27 March 2011

A New Day

More distractions from packing up my things to move. This little cookbook has no date but it looks 1920s to me. I rediscovered when cleaning out a drawer. One of the only small pleasures of relocating from here to there.

And who exactly is Viola Boyd? I don't know. A quick google search only turned up a number of obits for Viola Boyds, Facebook profiles and my recipe book pictures on Flickr.

Back to the boxes.

22 March 2011

Piccadilly Needles

Packing to move to a new apartment and rediscovering some ephemera, notions and whatnot that I squirreled away. I love the image of this plane dumping a load of notions.

13 May 2009

Tobacco Felts

The Flea Market Acquisitions, Part II

I found a big pile -- no less than 50 big -- of these lovely butterfly flannel pieces on the second day of the giant flea market.

The dealer was from Pennsylvania and found them at the bottom of an auction box lot. Because she didn't know much about them, I'm guessing I paid a lower than average price.

These butterfly flannel bits are called "felts" and considered part of the larger tobacciana category of tobacco-related collectibles. On ebay, you'll find them listed under Felts & Silks.

With the helpful information on a few ebay listings and this www.fabrics.net article -- Textile Tobacco Inserts and Premiums -- I learned a bit more about my new collection. The felts were likely produced in the U.S. around 1900, give or take a couple decades. Like cigarette cards, they were freebies inside tobacco products. They were collected and sometimes stitched into pillows or quilts.

Not sure what I'll end up doing with these. Some are very appealing, like an old scientific illustration. Others are in fact quite gaudy. I expect that I'll pull out a few to frame and put the rest away until inspiration strikes .

vintage transfer patterns

The Flea Market Acquisitions, Part I

On the first and second days of the Giant flea market at the WV fairgrounds, I did a little hunting for myself.

Transfer Prints

My first purchase was from Jan, one of my favorite regular flea market vendors.

She pulled out a cardboard box filled with embroidery transfer prints. It has a great mix of the standard floral and kitchy novelty kitchen designs -- those animated pots and pans, animals doing chores, and the like.

Not all the transfer prints are embroidery-related. There's one for cut-work designs.

Two transfer patterns are from J.P. Coats: a little doll pattern transfer with instructions for her wardrobe--my favorite pattern in the bunch-- and an applique of a dog and cat.

Some of the best things in the box are the pattern envelopes. Note the very simple address format -- just name, city and state -- and illustrations printed on the envelopes. I wonder when did away with the Needlecraft and Pattern departments at the Charleston Gazette.

I love finding a full collection of something like this, where you can see bits and pieces of the original owner's history and personality peeking through.

12 May 2009

the Giant flea market

While I'm a frequent browser and buyer at area flea markets, I've only set up and sold my wares a couple of times. I gave it another shot this past weekend at the biannual giant flea market at the West Virginia State fairgrounds.

The weather was terrible, as seen by the stormy sky behind the Fairgrounds sign.

I shared a giant outdoor spot with three friends, one of whom had a luxe RV to serve as a getaway, bathroom, and storehouse for our operation.

It was definitely a buyer's market -- my largest single sale was a mah-jong set for $32. Far and away, our most popular area was the $1 dollar table, which seemed to get fewer lookers after we knocked the price down to $.50. Could that be possible?

The rebirth of home sewing hasn't hit this area, so my sewing notions weren't very popular. Luckily, I did manage to sell the over sized Coats & Clark zipper display to a fellow who'll use it for tool storage. I was so excited when I bought it a year ago at an antiques fair in Virginia. Hopefully its new owner will have better luck using it than I did. It was just too big and odd to be very practical.

It was fun but crazy amount of work -- a bit like moving each day, with unloading, displaying, then loading and packing up.

23 November 2008

Saturday Field Trip

I found this fabric yesterday at Forest Hill Antiques -- an old school house with connecting rooms filled with antiques, vintage goods, electrical parts, tools, and, of course, some junk.

The fabrics I bought were stuffed in bags and boxes under other boxes piled with mirrors and other big heavy things in a back room. In short, lots of moving and shuffling and poking required.

The place isn't heated, so I try to come prepared with a warm coat and gloves. Yesterday, the owner wasn't feeling well, so I only had a short time to look.

I love love this fabric. It looks a bit 19th century, which usually doesn't appeal to me. It was used as the backing fabric on a patchwork quilt with tatters and tears. I took a chance and bought it for $5.00, thinking I could salvage the backing and reuse for something.

After three hours of ripping out the hand quilting stitches, I gave up. Sadly, the entire quilt was just too far gone to really use any of it. My $5.00 risk didn't pan out. But, perhaps I can use the fabric design as inspiration for some future project ....

08 November 2008

Beauty Culture - Hair Products

About the same time that I found the beauty salon matchbooks on ebay, I also started hunting vintage hair product packaging with interesting graphics. I intended to use the illustrations as cut-outs for decoupage boxes.

I've thought about framing the collection for a bathroom.

These were all found on ebay for $6 and under.

My former employer was going through a merger at the time I found these on ebay -- relevant because the months of disarray gave me opportunities to scour ebay for good auctions and pounce at the right moment.

07 November 2008

Modern Beauty Culture

One of the things I love about my beauty matchbook collection is the variation of several themes in the clip art and language, like these silhouettes.

"Beauty Culture" is one of the better phrases in the bunch. It's actually much more descriptive than the fairly drab "personal grooming" or "health and beauty industry".

Some more examples from my matchbook covers ...

on beauty ....

on looking good

on beauty culture

on the beauty shop(pe)

and, finally, on beauty services

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