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So, April came and went... that was fast. And for much of April, it was a rather chilly, very wet, soggy mess around these parts. Nothing unusual for April, I suppose, but it can get you down. Hence the inspiration for one of the latest additions to the Etsy shop: the Rainy Day notecard sets!



One of my great vintage loves are umbrellas. Now, I don't advocate actually using vintage umbrellas during a downpour - you will get wet - but they sure do look cute with the right raincoat and wellies! So I decided to try my hand at drawing different varieties of umbrellas, which went reasonably well...and that lead to drawing a pair of wellies, which wasn't half-bad...and, inevitably, I ended up with rain clouds and rainbows, because, well, of course.



Rather than doing my usual watercolor paintings, I decided to digitally colorize these drawings (I've been on a bit of a digital roll lately), using a muted blue and gray palette, with bright pops of primary colors. I also tried a vintage-y, funky faux-printing technique, wherein the dark ink outlines of the images were off-set from the colored centers just a bit. I'm sure there is a professional name for this technique but I don't know it, and I'm sure that back in the day it was byproduct of printing presses actually being misaligned, and I'm not going to even get into how long it took me to figure out how to reproduce something that looks so simple, but in the end I was really happy with the look.



I also deviated from my usual "inside-out" envelopes (for those of you unfamiliar with my love of pattern, I often make envelopes out of heavily patterned paper, instead of hiding it inside as the liner - more is more, in my opinion) and used the final colorized drawings to make envelope liners for some brilliant solid-color envelopes.



Yep, I like these puppies! Just perfect for sending a quick pick-me-up note to a friend on a cloudy day. So cute...I truly wish I owned wellies in three different colors!


So, back before the holidays (yeah, remember that? Back in 20-freaking-18? I'm still not over this New Years thing) the last vintage goods subscription box of the year went out to lucky recipients, and it was a serious trip down memory lane for me! The theme was Supper Club, and the boxes contained all sorts of grooviness related to the good ol' days of real ENTERTAINING, you know, when friends got together in their best duds, ate weird but fashionable concoctions like aspic (if you don't know, look that one up - ew), drank cocktails out of fantastical barware and inevitably played some sort of group game like charades or Twister. I just don't think we do entertaining that way anymore, and I for one, am all for resurrecting the supper club tradition.


I have particularly fond memories of this theme from my childhood, when my parents belonged to an actual, organized neighborhood supper club. I think it took place about once a month - I remember being super-excited for supper club nights when my parents went out to another house, because that meant one of my favorite babysitters (Rebecca, Jenny, Jen, or anyone of a number of foreign exchange students staying with local families - shout out to Uruguay and Denmark, if you guys are out there) was coming over and we would get to watch a Betamax movie and eat Doritos (I was a child of simple pleasures). BUT, I was even more excited when my parents were supper club hosts, because that meant I got in on the prep action, and was probably guaranteed to get to stay up a little bit late and join the party for awhile. I was an old soul, and I genuinely liked hanging around with adults...especially if they were playing disco music and I got to dance in the middle of the circle (this actually happened on at least two occasions that I can recall - best of times). Despite the presence of disco music on the record player, most of my parents' supper club functions were internationally themed. Everyone brought a dish or an appetizer or made a drink from a pre-selected country. In addition, costumes or accessories from the country of note were encouraged. This was the late 70s/early 80s, so I'm going to assume that none of the food or costumes were overly accurate (for instance, I have a distinct memory of seeing one of our neighbors in a plastic Viking helmet with yellow yarn braids on either side of his head - putting aside the obvious cliché, I'm also pretty sure that the theme that night wasn't Denmark), but it was always a good time, and I did get to sample some interesting stuff that I probably wouldn't have otherwise. Anyway, the point is, supper club was once a vital part of socializing, and it's something I wish we did more of!


Back to the subscription box! Here's a few glimpses of the fun:


Some of the supper club possibilities - the metallic snowflake stemware was a particular fave!

One of the kinda-sorta unusual items that went out in the boxes were handfuls of these vintage matchbook covers

(sans matches, of course). The colors and imagery on these little guys were pretty awesome, and definitely invoked the era that I was going for with the supper club theme. Individually,they might look a little dingie and sad, but you put a pile of them in a retro candy dish, or fill an old-school martini glass with them, and voila! you've got a cute little centerpiece for your coffee table on game night!


And never fear, all you vintage textile and accessory fans out there! I had some goodies for you, too. One of my favorite things to come across when junk store hopping is handkerchiefs that have names or phrases embroidered on them. They just feel so personal, and kind of like a connection to whoever owned it originally. Late last year, I hit the mother lode in a fun antiques mall back home in the Pittsburgh area when I came across a vendor who had stuffed the drawers of a gigantic, old, wooden map case with literally thousands of hankies. My dad happened to be with me on that foraging expedition, and when he saw my eyes light up at the sight of all that glory - I get to open all those drawers??? AND look at a million hankies?!?! - he mumbled something about going out for coffee and I didn't see him again for an hour or so. He's a good dad. Anyway, here's just a few of that day's finds, and I'll be honest, they're the ones I couldn't let go .


You and me, Lillian. You and me.

So all in all, I'd say the Supper Club Subscription Box was a success! I hope you enjoyed it...stay tuned for more vintage highlights...