Tuesday, October 29, 2013

"Hey Hey What Day is It" The Art of the Ad

How many times have you seen that gangling, uncoordinated camel ask that silly question and laughed out loud when you knew the answer that would be coming? It doesn't become old and that is the genius of good market communication. What does that really mean? It means to persuade, encourage, manipulate and tempt an audience of viewers. The venues have changed, the techniques might have changed, but basically, since the ancient Egyptians carved notices on steel and stone we have been bringing attention to a product line or announcement to our fellow man.

The emergence of the the Ad market in America in the 1800s aided the industries manufacturing soaps, pears, and other goods. Cigarettes and tobacco, canned goods and all goods that now were being created in
Standardized sizes and quantities unheard of before. Newspaper, catalogs, magazines and giveaways were part of the campaign to gift the customer for his purchase.. Colonial America only did local ads for goods on hand and at that time a select few, but here, at this time, begins the political ads and requests for military sign up.

This charming little girl is a card 7 x 5 inches, when turned over
has beautiful  lettering and pictures to advertise, l lb packages of Lion Coffee by the Woolson Spice co. Toledo, Ohio. It also cautions you that this will only be available during July and August.

In 1882 the first electric advertising sign was lit in Times Square,
New York City.

The "Give-Aways" came in every form, but always advertising something or someone. In rural and farm areas, the then free, Sears  and Montgomery Ward Catalogues brought the world commerce to tempt with everything from buttons to building kits for houses. Alas, Montgomery Ward is no longer with us!
When you stop to think about it,, the ad market touches every part of our life. Today we are bombarded daily with ads appearing, whether we want them or not, from every media. The internet now ranks above Newspaper ads, and Television entertains us every 15 minutes with up to 6-7 ads per segment. The ads today are quite different than they were when Edward Bernays, who is considered the founder of the modern
Madison Avenue brought his brand of sophistication to the ad market. Today, in may cases, poor taste reigns. Do we really want to know about some inadequacies of the modern male? Do we need to discuss the same issues for our female friends? There are too many more to count here that might be annoying to some. There was an air of elegance in earlier times, that is missing today, but I am told this is progress and some are designed specifically to annoy. Hmmph--well how many of you turn those off?  Of course I love Geico's little green man with the English accent--he shows good taste! He is a gentleman!

The Hoods Co of Lowell, Mass sent this little girl out to advertise their Sarsparilla. The date is 1897 and printed on the back you will get the Astronomical Events for the United States in that year.

Lucy Strike     Kodak     Pond's extract, Hotels,
Piedmont Cigarettes, Wrigley's, Horlicks Malted Milk, shoe ads, cherterfield  and Fatima cigarettes.Don't forget the beer makers who advertised on beautiful trays. Coca Cola did the same. These are just a few , and most are no longer with us.

Growing larger, Dept Stores in major cities also began major campaigns to entice the city buyers. In New York City it was Macy's and Wannamaker, Marshall Field's in Chicago and in Philadelphia it was also Wannamaker. The 1920s were busy and affluent times.
Store ads were designed to bring  those outside the city to come inside and enjoy the same product lines being enjoyed by the city dweller.  Radio was now a new medium to introduce the lucky few who owned one to the marketplace.

1920-30's plastic shoe stretcher  "Fenton last  Saks Fifth Avenue". Given when you purchased a pair of shoes.

These wonderful 6 inch rulers were  given to clients by thankful salespersons, they were designed to fit nicely in a man's shirt pocket. I have many of these and have tried to research the names and companies. Most of the time I am 60 years too late.

In the 1930's food stores, match covers , and  hotels were giving away needle cases or small sewing kits.This is an example from the Jewel stores
The 1960's brought a shift and Madison Ave's styles changed from mass marketing to Target marketing, their term for this was "Creative Revolution". By today's standards I guess we were still pretty tame in our attemps to reach the purse strings.  The value of advertising cannot be measured, we all need it, we all respond to it and I can only wonder what the next step will be.  Mr.Dude and I have collected advertising for some years, mostly in paper or tin form.

This is a large back bar Tray and when you turn it over this is the ad. It was probably given to the owner for selling their beer. The tray dates from the late 1890's.

I hope that you will find advertising as interesting as we do.  It has been fun over the years, and it brings our history alive! Have fun!

Friday, October 25, 2013

A Tribute to A Patriot

I am sorry that I have been away from this page for awhile because of happenings in life we cannot control, but today I would like to tell you about about the Nation's loss and certainly Florida's loss of a great man.

A funeral and memorial service was held yesterday for Congressman Bill Young of Florida. Mr. Dude and I were privileged to be part of the congregation. It would not surprise me if most of you, in other parts of the country, wouldn't know who I am talking about unless you were a wounded Veteran or a family of a Veteran or a recipiant of an organ transplant.

Bill Young was a representative from this part of Florida for 42 years . A beloved man for his service. He and his wife Beverly made it their mission to serve their fellow man in ways that most of us cannot even imagine. When hearing of the need of someone who needed a transplant of an organ, he established the National Organ transplant registry. This is not done by :snapping fingers and magic wands being waved. This is done by skill, caring and knowledge of how to get these things accomplished. Today those fortunate people who have benefited from this process, probably are not aware of Congressman Young's role in these events.

He was a very soft spoken man, strong in his religious life, dedicated to his family and those he was elected to serve.   He was an advocate for our military in every way. Every week, he and his wife visited our wounded and personally worked to make their lives and the lives of their families better.  We have two wonderful Veteran's hospitals in this area and he personally is responsible for the funding's  made possible so that they can function . I cannot relate all of the wonderful things that he has been responsible for, but the tributes yesterday  were a testimony of his life of service. My Husband and I were privileged to have known him, even in a small way. He was a member of our church, and we had actively supported him. His values and his ethics were solid.  He will be missed by everyone who ever met him .

We attended this celebration of life with our dear neighbors, an Army veteran of 30 years, Mr. Dude a Navy veteran. The measure of what Bill Young meant to the Veteran population was evident everywhere. This tribute and celebration was held at the First Baptist Church of Indian Rocks, Largo, Florida. Dr. Charlie Martin Pastor Emeritus lead the service for his friend of many years.

Hundreds of Bill Young's political friends were there to participate and pay tribute. The sincerity of each speech given had nothing to do with politics-- it was about the man! Opening remarks by Dr. Martin and "God Bless the USA" being sung, led to the individual tributes. The Hon. John Boehner was the first to speak, then a beautiful reading by Paul K. Steele M.D. The wonderful stories and personal tribute of Gen James Amos, commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps. The Hon. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the Hon. Rodney Frelinghuysen of N.J., Rev. Robert Wagenseil, Calvery Episcopal church all gave moving tributes from the point of view of close friends as well as colleagues. What was amazing about all of this, was the continuing theme of love and admiration for this man and his wife! 

A close family friend did a reading which exemplified Bill Young's life,  " A life that Matters" I believe the author was unknown, but I would love to know who wrote this lovely piece.

The last tribute was by his very close friend The Hon. Gordon England, former US Deputy Secretary of Defense.This was a moving tribute to lifelong friendship, and it made us all stop and reflect as how we can be better friends to those we care about.

This church has the benefit of many professional musicians and vocalists and the music yesterday was perfect in every way. Simple and moving. I am sure every piece was specifically asked for by the Chairman himself.
"Softly and Tenderly" sung by Julie Pigsley, "Grampa" sung by Susie and David McMillan, "My way" sung by Ryan Julian,: How Can I Live With out you" and closing with " Going Home" By Susie and David.

Flags were flying, everywhere and our Veteran Motorcycle troop was standing at attention. This was not a day of maudlin thoughts, this was a day of a celebration of a "True Patriot" who will never be forgotten by those he has served!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Delights of Frozen Yogurt

The weather, in this part of the world, has been dreary, cold and rainy the last three days, what better way to lift the spirits than getting out and about.
  Our darling family decided a treat was needed ! They have this amazing spot they wanted to surprise us with. It is called "Sweet Frog" Located in Midlothian, Virgnia.

The minute you walk through the door your taste buds begin to salivate with the thoughts of what is to come. A bank of  self serve pumps deliver a host of frozen yogurt flavors never heard of before.
Mango, cookies and cream, pumpkin, peanut butter, strawberry, cake batter, latte and raspberry are only a few.

I chose Mango and raspberry.  Then the next best thing to come are the case of condiments which you may add at will. What a temptation this is  not for the diet conscious.
As you can see, there are just too many little
goodies to list, Fruit poppers, candied walnuts and granola were my choices, but there is every form of nut, fresh fruit, and candy you can imagine.

Since Mr. Dude and I were guests I am not sure just how this works, but we were required  to
have our filled cup weighed, which I assume is how the  cost is determined.  It would not be very "cool" to ask , so I just enjoyed and said
Thank you, Son.
Not only can you buy the sweets, tee shirts and hats are available.  We had such a good time and left with a satisfied smile for several reasons. Not only was the dessert of the evening delightful and fun, making all those decisions, Sweet Frog has another meaning and here it is!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Art Form of Paper Cutting!

I had taught quilting and design for many years and while I enjoyed this beautiful form of Art, I wanted a new challenge. One evening, a friend invited me to attend a course  being given at a college in NYC. on Wycinanki, the traditional paper cutting of the Ukraine. It is so many years ago now, that I am sorry to say that this lovely and patient woman's name escapes me. She was an accomplished cutter and provided a new art direction for me that I never expected.

I was an antique dealer selling country furniture and paintings.The wonderful love cuttings, memorials cuttings, Frakturs and painting were familiar to me, These beautiful pieces were similar to an American Sampler but in paper. Antique quilts were another form of American folk art that I had knowledge of, and in my mind paper was just another textile.

While the Wycinanki is beautiful, with vibrant and bold colors, often layered, I was more traditional in my tastes. I began to practice, seek out more knowledge and take courses. Like most people bought books and frankly I was not very good at this in the beginning.  I wanted to do my own designing.  The cutting above is quite large, I did this several years ago, it is titled , The building of the Nest"

Jianzhi is probably the first recorded type of paper cutting since paper was invented in the Han Dynasty. Every country has their own form and name of it. Jewish paper cutting has been practiced since the middle ages and is often a piece of art made to celebrate customs, religion and ceremonies. Scherenschnitte is the German word for scissor cuts. This is the form I am most interested in, but in the piece below, which I named

"Mysteries Under the Sea"  was scissor and knife cut all from one large piece of French Silhouette paper. This was great fun and not at all in the traditional design as I usually worked. All large pieces are my own design, but let us be honest. We all take a piece of idea from life, and others, as well as our own creativity.
The German immigrant brought this folk art to America in the 18th century, but Nuns in convents, Mothers and children and Men had been creating paper cuts long before they came to America.

Silhouette work was often done by itinerant cutters who would come to your home, for bed and board and do cuts of the family. Some became very famous and today we collect and covet their work. I myself have a few that I love to see on the wall.

It has always amazed me to see the different tools that are used.  I watched a Chinese cutter at a show I was doing cut with amazing dexterity and produce very quickly a cutting with movement. He was using scissors that I associate with tailoring.  I myself experimented with many different things.  I settled on, a self sealing Mat, which can be purchased in any art store, a scalpel and then an Exacto knife with a very fine blade and my small Gingher scissors.The ones I like the best are pewter and I kept at least 10 pair at all times, I have a honing stone, but once a year would send them back to the factory for professional sharpening. It is like any craft or art form you decide to do, the best tools, kept in good condition do a better job

There are some wonderful and innovative cutters working  today. To do good work, is not easy, one wrong cut can destroy everything. There are basic cuts, mirror image, single image, and symmetrical mirror designs working with folded paper. Think of Origami, Danish and Swedish Paper mobiles. All cut forms.

I did shows all over the Northeast, and I began to see Laser cuttings appearing on the market. I know that this art form is a labor of love, we are not adequately compensated for the time spent designing and cutting original work, but for me, something is missing when we send our designs to be laser cut into 100s of pieces. Perhaps I am old fashioned, but that is how I feel about all original art. The piece below took me a week just to design it and I probably will never do it again. All pieces touch one another and it is made from one piece of paper which was folded in part, unfolded and folded again. The circle which to me is the World and is being held up by the children, " The Future Should have Peace"  The cutting itself took me over a week of working in bits and pieces of time. I love this art form, it appeals to my sense of geometrics, and symmetry. I like the graphic affect. I do the drawing on a fine tracing paper and then working on the mat cut the parchment paper. My darling Mr. Dude has always done my matting and makes all the frames--we do not purchase frames, I never make the same size again in the large sizes.

 Today there are some wonderful cutters doing all types  of work, painted, modern design. traditional design, religious, Architectural and so much more. I am always thrilled to see the work that others are doing and how creative they are.

There is a great U tube out there of a Phil Ponce in Chicago. Worth watching --his work is wonderful

We all do work to pay the booth rent or meet the market need  I have a few of those in my etsy shop. SandybeesStudio
I found many great cutters on etsy

Now my arthritic hands  make it difficult for me to work for long periods of time.  I once was a member of the Guild of American Papercutters. Today I leave large productions to those younger than myself. In the Spring of 1998 the issue of the guild's news letter " First Cut" features one of the Finest Contemprary cutters in America today. Claudia Hopf. Her work always inspires me.

I hope that I have inspired someone out there who would like to create art from paper. There are courses, teachers and mentors who are there for you to find. Exhibitions, Guilds, Museum shows are always a wonderful source of inspiration.