Friday, August 1, 2014

Cumorah Pageant: the Layout

(Click on the image for a closer view)
Two weeks ago, we drove up to the Fingerlakes area of New York to attend the Hill Cumorah Pageant. You can read more about it here.

Before the Pageant started, the cast mingled with the audience (we got there two hours early to get good seats), so I was able to get some good shots of some of the characters in the performance with good early evening light.

I hope you enjoy my little photo assemblage!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Home Sweet Home

Is there anything as sweet as home? Hopefully you have a happy home, or had one as child... one that evokes happy memories, a place that tugs at your heart a little. I've had many homes in my life, starting with the home of my birth in Vale, Oregon, not far from the Idaho border:
Our house in Vale, Oregon, where my family lived from 1939-1954
I was three years old when we moved to California, and we lived in a little cottage in Los Angeles for 18 months or so while we looked for the house that would be our permanent home.  There was also a short six month interlude when we lived in Glendale, in a wonderful house on Adams Hill.

Our little rental house on Andrita Street in Los Angeles where we lived 1954-1955

We settled in South Pasadena, California, about 10 miles northeast of downtown LA. I loved our house, it was a WWII era split level home, set on the side of a small hill. We had an enormous picture window on the front, and a long front porch that extended the width of the house.

My childhood home in South Pasadena
My parents stayed in our South Pasadena house until the late '80s, when they sold the home to move to a nice little apartment elsewhere in South Pas.

Although I lived in a few other places before my marriage, college apartments, and a couple of rental apartments with roommates, the next place of significance was the little cottage on Camero Ave. in Hollywood where Bruce and I moved when we got married in 1978.  The Hollywood house had been my Grandma and Grandpa Clark's home since 1941, when they moved from Ogden, Utah to Los Angeles to start the Clark Grain Company.

The house on Camero Ave. in Hollywood where we lived from 1978-1986.
Grandpa Ernest Ephraim Clark in front of the Hollywood house in the 1940s
That sweet little Hollywood House has many happy memories for me, of our little babies being born and their young years together. But alas, in 1986, a job opportunity in Rhode Island called, and we sold the little house and moved to Peace Dale, RI for the next four years. 

Our Cape Cod style house in Rhode Island where we lived from 1986-1990
In 1990 we left Rhode Island for Minnesota- we had a short stay in a cute little house in Excelsior, then we moved to a nice two-story home in Eden Prairie where we stayed until the summer of 1992.

Our home in Eden Prairie, MN
Our home for the next three years, from 1992-1995 was East Aurora, NY, where we lived in a cute little blue house with a wrap around porch. It was out in the country near my work at Fisher-Price. We really loved East Aurora, and liked our house a lot. Well, except for the fact that there was only one bathroom!

Annie, Amy and Alec outside our house in East Aurora, NY
In the summer of 1995 we returned to California, where we bought a home in Moorpark, in Ventura County. We loved living there, and spent the next 18 years in our lovely home. Moorpark quickly became our home town.

Our Moorpark home
We still own that home in Moorpark, although someone else's cars are parked in the driveway, and furniture fills the rooms. We're leasing it out during the time we're in New Jersey.

Today, our home is a small apartment in Bergen County, NJ. It doesn't really matter that it only has one bedroom, and that none of our furniture or few of our belongings reside there. The important thing is that Bruce and I have made a little nest together and have a happy home. The kids all have their own homes now, and times have changed.  

The view from our front door, looking at our apartment complex. 

What started my thoughts about homes, was that we visited our little house in East Aurora, NY last weekend.  It hasn't changed a whole lot, except that the trees and bushes have grown so much! It got me thinking about some of these past homes and how much some of them have changed.

Our former East Aurora home today

There was one seemingly sad footnote to our Hollywood house. We sold the house to someone who didn't care for the house like we did, and didn't want to keep the bungalow facade and front porch. They stuccoed up the porch, put up awful, tall wrought iron fences, and parked cars on the front lawn. I went by several times in recent years and was rather depressed at how sad it looked. The other night I was looking on Google Earth to see the old neighborhood, and I was so pleased to see that someone has remodeled the house, removed the obnoxious wrought iron, and done some drought proof landscaping. I'll finish with a Street View shot of the house. It's not the best point of view, but it gets the idea across. It just goes to show that there is hope for even seemingly hopeless renovations!

The little Hollywood house now, sweet Corvette in the driveway

I hope you enjoyed my little Throwback Thursday trip down memory lane. I've been so blessed in my life to have lived in some cozy and comfortable homes, with six of the most precious people I can imagine. Although there are only two of us now,  home is still where the heart is.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Scrapping Historic Sites

The whole town of Spring City, Utah is a historic site! One of my favorite layouts.

A couple of weeks ago I created a post sharing my layouts about museums.  I promised I'd share my layouts about historic sites at a future time, and that time is today! Just yesterday I was reading a thread on a scrapbook message board about 'running out of photos' to scrap. The original poster was afraid she was going to run out of photos of her children to share on scrapbook layouts, and asked if others had the same fear. She got a variety of answers ranging from "Yes! Me too!" to "Not a chance!"  I fall into that "not a chance" camp. Although my children are grown and we live far from them and our grandchildren, I think my layouts would be roughly the same if my kids were still living at home... a mixture of layouts about people, places and things. Not just people!  I love to create family history layouts and layouts about my childhood and youth. I love to take photos, so I often create layouts about nature and the beautiful things I see around me, including architecture, interesting sculpture, art, landmarks, etc.
I can't imagine ever running out of interesting things to photograph and scrapbook about.

Since we moved to the East Coast nearly 2 years ago, I've found myself in the midst of incredible rich historical areas. I'm so blessed that my sweet husband Bruce loves history and historical sites and places of interest as much as I do.   I thought perhaps sharing them all in one place might be inspiring for some of you who don't think you have enough to scrap! Or photograph! (These layouts are all digital, but I'm sure there are some ideas here that might translate to traditional paper scrapping.)

Not all of these layouts were done in the last 22 months, but probably most of them are. I hope you enjoy these, and that they inspire some of your own layouts or photo projects.

I love 'then and now' types of layouts... and I love architecture! Perfect subject matter!

You don't have to use typical photos to create a historic site layout... this is a little more artsy

Another 'then and now'... trying to imagine what it must have been like in 1620

A building in Los Angeles that was part of my childhood memories... another 'then and now'

A little different take... these photos were taken by me in 1976, visiting Houston and Galveston, Texas. I resurrected my old photos of historic spots to create this layout

Another place from my childhood... so I combined new photos with old images I've collected through the years.

My most recent historic spot layout

Another recent one

I love residential architecture, and can often be seen hanging out car windows snapping away

Not specifically a historic site, but the headquarters of the candy that looms large in my childhood memories of growing up in Southern California

Lots of Revolutionary War historic sites in our area!

And Civil War sites too!

A trip to North Carolina a couple of years ago, and a quick visit to a historic plantation

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Joseph Smith Farm and Log Home

Last weekend we did so many fun things, it's going to take several posts to share them all!  Here's my next installment- our visit to Joseph Smith's childhood log home, and the house that the family lived in when he was older.

Joseph Smith was the founder and first President and Prophet of the LDS Church. He was born in 1805 in Vermont, and when he was very small, his family moved to the small village of Palmyra New York, not far from the town of Rochester, and the Finger Lakes. They built a small log house, and Joseph's father established a small farm on the edge of the woods. You can read more about Joseph's story here.

The log home is long gone,  whether torn down, or decayed with age we don't know. But the foundation remained, and 20 years or so ago, it was replicated based on the footprint of the house, and descriptions written in histories and journals of that time.  Near the little log house, up the lane a little, sits a larger, more comfortable home. This is the original structure built by Joseph Smith's older brother Alvin, for his young family. But shortly before it was finished, Alvin died suddenly, and the house was then occupied by the Smith Family for a few years.

We spent a few hours enjoying our tour of the homes, and learning more about the history of Joseph Smith, his family, and the area.

Here are a few other photos of the homes:

The log home

A room in the log home

This large, beautiful tree is called "Alvin's Tree". It was planted by the Smith family shortly after Alvin's death in 1823. It still stands strong and healthy today.

The pantry of the Smith Farm

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

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