Posts Tagged ‘vintage’

Thought I would continue the mod theme with this little gem.

Mod Missy by Whitman circa 1969. She’s quite the hipster. The box for my set is less than great; some of the paper is peeled off on the lid and the bottom of the box is dented in. However this doesn’t matter terribly much to me as the contents are mint. Uncut costumes and a perfect thick cardboard doll.

Incidently, Whitman must have really wanted to avoid any possible confusion about this being a Mod doll; they stuck the word mod every place they could wedge it in. As if one glance at the doll or her clothes could have left any doubt. Ha!

Even her posture is a bit hip. Adore that face and those perfect 60s shoes.

The costumes are fab; she plays the guitar. In addition to wonderfully evocative outfits she has great wigs, dig the Carnaby ensemble complete with boots and wig/hat.

Just in case you missed the point, the publisher even stuck yet another mention of mod in the title of the magazine — love that Beatles suit and wig! Make sure to click on the picture to check out the details of the pink dress in the lower left; nehru collar and ruffled cuffs are soooo precious.

Hope that the Friends of Blythe and other fashionistas have enjoyed this wardrobe inspiration post.

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Here’s another old friend come home at last, this time courtesy of the local library’s used book sale.

Well, a relative of an old friend as my childhood copy was in English. Spanish, English, any way you slice it this is a fantastic cook book with illustrations that scream “it’s the 60s!”. I loved this book, most probably and literally to death as it disappeared somewhere in the distant past. No matter; the crazy dog and cat team are back to cook all my old favorites.

Like Egg in a Nest.

Twice Baked Cheesy Potato.

Sausage Rolls.

and for a magnificent grand finale: Baked Alaska. I think I actually made this once and it was like a magic trick — the meringue got toasty golden brown and the ice cream didn’t melt!

I apologize for the wonky scans; this is a rather large book and it didn’t quite fit in the scanner (bit of a struggle actually). Still, you can get a very definite idea of how it looks and why I am everlastingly thankful to have this treasure (or variation thereof) back in my hot little hands.

Happy Turkey Day Everybody!

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Vintage Apple Ads

Yeah, I’m a Mac . . . big shocker. Most all the artists I know are Macs, we just love the little beasties to bits.

March 1980

Very possibly my first exposure to Apple. From the pages of Omni magazine which exposed me to a myriad of art, fiction and technology back in the day.

January 1982

A personal favorite, unfortunately I only have one half of this two page fire inspired spread. If memory serves; despite the melty condition of the computer, Apple was able to recover the contents of the hard drive. Again from Omni.


Thanks for everything Steve, enjoy your party wherever you are tonight.


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First off; Milton Glaser is adorable. Really cuddley, love to have dinner with adorable. For those of you unfamiliar, Milton Glaser is a (absolutely famous) graphic designer. There are those who say he’s The Essential American Graphic Designer. He’s just plain brilliant. Do a Google image search — go ahead, I’ll wait. . .  See what I mean? But here’s the real deal: everything he does, he does thoughtfully. He doesn’t just “phone it in”, he thinks hard about what he wants to happen as a result of the imagery he designs, and he purposefully chooses to make designs that will affect a positive change.

Wha?? Yes, that’s right Virginia — simplicity done right is really, really bloody difficult.

The other day, I was in the puddle-dom zone so I turned on the TV and wow! Sundance channel was showing Milton Glaser: To Inform and Delight. So I watched it. And loved it. Now lest you, dear reader, think I’m new to the Glaser fan club; when I went to graphic arts school (an undisclosed number of decades ago) Glaser was mandatory subject material. Then in the 90’s I saw a show about him and some book project he was working on (massive brain food fix), and now this new (made last year) documentary comes along. Happy, happy little brain cells are dancing in my head, they’re having a party and I do believe that there is even cake and ice cream.

Now by this time, you are probably saying to yourself “OK, so she adores Milton Glaser, but what the heck is a Chatterling and what’s it got to do with graphic design????”.

Here’s what: Words have Power. Images likewise. Knowledge of what words mean and how to use them correctly has massive power over the ability to communicate. Which brings me to the Chatterlings.

The Chatterlings in Wordland, by Michael Lipman is a fascinating and delightful vocabulary/grammar textbook (disguised as a storybook) from the early twentieth-century. It teaches the necessity of using the most precise word possible in order to communicate what you really mean. Yes, instead of making people guess (“well, you know what I meant”), actually just saying what you mean in the first place. Wow, what a novel idea! Which requires that you learn the sometimes not so subtle difference between the meaning of different words — oh drats; that’s vocabulary — arrggh! Well, this beautiful little book does it in an entertaining, indeed enjoyable, way. Here’s the beginning of the story:

See what I mean, it’s a fun story. Oh, and a spade is a shovel with a flat, rectangular blade (not pointy). It falls into the category of all poodles are dogs, but not all dogs are poodles. It’s all about precision.

The illustrations are great, I just love the way they help to demonstrate the distinction between words that mean similar but not identical things (which is really the entire plotline of the story).

Here’s another example:

Which by the way clarifies why “Tell the Captain I am disinclined to acquiesce to his request” is such a great line. Yeah, I’m a Pirate, no surprise there.

Even the Suggested Helps section at the end is full of great stuff. Suggested Helps, what a wonderful name for what would now be a Study Guide or Teachers Guide section (how drab and off-putting). Suggested implies that a child could and perhaps should read the pages and maybe even take something away from the experience.

The world admires the man or woman who writes and speaks English correctly. Oh, how I wish that this were still widely true in America. Somewhere along the way, we lost sight of the fact that learning can be both fun and functional. That the big picture most definitely depends on the tiny details being accurate. I very much wish that someone, somewhere would bring this very useful book back into print. There are a great many children (and no small number of adults) who could greatly benefit from reading it.

Because after all, there is great power in words and their attendant images.

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Yes, it was a year ago today that I did my first post on this blog. What do I wish for in the next year of posting — more art, better health and a bit more stamina to accomplish ever more art.

In the meantime, here’s a mini gift: go read James Gurney’s blog post for today. I found it both reassuring and inspirational and I hope you will too. Here’s a hint; Thinking is really the most important part of creating any sort of art.

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This optimistically titled book is from my small (but distinguished) collection of vintage craft books. It was published in England in (guessing) the 1930s or 40s (it’s not dated). It contains instructions, diagrams and patterns for an large number of toys of amazing diversity of subject matter. My copy even still has the full size pattern sheet which was loosely inserted into the book.

table of contents

What a gem. You could populate an entire nursery with just projects from this book. Which given the toy shortages of the time (due to the economy and the war) was rather a necessity. The soft toys are either knitted or sewn fabric/felt, oddly there are no crocheted toys. The wood toys include a section on reed basketry and the metal toys (and other toys) includes paper/card models and crafts.

But there is another reason I bought this book and here it is:


Fantastic illustrated endpapers! Virtually every single thing in the illustration is a project from the book. Who knew the hula girl’s boyfriend was a dog? That a monkey could be a fireman? That penguins are allowed on the bus? My very most favorite bit is Punch wreaking havoc with the crane and spilling milk all over the poor Golly, while Judy wisely makes discreetly for the exit.

Overall an entirely delightful window into the past. And terribly useful to boot.

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Yes, I realize that I’ve been having a rather rough time on the health front for the last few months; but at least this most recent blow (nasty, nasty, ugly choke-inducing head cold) seems to be fading. Hopefully I will be turning a corner towards better days and be getting back to making some art soon.

In the meantime, I’ll just be napping in the woods with a few friends. That bear is sure to have a thermos of tea with honey — whiskey is probably too much to hope for.

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