As in other parts of the world, on April 1 French children love to play pranks. Instead of April’s Fools Day it is called Poisson d’Avril. The origins are murky but for whatever reason, there is a tradition of sticking a paper fish to someone’s back and when they finally find out, you shout “C’est le poisson d’Avril !” This post is not to dissect those wacky French fish jokesters but to offer you these vintage postcards from back in the day for you to download. To use, right click and copy then add to your favourite program such as Paint or Word. Print at will and use in your collage, art journal, or mixed media projects. Happy April and Joyeux Avril !
The funny thing is, some of us enjoy being isolated. I do. It gives me time to do what I already love doing: drawing, sketching, reading, making. But for others, it is a source of stress and anxiety, so without further ado, here is a list of fun, creative, and FREE things you can do to keep your mind from feeding on itself while we isolate ourselves.
Get in shape without the gym. Come out on the other side of this in better shape than when you went in.
Few things can help you now more than self-care, so when you are finished with your stress eating (and drinking!), consider doing something simple that will improve your mental well being as well as how you feel. The variety of free workout videos on YouTube is staggering. Yoga, pilates, zumba, HIIT, chair aerobics (for those who are disabled), light stretching, bootcamp – you name it. Scared to begin? Search for work outs of five or ten minutes or that are labelled “easy” or “beginner.” See if you can get your kids or your cat to join you. NO EXCUSES.
There are a variety of sites online that offer what is effectively [read more]
I am selling five lots of vintage French holy cards. They largely date from about 1910 – 1950s. A few are earlier, some later. While these holy cards make special devotional items, they also lend themselves to a wide variety of creative work as pieces of charming paper ephemera. They are great in art journal spreads, altered books, junk journals, as tags, in altered tins (I use them for my pocket shrines), and a variety of mixed media.
Each lot of vintage French holy cards will vary and the cards may show signs of wear and use; to me that just adds to their patina and story. There at least 30 cards in each lot. Cost is £30 with free worldwide shipping. Keep scrolling – each lot has its own Buy It Now button. If it doesn’t work (stupid Buy It Now) please email me or DM on Instagram @book.and.paper.arts.
Oh, sure, Paris is good for a lot of things: art, food, history, culture, and style. In the Marais district of galleries, ateliers, boutiques, and studios, there are plenty of nooks filled with treasure for book and journal artists, tucked close together on or near the rue du Pont Louis Philippe, sometimes called the “rue du Papier”.
The cornerstone of this little piece of paper heaven is Calligrane. Its name blends the words”calligraphie” and ” filigrane” (French for watermark) and it describes this small gallery perfectly. For over 40 years, this family-run business has expanded the field of creative stationery and paper artistry, both in the creation of paper itself and in its innovative use, drawing on materials and inspiration from India, Mexico, Thailand, Germany, Japan, Italy, Nepal, Bhutan, and a host of other far-flung places. Run by second-generation paper maven Vanessa Barth and her husband, paper sculpture artist Maru, Calligrane prides itself on its quest for the new and its commitment to the classic, as well as to being a creative laboratory for paper artists.
Here is a small sample of their fibre papers. (Click on photo to enlarge and see detail.)
They also carry papers made of fruit [read more]
This is a set of vintage, pocket-sized holy books from Britain, The Book of Common Prayer and Hymns Ancient and Modern. Printed by Eyre and Spottiswood. Although there is no date of publication, there is a handwritten inscription on the inside cover dated 1903. The covers are leather. These books come in a leather carrying case that has a rope handle with beads. The case has wear and could use some TLC. One of the books has a loose binding at the front (see photos). This could be mended. Even with the age-related damage, these would make a special gift.
Cost is $20 with $5 shipping in the U.S. If you are buying from other countries, please contact me for exact shipping, or I can ship it for free at the end of February when I [read more]
This is an adorable set of antique holy books: The Book of Common Prayer and Hymns A & M (Ancient and Modern). Publisher is William Clowes & Sons and while there is no date of publication, both books have handwritten dedications on the front covers that show they were a gift given in 1896. (“To Annie, on her 25th birthday”.) Both books have leather covers and are in good condition with expected wear to the spine on one. They come in a leather case which has wear to the handle (see photos). It is still sound and could also be easily mended. this is a beautiful and unusual set of books that would make a lovely gift. They entire set in the box measures 4″ x 2.5″ x 1.25″ (10cm x 6cm x 3cm). To see larger image, click on any photo.
This set is $45 with free shipping in the U.S. If you are shopping from the U.K. or other countries, please contact me for exact shipping, or I can post it for free at the end of February when I [read more]
This is an altered book about gamesmanship, 1950s, full of pockets and tags and vintage ephemera. On the cover is an ink blotter from the 1920s and inside are (click on any photo for larger view):
- carte de visit c. 1880s
- small calling card c. 1910s
- French holy card
- handwritten French invoice, 1878
- belle from La Mode Illustrée, 1880
- handmade tag on vintage book frontispiece with photo of girl, 1910
- two French postcards, 1902 and 1903, altered with
- animal engravings, 1912, into which are tucked:
- French holy card and French playing card, 1890
- Small Swiss German new year’s card in trifold.
- Reproduction birds on French military notebook page, 1911
- Pocket from vintage butterfly guide
- French first communion card, 1939
- Engraving of Queen Mary from English history book, 1878
- Page from guide to Worcester cathedral c. 1930s
- French cigarette card of vamp, and English cigarette card of butterflies
- Reproduction birds on handwritten French invoice
- Distressed label from vintage Irish linen thread packet
- Reproduction of praying nun
- Mini pocket of eco-print
- Mourning card, 1918.
Many, many hours of handwork went into this altered book. It is one of a kind and can be displayed on a table or shelf, and it makes an unforgettable gift.
Book is £95 plus £5 worldwide shipping. Please let me know if you have any [read more]
(SOLD) Here is the first altered book of the new year! Actually, I have been working on it for months but it is finally seeing the light of day. This philosophy textbook from 1959 is covered with a variety of original French ephemera: cartes postale, handwritten invoices and letters, fashion belles from the 1870s, vintage holy cards, a playing card from 1890, and a tintype in paper frame, circa 1860s. Inside are many pockets and secret tags, including an altered carte d’identite. (If you want, you could use the ephemera is work of your own and replace with handmade tags.) To see a larger photo, click on the ones below.
This vintage altered book is £95 GBP with free worldwide shipping. To buy please use the Bu It Now Button below or contact me at email@example.com or by DM @book.and.paper.arts. Please let me know if you have any [read more]
Once you have your written your no-holds-barred manifesto of how you would live your one precious life if you could do anything you dreamed of, you need to turn it into something more practical in the form of no-fail New Year’s Resolutions, which is just a way to say: name the tasks you need to get you from here to there.
I know that one big reason people famously “fail” at resolutions is that they make so few of them: if you only make three big, overarching resolutions and you stumble over two, then you can wail that you knew you couldn’t do it and making New Year’s resolutions is lame. But what if you made 23 very small, very specific resolutions and kept nine of them? Or seven? Keeping up with seven, tiny resolutions might turn your life around and keep it turning.
While I sincerely hope your burner journal now contains details about your desire to live in an Italian farmhouse and grow your own olives, or be a wildly successful junk journal maker or the next Tim Holtz, let’s start with something universal: the desire to get in shape; to be sexy, fierce, lean, and bold. (I coach [read more]
“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” – Annie Dillard, A Writing Life
Making New Year’s Resolutions is a kind of religion for me. I believe in it so much that I make my resolutions at the new year and again at mid-year for tune up. If you are reading this and you think that resolutions are corny or a waste of time, I strongly suspect that no one has ever sugested ways that are meaningful and guarantees success. So give it a chance and join me, won’t you? You are about to change your life.
In my experience, expressing your deepest, wildest dreams, even in a private diary, can feel scary and sometimes even wrong, as in: “Who am I to allow myself to imagine a life this big and gorgeous and successful? And if I write it in my day-to-day journal, what if someone sees it? What if I see it, what if I read it again in a few months and I’ve failed because of course I will and these words will humiliate me because I should know better and…” Sound familiar?
The Burner Journal
Now, you can “kill” your [read more]