April 22, 2015

History is Not Dull and I Can Prove It, Part II: Sister Rosetta Tharpe

*I'm a history buff, and I hate that history gets such a bad rap. If you place a rock next to any high school history book, it's the rock that's going to look vivacious and interesting. The names, dates, battles, and treaties we all learned in school are not what history is all about. History is about the people that lived it, the people that made it happen. And I'm here to prove it, one historical badass at a time.*

There is a person (a woman, I'll have you know) that inspired artists ranging from Little Richard to Johnny Cash, and Aretha Franklin to Jerry Lee Lewis. She is called the Godmother of Rock and Roll, and yet she's not exactly a household name these days.

Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Can we just admire the badassery happening in this picture, right here?

Born in 1915 in Arkansas, Rosetta Nubin became a performer in a traveling evangelical group by age six. By the late '30s and '40s, she was recording in studios, and mixing gospel with blues and the electric guitar.

That video gives me the feels.

And please remember that this woman was recording and playing the guitar like a mother a full decade before Elvis.

During 1942-1944, there was a recording ban in place, enacted by the American Federation of Musicians Union. She was one of only two gospel artists that recorded V-Discs (similar to V-Mail, if y'all don't already know about that) for the troops overseas. Her 1944 recording of "Strange Things Happen Every Day" is the first gospel song to ever cross over to Billboard's "race records" Top Ten. (Race records [how lovely] was to eventually be renamed the R&B chart.)

Though her popularity waned in later years, and she passed away from a stroke in 1973, her legacy was never forgotten. Her image was placed on a US postal stamp in 1998, and both PBS and the BBC have aired documentaries about the Godmother of Rock and Roll.

Rock on, sister. 

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April 20, 2015

DIY PVC Picture Storage Tubes

I had a helluva time naming this stupid post. These are a sturdier alternative to cardboard mailing tubes, but I can't call it that, because you can't mail these. Right? I don't know. These are essentially super-sturdy storage tubes for storing posters or other large pieces of artwork. They are made of PVC, so are also affordable. Frugality for the win. 

I have had a bunch of topographical maps years now, rolled up in a closet, coming dangerously close to being squashed on more than one occasion. When I got tired of the constant DON'T SQUASH THE POSTERS mindset, I went to buy mailing tubes to store them in. And proceeded to find out how expensive really long tubes are, and of course I will not stand for that. This little DIY was less expensive than buying cardboard tubes. The world is weird.

I could just hang the maps up, but I don't have a good area for them in this house. These are Next House Decor. I am insane.

So. To the hardware store I went, and bought two 5 foot sticks of 2-inch PVC pipe.

Then I grabbed 4 of these 2-inch end-cap thingies. 

These are the maps. Sorry for the slightly-out-of-focus picture, and also for the fact that these resemble gigantic doobies. 

The really big map is one of Yellowstone that my parents found in their garage when they bought their house. I am overly protective of that one.

The husband cut the pipes down to size, and you can figure out the rest. 

Now I can store the maps anywhere I please, without fear of them being squished or getting wet. Now if you're looking for acid-free storage, you'll have to look elsewhere, but for everyday storage these are perfect. 

PVC. Who knew, right?

See you later!

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April 15, 2015

The Bloodhound: A Study

Yesterday Scout and I were outside for quite awhile, and she used it as an opportunity to do a little dog yoga. Or something. 

It started out safely enough. Stately, dignified. 

It went downhill quickly. 

What is even going on right here.

 After a good ten minute session, she was done. Now for the shake-off. 

I reiterate: stately, dignified.

See you later!

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April 13, 2015

Laundry Room Before and After

My husband had a cold, I had a cold, it did nothing but rain (meaning we couldn't cut the trim outside like we usually do) but finally, on Saturday, we were able to finish the laundry room. This particular project was started about a month ago, and I am so happy that it's finally finished.

This is the only 'before' picture I have of the laundry room. 

Yeeeaaah. It sorta screams MURDER SCENE.

When we decided to finally redo the room, it was go big or go home. First, the paneling was removed, revealing a lovely faux-tile paneling.

In the above photo, there's a big heat duct. It stuck right out into the laundry room, so we tore the entire wall down between the laundry room and bathroom, built a new wall, and stuck the ductwork inside.

A new floor was put in, the new wall was finished, then the room received a new ceiling, new drywall, new paint, trim, and shelving. The washer and dryer were moved to the opposite wall, so the whole shebang got new plumbing as well.

And here she is. 

The ceiling is knotty pine that we had leftover from The Great Living Room Renovation of 2014.

The paint color is the same as the living room, Tallgrass from Pittsburgh Paint. (Swiss Coffee from Glidden is the same color, or damn near.) The shelving is the Rubbermaid wire stuff. 

These prints were free printables I found online, and printed out at home. 

The flooring is vinyl peel-and-stick, which I am not happy about. We bought is along with the flooring for the entry, and apparently could not read the big words on the side of the package that said PEEL AND STICK. I hate that stuff, but it was already purchased and ready to go, so we installed it anyway. If it peels up and looks crappy, we'll replace it with the vinyl tongue-and-groove stuff that we intended to purchase the first time around.

I am beyond happy with this room. It used to be dark and dingy, with no storage space, and a big piece of ductwork in the way of everything. Now it's bright, roomy, and the light fixture I picked out looks like the lights you see in submarines in every movie ever. 

Love it. 

See you later!

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April 10, 2015

Bird Feeder Blues

Last night we got another 4 inches of snow. Which is crazy, seeing as the last batch already melted, and tomorrow is supposed to be just shy of 60 degrees. Weather is weird. 

Anyway. So many birds are back for the summer that whenever it snows (and they can't get food off the ground) the suet feeder looks like a commercial feedlot. 

Okay, it's not that bad, but still. I took these pictures this morning, sitting on the couch. (That's an aloe plant in front of the window, not a deep sea creature.)


As I'm typing this up, they're still at it out there.

Have a good weekend!

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