Friday, April 29, 2011

From the "I had to have it!" Department

If you're a regular reader of this blog, you probably know that I'm a big fan of the History Channel's "American Pickers".  I love everything about the show, but one of the most interesting facets is the decision-making about some of the things they purchase. Sometimes there is no deciding, only action.

When this happens in the show, you'll hear Mike Wolfe say, "I had to have it".  Then Frank will chime in with, "The time to buy is when you see it, because you may never see anything like it again."

Well, what you see above is one of those items for me.  Much like the 1936 NCR receipt book I purchased earlier this year, I knew I had to have this item (shown above).

First of all, it's intact.  There is not one sheet ripped out, and it contains about 50 sheets, with different little store-brand ads interspersed throughout.  How does this happen?  Did someone love it as much as I did when they acquired it and thought to leave it alone?  Or was it a premium when you purchased $10 worth of groceries in 1955 (I'm only guessing at the year, based on the woman's clothes)?  Was it a busy summer day when this item was procured, and perhaps shoved in the back of a junk drawer, or has it been sitting in a warehouse somewhere for the past 50-odd years, unearthed when a grocery store was going out of business?

I did a little research about it, and here's what I found, courtesy of my good friend Dave at the AWESOME blog Pleasant Family Shopping:

"1956 was a banner year for Lucky, in which the company entered new geographic markets through the acquisition of three chains – thirty-two Cardinal stores in the Sacramento area, six Food Basket stores in San Diego and ten Jim Dandy stores in L.A., through a merger with Dolly Madison International Foods. Lucky also built nine new stores that year."

So perhaps this little note pad, which I'm now assuming came from the San Diego area (and this would make total sense, since the people from whom I purchased the item live in San Diego), is older than 1955 since they were bought out by Lucky in 1956.

DANG IT!  Here's where stuff like this gets tricky!  You all know that the gist of this blog is to "take the discarded and make it arted" - it says so right in my banner.  But when I get possibly historic or rare stuff like this, I sometimes have a hard time using it.  This is a VERY slippery slope because I fear that I'll soon cross into the "collector" category where I'm using white cotton gloves and tweezers to handle my ephemera.  Well, I can't let that happen!  I already know that a lot of my stuff will go unused, simply because I'm 42 and there is NO WAY I'll be able to use it all in my lifetime (which is why I love doing ephemera giveaways!).  I don't want my nieces to have to take a shovel to my studio when I die and use a dumpster to haul all the stuff out because they don't want to sort through it all.  No sirs and ma'ams, I'm going to USE MY STUFF.

I need you to be my cheerleaders today!  Write me a note of encouragement in the comments and I'll enter you in a drawing for an ephemera pack from me.  What the heck?  The sun is shining here (FINALLY) and I feel like sharing the love.  :D

In the meantime, here are a few pieces where I actually DID put my supermarket ephemera stash to good use:

"Shopping Day" collage - available for purchase through Etsy

Happy Weekend, everybody - I'll announce the winner in Monday's post!  :D

Thursday, April 28, 2011

For the Record....

I am 42.  I'll be 43 in October.  I'm getting to the point in my life where I've now seen trends and institutions come and go.  One way our world has completely changed since 1968 is the way we listen to music.

Growing up, my parents had a hi-fi set.  It sat on a metal cart and the speakers were really mod.  I would KILL for them now, but they actually scared me a little bit when I was a kid.  The were hourglass-shaped and groovy - and I couldn't find a single image of them when searching the Interwebs.

I grew up in the Seventies, which meant you either listened to LPs (which I did) or 8-Track (which I did not).  I didn't actually hear an 8-track until the Nineties, when my first husby Dan played one.  It's easy to see why they didn't last - who could tolerate a song fading to black, a "click" and then returning on the next track?!  It's maddening!

There are a few music memories from my childhood that I will always carry with me - singing along to the Carpenters' "Top of the World" 45 single; getting "Barry Manilow's Greatest Hits" from my Uncle Joe for Christmas, 1978 (I was a HUGE "Fanilow"); buying Billy Joel's "Glass Houses" with my Grammie for my 12th birthday in 1980; and getting Brian Adams' "Cuts Like a Knife" for my birthday in 1983.  Then, for Christmas of that same year, I got my very first (real) "Compact Cassette" - The Police's "Synchronicity" (before that we would just tape songs off the radio with my sister's boombox).

Just think of all the format changes that occurred in the first 15 years of my life, compared to my parents'.  When I turned 15 my parents were 62 and 37, and for their whole lives prior it was only LPs or, in my dad's case, 78s first.  But along came rock and/or roll, and it changed EVERYTHING.

I got my first CD in 1988 - Yaz's (Yazoo in the UK) "Upstairs at Eric's".  This is an unfortunate first-anything to admit - I think I bought it on recommendation from some new-wave/industrial kid that I worked with at the time.  Even though I had turned the corner, tapes were still a huge part of my life - until 2005.  That's the year that Brian got an iPod.

When you think about this contraption, it truly is incredible.  No more storing bulky, heavy records, tapes or CDs!  You can find that song you're looking for in two seconds!  It's totally portable and convenient! (Irony of ironies, I don't feel this way about the Kindle AT ALL.  Long live REAL books!)

In 2008, we finally bit the bullet and transferred all of our CDs onto our iTunes account and sold them all at my in-law's rummage sale.  This was bittersweet - we made a ton of money but there was no turning back.  Also, with iTunes you don't bother with liner notes or cover art anymore - half the reason why I loved buying music in the first place!

Which (FINALLY!) brings us to the ephemera portion of this post - is music ephemera a lost art?  What will become of all of those 45 sleeves and album covers?  What about the little inserts that came with your cassettes?  Or that flimsy slip of glossy paper that ripped so often when you'd try to fit it back into the CD jewel case?

Sure, we can find all the info online for free, but as we Ephemeraologists know, it's just not the same.  I enjoyed memorizing the lyrics to my fave songs whilst listening in headphones!  I liked reading the "credits" in the liner notes and the little inside jokes that musicians would throw in somewhere on the album cover.  Is this all lost now?

I fear that it is becoming so.  Which is why, when I find vintage 45s (pre 1975) at estate sales, I always try to pick one or two up.  We no longer own a turntable (something I want to remedy) so when I find just the sleeves it's an even bigger jackpot.  I've even purchased lots of them online.

And because I love these artsy pieces of paper so much - ESPECIALLY the sleeves wiht just the record label on them - I like using them in my artwork too.  Here are a few examples:

ATC made with the sleeve from "Dont
Let's Start" from They Might be
Giants.  Back in '07 my awesome sis
Jen brought her entire stash of
cassette liners over and we made art
with them (those are hers you see in
the photo above).  It was SO FUN!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Lost in Translation

What do you think of when you think of Japan?  I'm sure most of us have the people of Japan on our minds right now because of the ongoing struggles and heartache with the aftermath of the tsunami.  I can't even imagine what they're going through and my thoughts are with them a great deal.

But as a culture, what do you think of?  Do you think of the frenetic pace of Tokyo?  Do you think of the ancient Samurai?  Do you think of Hello Kitty?  :D

A lot of my ideas about Japan, right or wrong, come from movies.  There are two from 2003 that stick out for me - "Lost in Translation" and "Kill Bill Vol. 1".  Now, these two movies couldn't be more different if they tried, but they both deal with modern Japanese culture (with some sword play thrown in, at least in "Kill Bill").  "Lost in Translation" is far more realistic - Charlotte (Scarlett Johannson) wanders, confused but interested, through Tokyo and Kyoto while her husband is there on business.  I know I'd feel the same way - you want to take in everything this amazing city has to offer but everything is, well, in Japanese.  That's a pretty big language barrier for most of us.

Of  course, my first introduction to anything Japanese, like a lot of people my age, was with the Sanrio line of products, mainly Hello Kitty.  I still have the Hello Kitty notepads and tiny paint sets that I purchased at Coach House Gifts in 1981 with my allowance money - they're in a box somewhere, unfortunately, but at least I still have them.  Here is a more recent Sanrio-esque (Q-Lia) acquistion, purchased, ironically in Toronto's Chinatown district (maybe they think we North Americans can't tell the difference?).  I love it, especially the little stickers!  :D

I unfortunately can't tell whether or not this vintage newspaper clipping is for the real Sanrio products or not, but it looks like it, yes?  I also don't have a year with which to gauge (Sanrio was founded in 1961).

Also around 1981 or '82, I purchased this RAD pin for my jean jacket that's from the Police's "Ghost in the Machine" album (I was a HUGE Police fan in middle and high school) - look closely and you can see that it's from their Japanese import.  I felt SO cool walking around with this on; too bad I actually was NOT cool in the slightest.  :D

Japanese ephemera is really fun to work with in collage, too!  Here are some pieces I've made with it:

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tissue? I hardly know you! :D

*GROAN*  Sorry about that!  :D

What is my favorite part of Easter?  Well, aside from the incredible buffet of homemade treats from Brian's parents, it has to be the box of Hughes candies that my sister in-law Kristin and I get from our mom in-law every year.  It has become tradition, which is okay with me!

Another wonderful thing is the wrapping from those boxes - they always arrive in cute gift bags with matching tissue paper!  Kristin could care less about the wrapping so I always come away with the coolest design - here is this year's offering:  I can't wait to create something with it!  :D

You've probably surmised by now that yes, I collect commercially printed tissue paper.  I love it because it's so versatile; I use it in my artwork all the time.  It's fantastic as a top-off when a project just needs that little something.  And when the tissue is printed, the possibilities are endless!

I've gotten my tissue from so many places over the years - leftover from holiday festivities; shoe boxes and shirt wrappings; vintage invitations; high-end stores; specialty shops and ephemera packs.  Once you notice tissue paper, you'll see it EVERYWHERE.  Because it's nearly transparent it can be very subtle, and a little goes a long way.

This kind of ephemera is one of my favorites because it's almost always a bonus with a purchase, or better yet - FREE!

Here are just a few ways that I've used commercial tissue in my work:

Monday, April 25, 2011

Let's Start Monday off Right.....

...With a GIVEAWAY! :D

First of all, I'd like to wish my friends of the Judeo-Christian persuasion a happy Passover/Easter (a day late!).  I hope your weekends were delightful!  Let's keep the celebrating going on a late-April Monday, shall we?

Most of you may remember our good friends at Silver Crow Creations but if you're new to the blog, you MUST check them out!  They have EVERYTHING in their online shop AND in their Etsy store as well.  Seriously, check out their menu on the left hand side of their store - my oh my!

One of my favorite items in the whole shop is the ephemera packs, and there are three sizes from which to choose:  Jumbo (100+ pieces), Large (30+ pieces) and Small (10+ pieces).  When I've ordered my packs they've included stuff like vintage magazine pages, stamps, vintage labels, invoices, checks - you name it.  I love ephemera packs because their contents are always a surprise and it's a great way to jump-start your creativity!

Well guess what - thanks to our wonderful friends Pete and Annie at Silver Crow, YOU could win a Large Ephemera Pack of your own, shipped directly from Silver Crow (some of the nicest people you'll meet online!).  All you have to do is:

1.  Answer the question, "What is your Holy Grail of ephemera?", or in other words, what piece of ephemera would you absolutely FREAK OUT over if you managed to get your hands on it?
2.  I cannot stress this enough - YOU MUST HAVE A VALID E-MAIL ADDRESS THAT I CAN EASILY FIND ON YOUR BLOG OR POSTED HERE.  If I have to search for more than three minutes to find it, it's on to the next winner.
3.  I'll pick a winner this Wednesday, April 27 at 5 p.m. CDT.  Enter soon!  :D
4.  If you're the winner, you must reply within 72 hours to my e-mail telling you you've won.  If I don't hear from you, I'll pick another winner.
5.  Once I hear from you, I'll give you the instructions on how to get your free ephemera pack!  :D

I hope we get a lot of people signing up for this giveaway - it's a good one!  :D

Happy Monday to all!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Celebrating Earth Day

ATC that my sister Jen made from magazines,
wood veneer and paper
Today, as most people know, is Earth Day.  I am very proud to say that I'm from the state where Earth Day began 41 years ago - it was our (Wisconsin's) Senator Nelson who launched the initiative.  Both of our senators at the time (Nelson and Proxmire) were forward-thinking progressives/environmentalists.

I was on Twitter this morning and saw a pick from Mike Wolfe of American Pickers (more on that awesome show in a future post) that said, essentially, that antique dealers were green before green was cool.  How true!

And by that same token, we ephemeraologists are truly green as well!  We're the ones who frequent those antique stores, estate sales, Goodwill, rummage sales, dumpsters and anywhere else we can find items that will help us create.

Think about how much STUFF is out there - it's mind-boggling.  By reusing old (and new) paper in an original way, we are doing our part to reduce landfill waste.  It may not seem like saving stuff like candy wrappers and vintage checks does much but if all 300 of us (I'm counting my Facebook and Blogger followers) were to weigh our collective stashes I'm willing to bet there would be a couple of tons (tonnes) of ephemera that we've saved.  Heck, I may even have a ton of it myself!  :D

So today, while we're mindful of all of the ways we can help our planet, give yourselves a pat on the back for doing your part to keep recyclable stuff out of our landfills.  Keep on collecting and creating!  

I'll leave you with this great little stanza that probably began during the Depression but should be our mantra every day:

Use it up
Wear it out
Make it do
Or do without (or find more ephemera!).

Happy Earth Day!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

From the "What in the World?" Department

Every now and then we Ephemeraologists come across something that is so unusual, we just have to own it (okay, maybe the "every now and then" is a little more frequent than I'd care to admit).  Today's example of this type of ephemera is below:

Isn't this odd?  I got a lot of about 20 of them.  Using my deductive powers (and Bing's translator), I'm going to guess that the top says: "Illustration (Ear, Nose, Throat)".  Am I right?  :D

I would love to know the back story of these!  Are they part of the curriculum for some university class?  Or are they for even younger students?  Because it says "Karte (card) Nr" and "Name" in the upper left, it makes me think that it was for a school project or class.  But who knows?  We do know that they're from the 20th century because of the 19__, and judging from the font and design of the sheets I'm going to guess that they're from the Thirties or maybe even earlier.  Any later than that and we're venturing into Third Reich times, which may have had propaganda attached and a stronger font (scary to think about that).  And post-war, I would imagine that a more modern font would have been in use.

Because I have so many of them, I will definitely use them in a collage.  Maybe I could title it, "Ears to You".  Too punny?  :D

Stay tuned!  :D

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Toute de Frooties

(Hee hee - just a little French humor for you!)  :D

Reason #256 why I love Fond du Lac:  You can actually still buy penny candy here.

It's true!  There is a wonderful little corner grocery store about a mile from my house called Philly's on 4th (the owner's name is Phil).  This store is part of the Moses dynasty - some of you may know that Fond du Lac is home to some of the biggest lottery winners in U.S. History and we have a reputation for being VERY lucky.  Well, the son of the folks who sold those tickets now has his own store.  It's one of those places where you will surely be greeted with a "Hey, how's it goin'?" and the best customer service in town (they also sell their famous broasted chicken, which is to DIE FOR).

Last Tuesday, after running some errands, I stopped in for a treat.  I didn't know what I wanted - just something small, like an Ice Cube.  But then I saw these Frooties, all separated by color, in different baskets, and the price - just one cent apiece - well, how could I resist?  So I brought a handful up to the counter - 24 cents with tax.  AWESOME!  I was instantly transported back to the summer of '80, when I'd go to Hansen's in Green Bay and buy Wacky Packages with my allowance.  Seriously - when's the last time you got more than one of something for less than a quarter?!?!

After I had eaten the candies, I studied the wrappers.  Such fun colors!  I decided I wasn't going to throw them out right away, but I didn't have a clear idea how I'd use them yet, either.

And then, SHAZAM!!!  It all came into place.  I'd cut them into strips with my handy-dandy shrezzors (one of my FAVE art tools, by the way!).  One problem - I'd have to eat WAY more of these little guys, and I really didn't want to have to eat hundreds more.  Solution:  have other people eat them for me!  :D

If you read my blog post from yesterday, you may remember me saying that we had a Hobby Expo at our library on Saturday.  Brian and I, along with my friend Suze and her daughter Jillian, represented Fond du Lac Visual Arts (and I also repped Fond du Lac Artists' Association).  I wanted to create something while we sat there from 10-3 to spark interest for the passersby, so I brought a blank mirror and 176 candies (totaling a whopping $1.76 before tax!).  As you can see in the photo here, taken by library community liaison Terry Fleming, we needed a lot of people to eat those candies!  Never fear - there were a lot of kids at the library on Saturday (it snowed that day, so the library was pretty full).

So while people walked past, they'd take a candy and leave the wrapper in the other bowl.  By the end of the day there were only about 40 candies left and I had my materials for the mirror you see here, which I just finished last night:

By my count, I "shredded" 350 little pieces of wrapper.  It was far more time-consuming that I had thought it would be, but I really like how it turned out - almost "Dia de los Muertos"-looking.

It just goes to show that you can make art from ANYTHING.  Oh, and this mirror will be donated to the wonderful folks at Art Attack in Chilton for their gala fundraiser in May.  I hope they make some money from it!  :D

Monday, April 18, 2011

Lenticular Spectacular!

Those of us who are ephemeraologists (like many of you reading this right now) follow Ephemeraology Rule #1:  If you don't want something from your huge stash anymore, there is someone out there who will.

I know this rule very well, and have seen both sides of it.  When I first started amassing my ephemera piles, I noticed that some people were very (maybe even a little too) eager to get rid of some of their stuff.  I really benefited from this; it helped me figure out what kinds of ephemera were my favorite.  Now that I've been doing this for nearly five years, I am now on the opposite side - I'm in the position to hand off some of my stuff to others (which is why I love doing my ephemera giveaways here!).

Sometimes, though, I still come across people who seemingly can't wait to share their wealth - these are the people that I love to thank in these posts.  Today is one of those days.

On Saturday, we had a hobby expo at our library.  This began two years ago but there wasn't one last year, so I was glad to see it return.  It's such a great idea - local clubs can sign up and set up a table (for FREE) to explain what they do.  This year, Brian and I, along with my friend Suze Fiebig and her daughter Jillian, represented Fond du Lac Visual Arts (and I also represented the Fond du Lac Artists' Association).  Attendance was pretty good and I was able to start an interactive art project (more on that tomorrow).

One of the clubs that I hoped would return was the Fond du Lac Area Stamp Club, and I was in luck!  When we attended the hobby expo two years ago I had a great talk with Greg, the head of the youth stamp club.  Just by talking with him I could tell he was a true philatelist and ephemeraologist - and he proved it by giving away LOTS of stamps.  Sure enough, he and his fellow club members were doing the same this year, but there was an added bonus - lenticulars.

What's a lenticular?  See below:

Yes, this is just a fraction of the loot I received on Saturday (if you're thinking, "Holy Schneikes!!", that was my reaction too!).  I just happened to mention how interesting these little guys were and the next thing I knew they were handing me FIVE huge envelopes of these babies (what I used to call "blinkies").  Greg said that this barely even touched the surface of the amount he inherited from an old collector.  Seriously - if it ever comes to this point for me, will someone please intervene?  PLEASE?  :D

Here is the Wikipedia definition of lenticular printing - pretty neat.  These little guys were printed for the 1972Winter Olympics in Sapporo and the Summer Olympics in Munich - they appear to be for Quarain.  Unfortunately, the Munich games were the summer Olympics where 11 Israeli athletes were killed by Palestinian gunmen, which marred the entire games' history.  Maybe that's why there were so many available; no one wanted to be reminded of the tragedy (incidentally, if you're interested in the "Munich Massacre", as it's now called, rent Munich.  Excellent movie.).

I have NO idea what I'm going to do with these yet, but I'm sure some of them
will make an appearance in future ephemera giveaways.  :D  Oh heck, let's have some fun now!  The first five people who comment with the word "lenticular" will get a little pack of these from me.  So if you're interested, and you've read this far, today's your lucky day!  :D  *One rule - you need to have a valid e-mail address.  If I can't easily find you, then it's on to the next person!  Good luck!  :D

Friday, April 15, 2011

....and Taxes.

Note:  This is the second in my two-part series entitled "The only two certainties in this world".  I'm sure you all knew this one was coming, especially because it's April 15.  :D   

Happy Tax Day!  Actually, we here in the U.S. got a little break this year - because today is Emancipation Day the tax due date has been pushed back to this coming Monday the 18th.  I wonder what some of you will be doing this weekend?  :D

Did you know that income tax, in the way we know it anyway, has only been around since 1917? There were many ways to tax the American people before that but as far as the form we fill out today, it's a fairly new invention.

It does feel like we pay more for taxes but honestly, (small political alert here) I would pay more to ensure our roads, schools, institutions and infrastructure are in tip-top shape.  Yes, even our schools - I never understood the argument that because I don't have kids, I shouldn't have to pay for someone else's kids' education.  It benefits EVERYONE to have top-notch schools - you really want your neighborhood overrun by truants and juvies?  Nope, me neither.

Okay, I'm done.  :D  On to the ephemeral aspect of tax stuff - I LOVE it!  There's something so "official" looking about government forms - they're so serious.  No Gigi or Joker fonts on these forms!  No frivolous clip art here!  No colorful decorations, either - just straight-up bureaucracy at work (except for the GORGEOUS tax stamps shown here from Ohio - aren't they marvelous?!).   There are so many different kinds of tax items to collect, too - property tax, sales tax, tax tokens, tax stamps, estate tax, inheritance tax, sin tax - it's all good!

Call me crazy, but I've always loved busy paperwork.  My favorite jobs were those where I did "menial" tasks like filing, data entry, reconciliation, etc.  I love stacks of paper and was a happy worker bee when I had stacks of work to do.  Now that I get to "make art" every day, the paper presents itself in different ways, but I'm always the most productive when I have a lot to do.

And what better example of "busy paperwork" is your 1040 statement?  In my first marriage I did the taxes most of the years we were together, and I actually enjoyed doing them.  It was a real sense of accomplishment sending in that envelope (this was before Turbo Tax), regardless of whether we got a refund or we owed.  I always did them the first week in February so we wouldn't have to worry about them.  Now, my wonderful dad in-law does them for us, because he likes to and he has the time (YIPPEEE!!!).  The peace of mind knowing they're done and we got our refunds ages ago is a very comforting feeling.

Hey, we'll never be without taxation of some kind or another, so why not embrace it and find something to like about it?  I show my optimism via my art.  :D

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Note:  This entry marks the first of a two-part series entitled "The only two certainties in this world" - you can probably guess what tomorrow's post will be about!  :D

I couldn't have picked a more perfect day to write this post.  Here in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin it is currently 35 degrees Fahrenheit and sleeting.  On April 14.  What better time to talk about such a morose subject.

But is it, really?  I live in a part of the country where huge families are commonplace.  Because I've lived in this town long enough, I am starting to go to funerals of my friend's relatives (or sadly, my friends themselves).  Most people in this area have a pretty practical view of death; you're not going to catch a lot of wailing and carrying-on at funerals here, unless it was an unspeakable tragedy.  Even though there are 40,000 people here in "Fondy", it is still a very small town where everyone seemingly knows everyone else.  Especially with the older folks, their funeral is a celebration of their life and a way for the living to reconnect with old friends and family members - which, in my opinion, is the way to do it.

Every now and then I receive some death or funeral-related ephemera (see above) in my giant one-pound packs that I get from places like The Paper Flea Market and Manto Fev.  It's always fascinating to me to see how much the cost of funerals has gone up and the way things were handled back then.

One of the most interesting death-related items I own is this postcard, dated November 30, 1924 - when I got it in the package (that came to my old workplace), my friend Jess and I couldn't believe anyone would ever have the chutzpah to write something so cold:  (if you can't read the handwriting, it says, "Sorry to hear of bereavment (sic) But we all will eventually meet our maker.  From Ann.")  YIKES!!!  I'm all for being practical and embracing the inevitable, but how about some compassion, "Ann"?!  Were these words really meant to bring comfort?  Here is a case where I'd LOVE to know the back story of this card!

Some of you may wonder why I would choose to write a post about death.  You may be thinking to yourselves, "Wow, Mel's usually a pretty positive person - why would she bum us out today?"  Well, I'll tell you - part of my job at The Reporter was to measure the obits and call the funeral homes with the prices.  It was my favorite part of the day, because most of the funeral directors and office workers I dealt with were the friendliest, happiest and funniest people with whom I interacted.  How is that possible?  Because they know something we may not:  when you finally come to terms with the fact that we have such a short time here, then you can get down to the business of living that time to the fullest.  And it's 100% true. Like it or not we will eventually all "meet our maker" (or whatever you believe),  so why not enjoy the time we have left?  THAT'S the secret to my good mood every day - I'm alive.  :D

I've only ever done one piece of artwork that's even remotely "death" related, but I like it 'cause it's purdy.  :D

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Teeny Tiny Photos!

In keeping with the library theme, I'll ask for a show of hands - how many of you remember microfiche?

I do - sort of.  I was in high school in the Eighties and even then we weren't using it as a resource.  I know I didn't learn how to use the machine, but I also wasn't in the A/V Club or on the yearbook staff.  I'm sure they learned.

Believe it or not, our newspaper is being processed on microfiche to this day.  Part of my job when I worked there was to load up three months' worth of papers at a time and send them to the processor, who would shrink the pages down to .25% of its original size.  It still is really useful, especially when doing a genealogy project - even on the Internet most papers make you pay to see articles older than a week and most don't have the REALLY old papers in their archives.

Plus, there is something so cool about seeing these teeny, tiny pages!  I love the detail that you can still make out, even at this tiny size (and sometimes in the negative).  The fiche to the right is probably from a men's magazine or car-related, judging by the ads.  The microfiche that I'm showing here is relatively new - only about 20 years old.  I'd love to get my hands on the really old stuff!  Hmm....I wonder if our library has any for sale.....  :D

And of course, I think it looks great in artwork!  I haven't done much with it (yet), but I'd love to do a 3-D piece with it somehow.  Oh, the possibilities....

Monday, April 11, 2011

Not by Bread Alone

I love bread.  Yes, sadly, even white bread.  You'd think that eating something nearly every day from the ages of 5-17 would make one grow tired of it, but not in my case.  There is something so comforting about eating a piece of white bread with margarine - it's probably purely nostalgic for me but I do love the taste!

When did white bread start to get such a bad rap?  I grew up in the Seventies and a peanut butter & jelly sandwich was always described as "wholesome" and something moms could feel good about giving their kids.  Now the way people talk, you'd think white bread is the devil.  Back in the day, though, before all the "studies" were done, parents served their kids bread without a second thought.  And we were fine. It is interesting that no one seemed to have gluten or peanut allergies then, either.

I love collecting bread items, just because the product is so ubiquitous and it seems to be one of the "happier" items advertised.  One of my favorite items is the Sunbeam girl label (I added the numbers myself) - it's so colorful and cheery!  :D  I just got the Wonder Bread notepad the other day and I love it as well.

Here are some art cards I've done using bread as my muse - it's a fun subject!