Monday, December 27, 2010

1965 Peter Max Panopticon Cars

Peter Max referred to this work as a panopticon, constructing his images from photographs, magazine illustrations, old engravings and decorative papers, pasting together only one segment of his intended composition which he then mechanically reproduced, mirror fashion over and over again to complete the circle or rectangle.

This print shows part of an automobile engine at the center and proceeds outward to a driver speeding so fast that he must resort to a parachute as a check, then on to other automobile parts and ultimately to a whirling profusion of cars.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Twenty Minute Christmas Decorating

It took eight fantastic workers from Ontario hydro more than half a day to clean up the branches from our property where they`d trimmed the hydro lines. I grabbed some of the green stuff in late October. Yesterday, I took twenty minutes out of my busy Saturday selling on Etsy to create some Christmas decor. The very verdigris urns were a gift from my friend Michael when I dropped into his shop Funk & Gruven in Belleville. You might be thinking, why is there a very banged up brass kick plate running up the side of the door? Well, it`s to prevent the dog from scratching it. The door and porch are in for a complete overhaul this spring. Honestly, I`ve already bought the paint!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

1948 Christmas on the Pennsylvania Railroad

The best part about Christmas is being reunited with family both near and far. This charming Pennsylvania Railroad ad shows the train at the station as family members joyfully greet each other. A handsome horse and red sleigh await to transport happy family members home.

There`s nothing quite so pleasant as coming home again....

This beautifully nostalgic print is a work by the famous illustrator Jerome Rozen (1895-1987) whose work appeared in Country Home, Good Housekeeping, Liberty, Pictorial Review, Redbook, and The Saturday Evening Post but was most famous for his work as a pulp artist.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Up, up, and away....

Oh to travel in a beautiful red and white hot air balloon. Here`s the Vauxhall which made a record flight from Vauxhall Gardens England to Nassau Germany in 1836. It was 157 feet in circumference and, with car attached, 80 feet high.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Diamonds Are A Girl`s Best Friend

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend and if you can’t afford a real one you can at least look at this beautiful photograph of one of the most beautiful diamonds in the world. This 1947 picture shows the famous Jonker Diamond One, at one time owned by Harry Winston.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

1924 Admiral Peary The Man Who Thought He Found the North Pole

Robert Edwin Peary (1856 - 1920) was an American explorer who claimed to have been the first person, on April 6, 1909, to reach the geographic North Pole. He was the first explorer to study and use Inuit survival techniques, build igloos and use Inuit to drive dog-sled teams and provide back-up support. Unfortunately, Peary, in his final expedition, was some 8 km or 5 miles short of his destination.

This is a beautiful photogravure of Peary dressed in the furs that he wore on his expedition in front of a mock up of a globe with the American Flag and “Peary 1909” centered on the North Pole.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

1901 The Barn Owl

The fabulous Barn Owl with its heart shaped face, dark eyes and golden buff feathers on its back is joined by fifteen other birds to colorfully grace this plate. This graceful and elegant print was originally intended as a scientific document for academic purposes. Now, not surprisingly, this ornithological masterpiece can be appreciated for its real beauty with birds that are rare, common, and sadly, some extinct.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

1940`s John and Jane Bedroom

Back to the 1940`s when everything old seems new again. A nursery-bedroom for two kids -- John and Jane featuring walls lamps for reading in bed and wall coverings to minimize finger marks, red linoleum floor with an easy-wash white carpet, a table desk large enough for two. Neatness is encouraged by the built-in storage units beneath the window.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

1923 Picking Cotton

Working picking cotton was back-breaking labor, inspiring the old saying “sure beats picking cotton.” Fingers would be pricked on sharp prongs which held the soft white cotton firmly inside the boll. It might take a family one whole day to pick the cotton from a long, seemingly endless, row of plants.

On the most part, the images I’ve recovered from books from long ago, portray the cotton pickers as a happy lot. This print is quite different. The two young boys in the foreground appear haunted by misery; their elders in the background, heads bent, lost in their work, as the sky above appears cloudy and announces an impending storm.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Man as Woman

This print is of the Japanese actor Segawa Tumisaburo, in female character, by the artist Toshusai Sharaku. Sharaku’s prints have qualities that distinguish them from others of the same genre as they are more intense with differing harmonies of color and portray heightened facial expressions. They were all produced in one year, 1794, and there is no evidence that the artist, a dancer by profession, had even designed a color-print before.

1954, Chiswick Press of London

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Fussy Eater

Mothers know all too well the charms of a fussy eater. This delightful illustration by Mabel Lucie Attwell has an accompanying verse which is a beautiful and most suitable response to Baby Robert Rabbit`s highchair antics.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Earle Liderman King of the Musclemen

Born in 1886 and originally hired by the New York Board of Education as a physical culture specialist, Earle Liederman went on to a successful strongman career in vaudeville. He used his business acumen to publish a series of exercises and by the 1920’s was the King of the muscleman mail order business. Liederman advocated daily exercise as a way to not only develop strong muscles but to attain perfect health. He advised, “A good strong constitution is within the reach of almost every one. If you want it, you can attain it; it is simply up to yourself.”

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Tiffany and Co. 1929

It’s June 1929 and the living is easy. Shoppers buy beautiful jewelry at Tiffany’s and the elegant Cadillac La Salle built by Cadillac is a trend-setting automobile. All this would change by October 29, 1929 when the stock market crash had devastating effects upon rich and poor in almost every country around the world.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Wasaga Beach

It's a cold Sunday morning and after making sure I remembered to turn the furnace back on (no wonder it was so cold last night!) I sought some feel good summer inspiration from this old postcard of Wasaga Beach. It's from the early 1960's when North America was at the height of its love affair with the car. There appears to be more cars than people on the beach (a long ago custom that has since been banned). Not entirely environmentally friendly, was it?

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Ballet Dancers

This 1950's offset lithograph of classical ballet dancers was printed on a textured cardboard surface to make it appear, to the amateur eye, to be an oil painting. This 11 x 14 inch print is in excellent condition. Ready to frame and signed by the artist 'Gina'.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Alberto Fabiani

Alberto Fabiani (1910) ~~ Best known for his uncluttered designs with clean tailoring, he became famous for his tent coats in the 1960's. He married fashion designer Simonetta and briefly worked in conjunction with her in 1962 in Paris until their divorce. He continued to design until his retirement in 1974. This late 1960's design features a high-fitted and slightly flared dress in above or mid-knee length with a bias collar and front bias inset. The dress has a front zipper closing and shaped back bodice.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

B is for Bear

This is just one small part of a collection of school posters from Miss Priss, a now retired school teacher who taught for .... well, let's just say that this example is from the 1950's....because Miss Priss doesn't actually want to reveal her real age. Perfect to frame for baby's nursery. Thanks to Miss Priss I have a growing collection of vintage school posters.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Hollywood Pattern 1524

Swing back to the 1940’s when Hollywood Patterns was in its heyday. Mirroring the looks and keen fashion sense of Hollywood Stars, these beautifully designed patterns enabled women all over to add a flash of glamour to their wardrobes. This pattern features a daring (for the time period) midriff or crop belly blouse that was paired with a lovely skirt with front button opening. Cap-sleeves on the dress emphasize the bodice front and bust line for figure flattering emphasis.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Guy Laroche ~~ Elegant Details

Guy Laroche (1921-1989) was a French fashion designer with an eye for simple details and beautiful styling that produced the most elegant looks. Thought of as a charming and humble man, he possessed a keen business acumen and was the first designer to introduce separates to the American public as well a complete line of fabulous perfumes.
This beautifully elegant dress was featured in Vogue patterns in 1970 and highlights his flare for design with a bias stand-up collar and bias scarf attached at the back neckline. Modern touches include full length sleeves with zippers.

Friday, July 9, 2010

American Designer Mollie Parnis

Mollie Parnis (1902-1992) was among the first generation of American fashion designers to be known to the public by name rather than by affiliation to a department store. She was fabulously successful and her clothing became a standard in the wardrobe of many socialities. Parnis understood what women wanted to wear, how they needed to appear and how to do it in a most feminine and striking way. This very modern dress McCall's 1073 by Parnis from the New York Design Collection is high waisted with short set-in sleeves and a center back zipper. There are beautiful design elements in the way the bodice side fronts are sewn to the shoulder seams of the darted bodice backs. The curved seaming joins the bodice to a five section panel seamed skirt.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

British Designer Betty Jackson

Betty Jackson (1949 - ) a British designer, has gained an international reputation as a designer of up to the minute clothes with a timeless appeal . "I've never liked prettiness much," she has said, and this is reflected in her designs using unstructured proportions with loose uncomplicated shapes and cuts that flatter the figure.

The design pictured above, Vogue 2058 from the Vogue Individualist Line is from 1988. A loose fitting and unlined below the hip jacket coordinates with a semi-fitted straight dress that falls above mid-knee. The dress has interesting cut in the shoulders, front dart tucks, and the upper back extends into a single layer tie end for a dramatic flourish at the front of the dress. Sleeves are a flattering above the elbow length.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Simonetta ~~ Fashion Icon

A beautiful 1970's design from Simonetta, Vogue Couturier Design for an A-line dress with lovely details ~~ a slightly standing neck and front band with concealed zipper closing and center front slit. The daughter of a Roman Duke, Simonetta was the best known of Italian postwar fashion designers. An aristocrat, Simonetta had been interned by the Mussolini government for antifascist activities. Her international clientele included Audrey Hepburn and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

He Huffed and He Puffed....

Of course the wolf huffed and puffed and well, everyone knows what happened next. This illustration is from a rare 1904 edition of the Story of The Three Little Pigs by L Leslie Brooke. The message for today is build well, build strong and build smart. Anyone who has either built their own home or gone through a major renovation knows these words so well.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Lilacs in Bloom

The lilacs in my yard are in full bloom and the world smells so sweet. This deep violet lilac was planted by my Great-Grandmother a very long time ago and each year I wait patiently for it to announce that spring is finally here. It deserves a poem which I have not written but borrowed (and not in its entirety) from Shilu Matthai....
a yellow butterfly doth linger a moment longer
savouring the delicate,
yet haunting scent.
to sit in a sun kissed lilac bower and think of you-
when will zephyr blow you my way?
like the lilacs, will you warm my heart on a sunless day?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Hollywood Pattern Company

This is a fabulous original pattern from the 1940’s issued by the Hollywood Pattern Company for a ‘sleeping suit’ or lounge pajamas suitable for a little boy or girl.

Created by Conde Nast in 1932, the Hollywood Pattern Company quickly became very popular due to the photos of favorite radio and movie stars that often graced the envelopes. The manufacture of Hollywood Patterns stopped after World War II. Due to their short production span, they are harder to find and considered highly collectible.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Weird Medical Treatment From the Past

This plate, from a 1925 edition of a Sir Norman Walker’s Introduction to Dermatology, shows how children in hospital wards were prevented from scratching their skin. Bound up mummy like, they were tied to the foot and head of the bed and allowed some freedom of movement so that their hands could reach a toy. The Doctor advised, “In a few hours it is generally quite resigned to the fetters.”

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Best Loved 1945 Purity Cookbook

A very appealing early version of the Purity Flour Cookbook. The recipes are uncomplicated with accessible ingredients that make it great for classic cooking, with step by step photo instructions on how to make bread, cooking charts and even instructions on how to pluck, singe, dress, clean and truss poultry. This book is treasured for its favorite pie crust and tea biscuit recipes.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Eulalie Banks Illustrator -- At The Seaside

When I was down beside the sea
A wooden spade they gave to me
To dig the sandy shore
My holes were empty like a cup
In every hold the sea came up,
Till it could come no more
(Robert Louis Stevenson's A Child's Garden of Verses, 1929)

Eulalie Banks (1895-1999) was an English-born writer, artist, illustrator and muralist who lived the majority of her long and creative life in California. She is best-known for the over fifty children's books that she illustrated, including several that she also authored.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tom Tierney Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Paper Dolls

Artist Tom Tierney has created a meticulously researched and beautifully rendered paper doll collection of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis (1929-1994). There are five dolls, along with two figures representing her husbands John F. Kennedy and Aristotle Onassis. Accompanying the dolls are 27 costumes. The book captures Jacqueline's superb style and elegance. Of particular interest is the part of the book dedicated to the White House years and the beautiful reproduction of some of Oleg Cassini's gowns.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

It's Spring and I'm Craving Cupcakes

Spring might bring you thoughts of gardening but I've been thinking about cupcakes lately. Just a tiny bite of sweetness, some fluffy icing topped off by a fondant flower and the world seems to be a nicer place. So today I'm baking and creating and celebrating Spring!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Walkie Talkie Lookie TV Camera

Ultimate geekery Popular Science June 1952 cover illustration of Dave Garroway (1913 - 1982) the founding host of Today, demonstrating the Walkie Talkie Lookie TV Camera used at the 1952 Republican and Democratic National Conventions.

The Walkie-Talkie-Lookie was a portable TV camera and sending station built by RCA, light enough for one man to carry. The outfit consisted of a camera weighing ten pounds connected to a three-foot-long fifty pound back pack. Ouch! The back pack transmitted TV images to a nearby station antenna and then on to the country's huge TV audience. How times have changed.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Heart Beet Paper

These tremendously environmentally friendly handmade papers were created by bonfires. In addition to handmade papers, bonfires makes unique sculptural collages and greeting cards. These lovely papers, in shades of pink, were made with real beet juice and are embedded with an ounce of beet seeds. Thick and pliable they are perfect papers to use in scrap booking or to incorporate into the design of wedding invitations. Ever so thoughtful, 10% of every purchase at bonfires is set aside towards enhancing the Lake Agassiz landscape.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Last Minute Entertaining Ideas

During Sunday's fantastic Team Canada vs. Team USA Olympic hockey game, I served some "last minute" appetizers. Using two different prepared dips, I filled hollowed out cherry tomatoes and served another plate with a variety of bread crisps. For a bit of flavor, I just added some of the tomato to the dip and saved the rest for spaghetti sauce later.

Friday, February 26, 2010

What I'm Serving for Dessert Tonight

I discovered these delicious Belgian Chocolate Fruit Chocs fruit bites on my last trip past the freezer section of my local Costco and had to share them with you (well, you wish!) They're delectable 100% real fruit, dipped in Belgian milk, dark and white chocolate. Best of all, they average about 25 calories each. They're best eaten when cold and not frozen but I can never wait!

Winsome Way to Display China Plates

This is an especially elegant way to display china plates on a wall. Select the plates and paint color to coordinate with your decor. Take a piece of wood, measured to fit your wall, with MDF and poplar detailing held in place with adhesive. Attach the plates to the art board with plate hooks from the hardware store. Voila. Instant decor that's also totally portable for art lovers living in rental homes.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Winter Hat Advisory

Mom always told me to wear a hat. So I've picked out one for February that will ensure survival through Snowmaggedon. This lovely 100% wool Daily hat is from the beautiful knit shop called twiglu. 100% wool. Hand knit and available in both red and purple. Twiglu also takes custom orders.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Ford's Famous Pinto

The Pinto became a focus of a major scandal in the 1970's when it was alleged that the car's fuel tank design proved faulty in accident situations. Avoiding what may have amounted to about $11 in repairs, Ford decided to settle lawsuits on a one by one basis. Not a great move by Ford in the history of consumer relations. Called the "barbecue that seats four" Ford eventually recalled all models after shelling out several million dollars and losing the confidence of consumers. Toyota might take a lesson from this.