Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Vintage reds for Rednesday

(Please visit Sue at It's A Very Cherry World for more Rednesday fun!)

Needing a little pick-me-up and distraction over here so I thought I'd get back in the saddle and do a Rednesday post of some family treasure I found recently.

I found these wonderful items belonging to my maternal great grandmother's sister-in-law. I think she was what was deemed a "spinster" long ago - she attended college, became a teacher and so far I cannot find that she ever married. I think she must have come to live with her brother and my great grandmother (or with her mother and her items were passed down to my grandmother).

Dear Aunt Lulu. I think she has the sweetest face. Did she really never have a "suitor"? Her school notebooks suggest an excellent and curious mind - perhaps she was an early feminist, wanting/needing to have her own voice, not wanting to give up her own pursuits, as women had to do back then?

(Lulu, in the forefront, seated on the ground,
wearing the same dress as the photo before,
wonder what the occasion was? High School
or College Graduation or???)

I am sharing a red(ish) autograph album that was given to her by three friends and also her red marbled paper-covered notebook from Carleton College, Northfield, MN, dated 1890.

I know my gnome, sprite, elf and fairy loving friends will adore this one! Isn't the little gnome charming?! The cover is velvet and I can't begin to guess what the image is made out of??? Would anyone know by any chance what the material used would be? It's thin and looks like plastic but I didn't think plastic existed in the late 1800's?

The inside has a lovely vintage graphic with a fairy riding on a bumble bee, surrounded by flowers and birds.

For some reason, this lovely treasure was never shared, never passed around for the collection of autographs, the pages left bare. Even so, I have a feeling that it was much loved, being taken out and looked upon, sweet memories of youth rekindled.

(the penmanship in the inscription is absolutely gorgeous!)

Oh my gosh ... and this, her college notebook with her course notes. Her handwriting and neatness are a marvel to me. How on earth does one take "neat and tidy" notes?! I sure never could or did.

I've only just started to read it but I thought this might be an interesting page to share with you ...
Oct. 9

By President Strong

Subject: How to gain concentration of thought.

Use your will power.
Be methodical.
Count every moment worth something.
Learn by your own practice how you can best do what you have to do.
Learn self-dependence. Do not allow others to do your work.
Do not forget the real object of education. The great end of education is not to acquire mere facts but to gain power.

(the "gain power" bit kind of freaks me out! Really, the purpose of education is to gain power? Really??? YIKES, such a weird thought and use of words.)


  1. This is a great post, Sally. These are wonderful keepsakes. The cover of the album is wonderful. I don't know what it could be made of (the only thing that came to my mind was ivory) but it is a piece of art in itself.

  2. Lulu was a precious child and grew up to be a lovely woman too. I have no idea how she could write so neatly in her college notebook. Mine certainly never looked that neat and tidy. Very nice post!

    Susan and Bentley

  3. Hi, I popped over from Rednesday and really enjoyed your sweet family memories. I'm so sorry to read about your dad and am praying for all of you!

  4. These are such wonderful family heirlooms, and I always secretly suspected that fairies ride around on bumblebees! How charming! I think that decoration on the front might be made of celluloid, or some call it French Ivory. It's really beautiful, and thankfully it's now in the hands of someone who really cherishes it!
    Happy REDnesday!

  5. A great family sharing. You have some real treasures and keepers with them. You did a very nice job assembling it all together.

  6. Oh, Sally, I'm so glad you're here this week! Wonderful photographs. I'm one of those fairy-lovin' people - great gnome graphic. It probably is celluloid, as Carol mentioned as it was invented in the late 1800's.

  7. Red seems to wear well, even when it's vintage!


    “Oh, my goodness, oh, my dear!
    Don’t you think it’s very clear
    That a red-less day’s a drag?”
    Said Ms. Foxy Scarlet Hag.

    © 2011 by Magical Mystical Teacher

    Lazy Days

  8. Sally,

    What a wonderful post. I am going through lots of family items found in a brief case. I found an autograph book and the penmanship is just gorgeous.

    I am a new follower and I am liking the Rednesday blogs!


  9. Beautiful photo album. Don't you love the illustrations inside. The firt picture is delightful-that coat is spectacular. I've seen handwriting lately framed and hung up to display.