The Girl’s Own Paper was a periodical published in Britain from 1880 until 1956. I really enjoy the older versions for their plates and engravings that I use a lot in my altered books and art journals. They also have some writing that is as ridiculous as it is humourless: sanctimonious advice to young women about the quality of the verses, suggestions for becoming lace menders or lady’s maids, and serialised stories that were meant to be uplifting but today seem terrifying in their narrow expectation for the female half of the species.
Here are a few plates for you. Click on any image for a larger version then right click, copy, and put into an editing program. Paint is a good one although I also use Word (because I am used to it). Below is a video flipthrough of some of the prettier (and cheesier) selections from the book. Let me know if you have any questions and please get back to me and let me know what you [read more]
I recently acquired a batch of French holy cards (images pieuses) from the 1870s. They are utterly charming engravings on paper surrounded by a lace border, which is why they are also called “dentelles,” which is the French word for lace. Cards like this were often given as gifts for a first communion, baptism, or other important events in one’s church life and were cherished.
I have made this into high-resolution (300 dpi) scans that you can download and print or use digitally in your own collage, journal, or other mixed media work. TO USE: click on an image below for a larger resolution. You either print from there or right click and copy into an editing programme such as Paint and then size and print from there.
Please check back soon as I will be adding some images pieuses in colour!
I sell quite a bit of vintage paper from my studio, from letterpress text to handwritten letters to just plain old antique book pages. Sometimes the happy new owner of these pages is off and running with using it her work but other times I get emails saying that it is beautiful but what do I do next? Can I really use it in my pages?
The answer is, you bet. Let me show you some of the ways you can incorporate old papers into your work. As usual, I am going to show most of these methods using my altered book but remember, you can do the same in your art journals, junk journals, collage, or any other mixed media project.
- Full page coverage. Using handwritten documents or letters is one of my favourite go-to ways to start a layout. It is fun and atmospheric and allows your focal points to shine, all at the same time.
- A variation on the full page cover is to mix and match it with the original underpage. I like to rough tear a letter in an irregular way and then glue it to the base so that you can see some layer. [read more]
At last! The return of the French Book Arts Ephemera Boxes. Each parcel is filled with vintage French treasure to inspire your art journals, junk journals, collage, altered books, or other mixed-media work. Each box is curated by hand and is filled with hard-to-find handwritten paper, post cards, cabinet photos, and French brocante, all authentic and little pieces of mysteries and unfinished stories that have been waiting to be found. Here is a video of an unboxing or if you prefer there are photos at the end of this post.
While every box is different, each contains:
- Five yards French linen thread (unwaxed);
- Vintage tin (distressed);
- Three handwritten cartes postales;
- Edition of La Mode Illlustrée, a womans fashion magazine dating from the 1870s to the 1880s. Four pages;
- handwritten legal documents (actes notaires);
- French dictionary pages, 1842, four pages;
- Signatures from various French texts, 1611-1878;
- Three cartes de visites (photographs), circa 1880s;
- Four playing cards (jeu de tarot), 1870;
- Five vintage prayer/holy cards;
- Edition of Bulletin Des Lois (1835 to 1854). Printing is letterpress and they open to 16” x 20”.
- Three large pages of ads from L’Universe (1861) or Femina (1911);
- Five hand-lacquered mother-of-pearl shells;
- 10ml sample of handmade walnut ink;
- Length of vintage lace;
- 18 inches of sari silk;
- Length of tea-dyed gauze;
- UHU, archival [read more]
Last year I got lucky and found a book called Paxton’s Magazine of Botany from 1838. (Or maybe it found me.) Inside were 48 insanely beautiful, hand-coloured botanical plates of flowers. Repeat – each one of these prints was painted by hand. I am still working out how (or if) I will sell the originals but in the meantime, I am offering them as digital downloads that you can print and use in your own artwork. Each plate is high resolution, 300 dpi.
Note that the originals of these plates are over 180 years old some of these copies will have foxing and other smudging from over the years but if you love old paper as I do, you will consider this part of their patina and part of the story that they are telling. They are also in the public domain so you can use them in your creations safely.
Please go to the bottom of this post to see a video of ways that I use these images in my mixed-media and art journal [read more]
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 !
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]
SOLD: 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]