Mouse in the House background

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Vintage 1950s beauty products

Today's vintage ephemera includes more ladies' beauty products.  The asterisk on the 1955 Gayla bobby pin packaging below fascinated me...  What was simulated?  Turns out these bobby pins have simulated rubber tips!  

Gayla Hold-Bob Bobby Pins with Flexi-Grip and simulated rubber tips

I've posted hairnet packaging before.  This Lovely Lady package is not as colorful as the others, but I like the image, and I love the company name:  Sta-Rite Ginnie-Lou Inc. Hyphenation at its finest.

Notice how the blond woman on the Gayla package and the woman on the Lovely Lady package are both looking downward? Were the designers going for demure? Flirty? Subservient? 

Lovely Lady Hair Net package 

Also notice that the woman on the Lovely Lady Hairnet package does NOT appear to be wearing a hairnet... whereas the ladies in the photograph below are rocking the hairnets!

Lunch ladies?
More vintage hairnet packaging is here, in case you missed it.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Vintage and ancient hand diagrams

I've always loved hands, and I have a small collection of hand shaped items. Today I'm sharing hand ephemera, including palmistry diagrams and ancient  illustrations of the hand.
Ancient frontispiece from book about metoposcopy (analyzing  the lines of the forehead)

Napoleon's hand, in sepia

Napoleon's hand, in black and white
Diagram showing the position of Zodiac signs in the hand

Palmistry diagram by Holmes W. Merton

Hope some of these diagrams will come in handy for you.  (oooh, that was bad. Sorry!)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Art Deco postcards by C.E. Shand

More vintage postcards today. These lovely postcards feature Art Deco illustrations by C.E. Shand. I think her artwork is enchanting!

Hope your Sunday is enchanting!

Friday, October 7, 2011

More vintage postcards: Haughty ladies and naughty ladies

I have more vintage postcards to share with you today.  The first two feature ladies who are dressed to kill, and the second pair show ladies who are misbehaving.

An artist named Jan Marcos illustrated the two postcards below, ladies with hats and other finery. These postcards were printed in Italy. 

Dressed to the nines, brown eyes

Dressed to the nines, blue eyes

The postcards below show ladies who are up to something.  I'm thinking the image of the woman in her bathing costume at a creek was pretty risque in its day. The second image shows a beautifully dressed woman sitting on the back of a chair making martini glasses tinkle. Interesting image, isn't it? I imagine she had had a few martinis before she climbed up on the chair. Notice the faces on the martini glasses.

Barefoot beauty

Martini glass music maker

Behave this weekend!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Vintage postcards: Girls with flower hats

Four lovely girls with beautiful flower hats.  I'm looking for information about the artist; will update this post when I find out more.


Friday, September 23, 2011

More 1917 bird illustrations

More vintage bird illustrations from The Nature Library, first published in 1917 with illustrations by R.E. Todhunter.

(female on left, male on right)

Tree Swallows
(male on branch, female flying)


Cedar Waxwing

Coming soon: more birds, more vintage ladies, and some vintage butterfly illustrations.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

1917 bird illustrations

I love to support local libraries, so I always try to attend Friends of the Library  sales. At the Fall sale this week, I found some treasures, including wonderful vintage books from a set called The Nature Library.  My favorite is the volume on birds, with beautiful illustrations by R. E. Todhunter.  Here are a few of the illustrations for you.  (As always, personal use only, not for sale individually or in collections.)




Barn owl

Click twice on the images to download the largest size. 

If you like these, let me know and I'll post some more soon!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Lovely ladies

Women's fashions from the early part of the last century were so enchanting.  Although I would not enjoy wearing corsets and heavy petticoats -- especially in hot weather -- the romantic dresses, hats, jewelry and hairstyles are very appealing.  After looking at these images, I'm thinking about wearing more feminine clothing and ditching the jeans-and-t-shirt look. (I usually LIVE in slacks, but I actually bought a skirt last week!)

Today's "Life Made Lovely Monday" downloads are vintage images of lovely ladies in their finery. Enjoy!
 Beauty from a 1913 Valentine postcard
"Miss Vanity" from an undated Austrian postcard

The Beatrice image is from a German postcard made from a painting by Angelo Asti, a French artist who lived from 1847 to 1903.


The Ruby image is from an undated German postcard. I haven't been able to find information about the artist, M. Marco.  I'll update this post if I find out more about the painter.

Hope you like these as much as I do!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Using paper scraps

Sometimes I find it hard to throw things away... that's one reason I have so much ephemera to share!  But bits and pieces of scrapbook paper and ephemera can really pile up if you save them all, so I love projects that allow me to use those bits and pieces.  Here are a few ideas for you if you, too, are a scrap saver.

Birthday card made with leftover strips of scrapbook paper
I have a Genesis Paper Trimmer, which makes perfect straight cuts, so I end up with many long straight strips of paper after making greeting cards and other projects. These thin, perfectly even strips are perfect for birthday candles, so this was a quick, simple card to make with my scraps.
Old notebook covered with paper tape and decorative scraps
Before: Beat-up notebooks before "renovations"
I bought these dog-eared Neatbooks at a flea market for a quarter each.  The covers were bent and frayed, but the inside pages were in like-new condition, which made these books perfect candidates for new covers!  I use these in my purse and in my car for jotting down notes, ideas and "to do" lists.

Watch for more ideas for using scraps in a future post.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Vintage women's fashion

Vintage magazine ads and vintage sewing patterns are great sources of information about fashion over the years.  These images from the 1940s suggest that women wore hats and white gloves, dresses featured decorative trim and often had pockets, heels were high, and the ideal waist was tiny.  These tiny waists are interesting because movie stars in that day had more ample figures, with a few exceptions such as Vivien Leigh. Was this the start of a shift towards today's unhealthy ideal of an ultra thin female body?

Women's fashions from the 1940s

1940s fashions

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Vintage gameboard graphics

Games are always fun as themes for collage and assemblage projects and greeting cards.  Today's images are vintage game boards from a collection called 52 Variety Game Chest, which featured a game for every week in the year.

Click on the image twice to see the largest image file.

Put n' Take gameboard

Alphabetics game board

Fisherman's Catch game board


Friday, August 12, 2011

Vintage Bingo cards and 10-cent tickets

Game-related items are always fun to use. They're great for handmade greeting cards, scrapbook pages, altered books, assemblage art and collage projects. Here are a few vintage Bingo cards and tickets for you to download and use in your artwork.

Let the games begin!

Monday, August 8, 2011

1927 ad: Grandmother is still dancing!

A 1927 issue of Pictorial Review featured this lovely illustration by Corinne Dillon in a full-page ad for... I'm going to give you a minute to guess.

I love the ladies' bobbed hairdos and Flapper dresses -- wonderful examples of 1920s fashions.

The ad title is "Grandmother is still dancing," and the ad copy begins like this:

Grandmother is no longer a bored spectator at the dance. No more does she decorate the side walls, wishing the party would end. No, indeed! 

At the first note of the music she is right out on the floor. There she stays throughout the evening, doing the very latest steps. And she's just as reluctant as anyone else to hear the music of the last dance fading away.

Of course, there's a secret about her enduring vitality -- a simple secret she's perfectly willing to pass along.

Blog readers, can you guess the secret?

Her secret, it turns out, is Feen-a-Mint, the chewing laxative.  And you thought something like arthritis medicine might be the secret to an evening of dancing!

Corinne Boyd Dillon, a Kentucky-born artist was a very busy illustrator in those days. Her artwork was in most of the national magazines of the day, as well as many children's books and novels. I wonder how she felt about creating this beautiful art for a laxative advertisement... I guess it helped pay the bills!

Feen-a-Mint, incidentally, resembled Chiclets and its box warns that it is "A medicine, not a confection."

Keep dancing!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Using vintage finds for storage and display

Yesterday you saw vintage metal picnic tins, antique sugar jars and canisters, a vintage red toolbox and a gas station map case used for art supply storage.  Here are more studio pictures with a few more ideas for using non-traditional and vintage items to store and display art supplies and collections.  

Spice racks aren't just for spices.  This one holds a collection of vintage office supplies.  Spice racks can also display paints, rubber stamps or other art tools.

 An old metal feed scoop and a vintage crock holds markers.

A metal grain scoop works well for displaying vintage wooden rulers.

Many artists buy thrift store Scrabble games for the letter tiles; here's another way to use the wooden racks. They're perfect for displaying small collections. (These vintage watercolor tins kept falling off the racks, so I put a dab of BluTac behind the tins to keep everything standing.)  Scrabble boards can be cut down to make cute repurposed journal covers, too.  ALL the contents of a Scrabble box can be used for art projects!

I'd love to hear your non-traditional storage and display ideas -- please share your ideas in the Comments!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Where bloggers create -- a studio tour

Vintage picnic tins and antique drawers in my studio

If you've been following my blog, which shares vintage images, you would guess that I like all kinds of vintage things, and you would be right!  Today I thought I would share with you photos of some of the vintage items in my studio by participating in "Where Bloggers Create," a virtual studio tour sponsored by My Desert Cottage blog.   I just heard about this project today, and it turns out the deadline was July 15 -- so my studio is not on the tour list after all... next year! I hope you will come in and look around anyway.

Above you see part of my collection of vintage picnic tins. These are just to the left of the stairs at the entrance to my studio, which is off our dining room. I just love these colorful tins for display and storage.  I use a shipping tag tied with string to identify the contents of each tin.

The dark oak drawers were originally office filing cabinets, but I was thrilled to discover that the shallow drawers were perfect for holding rubber stamps.  Old drawers are usually quite dirty and hard to clean, so I have lined these drawers first with paper, and then with plastic thrift store picture frames.  The frames are handy because when I am doing a stamping project, I can pull the frame "tray" out and use it at my counter, which keeps like stamps together and makes them easy to put away.

Above the first stacks of picnic tins is a clown game poster from a vintage toys exhibit my husband and I saw in Paris in 1984.  It adds more bright color to my studio and reminds me of a wonderful trip.

The only non-vintage furniture in the studio is kitchen cabinetry pieces purchased from a dismantled showroom. This counter, on the wall nearest the entrance, is where I do all my cutting with my lighted Genesis Paper Trimmer. The exposed brick was once the outside wall of our house before we added my studio. 

To the right of the drawers and stacks of tins are two library card catalog cabinets which store embellishments and office supplies.  I paid $2 for the shabby yellow chair at a thrift store.  It's so sturdy, I can use it to reach high shelves. (I'm only 5'2" so it comes in quite handy!)

On top of the card catalog drawers are my red Smith Corona typewriter and vintage office supplies, which I love to collect. 

Above the card catalog cabinets is a wall cabinet filled with vintage packaging. I love the colors, the images and the promises on vintage product packaging; all of these packages are inspiring to me and sooo much fun to collect.

To the right of the card catalogs, more shallow drawers hold specialty papers. On top of the drawers is my red toolbox and a display of vintage games.

A vintage armoire holds envelopes, more paper and other items that aren't as much fun to look at; then I have utilitarian white shelving that holds wood-mounted rubber stamps and punches. The tall oak office piece, once a postal cabinet according to, has shallow storage space for more rubber stamps on trays.  The postal cabinet has what looks like drawers, but are  actually covers that slide upward and inward to reveal shelves. 

This 42-drawer apothecary cabinet is hard to photograph because there is an island counter in the center of the room in front of it. An old store display case with sliding glass doors holds more rubber stamps, and the vintage jars on top hold game pieces for assemblage projects, plus balls of fibers.

This old gas station maps case was found in the trash -- one of my favorite freebies.

That's about half of my studio -- storage, inspiration and cutting station.   I'll post photos of the remainder another day. Hope you enjoyed the tour!