Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Visiting the Roycroft

(Click on the layout for a closer view)

My husband and I grew up in South Pasadena, California. South Pasadena is only 10 miles from downtown Los Angeles, but is years away in atmosphere. South Pasadena is noted for its tree-lined streets and beautiful homes. Many of them are Craftsman style bungalows, built during the heyday of the Arts and Crafts movement in the United States in the early part of the 20th century- from about 1900 to 1920 or so.  Famed Arts and Crafts architects Charles and Henry Greene (Greene and Greene) lived and worked in Pasadena, designing and building many beautiful and iconic homes. Some of these were in South Pasadena and other nearby communities. The popular style of architecture caught on in the Pasadena area, and their appeal spanned generations.  These beautiful homes have only increased in popularity and value. Growing up in South Pasadena made me aware at an early age of the beauty of these homes with their natural wood, wide porches, soft lines, and unpretentious style. 

In 1977 I visited the Gamble House for the first time. The Gamble House is probably Greene & Greene's masterpiece. You can read more about it here. 
Once visited, I was smitten with the style of the home, and everything else about it: the woodwork, stained glass, accessories, lamps, furniture, textiles and decorative arts. After Bruce and I were married, we made several trips back to the Gamble House, and Bruce fell in love with it too. We dreamed of someday owning our own little Craftsman bungalow.

Fast forward to 1992. We were being relocated from Minneapolis to Western New York, where I accepted a job with Fisher-Price Toys in East Aurora. East Aurora is a beautiful little village less than 20 miles from Buffalo, and we were excited to move there.  East Aurora is not only famous as the home of Fisher-Price, but the home of the Roycroft.  We soon learned about the Roycrofters- a movement of artisans in the early 20th century, founded by visionary and entrepaneur Elbert Hubbard in 1895. The Roycrofters formed a creative community of metalsmiths, potters, woodworkers, artists,  leather workers, glass workers, and graphic artists. They built several buildings in the community which served as studios and shops. They had a large publishing and printing business, and much of the income of the community came from the sales of books, pamphlets and magazines.  Elbert Hubbard died in 1915, a passenger on the ill-fated Lusitania, sunk by German U-Boats off the coast of Ireland. The community managed to hang on for some years, but eventually, the shops and studios were closed.

The Roycroft Copper Shop

The Roycroft Chapel
When we moved to East Aurora, the Roycroft was in the process of being revitalized. We felt right at home with beautiful things that we saw in the Roycroft gift shop, and admired the reproductions and authentic Roycroft antiques that were for sale there. Most everything was beyond our budget, but we picked up a few things. Bruce began to collect Roycroft books and magazines.  After we left East Aurora in 1995, we decorated our California house more and more in Craftsman style. So, it seemed that we had gone full-circle.  

Inside the Roycroft Inn

The Roycroft Copper Shop

The Roycroft Gift Shop

Last weekend, as part of our trek to Palmyra, NY to see the Hill Cumorah Pageant, we decided to go back to our old stomping grounds of East Aurora. We hadn't been back since we left, and I was so excited to see everything again. High on our list to-do was to visit the Roycroft Inn, the restored heart of the old Roycroft community.  Bruce made a reservation for Saturday night dinner, and we got dressed up and enjoyed a scrumptious meal, celebrating a belated anniversary. During the time we were in East Aurora we visited the fabulous Copper Shop, antique store, and gift shop. Bruce bought me a beautiful print with a quote by Elbert Hubbard. I can't wait to frame it and hang it on our wall.  

So, that's the long winded, roundabout story of our visit to East Aurora, and why it was so special to us!

Only in East Aurora- Roycroft-style trash cans on Main Street

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Hill Cumorah Pageant

We're away for a few days... visiting Western New York,  we've done so much and had so much fun, and the weekend isn't even over yet! But I'll share a taste of one of the highlights of our weekend so far.  Last night we enjoyed the phenomenal production of the Hill Cumorah Pageant, in Palmyra (Manchester), NY, near Rochester.  The weather was perfect and we had great seats! I'll write more about our weekend in the days to come, but I thought I'd post a few photos from the Pageant to give you a little taste.

Briefly, the Hill Cumorah Pageant tells the story of the origins of the Book of Mormon, sacred scriptures to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons). It begins in Jerusalem with the Prophet Lehi, who took his family and sailed to the new world many years before Christ. His family, and another family who went with them, settled, grew, battled, prospered, grew wicked, battled again, fought, lived in righteousness, lived in wickedness, and battled some more over a period of a thousand years, until most of them were killed in battle. A record was kept by the faithful prophets of these people, and this record was buried in the Hill Cumorah. These records were revealed to a young man named Joseph Smith in the 1820s, right there in Palmyra, NY. We believe the record was divinely inspired and protected, and given to Joseph by an angel, who happened to be the same prophet who buried the record (gold plates) a few hundred years after Christ. Sounds a little crazy? You can read more about it here,  written by someone who can explain it much better than I!

Be sure to stop by again soon to see more!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

About Museums

The other day, when I posted my layout about the New Bedford Whaling Museum, I mentioned that I've done a lot of museum layouts of various types through the years, and they've been some of my favorites. So, I thought it might be fun to share some of my museum layouts all on one post! (I also enjoy creating layouts about historic sites, but I'll post those at another time.)

Without further ado, and in no particular order, I give you Museum Layouts!

This layout was published in Somerset's Digital Studio Magazine in 2012

Can't decide whether this is a historic site or museum, but think it's more museum than not.

The Woodstock Museum at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts
Combination garden, museum and gallery, the Huntington Library is beyond compare

I hope you have enjoyed this little visual trip through history, and art, and nature, and science!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

New Bedford Whaling Museum

I love museums! Bruce loves museums! We go to a lot of museums, and I love to create layouts about museums. Some of my favorite layouts have been either museums or historic sites.

Last weekend Bruce and I spent the 4th of July weekend in Rhode Island, visiting our friends, the Archibalds. Although the 4th itself was a bust, due to tropical storm Arthur which dumped upteen inches of rain on the New England coast, Saturday the 5th was a perfect day. Valeen, our hostess, suggested we go to New Bedford, not far from their home in Tiverton, RI, to check out the New Bedford Whaling Museum. It was fabulous! So good, and so big, that we had to go in two bite-size segments with lunch (at nearby Freestone's restaurant) in the middle.

Here are a few additional photos of our adventures:

Some of the costumed hosts take a lunch break

The museum was full of amazing ship models from many eras.

We saw lots of amazing whaling artwork

Our lunch spot

Leon and Valeen

Ivory and scrimshaw-handled canes

The view of the waterfront from the museum

1/2 scale whaling ship on display

Looking down from the balcony on the 1/2 sized ship

The Charles W. Morgan, restored whaling ship, visited New Bedford for a few days

Friday, July 11, 2014

Thirty Six Years and Counting


As I mentioned in my last post here, Tuesday July 8 was our 36th wedding anniversary.  Every year since the beginning of our marriage, I've made something for Bruce as an anniversary present. The first year I made a cute shadow box. The second year, a counted cross stitch I designed. And so forth. (To be honest, I can't remember most of the gifts, I must be getting old!)  One of my favorites was for our 27th anniversary in 2005, when I made a little album of photos of just the two of us, one for every year of our marriage. Two years later, in 2007, I made the first digital layout celebrating another year together. Since that time, I've mostly made layouts- celebrating everything from our wedding day, to a year's worth of memories in photographs. Last year I did something different- I designed a cute little illustration of Bruce and me, sent it off to Spoonflower, the custom fabric printer, and they returned yardage to me which I then had sewn into a pillow by my friend Colleen Wiest. (She did an awesome job!)  This year, I thought I would be more subtle by writing 36 little memories on my layout. (Layout above). Nothing earth shattering, just some little thoughts and memory jogs about our 36 years together. I snapped the photo of our holding hands last Sunday at church, and the background photo was taken last weekend in Fall River, MA when we went to lunch with our friends, the Archibalds.  So, working backwards, below, you can see the layouts and projects I created for my sweetie for the past few years of digital design. I hope you like them! 








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