If The New York Times say so, it must be true.
If The New York Times say so, it must be true.
I was quoted yesterday in The Washington Post, and they also ran three of my photos, all about the now-famous slogan, t-shirt and button, The Future Is Female.
I liked that they reposted this quote, which I originally wrote for an interview with Charlotte Cush at i_D magazine in 1975.
The Washington Post article is HERE
The i_D interview is HERE
Technologies change. I like to think of this blog as an eternal resource, but that's probably foolish. While it seems that for now online sources have been able to store information while updating their capabilities, who knows what can happen to any given blog, or any types of technologies?
In a recent Facebook conversation on this topic, my friend Andrea Humphrey said this:
"On a class tour of the Schlesinger Library in the 90's, an archivist was showing us boxes of Dorothy West's letters and articles. I suggested that archivists would be relieved when all the archives come to them on space-saving floppies. She said, 'quite the opposite. the technology required for humans to read hard copies will never change," but with the fast high tech innovation cycles and also the ways in which digital archives on discs disintegrate compared to on paper, they were dreading the enormous loss of important historical artifacts that can now occur before we even know whether they are important."
The technology required for humans to read hard copies will never change.
I love that! And how nice it is to hold a book in your hands. The reading experience is so different. And how much easier for a brick and mortar archive to put an actual book on the shelf. So now the born-digital posts I've written are in a book. Just one copy, for now, for my own archive. In the future, we'll see. It will probably end up at The Schlesinger Library, too.
If you blog, you might want to try this. I used a service called Into Real Pages. Very easy to use. There are others. It was not inexpensive, but the result is priceless.
My 2009 post about the doll Poor Pitiful Pearl has been one of the most popular of all my posts. This classic doll, designed in 1958 by author, illustrator William Steig, rests in the memory banks of so many people. I used to keep this Pearl in my gallery, Pine Street Art Works, and I can't tell you how many women of a certain age used to pick her up and tell me stories about their special Pearls. Kids loved her too.
I've been meaning to try selling my designs as digital printable downloads for quite some time. No more stocking printed inventory, no more shipping costs. The buyer just pays, gets an immediate download, and takes the file to the printer to have the image made as they like. Pretty cool. And Etsy makes it easy.
Here are some that are already available:
Isn't she grand? I made a 600 dpi scan of the is card so it can be printed HUGE! Of course, the purchased download does not have a watermark.
This one was by request. From the Amazons Allons-Y Series.
Red Bird and Bees, incorporates a few of the images I use over and over. Birds and bees. Classic.
All images, and more at my ETSY SHOP HERE
Trade Cards = Victorian lithographed deliciousness. You know I have huge collections of trade cards from the Burlington, VT company Wells Richardson, but I also have collected some others over the years.
I've decided to make a few of them available at my Etsy shop. This one is a stock image, I've seen it used for other retailers.
Here's another beauty. The golden curled little girl talks to her canary.
The images didn't have to have anything to do with the product. What was important was having appealing images, which people collected by the millions and put in their scrapbooks.
Hop on over to my ETSY SHOP!
I have always believed that beautiful things need not be expensive. In fact, I prefer the things I make to be available for not that much money. Sure, sometimes I've put a large price tag on some of my work that is one-of-a-kind like the paintings in my FAKE!™ series. But for the most part, I prefer to make things affordable.
My new buttons, a series of 12, is pretty cool. I like adornment, a lot, so these buttons are purely decorative. And, following my FAKE!™ aesthetic, some are made to fool the eye. They are not REALLY set into a silver bezel, they just look that way.
The watches don't REALLY tell time. They just look like they do.
I've also remade an old favorite of mine, one I published first in the mid 1980's. American Sign Language, "I love you."
You can see the whole series in the sidebar ad right here on the blog. The link takes you to my online store where you can buy retail OR wholesale.
But if you prefer shopping at Etsy, I have a shop there, too. I also sell vintage ephemera from my Etsy shop.
New from Small Equals, Amazons, Allons-Y button. Based on my series, now in wearable form. Very chic, so cool, must have.
Available at Small Equals (that's me!)
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Regular readers of this blog will know of my interest in Retail Theater.
Now from Design*Sponge (one of my favorite blogs) comes this story about the Los Angeles store, Otherwild, and its owner, Rachel Berks. Not only does this give us a glimpse of the process of owning and managing a small shop, a topic which resonates greatly for me, as a former shop owner and manager, but also the piece discusses Otherwild's best selling item, THE FUTURE IS FEMALE t-shirt.
You may know by now that I had a part in the creation of this shirt, and the button. And you probably know how my brains are near bursting with the wild popularity of this shirt, 40 years after Alix Dobkin and I made the photo that it was based on.
I made these buttons in 1974 for Labyris Books, the first feminist bookstore in NYC. Hard to believe I still have a bunch of them. They also came in other colors, but I don't have any.
Mint-condition vintage buttons now available in very limited quantity at my shop
The editor of Vermont's premiere weekly newspaper, SevenDaysVt, follows me on Pinterest, and decided that a feature about my DIY home tips would be of interest to the paper's readers. This is from their quarterly special insert on homes, Nest.
Regular readers of this blog will find some of these images familiar. I've posted them here on the blog, as well as on Pinterest and Flickr.
Read the online version here.
I must have ordered these 1960's Russian/Soviet botanical match box labels years ago and tucked them away in a little glassine envelope. Rummaging through my boxes of postcards yesterday, I came across them and popped them into the scanner. I can almost read some of the Cyrillic alphabet, but mostly if I am familiar with the word. And I do recognize many flowers, but I'm willing to bet I've made some mistakes in identifying these images.
Please let me know, and enjoy.
SeeSaw is now on facebook, with links from our archives PLUS interesting things I've found around the web. Here's what's been on this week.
SeeSaw on Facebook here
"In 1936 a Harlem postal worker and activist named Victor H. Green decided to develop a guide that would help African Americans travel throughout the country in a safe and comfortable manner. The Negro Motorist Green Book (also called The Negro Travelers' Green Book), often simply known as The Green Book, identified places that welcomed black people during an era when Jim Crow laws and de facto segregation made it difficult for them to travel domestically without fear of racial backlash.
The Green Book listed businesses and places of interest such as nightclubs, beauty salons, barbershops, gas stations and garages that catered to black road-trippers. For almost three decades, travelers could request (for just 10 cents' postage) and receive a guide from Green. Eventually the guide expanded to encompass information about Canada and Mexico."
Perfection Salad, and Something From The Oven, two fascinating books by Laura Shapiro. I heard Laura speak at the University Of Vermont last Spring. I first read Perfection Salad when I was doing research on Jell-O. Turns out Laura is also obsessed with Jell-O images, so she is now the proud owner of a set of Jell-O placemats that I made.
Here's an interesting early article about Perfection Salad.
More on Mid-Century Cooking.
"Today, foodies typically look back on this era with an upturned nose, preferring to mock its foods rather than eat them. So when Ruth Clark took the obvious, and daring, step of actually making these retro recipes for her fascinating website The Mid-Century Menu, it’s not surprising she received a bit of hate mail. Clark typically cooks one vintage meal per week, which she documents through scans of the original recipe, photos of her re-creation, and detailed tasting notes (often featuring amusing photos of her husband, Tom, attempting his first few bites). Her blog is an everyday cook’s version of the Julie & Julia project, featuring the food that real people made in mid-century America.
"Clark recently gave us her experienced take on the marvels of mid-century eating, and the lessons contemporary cooks can learn from it."
Join SeeSaw on Facebook. HERE
I'll be posting new material and golden oldies from the SeeSaw vaults. But wait, I'll also be scouting the web for great things about art, collecting, ephemera, exhibitions, and all kinds of related happenings that are not part of this blog.
See you there, I hope.
I've been busy making digital collages, mostly using a combination of my own photographs and images from vintage Kodak ads, vintage sewing pattern packets, and old ads or images of 19th century ladies in swimming costumes and bicycles. Finding the images is just the first step.
I separate the people from the background using Photoshop, which can be tedious, but once I have them done, I save them as PNG files and they are ready to go for the next collage. For the Greenhouse picture I ran my original photo through the Waterlogue app on my iPhone. I do most of my actual design and composing using PicMonkey because it's much easier than Photoshop for this kind of work. For me, anyway.
Some more examples.
I love curtains. I'm lazy and frugal, and I don't have a sewing machine. And I like to change my curtains seasonally. I've never let any of these things stop me.
In the winter, I like to feel cozy and warm. In the summer, I like my curtains to be light and breezy.
Making curtains is easy, though, at least for me. My method:
Find fabric you love. I shop around in local stores and online. There's always something gorgeous on sale.
Measure the inside height of your window. My method takes twice the length of the window. Fabric usually should be wider than the window for gathering, or the same width for a tailored modern look.
Place a tension rod inside the window frame.
Drape fabric over rod until the bottoms meet.
Use two tiny binder clips or small safety pins at the very top sides, just under the rod. Sometimes you will find you need to use tiny safety pins along the side.
That's it. And you haven't cut much fabric, so you can use it for other projects when you change your curtains.
If you hate a ragged bottom edge (I don't) you can make a hem using liquid fabric. Super easy to do.
I love to use clothing fabric for curtains. For summer, I'm using seersucker in my living room.
I found this very cheerful plaid fabric for my daughter's room. It's from Waverly. Found on sale, of course.
You can do it, too! Now you know how.
The screened porch was a deal maker for me when I bought my house. At first, my plan was to build a half-wall around the room, but then I had the brainstorm of modular wall building with wooden boxes. The old owner had left a small cache in the barn, and I had my own collections, so I decided to stack them at one end, and to use some as a small "wall" on the outer deck. That's all I need. And in the Winter, they will go back to the barn because the porch fills with snow.
My other grand idea was to put in white curtains for beauty, shade, and privacy. I had basic white curtains and tension rods on hand from an earlier project, so that was easy. A cheap and quick project, also removable for the winter months.
Tin Marx dollhouse from my collections.
Joanne's Fabrics had seersucker on sale at 50% yesterday so I scooped up 8 yards of pink and white stripe. I love using dressmaking fabric for curtains. My curtain making technique: cut the material to twice the height of the window. Drape over tension rod on inside of window frame. Secure at the top with binder clips or safety pin. If you want to get really fancy, you can hem them. I usually don't, but if I decide to, liquid seam glue works just fine.
Lamp by Kileh Friedman, Burlington, VT. Shade from The Lamp Shop, Burlington, VT.
Do any of you remember back when I owned the art gallery, Pine Street Art Works, and had a bunch of mannequins there? Oh how I loved them. When I closed, back in 2009, I sold three of them, two Maira Kalman children and one Adel Rootstein. I kept three Maira Kalman/Ralph Pucci busts.
I sold the Rootstein - Diane Dewitt - to someone who was crazy about her, and that made me feel better about losing her, but I found I really missed her. Years later, I heard that the new owner gave her away to a mutual friend. I emailed the friend and said if she ever decided that she didn't want the mannequin anymore, that I'd like her back.
Lo and behold, the day arrived. Two days ago we were reunited. I rearranged my living room to welcome her and she is home at last! So please expect to see many more images of one of my favorite models.
Here she is working hard at the shop, selling tableware. Glass by AO! Glass, placemats by Small Equals.
Advertising is a powerful force for propaganda. Just after World War One, fledgling press agent Edward Bernays returned from The Paris Peace Talks, where he had helped President Woodrow Wilson coin and promote the phrase "Making the world safe for Democracy. Upon his return, he decided to bring his ideas on Mass Persuasion to commerce and then to the US Government. He realized that the term "propaganda" had a negative connotation after the war, so he coined the phrase "Public Relations" and he and his ideas changed the world forever. source
Advertising is propaganda.
Source material: 1933 Frigidaire advertising booklet, Liza Cowan Ephemera Collections. Liza Cowan FAKE!™ Design.
I like to use trays to help my organize my home. It's a little trick I learned when I was designing and maintaining retail spaces. I found them so useful for display, and they made cleaning so much easier.
If you don't have some trays or platters already in your home there are so many wonderful options available. Of course, you can go look in resale or junk shops or at yard sales. You never know what treasures you'll find. Stores like Home Goods and Pier One are really useful too, as well as craft supply stores. I'm lucky that we have all of these stores in my small city. But you can buy online too. For better or for worse, it has never been easier to be a consumer. I try to be reasonable, really. I gave away 3/4 of my stuff when I moved last year and I'm trying not to collect more stuff. But I'm in the midst of huge organizing projects, so I do indulge in objects that make the process both easy and beautiful. Trays are part of that process.
There is now a huge trend for what are called "chargers" which are basically big plates. They are popular now for what is being called "tablescaping." When I bought the charger above at Pier One, the saleslady told me I should use it for candles on my dining room table. I'm not big on candles; fire makes me nervous, and I have so many more useful and interesting things to display. Nevertheless, I was amused to find that "tablescaping" is now a thing. I think its an overblown name, but the concept is not so bad.
I use my trays and chargers to keep all the little things that I need in any given spot. Above is the wooden charger I found at Pier One, also very inexpensive. I keep an eye out for sales, of course. This is my living room, and I had a pile of remotes to wrangle. I found the round paper container at Home Goods, for a song. One other box, also Home Goods, houses emery boards, nail clippers and nail polish. TV watching time is great for an impromptu manicure or nail repair. The final box is hand letterpress from Brookfield, holding their note paper, because I often find I need to make a note
Also vital for me, a box of tissues, these designed for Kleenex by Issac Mizrahi (I bought a dozen, just in case they stop making them) and a bottle of hand lotion. And my eyeglasses, which I tend to lose. But of course it could hold whatever it is that you find you need in your living room.
The beauty - other than the visual appeal - is that I can whisk the tray right off the table for a game of Sorry or Monopoly with my neighbor's kids, or to make room to serve food for a party.
My dining room table also serves as my downstairs desk. I like to sit here next to the window for all kinds of projects, including paying bills, and some craft projects. But I also eat here, and the tray is so easy to remove if I need the whole table to serve guests. This melamine tray is from Pier One. Melamine trays are so hot right now, and the new technologies that allow for printing surface design make almost any look possible. This one mimics a worn ceramic. You know I'm all about FAKE!™ so I love this.
For my table/office I like to keep pens and pencils in a chipped, old cup I painted, back when we still had a paint your own pottery place. I miss that! I have a ceramic dog dish with my ever handy Sugru, and my checkbook in the folder I designed from my FAKE!™ line of paintings, this one a Liza Leger. The checkbook holder was made for me by Flashbags. And another box of note paper from Brookflied. I used to sell Brookfield hand letterpressed note cards in my stores, and I'm happy to have several boxes left over. So pretty. Paper clips are in a little plastic box from Amac, which I also used to sell, and have managed to keep a few for my own use.
The gorgeous lamp was made by one of my favorite local potters, Kileh Friedman. The round platter in the background was made by another favorite potter, Pam Black, Paradise Pottery. On it are some examples of bowls I've been making with Crayola play clay. I used to do this all the time with my kids when they were little. Now my young neighbors enjoy coming over for craft time.
This is in my studio office. The tray is from Shinzi Katoh, whose adorable products I used to sell at Pine Street Art Works and at Small Equals. I was smart enough to save one for myself. This hold several lucite boxes with pencils, pens, scrap paper and of course, more hand lotion. It too, can be swooped up to clear my table for large projects.
Happy tray- scaping.!!
Water is life. Water is a human right. Don't let Nestle or any other corporation or government body take it away from us. Anywhere on the planet. For any reason. Ever.