Music : interrupted / Piano : repurposed ~ { Part III }

First of all, this is part III which obviously relate to part II and part I. If you’ve just stumbled onto this blog, it might interest you to check those out as well. Second of all, there will be a part IV to this. Though the armoire is standing and functional, there still is a bit to do yet aesthetic-wise. And also, this is not really a how-to so much as it is a this-is-what-I-did. I know that some people find this site via a Google search seeking how that might go about repurposing an old piano they may have. If you have any specific questions regarding how I did something, send me a note.

But in a nutshell, “it’s alive!

From Beyond. A Frankensteinian amalgamation: "The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new dark age." ~ HP Lovecraft

I’m working backwards here by showing the most finished picture before showing the ramp up to it. But I got excited. Can you blame me? Doesn’t this look fun? I’m so pleased that it turned out as well as it did. Vision is one thing but execution is everything. But I am getting ahead of myself. So you saw where it was last time; a hollow shell. Well there isn’t that much more to than that really.

Here's a look at her shelf guts before we sow her back up.

Once we sat the TV inside we realized we had a major problem. The screen, more or less fits inside the hole and most of the TV casing is covered. This is desirable, yes. However ~ this meant that the remote control sensor, which was right at the bottom center of the casing, was blocked. To get the remote to work I had to literally stand right in front of the television, hold the remote just inches away, aim it straight down at the television and hope that what ever magic rays that make remote controls work would squeeze themselves into the crevice and change a channel. What’s the point of a remote then, right?  You might’ve noticed the solution in the photo above but in case you didn’t:

Holey piano, Batman

A hole right in the center.  Now without too much difficulty at all, I can again change channels just like a modern man. The only drawback is I can’t be too far left or right of the hole to use the remote. If our particular TV had a plug in sensor like some do, we’d be in the pink. That would’ve been very helpful.  I will paint or stain the inside of the hole so it disappears somewhat ~ or perhaps cover it with an antique radio speaker cloth (like this) which would hide it yet would allow whatever necessary magic remote control rays to arrive to television. It may be a moot point as the hole basically disappears when the cover is up (see the first picture in this post).

As I mentioned, there will be a part IV to this as there’s still work I’d like to do to it. I want the television to be able to be 100% concealed whenever I want it to be so I will have to figure out how to put hinges back onto the music stand that is currently missing. Initially I was going to have it flip straight up but there are several reasons why that won’t work. Plan B is to split the piece down the center. Ideally I’d love to be able to have them close like this player piano‘s does but I think the shape of my piano simply prevents that from working. What I’ll likely end up doing, if the moulding on the edges permits, is turn the single music stand into 2 cabinet-esque doors I can open and close.

It’s been mentioned a few times by a few folks that I should do this as a business. That’s an interesting thought. This project was one of the biggest pains in the neck ever but in the end it worked. If you’ve got an old piano that you don’t play and you’d like to do something like this (or something else altogether), do drop me a note. You’ll find I can be quite awesome, but humble.

It must be said that I couldn’t have completed this project without the help of Kevin Garcia, whom I referenced in one of my very first Hair Tonic & Horse Feathers posts, as well as Mark Rosellini. Even more thanks goes to my wife for allowing this project to go on INDOORS for so long. Hopefully a nice piece of unique antique furniture to hide our ugly black & shiny modern devices will make up for the trouble .

Part IV coming soon.

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absentee!

Hello friends of Hair Tonic & Horse Feathers…

There’s been a lag in posts as of late and here’s why: I’ve been helping Mrs. Hair Tonic & Horse Feathers get her dissertation ready and have been helping her prep for her oral defense. And it’s all paid off because Mrs. Hair Tonic & Horse Feathers is now Dr. Hair Tonic & Horse Feathers. A million hugs and congratulations to my wife: my truest treasure in this world. She’s inspiring in every way and I hope she can share her story to you all soon. It’s an awe-inspiring one.

Google pays tribute to Charlie Chaplin

A clever search and a cleverly placed play button

I’m working on a post about silent film but I’m going to have to interrupt that post with another post about silent film. Google’s ever changing “google doodle” logo is paying tribute to Charlie Chaplin’s 122nd birthday with a short Chaplinesque silent film. His birthday is actually tomorrow so I’m a little confused as to why it showed up today but I digress. In place of the regular Google logo there is a small movie clip and the play button is cleverly paced right over the Chaplin-character’s tiny toothbrush mustache.

The movie itself is actually very cute though one thing is glaringly obvious: you can’t just add a b&w filter on your sped up footage and think you’re Charlie Chaplin. You don’t realize how very subtly good the likes of Chaplin, Buster & Harold were until you see someone trying to imitate them. The genius and the years spent honing their craft really shines through when held up against those who were merely inspired by them. The sheer genius of the masters is amazingly invisible on-screen, as well it should be. You notice it most when it’s not there.

It was a little bit on the spoofy side with all the clichés firmly in place but none the less I’m pleased to have YouTube and Google paying tribute to art forms of yesteryear. I have to point out ~~ that long-haired cop who bought the muffin for $2 must be mighty rich! With that price tag in 1923, he paid the equivalent of $26.14 for it! Iffy homework aside, well done Google!  Make more~! Buster Keaton’s 116th is coming up in a few months!

It Requires An Attention Span: Silent Horror Films (via Lovely Shades of Nostalgia)

Here’s a great blog that I ran across this morning. It’s jogged my brain a bit and I’ll be writing post in response to this one soon. Enjoy!

It Requires An Attention Span: Silent Horror Films Attention spans are wonderful things. Too bad they are noticeably lacking in society today. I would appreciate even a small attention span, going to dinner with someone or walking along having a conversation without them looking at their cell phone, sitting down to watch a movie in its entirety without needing to log on to the Internet, and so on. So I'm reaching here when I suggest watching silent films. An activity that not only requires one to … Read More

via Lovely Shades of Nostalgia

Procrastination, Victorian style.

I should be working on other things but I needed to take a break from painting so I started a new painting. I happen to have a small oval canvas lying around and me, being a chronic picture frame hoarder, had a beautiful picture frame to go with it. So in less than a half hour I came up with this:

I’ve been fascinated by Victorian style silhouettes for a few years now and have always wanted to decorate our home with them. This project, as I mentioned, took less than a half hour to do, cost me $0 (that because I happened to already have the materials), and took a very small amount of skill to do. You don’t have to have an artistic bone in your body to do this. Just a steady hand. I think in the near future I’ll do a step-by-step tutorial on how to make one yourself.

So now…back to work.

YouTube 1911

Forget last week’s kudos to Google for their vintage Houdini logo. YouTube’s done gone n’ one up’d em’.  In what I assume is in honor of April Fool’s Day, YouTube has a new logo (with a one day lifespan I’m sure) and has not so much revamped their site but revamped their videos.

First of all there’s this clever little video that shows what a few modern viral videos might’ve looked like had there been a YouTube 1911.

Now only that but each video has the option in the bottom right hand corner that allows you to watch it in 1911 style ~ jangly piano music, dust & scratches, with a nice sepia toned image.  Well done, YouTube!

My question now is…why 1911? Is it to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Colt 1911 ? But that would’ve been March 29th. Ah well. Whatever the case, I love it when the modern goes old-timey. Three cheers for YouTube.

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