Mouse in the House background

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Studio tour, continued

More studio pictures -- here's a view from the stairs at the doorway. The studio is three steps down from our dining room. The blond cabinet on the wall in the foreground holds some of my vintage packaging collection. The crockery holds yardsticks, art papers and anaglyptic wallpapers for book making. The chippy yellow chair is mostly for standing on to reach things (I'm short.) The area to the right, in front of my countertop island, is pretty messy. I need to work harder there!

Studio view from doorway

To the left of the stairs is a poster from an antique toy exhibit my husband and I saw in Paris almost 30 years ago. I brought the poster back in a tube that barely fit lying diagonally in my luggage.  The poster hung in my son's room until he moved out, and I have enjoyed it in my studio since.

Studio entrance from dining room

Shallow drawers hold rubber stamps by theme in acrylic photo frames. This tray holds face stamps. Another holds travel stamps, etc.

Shallow drawers hold rubber stamps by theme

The wonderful typography and colorful graphics on old commercial packaging is very inspiring to me. I've always admired vintage packaging and have collected examples for a long time. Among other things, these shelves hold a corset box (with a PINK corset inside!), and a men's underwear box (empty). Many of the other containers -- Sloan's Linament and Theatrical Blending Power, for example -- still have at least part of their original contents.

Vintage packaging 

More vintage packaging

Vintage inks, pens and stampers

Vintage cameras and a book I made from an animal crackers tin

Okay, you've seen the neater parts of my studio... Here's how messy the work area usually (always) looks! in this photo, it's full of ephemera items and pictures cut from magazines and junk mail for use in Remains of the Day journals and other book projects. I like to run a lot of items through my Xyron machine at once, to use the adhesive efficiently.

Work area with journal parts 

I couldn't get on a ladder high enough to show you the huge mess I made when painting patterns for Mary Ann Moss's Sewn class!  (It was -- and still is -- a FUN mess!)

Playing with patterns for Sewn class

Hope you've enjoyed the two-part studio tour. Soon we'll be back to our regular routine of sharing ephemera scans. Have a wonderful, creative day!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Where this blogger creates!

I'm thrilled to participate in Karen Valentine's "Where Bloggers Create" event for 2013. Click on the logo on the right to visit My Desert Cottage to see all the creative spaces featured!

When my antique card catalog cabinets and art supplies threatened to take over the guest room, the kitchen, the den and -- frankly, our whole house! -- my husband suggested we add a room to our home.  We built my dream studio off our dining room --  with high ceilings, lots of windows, and an exposed brick wall (the one that used to be the outside of our house!)

I'm excited about giving you a peek into my happy place.

Below is one of my most treasured furniture pieces, an oak 42-drawer apothecary cabinet. On top is an antique display case with sliding glass doors.  Here it has some of my rubber stamps, but sometimes it showcases a collection of vintage art supplies. It's fun to change it out. On top of the showcase I keep art parts such as Scrabble tiles, Bingo numbers, and other game pieces in vintage jars.

Antique apothecary cabinet, showcase and vintage jars for game pieces and supplies.

To the left of the apothecary cabinet is a vintage oak postal cabinet designed to store postal forms. Instead of drawers that pull out, these panels lift upward like a roll-top desk to reveal what's inside. In these spaces, I use acrylic picture frames as trays for rubber stamps, filed by subject.

Vintage postal cabinet stores rubber stamps by subject

I'm very fond of card catalog drawers -- they're great for organizing small items like office supplies, art supplies, and small tools. I've been lucky to find several card catalog cabinets over the years, and I have put them to good use.

Vintage card catalog cabinets hold small tools, supplies

The postal cabinet below is one of my favorites because the drawers are large and deep, and because it began as a dull, dry, ugly cabinet and I brought it back to life with lots of furniture oil, elbow grease, and help.  In a photo, it looks like a card catalog cabinet, but the drawers are much larger -- 8 inches wide and 2 feet deep!  Each drawer has a small brass plaque that reads "Files/Auditor for the Post Office Dep't."  

This intriguing brass label is attached to each drawer

Large postal cabinet with drawers 8 inches wide and 2 feet deep.

Along with drawers and cubbies, other favorite storage pieces are my collection of plaid picnic tins from the 1950s and '60s.  These colorful and useful tins hold everything from tax paperwork to seasonal rubber stamps.

Plaid picnic tins are handy for out-of-sight storage

Vintage packaging is a great source of inspriration. I love the bright colors and cheerful graphics.  These are some funky collections in view around my studio.

Old games and toys in a red toolbox.

More vintage games and toys in an old gas station map case

Vintage office supplies in an old battery display shelf

More vintage office supplies in a spice rack

Vintage art supplies 

I love this ticket roll.  Tickets cost 9 cents plus 1 cent tax!

Vintage children's watercolor paint sets

Back to the working space in my studio, here is a countertop against the brick wall that was once the outside of our house.  It holds my Genesis Trimmer and other tools, plus a very tongue-in-cheek sign about keeping the area clean.  (Trust me, the counter is RARELY this clean.)

Genesis Trimmer on counter against exposed brick wall

Hmmm, Blogger is not allowing me to upload additional photos to this post, so it looks like I will have to continue the tour in a second post....

I hope you've enjoyed seeing what I have shared so far.  More to come, if you aren't tired of seeing OLD stuff!

To be continued.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

SEWN: New class from Mary Ann Moss of Dispatch from LA

Pretty paint
SEWN: Paint + Pattern + Paper, a new online class from Mary Ann Moss
So excited about taking a new online class!  The talented and creative Mary Ann Moss, of the wonderful Dispatch from LA blog, instructor from several of my other favorite online classes --  Remains of the Day, Full Tilt Boogie, and Ticket to Venice -- and just all-round cool person, is offering a new class called SEWN starting July 4. It's gonna be great fun. (I know this because ALL of Mary Ann's classes are fun!)  To read more about SEWN, click here or on the button on my sidebar.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Vintage photographers' logos

In the late 1800s, most photographs were finished as cabinet cards -- a thin albumen photograph mounted on a large piece of stiff cardboard.  It's always fun to see the clothing, hairstyles and props in these old cabinet cards, but something else that's really appealing is the intricate logo of the photography studio often printed on the back of the card.

I recently found a stack of cabinet cards for my antiques booth, but before displaying them, I had to scan some of the amazing logos for you.  Enjoy!

A.J. Schullare Art Photography, Northampton, Mass. 1889

H.C. Harris & Co. Photographers, Keene, N.H.

F. Schadee, Artistic Photographer, Florence, Mass.

C.W. Nichols, Portrait & Landscape Photographer, Rutland, Vt.

Interesting how all of these photographers used initials instead of first names!  
Isn't the artwork beautiful?


Friday, March 30, 2012

Vintage sewing notions: needle books

Vintage sewing ephemera always catches my eye at flea markets and estate sales. I think I'm attracted to sewing notions because I have such fond memories of playing with my grandmother's buttons and sewing things when I was young. Needle books are easy to find, and I've ended up with quite a few of those. 

I recently realized something interesting about the Sewing Susan brand of needle books... Look at the illustrations on the first three covers below. Each one features the same basic scene -- four women sewing together -- but details such as hairstyles and clothing have been changed to reflect the times.  I'd love to know if there are even more versions of this scene. If you have a different one, please tell me about it in the Comments!

Sewing Susan needle book
Sewing Susan needle book with updated illustration. Hairstyles and clothing styles are a bit more modern, and fabrics have changed.
A newer Sewing Susan needle book. Notice the women are wearing brighter colors -- and sewing with brighter colored fabrics -- and there is abstract art on the wall instead of the traditional floral painting.
I love the shape of this Matchless needle book. And what a great hat in this illustration! (Don't you always wear a hat when you are sewing?)

Our Pet needle assortment, with an illustration of mother and daughter sewing together. Love this shape, too. This one was made in Germany.

If you like sewing images, let me know, and I will post more!


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

1960s teenage girl

Spring cleaning can be a drag, but when cleaning makes you find interesting ephemera and long-lost items, the process is worth it! Today's vintage image is from a 1960s scrapbook I found in a  box of old papers. Remember those albums with the brittle black construction-paper-like pages?  This image was printed on a full-page sized envelope for unfiled photos.

Illustration from a 1960s scrapbook
I was a teenager in the last half of the 1960s, and I think the image looks more like the 1950s. The girl's hairstyle was definitely before my time, but I did have a similar record player and charm bracelet. Also by the '60s, teenage girls favored pink Princess phones (remember those?) instead of the heavy black desktop phones like the one in the drawing.  

In the next few days, I'll be posting many more vintage images unearthed in the Spring cleaning process!  I've found quite a few ephemera treasures to share with you!

Happy Spring!


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Vintage postcards: more lovely ladies

Images of beautiful women have long been a favorite of portrait artists, advertising designers and postcard makers.  Today's ephemera downloads include some  lovely ladies from early 1900s postcards. Click twice to save the largest images.

Postmarked 1910, Newtonville, Mass.

Early 1900s Christmas postcard, printed in Germany
Postmarked 1908, Zanesville, Ohio.  Printed in Germany

Have a lovely day!