Monday, July 27, 2009

Very Old Packaging

Revisiting: Old containers featuring beautiful and noteworthy designs

The effective branding of these early 20th century household products is evident in the unique logos, graphics and information on their packaging. How fortunate they've been saved and preserved, some with evidence of their original products, others as re-purposed.

Faultless Starch was a breakthrough product from its introduction in the 1890s for its simplicity of use and no need for lengthy boiling. It claimed to give a finished look to embroidery and lace, and was commonly used as baby and bath powder. Between 1895 and the 1920s the Kansas City company produced 36 illustrated booklets and attached them to the boxes. They included familiar stories for children with the added twist of always mentioning the product. In Little Red Riding Hood, for example, grandmother's starched apron is so pretty to the wolf that he stays for tea. The books also included riddles, games, helpful hints and useful facts.

Kingsford Silver Gloss Starch was started in 1848 in Oswego by Thomas Kingsford, a chemist. He developed it from corn and later improved and marketed it for culinary use as well. A tiny cookbook distributed by the company in 1876 boasted, “The experiment which first gave to the world this Laundry Starch made from Indian Corn, and the skill which perfected it, have been productive of still more notable success in furnishing this new article of food, which is adapted alike to the taste of the epicure and the wants of the invalid."

Not much to share on the Louse Killer to keep your poultry safe from lice. But it's a great looking design.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Writing Well

In a very old and shabby looking leather bound book as large as a 19th century family bible, I happened upon several curiosities I have to share with you, dear readers. Of course, I may need a gentle reminder to pen a note rather than send an email to someone special. But it's hard to resist, not to mention avoid, the subject of the article above when it appears in its large calligraphic letters and be-ribboned border followed by two subheads on points I should probably revisit before filling my fountain pen. My continuing education on social etiquette aside, I admit it wasn't just the subject matter that attracted me but the use of more than four type styles in as many lines of headings.

I'll continue to post more delicious excerpts from this wondrous book as I gently turn the pages back in time and manners.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Reclaiming Building Materials

I have a dream that someday I'll have a little dream hut in my garden. My dream hut will be built with reclaimed materials and salvaged supplies. The windows and doors, stylishly mismatched, will bring their own history and character to the eclectic little hideaway.

Beautiful dream house ideas and inspirations may be found in Thrifty Chic by Liz Bauwens and Alexandra Campbell with photography, as seen above and below, by Simon Brown.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Red, White and Blue

Have a safe and relaxing 4th of July holiday weekend.

Click here to make your own star medallions and for more holiday decorating ideas from Martha.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Make Your Own Pearl Necklace

Abby Larson at Style Me Pretty has featured a beautiful and talented bride wearing this fabulous multi-strand pearl necklace. The bride, Stephanie, made it herself with beads and claspy parts she got at Michael's. Click here to get all the info and be inspired to create your own.