Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Men, Boys, Guys, Dudes

I realize that all my posts thus far have been about recurring imagery that I find with the books I turn into Cover Stories. I promise I'll only write a few more of these.

This one is about men on the cover...

Take Old Jules for example. He's weathered and worn but rather handsome. The book was written by a woman named Mari Sandoz. Of Swiss descent, Mari grew up in rural Nebraska. Her father was a harsh abusive man. Many years later when he was on his death bed he asked her to write him a book. The result became Old Jules. Sandoz went on to write other books. Read all about her here.

With Wolfe in Canada is about the battles of supremacy fought by the English and French over North America. The cover features an image of a man in traditional British uniform. They were called 'red coats' because of the colour of the jackets.

I love how the cover print of this soldier is faded but still very vibrant.

I also seem to find a lot of covers with cowboys on them.

The Pony-rider boys are pretty adorable. They are part of a series of books written for boys, similar to Hardy Boys. Written by a man with a great name, Frank Gee Patchin the series has been put online and if you wish to read about their adventures in Alaska, the Gold rush or with the Texas rangers click the link.

The Spirit of the Border is a book by Zane Grey. The cover features a wild cowboy and his lasso. I like the placement of the cowboy at the bottom right hand of the cover.

Last but not least are the Hardy Boys The Masked Monkey. While this post is about men the cover of this book is all about that terrifying monkey! This cover has a movie-poster feel to it.

I didn't know the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew had their own tv shows in the late 60's!

Check out this clip of the shows intro. Notice the book cover above can be seen!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Trees, Leaves, Flowers, Art Nouveau

Another theme I notice in vintage books used for Cover Stories besides women and animals are images of nature.

Leaves, trees, flowers are often found in a curvilinear Art-Nouveau style.

Art Nouveau was popular during the late 20th century. Because its late and I'm tired here is the Wikipedia entry...

'A reaction to academic art of the 19th century, it is characterized by organic, especially floral and other plant-inspired motifs, as well as highly-stylized, flowing curvilinear forms.[4] Art Nouveau is an approach to design according to which artists should work on everything from architecture to furniture, making art part of everyday life.[5]'

Yes, nature was a big deal to them as were women with flowing hair.

Alphonse Mucha the Czech artist created works such as sold as posters in every
frame shop.
Speaking of flowing hair, I am obsessed with old commercials. Here is a great old shampoo commercial for those who love to touch their hair.

Here are some art-nouveau inspired tattoos from a site called That is some serious dedication to an art form. I think I'll just stick to crafts.

In 2006 I was lucky enough to go to the Art Nouveau and Art Deco Museum in Salamanca, Spain. It has an amazing collection of statues, figurines and glassware such as the vase posted below

I respect the Art Nouveau interest in handcrafted items and resistance against machine-made and factory-assembled goods. They truly lost the battle once the industrial revolution hit but their style is still very popular and hand-crafted furniture and good is trendy and sought after (especially by those who can afford it).

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Ladies, Women, Girls.

I often find potential journals (old books) with images of women on them. I find it interesting that they tend to sell quite well. Often to other women! In fact the journals that sell the best have people or animals on them.

Take Polly for instance. This book is called 'Polly, A New-Fashioned Girl'
Polly looks Victorian-chic playing racket ball on a hot summer day. This book has an inscription from 1919 in it!

Here is another journal with ladies on the cover...

This time they are on bicycles. These books were only marketed to young women. They served as the chick-lit of the times. They often included complex female relationships, rivalries and romances. Very fluffy stuff for ladies to devour. If only life were that easy.

On that note here is a great old video from 1964.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Vintage Book Journals and a bit about me

Hi Everyone.

I am officially pimping out Cover Stories Vintage Book Journals via Blog. Thank-you for reading this if you are amongst the 60 people on my Facebook fan page, 13 people that follow me on twitter and however many people look at my Etsy store. If you found this on Google well, thank-you even more.

My name is Eva and amongst other artistic endeavors (video, film, dressing up as a 70's mom for performances) I create spiral-bound vintage journals from old books with cool covers.

I am a vintage nerd. I love all things old that look they came from a Grandma's attic. I am a very nostalgic person who appreciates and often lives in the past. Even a past I never lived! (some of my books are from the early 1900's).

I started making Cover Stories in March 2009. I was out of work and looking for something quick and fun to satisfy my creative urges. I was a childhood crafter who cut the tips off crayola markers in Junior Kindergarten and spent a recess indoors making a felt Halloween scene complete with skeletons and gravestones. I watched Mr. Dressup religiously and admired his craft countertop and easal where he would draw dogs and children with the greatest of ease using a china marker.

I did a BFA at the Ontario College of Art and Design in Integrated Media (video art, installation, film etc) and prior to that completed a certificate in film studies at Ryerson University. I have created short videos and installations but crafts were a fun and accessible means of creation for me during my employment downturn. I do all my work on my 50's chrome and formica kitchen table (the top of which is the backdrop for all my photos) and use minimal tools to create Cover Stories.

I enjoy what I do but honestly my favorite part is rummaging for books. It is the thrifty vintage woman in me.

This is a journal I created back in December from a book called Dr. Kildare and the Magic Key. This was a fun book to work with because it has tons of great illustrations of Dr. Kildare and his team of sweet nurses. I always like books with images on the inside of the cover.

Check out a clip from the original television show from the early 60's