Friday, September 30, 2011

COLLECTION #66: Vintage School Spelling Books

 "I before E except after C, unless the sound is A, as in 'neighbor' or 'weigh' ". 
I still recite this little rule to myself when trying to remember how to spell certain words. Spelling was always a pretty good subject for me, and I loved getting those 100% grades on my spelling tests. (I recently came across a letter I sent to my Mom when she was visiting her sister, when I was in about the third grade. My obviously false memory that I was a great speller was hopelessly dashed...although not atrocious, I misspelled at least five words in that short little note).

This is my collection of spelling books. I love my nearly-complete selection of Madden & Carlson "Success in Spelling" books. They even go up through the 8th grade. Back in the 40s and 50s when these were printed, many elementary schools went up through the 8th grade.
It's also fun to see the fun exercises, stories and quizzes to help with spelling. Fanciful illustrations and covers helped make the tedium of correct spelling a little more enjoyable. I hope you enjoy my little collection. And don't let me catch you mixing up those "I"s and "E"s!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

COLLECTION #65: Elbert Hubbard Books

 Not to be confused with my Roycroft book collection, these books are specifically about Elbert Hubbard, or are compilations of his writings and ideas. Some are published by the Roycroft, and others by other publishers.

If you don't know who Elbert Hubbard was, I'll give you the quick Wickepedia biography: Elbert Green Hubbard was born June 19, 1856 and raised in Hudson, IL. He founded the Roycroft Artisan Community in East Aurora, New York in 1895, which was an influential exponent of the Arts & Crafts Movement. Among his many publications were the nine-volume work Little Journeys, and the short story, A Message to Garcia.  He and his wife Alice Moore Hubbard died aboard the RMS Lusitania which was sunk by a German submarine off the coast of Ireland on May 7, 1915.

My collection of Elbert Hubbard Scrapbooks and writings varies from a fine soft-leather cover published by the Roycroft, to an inexpensive version printed by the Brigham University Press in the mid 1970s.

As I mentioned in my earlier post, we became interested in Roycroft books when we were living in East Aurora, when I worked for Fisher-Price. We've found most of these books since we left the area, and they continue to be a link between us and a lovely place and time in our lives.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

COLLECTION #64: Funky Old Tins

Just an assortment of interesting old tins... 2 coffee tins that we found in the attic of our old house in Rhode Island, a lovely but battered Apple Blossom Talc tin that belonged to my Grandmother, and a few others that give color and fun to my kitchen. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

COLLECTION #63: Vintage Boy's Role Play Toys

 Welcome to Toy Tuesday! In the toy biz, we refer to toys that encourage and help children act out grown-up roles as 'role play toys'.  Whether they are old-fashioned roles such as nurse kits for girls, and tool sets for boys, or more modern 'unisex' role play, it's always been fun for kids to play with toys that mimic activities that adults do. Play versions of cash registers, typewriters, telephones, cooking toys and the like, are universal in their appeal. In times past these toys were often made of metal and wood, today's toys are safer and more colorful. (But maybe not quite as realistic!)

Here is my modest collection of boys role play toys, although these certainly could all be played with by girls as well. (I have a lot of girls role play, and I wanted to have a separate category, so this is how they shook out).  I think it's interesting that I have 2 printing presses, and 2 shoe shine kits! The shoe shine kits are identical, except for color (the red one only had one shoe polish in it when I bought it 25 years ago- the yellow one had lots of stuff!). The printing presses are missing most of the type and accessories, but they are cool looking nevertheless.
The little tool kit belonged to my husband Bruce as a child. I love how he took such good care of it, and how realistic and functional each piece is. No little wimpy soft plastic saws for this kid! You could really build a bird house, or a toy car or almost anything you wanted with a Gilbert "Big Boy" Tool Chest!

Monday, September 26, 2011

COLLECTION #62: Classic Sheet Music

Bing Crosby! Judy Garland! Jeanette McDonald & Nelson Eddy! Music from State Fair! Don't Give Up the Ship! Going My Way! The Harvey Girls!  Here's my collection of sheet music from the golden age of the silver screen- the late 1930s and 1940s.  Some of these tunes were enormous hits back then, but have faded into oblivion today, but some are still as unforgettable today as when the tin pan alley composers put pen to paper.  "On the Acheson, Topeka and the Santa Fe". "Swinging on a Star".  "You'll Never Know".  Some of the finest tunes ever written!

I hope you enjoy my little edition of Music Monday! What a fun way to start the week, with a little singing!

Saturday, September 24, 2011


GlamourSplash is a fabulous blog by Pamela Fierro, who celebrates vintage swimwear with her collections of swimsuits, advertising, photographs, history and fashion. Pamela has been collecting and selling vintage swimwear for over a decade. She has an incredible knowledge about this fun segment of the fashion industry, and each blog entry is so fascinating!  From regular features about Marilyn Monroe, to her interesting updates on today's swimwear fashions, there is so much to enjoy on GlamourSplash.  If you are interested in purchasing vintage swimwear, Pamela also has a website called GlamourSurf, where you can browse through her online shop of swimsuits, coverups, accessories, lingerie, patterns, etc. From the 20s to contemporary, she has a huge selection of fun fashions from beach to bedroom.

I hope you take the time to really check out this blog. I've enjoyed it so much....I could browse for hours!

Friday, September 23, 2011

COLLECTION #61: Vintage Arts & Crafts Magazines

Whenever I see vintage magazines about art or crafts, I love to pick them up, because the ideas and illustrations are always so fun & interesting. Here's a small cache of such magazines... one is from the 20s, 3 are from the 30s, 1 is from the 40s, and one is from the 50s. Each one is chock full of interesting ideas, illustrations and photos.  I love them as much for their window into early to mid-20th century culture as for their actual arts or crafts.

I hope you enjoy seeing a few of the illustrations and projects featured in these magazines!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

COLLECTION #60: Calico Pottery

Traditionally blue and white, calico pottery has a distinctive all-over flower pattern with small round-petaled flowers and leaves. I have quite a bit of blue and white pottery, but I thought it would be fun to share the few pieces of calico I have. I have a single, small saucer that is burgandy, blue and white, but the pattern is so similar to the blue and white, I like to include it.  Isn't it pretty?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

COLLECTION #59: Vintage School Phonics & Grammar Books

Other than arithmetic, nothing strikes fear into the hearts of former grade-schoolers like GRAMMAR! Loosely categorized as Language,  such subject matter taught us how to diagram a sentence, identify a modifier, and un-dangle our participles! Along with its cousin, phonics,  which helped us learn to read the confusing English language and begin our long journey into the written word, grammar still confuses us with archaic rules and contradictory guidelines, not to mention, who can remember all that stuff?

But I think it's fun to look at these books, and realize I've got a long way to go to be smarter than a fifth grader.  (Now, do tell me: do fifth graders still learn this stuff?)

Most of my books are from the 40s and 50s, the Language book on the bottom right of the top photo, was the same one I used in the 5th grade in the early '60s. Brings back so many memories!  (click on any of the photos for a closer view)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

COLLECTION #58: Pez Dispensers


No, I am not a Pez collector, but I have a few of them, tucked in a little drawer in my studio. I didn't even clean them off when I photographed them!

Nothing rare, old, or particularly unusual, just a few fun ones that I've squirreled away through the years.  I love the truck one... so fun that it's different from the others!

The clowns are cool- the one on the left is from Jack-in-the-Box, and the other one, I guess, is the Pez clown. Some people hate clowns, I love them!

 Did you know that eBay was started because of a Pez collector? The wife of the founder of eBay collected Pez dispensers, and she wanted a way to find them, buy them, and sell them. So, you could say, Pez dispensers have changed the world!  I love Pez candy, by the way, no one ever talks about that! But it's yummy, especially the cherry!