Thursday, March 26, 2009

Where do I put all these Vintage Photos?

Adorable little Girl. A bit nervous of the camera, but then she gets into it :) These Photos are from a photographer who took a lot of childrens photos in the 1940s-1950s. She is just too cute.

Where is the best place to store lost Art? To store someones fondest memories, greatest loves, or secret moments?

Its been a few months since I moved out to the East Coast & I am still unsettled. I have my store area organized, but I have moved it (or had it moved on me) 3 Times! GRR!!!
That's a lot for me.
I'm getting a bit frustrated to say the least.
I just don't want to misplace any of these treasures & I want to make sure to store them properly (away from heaters & windows!) I have so many photos, they take up a huge area in my living room!

It got me thinking. What do people do with all their photos? Most of the photos I find have been stored in someones basement, or the back of their closest for years, just waiting to be seen! Sometimes they smell like mildew (I hate that!) and sometimes they look as though no one has touched them for over 100 years, in perfect condition! What is their secret? And is it better to have a well loved photo or a photo in mint condition?
Funny thing is the photos in mint condition sell better, but I am sure they were not as highly valued by the owner (probably not framed or even taken out of the box). Its difficult to set a price on "value." What is the true Value of an item? To one person it is garbage, good for nothing. To another it is their most prized possession. How sad then, when finally a trove of photos are found people toss or sell them.

Well, Spring has arrived (as of March 20th!), and I have funneled all of my frustration with moving my store from one corner of the room to the other into planting!!

Yesterday I planted a delicious herb garden with Lavender, Dill, Parsley, Oregano, Cilantro, Sweet Basil, & Sage. Or should I say, I "started" the seeds. Meaning, I am keeping them in a plastic container in my window sill to help the seeds get started (without fear of frost).
I think my husband (who purchased the seeds) was just trying to keep me from getting too upset at him for moving my stuff around, but it worked!
I cannot wait to see them bud..... In life it is just as important to have something to look forward to, as it is to bring closure to our past (boxing up old photos :) & order to our present!
Enjoy today, Jjay

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The EXTRAordinary

Extraordinary Vintage Wedding Photo. Why is it Extraordinary? Look at the little girl holding the train of her dress. Look at their hats & lovely outfits. Incredible & in incredible condition!

Besides my own auctions at (hopeless plug in) here are few extraordinary things I found while looking for the ordinary....

1. Japanese Corrugated Cardboard Furniture ($28.80) Don't ask me why this stood out, but maybe its because you can make your own furniture out of cardboard!! (I have tons of that!)
2. Prince Charles Love Letters ($30,000) Enough said. wow. Thats too much money for a depressing storyline.
3. The Secret Art of Dr. Seuss!! ($1,505) Who knew he had secret artwork? How cool is that!

4. A New Website by Ebay called World of Good!! I love it! Everything is fair trade, recycled & helps to promote awesome habits in today's society. So my question is this, are vintage photos considered "recycled items" on their site, since I am saving them from being thrown out? In order to sell on their new site I have to be identified by a third party as being Eco-friendly. Apparently Antiques are not necessarily considered "recycled items"....but maybe they just don't want the site flooded with antique dealers!
If you find anything extraordinary while searching for the ordinary, let me know. Jjay

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tiny Imperfections Show Lots of Character

Lately I have found some hidden treasures which at first glance seemed worthless. Why are we too quick to judge the perfection of an image? Some of the best images I have ever seen were not perfect. Though I enjoy photos in mint condition, vintage photos are still vintage and can never be 100% Flawless. Its hard to explain this to people who are accustomed to having excellent photos print in microwave time (aka digital cameras & photo printers!)
The key to finding quality vintage photos is looking in unusual places, and being willing to accept imperfections. I believe that tiny imperfections can show lots of character. Isn't that also true of ourselves? The little quirks we have, make us unique. I am horrible at directions. Ask me which way is north & I will always point directly in front of me (25% of the time I am right!). My sisters think that is funny. My husband thinks its cute. Its just me.

*Look at this perfectly imperfect vintage photo! The little girl in the foreground was moving, so her face is blurry! And the men in the back are working with such a unique farm tool! (loggers!) The background is barren, no homes yet, since they are only just getting all the trees cleared! I love photos like this. They tell a story!*

One particular imperfection I have grown quite fond of on vintage photos is this...
When two, three, or more photos have been stacked together for a period of time there is an oxidizing effect, where the image is lightly transferred to whatever it touches, either the front flap of the folder or the back side of another photo. Its a chemical reaction over time, but it is almost ghostlike in appearance.
The best way to protect and care for your vintage photos (to prevent preventable imperfections) is simply to store them well (away from heaters & pests), to clean them gently (no water or wet substances) & to display them appropriately (not near direct sunlight). For more helpful tips on caring for photos go to this website for the American Institute of Conservation.
Heres to loving vintage photos, Jjay

Monday, March 9, 2009

snow snow go away.

**Cant wait till I can do this**
*1950s Photo by photographer Allan J. De Lay. "Friends enjoying the pleasures of summer!"

Its still snowing.
I cant believe it!
The groundhog was right about the Northeast!
Big fluffy flakes of snow have been falling for the past 2 hours!
The dirty, muddy ground has been covered with a lovely blanket of white.
Unfortunately so has my very long driveway.
--Signing off to shovel some snow. Grr, Jjay

Thursday, March 5, 2009

the roaring 20s

*Lovely 1920s Wedding Photo. They went "all out" This was an expensive wedding, with designer hats & dresses. They did not skimp on this one! It is my "fave" of the week. Just Gorgeous!

I'm reading this excellent F. Scott Fitzgerald book right now entitled "Tender is the Night"
In it he speaks of the disillusionment of the American people just before the great depression.
Unfortunately I see way too many parallels.

The Americans are frequent travelers and are known as belonging to the most powerful country on earth. As tourists they make up a majority of the earned income in their various vacation spots, spending upwards of millions of dollars per season. All this in the roaring 20s.
The 20s were called the "roaring 20s" because it was a time of great excitement & there was much to be said. The war had ended, the soldiers returned. There was a giddiness, a playfulness & and an anticipation for the all that was to come. Sadly, the only thing they did not expect was the Great Depression.

We too have lived in a world way too consumed with our own consumerism. Do you ever find that when you walk into a store you walk out with much more than you actually needed? Or that you are more willing to buy that extra shirt, shoes, and not give the same amount to someone in need? Thankfully, now is the time to ask those questions, to reconsider how & why we spend what we spend. (or for others to question why we invest & save where we invest & save? For even that can be dangerous (aka Madoff)

So, what do we have left of these roaring 20s, these spendy 1990s? Lovely pictures. Great shoes.
I guess, all we can do is appreciate what we had, and remember that life is not about what we have or have not, but how we live or live not.
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