Studio Musings

Friday, April 12, 2013

Focus on Life - Aged Beauty

Aged Beauty: this week's Focus on Life theme.

Much of our furniture falls into that category; 'passed-downs' from my husband's side of the family.  Most have stories that go along with them.  For instance, his grandfather was born in the four poster bed in our guest room.  It was a rope bed with a feather mattress back then.  When we inherited it, we replaced the mattress, I promise!

Then there's our Vita-Nola.  Not a Victrola, but along the same lines.  My husband's great uncle purchased it back around 1917.  In time, the phonograph passed from her uncle, to my husband's grandmother, Lela.  Many years ago, she passed it on to us, confiding that she learned to dance listening to records on this phonograph.  She passed away several years ago, but I can imagine her, dancing along to the big band music.

The records are clay, not vinyl. The entire needle-head mechanism tilts back when not in use.  Since it's not electric, we could listen to 1920s big band music by candle-light when the power goes out in a storm.

Researching it on line, I came across this period advertisement. I love it: "mistress of every mood - a solace, and a joy".  Music truly is both, and so much more.

Speaking of aged beauties, next year will be our home's 100th birthday.  It's a little Craftsman's cottage and I hope to celebrate its centennial with a 1920s style garden party.  Can't you just imagine our trusty Vitanola providing the music for such a bash? 

So there's my story for this week.  It's probably the least artistic of the photos from this series - I'm looking forward to seeing everyone else's contributions.


  1. what a fantastic family heirloom! and a 1920s tea party would be a wonderful century celebration, with your gramophone playing the background... a great post!
    have a wonderful week :)
    no. 21

  2. I'm sure your party will be wonderful. I still have a battery operated radio for storm survival and a fireplace to keep me warm... but alas no old gramaphone... I neighbour had one which we used to play with though! I wonder where it went?

  3. You are soooo lucky! Such a wonderful, wonderful piece. (love vinyl!)

  4. Love your "Vitanola" - who says we invented knock-offs! It's a great piece. We have a similar piece, but i hate to think how much stuff I would have to move the photograph it!

  5. very artistic! I love this post!! and what a fun idea to celebrate your home's 100th birthday with this piece!

  6. I think your photo is very artistic indeed!! Love this so much and I cannot wait to see pics of your garden party next year. A video w/sounds of music playing would be lovely to see/hear, too!!

  7. Hi Karen, wow it is so cool that it still works and you are able to listen to music from the past.

  8. Oh I'd love to live in your home and with all those family things! Of course our family things, but you know what I mean. You're very fortunate!

  9. Oh, my, that's such a rich story! I wish I could see your party - make sure you have costumes too :)

    1. Definitely want to have costumes - that's half the fun! That period has always been one of my favorite periods for costumes. I will definitely take pictures, but any of my blog friends who happens to be in Seattle around that time are definitely invited!

  10. Wonderful story Karen. I had no idea records were ever made of clay! Love the idea of a house birthday party.

  11. Great stories Karen. A house birthday party sounds fun.