Mouse in the House background

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!


Monday, February 27, 2012

Vintage postcards with bluebirds

I've always loved bluebird images...  Over the weekend, I got a glimpse of a beautiful bluebird in my back yard, and it was a treat to find these bluebird postcards at a flea market the very same day!

Aren't the messages sweet?

Wishing you sunshine and happiness!


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Illustrations from a vintage baby book

Vintage toddler with pets

Today I'm sharing illustrations from a vintage baby book found at a local flea market. The 1930s illustrations are not signed, so the artist is unknown, but the style is very similar to watercolors by one of my favorite children's illustrator, Bessie Pease Gutmann.  Ms. Gutmann was famous well before the '30s, so her work would have been signed.  This artist obviously admired and emulated her artistic style and subject matter.

Vintage children at play

The baby whose life this book celebrated was born in January 1949 in Centuria, Wisconsin. A hospital invoice was tucked into the pages.  The hospital room and care cost $5.50, and the operating room fee was $5.00.  Additional charges were $3.00 for anaesthetic, and $.25 for medicines (a sedative).  Total: $13.75.

I always feel sad when family keepsakes like this baby book are not cherished by family members, but at least we can all enjoy the charming illustrations today.

As always, right click an image to save it to your computer.  Clicking a second time will give you the largest image size.  Downloads are for personal use only. Please do not sell these images individually or in collections.

Vintage baby with toothbrush, toothpaste and puppy
Vintage children with birthday cake
Vintage baby with Christmas tree and toys
Vintage children with birthday kiss
Vintage children hand in hand

I hope you'll enjoy using these vintage images in your art projects.  Please post in the Comments section about how you plan to use them.  I'd love to hear about (and see!) your creations.


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Valentine postcard

I know... it's after Valentine's Day.  But a friend just found this little treasure of a vintage Valentine postcard, so I had to share it even if it is no longer timely.  Isn't he cute?

Hope your Valentine's Day was happy!


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Scrappy ephemera houses

Houses made from blank coasters, paper scraps and ephemera
Some ephemera has sentimental value, and we want to keep that in a safe, dry, preferably acid-free environment.  

Other ephemera is plentiful or replaceable, and we enjoy using that in art projects.  The coaster house projects above are fun to make, and the little houses are perfect ways to use small ephemera items.  We decorated our houses with vintage tickets, coat check claims, old playing cards, stamps, airmail envelope stripes and lots and lots of scrapbook paper scraps!  

I'm sure you can think of other ephemera that you could use in a project like this.  Other ideas:  old S&H Green Stamps, maps, vintage magazine pages; the list is endless!  

My company, Bonnie's Best Art Tools, is exhibiting at the Lawrenceville (Georgia) Rubber Stamp and Paper Arts Festival, sponsored by Heirloom Productions, on February 4th and 5th. We'll have a large booth for demonstrating and selling our art products plus a smaller booth specifically for hosting a Make & Take project.  Show attendees are invited to our Make & Take booth to make some of these scrappy little houses -- FREE!

If you will be in the Atlanta area the first weekend of February, we'd love to see you at the show.  You can visit our Facebook page to see show details. 

Happy creating!