Monday, February 8

Handy Victorian Tags, and Cast Down on Valentine's Day

Less than a week now, to Valentine's Day 2016.

I'm always relieved when Valentine's Day passes each year. For me, it's been a yearly lesson in keeping your chin up, having maturity of thought, and being humbled. Husbands, past and present, have never given me a token of their love on this day of days. 

My present husband has given flowers to neighbors and to his favorite female co-workers, when he still taught. One of my more ego-busting moments was picking him up from work one year, and when his bouquet recipients learned I had received no flowers (he proudly told them), they each kindly picked a blossom from their bunches and gave them to me. What can a person do? It was sweetly meant, and painful.

I do make sure that I have my little decorations up around the house. They are cheery and I can participate in the pretty end of Valentine's Day, if not the romantic end.

Click to see the designs better. JPEGs are smaller files, but a PNG is also available for better print quality.

Sunday, February 7

Victorian Shoes Collage Sheet / Tags Free for You

I love the design of these fanciful vintage shoes. And I love the Dutch wooden clogs, too. For Easter I will try to hunt up some images of clogs with tulips.

Print and enjoy, and Happy Sunday to you! Click to enlarge the tags and take a look at them.

And here is the better - but much larger in terms of bytes - png version. PNGs are usually clearer and better, but some older computer systems can't handle them.

Saturday, February 6

Big Hilda Says "Relax" This Saturday!

I think Hilda has the right idea. Just get in comfy jammies, put on a big pot of coffee, and relax! I'd like to have both that coffeepot and that bowl!

Hoping you have a wonderful Big-Hilda style weekend!

Friday, February 5

Undying Admiration for Big Hilda and Her Artist, Duane Bryers

Back in 2006, I began blogging. At some point shortly thereafter, I began sprinkling my posts with images of Big Hilda, the red-headed, voluptuous creation of Duane Bryers. At the time, there weren't too many images of Hilda online. 

The "Hilda" posts were some of my readers' favorites. While some may say, perhaps rightfully, that pinups of any kind are demeaning, in Hilda, the artist created a character who seemed real. She was more Everywoman than Pinup. In fact, she thumbed her nose at the contemporary ideal of beauty.

Hilda wore her heart on her sleeve - and sometimes little else. She was funny, brave, a bit clumsy, loving, and strong. In all her depictions, you see someone happy with herself, and busy living a sweet and simple life. 

How I wish there were a real Hilda! But I wonder, if Hilda were a real woman, would she be so happy and confident, or would she spend her life thinking she was "too fat" and bleaching her red hair into blonde and wearing what everyone else wears? 

I was so awestruck when I first "met" Hilda that I began a relentless pursuit of obtaining vintage images of her, both online and actual printed materials.

Some images I have only been able to find online. Many times, the scans of her are faded, distorted, or discolored. I use my Photoshop and Paint Shop Pro programs to try to bring her back to her former glory. And she was glorious!

Here is one of my favorite Hildas. She is always fussing over her pets, reading, knitting, gardening or in the great outdoors, and she definitely enjoys her little potbellied stove and her long johns during cold weather. 

I hope you will like Hilda as much as I do.

Thursday, February 4

Musing About A Chicken Potholder, and More Facebook Header/Cover Designs

Some people like to change their FB headers, or "covers," as FB calls them, frequently. I am certainly constantly tinkering with my actual decorations each season, and have been changing my FB to match. 

Here are a couple of Valentine covers with a pretty birdie. One features "2016" and one does not.

As always, thank you for stopping by. I'm teaching myself "Armenian Needle Lace" at the moment and hope to have a bit of a piece to show in the next few days. I have always liked needle lace, because it's so portable, and speaks of the past. 

The past was not perfect or even very nice, in many ways. But one thing I did love was how efforts to make pretty and useful things mattered, and were attainable by the poor. Unfortunately, the truly destitute were simply out of luck. But during the Depression, before the war began in the U.S., my grandmothers, very poor, were able to "pretty up" things for their families.

One thing my maternal grandmother did was make needle lace edgings and crocheted edgings for linens, including potholders. She made a crocheted edging using rick-rack as a base for many efforts, including her little chicken potholders. 

I'm working on making up a pattern from the one potholder I still have. I really don't want her handiwork to vanish! The little chicken is just adorable. So, stay tuned for photos and patterns!

It seems to me now that people feel they must have "designer" and expensive things to decorate their homes. They want $1,000 purses for their daughters to carry to school, and think little of spending $2,000 for a prom dress. It's like the bar has been raised, and I don't think it's healthy. It seems mean-spirited, and false, but then, I'm old-fashioned in many ways. It just seems to leave out ingenuity and heart. It's all about money, now -- or the appearance of it.

Wednesday, February 3

Pretty Header or Facbook Cover for Valentine's Day

Here is an altered copyright free vintage image of two cherubs and a pretty floral heart. Might be nice for a FB cover (why do they call it a "cover"?) or an image on a blog. I don't care for overly bare cherubs -- these are nicely draped.

As always, thank you for dropping by!

Tuesday, February 2

Vintage Cats and Dogs Kids' Valentines Free Printable Images and Cards

I love the freshness, energy, and sheer oddness of "off-brand" mid-century Valentines. Here is a small collection of "cleaned up" and slightly altered school Valentines for your printing and crafting pleasure. Many were die-cut, and some featured gilding (usually silver) and glitter. You got a lot of clever designs for your 25 cents or so. Today's Valentines, like the rest of the curriculum, are dumbed down. The puns are gone, and the vocabulary is simple.

As always, thank you for stopping by.