Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Now Available on Etsy

Some of the kitchen cabinet knobs leftover from my kitchen are now available on Etsy. I may even make more, they are fun to make. (But not right now, haven't been in the studio now for nearly four months and counting.)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Airstream Art Dream

I have a crush
On an American Dream...
Of getting in my Airstream...
And living free
untethered - unplugged
completely off the grid.
I want to start with an old one
and restore it with some personality.
Make it fit me, a little bit dignified, a little bit playful, a little bit fierce
Living space, studio space...
Free as a bird
Completely alone in a aluminum cocoon
(Well... perhaps with the company of a good dog!)
where anything is possible
owning little beyond the travel trailer and the truck that hauls it.

but living a rich full life.

A life that is full of laughter and wonder.

I wanna live that life where I can put aside their expectations...
and reach for something deeper, more honest, more real.

I just can't wait to get on the road again!
Happy Trails,
-Carmen Rose

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Piano Adventure - Conclusion

Sunday, shortly after noon we visited Piano #19 at the YMCA.  I pulled back the tarp and got a splinter right under my fingernail.  Oh blast!  It quit hurting pretty quickly though.  It was a red piano with WMCA lyrics painted all over it.  We paused to consider the rain...
And to take a little more video footage...
And then hopped back in the van to visit Piano #20.  This one was under a pavilion at Franklin & Marshall and we got there just before the guests started to arrive for a birthday party.  I played "happy birthday" on the piano.  And since it was painted in chalk board paint with chalk provided... we took a moment to make our mark.
Including my little ad that I wrote on the back of the piano:  
" blog about visiting the pianos."
And of course a silly pose:
I raced Sara back to the van in the downpour and she won.  Girl can run!  
Felt good to run in the rain!

Piano #21 can be found in Reservoir Park, it is the farthest one out.  It is covered in duct tape, and I think that's a good thing since it was rather aesthetically challenged to begin with.
We used the timer on my camera to get this shot of us braving the spiders to play the piano in our own way.
Well... they didn't get any better looking toward the end!  Piano #22 was in Musser Park and was sporting a caution tape and blood color scheme.  I did like the sponsor sign and...
"Everybody loves beauty" that was taped to the top just above the keys.
Everyone loves beauty, it's true... it's just that everyone does not agree on what beauty is!
Thus concludes "The pianos of Lancaster PA."

That was fun... now... 
Let's eat!
Food photos coming.

Happy Trails,
-Carmen Rose

PS:  We were told that there were 20 pianos, and one was removed... then they added three.  Looking back over my notes I realized that I counted the absent piano as #4... therefore there should be 23 in this series.  So... we may have missed one... but if so... which one?  
Does it matter?  Not really.  
Just a little mystery in my mind.  One of many.

Pianos and more Pianos... Part 5

I got lost in the bead store, happily exploring the nether regions of components with infinite possibilities.  The Bead & Pottery Works is a shop with an interesting concept, and we noticed that people came there to carefully work on their projects, paying for supplies and studio time.  I hate to mention it, but I think I have as much stuff in my bead studio as they had in their bead store... or close.  There was even a ROCK place downstairs, really cool rocks from all over the world.  We finally emerged from the wonderful world of creativity into dusk on the streets of Lancaster.  We were tired and hungry but we were headed toward our hotel and all the pianos would be more or less on the way back.

Piano #8 Revisited!
We were walking to our next piano and heard piano music on the street and decided to follow that sound.  At dusk the city starts to look very different and I hadn't realized that we were in a location that we'd been earlier in the day until we came upon piano #8 with three musicians.
They had a lovely sound with the three voices in harmony, guitar and piano.  I recognized the song they were playing and they played another and I sang along with them and Dawn brought out her flute.
Then we traded places and I played piano, Dawn played flute and the group of us sang together.  I'll tell ya, that night, sitting on a piano bench surrounded by the voices of strangers in harmony plus a flute... it was as good a place as one could ever hope to find!  I was in heaven!!
I wish I had asked their names, a lovely trio with such sweet spirits!

Piano #16
We wandered a while, we thought we were in the right place on Faulkner but all that was there was a bar in the alley... until we asked a bartender who pointed out a tarp shrouded piano, "It's broken" he told us.  He was right!  But that didn't stop us from getting the photo.  I imagine we were rather amusing to the patrons at the bar, but it didn't matter much by that point.
And... it's dark!  Good thing we had good flashes on the cameras!
I was turned all topsy turvy and was confusing myself with the map, so we asked the bartender who looked at our map and finally gave up on that and told us he had seen one in front of the library.  Which way?  He pointed and we scampered off to meet: 

Piano #17 "Dutch Wonderland."
It had a fairy tale theme going on...  a dragon on one end, some knights on the lower front.
A quick photo and onward...  It really was time for some dinner and a shower... though maybe not in that order.

O wait!  Here's another one!  Piano #18!  It had been skinned!
It's fun to play and watch the piano insides move behind the plexi.
Piano guts fascinate me! 
Another quick snap... Is that piano holding us up?  

We walked north to our hotel and after a quick shower it was time for a late (after 9 pm) dinner!  And what a dinner it was... more about that in another post.

We walked more than five miles, played 18 pianos, made some music, met a bunch of interesting people and ate spectacular food.  All in all an excellent day!

Happy Trails,
-Carmen Rose

More Pianos Part 4

After a lovely lunch we found this piano in a parking lot, 
I think it may have been one of the most beautiful pianos of them all.  
This is Piano #13 on Grant Street.
Dawn was still going strong but I was flagging.  I needed a nap!
But we found a quilt museum shop, that's almost as good as a nap!  There I saw examples of Christine Morgan's "Sew and Slash" quilt designs.  Intriguing, I must try that! 

Piano #14
This piano was painted by the Root 222 group and it was Demuth Museum's piano.  There was a painting in our hotel from the same group, very interesting.  

Piano #15...
Was hidden away in the courtyard of a church.  You look at the gate and it seems locked... however, we were instructed to go on in anyway.  The imposing gate yielded to touch and it was a beautiful world away inside a busy city.  We uncovered the piano and enjoyed it's beauty.
Another beautiful piano!
Even Sara got in on playing this one, with a little help from her Mom.
A piano in a lovely courtyard sponsored by a Yoga place... inspired a yoga pose. 
Then it was time to visit the bead store!

(Do we know how to have an adventure or what?!)
Happy Trails,
-Carmen Rose

Piano Adventure Part 3

We found piano #10 at Queen and Vine, it had hand prints all over it. By then we had walked 2.5 miles, large and in charge!
Conquered another one!
Then we found our way to Steinman Park to visit the piano covered in pennies.
And to read over this guy's shoulder...
What a nice guy, really seemed like a good solid citizen, ya know?
This handsome fella stopped to play for a moment and we snapped his photo.
This time we were wrapped in a Russian shawl that Dawn picked up at "Building Character," a great artsy antique store that we stumbled upon.
We made mental note of an ice cream place with a great name: Carmen and David's Creamery... (With a name like that it has to be good!) that we wanted to come back and visit. But we wanted some lunch first so we started to keep an eye out for a great place to eat.

Piano #12 was at the bank under a gazebo on a picturesque street corner. And we discovered Richard Moyer again (who we met at piano #6.)  He assured us that this was the best piano and Dawn played flute with him again.
While they were treating the gathered folks to some good piano/flute music... I was chatting with the lovely Segway people. This is Bob and Terri Stauffer, Owners of Red Rose Seg Tours.
They were SO helpful and told me that the guy who put together this display of pianos was in London and saw the work of Luke Jerram and decided to bring the idea to Lancaster. They also told me that there were 20 pianos to start, one was removed and later on three were added. So that helped us to know how many to look for. They also told us of one that is hidden away in a church courtyard. We would NEVER have found that one without their help. And honestly, if you want to see the pianos of Lancaster, their segway tours are perfect! Unless you want to walk more than 5 miles and then drive to the ones that are further out... like we did. Find them on Facebook. They were very cool!  Next time I'm going to try riding a segway!  Doesn't that sound like fun?  (Yes!  Yes, it does!)
My very favorite photo of them all:

This piano at Fulton Bank was perhaps the best of the lot. We liked it enough to stay and play for a while. A few people moved in close, it was cool to see how people responded to the music. 

And then it was time for a late lunch!

More later, happy trails!
-Carmen Rose
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