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December 18, 2012
December 08, 2012
I'm a bit of a graphic design nerd. I might not do a lot of designing myself lately, but i still often dream in color compositions.
If i would dream of Christmas gift wrap, i would dream about vintage Christmas wrapping paper designs.
Over time i have gathered quite a few of these wonderful sheets of paper.
Just the fact that someone bought them years ago, to pack their presents with, had a few sheets left, never threw them out, but instead kept them, maybe for next year. And then probably forgot about them when they were neatly stored away.
I have never been able to get myself to actually use them. Even though i think the packages would look amazing wrapped in them under the Christmas tree, i just can't put the scissors in to them.
I thought of maybe one day using them in my collage journals, or maybe framing them as Christmas wall art, but so far i did the same thing as the person who originally bought them; neatly stored them away.
So this year i said enough is enough. They need to get some more love. I have to send them out in to the world to new loving homes. To people who might really use them. Or not. Maybe the next person who owns these treasures will also just store and cherish them. And that is okay. They are beautiful as they are.
This is just a sampling of the papers i have. Or should i say had. They are listed in the Holiday section of the shop. Some of them already found new homes. And i can still look at them right here.
I say goodbye and thank you for the great design inspiration dreams.
November 27, 2012
October 06, 2012
I have vintage deer figurines displayed in our home all year round. But obviously around the holidays they will get a more prominent place. I especially like these type of plastic figures with their big eyes. They come in many sizes, from very small to fairly large. The smallest i have is just over one inch tall, the large momma measures 7". Even though she's cute with her big eyes, she does look a little angry. Maybe a little stressed out from having to watch so many kids?
Over time i gathered quite a few of them and occasionally i sell one or two in my shop. At the time i write this, there are two deers listed. Usually they are picked up pretty quick. Guess there are more people out there that like them as much as i do! I like that there are so many to collect, different sizes and different poses. There is one large standing deer that i'm still on the lookout for. That one is so poised and elegant. And there is another larger one that is kind of crouching down. That's not all, there is also a set of a standing mother with two small fawns on chains attached to her. Hopefully one day i'll reunite them all together in my collection!
And then there are these sequin embellished deers. I have two in my collection. These Christmas deer ornaments were sold without the embellishments as craft kits in the 1970's. So that's another thing i can add to my vintage wish list, to find one of those craft kits that hasn't been done yet.
August 06, 2012
This Vintage rubber Eskimo emotion doll is one of my favorite pieces from my vintage rubber toy collection. It has a knob on top of its head and when you turn it, the doll changes moods!
It's either smiling and happy, crying and sad, or grumpy and being a sourpuss baby.
These type of 3 faced dolls were made in the early 1970s in both Hong Kong and Korea. And I have seen them with outfits in a few different colors.
Usually i keep him displayed with a happy face, but its fun to change its expression. What is your favorite look of this cute toy?
January 31, 2012
Great sculptural vintage hairstyle photographed by Irving Penn for French Vogue.
I kept telling myself to scan some of the gorgeous black and white photographs from the 2nd world exhibition of photography: woman book that i had for sale in the shop. When it sold just recently i had no more time to procrastinate on it.
The 60s exhibition catalog has such amazing vintage photos of beautiful women, this is my selection of favorites.
Model with big hair by fashion photographer Franco Rubartelli for French Vogue.
Sophia Loren resting against Carlo Ponti in between scenes of the movie Arabesque at the Kremlin. Photgraphy by Tazio Secciaroli.
Portrait of a Swedish girl by Kurt Berglund.
Model in mirror photographed by Henry Grossman for Life Magazine.
Actress Marisa Mell during the movie shoot for Casanova '70 in Rome by Tazio Secciaroli.
Ormond Gigly photographed the models at Ford Model Agency in New York in the 60s.
Model and actress Donyale Luna photographed by Charlotte March.
January 20, 2012
Keane Big Eyed Art postcard - In the Garden.
Call it Big Eyed Art, or talk about the Sad Eyes Children, the Wide Eyed Waifs, or the Doe Eyed Orphans, it’s the genre that originated with the art of Margaret Keane and that was at its height of popularity in the 1960’s and 1970’s. Frowned upon by the ‘serious’ art community but loved by many. Margaret Keane is the Queen of Big Eyed Art. Her work and the big eyed art movement have been rediscovered by a new generation and have once again become increasingly collectible.
Keane postcard - A Boy and his Dog at the Beach early 1960s.
However, if you happen to come across one of her early paintings, you will most likely not see her name on it. It will be signed just ‘Keane’ or even ‘Walter Keane’. At the time, Margaret was married to Walter Keane. Walter didn’t only do the selling and promoting, turning the ‘brand’ into a mass marketed art phenomenon, he was also claiming to be the painter of the Big Eyes. His name was on all the work and it was he who did the interviews and taking all the glory.
In the beginning Margaret was unaware of what her husband was doing. "Every night Walter went down to sell the paintings … I stayed home painting a lot of children with different city backgrounds. It suited me fine. I was extremely timid and shy." When she discovered what he was up to, the sadness in her paintings intensified. "I was painting my own deepest inner feelings, and I was searching for answers. The eyes were asking 'Why are we here, why is there suffering? What is the purpose of life?' " Margaret admits that her husband had a real genius for promotions and selling. "But it was a nightmare when Walter threatened to kill me and our two daughters if we told anyone. The whole thing just snowballed and then it was too late to say it wasn’t him who painted them,” she said. “I’ll always regret that I wasn’t strong enough to stand up for my rights. However, it taught me the value of being truthful and that neither fame, love, money nor anything else is worth a bad conscience.”
Walter Keane credit on the back of a 1960s postcard.
By then millions of Keane paintings, prints and plates were being sold in galleries and department stores. When Walter put up posters with a painting reproduced on them to advertise their gallery, their popularity was so big that the posters were ripped down straight away by their fans.
Margaret Keane drawing her big eyes.
After a 10-year marriage Margaret couldn’t go on with the deception and left Walter in 1965 and moved to Hawaii. After a period of depression and little painting, she started to rebuild her life and later married again. It was in 1970 when she wanted to set the record straight. Walter had been talking to Life Magazine comparing himself to Rembrandt, El Greco and Michelangelo and saying that none of them could top him as a painter of eyes.
Margaret publicly challenged Walter to a painting contest, "Give us both paint and brush and canvas and turn us loose. We'll see who can paint eyes." A paint-off between the two was set up in San Francisco’s Union Square. Margaret was there, with brushes in hand. Walter was a no-show, but did state that he was flabbergasted and even somewhat amused by Margaret’s claims. Life magazine covered the event in an article that corrected the previous erroneous story that attributed the paintings to her former husband.
The dispute continued to simmer, and when Walter, in 1986, told USA Today that Margaret was claiming credit for what was his work, she hit him with a slander suit. Margaret and Walter hadn't seen each other for nearly 20 years when they walked into federal court. It became a heated 3½-week trial. Margaret brought some of the original paintings to the courtroom and subjects testified they posed for them. Walter kept calling Margaret a liar, so the judge set up two easels and asked them both to paint. Margaret painted in front of the jury, a small boy's face with those unmistakable big eyes. "They gave me an hour," she says. "It was the fastest I ever painted in my life." When it was Walter’s turn, he complained of a sore shoulder and declined to paint.
A unanimous jury awarded her all the credit for the work. Plus $4 million for emotional distress and damaged reputation she had suffered because of Walter's false statements.
Walter claimed to have no money and vowed to appeal. “I was painting these children 10 years before this woman had ever heard of me” he said of his former wife. Four years later, federal appeals court upheld the verdict that Walter had defamed Margaret, but overturned the $4 million damage award. Rather than endure a new trial on the damage issue, Margaret dismissed her claim for the money. "I didn't care about the money," she said. "I just wanted to establish the fact that I did the paintings."
Walter Keane died in 2000 at the age of 85, insisting till the end of his life he that he was the creator of the Big Eyes. As he told The San Francisco Chronicle in 1991, "I painted the waifs of the world."
Margaret, now in her eighties, makes her home in Sonoma County, near San Francisco. She is still painting, her subjects still have big eyes, but are no longer sad. Now there is happiness.
Big Eyed Art in the Shop
Big Eyed Art Pinterest Board