Saturday, January 31, 2009

NYC Paper Doll Group

Taken at Pete's Tavern in NYC, December 18, 2008 with ye old 35 mm camera.

Carol Carey with delish onion ring.

Joan Burke waves hi.

Arlene Del Fava, having her usual Black Russian cocktail.

Others in the group who couldn't make the Dec. get together are Pat Whalen and Caroline Gilman.

I had to miss yesterday's meeting but plan to attend the next one on Monday, Feb. 16. If you're in the New York area, come join us at the Barnes & Noble on Union Square (17th St.) at noon.

Prince of Wales cut-out

Vanity Fair, 1933.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Armstrong Quaker, cont.

These were all the pieces I found in this set. There may be more, but I'm not sure.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Paper Doll Exhibit at CAFAM

Arabella Grayson's "Paper Cuts: 200 Years of Black Paper Dolls" at the Craft and Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles.

The invitation card shows Topsy by Lydia Fraser, Canadian Home Journal, 1932. The reverse show's Bruce Patrick Jones' Josephine Baker overlay (the triangles at side and bottom hold the overlay cards in place, each card has a different outfit, hairstyle and background).

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

La Novia Paper Doll

Recortables BB Ediciones TBO. Printed in Barcelona. No date, could be 1940s.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Mary Engelbreit

This paper doll insert ran in the Feb/March 2008 issue of ME's Home Companion. Unfortunately, there won't be a Feb/March 2009 issue; the magazine ceased publication with the Jan. 2009 issue.

The following press release came out in October, so apparently this was in the works for a while:

Mary Engelbreit’s Home Companion Seeking New Publishing Partner

October 13, 2008 (St. Louis, MO) –Mary Engelbreit’s Home Companion is seeking a new publishing partner. The current partner, Belvoir Media Group, LLC, is ending their involvement following the December 2008 / January 2009 issue, which will be published as planned, along with the Guide To Creative Living, currently available on newsstands nationwide. The publisher cited continued increases in costs and the current economy as the reason behind the decision.

Belvoir operated and published the magazine under a licensing agreement with Mary Engelbreit, the famed illustrator and namesake for the magazine. Ms. Engelbreit retains ownership of the Home Companion trademark and plans to seek new publishing and licensing opportunities because of Home Companion’s incredible customer loyalty and brand recognition.

No Changes To Mary Engelbreit Studios

Since its inception, Mary Engelbreit’s Home Companion has operated as a separate business from Ms. Engelbreit’s art licensing company, Mary Engelbreit Studios. She will continue her active schedule of illustrating greeting cards, calendars and books and her company will continue developing licensed products based on her illustrations. The publication of MEHC is near and dear to Mary Engelbreit Studios, but this search for a new publisher will not have a financial or operational impact on the company.

Home Companion History

Mary Engelbreit’s Home Companion released its first issue in the fall of 1996 and has maintained unprecedented loyalty among readers. The magazine has averaged approximately 350,000 subscribers and a readership of more than one million throughout its history. It is perhaps best known for its unique coverage of artists and creative people in their studios and homes. In recent years, it has gained particular respect as the most renowned publication in the creative arts industry, with editorial content and advertising focusing on a range of creative pursuits, from quilting, to paper arts, jewelry making, graphic design, and more.

About Mary Engelbreit
Mary Engelbreit is known throughout the world for her colorful and intricate designs, which adorn 14 million greeting cards sold each year and one of the top calendar collections in the country. Engelbreit holds license agreements with dozens of manufacturers to reproduce her popular illustrations on nearly 6,500 gift and home décor products including books, best-selling children's books, stationery, fabric, crafts, kitchen accessories, dinnerware and other gifts and home accents. Thousands of retailers worldwide have sold $1 billion worth of ME products.

For more information, visit

Paper Playhouse

June 28, 1942, Chicago Sun. The record player with storage for 78s is a nice touch. Note the appeal to buy defense bonds as the U.S. entered WW2.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Maria Callas paper doll

Web address corrected: Found on the web at where only orders of $100 or more are taken. I thought it was interesting that this book features two dolls--one plumper than the other. Maria Callas famously battled to get her weight under control.

The same company also sells a very pretty Dolores Del Rio.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Billie Bumps of Dingle Dell

By Grace Drayton, of course. Pictorial Review, April 1913. This is cut and incomplete. There were hats, toys, a cage of "white mousies" and even extra heads for Billie Bumps!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Un petit Charleston

A French postcard (Cartes Gil), another great find at Paula Hill's basement shop. Paula says this is Josephine Baker, who no doubt would be kicking up her heels at an inaugural ball if she were around today.

Inauguration Day

A bumper sticker from

Monday, January 19, 2009

Happy time

Colorful watch faces adorn a small sheet of vintage scrap found at Paula Hill's last weekend.

Fluffy Ruffles

Someone asked recently about Fluffy Ruffles, one of my favorite topics (as many of you already know)!

Fluffy Ruffles was a comic strip in the New York Herald (from roughly 1906-1909) written in verse by Carolyn Wells and drawn by Wallace Morgan. The conceit of the comic was that Fluffy Ruffles couldn't hold a job because she was a distraction to the men around her. But she always retained her dignity, and dressed impeccably. Women of the era imitated her dress, and the newspaper held contests around the country to find women who personified Fluffy Ruffles. Macy's carried a line of clothing in her name (shirtwaist, fitted jacket, large plumed hat and a parasol). There was a Broadway musical, sheet music and even candy named after her.

The colorful paper doll that was produced by the Herald as a separate purchase was published on thicker cardstock, and appears to have been drawn by someone else, not Morgan, because they seem so different in appearance (that is clearly Morgan's drawing on the envelope, however).

The black and white illustration by Morgan shown here (Fluffy reading a seed catalog) is taken from a compilation book that was put out at the height of her popularity.

Last year Jean Sullivan sent me a copy of another Fluffy paper doll, one that looks like it could have been drawn by Wallace Morgan. It ran in the newspaper:

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A visit with Paula Hill

The snow fell off and on all day, but that didn't stop me, Joan Burke and Carol Carey from keeping our date with Paula Hill in Harriman, NY.

The belated holiday party was a treat -- Paula and her husband Blaine live in a 19th century schoolhouse. High ceilings, lovely old window panes, rooms with all kinds of nooks and crannies filled with antique paper, dolls, toys, collectibles of all kinds.

I took pictures the old-fashioned (35mm, not digital) way, and hope to post them here soon. I love seeing how other people display their collectibles. I especially like Blaine's collection of Bonzo figures, that funny looking dog from around the 1920s.

Paula had tons of paper for sale in her downstairs shop. We had a blast going through boxes and file cabinets. I found this vintage scrap, among several other items; from the bobbed hair and painted faces, perhaps circa 1920s-1930s.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Starting Now

''Starting now, let's take up in our own lives the work of perfecting our union,'' he said at Philadelphia's historic 30th Street train station. ''Let's build a government that is responsible to the people and accept our own responsibilities as citizens to hold our government accountable. ... Let's make sure this election is not the end of what we do to change America, but the beginning and the hope for the future.''

Friday, January 16, 2009

Valentine's Manual

Anyone who collects images of old New York is familiar with Valentine's Manual, a yearbook of the city with wonderful illustrations. The Old Brewery is from the 1853 edition, and the Stewart House from 1865.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


This postcard was put out by Clergy and Laity Concerned more than 20 years ago (I've had it a long time, and likely purchased it at either the Strand or St. Mark's book store -- someplace downtown). Dr. King is revered today, but he took a risky and unpopular stand back in 1967 when he opposed the Vietnam War in a speech at Riverside Church in NYC. He was an early co-chair of the CLC.

The King quote on the back, from the Riverside address, is perhaps not as widely known as the "I Have a Dream" speech:

"A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death." (April 4, 1967, exactly one year before his death.)

An interfaith group opposed to war -- whether in Iraq or Gaza -- carries on the work today:

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Wizard of Oz paper dolls by Ted Menten

This is a new release by Dover. The artwork by Ted Menten is based on the original illustrations by W. W. Denslow, L. Frank Baum's collaborator on a number of books. Denslow also designed the sets for a 1902 theater production of Oz.

Here's the original Denslow illustration, as posted on wikipedia:

To purchase the Menten book, go to:

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A bedroom cut-out

I'm guessing this is c. 1940s-1950s. There's a slot at the edge of the green blanket to place the girl.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Little Coasters, 1896

One of the great Boston Sunday Globe "art supplements" of the late 19th century. Carol Sullivan had many on display during her workshop at last year's convention.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Cut-Out Dolls for Grown-Up Girls

From Pageant magazine, Jan. 1957. The copy pokes fun at Elvis Presley, then taking the world by storm, and reveals out-dated attitudes about relations between men and women that have long been discarded by intelligent people.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Spirit of the Northwest by M. Michele Thorp

A souvenir from the 2001 Paper Doll Convention in Oregon that Pat O'Rourke recently asked about on the pdartists group on Yahoo. Lovely artwork by M. Michele Thorp. There are 10 outfits in all, two of which are 3-dimensional. One, the snow scene, is shown above. The doll slips into a small paper pocket at head and feet to hold her in place. Inside this box set is a booklet written by the artist describing how each outfit was inspired "by the flora, fauna, and vistas of the Pacific North." Beautifully done.