Saturday, December 17, 2011

BROWNIES - The Breakfast Variety

This one is special. My first stamp. My first multiple using a basic greeting card envelope format, although all of my mail art has taken this form. I created a template from a piece of clear plastic which is proportioned to make a large five+ by seven inch+ envelope from a standard sheet of paper. It also accepts a five by seven inch blank greeting card, available to those who want to create their own cards - like me.

Is there more to this story? Yes, there definitely is.

Lenna, this started with YOU! We exchanged mail art months ago, and you started something with your whimsical Brownies that was simply irresistible. Two years before, I'd been given the opportunity to examine and crudely copy some newspaper print blocks for a product that was packaged (and apparently sold) right here in Helena, called Breakfast Brownies Cereal. This was long before Cocoa Puffs and Sonny, the Cuckoo Bird. I mean, what kid can resist a cartoon character on their box of Chocolated Cereal?

The advertising images for Breakfast Brownies extolled the virtues of eating this product which even a puppy could not resist. Breakfast Brownies Cereal was stirred and served up by three Brownies. They weren't Palmer Cox Brownies, and although I could work with the Breakfast Brownies characters, I started looking into Vintage Brownies, and discovered Palmer Cox. He is the Father of all things Brownie. I'll name a few companies to which he licensed the characters : Ivory Soap, Nabisco (Brownie Biscuits), Lion Coffee (stand-up paper dolls offered as premiums) and the famous Kodak Brownie camera. These businesses were all licensed to allow them to use his characters. He also marketed games, toys and dolls on his own. And he had imitators. Lots of them. Including the unknown artist who developed the Breakfast Brownies characters. This artist wasn't alone. It is surmised that there were more unlicensed uses than there were of the licensed variety.

Palmer Cox, who began creating his whimsical little characters in the 1890's, developed quite a following among kids and parents alike. The best part was, he caught the eyes and minds of everyone for almost forty years, and wrote over twenty-five books about his characters.

I'll not reveal the images for the other Brownies Mail Art that I've done - until after Christmas. They're all personalized. And those who are getting them can simply wait until they arrive. I'm into surprises that arrive in the mail.


  1. Hmmm, I like the sound of this, hope to find one of those in MY mailbox.
    Love ya, Judy

  2. Dear Dave, I cannot tell you in wods how special that envelope for me is! You even had a zazzle stamp made!!!!!!!!! ooh la la, the whole thing, I could just eat it up! (brownies for breakfast) My mailbox has been pretty sad lately since I have been taking a break from my creative swaps and this will really be the ticket next week -oooh! You have done such an awesome job of putting them all together. I love mail art and your mail art is so divine. Thank you so much!
    xoxo lenna

  3. Absolutely superb Mail Art - lucky Lenna!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE that the stamp matches your theme, that's really cool. Your lettering is wonderful too.

    Great background bio.

  4. Very cool all put together like that! You're making me crave a bowl of chocolaty cereal now too.

  5. Wow, Dave, those Brownies are really getting around. Love your take and lucky Lenna. Funny thing, I just ordered that brownie carrying the mail as a rubber stamp. Looks great as a postage stamp. And, are the brownies around the address your own version? Can't wait to see more. You rock, Dave. Happy Holidays. Hugs. Beth

  6. What a great stamp!! Love the much fun!!

    I've designed a couple I wonder where they are??? I suppose I should find them...and use them!!!

  7. What a cool envelope Dave. Great back story too.

  8. Great story for sure. I've always really liked little characters like these. You've just reminded me of that. The font, the figures, the stamp -- everything works so well together.