Halloween, Paper & Pens

Paper, Alice, & Halloween

Hello friends! We all have our little idiosyncrasies that make us unique individuals; different from each other in lovable, often funny ways. One of my quirks is that I LOVE paper. This coming from someone who also finds great contentment creating on a computer seems incompatible, but truth is, given the choice between Kindle or holding a book in my hands & turning the pages, I’ll take the latter. Then there’s all the ephemera floating about the world that fascinates me: old letters, tickets from events, tickets needed for planes, trains, & carnival rides, receipts from the candy shop, the Five & Ten, Harrod’s in London, the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker. Let’s not forget recipes that tell family stories for generations. Newspapers, magazines, brochures, pamphlets, manuscripts, & books….lots & lots of books are just a few of the every day pieces of paper that bring the past into the now.

I may be wrong on this assumption, but it seems to me paper is making something of a resurgence as the dangers of plastic becomes ever more obvious. With great shame, I admit that I used bottled water at home. I dislike the metallic taste of the water from the well so I turned to the most convenient way to drink water, but those pesky bottles create so much trash. I recycled but geez I needed to do it way too often. I’m trying out a purifier on the faucet & using a Brita filter & pitcher. Then there’s the mega giants trying to be more earth-friendly. McDonald’s got rid of styrofoam a while back & Starbucks is getting rid of plastic straws, however, I’m not sure if what they’re replacing the straws with is any better. I kind of like those cute little paper straws…don’t you? Using paper (wood) indiscriminately is not wise, but trees are a renewable source that the earth needs. *Jumping down from soapbox*

In the past paper was used for decorating, for playthings, for entertainment, as well for writing & printing the necessary bits of life. I stumbled across a charming book, The Good Crow’s Happy Shop by Patten Beard

Good Crow letter

that offered ideas for children in 1917 to have fun using paper; making furniture, paper dolls, scrapbooks, Valentine’s May baskets, & more. Winston heard an audible sigh come from me while looking at the sweet little projects. It makes me wonder if just maybe the children of today could benefit from moving away from the screen & use a pair of scissors for a few minutes each day instead of staring at flashing colors, words, & images in rapid succession. Perhaps I’m entering my second childhood (not really because I’ve always been a bit childish & never stopped being curious) but I think I’m going to give making doll furniture from heavy paper a go.

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Photograph from 1917 book The Good Crow’s Happy Shop by Patten Beard.

A letter to Jimsi, a little girl, from Caw Caw the good crow. Another reason why I love old letters, the eloquent language & beautiful handwriting.

Letter from Caw Caw

WIP for Blog copy_edited-1

I’m into Halloween getting ready for September  & October.  The Fright Night paper pack is listed & I’ve moved on to creating tags. Wicked Wonderland is a twist on Alice in Wonderland & I’m having fun spinning the characters into something Halloweenish.

Blog Sneak Peek copy

The tags are a work in progress & definitely need more work with texture & tweaking, but you get the idea where I’m headed with these whimsical tags. The images used were those of John Tenniel, the original illustrator of Alice’s Adventures Through Wonderland written by Lewis Carrol.  The book was published in 1865 & now part of the public domain. Did you know Beatrix Potter drew 5 Alice illustrations, but none were ever used in a book.  All together there are 70 different illustrators of the classic. That’s pretty darn amazing. You can read about the illustrators of Alice in Wonderland from 1899 – 1929 HERE.

attwell alice
Charming illustration of Alice & the White Rabbit by Mabel Lucie Attwell (1910)

I wonder why I have the urge to watch all my favorite Halloween movies: Hocus Pocus, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow with Johnny Depp, The Addams Family, Practical Magic, The Witches of Eastwick, Beetlejuice, The Corpse Bride, It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown…

One last tidbit before I fly off on my broomstick…you can find The Good Crows Happy Shop & loads of classic books & illustrations in the public domain at www.gutenberg.org.

With that I leave you until next time.  Have a wonderful day!

My Printed Signature