Tuesday, January 31, 2012

in the midst of winter

We're almost halfway through winter now. How is it treating you? Winter has been very mild here and it may never get truly wintery. Most people are thrilled with this. But, I like winter. I'm still enjoying it and I do especially like cold sunny days. But, it mostly feels like spring has already begun. Hopefully we will get some proper winter days before it's over.

I recently got this neat old photo of some turn of the century girls making a snowman in their backyard. How neat to see! This is something I haven't seen that much of, snow pictures this casual from this time period. Neat to see the backyard, too.


And here are a couple more pictures of snow to welcome February.

  1932 winter treessnow day

Monday, January 23, 2012

heart shaped paper

I have been spending a lot of time with Valentines lately. There were a lot of great ones at the Postcard Club meeting on Saturday and I got a good hunk of them. Valentines are just so charming and sweet. It's hard to pass them by. I don't think of myself as a collector of Valentines and yet, I seem to do it.

Here are two I am keeping for myself.

tea valentine plane valentine

I will be posting more Valentines this week, but please visit the shop to see what's all ready there. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Victorian Photocollage Exhibit

I found out about the wonderful exhibit of Victorian Photocollages that is at The Art Institute of Chicago via the website Retronuat. So exciting that this is the first exhibit of this kind of thing and the books that accompany it are the first scholarly look at photocollage in the Victorian era.

Sixty years ahead of the avant-garde—and more than a century before Photoshop—aristocratic Victorian women were already experimenting with photocollage. This world-premiere exhibition is the first to comprehensively examine this little-known phenomenon, presenting many eye-opening works that have rarely—and in many cases never—before been displayed or reproduced. (from the AIC website)

You can see more collages here. Hope all you folks near Chicago can go.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

calling cards

In the 19th century everyone of any social standing had a card with their name printed on it usually with some decorative element added. These were called Calling Cards and were an important part of introducing oneself and fostering friendships.

I have no idea is this is THE Oscar Wilde's card. But, isn't it fun to think it is? I need to research this a bit.

If you lived back then you might come back from a day out and there would be a small pile of calling cards on your entryway table from all the people who had come by to see you that day. After a dinner party or a ball it was customary for folks who attended to come by the next day and leave their card.

I can easily imagine how exciting it must have been to go to the printers and choose the font and emblem that you would want for your cards. What you chose was a key way of showing everyone who you were and I'm sure it was taken quite seriously.

When wax-resist color printing known as chromolithography became available for the masses, around 1880, calling cards could then be made in bright and many hued colors. On the more lavish cards it took over a dozen steps to print all the colors. 

A popular and fun type of calling card was the hidden name cards. Cards would be printed with the name and often cut into fancy shapes and a color decorative paper (now often called Victorian Scrap) was laid over and glued on one end. The result was that the recipient had to lift the decorative cover to see who had visited. I would assume this also served as a nice privacy screen for anyone who happens to be walking by your entryway table. (There is a set of these currently for sale in the shop)

Calling cards had a full set of rituals and sub-genres. One thing I like is that there were secret messages that you could convey by folding different corners of the cards. Some cards were specifically made so that a different design would appear if the corner was folded.

I kind of miss the days of the calling cards. I remember when my grandparents moved to Arizona in the 1970's there was this little holder on the wall outside their house. I asked what it was and my grandmother said it was for people to put their calling cards or business cards into. That was the first I had heard of something like that and I found it fascinating.

I guess business cards aren't really that different. But, they are seldom worth keeping. But, as you can imagine with me -  if you give me your business card and it's pretty enough I will keep it for a long time.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

oceans of love

oceans of love
I love this signature from Leonard on this studio portrait.  "Oceans of Love".  Swoon! I hope the person it was given to swooned a bit too.

This portrait doesn't look like it was used in the way it was intended. The tab that you use to prop it up looked to have never been bent back. Perhaps the person it was given to kept it hid away in a drawer or chest and when alone in the house they would take it out.

I think this signature is my favorite along with this one. I think I'll start a collection on here of my favorite signatures and tag them as such. 

This portrait is for sale in the Etsy shop along with lots of equally romantic and gushy vintage valentines.

Friday, January 6, 2012

house valentines

These valentines are interesting because they simply show a house in a heart.  There's no mention to a house or home in any text. It seems the house is just enough. Maybe the inclination is that your heart is my home or my home is your heart or something like that.

The again, maybe people just like the house as an object, as I do, which is why I collected these.

  house valentine card

 This one is from 1923. On the back it says From David R to Alice G. and 1923 penciled in.

house valentine card-inside

This postcard below is blank on the other side.

house valentine pc

I just listed a couple new Valentine postcards in the shop and will post more soon. 

Hope you all have a good weekend!