All posts filed under: Collections

My collections. Cigarette and tea cards.

When I was a teenager my grandma gave me a ‘British Home Stores’ (now closed down all stores, but I think they are still online) plastic bag full of small cards saved from cigarette packets and tea boxes over the years. The cards were given away in cigarette packets, tobacco tins and boxes of tea. My grandma kept all of the cards she collected and I am pleased she did because I am the happy owner of our collection now. Because  I was a cool teen, I put them under my bed where they stayed for many years maybe until I left home to go to college.  I fished them out, sorted them into collections and stored them in vintage wooden boxes left to me by my other grandma and great gran. When I was a poor student I took them to be evaluated and maybe sell them, the dealer offered me five pounds and thankfully I wasn’t that desperate to sell them, so I didn’t. I am so pleased I didn’t part with them …

‘I like’ Friday. The book making edition.

I have been making my own books for a relatively short time, but now I have started I consider a book I can make for any occasion be it a journal or a watercolor project. I have sewn books on the sewing machine and I have hand sewn pamphlet books as well as adapting vintage book covers to make a new journal or sketchbook. I love to add all kinds of paper from heavy watercolor paper to atlas paper pulled from old books.  I have even used brown paper bags from the grocery store to make a book which I love!  See that one here . Here are some of the ways I have learnt and continue to learn about making books. Book making books I like are: How to Make Books by Esther K Smith Journal Your Way, Designing and Using Handmade Books by Gwen Diehn Make your own idea book by Arne and Carlos I mentioned that I like to make books using old book covers and I find those old books at the …

My Collections. Used postage stamps.

I specify the used part because I am not bothered about brand new sets of stamps (although I did buy the eclipse stamps just to keep!). I like stamps which have traveled a little, seen the world and got some frank marks. I leave them on the corner of the envelops which I will tear off so I keep some of the frank marks and envelope intact. Some of my favorites are when more than one of the same stamp had to be used to ensure delivery. You see stamps less and less so I grab them when they land in the mailbox.   I seem to have picked most of the stamps from the Millennium collection which were issued in 2000 in the UK, I still lived in England and I am pleased I kept them. One of my favorites is the stamp with the Queen and Prince Philip from 1961 and the set of owls too. I do have lots of stamps from sales and thrift shops too, but I like these because …

My Collections. Found Marbles.

I don’t always consciously ‘collect’ things, but when I watched Courtney Cerruti on Creative Bug talking about collections and how we are drawn to things over and over, I quickly realized that I have amassed a collection or three over the years. When I am at the thrift shop or an estate sale or antique shop, I do have things I look for. Like old buttons, ledgers – the more handwriting the better, postcards – again, the more writing the better, photographs, books, flash cards and old haberdashery. The thing I do conciously collect is marbles, but not just any marbles, I don’t look for marbles at any of the above locations and I am not interested in new marbles. All of my precious marbles are from the local creek and the woods and all of which I have found with my 12 year old son. We find them on the creek bed and in the mud and we love to dig them out!  Some are in half, some are chipped and some are sand …

Vintage fold out travel souvenir cards.

I love vintage postcards and fold out souvenir accordion postcards books are the best!  I picked up this little lot at an estate sale this weekend.  Sixty five little books of geographic and cultural history, all for just over five dollars! They seem to vary in age from the early 1920’s to the sixties and seventies.  Some have prepaid postage for 1 cent!  What a bargain! The colours on the postcards are vivid and some more garish than others. The rocks in the Garden of the Gods postcards are all bright orange and the Seattle skies are all the same fabulous blue! The Seattle folder is full of pictures showing the sights of the region –  ‘today and yesterday’, the ‘today’ photos are from around 1914 I think.  The ‘yesterday’s are from around 1878-1900.  What a great comparison. I bought the cards with a view to painting or drawing on them, but I am not sure I can bring myself to ‘deface’ most of them.  I will probably copy them and work over the copies. …

Art Journaling Supplies I Can’t do Without.

Art supplies might very well be my favorite thing to shop for.  They are always colorful, always useful, no worries that they won’t fit (they always fit somewhere!), always make me happy.  I literally (not really, that would be weird) skip home from the art shop.  Maybe I am skipping in my head though as I think about my new supplies and how I can introduce them to my existing supplies. Some of my essential supplies don’t even come from the art or craft store, they come from estate sales or thrift shops.  I am talking about the paper and even some of the sketchbooks I use. Oftentimes I will print on paper from an old book or music script, or I will use the whole book as a sketchbook. Another paper I adore is dry deli paper which is not from the art store either (I get mine from Amazon).  It is the paper which you pick out your pastries at the supermarket with or that your sandwich might be wrapped in.  I am …

Postcards from the Past.

Sending postcards from holidays has always been a mainstay of my travels, don’t forget your address book and a stock of stamps or be prepared to find a local post office. I think this is a British thing, postcards don’t seem to be a big thing here in the USA. I always spent an hour or so at the beginning of any travels writing postcards then searching for a post office to post them!  Of course they always arrived home after I did, but it is the thought that counts isn’t it? I suppose anything in the mail is no longer a big deal, until you get something like a surprise postcard or letter.  I love to get a card from a friend, for no reason, just because.  Handwritten and chosen for me! I try and send out cards regularly too, I will grab a few postcards from Ikea or some vintage cards and send them off into the world. I have collected a few old cards over the past few years and I really …