Category: small treasures

French Paper Rulers

Friday 11.30.12

Few things make me happier than getting “real” mail. So, when Neal, at Present & Correct (one of my favorite blogs and shops!), told me to expect something in the post, I got very excited thinking about what it could possibly be. But then Sandy came and went, and we both assumed that the package became a minor casualty of the storm. Not so fast. I went to my mailbox the other day and found a nice big envelope with these splendid French paper rulers inside. I think the pop out French curve is what makes them so marvelous. Thanks!!

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Tuesday 11.06.12

Get out there and vote! Vintage FDR pins courtesy of Wayne P.

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Got Water?

Sunday 10.28.12

Only time will tell how much we get clobbered by Sandy and her nameless friends arriving from points west. In the meantime, the politicians and the scientists and the media are all urging us to stock up. You feel like an ass if you do, and an ass if you don’t. So, maybe this time around, err on the side of caution. Just a little. These cans of water are easily found on ebay. Although perhaps a little late to be of any use this time around. Produced for the US Government during WWII, and maybe even all the way up through the Cold War. Stay dry. Stay safe.

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Uncle Tom Bendell

Wednesday 09.12.12

My friend Dave has many heirlooms in his family. I, on the other hand, have almost none. I’ve also known Dave for well over 25 years, so whenever he pulls out a box and casually says that I should see what he’s dragged out of storage, I know enough to pay attention. So, this day I am visiting and he comes over to his dining table with a box that should properly hold a board game. He thinks I should take a look at what’s inside. And boy is he right. The box is filled with these incredible hand-carved utensils. We marvel at the detail and the odd way in which the carver has copied tools that are more typically made out of metal. Specifically the hinged meat fork and the wooden tongs. I delight in the spoon that has white string wrapped around its neck. We speculate that it’s in place to secure a break. He’s got a vague idea that a relative, maybe an uncle, was responsible for the handiwork. But he’s not sure. So, he asks his father. This was his response. Which I find charming, and proper and old-fashioned in its manner of speech.

Re the carved utensils:
Uncle Tom Bendell was married to a cousin of Grammy Ida’s. He was an architect by occupation, but a consummate artist by ability. Mom always referred to Tom’s daughter as El Bendell, a teacher by education, but outstanding guidance counselor by happenstance. You may remember a baby’s cream colored “dresser” that came through every Williams move and now sits in our storage area. Uncle Tom made that for El, I think, El never found another love to replace her man who had gone down in flames so she deeded it to Mom. Tom was as sweet a man as you’ll find, according to Mom.. He was taken early by cancer at something like 55-60. Some of Tom’s art work are on walls here, but it would take some Holmesian deduction to know which they are. Love Dad.

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How It Used To Be

Friday 08.10.12

What email used to look like. I have recently been cleaning out my inbox and organizing all other email. What a monstrous task. I thought I had it all under control, but a few lax weeks, and it all goes to hell.

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How to Swim

Tuesday 07.31.12

More cigarette cards from the astonishingly large digital collection at the NYPL. In honor of the Olympic Games. Right.

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Wednesday 06.27.12

I recognize that these boxes, or “tins” as the are more commonly referred to, are mighty familiar, and maybe a little ubiquitous. That doesn’t mean that I like them any less. Besides, who doesn’t love a little potted tongue? Transferware was a product of mid 18th century England (although popular in other parts of Europe as well), and really came into its own during the mid 1800s. All photos and tins from Ruby Lane.

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