Saturday, May 30, 2009

Something to Crowe About

This one isn't old. As a matter of fact it's very new. My mother-in-law whose maiden name is Crowe, has a birthday coming up. She likes everything chicken. She even has a rubber chicken hanging in her kitchen, tucked in amongst her laying hens, roosters, chicks, porcelain eggs and an antique egg scale that still works. If you didn't know already, most homestead families kept chickens. Supper on the hoof so to speak. You couldn't just kill a cow every time you wanted some meat to eat, especially in the middle of the summer. She had a spot on her wall that she thought "... needed a little something red", so I began looking for Red Rooster paper. Tami Dosch of Red Rooster Country Gifts & Accents in Milton, Wisconsin, agreed to participate in my little madness. Mary Elizabeth "Betty" (Crowe) Vosen gets this one for her birthday in a couple of weeks. Happy Birthday, Grandma!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Gold Chase For Pony

Pony came to be in 1869, named for its founder Tecumseh "Pony" Smith. Why Pony? He wasn't built like a Clydesdale. It was home to a $12,000 school house by 1900, and I posted a piece of paper from Sherman's Piano House in Butte a week ago indicating the purchase of a $365 piano for the school district. This piano ain't it. The invoice doesn't indicated what kind of piano C. E. Morris was purchasing a few keys at a time, so I just picked the first one on the list. This is my first go at using real gold leaf in many years. Oh yes - and I enhanced the billhead a bit as well.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Piggyback Ride!

This was living High on the Hog for a two-year-old girl on a homestead. I just received this piece of paper in the mail on Tuesday, and I could not resist putting my mother-in-law on it. Oh yes - that's her - ridin' the pig! I did the graphite painting twenty-one years ago from a photograph which she had in her family album. The paper is older than she is!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

My Little Pony Piano

On April 26th,1905, the Pony, MT, School District makes another payment on a piano of unnamed origin. They must be buying it a few keys at a time from the looks of this statement.

Come on Baby - Let's do the Claxtonola!

The Claxtonola Company was in business for four short years - 1921 through 1925 - according to the web site. They may have only pressed records for those years, but indeed, most of the records they sold under their label were pressed by the New York Recording Labratories. In 1924, the Gennett Records Company pressed the records for Claxtonola. I just acquired four more pieces of Claxtonola paper, the earliest dated Nov, 6th, 1919, and the latest dated March 8th, 1920. This piece of Brenard Manufacturing paper was not dated, but the date that's been covered by the left edge of the label is September, 1919, and the text of the letter refers to a "new Price level" effective for that date. Am I prepared to put proper labels on these new pieces of paper? YES - I - AM!

Monday, May 18, 2009

CHIEF BEANS - Plenty Good

My first can label! I have a number of these types of old paper (they're called billheads), some are specific as to brand and some are not. This one was very specific and there were actually two different labels for Maryland Chief String Beans to choose from. The majority of the other was very dark where this one was primarily yellow. I didn't want to cover the text specifying the beans, so I chose the transparent yellow variety. So many choices...

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Polly Wants HOLSUM!

A Spokane Bakery Company receipt for Holsum Bread. The parrot and the advertising lettering is from the side of a Holsum Bread delivery truck. Oh yes - I never met a parrot I didn't like.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

What's A Drey Mason Jar?

I don't know an awful lot about Drey Mason Jars. When I bought this piece of paper a month ago, I looked at the long list of items purchased, saw the words "Drey Mason Jars", and decided to do a bit of research before putting any images on this paper. I'm glad that I did. A fellow by the name of Leo Drey (he pronounced it DRY) was the president of the Schram Manufacturing Company between the years 1908 and 1920, the year that he died. Schram Manufacturing was bought out by the Ball Brothers in 1925. There is a great deal of confusing information about the relationship between these two companies, but when I finally found a picture of a square Drey Mason jar, I knew what I was going to put on this old paper!

Friday, May 8, 2009

The King & Queen - Joined As One

The stamps were issued on Friday, May 8th, and I was in Heart Butte, MT, to cancel them when Donel Hall, the Postmaster opened up. Actually, I purchased the stamps, and then spent an hour in the car bisecting and reassembling them. The lower pair are a normal pair - the upper pair have been 'reunited' to appear as the King & Queen on my art work. I personally call it a "Bisectual Union", but chose "Royal Wedding" so as to provide no offense to anyone. It was a beautiful day, and as I do for most of the issues that I cancel unofficially, I took a picture of the Post Office. You will notice the 'Heart' of Heart Butte in the photo.


This is one of the first pieces of old paper that I 'altered'. I contacted a fellow in California who had a filled bottle, and I traded him an image of the filled bottle for an image of the letterhead I was going to put it on. The back of this bottle is yet to come, as I have a second sheet of this letterhead.

The back of the bottle in red lettering says "Famous Brands of Kittitas County and Sody-Licious"! The bottling company was located in Ellensburg, Washington, and I found the bottle absolutely fascinating.

I also sent an inquiry to the Washington State Brand Inspector to determine if there are any of the brands on the bottle that are still active. Just an added bit of interest to an already interesting bottle.

This piece was juried into the Blackfoot Valley Art Auction to be held on August 8th, in Lincoln, Montana.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

McCormick-Deering 15-30 Steel Wheeled Tractor

This is a combination of two receipts from a McCormick-Deering Implement dealer with a Graphite painting that I did twenty-one years ago. This image was taken from an old negative in the collection of my wife's folks, and is my father-in-law on his father's first tractor. The McCormick-Deering Company was the predecessor to the International Harvester Corporation.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Bret Harte

The Luck of Roaring Camp - My latest commissioned cover for a collector of Bret Harte First Day Covers. The cover itself appears to be a good linen paper with some tooth to it. I thought I might have difficulty working on it with colored pencils, but it was a pleasure.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Mickey Rides a Texas Horse

This is another commissioned cover with what is called a fancy cancel applied to it. The art work is from a 1930's era British postcard which the owner of the cover passed to me to be used. This is also one of the first images of Mickey following his debut as Steamboat Willie in 1928. I've done more than one cover (these are called add-ons) for this gentleman, and I've a number more to do for him as well. These covers, although small, are a joy to do. No mistakes can be made. Most of the paper is of questionable quality (because of its age), and have a certain value to them before I've touched them.

Friday, May 1, 2009

The Holdup

Virginia City and Red Bluff Stage Coach Way Bill #78 - My largest yet. The Way Bill is dated March 31st, 1892. It measures 11" X 17". What is a Way Bill you ask? It is a register page for the company that lists passengers on the top half, and freight on the bottom half. There were no passengers carried on this date, which meant I would be obscuring no names. I wish I'd have taken pictures of it before it was framed and put behind glass. I did the art work for this once before on the number 10 envelope pictured above - on a commission basis. The cover was made using a stamp from a sheet that was later withdrawn from sale because the USPS used the wrong Will Pickett on one of the stamps. I have another way bill similar to this one, but haven't yet decided what I'm going to put on it.

Clean Sweep

I have three pieces of paper from this company, and this is the first that I've done of BROOM LABELS! This billhead is quite appealing and an excellent example of the engraver's art in this country. If you look closely at the left edge of my art work there's a lighter colored area that specifically lists Number 6 Brooms. That's what is nice about using colored pencils on this old paper because I don't want to lose the significance of what was purchased by covering up the characters.