Thursday, July 29, 2010

Happy Birthday Clara Bow!

The "IT" Girl was born on this day back in 1907, OR was it 1905?? IMDB lists her birth as 1905 as does David Stenn's excellent bio on her, "Running Wild", but both Clara's grave marker and a typed letter by her would lead one to believe she was actually born in 1907

Clara's last film, "Hoopla" was produced in 1933 and in the letter above she states that she left Hollywood at age 26, which would coincide with her being born in 1907.

A shot of Clara's grave marker. OK enough of that, below are reposts of all the Clara stills, postcards and other items in my collection, plus a couple of new ones at the end.

I still gotta get this autographed framed up with a picture....hmmmmmm which picture though???

The first image of Clara Bow I ever saw and still one of my favorites.

My one and only vintage Clara Lobby Card, so far.

Below are the 2 newest vintage postcards I've gotten in.

We shall surely never see her like again.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Artman's Bedroom Antics....Part I

Yup, it's that time again people....RENOVATION time!!!! This time I'm totally redoing my bedroom and I mean totally reshaping and reconfiguring the space and changing the look of the room completely, which is a blessing because it was truly a horrible room to be in, blech!

This is by far the most involved project I've gotten into yet and I figure It'll take 6 months or so before its done!

Ok so the first order of business was that I had to relocate my sleeping area....

Soooooo, into the dining room I go! How sad is it that with a few hours work moving stuff and hanging up some movie posters this little setup is 100 times more comfortable than my bedroom ever was! Yes, of course those posters are vintage!

Here's a "before" pic of the closet wall area which is where I'm starting. NO, I dont know what possesed me to paint the room that sickly gray color and put up that cheesy Wal-mart border when I moved in, but it got so I felt like I was sleeping in a mausoleum! The furniture is nice though.
Anyway, the closet was poorly conceived and not user-friendly at all. There was a ton of wasted space and no lighting.

The big problem with wall closets like this is that the stuff in the far left and right sides is hard to get at, hard to see and generally one ends up just piling junk there.

So the idea is to get rid of it all together and build 2 new smaller but more space efficient closets and open up that part of the room so I can put the bed there, which will in turn open up the rest of the room dramatically! Here's where the fun starts!

Party Time!!!!
The carpet is being replaced too.

Most of the drywall is being removed from the room because for one thing it was done very hastily and sloppy and also the original paint is not sound (i.e. is not adhered well to the drywall) I plan on wallpapering this room so I'd have to spend more time fixing those problems than I would just putting up new drywall instead. If you look closely you can see the back of my refrigerator in the corner behind the bare wall studs. I have almost 2 feet of wasted space back there and so I opened up the old closet wall which was adjacent to the kitchen. One of the closets I'm putting in is only using space robbed from that area and not impacting on the actual bedroom square footage at all!

Here I started framing out the bigger closet on the left. I'm also installing a slight dropped ceiling area, sort of an alcove, for over the bed with recessed lights on a dimmer and some sort of decorative wood paneling design to set it off from the rest of the room. Its gonna be nifty!
By the way, I've never done framing work like this before in my life!
Doubly interesting because this place has a concrete floor with radiant heat so I couldnt just nail new studs to the floor! Instead I had to use industrial strength sub-floor adhesive, but once that stuff is dry it's pretty much as if they were nailed down!

Test fitting the Bi-fold door for clearance, so far all is well! The 2 closets will face one another with the bed in between. This closet is about 40" wide and 2 feet deep and will be strictly for hanging clothes. The other closet will be only about 10" deep and have shelves for storing folded clothes, boxes of pictures etc. etc., it will be able to fit a LOT of stuff in there and all of it will be visible and easy to get at. Ironically I dont really need either of these closets, my clothes all fit in the bedrom set, but I dont plan on living here alone for the rest of my life *sigh*

Here's how far I got up to today, isnt it lovely? I'm going to be scraping the popcorn shit off the main ceiling and installing beams crossing both sides, sort of like a tic-tac-toe thing with recessed lights in each corner and one in the middle. This room was sorely lacking in adequate light but it wont be when I'm through with it!

next up, frame and drywall the smaller closet.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Happy Birthday James Cagney!

My all-time favorite actor was born on this day in 1899!

I think Cagney more than any other star of his era defined and shaped "acting" as it applied to motion pictures. He brought an energy and physicality to the medium that had never been seen at the time and has never been equalled since.

Jimmy gave an unforgettable performance as mother-fixated psychopath Cody Jarret in Warner Bros "White Heat", 1949 - directed by the great Roul Walsh. It is absolute must-see Cagney!!!


In Billy Wilder's outrageous "One, Two, Three" Cagney, age 62, exudes the energy of 10 men half his age!

Cagney as George M. Cohan, his quintessential non-tough-guy role. If ever there was a part an actor was born to play, hell yeah this is it!

"You're a smart lawyer Frasier....very smart...only dont get smart with me!"

If I had to pick only one Cagney film I could watch for the rest of my days "Angels with Dirty Faces" would be the one. Friggin' awesome movie, period!

Did Rocky really turn Yellah?

No Fucking way man!!!

"Hey, lets ask da Fadduh!"

Cagney with Ann Sheridan and lifelong friend Pat O'Brien

For anyone who might be interested, last year I did a guest blog about Cagney at Raquelle's excellent "Out of the past" classic film blog. I really enjoyed writing that piece, brought back a lot of memories!