There is something about the combination of dogs and decor that just makes me smile. Or maybe it is the combination of dogs and so-called-glamour decor that is humorous, because, when you stop to think about it, the entire concept of glamour is a bit ridiculous in a typically human centric sort of way.
What better way to scoff at the pretentiousness of "elegant living" other than to take a pooch and plop him on a satin sofa, with an exotic wallpaper in the background? Add a wind machine and fur and floppy ears flowing in the artificial breeze, and you would be hard pressed NOT to conjure up any film you have ever seen about models and photographers and how self involved they always seem. Can you stop yourself from smirking when you think about how seriously human models take those glamour shots compared to these four-legged ones? Compare the top video with this one.
The notion of "glamour" is absurd, really. Just look at these dogs. Think they're getting paid thousands of dollars to look every bit as beautiful as super models? More likely a biscuit or rawhide chew. And to think they do it all without makeup!
Mind you, they picked the best kind of dog for the cover shot--a French Bull dog, just like my Itty Bitty Busy Body.
I had a hard time deciding which blog to put this post on. Since my other blog is largely about design, I flirted with putting it there.
In the end I decided it had to go here, because, more than anything else the book sends a subtle message about life and silliness and the things we humans do and value.
On one of my recent antique hunts in one of my favorite shops in New Hampshire (the Glass Knob in the Centre Harbour/ Moultonborough area), I found these little books for kids. They are called "LOLLIPOP BOOKS," and they were published in 1949 by "John Martin's House," James and Jonathan Co. out of Wisconsin. I was able to dig up this Time Magazine article from 1932 that gives some information about who John Martin was (at the time of the article, anyway, real name, Morgan Von Roorbach Shepard). According to the information I have so far, John Martin loved children, and published for them, including a magazine, but had no children of his own.
I love the period illustration along with the period ink palette. The "slightly-off-registration" print job adds to the charm.
I have a fondness for books like these. My own home library was what these books were all about for me: inexpensive reads picked up on the fly for pennies-- Golden Books, Miss Francis Ding Dong School Books, and others of that vintage--read over and over again. Most of my books as a child cost all of about twenty-five cents a piece. One can only wonder what each of these little books went for, though I would guess they were sold as a collection.
The size of these books makes them especially charming. They are roughly three by four inches each. I haven't taken the time to actually read them because I am so enamored with the design and feel of the lot of them, that I just want to hold the books and think about ways to design and decorate with them, maybe combined with some vintage fabrics and toys.
They practically fit into the palm of my hand. Perhaps I need a miniature kid's room? It's hard not to wonder who owned these little books as a child. Did he/she love them? Or did they get tossed into a dark place, only to resurface in 2009? I think the latter. There is some staining and surface wear, but the bindings are quite tight. I would venture a guess that these books were not read much.
I design retro fabrics using these bright process colors from the 40s and 50s whenever I can. It would be nice to set up a display using the books, some vintage chotchkas, and fabrics--preferably my own. That will be next. One of the things I love is that items from earlier times go well together because of a much less sophisticated printing process along with fewer colors available. It is easy to set up theme displays using items from the same period. If I do, I will post those on Design Rocket.
Apparently this publisher also published A Big Book For Little Folk, in 1919. I wonder if he billed this small collection as Little Books for Big Folk? Hey--I guess that would be I! In the meantime, I would love some more information about these books and this publisher. Email me if you can add something to this story.
Things have been very quiet on this blog. Life, art and everything else have kept me from posting. Add the muse to that list of distractions or problems. She seems to have taken leave again from the blog world, bopping back from time to time, long enough for me to eek out a post here and there, and then off she flies again. Damn her. That chick is in serious trouble when I get my hands on her. Really though, the thing that has kept me from blogging most is this fact: I feel that the wheels are turning again in my life as an artist and other things have often been clawing their way to front of the line, begging for attention.
I'm still working on my book illustration work. And I am still writing. Got some deadlines to meet this summer and a picture book dummy to rework. There's a YA still cooking on a back burner (well, maybe it is really in another kitchen altogether), I have a chapter book manuscript that I want to turn into a graphic novel for the younger set, and a brand new idea for a book character and story line has popped up that has really got me excited. Just need a few more hours in the day, that's all.
But my experience getting ready for Surtex, as well as enjoying making the shift to my new studio, have provided a distraction of the best kid, and I am following the wind, which has always been my habit.
At Surtex, I had the pleasure of meeting some lovely people from a fabric company who seem to really "get" what it is I love to do. They will be bringing out a collection of my fabric designs, which they hope to debut at Quilt Market in Houston in October, and which will should hit the shelves come the first of the year.
After working in fiber arts years ago, the fact that I am returning to textiles is incredibly exciting for me. I would find it even more strange if somehow I end up making dolls and puppets again. But--I'll wait and see on that front. As the details and designs get closer to reality, I will eventually post more about them. In the meantime, I am branching off onto a new blog that will be fewer words and more pictures:
I'll still be posting here at Cats and Jammer when I want to write more and attempt to wax poetic. Sometime a gal's just got to go on and on about something that speaks to her. This is the "I have something to talk about " blog. But once Design Rocket is going full steam, Ill be looking to share lots of pictures over there. Check that blog for posts about collecting, design, art, collecting, decorating, textiles, collecting, and--did I mention?--collecting. (Don't I sound like someone who went and indulged her thrift shop/antique habit yesterday?)
Which is really what this blog originally started out to be all about years ago, anyway. Now it will have it's own forum.
One thing though: If I am going to write on 2 blogs, I have to do something about that missing muse....