Thursday, November 5, 2009


Admit it!

We all have them.


Oh yes you do! Those things you just love and have to have but are usually completely impractical. Oh we all justify them, sometimes well too, but really could you live without them, yes but why would you!

I thought I'd show you one of mine.

I love old photographs! I know many of you do too. How often do we pull them out to use as grist in the makings of our art? Quite often these days I think if you look around. I love faces and people. Portraits particularly but I will opt for landscapes and still life as well if the other isn't around. Portraits painted or snapped on film, I'm not fussy, I love them all.

Usually I like to guess at the people in them. Who were they? What are they thinking? What were their lives like? What is their relationship to the others in the picture? I like to make up lives and stories for them.

Recently I came across this little beauty and thought I'd share some of it with you all. It is an old antique Victorian album containing lots of photographs, mostly from around the late 1800's and early 1900's. It is not small as it measures approximately 12"x 9" and is about 2.5" wide. When I saw it I fell for it's charm and the obsession bug kicked in. You know the one that screams mine, mine, mine at you and refuses to let you leave the store without it! Oh, I argued with myself about the price, haggling internally, poo pooed at it and spun tales of how it will feed my artistic inspiration for decades to come etc; but in truth I must admit that it is really just that this is my own personal obsession. I purchased it and took it home and have gazed adoringly at it almost everyday since. LOL! From its covers wonderful textures to the gilt on each and every page to the gaze of those who inhabit the pages, I am lost...

The front cover...

Embossed leather, it feels wonderful. If you're a texture peep it will draw you in right here.

The spine, yumm!

and without even opening a page, I was in love with the back cover...

The most amazing cutting and embossing ever! It feels wonderful!!!

(Told you all I was obsessed, LOL!)

So I suppose I should give you a glimpse at the lives inside the covers too!

Isn't she wonderful!

Don't you love the artwork on the pages and the foxing!

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Does it make you wonder who they were too?

No hands touching there, I wonder why?

Another gorgeous decorative page...

and then there's the girls...

I love that one of them is sort of peeping away candidly at the camera from the side.

What was she thinking?

And then there's these lovelies.

Lots more of course but I don't want to bore you all completely.

Think I'll just close it up now or I will be here dreaming all day!

What obsessions do you have?
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Lisa said...

I collect those old albums too and find myself capitivated by the folks and their identities as well. They are always so serious..
This one you found is quite a rare gem..such perfect condition..inside and out! You'll never be able to dismantle such a treasure!

Marie said...

As I've said many times before, your writing is just really excellent! I love the photo album! I have two similar collections that I could surely live without, but, as you say, why would I?
I often wonder at the compelling nature of old photos & why I am so attracted. It really dosn;t matter, I suppose. One loves what one loves and that is enough.

La Dolce Vita said...

LOL! too many to mention here in this little comment box! Love your new album she is a beauty and way to go what a score all of those many have you counted them? just gorgeous!

jill said...

What a wonderful gift you've given yourself- and know that you are so worth it. The other thing to know is that books like the one you found are priceless so- whatever you paid is worth it- especially for the joy it's bringing you!! (okay, and the rest of us too!!)
Now- All I can say is wow, wow, wow and lucky lucky me! I received your gorgeous
" Beauty's Muse" gift tonight from our "Art Exchange" - and I love it so! I've been reading your posts before I started to write you - and everyone is so right. I am l crazy about it and it is even more stunning in person - in my hands and right in front of me!! For everyone reading this, it's delicate and wonderfully layered with thick patterned tapestry material under another layer of striped cloth under two layers of cheese cloth under an antiqued canvas under a picture of a young beautiful woman surrounded by 3 layers of lace. THis is then under beautiful fringe and lace and bow and all put together with a golden braid for hanging. Thank you so much for this original textiled artwork! It's so generous and thoughtful and I appreciate it so much! Sending hugs to you and unending thanks!

Seth said...

I can see why you are obsessed with this book. It is gorgeous, filled with history, and so unique. The back cover is extraordinary!

Grammy said...

I love the album . I treasure old family history photos and family finds. I do bot have any thing this intriguing. Have you looked behind the photos to see if any hidden treasures are there. The names may be on the back of photos.

Kim said...

Hi Lisa, I wouldn't dream of taking this one apart to play with as a book structure it is just too beautiful, but the photos are wonderful!
Thanks Marie, I agree, why should we live without our little obsessions! Glad you enjoy reading the blog! Would love to see more of your collections.
Hi Cat, You know I haven't counted them yet, but I will now as I'm curious too now, LOL! I usually get sidetracked by one of the pics and all thought runs out the window, LOL!
Jill, So good to hear from you! I'm so pleased you liked the piece for the art exchange! I really enjoyed making it and am glad it has arrived safe and sound for you. Hugs and thanks for the lovely comments.
Hi Seth, I knew you would appreciate this book! The cover is unbelievable and I cannot help but run my fingers over the texture each time I open it! Texture obsessions, LOL! I was sold on the cover before I even opened it! You're right of course, it is quite unique.
Hi Grammy, I have indeed peeked behind the photos and have been pleasantly suprised by what I have found there too. There was a wee special something that will turn up in an art piece soon, so look out for a suprise!

Lucky Dip Lisa said...

Omg, I have never seen such a beautiful album! That is such a treasure and whatever you paid I am sure it is a bargain price for the share joy of owning and preserving and touching such a beautiful book! Love that back cover...

My obsessions....nests ofcourse! I have 5 real ones on the door step and one inside please about 4 nests that I've made from fibres myself...then there's countless nest photos, prints...and I firmly believe there will never be enough!

Ohh, word verification- pyrinest!

Studio Sylvia said...

Absolutely beautiful Kim. A lucky treasure to be appreciated.

Debrina said...

Hello dearest Kim! Thanks for stopping on by to meet JafaBrit and for saying hi!

Ahhh....obsessions...don't get me started on obsessions! My house isn't BIG enough to house all of my obsessions. If my obsessions took control of my life, you wouldn't find me in my house. I'd be buried alive by: stuffed owls, miniature porcelains, paper, books, ephemera, wool, fibre, chocolate, lollies, tarot cards, nail polish, shoes, felt-tips, doodle art, stationery, pictures of Johnny Depp, weird pottery and stamps (to name but a few).

Debrina said...

PS. the object of your current obsession? JUST Gorgeous!!! What yarns they all could tell, I'm sure! I love the way finds like this just fire up the ol' imagination. It's one of the reasons why I became a librarian! I'm secretly an archivist...I'd be a crap one though, coz all I'd do is make up cataloguing or processing or even preserving would get done.

deb said...

of course I find myself lusting after that cover, and thinking of ways to dismember it, but luckily for you the book fairy abandoned some books on my porch so you are safe ... for now!!!

~*~Patty Szymkowicz said...

Absolutely stunning piece you rescued Kim, how special that it went to someone that will treasure it always!
That back cover is WOW, the pages ... the nun ... be still my heart! It is in such great condition too!
What a find! I enjoyed every peek, thanks for sharing!

The Artist Within Us said...

I for one understand the obsession you speak of. I too collect old photographs and have decided to dedicate a blog to them in 2010, as their silent voices stirs my imagination to compose and weave stories based on the images. But lets us get back to your wonderful treasure . . .

I am very happy that you own this beautiful album, as I know you will take good care of it.

Enjoy your weekend,

Ro Bruhn said...

Ohhh Kim this is wonderful. I'd be scanning that wonderful cover and printing it out to use in other journals, and some of the pages too. What a delight.

alteredbits said...

oooh, gorgeous! i love each and every one of those magnificent photos and the cover! omg, i'm so in love. i want a mold of the back cover. i've been looking for something for ages and ages with a fabulous texture like that. when i find one, i'll make a mold for you too if you would use it (i'm becoming a resin clay junkie).

obsessions... i have TONS and look like a compulsive hoarder because of it. vintage photos are one, stone eggs, bones, bugs, ornate little rusty things... i could write a novel of obsessions, i think.