Wednesday, October 30, 2013


It's close to the witching hour ... so a gallery of Halloween postcards from the vintage vault seemed appropro. Halloween's become the Holy Grail of collectibles during the past decade. I don't have many Halloween postcards - they're generally beyond my pocketbook - but over time, I've nabbed a few. At reasonable prices, too (that is, less than $25 each). Here's a selection of antique ones, meaning they are more than 100 years old.

A classic by artist Ellen Clapsaddle.
 Published by International Art Publ Co.,
printed in Germany, and postmarked

1910 from Kansas City, MO.

A striking graphic published by Cincinnati's
Gibson Art Co. Not mailed, so no postmark.

Postcard by artist H.B. Griggs, whose initials are at bottom left.
I found a number by him a few years ago in an antique shop
in Louisville, Ky., and snapped them all up. It was not mailed,
but is circa 1910 and was published by L & E (series2262).

The two postcards above were published by England's
Raphael Tuck & Sons in its "Hallowe'en" series No. 188.
The top one wasn't mailed, but the bottom card

sports an Oct. 31, 1912 postmark. 

One of the beautiful women that publisher John Winsch
was noted for. Generally, the cards were illustrated by
artist Samuel L. Schmucker. This looks like his work, but
isn't signed, so I'm not sure. It wasn't mailed, 
but is dated 1912 on the front.

Not a clue on this one. Not mailed,
and the message on back is simply
 the name Eland and "from father."
But love the owl! 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Available for the first time ...

"Seed Bombs," above, is one of the reproductions of original collages that will be sold for the first time at the annual Tiger Lily Press sale. It's printed with archival-quality inks on 100% cotton rag paper. It will be available in two sizes: 7"x9" (matted in an acid-free mat to fit 11"x14" frame) and 8"x11" (matted to fit a 12"x16" frame). All the prints are of collages that are no longer available.

There will be other first-time prints at the sale, too, including the debut of Sweet Petite Prints. These are repros of Sweet Petite collages no longer available, such as "Day Dreaming" (below). Like the originals, they are matted to fit a 5"x7" frame.  

And look for the first cards in my new "Lux" line of holiday greeting cards ... also printed on 100% cotton rag paper ... here's a preview (the image is adapted from a 1920 postcard, I know, kind of sentimental for me) ... if I say so myself, they are gorgeous!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Paper With a Past will be showing at the annual Tiger Lily Press sale

I'll be selling work as a member of TLP and the Cincinnati Book Arts Society, the latter is part of the sale, too. Look for my new 2014 calendars, prints, greeting cards, bumper stickers and more. After visiting us on the second floor of the Clifton Cultural Art Center, check out its annual Autumn Air Art Fair on the first floor.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

So, did it work?

Thought I'd show you what happened after the scrapbook pages mentioned in the last post were soaked ... as I said then, it works. In the top photo, the scraps are drying facedown on the studio floor after being removed from the pages - luckily, it's a concrete floor. The other photos show the end result. Most of the scraps are fairly flat and those that are not, can be flattened in my nipping press.

The final photo shows another project going on in the studio at the same time - airing out pages from 1930s era Esquire magazines that had been wrapped in plastic sleeves for decades. When the wrapping was taken off ... stinky. So, time for some fresh air.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

A simple blog post label leads to treasure ...

Last summer, I posted an item about "Wark's Modern Educator," an encyclopedic book from the early 19th century. I bought a copy at a dirt cheap price, because it was missing pages. I happened to mention that I'd love to find a complete volume. On the post, I added the book title as a label.

Well, fast forward to a few weeks ago when an e-mail arrived from a bookseller in Princeton, N.J., telling me that she had been searching the web for info about Wark's, and came across my blog post. She had a complete one. We messaged back and forth.

In between the e-mails, she took a look at my web site. Her next e-mail asked if I wanted something else: her great grandfather Paul Phillips' scrapbook from 1890. It was little more than a pile of crumbling pages inside its worn covers, and she didn't know what to do with it ... 'til she saw my work.

A few days later, the Wark's and scrapbook arrived. As nice as the Wark's is, it's the scrapbook that is the stunner. It's filled with colorful scraps and trade cards. Some are scraps I'd never seen, such as sets with fairy tale characters and a series of morality tales. Many are huge, filling entire pages. In fact, the flowers are the perfect size for a commission I just got to create a large-scale collage for a Cincinnati restaurant. Today, I'll remove the scraps from the pages, which can be done by soaking them. Trust me, it works, and doesn't damage the scraps (a trick learned from a veteran bookseller/paper collector).

Of course, I had to scan some pages to share with you ... no doubt my friend Shirley Tenhover will be oooohing and ahhhhhing when she sees these ...


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Bumper crop

Well, the other thing I was messin' with while I was home with the flu was new variations on the "I heart" cards in the "Body Language" line. It began with "I heart Cincinnati" and "I heart Kentucky," then, a few Cincinnati neighborhoods were added: Over-The-Rhine, Northside, Hyde Park and Clifton.

Well, a new shop in the Pleasant Ridge neighborhood - the Dandy Haberdashery - is carrying a slection of "Cards With a Past" and requested an "I heart Pleasant Ridge" card. Once that was done, it seemed time to create one for my own neighborhood of Oakley.

Generally, the heart colors - sometimes, the type, too - are geared toward how people think of the neighborhood. For example, Hyde Park is deemed to be "preppy," so its card has a lime green heart and pink type. For Pleasant Ridge, I picked up on the colors used in banners hanging in the neighborhood. The Oakley card plays on the oak part of our leafy neighborhood.

The cards are sized to fit long, No. 10 envelopes. And, yes, being a compulsive type, I try to find envelopes whose colors match the cards. Well, I was so enamored with the cards above that I decided to add one for Columbia-Tusculum. It's well-known for its "painted lady" Victorian houses. So, I pulled out all the stops ...

But why is this post headlined "bumper crop"? Well, all the heart cards are becoming bumper stickers. In fact, four already have: Cincinnati, Kentucky, Over-the-Rhine and Northside. More are on the way. MiCA in Over-the-Rhine has all of them; NVISION in Northside has the Cincinnati and Northside; and, all are available at my studio ($5 each).

Next up, Downtown and Mt. Lookout ... gotta go, the card factory beckons. Wait. The image of the heart is from "Young People's Physiology," a book from 1888 in my archive - as are all the images on all my cards. It happens to have been published by The American Book Co., which was headquartered in downtown Cincinnati.