Sunday, August 19, 2012

Vacation treasures

One of the things vacation means to me is new thrift stores to explore.  Check out this bounty of art-making goodness I came home with.

Two rolling pins that I will turn into custom rolling stamps with the aid of some adhesive craft foam:

Three wonderful books to cut apart: Atlas of Human Anatomy from 1942, Atlas of the Mouth from 1952 (full of creepy dental pictures) and a cub scout handbook from 1971 (Ric says it's the same edition he used back in the day)

I nearly squealed out loud when I found this.  A 1939 year book from Pasadena Junior College.

just look at all those faces begging for captions!

This box of "Challenging Mazes" from 1944 has so many cool graphics to incorporate into collages.

I don't think these funny printing blocks are particularly old, but they were cheap and interesting.

I'm not sure what this kitchen gadget is supposed to be used for, but it makes the coolest stamp.  I think it's my new favorite mark making tool.  Prepare yourselves for circles on everything.

I found this 1930s puzzle at the Salvation Army for a few bucks and planned to use the box and pieces for mail art, assuming it was in terrible shape.  I took it home and couldn't resist trying to build the puzzle.  Turns out not a single piece is missing and the pieces are so beautiful and unusual that I think I may have to hang onto it.

I found a few great children's books.  "Stubby" was printed in 1963 and my niece said she wanted to see me to make art from it.  (challenge accepted!) Ric says he learned to tell time from this book from 1957.  I think he meant when he was a kid, and not just then in the junk store while he was reading it.  The book in the foreground is an Arithmetic book from 1838.  It's in horrible shape but the pages are soooo cool.

Thank goodness Ric and I are married and live in the same house or it might have come to blows over who gets to buy this gem;  A dozen educational filmstrips from the 40's.  He has a special scanner that will digitize each image.  He intends to incorporate them into short films.  I will print them and use them so many different ways...

And finally.......the score of a lifetime:
 Three old photo albums, full of pictures.

When I saw the $24 price tag I almost walked away, considering it too expensive for a single album.  But then I looked closer and saw the price was for all three albums and I had to grab them.

  The pictures seem to span about 50 years, starting in the early 1900s, with most of the pictures taken in the 30s and 40s like this one of Bea and Ruth from '36.

I really wish I knew the story behind the caption of this next picture.  It reads "Patricia and Husband" which wouldn't be so weird if Patricia wasn't the bride.  There are pictures of Patricia throughout the album, from childhood and into adulthood.  She was clearly family.  They couldn't remember her husband's name?  Or was he such a jerk he didn't warrant a name? But if he was the husband best forgotten, why put the picture in the album in the first place?  I can't stop thinking about them. (plus I love the expression on the face of the little girl.  She looks like she knows something.  Perhaps she could see the future of this ill-fated union.)

 It was a wonderful vacation and it's good to be home.
I've spent the day getting reacquainted with my studio and finding room for my new treasures.


  1. That is a fantastic haul! I haven't seen a film strip since 4th grade! I can't wait to see what you do with all those faces. :-)
    And thanks for your advice about cutting up stuff. I think I would definitely find it satisfying/un-yuck-ifying.
    And also thanks for your portland airport killing time postcard. I loved that post by the way. Onion rings and are a woman after my own heart!

  2. I wish I could look through that yearbook and those photo albums!!! And the arithmetic book! I love looking at old books and stuff like that. I bet there are a lot of interesting hairstyles in those pictures!

  3. What wonderful treasures. A great find.

  4. Stasharama boy did you take in a haul....some wonderful shopping on vacation. I am jealous of your cool circle stamping maker. I sense some neat kitchen post cards in the making. xox

  5. JEALOUS!!! And you will do amazing things with all of it. I am never quite sure what to do with the cool things I collect.

  6. I am so so SO excited to see what you do with all of this treasure... I'm fascinated by the whole "and Husband" thing too (Maybe Husband was actually his name! Ha!)

    Welcome back :)


  7. OH MY GOODNESS. You have better thrift shops than we do!!!! I am so freaking jealous. And husband! :) Now I will forever be wondering about Patricia, whose husband did not warrant a name. Him over there.

    I did squeal out loud when I found a human anatomy book (with a section of clear transparency pictures inside as bits of the body are revealed in stages). Old books are my biggest weakness...a dental book as well??? So jealous. And the year book and arithmetic book.

    Stunning finds!

  8. You!!!...are a professional treasure hunter.

  9. What wonderful thrift shops you have over there. I am constantly looking ( our townis full od Charity/Thrift shops) but all they have is modern stuff, nearly-new clothes, nearly new books mainly best sellers.
    Fid go to a car boot sale last week, but that was the same, 99.9 per cent modern stuff. However I did manage to find 4 old books ..... The trouble is I love them so much I can't bear to cut into them.
    Glad you had a good vacation and hope health is improving daily.

  10. oooh, I am jealous! Those are amazing. I'd kill for those albums...and the film is too cool! yay you!! :0)

  11. Oh, my. I love that kitchen gadget. I hope you don't mind, but I am going to have to go search for something similar!

  12. As soon as you mentioned adding captions to those yearbook pics....I haven't stopped smiling! I'm already anticipating the strange hilarity of it all!

    ...I woulda never thought to use that springy thing as a!

  13. Woohoo~! Now that's some good treasure hunting right there! Maybe the biggest treasure is Ric that is willing to shop with you and even recognize a treasure when he sees it!

    Sounds like your vacation was delightful and I love the postcard I received - a little lakeside afternoon delight! :) We're just back too but I have yet to venture into my art room and all my finds are still spread all over the dining table while I attend to other things. Can't wait to get busy!

  14. WOW - what a haul!! You've got a great eye - I'd love to go thrift store shopping with you!

  15. OMG - do I get a prize? Round thingy is an egg whisk, or at least that's what we used ours for growing up! My Mom loved antiques & we had one. You could use it like a regular whisk, or smoosh it up and down since it's like a spring... :D
    Awesome post as usual, Gal. And fantastic finds!!

  16. Wow, great treaures,love the photo albums, this stash will keep you busy creating!

  17. such amazing treasures Karen! I'm astounded by the goodies you found. I received one of your 'vacation' postcards're the absolute sweetest. enjoy all of your new toys! hope you solve the mystery of 'husband'. ha! xx