Sunday, December 23, 2012

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Make your own Vintage Custom Christmas Card - Free Printable

I have several personalized Christmas cards from the 1940's-1960's. I love seeing the pictures chosen and the old vintage illustrations, many often handmade. I'm guessing that people bought them from a local photography studio. Some, of course, have clip art and were bought as a template from the photo stores or mail order companies.

I thought it would be fun to make these available to you to use to make your own "vintage" custom Christmas card (these are all actually flats). You could print them and send them or you could just use it as a web post or ecard.

This first card is from 1951 and it has spots for three pictures. It could be a family or kids or pets or a trio of friends. I love how sweetly the boy in this photo is holding his orange cat.

The first thing to do is to download the template. Make sure you download the original size.

Vintage Custom Christmas Card Template

Then crop the images you need in a squarish size and fit in squares (the size is roughly 300x300 in 300 dpi).  Then change your images to black and white, add a little sepia and a little noise so it matches the card more. Or you could leave them without the changes, it's up to you. 

I did a couple of samples to see how it looks. The first TV show I thought of that had three people is the show Ben and Kate. It's a new show this fall and I like it a lot. It's about a sister and brother living together and raising her daughter. So I did one for them. Then I did one of just pets because they're cute.

The next one I did was meant for an image of a house or family picture. I like the idea of having an image of a house (of course, I would). Especially if you're sending it to people who know and miss that house or if you recently moved.

This card was sent in 1958 and there was a long message on the back saying the house had been in the family since 1884.  This card has deckle edges. You might want to crop them out and reproduce them on the computer or with fancy edge scissors. As long as the image you use is covering the white square it'll look good. That image size is 823x835 300 dpi. But, of course it could be a bit bigger.


Here is a sample that I did with an image that a friend recently posted of their new home. I did all the adjustments to this as with the other one.

I spent probably too much time on this, but you know, sometimes you want to do something just to do it. I hope that some of you might find some use for it. If you use it, I'd love to see what you do. 

Happy Holiday Season!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Vintage Color Palettes - Happier Holidays

Isn't this just the dreamiest mid-century holiday scene. I love this beautiful little advertising brochure for the Taylor Wine Company. You can see more of it on my blog post at The Cedar Chest. Pink was a real popular color for Christmas in the late 50's and early 60's. 

The hex color codes are from top to bottom: e53e71, f687a3, 8db2c1, 803f63

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Fat Positive Gifts and Cards - from Vintage Postcards

It's hard to find art and products that show illustrations or images of women who aren't thin. I've written about this before and how I think it's really important to seek out fat positive body images and display them in your space. I decided this year to add to the small amount of offerings of fat positive images and since I am no artist, I decided to use my collection of vintage fat postcards.

I've been collecting fat comic postcards from the 1900's to the 1950's for many years now. There are many that are negative (most of these I don't buy), but also there are many that I see as positive. Postcards with sexy fat ladies with pin-up looks or smiling happy fat folks with positive messages. Did they mean them positively? I choose to think that they did. Usually the fat people are happy and sexy and the people around them seem to enjoy their company. These all seem to point to a positive message.  And you know, even if the artists who drew these images were trying to be negative, I don't care -  I am claiming them with pride as fat positive messages from the past! I refuse to think that vintage postcards that talk about the virtues of having more of a large lady to love was meant as anything other than the truth.

I've created a small line of cards and gifts using these vintage images. You can get greeting cards, magnets or prints (matted or unmatted) in the shop now. You also have the option of choosing which cards or print you want.  I hope you enjoy this collection of vintage fat images and that they can give your day a little lift.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

New Crafty Item in Shop - "You're so good lookin'"

I've had this project in mind for almost a year now and I finally did it. It was fun to break out the gocco printer again. If you're not clear on why these hankies have this saying on it, let me me explain.

In a Seinfeld episode called "The Good Samaritan" George gets in some trouble for saying "God bless you" to a married woman who sneezes. While they are discussing it, Jerry says 

"If you want to make a person feel better after they sneeze, you shouldn't say 'God bless you.' You should say 'You're so good looking!'"

So, with this episode in mind (Um, yeah, I watch a lot of old sitcoms) I did some printing on these vintage handkerchiefs. It's a great inside joke for any Seinfeld friend and just a nice compliment for anyone. They can keep in their pocket or hang on the wall. Many of the hankies are so pretty it's a shame to hide them. You can find them in the shop now.

I hope you all like them, too. It's been so long since I've made a craft to sell, I'm nervous about it! 

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Vintage Color Palettes - Sheridan Road

Sometimes when I'm doing some task I come across a postcard that overwhelms me with the colors and I have to do a vintage color palette right away. That's what just happened to me when I found this linen postcard from Sheridan Road, a road that goes through many towns along Lake Michigan.

We've had lots of yellow and oranges this fall here in Portland, But, I haven't seen as many reds. Still it is, of course, beautiful. This color palette is the quintessential fall palette, the vintage part of it is the colors are a little dustier, a little different from what you would see now. If you're interested in the hex code numbers, they are from left to right: bb3610, d5c122, 8c2f2b, 455c2e

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Vintage Color Palettes - Pilgrims

I was scanning this postcard to post for sale on The Cedar Chest and was overcome with the colors. I love these colors and love them together. You would see these color combos a lot in the 1940's bark-cloth fabrics (which is when this postcard was made) but you seldom see them anymore, especially together. I don't care that they're not popular anymore. I like them. I mean, really, don't we all need some nice rich maroon in our lives.

To find out more about this card and who thee pilgrims are, check out the listing on The Cedar Chest.

The hex color codes are from top to bottom: 843f3d, 9fa431, 415c67, ece3d9

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

October in the Railroad Earth

Stopped at the train tracks today on a golden October afternoon. I took pictures of the train and immediately thought of the Kerouac prose piece October in the Railroad Earth.

It's about his days working on the railroad in San Francisco, which he often calls Frisco (I think he was the last person allowed to call it Frisco). His time on the railroads didn't really last too long, like most of the stuff he did, but, like a good writer, he got lots of material out of it.
THERE WAS A LITTLE ALLEY IN SAN FRANCISCO back of the Southern Pacific station at Third and Townsend in redbrick of drowsy lazy afternoons with everybody at work in offices in the air you feel the impending rush of their commuter frenzy as soon they'll be charging en masse from Market and Sansome buildings on foot and in buses and all well-dressed thru workingman Frisco of Walkup ?? truck drivers and even the poor grime-bemarked Third Street of lost bums even Negroes so hopeless and long left East and meanings of responsibility and try that now all they do is stand there spit- ting in the broken glass sometimes fifty in one afternoon against one wall at Third and Howard and here's all these Millbrae and San Carlos neat-necktied producers and commuters of America and Steel civilization rushing by with San Francisco Chronicles and green Call-Bulletins not even enough time to be disdainful, they've got to catch 130, 132, 134, 136 all the way up to 146 till the time of evening supper in homes of the railroad earth when high in the sky the magic stars ride above the following hotshot freight trains-it's all in California, it's all a sea, I swim out of it in afternoons of sun hot meditation in my jeans with head on handkerchief on brakeman's lantern or (if not working) on book, I look up at blue sky of perfect lostpurity and feel the warp of wood of old America beneath me and have insane conversations with Negroes in several-story windows above and everything is pouring in, the switching moves of boxcars in that little alley which is so much like the alleys of Lowell and I hear far off in the sense of coming night that engine calling our mountains.

That's the first paragraph. 

I've had Kerouac and the Beats in my head because I am currently cleaning out my storage unit and I have boxes filled with many books on Kerouac and the Beat Generation writers. Most of them were bought in the Bay area in the 80's and 90's. I am selling some on The Cedar Chest shop right now and will probably list more soon.

I remember one night around 1995. I had been reading Carolyn Cassady's memoir of her time with Neal and Jack (It's called Off the Road and I remember it being one of the best books I'd read about that time) and one night I had a particularly vivid dream that I was there in that apartment hanging out all night with Jack, Carolyn and Neal, drinking, dancing and taking pictures. The one scene I remember the most was Jack sitting on the floor cross legged (I was standing up looking down at him) in a light blue-grey sweatshirt and he just wouldn't shut up. He was really obnoxious.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Vintage Color Palettes - Reveries

In the midst of the beginning of fall I am bringing you this pretty spring vintage postcard. Such a lovely image and the colors are awesome.  There's no date or writing on this postcard, but I would guess it is from around 1910.

If you're interested in the hex color codes for this they are from top to bottom: f99975, da4045, f9c7e0, a2bf63

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

the monster

There are a number of people or groups that I am and have always been interested in. Every couple of years my obsession will get rekindled and I will delve into it again. One of these deep interests is Mary Shelley, her family, friends, influences and of course, her book, Frankenstein.

Mary Shelley
Mary Shelly was 16 when she met Percy Bysshe Shelley, an already married man of 21. They had an affair and then he left his wife for her.

At the age of 19 on a June night, Mary, Percy, John Polidori and Lord Byron were staying at a country estate and there was a terrific storm. Byron suggested they all write scary stories. That night Mary conceived of Frankenstein (and Polidori started the first book on Vampires).

Instead of reading Frankenstein again, which I do sometimes when the itch hits me, this year I'm reading a new to me book about "the curse" of Frankenstein and that night called The Monsters: Mary Shelly and the Curse of Frankenstein.

This book basically tells the story of all involved that night, including the back story of their parents and upbringing. Mary was the daughter of famous political writers, Mary Wollstonecraft and William Godwin. Both parents believed in the full rights of women. They didn't believe in marriage and encouraged open relationships  Godwin also believed that women and men were not supposed to live together. He felt that each person's privacy and peace was more important.

It's been many, many years since I read the biography of Mary Shelley, and I'm sure I've forgotten most if it. I'm only still at the beginning of the books but so far I have already read some pretty crazy stuff.  For example: When Mary's mother was dying after she gave birth to her, they thought her milk was poisoning her and put puppies on her breasts to drain the milk. Um, what?

Frankenstein is about so much more than most people think and certainly much more political and deep than the movies show. I recently saw The Bride of Frankenstein and it always breaks my heart when the Doctor just walks away and despises his creation. This to me is the one of the big lessons of Frankenstein. Responsibility. Mary was writing in part about the Industrial Revolution and the fear that machines would take over the work of people. But, there is so much more to this novel.

My obsession right now with Frankenstein has, of course, also resulted in a Frankenstein Pinterest board, too. Some neat images are there. Check it out.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Love is a Radical Act Project

Some friends of mine, Sam and Kelly, have started a wonderful project called Love is a Radical Act.  Here's some of what Sam said about the project. You can read the whole introduction to the project here.

..I do not understand or subscribe to romance. I think it often belittles the true love that motivates small daily gestures. It too often clouds the reality of a relationship – the lack of solid foundation, the acts of cruelty, the lack of common goals and interests...

..I am fighting for recognition and respect for all types of families – blended families, queer families, multi-racial families, adoptive families, families of choice, childless and child-free families, single people, and many more. I am fighting for the right to marry my partner so that we will enjoy the same protections that other couples take for granted. Heck, if someone can come up with a better system that will allow for greater flexibility and protection for all types of families, then I will fight for that too...

In honor of all kinds of love and as part of the fight for marriage equality Sam and Kelly have a few ways that you can participate. 

  1. They're selling ceramic hearts that you can then leave places or take images of. 
  2. They are doing he(art) bombings where one or many people go and hang the ceramic hearts in public places  
  3. They're asking for your stories of all kinds of families and love. You can find out more how to get involved here. Check out the website for some he(art) bombings that have already taken place.

Last weekend I went to the beach with a family of mine that would not be recognized or valued by many people in America. It was a lovely simple weekend. A nice end to the summer. I so enjoyed taking images of the Love is a Radical Act hearts in this setting knowing that I was living exactly what this project is about.

My partner of nine years was with me. He is a true and trusted partner. He's my best friend. I so relate to what Sam wrote above about how the romance that most people think is so important is actually just an illusion. That idea actually belittles the true real love of everyday kindness and partnership. That is what I have with my partner.

We don't live together, we aren't married, but we have a strong equal partnership and his love and friendship has changed my life so much for the better.  Some people have and will dismiss our relationship, but it is strong and just as valid as any other couple or family who love and care for each other every day.

Family is where you find the people who most care for you, who want the best for you, who accept you as you are. This can come in many different forms. One is no better than the other. The fact that love can be divided as good or bad or right or wrong is absurd.

I hope you'll take part in this fun, positive and important project.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Vintage Color Palettes - Reward of Merit

I was getting ready to post this on the Etsy shop and was overcome by the colors. So, a new Vintage Color Palette was born. I love the calm colors. They're soft and rich at the same time. 

The hex code color numbers are from top to bottom: 435d54, 96c5bf, 9d8863, d0cdb2

If you are interested in the Reward of Merit card you can purchase it here on The Cedar Chest shop.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

summer's bounty

Although it's still almost a full month before summer is officially over, I'm seeing a bit of fall peeking out and sneaking into view. The air feels and smells a bit different and the light is different. I know though that we will most likely still have hot weather for another month. In this area the hot weather goes through the end of September usually.

Still it definitely feels like the end of summer. Before the heat wave last week I found 2 huge zucchinis. I look everyday, but someone had missed these. It seems impossible. I decided to make some zucchini relish with them. Something I'd never made or had before.

I found an easy recipe in a zine I'd gotten just a couple of days earlier at The Portland Zine Symposium.  The zine is Keeper's Kanzine and I highly recommend it. Not only is it a beautiful zine (I love the cover) but it has some great recipes and some great advice.

I got it from Ms Valerie Park Distro and you can get it there, too. There is second edition as well.  It was in this zine that I learned that I can put jars in the oven to sterilize. I've always been really put off by the whole sterilization process, kind of intimidated by it, so I loved this idea.

The recipe was called Golden Relish and it turned out great.  I wasn't sure how I'd like it, so I made a half batch. It's really good. If you like sweet relish you'll like it. I've had it on a sandwich a lot in the last two weeks.

Here is a picture of it right after I canned it. Today I made another half batch and I used a yellow pepper instead of red and put in less sugar. I want to see how it will be with less. Since I used the naturally sweet Walla Walla Onions I think it could use less sugar. I'm excited to try it.

The heat wave kind of burnt up my plants. I don't know if I will get much more harvest from them. I didn't get many cucumbers this year because the zucchini took over. Which sucks. I kind of like the process of having too much of something and finding a way to use it, and zukes are the best for that. But I want more cucumbers, so next year I may not plant the zucchinis.

Anyway, I'll leave you with this pretty picture I took on my phone Friday while I sat on the porch swing with my mom. My step-dad was working in the garden and he had handed her some roses. It was a lovely perfect breezy summer day. The air felt so soft and friendly.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Vintage Color Palettes - Greetings from Maine

Here is a lovely woodsy late summer palette. I love these colors together. Wouldn't you love to be at this spot in Stonington, Maine? 

The hex color codes are from left to right: d72221, b0c6c8, b4c94f, 64682f

Friday, August 17, 2012

Zines! People who Love Zines!

One of the best things about being at a zine symposium (and for me a postcard and photo sale is like this, too) is that you get to be around people who love and value zines. They've put a lot of work into their zines and they appreciate the work you've put into yours. They understand that desire for zines and they love to trade their zine for yours.

And if you've been going to zine events for 12 years like I have, then you also get to see all these awesome people that you usually only see once a year (even if you're in the same town). It's always so great to see everybody.

So, last weekend was the zine symposium here in Portland. It was HOT. The room was not air conditioned and people were sweating like crazy. But, we were all in the same boat and it was pretty easy to keep distracted.  Here are some images of my table. I didn't take many pictures around the sympoisum, unfortunately. I will update more later about the zines I've been reading. My new zines are listed in the Etsy shop now. Imaginary Life #8 is very limited.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Zine Symposium this Weekend - New Issue of Imaginary Life!

I am fairly house bound in the next few days trying to get all my stuff together for the Portland Zine Symposium this weekend. Luckily I have air conditioning to get me through during this current triple digit heat. Netflix Instant, fans & air conditioning - the zine assembler's best friends.

I made up a small amount of the new and limited special edition copies of Imaginary Life #8. There is a black and white version of this zine in the IPRC's Zine Machine that you can get for $1.00! For the zine symposium this year I made a special color version of the box and there are a couple little surprises inside. These took a ridiculous amount of time to put together, so I kind of doubt I will make them again. So, come by the Portland Zine Symposium this weekend and find me and my zines.

Here are some pics of the new issue of Imaginary Life.  I am still working on a new Paper Crush as well. 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

International Zine Month Check In

How's your zine month going?  I loved the 31 Days of IZM list that came out at the end of June and though I would participate in it as much as I could. Well, I haven't done as much as I wnated, but I look at it every day to check in.

Here's what I have done.

Day 4 was teach yourself a new skill.

I was already working in a mini zine at the time, so that qualifies. I made a 1/16th zine that goes into a little handmade box. This zine will be sold in the IPRC Zine Machine, but I'll also have copies at the Portland Zine Symposium. Here is a shot of the zine while I was working on it. I will post more once I get them all assembled.

Day 6 was reread a favorite zine

For this day I opened up my box of zines from the last symposium near my bed and reread the first two on top. I have terrible retention and sadly I could probably reread the same 1000 items over and over for life. 

Day 7 was zine reading day.

I read my current zine out loud to myself and pretended to be reading it to a group. Reading your stuff out loud is  good way to find problems with flow or repetitive words.  When I read it out loud on this day I wished I would have done before I printed some. I totally found problems.

Day 9 was make envelopes, postcards or buy stamps.

I bought stamps. I needed some standard first class letter stamps. Some stamps are so pretty. Like any office supply and paper geek I enjoy buying them. I got a few designs, including these Kansas ones that I liked.

A bunch of days got a way from me....
Day 22 is today and the item for today is to add or edit an entry on Zine Wiki. I thought everything on Zine Wiki was up to date for me, but when I looked at it again today I saw that I had nothing for my zine Imaginary Life. I added information about that zine and did a couple up dates. You can see my profile here. Check out Zine Wiki today and add your zine or a zine you like that isn't represented. It's a great resource.

So, here's to about 9 more days of Zine Month. I will hopefully partake in a few more things on the list.

I can't believe the symposium is so soon, I have a lot to do to get ready for it and yet I'm not really doing it. I hope my motivation kicks in soon!

If you want to see what other people are doing for IZM check out the blog posts on We Make Zines.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Vintage Color Palettes - Souvenir from Sea Shore

This is one of my favorite vintage postcards in my collection. The shell images and lettering are raised and it's even prettier in person. This is a lovely pastel summery color palette. 

The Hex codes for these colors are in order of left to right: bcca89, c1d9db, e1af7e, e19aa5

Monday, July 2, 2012

31 Days of Zines

July is International Zine Month and the folks at IZM created this cool list of zine appreciation things you can do each day of the month. I'm gonna try and do as many as I can. Here's a picture of it on my magnetic board, so everyday I can check it.

Tomorrow's suggestion is to organize your zine collection. Um, yeah, I'm not doing that. It would take days and a huge mess to find all the boxes squirreled away and to organize them.

Today's zine activity is Zine Distro Appreciation Day and I will totally take part in that.

Zine Distros are mostly singular people who start a zine business for the love of zines and want to share their favorite zines. They buy or take zines on consignment and create their own websites, table at shows and events and do their own marketing. It is definitely done for love and not money. As a zine creator it is super awesome when a distro wants to carry your zine.

I'm not very good at getting mine out to distros. I'm always running out of copies of zines and I take a long time to get to the copy store. But, here are some awesome distros that do carry my zines and lots of other great zines. Thanks so much, folks for existing and supporting zines (and me)!

Sweet Candy Distro - Sage is going to blog everyday of Zine Month. Check out her blog or like SCD on Facebook to keep up with posts.

Ms Valerie Park Distro

Things You Say Distro

Doris Distro

Parcell Press

Microcosm Publishing

I hope I didn't forget any distros that carry my zine. There is a huge list of distros available here, including distros outside the U.S.

Happy International Zine Month!

Sunday, June 24, 2012


I know it's summer when my fridge looks like this:

My flowers look like this:

I find myself on the grass looking at this:

And my feet spend some time in this:

Happy Summer!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Vintage Color Palettes - Birthday Greetings

This vintage greeting card from around 1925 creates such a wonderland of a scene. The colors are awesome and I love illustrations of houses. 

If I were going to name these colors I would name them Fancy Glass Blue, Vintage Yellow, Deco Green & Antique Pansy. I've always thought that would be the dream job - naming colors.

The color numbers for this are in order of top from bottom: 3d4aa1, f7e26d, a7db7c, ff8a8f

Friday, May 25, 2012

martha stewart craft paints in the garden

Summer breeze so softly blowing,
In my garden pinks are growing;
If you'll go and send the showers,
You may come and smell my flowers.
                    - Old Garden Poem

A few weeks ago I was doing some potting of some flowers and I was distressed by how faded a lot of my old containers were. Some were plastic, some were that biodegradable stuff. Either way, there need some color enhancement.

Luckily, a few weeks earlier I had been to Michael's Craft Store and bought a whole bunch of the new Martha Stewart Craft Paints.  These paints are supposed to be good for glass, metal, ceramic, plastic, wood, paper and probably more. They say on the bottle they can be used for outdoor stuff. So, I grabbed some colors and began painting all my old faded pots and added some color to my terra cotta pots.

It was instant better color and it made me happy. The above pot was a taupe color. I covered it with a light pink. Here are some more that I painted. It's a bit hard to tell with the hydrandgea taking over everything, but it looks way better than it did.

Then I painted my little table that had gotten so worn out in the sun. I happened to buy the exact color. Here's what it looked like last summer:

And here is what it looks like now. Even with the pretty Geranium covering it you can see how much better it is. It basically looked brand new. It did scratch when I put something on it though. But, that is to be expected. It wasn't sealed in anyway.


Since I painted these we've had some hot days and a number of rainy days. The pots still look really good. I'm excited to use these paints for other things. There are lots of great colors. 

Hope you have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend. I'm gonna finally plant some veggies this weekend. Here are a few more pics of the potted plants.



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