A bright red, shiny dinner napkin.

Then I went to a local party supply store and bought a mask, a black feather boa, a black fabric rose, a pair of black lace fingerless gloves, and white greasepaint and black lipstick.

  The Cogitating

 The Assembling 

The Reveal

Unfortunately, only a single picture was taken of the final costume. 
(The event venue was so crowded that there was no space to take photos.)

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