29 July 2012

The Pristine Green Machine

"Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night 
stays these couriers from the swift completion 
of their appointed rounds."

[inscription on the James Farley Post Office in New York City]

The same may be said of Typospherians for whom a handmade sign on any street corner beckons with all the power of those mermaid Sirens who lured Odysseus and his men to their islands. Even if, like brave Odysseus, we claim we shall withstand the call . . . still . . . the machines . . .  the machines . . .  we wants them we do.

This is the latest typewriter to enter our abode.  My Beloved Spousal Unit ~ who has quite the knack for finding older machines in exceptional condition ~ found it at an estate sale.  And not just any estate sale; the kind flush with old snow blowers, stacks of worn Tupperware containers, and the like.  This estate was of an honored gentleman, a physician and scholar.  Books lined the walls, my Beloved told me.  Amid the quiet memories of a full life sat a silvery case.  Within a near mint condition Olympia SM3.

The case showed some light wear, but the machine itself is in glorious condition.  Even the bushings are in good shape. All I needed to do was wind a new ribbon onto its spools.

The typeface is an elegant script.  
I especially love the way some of the uppercase letters swoop low with a flourish.

I've named this one Dr. Laurence 
~ a modified version of its original owner's name ~ 
and in his honor and memory.

25 July 2012

Elegance and Colors Fantastical

The Milwaukee Art Museum is staging a wonderful exhibition -- Posters of Paris -- through 9 Sept.  I had the chance to see it for the first time this past week.  Bought the show's catalogue book too as I found some good inspiration and ideas there for my graphic novel project.  

I had known of the work by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Alphonse Mucha but was delighted to see some new artists.  And I hadn't realized how large many of the pieces were.  Up to now I'd only seen most of the art in books or via the smaller posters sold for dorm rooms and the like.  The impact of size and being able to see the detailed craftsmanship was a powerful experience for me.
These two works of performer Aristide Bruant were about 4x3 feet in size.

This one, Automobiles Brasier by Leonetto Cappiello is 9 feet tall! And the colors!  This image here does a disservice to the work.  The woman's blouse is a brilliant fuschia and the swirl of colors around the car are a dashing and intense rainbow of vivid shades.

Another amusing aspect was the historical representation of bicycles.  In their own way they were as sexy and exciting as Smart phones are today. 

Cycles Perfecta by Alphonse Mucha

Déesse by Jean de Paleologue

Marque Georges Richard Cycles & Automobiles

The style and imagery of the posters brought to my mind the illustrations done by John R. Neill for L. Frank Baum's Oz books.  Oz was a staple of my childhood reading for many years.  Neill's drawings were as captivating as Baum's stories.

Cover illustration

Cover Illustration

Illustration of Mermaid from The Scarecrow of Oz

There is a stained glass quality to the Paris posters and J.R. Neill's Oz covers.  So I was not at all surprised, when researching this post, to come upon the work of stained glass artist and Oz Enthusiast, Bill Campbell.  This piece, a commissioned work, was inspired by the endpaper illustrations by Neill for Ozma of Oz. 

Campbell's work is detailed, playful, and exceedingly well-crafted.  He also has an OzShop over on Zazzle where he sells smaller pieces.  I recommend this artist highly!

21 July 2012

RECEIVED: A Friend of Mr. Crumble Travels

I continue to receive anonymous postcards and they continue to amuse and entertain.

17 July 2012

09 July 2012

Urban Farming - 2nd Summer - First Harvest

"Missus Yount"

"Robin Yount, Jr." and "Kon-Biki"

Our porch garden was home to a family of robins this summer.  We don't see much of Papa Yount and just at lunch today, my Beloved Spousal Unit saw Robin Jr. leave the nest. The Missus is still watching out for his/her sibling who is a little smaller in size - probably the 2nd to hatch and a day behind developmentally.

The container garden has been a little less successful due to our run of successive heat waves.  The pepper plants are pretty scrawny with no vegetables yet and the kitchen herbs seem to be struggling with the heat.  The two 'dwarf tomatoes' both now over 3 feet tall, however, are going great guns.  We cut the first 'matoh' this afternoon.  


One other gardening adventure: a squirrel has been digging in the flower pots! 

05 July 2012

SENT OUT: Old Timey Happy Meals

Sent to a friend who is under the weather.  (Used first class stamp as it was an over-sized postcard.  Also used a non-US stamp for added decoration!)

01 July 2012

A Procession of Species

This past weekend's Type-In was part of a larger event over in Madison, WI. Every Summer and Winter the Friends of Starkweather Creek SASY Neighborhood Association celebrates the solstice. Both events culminate with a bonfire, lit at the end of the day. On June 23rd we celebrated the new Summer - complete with a Procession of the Species

Described for the neighborhood association as "Madison’s annual biodiversity art parade," the event is similar to Olympia, WA's well known Earth Day Procession of the Species (link).  Here's the association's About  info.
"The parade uses masks, costumes, giant puppets and artwork to celebrate the diversity of life on earth and to bring the community together to create and enjoy the spectacle. It is a free, non-commercial, volunteer staffed event. Free art workshops are held in advance of the event at our temporary art studio with a volunteer staff of professional artists. The public is invited to lend a hand in creating our giant puppet figures and create masks, costumes and puppets for the parade. At our studio we transform discarded and recycled materials into works of art. We work collectively to design, create and perform with our creations. All are welcome to join in this collaborative work of art."

The procession came right past our collection of booths.  I took some pics and my brother Architect and another attendee shot some video.  Hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

 The Procession was led in by Madison's Forward Marching Band.

Then, leading the parade of species was the man himself, Charles Darwin.

Some of the puppets were new this year, some old favorites. 

(I found out later that my friend, Hoja, was the Buffalo!)

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