Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Day Greetings

The colors of this Christmas book are not very traditional, but fit Southern California where today it's 75 degrees and sunny.

The book dates from 1958 and was published by Viking Press. The illustrator, Ilonka Karasz was well known for her New Yorker magazine covers. She also illustrated another holiday book, "The Twelve days of Christmas". Perhaps I'll buy that next year.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Santa Claus is Coming!

These charming illustrations are from a holiday book (published in 1999 by Mijade Publications, also in French) by Belgian artist Muriel de Crayencour.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Vintage Christmas

Here are a few vintage Christmas cards from my collection. They date from the 1920's to about the 1960's.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Lucky Finds 2

I was at my local junk/thrift/antique shop which has about 4000 books (in no particular order) on shelving that is so close together that it's hard to walk in between. I was shimmying through, head sideways scanning the shelves when I spotted...."The First Book of Jazz" written by American poet Langston Hughes and illustrated by Cliff Roberts (who also did "Thomas" in my previous post). I grabbed and looked around to make sure no one else had seen MY treasure (forget the fact that no one else could possibly fit in the same aisle). $4 later, the book was MINE!!! I couldn't believe the price on this relatively rare book. Obviously, the sales girl didn't know what I had, and I wasn't going to enlighten her.

First published in 1955 (mine is the 16th printing) the book has fabulous mid century illustrations, all done in black and white. Here are a few of my favorites:

There's not much info on Cliff Roberts - I believe he only illustrated 3 books and was more involved in animation and commercial art (graphic design to you and me). You can read a bit about him here.

Langston Hughes was a Jazz lover as well as a poet and author and you can read more about him here

Gather quickly
Out of darkness
All the songs you know
And throw them at the sun
Before they melt
Like snow
-Langston Hughes

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Lucky Finds

For ages, I had been searching for the wonderful children's book "Thomas", written by Mary Harris and illustrated by Cliff Roberts. It tells the story of a little girl named Frances, a mischievous cat named Thomas, and a caged bird named Lynette who longs for freedom. I was lucky enough to find not one, but TWO copies this fall. One copy, shown here, is in German and I have decided not to be greedy, and offer it for sale on Etsy. The book is really hard to find because it seems to have never been reprinted after the initial release in 1956. The book was featured on Design Sponge a few years ago. Enough chit chat-enjoy the pictures!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Lovely Blog

Carol from Orange Bird Studio has my Fancy Bird card on her lovely blog.
You can check out her blog here, or her Etsy shop here
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