Category Archives: Music related

Where did Paul go?

The new music station caused me to once again shuffle everything around in the Living Room but have no fear, folks, Paul is staying.

J:HOME Model (1)

(An updated furniture floor plan.  I don’t know what happened to those poche walls but it looks kind of cool.)

There are some pieces in the house that I really want to hold on to, others I keep around because they fit in for now or I’m still hunting down that amazingly-perfect-but-so-cheap-from-a-thrift find.  “Paul”, as I call my McCobb Planner Group secretary is a keeper.  He was holding up the ledges wall but has now moved over here to greet visitors at the front door.

ENTRY WALL BEFORE AND AFTER

This wall is looking a little bare but I’m slowly moving in artwork as the furniture continues to shuffle around.  What’s great about this setup is it gives us the “landing strip” they’re always pushing for over at Apartment Therapy.  The salon-style vinyl chair is a great place to drop my purse or my work bag and Paul gladly holds the day’s mail and the contents of JT’s pockets.

AFTER AT ENTRY #2.

(View from the front door above.  That’s my Martin Sigma that I still don’t know how to play yet.)  Ironically the salon style vinyl chair and the four wood chairs we have around the tulip table were the things I thought for sure would sell at the Green Shag sale last year but didn’t.  Then I had each posted on Craigslist  and now I’m pretty glad they’re still here.  Go figure.

In the (much larger) world outside our living room, Google decided to close down its Reader.  I liked Reader so much that I even blogged about it (almost two years ago!  yikes!)  So what is a blog-addicted girl to do?  I tried out Feedly and liked the iPhone app but it wouldn’t work on the required Internet Explorer browser we have at work.  No blog reading all day long?  Not happening.  So I switched over to Bloglovin.  (Kind of wish they had a better name, makes me think of McLovin from Superbad).  It has a much more image-oriented format, which I am enjoying so far.

BLOGLOVIN

(Yep, that’s a screenshot from my Bloglovin account and I am a major blog addict!!!)

In the blog world, I’m afraid we may have lost JT from this site forever.  He set up a great new site for his band, Grand Beauty, here.  We haven’t all the way decided on things but I think he may start posting his guitar raids and fixes on the band website.  We’ll see.

recording-2013-001

At any rate, you should check it out.  He’s uploaded a bunch of their recordings.  That’s my husband singing “Beast of Burden” and if it doesn’t make you want to take your clothes off and dance around, you may need to have your head examined.  Cheers – CT

PS – HAPPY BIRTHDAY SISTER!

Ledges: Painted & Hung

Projects move in fits and starts over here at Living Analog and nothing ever stays in the same place for more than two months.  That’s the peril of living with an interior designer.  One of our friends at our Sweetheart Dinner commented that our house is like a kit of Legos — we always take it apart and rearrange it.  I’ll take that as a compliment (albeit a nerdy one!) — we love to reimagine our space and have chosen flexible furniture pieces to accommodate my need for change.

So, change.  Here’s one wall of the dining room over the last few months:

TWO BEFORES

And then, I drug home a bunch of lumber, convinced JT to hammer it all together for me and  — voila! — an art wall!

MUSIC SPOT #1

The real impetus for change here came from my New Year’s resolution to make it easier to listen to music in our house.  I knew I wanted to move the record player, tuner and speakers to a more central location.    So while I was at it, I thought why not add some storage and display space above.  At first I was going to use our Ikea floating shelves but those got repurposed for the Wall of Wine.

IN PROGRESS

That left me scrambling for a new plan and I decided on these ledges from Ana White.  They were affordable and easy to customize — we have about 5′-3″ of wall there so we made the ledges 5′ long to max out the space.  And by going with these ledges rather than just hanging our picture frames right to the wall, it gives us flexibility to change things us as the mood strikes (which, as you know, with me is often!)

MUSIC SPOT #2

Right now I’m displaying some of JT’s record collection along with some art pieces we’ve collected or been gifted over the years.  I still need to get some things all the way into their frames and finalize that mysterious blank canvas.  I’ll be back with more as I tweak it along the way.  This wall has been surprisingly difficult for me to photograph (wah wah) so I’ll try to get some better pictures for the ol’ blog too.

MUSIC SPOT #3

I’m off to spin some more vinyl and dance around in my sock feet with the dogs. What have you been changing up around the house lately?  I find that all home renovation projects go better with some loud tunes, especially of the Rolling Stones variety and now we finally have a spot to really “tune in”!

Cheers – CT

1961 Silvertone 1458 Guitar and Amp

Picked up this odd package from a guy who had bought it new back in 1961. Everything in the original ad was there- the guitar, amp and case. Amp still sounds amazing, even with the strange RCA-to-1/8” input system.

The guitar is straight as an arrow, and required minimal adjustments. I did end up replacing both tuning arrays with period-correct replacements.

The electronics on the guitar, however were (as always) perfectly destroyed. You will rarely find original potentiometers or paper-in-oil capacitors in working order.

This package is another beautiful testament to the durability and wonderful design of these early Sears-brand guitars and amps, made in the USA in the late 50’s to early 60’s. A period when even a cheap, catalog-bought instrument was made with the utmost attention to quality.

See my Ebay posting here

Do you realize . . .

We’re floating in space?

Yes, that’s my man Wayne Coyne in the giant ball at LouFest.  Yes I jumped up and down for two hours in the mud and took terrible iPhone pictures.  Yes it was amazing.   Yes I am still hobbling around two days later because my legs were not ready to be jumping up and down for two hours.  Yes it was worth it!!

Because half of you may be scratching your heads right now at my cryptic ramblings, please amuse your ears with this amazing song.  I hope it gets played at my funeral.

Do You Realize by The Flaming Lips

Meanwhile back at the ranch, Shenanigan helps me with a sewing project:

So helpful.  I needed a giant furry paperweight just then.

And, the music room gets taken over by thrift store picture frames, soon to make their way into the almost finished bathroom!  A lot has been happening in the littlest room of our house — new trim has been installed, caulked and painted.  Shelves are up.  Hooks are up.  Turkish towels are up.  And soon, I’ll put a blog post up!  Cheers – CT

Tweaking, redux.

My meddling in the kitchen was not done with yesterday’s post, it instead continued over to the fridge.  Oh lovely fridge, we inherited you with this house and you work.  You cool our food and freeze our ice so I have no reason to kick you to the curb just yet.  But you’re kind of boring, no offense.

None taken, I’m sure.  So to spice up Miss Fridge, I took a sheet of butcher paper and trimmed it a few inches smaller than the big bare side of the fridge.   I thought about getting all crazy and doing something with chalkboard paint but this seemed like a less permanent solution . .  .and I could always move on to the chalkboard if I ever got bored with the butcher paper.

So *ta da* – fridge tweaked:

(Pardon the extra-large case of beer, it was JT’s birthday and we celebrated with chicken, waffles and the Mick Jagger finale of Saturday Night Live.  The Bud Light blue does seem to match the kitchen though . . .)

I sprung for some heavy-duty magnets on Amazon and mixed in some others I had purchased at Ikea.

Some baker’s twine holds a pen in place and with the butcher paper you can just scribble your heart’s desire on there – phone messages, obscenities, you name it.  Right now we just have a few useful phone numbers.  Double stick tape holds up a few classic fortune cookie fortunes for posterity.   I also outlined the knives so they always have a place to go back to.  . . .

The other knives just have one magnet but I got nervous and used two on the big guy.  We’ve had them up for two weeks and it’s been a great solution since we demoed out the larger Ikea knife rack in favor of some artwork over the microwave.  

That reminds me,  I’m not sure if I ever really showed you guys the artwork over the microwave . . . I just printed out some song lyrics that seemed kitchen appropriate and added them to my Ikea frame (which was white upon purchase but became black thanks to my spray paint addiction.)

Can you spot Tiny Elvis in our kitchen?  I think we may have Elvis in every room in our house . . . . so, kitchen finally tweaked?  Not yet.  I’ve still got to get to the back door which Shenanigan firmly kicks every morning to demand to be let out FASTER and then I also want to tackle some storage in the base cabinets and pantry . . . but that’s for later.  More tweaking to come, just not in the kitchen.  Cheers – CT

The last of our Green Shag goodies . . .

As promised, one of our other “picks” from Green Shag market is guitar-related:

Amongst JT’s dizzying array of guitars, can you pick out the new (old) stand?    The previous stand was a little tech-y and JT was always having to pack it up to take with him to gigs.  Now this new sculptural beauty can stay put in the music room (although the back leg does fold in for transport).

Better yet, it can also hold acoustic guitars which the old stand couldn’t handle.

(Not pictured with an acoustic guitar though — for the most part his Gibson lives in its case with its humidifier . . . )

We also found a bundle of old teacher’s aids posters.  They were all 18×24 or larger and really affordably priced for larger scale artwork.

There was a spot in the music room needing some art.  There are actually a lot of spots in our house needing some art, but let’s start with this spot.  For most of our time in this house, we were displaying our diplomas here:

But college graduation is fast becoming a memory and I need the frames for some artwork in the KITCHEN so down them came.

I didn’t have a large frame for our new poster and wasn’t really willing to spend any amount of $ on it.  I had some mat board down in the basement so I measured out the interior opening I would need, brushed on a few coats of black acrylic craft paint and jerry-rigged together a hanging mechanism out of some painter’s tape and a piece of leather cord.

Ta da, artwork!  (Or back of artwork, at any rate . . . )

The back says this “Specimens of original 19th-century American wood type.  From American Wood Type by Rob Roy Kelly.  Copyright 1969 by Litton Educational Publishing Inc.  Courtesy of Rob Roy Kelly and Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, New York.    Then it goes on to detail educational facts about typography and the interplay of negative and positive shapes.  That’s a lot of words to retype.  We’re more worried about what it looks like in the music room, right?

And I like that it’s music related (ish?)  Can anyone else see the word “Hum” or is this just one of those Magic Seeing Eye posters with a different label on the back . . .  The blue walls seem to color shift a little in each picture I take in there . . . just like the KITCHEN!   Pictures of that next post!

The Kitchen inches forward . . .

Monday again.  Yoinks.  Last weekend didn’t seem nearly as productive as I wanted (but is it ever really . . .) but we did get a few little things done, mainly in the kitchen department.

A new microwave!  Retro style!  Thanks to an Amazon gift card and selling the old bulky black one on Craigslist (finally something sold!)  this one was a break-even change.  The new microwave is just a few inches smaller than the old one but it is so much “lighter” visually.  The white color and the smaller size really help it feel more at home on the buffet.  And I couldn’t resist the retro styling. Although it does have some new annoying beeps.  Oh well.

Also, you may notice in the photo above, JT installed a cafe curtain rod for me on the back door.  Fabric has been purchased for said cafe curtain rod . . . we’ll see how much I have to fight with my sewing machine before these curtains get produced.

Another item we tackled this weekend was the big cutting board sitting on the island cart.  It had gotten really junked up and we hadn’t used it for a while.  I took it down to JT’s basement lair where he power sanded it for me and then I treated it with 3 coats of Howard’s Butcher Block Conditioner.  It’s food-safe and gave a nice luster back to the ol’ cutting board (an IKEA grab.)

Peeking out from behind the teapot on the buffet you may just be able to see a 45 record.   It’s one of JT’s favorites, Carl Perkins and it’s got the Sun label on it.  JT received it as a gift from his brother and sister-in-law. (They give good gifts — remember the Eames rocker?) We had it in the music room for a while but the black vinyl record wasn’t quite “popping” against the black background.

One piece of white canvas and some painters tape later, it has moved into the kitchen as a cheery little rock n’ roll memento.  (We all went on a family trip to Memphis a few years ago and JT really enjoyed Sun Records.  In fact I think he almost had a stroke when the tour guide started playing the piano that Jerry Lee Lewis used and he could touch the guitar used by Scotty Moore.)  The nice thing is that this is a totally reversible operation — all I would have to do is remove the tape and fabric and we’re back to a black background.  The song featured is “Dixie Fried” which I thought had appropriate kitchen connotations.

The record actually does play and we have an MP3 recording of it from our vinyl ripper that JT did before it was framed up.  I’ll have to scout around and see if I can add it to this post.  I definitely will cue up some Carl and maybe a little of his friend Elvis to get me in the mood as I work on the new curtains.

Update: I found the “Dixie Fried” MP3 file from our vinyl above.  You can listen to it here: 02 Dixie Fried.  Enjoy!

The Gambler

December is here folks.  Time to make some magic happen.  I have now completed TWO of the nine gifts that I deluded myself into thinking I had time to craft.  Number Three is in progress.  I’ll need to stay on a pace of about two days per gift if I want to pull this one out.

So . . . . have I worked on my house or any of my projects?  Not so much.  I had a somewhat brilliant idea to line the back of the bamboo shades in the music room to make them more private.  Right now you can basically see right through them in the evening.  Considering we have a four family apartment building about five feet north of the side window, it’s not great.

(It’s that window, next to Johnny.  You probably couldn’t tell due to my lackluster photography skills).

I hopped over to Hobby Lobby thinking I would get some black duck cloth or something and lo and behold, they have curtain blackout fabric.  It’s a weird vinyl-y sort of thing that is white on one side and beige-y yellow on the other.  I pulled one shade down and got to work measuring and cutting out a backer piece.

I stitched the blackout fabric with the yellow side towards the blind, so anything that peeps through between the grass reeds would blend in.  It’s a roman type shade so it has multiple rings and a string system to pulley it up.  I stitched the blackout to each ring spot and left it behind the strings.

No dice.  After JT rehung the shade for me and we attempted to operate it, it wouldn’t go all the way up because the blackout fabric is gathering up in a reverse roman shade from the paper/bamboo shade.  Boo.  I need to get back in there and run the blackout between the strings and the shade but that means redoing all the sewing I did the other night and I just don’t have the time right now (Christmas gifts!!!)   But I think (fingers crossed) that it will work out. 

So is anyone else freaked out that it is December?  Does anyone else have total project failures like me?  I thought I would share that it’s not all cake and roses when it comes to getting things done.  Sometimes it takes a few tries and sometimes it just doesn’t work out at all.  You’ve got to know when to hold them and know when to fold them folks.

(PS — That’s The Gambler.  JT played it for me the other night at his solo gig.  I am his gambler — CT has a thing for the slot machines.)

(PPS — I was looking through some images the other day and realized I had never shared Blog Version 1.0 (Beta).  http://www.alleycrafts.blogspot.com/.  So now I have blog history all the way back to 2010.  I was so late to this party, I’m suprised there’s still booze left, you know?)

Finally – a reveal! Kind of . . . .

Well folks, I had other projects and things to tell you about from this past weekend but the office/music room just can’t wait. 

It’s (mostly) done!

We put together the FLOR area rug and cleared out all the furniture orphans (banished to the basement with my ever-growing alley finds collection).

We managed to fit in all of JT’s amps, guitars and miscellaneous equipment.  Thanks to my luck at IKEA, we had an extra faux sheepskin to create a bench on our Gap sweater drawer (right now holding, you guessed it, miscellaneous musical equipment.)

This will be a great room for listening to our vinyl collection.  Although once it was all organized (alphabetically) on the shelf, the vinyl collection didn’t look so big.

I was finally able to get all of our books out of storage and organized.  Feels good.  The little black clip lamps came from our IKEA escapade as well.  I spray painted the wire pulls black as well to give it a little extra pop.

We’ve been hanging out in here all weekend.  Sophie and Shenanigan stayed away for a while because all the furniture re-arranging seems to frighten them.  But after things had been settled in for a little bit, they came sniffing around to see what was going on.

That may be one of my favorite pictures ever.

Sophie and Shenanigan love listening to music.  We call them studio dogs because they like to hang out while JT plays.

That’s Shenanigan posing with JT’s newest guitar.  I’m still not sold on it as he traded the Gretsch for it.  I really liked the Gretsch . . .  maybe I would like the new one better if JT would hurry up and make me an Explorer? (Hint, hint.)

Sophie seems to like it though.  Traitor.

So, for now, things are in good working order in the office/music room.  I still need to figure out a window treatment situation as the bamboo shades we have on the windows now don’t really provide privacy at night.  We did go look at the office from the backyard and alley and thankfully you can’t see the hanging guitars from the street.  I also have two more alley orphans downstairs awaiting money for reupholstery, so I want to eventually change out the two chairs for something more comfortable.  I also am working on lighting and a few other little projects.  My house will never really be “finished” though, so we’re going to enjoy the music room as it is for now.  It’s come a long way baby! 

PS — The before pictures are so horrible I didn’t want to put them up here.  If for some reason you want to assail your eyeballs, you can see them here.

PPS — If anyone knows of a good photographer in the STL area willing to barter me some good music room photos for design help on their own house, put me in contact.  My photos need an upgrade!

Wilco!

I’m always looking for ways to distract myself from finishing projects.  Nothing beats some good rocking as a distraction.  So Tuesday night was Wilco night here in St. Louis.  Actually Tuesday night was a lot of things in St. Louis — Obama’s visit, a Cardinals play-off game and some kind of event at the History Museum (that we got stuck in traffic at trying to avoid the Obama traffic).

My office is right downtown and on opposite corners from the Renaissance Grand where Obama was visiting.   Just about quittin’ time, the street started to go on lock down for the President.

That’s a view out my window from my desk.  It is really interesting all the security measures they put in place for the President’s visit.  I escaped to the MetroLink and met up with JT in Forest Park to avoid the hub-bub.

This night though I was more interested in someone else’s visit — Jeff Tweedy and co!  First up was opener Nick Lowe. 

Great picture right?  I know.  When Nick Lowe came back out to play with Wilco during the encore , Tweedy joked that they were now called Wick Lowe.    We came in while the lights were down so we didn’t get much of a chance to take in the scenery.  The Peabody Opera House just reopened a few days prior to the Wilco concert and it was pretty obvious — a large group of seemingly regular concert attenders without any idea of where to go or how to get there.  Everyone kind of just milled around.  When the lights came back up, here was the results of all the renovation:

I had never been in it when it was the Kiel Opera House so I don’t know if they stayed true to the original.  The one thing I didn’t care for?  The carpet.

Not only were the colors kind of blah, it has stylized musical notes on it.  Not a fan.  And this is coming from a person who has used alphabet carpeting in a children’s library.   Sometimes that works.  Here I was hoping for something a little less theme-y and casino-esque and more sophisticated.  But I digress.

Finally, what we came for.  Wilco!  Maybe all I need is a shot in the arm . . .

When I hopped onto YouTube, I found some actual Peabody Wilco footage here.  Not sure how legal that is, but it shows how great the stage looked and Oh! the music. 

Have a great weekend!