Wednesday, December 19, 2012



The other day one of my handmade cards that I sell on Etsy was featured in a Treasury.

Christmas Card with Victorian Couple Strolling in the SnowThe name of the treasury is "The Nightmare Before Christmas." Hmmm..interesting that my card ended up in a treasury with the word "nightmare" in it...It's  an a art deco image inspired by the Victorian era.

While sifting through my Mom's scrapbooks from the 1930's, looking for vintage cards to scan and embellish, I found a number of cards that used bold color palettes. The most popular seem to be black and red:

There was another item in the treasury list that caught my eye - a scherenschnitte, which in german translates as "scissor cuts."
Retro Paper Cut Christmas Village with Santa Sleigh Reindeer Laughing Moon Wall Art
It's a German/Swiss folk art that originated in the 1500's. The craft was brought to Colonial America by Germans immigrants in the 18th century, many of whom settled in Pennsylvania.
The intricate, painstaking piece was done by a woman named Polly, who is a retired RN from Oregon. Her Etsy shop is Sugarplum Silhouettes.
When you realize that her ornate designs consist of one intact piece of paper, you'll see how immensely talented she is!
Here are some other pieces from her shop:
Retro Christmas Decor Santa Cat Deer Papercut Silhouette Wall Art

Nursery Wall Art  Dog Cat  Personalized PapercutVintage Style Christmas Decor Santa Church Squirrel Silhouette Wall Art PRINT
Tea Light Holder Luminary Butterfly Flowers Wedding Decor Centerpiece
Her pieces are unique - beautiful - evocative. Check them out!

Thursday, December 13, 2012


Real and fake smiles

A smile does indeed have great power and great social rewards. However, it has been proven that an authentic smile[citation needed] is much more effective than a counterfeit smile. A smile is an outward sign of perceived self-confidence and internal satisfaction. It seems to have a favorable influence upon others and makes one likeable and more approachable.[12]

Duchenne smiling

Duchenne smiling
A Duchenne smile engages the muscles around the mouth and eyes.
Although many different types of smiles have been identified and studied, researchers (e.g. Freitas-Magalhães) have devoted particular attention to an anatomical distinction first recognized by French physician Guillaume Duchenne. While conducting research on the physiology of facial expressions in the mid-19th century, Duchenne identified two distinct types of smiles. A Duchenne smile involves contraction of both the zygomatic major muscle (which raises the corners of the mouth) and the orbicularis oculi muscle (which raises the cheeks and forms crow's feet around the eyes). A non-Duchenne smile involves only the zygomatic major muscle.[13] “Research with adults initially indicated that joy was indexed by generic smiling, any smiling involving the raising of the lip corners by the zygomatic major…. More recent research suggests that smiling in which the muscle around the eye contracts, raising the cheeks high (Duchenne smiling), is uniquely associated with positive emotion.”[14]

Pan-Am smileThe Pan-Am smile, also known as the "Botox smile", is the name given to a "fake smile", in which only the zygomatic major muscle is voluntarily contracted to show politeness. It is named after the airline Pan American World Airways, whose flight attendants would always flash every jet-setter the same perfunctory smile.[15]

Guess I'd better watch how I smile....or how can I perfect my duchenne smile???

ponder this...


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Thanksgiving cards

My Etsy shop "The Reimagined Past" is full of greeting cards I make - I take vintage cards/postcards that I have collected, scan them (I do like my collection and don't want to sell it - yet, anyway!) and embellish them - primarily with glitter.
I do like older greeting cards. I do like actually getting one in the mail.  The glitter on these cards was magicial - as least to me as a kid.
My customers tell me that this is why they like my cards..(!!!) because they remind them of the "old days" when cards weren't as mass produced as they are now...that someone actually worked on the card.
I'm loading my page up with Thanksgiving cards...and will be posting lots of Christmas cards. Think a lot of Scottish Terriers. I have one.

So, please stop by


Monday, September 3, 2012

Friday, August 31, 2012

typography/fonts - Barnhart Brothers and Spindler Company of Chicago

As I continue to make new cards for my Etsy shop "The Reimagined Past", I do quite a bit of research on the images I find. Think it's kind of an extension of my degree in Art History.

I feel a little "geek-ish" when I start reading about something, and end up spending hours perusing that's why they call it the web!

One area that's become fascinating to me is that of "font-com"/ typography.  It feels pretty silly to say, but finding that beautiful/quirky/perfect font can change the essence of the greeting card-which I find fascinating. It's a good thing that the small "stuff" can make me happy!!

The Barnhart Brothers and Spindler company produced some beautiful and striking fonts. For a little history:

Classic Ornaments

Barnhart Brothers & Spindler; TYPE
Catalog 25; TYPE Faces, border designs, typecast ornaments, brass rule
The 1925A catalog edition was printed between 1925-30 (1930 is latest date on some typeface examples). The "A" designates the edition with an abbreviated typesetting equipment section. It was published without a copyright notice which places it in the public domain. The company, established in 1868, closed in 1933.
I found this website, written by Luc Devroye, from the computer science department of McGill University. WOW WOW WOW

Barnhart Bros. Spindler Type Founders: Book of Type Specimens, 1907

Anglo Initials

Bard Open.

Beginning of a series of borders, each with their own number (embedded in the name of the image file).

The rightmost border is called Adstyle Border, designed by T.C. Robinson (McGrew gives the date 1908, but that is clearly wrong). McGrew adds: Although these are primarily decorative border units rather than type fonts, they had considerable popularity for expressing names and slogans in the borders of ads and otherwise. Designed by T. C. Robinson in 1908, the letters are a plain gothic style, somewhat thick and thin, similar to nineteenth-century designs. There are seven series: No.1: negative characters in rimmed circle. No.2: positive characters in circle. No.3: negative characters in plain circle. No.4: positive characters in square. No.5: negative characters in square. No.6: positive characters in diamond. No.7: negative characters in diamond. Monotype Special Reversed Figures No. 132S are very similar to Adstyle Border No.5, and in the 12-point size they include X, period, and comma, and single and double figures to 20.

Corners No. 142: ornaments were numbered

De Vinne Initials

 Dearborn Initials

Dolsen Initials No. 8.

Elzevirine Initials

 Lining Anglo

 No. 82
 Lining Lakeside Script

Mazarin No. 5.

Mortised Initials


Brownies.  I always wondered where these little buggers came from

Every foundry had a large supply of fists

series of ornaments called Vogue Ornaments

Rococo Initials No. 5 and No. 6

Rococo Initials No. 7.

Universal Initials  link to website. Again, WOW WOW WOW