Monday, November 30, 2009

The Brinkley Girls by Trina Robbins

Peek inside with this slide show:  The Brinkley Girls

I was going to post this later in the week, but Fantagraphics has a special offer on this large size book: $20.99 instead of $29.99 today only.

Here's the publisher's description:
For over thirty years Nell Brinkley’s beautiful girls pirouetted, waltzed, Charlestoned, vamped and shimmied their way through the pages of William Randolph Hearst’s newspapers, captivating the American public with their innocent sexuality. This sumptuously designed oversized hardcover collects Brinkley’s breathtakingly spectacular, exquisitely colored full page art from 1913 to 1940. Here are her earliest silent movie serial-inspired adventure series, “Golden Eyes and Her Hero, Bill;” her almost too romantic series, “Betty and Billy and Their Love Through the Ages;” her snappy flapper comics from the 1920s; her 1937 pulp magazine-inspired “Heroines of Today.” Included are photos of Nell, reproductions of her hitherto unpublished paintings, and an informative introduction by the book’s editor, Trina Robbins.
In 1907, at the tender age of 22, Nell Brinkley came to New York to draw for the Hearst syndicate. Within a year, she had become a household name. Flo Ziegfeld dressed his dancers as “Brinkley Girls,” in the Ziegfeld Follies. Three popular songs were written about her. Women, aspiring to the masses of curly hair with which Nell adorned her fetching and idealized creations, could buy Nell Brinkley Hair Curlers for ten cents a card. Young girls cut out and saved her drawings, copied them, colored them, and pasted them in scrapbooks. The Brinkley Girls took over from the Gibson Girls.
Nell Brinkley widened her scope to include pen and ink depictions of working women. Brinkley used her fame to campaign for better working conditions and higher pay for women who had joined in the war effort, and who were suffering economic and social dislocation due to acting on their patriotism. Unlike most of her contemporaries, she drew women of different races and cultures.
Except among a small group of avid collectors, she has been unjustly forgotten... until now.
This has been a long time coming from Trina Robbins, and glad it's finally out there. 

For how to order, reviews, interviews with Trina and a PDF file with more pages to view, go to
this Fantagraphics link.

No, I don't get a cut. I'm just a big Trina Robbins fan.

More Dixie Dugan, 1938

More from that unwieldy page. The layout is very clever, with skis and dresses overlapping into neighboring frames. There's one more panel I need to stitch together.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Zelda and Scott stamps

This wonderful photo illustration accompanied a book review in today's New York Times. Yours Ever, by Thomas Mallon, is about the lost art of writing letters.

Two dandies

These guys slay me. A free sample of vintage scrap from Dover Publications

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The perfection of giving

Found in a church bulletin in South Carolina, when I was living in Spartanburg about 20 years ago. I've carried this scrap around with me since, tacked it to bulletin boards and now have it tucked into a day book of scraps and collages. David Steindl-Rast is a theologian and writer.  


...for the simple things in life.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Kewpie Cook, 1912

The Women's Home Companion, Nov. 1912. What better time to have a Kewpie Cook around the house?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Monday, November 23, 2009

Origami Bears

Lone Nunnally puts a lot of work into her website, scanning in many paper dolls, old, new and from around the world, including "Ulla" from Sweden. I just checked in and was happy to see a November update.

Lone also has some hard to find celebrities, like Twiggy:

For much more, go to Origami Bears

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The 2009 Paper Doll Convention Archive

Thanks to Jan and Sam McKay, I have a treasure trove of photos to post of the convention in Las Vegas.

Come visit at

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Humorous place and tally cards, c. 1930

Here are the Volland place and tally cards I referred to earlier. The whole construction of these cards is a wonder: the top rosette frames the picture and lifts up a smaller circle with the tally score card on one side, the answer to the riddle on the other side. And each card has an extended panel on which the riddle is printed, which can be folded to stand up as a place card.

See if you can match the answers to the riddles:
"He shrinks from washing."
"One is a hollow cylinder and the other is a silly Hollander."
"You can get a drink out of a fountain."
"One is hard up and the other is soft down."

Friday, November 20, 2009

Dixie Dugan, 1937

This is just one panel in a large Dixie Dugan Sunday comic strip which had four paper dolls woven into the day's installment. My knitting skills are still primitive, and I had trouble matching pieces. This one was easy. I'll keep working on the others.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Bride and Groom bridge tally

Another find from the JMK show last Sunday -- and this was within my budget! A few of the doll vendors had interesting old paper like this on the table where their rows of dolls were on display. In addition to a few copies of this tally, I also bought a box of "Humorous Conundrum Place and Tally Cards" printed by P.F. Volland Co., circa 1920s.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Baby Samantha paper doll

A large sheet paper doll of Samantha, by her mom, Diana Vining. Check out more of Diana's paper dolls for sale at

Diana, Dennis and Samantha Vining at the JMK Doll Show.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Life Size Doll

So wonderful to see a muslin doll in such great condition! For sale at the JMK show for $350. Nancy McGlamery and Ed Pelton of Fun City Antiques in Lancaster, PA.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Lenci Dolls

Spotted these lovely Lenci dolls Sunday at the JMK Doll show at the Rothman Center on the FDU campus in Hackensack. The top doll is $350--love the expression and the flowers.

The bride is $900. Love her blue shoes! For sale by Basia A. Conroy of Three Oaks Antiques in Morris Plains, NJ.

Convention Update

Don't forget: if you register by Nov. 30 for the 2010 Paper Doll Convention, you'll only pay $195.

It's a good idea to get your registration in the mail now.
The rate goes up to $220 on Dec. 1, and then $245 on March 16; after May 16, it will be $270.

The convention is July 1-July 4 at the Embassy Suites-Plaza, Kansas City, MO.

Your registration includes 3 banquet meals, 5 plus paper doll souvenirs, workshops, programs, competition, artists' gallery, special exhibits, goody bags, sales room, surprises, and the freebie table.

Hotel rates are $89 for a King Bed suite per night, and $109 for a double bed suite (special rate applies 3 days before and 3 days after the convention).

Guest Registration (meals only) is $120; Absentee registration (souvenirs only) is $125.

Make checks payable to Patricia O'Rourke. You can mail your check and registration form to her at 6 Piccadilly Court, Toms River, NJ, 08757.

Download the registration form at

Sunday, November 15, 2009

McLaughlin's coffee with pie

Another paper toy from McLaughlin's Coffee. I believe these little vignettes for children are circa 1880s-1890s.

This scene has two additional slots at the table for friends to join the party.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


hat are the Artella links all about? You'll find an Artella banner at the bottom of this blog, and a link to a freebie on the left of your screen. It's a way for me to generate some income if you click through and purchase something from Artella, and a way for Artella to spread the word about its products.

Why Artella? I first heard about them from Dee Radcliffe, at a paper doll convention (where else?)

If you've seen the altered books that Dee has done, on her own or as part of a round-robin, you'll know why I had to know more. And if you download and save items from this blog to use in your own art work, you'll want to see some of what Artella has to offer: vintage ephemera, collage sheets, books, e-courses and workshops. There's a lot of inspiration for creative types, whether you draw, write, collage or create altered books and tags, or simply like to make your own greeting cards.

Many of you probably recognize Artella's paper doll ABCs that I've used on my blogs over the past two years. After you explore, be sure to sign up for the free newsletter by Marney Makridakis. That's where I first heard about the paper doll ABC's, and many other inspirations.

McLaughlin Coffee Coach

A McLaughlin Coffee paper toy, a giveaway with the product. As you can see on the reverse, there's a slot for a companion of the little girl in the coach.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Dolls in Wonderland, 1929

Platt and Munk. Originally published in 1921, this is the 1929 reprint. You can see some of the style and patterns that inspired Mary Engelbreit in this paper doll book.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Great War Archive

The Battle of the Somme, August 1916. From Oxford University's Great War Archive:

The Great War Archive contains over 6,500 items contributed by the general public between March and June 2008. Every item originates from, or relates to, someone's experience of the First World War, either abroad or at home. Contributions were received via a special website and also through a series of open days at libraries and museums throughout the country.

The Great War produced some great poetry. Oxford's archive includes original manuscripts by among others Robert Graves, Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon, who wrote "A Mystic as Soldier":

And a poem about the life that still went on around them, "Sunday night in the army," by F.G. Barcock:

Mrs. Humphreys M.A. wrote to men in the armed forces.

A thank you for a Christmas gift to the men overseas: