Monday, April 29, 2013

Putting my Stamp on it!

Good morning fellow Ephemeraologists!

I am back after a 4-week hiatus. April was insanely busy, in a good way. In the interim I've made some changes to the blog - I've decided to focus on what I initially intended the blog to be - "taking the discarded and making it arted." So without further ado, let's go!

I've recently started carving my own stamps. I've found that I can "draw" much better by carving than I can with a pencil or brush. A couple months ago I carved this set:

And with that set, I made this collage:

I used handmade (by me!) paper, and vintage tickets and ration vouchers.  I love the different colored buildings and papers - it definitely gives it a big-city feel to it!  
In the meantime, I had also taken my carved stamps and sent them in to Market Street Stamps to have my own sets of silicone stamps made for resale!  Market Street Stamps is located in my hometown of Green Bay, which I love because from start to finish, the whole project was hyper-LOCAL.  Here's how they turned out!

The larger set contains stamps that are the same size as those I originally carved.  But the tiny stamps?  They all fit on a square that's only 2X2"!  When you create wholesale stamps with Market Street you have many different options for sizing, and I wanted to go as tiny as I could!  SQUEEE!  Here's what some of the tiny ones look like stamped out:

On vintage lined paper, of course.  :)  Oh, and both these sets are available for sale on my website - they're only $5 and $10, respectively! :)

The other day I carved some olive stamps for a project I was making - we have an exhibit coming up called "Olive Art!" that I put together with my friend Julie at Ollie's Olive Oil Haus.  It's going to be a combination art show/olive oil and balsamic vinegar tasting!  I'm really excited about it - lots of local artists submitted wonderful pieces!  Here's how my hand-carved stamped piece turned out:

I stamped the three different olives but then added strips of vintage newspaper below, accented with some decorative stitching on my sewing machine and then framed.  I'm quite happy with how it turned out!

Look for more stamped pieces in the future - I'm having a BLAST.  :)

Monday, April 1, 2013

Road Trip Ephemera!

How many of you have "road-tripped"?

If you have, you know the joys (and sometimes, perils) of the open road.  I daresay it is the quintessentially American way to travel!  And for most of us over the age of 40, it was the only way we vacationed as kids. I don't know anyone who actually flew back in the '70s - no, we got in the car, sans child car seats and possibly even safety belts, and we saw this great land of ours via highway.  And if this is a memory for you, no doubt you were warned, at some point during the trip, that the "authorities" of the car would just turn it right back around if we didn't behave.  :)

My sister Jen, her husband Mike, and their two daughters Natalie and Mia have just returned from such a journey.  They saw much of the middle portion of our country, from top to bottom, starting in Wisconsin: Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas.  They logged over 3500 miles and 60 hours in the car.  And they loved every minute of it!  My niece Natalie, who will be 16 in one month (!), also practiced some highway driving, leaving mom and dad to relax for a change (okay, maybe not relax, per se, but it took the onus off for a bit).

One of their many stops along the way was the great city of Austin, Texas.  There, Jen and Mike encountered an AMAZING antique store called Uncommon Objects.  Oh boy - MY kind of place!  While they were there, they found some wonderful little artifacts, like this Glory cereal sample bag:

I know - it's like an Aaron Copeland song come to life, isn't it?  :D  My guess is that they gave out these little samples at the grocery or general store.  As you can see, it's from the Teichgraeber Milling Co. of Gypsum, Kansas.  Seriously - is there any more "American" name than Glory?  The whole item just screams early 20th century patriotism.  Judging by the fonts and colors, I'm going to put this at the late teens-early '20s.  It's in astonishingly good shape!

The other wonderful find that I was given is this little notebook with *GASP* grid paper!!

It's even got some handwriting in the book, dated April 6, 1934 - almost exactly 79 years ago!  Jen bought it for me not only because of the cover and handwriting, but for the front and back inside covers as well:

*SWOON*!!!  She was right - I LOVE them.  I don't know how I'm going to use them yet, but they are definitely going to find a place in my artwork.

You can be envious - I do indeed have the most thoughtful sister EVER!  :D