Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Adventure to the Dept of Archives - Homeowner Photos

First of all, thanks to Julie Young for this wonderful idea.  If you know someone who is a new homeowner with an older house, you might want to take note. 

Hunter had a birthday a couple weeks ago (I was happy for the excuse).   He just bought a house this past August in an older area of Bham.  Julie  had given some friends of hers (new homeowners) the best gift - old pictures of their houses from the archives of the library!  She and I snuck away one lunch to do some research....

We climbed down to the basement of the Birnimgham public library (adjacement to the courthouse and Lynn park for those of you who are familiar with Bham).  The archives department means business.  You have to check your bags in a locker in order to be allowed to access the files.

Julie had already called with the addresses so she had the needed parcel numbers.  We were in luck!  Both files had pictures. Most do.  In the files you can also find the original homeowners, how much they paid for the house, and what year the picture was taken.

You will notice there are two pictures. The picture on the left is where Hunter grew up. With a little digging Julie and I were able to find the address. Actually, sweet Julie went back one lunch to get his childhood house picture because I was stuck at work. She was able to find his parents' address through old phone books. He and I drove by his childhood house probably about a week before but there was NO WAY I could remember the address.

The picture on the left was taken in 1938 (I believe - this is from memory) and the one on the right was taken in 1955. I don't know if you can tell, but the one on the right has a for sale sign in the front. It is pretty neat!

His childhood home had an actual photograph in the file we had copied and then scanned. It had writing (lot # and etc) all over the picture but my friend Kyndall Waters (using her mad photoshop skills) was able to remove the writing! The picture on the right (his new house) had a negative so we had to place an order and come back to pick up the DVD with the picture. It was ready in time for his birthday with a little stalking on my part.

Now some advice on printing. The pictures are odd sizes and don't fit the normal 4x6 or 5x7 frames of today without cropping a large part of the picture. I wanted to get the whole picture so I had  mattes cut to fit the pictures at Hobby Lobby. After trips to Walgreens and Ritz, I ended up just printing on photo paper with my inkjet at my house to get the correct sizes.  It was worth it.  Hunter asked me what I was doing or thinking one day.  I didn't want to say, "Oh nothing. Just examining the color of your moulding."  I was trying to match the matte colors to his moulding.  Did you know there are about 6 colors of off white?! 

I know you can't see the pictures great but I do think they turned out well....

UPDATE:  Here is the picture of Claire's house!  She and Hunter bought their houses about the same time.  Claire's house is from the 30's.  Isn't it great?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Fall Photography

I really do think this is the longest painting hiatus I've had since I picked back up after college.  But that is ok, because I have been enjoying my new toy.  It is much easier to transport than painting supplies.  I will leave you with a couple of my favorite fall pics.....
With Hunt hiking Ruffner to see the Bham sunset (click to enlarge and see the buildings in the distance)!

This is from my own backyard (practically)...International Park.

I am going to try to keep my favorite pictures here: http://500px.com/smscarbr so check for updates!  Included already are some modeling shots from Claire's crew (animals).