Tuesday, April 26, 2011

New Etsy Listings: Spirit of Detroit and Welcome To TIger Stadium

I'm being extra productive today, probably because of the beautiful weather. It's 72 degrees outside right now! So I'm out in the sunlight, making progress with my Etsy shop. I'm in the process of renewing old listings and creating new ones. Sports fans in Detroit will be particularly interested in these two:

Spirit of Detroithttp://www.etsy.com/listing/72940120/red-wings-spirit-of-detroit-4x6-mounted

This 4x6 print features the Spirit of Detroit decked out in Red Wings gear. It's the best way to tell when playoff season is here!

This 4x6 print was taken on Michigan Avenue prior to Tiger Stadium's demolition in 2009. While the stadium may be gone, it will always invoke fond memories from the millions of people who attended events there in the past.

Our Core

I read a quick post yesterday from fellow blogger Shybiker titled, "Our Core." It wasn't a long post, just something real short and sweet that included a photograph of him from his childhood and all the similarities he can point out in the young child and his present day counterpart. At the end, a question was posed: Do you have any childhood photos?   

Well, of course I do! I'm a third generation photographer and the daughter of a genealogist! But I've had an idea percolating in the back of my mind for a while now that I decided would be a perfect way to reply to this question. My great-grandparents moved to Ferndale, MI in the 1920's after being chased out of Detroit by the Purple Gang. My family owned an apartment building in Detroit that had a billiards table the gang took a particular liking to. I'm sketchy on the details but I do know that they moved north and built a house in Ferndale. My grandmother was born in the late 20's and raised in that house.

This first photograph is of my grandma on the left, playing with a friend of hers in front of the house my great-grandparents built. It was taken in 1934, which I believe makes Grandma about five years old.

This is Grandma a few years later with her dog, Skipper. I'd put this to be mid-1930's. Look at those curls!

But then, check this out! My grandma on that same very porch, holding my mom as my uncles sit around her! This was most likely mid-1957.

Fast forward to the mid-1960's. That's my mom, probably not even yet a teenager, standing with her cousin and his girlfriend.

Then we have the (possibly late 70's but more likely) early 80's. If you ever wondered where I earned my cat lady status, look no farther than my grandmother. I think this was Max, who was a Siamese / Manx mix. Do you see a tail?

Another 80's shot, this of my grandparents. Even to this day, photos of plants are referred to as "Grandpa pictures." He started the shutterbug itch in my family, which passed on to Mom and subsequently, me.

But here we go! My mom (in the stripes) sitting with me in a stroller with my pretty little bonnet. Behind me are my Uncle Dan, Aunt Sue and cousin Kathy. They live in Pennsylvania so for them to be in Michigan, I assume this was taken at Easter of 1986 (you know what happens when you assume...). That would make me about 8 months old.

Uncle Dan's trying to get everyone to look at the camera. Or he really likes pointing. Anyway, that's my dad holding me while Kathy watches on.

Mom and her loud-mouth daughter, ~ 1987-88.

Family portrait, probably Easter of 1989. I'm sitting in the pink coat in front of my cousin Sara and next to my best friend forever, Big Bird.

Mom and me in August, 1989. This is the day we brought my brother, Ricky, home from the hospital. This was just a few days before my fourth birthday.

Yep. I was Bert for Halloween. Two years in a row. I am a Sesame Street girl, no doubt about it. (Probably 1991-ish)

I've got my arm around my cousin Kathy, sitting next to her younger sister, Julia, while my brother Ricky jumps and screams behind me. Meanwhile, Aunt Sue is reading and Uncle Doug and Grandma (in one of her many cat shirts) sit and chat. (1995?)

Uncle Doug finished restoring his 1965 Austin Healy Sprite so we had to do a little photo shoot. (Fall, 1999)

Which brings us to yesterday, where after dinner, Uncle Doug (who now lives at this house) brought out his camera. Mom's hugging me and my little little brother, Kevin. This was one of maybe 40 photographs, but definitely the nicest.

I think it's fascinating how much history one little porch has. The house has changed a lot over the years but has stayed in the family throughout the entire time. I can't wait to see what else is in store for this porch in the future!

Monday, April 25, 2011

April Giveaway Contest winner!

Leave it to me to plan a contest drawing that lands on a major holiday. I was supposed to hold the drawing yesterday for my Lion Fountain print but that obviously didn't happen! So, better late than never - the winner of the April giveaway is MelJoyCreations, who offers some magnificent jewelry on her Etsy shop.

Thanks to everyone who entered the contest! I'll have a new one up soon enough for May.

Friday, April 15, 2011

This Day In History: April 15, 2008

Advance apologies for the photographically intensive post.

Three years ago today, my friend Mitch and I went to Detroit. Delicious Detroit.


Seriously. Lafayette. It’s wonderful. The menu is nonexistent and the guys working there total up the bills in their heads. Love it. 

Taco Tuesdays? WHERE DO I SIGN UP?

Campus Martius

Hey Compuware, you may be owned by the guy who bought the Hartford Whalers and renamed them the Hurricanes, but whatever, the architecture of this building is cool.

No trip to downtown Detroit is complete without aimlessly meandering through the Renaissance Center.


I am that person who will pay 50 cents to ride the People Mover until I get bored.

The station smelled like pee.

And because I'm disgusting, here's a video I made called, Burping On The People Mover In Detroit - So Kawaii!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Sabrina "Beanie Butt" Kitty

Four years ago today, my cat Sabrina died.

She was a purebred Siamese that my grandmother adopted when I was little. My grandparents spoiled her to extremes. Her food was always warmed up just so, and that was if she ate out of her dish instead of sharing dinner off my grandparents' plates. People tell me I spoil my cats, but Sabrina was the epitome of princess.

When my grandparents died, my uncle took care of Sabrina. But he works long hours and she found herself alone for most of the day. Cats are strange creatures who often enjoy being by themselves, but when they want attention, they want it now. Sabrina's tactic was to gain attention through barfing all over the house. So she came to live with us.

Sabrina with Earl the Dead Cat, "the last cat you'll ever need."
At that time, we already had our tabbies, Nate and Grace, and our Airedale / Alaskan malamute, Pepper. Sabrina grew up with a Manx named Murphy who was a giant blob of fur she could easily intimidate. But this was a new atmosphere for her altogether and we honestly didn't think things would go well. For a little while, they didn't. But we were surprised to see everything calm down eventually and the cats tolerated each others' existences.

Sabrina and Grace at the only time I ever saw them getting along. I ran and got my camera because this was so bizarre.

Sabrina was a funny cat, though. Being Siamese, she was extremely vocal. To the extent of being severely annoying. "Shut up, Sabrina" was a commonly uttered phrase. But it was always said with a hint of affection. She was also the first cat I ever knew who would perch on my shoulders like a parrot. She balanced herself well enough that I could walk around without her digging her claws into my skin (too badly). As she got older, her senses began to go, her teeth became rotten from all the crap my grandparents fed her and when she got comfortable on someone's lap, she would drool on them as they petted her. It was actually really disgusting. But it still makes me smile to think about.

Sabrina lived to be 16 or 17 years old, which is a ripe old age for a spoiled princess like herself. She must have gotten a case of Kitty Alzheimer's because I've never seen a cat become so senile. We worked with her for a good while but when she started to confuse her food dish for the litter box, we knew it was near the end. I had a hard time coming to terms with euthanising her but it became a matter of not knowing what to expect next. I wouldn't have been surprised to find her drowned in the toilet because she didn't have enough sense to not go in or be able to find a way out. Saying goodbye to her was equally as hard as watching her mind deteriorate. But I know she had a long life surrounded by people who loved her.

It's also funny to me that my tortoiseshell, Cameron, is so similar to Sabrina in personality and mannerisms. I am certain Cameron is part Siamese because of her body build, facial structure and her loud, talkative voice. Cameron will talk to anyone she sees and we lovingly reply, "Okay, Sabrina!" Cameron also does the same sitting-on-shoulders trick, which makes me wonder if the two of them clandestinely got together to conspire on the occasions they'd see one another. But it makes me smile because when I start to miss Sabrina, I can look to Cameron and see a piece of her there.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Attacking Ferndale!

I had a girl's night out with Jamie and Sara last week. It was warm enough for light jackets, though the other two opted for knitted caps and scarves. We took a walk to the Woodward Avenue Brewers in downtown Ferndale.

The lobby is great because it's always filled with free local newspapers and fliers for shows and exhibits going on in the area. There's a chalkboard at the entrance with all the daily specials and I kick myself each time because I want to bring chalk and vandalize the board a little bit. With nice things, of course. I want to draw cats all over the place.

We were having fun taking pictures and I accidentally had the camera set on burst mode. Out of the rapid succession of photos, I think this is my favorite:

Kyle came up for a little while, even though he actually was supposed to be at work. So some classic photographs such as this one were created. Don't ask. I really don't know. 

Jamie got a hold of the camera at one point and took a stealth picture of me while I was being particularly blurry.

We packed up and got ready to leave. Sara called up her brother David to come hang out with us next door at a bar / pool hall called The Loving Touch. I'll be honest, it's not one of my favorite establishments because it's usually loud and crowded. They don't even serve food. I loves me some food. But hey, good company counts for everything.

It's not every day a prime parking spot on Woodward is available so Jamie and Sara did their best to keep this space occupied for David.

But alas, as it's a bar and David is only 17, we were kicked out of The Loving Touch after only a few minutes. Which was fine by me, personally. We opted to stop at Pairs for a six pack and go back to Sara and Kyle's instead.

Let me tell you about Pairs. It's a convenience store that also sells clothes, baseball caps and jerseys. It's the most random mismatched assortment of merchandise. The six packs are often missing bottles because they sell them individually. I wouldn't be shocked if they sell cigarettes individually. It's just one of those places. But the people who work there are nice and it always seems to be the same people every time I go in, which is why I keep going back.

But yeah, it's the type of establishment where one would find a half eaten piece of fried chicken sitting in the ashtray of the garbage can outside.

Mmm, Pabst Blue Ribbon! Breakfast of champions.

But hey, what's a girl to do, right?

If you're this girl, it's taking pictures of David until he gets super annoyed with you. But this one actually turned out rather nicely.

And we all know the best thing to go along with a cold PBR is Apples to Apples! The highlight of the game was probably this brilliantly unplanned hand laid down for "miserable:"

And then I found five dollars.