I have a definite soft spot for historic works and have spent a fair amount of time rummaging through the digital attic for books and images from the time spanning roughly the 1840’s to the early 1900’s. So many of these books have wonderful artwork and information from a different time and lifestyle that I find fascinating as well as inspiring. I really love incorporating that look and feel into some of my current work – like this a colorful digital collection inspired by an 1899 seed catalog.
About the Collection
I ran across this Plant Seed Company Seed Catalog from 1899 and loved the colors in the cover (you can have it as ready to frame art from the print shop) as well as the detailed drawings of vegetables and flowers.
With no photographs, the drawings had to sell the seeds! One thing that struck me about the vegetables was how many different kinds were on offer; so many things we don’t see in supermarkets now – like Salsify, Dandelion (as a vegetable not a flower) and Martynia (which is also known as “devil’s claw.”)
The flower section was similar to current catalogs: the newest and most tantalizing cultivars up front with the old favorites like sunflowers and pansies filling out the rest.
It was telling how much more important food crops were at the time because the catalog was mostly devoted to food and animal feed crops with the flower seeds having much less space.
I love seeing these vintage publications and how everyday life was both different and yet similar. Next, I’m thinking about a millinery book from the early 1900’s to bring back to life as a newly published complete book. There are also books in development/editing from two other authors in very different genres – look for updates on those soon!
Thanks so much for your encouragement and support. As always, I’d love to hear from you so drop me line with your thoughts and comments.
Yes, I’m asking you to unsubscribe from the ShinyDesigns mailing list. Why in heavens name would I do that? Because I want to make sure that you’re interested in what might be landing in your inbox and I’m not the best judge of that – you are.
Many of you are long-time subscribers and know that this site has gone through a few iterations; others have joined along the way and may not be interested in the jogs and turns I seem to take.
For the foreseeable future, this site will be devoted to a wide range of creative undertakings: pretty much anything that grabs my fancy. That means articles on art and painting, then maybe something on paper crafts or digital art, then onto information on writing and the creative process, an article on sewing the old-fashioned way and maybe even a funny little story with a weird ending – who knows?
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What to Expect, Maybe
If you’re still reading, bless your heart! I thank you and hope you find some inspiration, or at least a smile, in what you’ll find here.
I’ve done so many different things and my interests span so many topics that I can’t keep it all separate and have gotten tired of trying to put each thing in its own neat little box. That’s why it’s all going into one place now.
Some things I do for fun, some for free and some I charge money for but even that is subject to change. I make stuff – all kinds of stuff – and this is where I’ll share treasures found along the way. So, come along with me for a walk on the creative side!
I’ve been working with paint and paper and other stuff all together (the fancy term for that is “Mixed Media”) to make a Collage Journal Cover and wanted to share what I came up with. You can download the 7-page PDF tutorial for full instructions with pictures on my other site, DigitalPapercrafts.com.
A Project to Get Moving
I’ve been unwell lately and making things always seems to help. A kind friend gave me this little roughly 5 x 7 notebook from the dollar store. It was just the nudge to get me started!
While you’ll find more information in the tutorial, the gist of it is that I removed the covers from the notebook and painted them (both sides) with a metallic bronze acrylic craft paint. Then using the Steampunk Time Passing set of four tags, I glued two on each cover.
Fun With Paint
The next step was the fun part: crackle painting! Instead of commercial crackle medium, I used plain white glue as the medium and then over-coated that with cream acrylic paint.
Finishing Up and Moving On
Next came embellishments and final touches. Last, I sealed the whole thing with spray sealer and put it back together. It was a fun project – not too involved but very satisfying. The perfect thing to get moving again!
Feel free to share this tutorial with anyone you think will like it, but please don’t use it commercially or claim ownership of it. If you liked this and found it helpful, I’d love to hear from you and learn about your project.
I’ve been experimenting with hand painted textures lately and have something fresh off my painting table for you.
I love working with color in it’s pure form and seeing the lovely mixtures it makes. These neutral texture paintings are the first in this new series and I learned from them. They’re great as a backdrop for something graphic like typography.
The next trial was inspired by the multitude of pinks in the plain old-fashioned roses in my garden. These rosy hues are softer and the texture is less pronounced. They look fabulous behind this vintage floral illustration and would also make floral photography just pop!
Any of these would also make a great “paper” for a digital scrapbook layout or an art journal page. You can find both of them in the DigitalPapercrafting shop on Etsy.
What have you been working on! Let me know, I’d love to hear from you!
Here’s the update on the Black Eyed Susan drawing from a few days ago. It finished nicely into a print (it takes almost as long to get ready to print as it does to do the art!) and led to several more drawings of fruit in the same series. You can see all of them in the print shop.
I’m in the process of trying out print options and a new printer for nicer prints and paper. Stay tuned for that!
Also, since this is turning into an update on all the things type post – would anyone be interested in how-to videos or courses? I get lots of questions about technique and such and wonder if I should develop something like that – what do you think? Drop me line and let me know. I answer EVERY single email, so go ahead and send one.