A Handmade Valentine Display using Vintage Cards

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I thought I’d show you how I reused the Greeting Card Wall Hanging Display that I made at Christmastime, to make a Valentine decoration.

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First, let’s talk about the vintage valentine cards that I hung on it.

Were any of you using eBay back when it first began? If you did, you’ll recall how there were lots of awesome vintage finds to be had, at very reasonable prices. It seemed at the time that most sellers of secondhand goods were more interested in cleaning up and finding new homes for the things they no longer needed, than they were in making a lot of money on the site. Oftentimes, they’d bundle up all that they had of a certain item, and offer the whole lot at a very reasonable opening bid cost.

This made for some awesome finds for the vintage loving buyers that used the site back then. There were so many people selling excellent things, and relatively few people confident enough with online shopping back then, to take them up on their offers, resulting is terrific vintage buys.

(I talk about those days as bygone times, because today many eBay sellers of vintage things are more like small shop owners who resell their finds, as opposed to people just wanting to rid themselves of their own stored “junk”. They are much more aware of what collectors want, and they know how much they can charge for the more rare items. I still love the site and search it regularly, but the hay-days of amazing lot purchases are over.)

I began using the site/service in the early to mid-2000s. Being newly-weds on a somewhat limited budget in those days, I was primarily looking for things that I could find to furnish our home, that cost less on eBay than comparable items found in regular retails shops did. The cherry-on-the-sundae was that the things I found were vintage, and therefore beheld the charming good-looks and quality that accompanies items manufactured in the fifties and sixties. I especially appreciated that many of the vintage finds were in like-new or unused condition, and I assembled a lovely collection of tea-towels, tablecloths, blankets and bedding, kitchenware and home decor, which we now use everyday.

Another category of finds that I sought out on eBay was all manner of stationery. Being an avid user of snail-mail, I looked for vintage greeting cards that had not been previously written on. Entire boxes of Christmas cards from the 50s could be found for about $10, and unique birthday cards for under $1 a piece, so I began collecting these paper-goods, initially with the intention of actually using them. And at first, I did send them off to friends and family, but then began saving them because I loved how the old cards looked, appreciated how impressive it was that these pieces of paper had been preserved for over 60 years, and found that I couldn’t part with them.

This brings me to the Valentines that I used to create this wall hanging decoration. They’re part of my collection of Valentines, which I bought on eBay about ten years ago. They are from the 1950s. I especially love the ones with the elves/fairies.

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Each year at this time, I get out my collection to look at them, while I’m pulling out the pieces that I will in fact mail to the children in my life — those would be the duplicates, newer ones, or reproduced-in-recent-years ones (see those in this post).

Usually I just admire them, consider selling some, decide otherwise, and then pack them up safely again, to repeat next year. But this year, since I already had the wall hanging thingy still up in our living room, filled with the less-Christmas-y looking Christmas cards, some thank you cards and various photographs that we’d been mailed over the holiday season, I took down what was there and, using some tiny clothes-pegs, hung up this set of Valentines. It took me all of two-minutes to change up the display and certainly added a welcome cheerfulness to the room!

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Thanks very much for taking a look!
xo loulou

(PS – If you’d like to see some other examples of this vintage stationery collection, here are some Christmas cards, some Christmas Seals and Tags, an Easter card, a St. Patrick’s Day card, some April Fools Day cards and more Valentines, here, here and here. << I love those ones with cats on them! =^..^=)

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Posted in Holidays : Valentine's Day, Vintage Paper Things | Tagged | 6 Comments

A Fun Friday Night Lady-Date

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In November, the art gallery (AGO) added a new weekly event on Fridays by extended their hours to 9pm and offering live music, interactive art-making stations, food and a large bar area. They call it “AGO Friday Nights” and my friend Meghan suggested we check it out last week. She’s a member of the gallery, so admission for her and a guest (me!) was no charge but anyone can enjoy this fun night out for the regular cost of admission.

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First we took a look at the JMW Turner exhibit, which was ending on Sunday. I’d already seen the show when it first opened at the beginning of November, a visit I wrote about in this post, but I loved the art and was glad to be able to see it again. It was a first look for Meghan and she agreed that it was quite spectacular work.

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Then, as we meandered through the rooms and hallways, we came upon a station when we could draw a self-portrait and joined in …

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Following that, we headed over to the Galleria Italia for a catch-up and refreshment. We each had a beer locally produced just next door to Toronto in Hamilton, at the Collective Arts Brewing Company. We had their Saint of Circumstance Pale Ale which was very good.

It made sense that they offer their beer at the gallery, because, aside from their goal to produce excellent brew, they also use original art by emerging artists on their labels, that changes every few months.

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Then we were amongst of the first to see a brand new installation called “Communal Courtyard” by Chinese avant-guarde artist Song Dong.

As you can see from my pictures, it was a cool arrangements of the fronts of 100 vintage armoires, that you walked through and got lost within.

According to the write up (found here), it is meant to represent the snaking walkways, courtyards and small rooms that make up Beijing’s traditional communal living spaces.

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Since many of the armoires had mirrors, it was very much like a house-of-mirrors amusement arcade.

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Through some of the “windows” you could see little art arrangements.

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It was really neat.

It will be set up until mid-July so there’s plenty of time for you to see it. I can’t imagine anyone not enjoying this immersive art experience.

Of course, in addition to these special exhibits, the gallery is packed with so much other excellent art …

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Then we found a seat in Walker Court for another beer and a performance by Spectrum Percussion Ensemble. This was the first time either of us had seen a whole concert that involved only percussion, so we weren’t sure what to expect. It was a very entertaining and interesting show, for sure.

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Now that we’ve seen what a Friday Night spent at the art gallery has going on, I’m sure we’ll be going again. It was a lot of fun.

If you can’t make it to a Friday Night event, you might consider going to the gallery on a Wednesday evening, when admission is free and when they are also open until 9pm.

Thanks very much for visiting my site,
xo loulou

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Posted in AGO - Art Gallery of Ontario | 4 Comments