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Crafting With a Vintage Look, Issue #021- Free Tea Party Vintage Images, and Melynda Van Zee!
May 12, 2009

Issue #021 - Spring has struck California and we're knee-deep in flowers and practically batting the hummingbirds away. And lots of bright yellow birds we don't know the name of - Finches? Canaries? They love our big fountain and are constantly darting in for a quick bath and drink. It is the perfect time of year to have an old-fashioned tea party on the lawn - and watch the birds frolic.

This special May edition of Crafting With a Vintage Look is a week early because we just couldn't wait to share a few great things:

  • Brew some vintage image magic with our FREE collage sheet for May, Tea Party I.
  • Make a Tea Party Invitation with a charming vintage look!
  • Dive into our new (and scandalous) Image Book,
    Bathing Beauties I.
  • Meet the passionate artist and author of Painted Scrapbook Pages, Melynda Van Zee.

Let's get crafting...

FREE Collage Sheet
Tea Party I

"You are cordially invited..." to download our FREE collage sheet, Tea Party I. The three, colorful vintage images have very different stories.

The vintage trade card was printed around 1900 to advertise White House Teas, and it shows two little girls having a very elegant tea party. Over the Teacup, is by the famous illustrator Harrison Fisher from a 1907 postcard. And finally, a frisky kitten makes himself comfortable at the tea party in a sugar bowl, in this 1921 children's book illustration.

These are great images for cards or gifts - as you'll see later in this newsletter!

As our free gift to you, click below to download a PDF file of this one-page collage sheet, Tea Party I:

Download PDF: Tea Party I

If the image link above doesn't work for you, type into your browser:

Craft This Vintage Tea Party Invitation
(using your FREE Tea Party I collage sheet!)

Our crafty friend, June, sent us an invitation to tea! She included two surprises: First, she slipped a tea bag into the pocket on the front of the card. Second, she used the Trade Card vintage image from our Tea Party I collage sheet. You can too!

You can recreate her card, or a variation, with these hints:

  1. Fold a 10" X 7" piece of cream card stock to make a 5" X 7" card.
  2. Lightly mist a piece of green construction paper with household bleach from a spray bottle, and set it in the sun for a few minutes. You'll get a speckled and faded look - immediately. This is one of June's (and Carol Duvall's) favorite paper tricks.
  3. Trim the green paper to 4.5" X 6.5" with decorative scissors. Rub the edges lightly with dark green pastel or colored pencil (June didn't tell us exactly what she used). Glue the green panel in the center of the front of the card.
  4. Resize the vintage image to 4.25" X 2.75" and print it on matte photo paper. Put craft glue on the back left and right edges, place a teabag under the center, and glue the image to the front of the card, clamping or pressing the glued edges until the glue is dry.
  5. Hand-write your "Join me for a cup of tea" message on the upper right corner in your favorite fancy ink. Glue on a couple of heart-shaped buttons or charms on the left.

Very clever, June! Thank you for letting us share this - and yes, we'll be over for tea.

Drop us a note if you have any questions - or have any card designs that you'd like to share!

Scandalous Bathing Beauty Images at
Our Vintage Image Download Gallery

From Bathing Beauties I

Cover your childrens' eyes! A Victorian day at the beach had a strict dress code - but a bared ankle or elbow could still raise a blush! These are some of the cutest and slightly risque vintage images of Bathing Beauties, frolicking in their bathing dresses.

Martin's mother collected these and kept them in a plain brown album! We've scanned them at a high resolution and gathered them into a four-page collection that will come in very handy for scrapbooking your own day at the beach!

Our goal is to create the "picture perfect" image resource for your crafts, scrapbook and altered art projects. We are proud to invite you to browse our first offerings of our Vintage Image Download Gallery.

If the link above doesn't work for you, type into your browser:

(You can also visit our Etsy store at VintageImageCraft on Etsy!)

Interviews with Artists and Authors

A few months ago, Martin and I were browsing on opposite ends of our local Borders bookstore. I casually picked up "Painted Scrapbook Pages," by Melynda Van Zee. Within 30 seconds I was calling out - "Martin, come look at this great book!" 15 minutes later, we knew we wanted to buy Melynda's book, try every technique she described, and somehow talk with the wizard Melynda herself. And it all came to pass!

Photo of Melynda Van Zee, author and crafterMelynda Van Zee remembers her grandmother's scrapbooks, and how they held precious family history and stories. As Melynda grew older and began to accumulate family stories of her own, it felt natural to gather them into scrapbooks and journals. Many years later, she looked around with surprise - "Suddenly, I discovered what I had been doing all those years had become a trend!"

For 14 years, Melynda taught art and creativity to children and adults, in both school and community settings. Then, during one particularly creative week, two of her loves, scrapbooking and decorative painting, came together in a crash of inspiration. She began toying with painting techniques on some scrapbook pages. As she became more inspired, her experiments led to a new style of scrapbook storytelling that was among "the most satisfying pieces of art I have ever created." She continued to explore her new-found medium, and in 2006, she launched her unique line of scrapbook papers through Sugar Tree Scrapbooks. But, like the art teacher she is, she took her creation to a broader audience and fully shared her techniques in her first book for Lark Books, Painted Scrapbook Pages. In it, Melynda offers almost 40 painting techniques for creating distinctive, individualized page backgrounds, from faux surfaces (sponging, marbling, crackling) to brushing, stamping, and lettering.

Learn how you can super-charge your scrapbooking with creativity, and why Melynda's company is so appropriately named Melynda's Passion.

Read our entire Melynda Van Zee interview here.

Creative Books 'n Blogs

Just last week, we became acquainted with Cynthia Jennings ("CJ") of Sweet Harvest Farms. Cynthia is a "Purveyor of Country Farmhouse Primitives, Luxurious Goat's Milk Soap, Folk Art & Whimsy" - and it is all there, along with soy candles and some great potpourri. Browse around and be sure to see CJ's artwork and collectibles. And for an encyclopedia of prim art sites, see her "Favorite Sites" page! Drop in to Sweet Harvest Farms or follow CJ's nourishing blog,

Next issue:

Contest results: There were several valiant guesses, but no one correctly picked out Martin's father from this 1936 family photo of Grandma Bray and her nine children (and others).

(Martin's father, Everett, is standing in back, third from the right)

We are awarding a prize though to Valerie, for her creative (but unsuccessful) use of a Ouija Board to help with her guess. Nice try, Valerie!

By May 20, we should have our 4th of July issue ready to go - if we get busy on those red, white and blue crafts! We'll also have another FREE collage sheet, with a "graduation" theme!

Keep writing to us - it's always a joy!


Scott & Martin

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