Monday, July 29, 2013

Found It: Magazines

I went down to the farm today after picking up some aluminum blanks so I can make some more clocks for this weekend's art show at Loring Park in Minneapolis.  It's my first time there and I'm really excited.  But, since I was down there I thought I'd take advantage of our freakishly mild weather (70 degrees in July?  WHAA?) and peek in the sheds.  I won't have a show until the middle of September, so I'd better collect some stuff to put up on The Retro Ranch's Etsy page in the meantime.

Today was a day for magazines! 
American Girl, July 1967//Inside advice column asking question about fixing
your hair after a 50-mile motorcycle ride with your main squeeze!

Co-Ed magazine, March 1968//Inside spread of EXCITING ROOMS.  Are you excited?

Movie Teen Illustrated, July 1967
Get me a ticket on that train!

Woman's Day, August 1966
If you know me at all, you'll know that this is my thing.
American Girl, April 1968
Quite the souvenir, darling.

Quinto Lingo, June 1966
Five languages, one magazine.

So, where did I dig these up?  Well, one of the open-sided sheds has lots of storage places, and lots of junk in those places.  Someday I hope I can get this all cleaned out so my parents can either use it as a better storage area, a garage, or tear the mother down and start fresh.  It's already sorta falling down, so it wouldn't take much to demolish.

The locker on the left was holding a box
(Right picture) That box had the magazines in it.
The red arrow is pointing to the box, if you couldn't tell.
There are hazards to picking, one being small stingy critters.  Today it was cool and there weren't many mosquitos or bees, and this shed doesn't generally harbor as many ticks as the others, so I felt comfortable not having to suit up in full HAZMAT gear to go in.  But...they always leave reminders that they have reigned over the space, even if it was long ago:
Okay, stay cool man, stay cool.

Looks good, right?
Here's one for scale:
Pretty awesome.  Glad this has been abandoned, but it was quite
a shock the first time I saw it.

I'm going to use the magazines as inspiration, backgrounds for frameables, and maybe take them apart and sell the ads (I found some nice Reader's Digests, too).  Considering they've been in a box in a locker in a shed for at least twenty-five years, they're in great shape. 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Found It: Diseases of Cattle!

So...gross.  These are gross, at least the colored ones, but, actually, also pretty cool?  And the black and white illustrations are quite exquisite just as pieces of art.  Check it out and if you stick around you can learn about how I got these things.

Who wants Tuberculous Lungs and Contagious Pleuro-Pneumonia?!

Ergotism and more tuberculosis!

The miracle of birth...? Sold to a lucky buyer in New York.

And my favorite: MONSTROSITIES!

I pulled these pages from the book “Special Report on Diseases of Cattle” by Dr. Atkins, et al., 1908.  As our farm used to be an actual working farm, this book may really have been used at some point.  It was, however, buried deep in the barn under many other things, including several other books, so who knows when it got there, let alone saw the light of day last.
Considering that all sorts of critters probably scuttled across the binding of this book over the last century, the pages are in great shape.  There's a nice patina along the edge and a few pages that have some water spots, but otherwise, perfectly frameable!  I've sent three sets of these plates to New York and Texas, and although I don't know what finally happened to them (framed or used in a piece of art or something), I'm glad that I could save them from their inevitable demise.
I'm keeping the Monstrosities page, though.  It's too cool.
The book pages I pull from worm-eaten old books or papers I find are in my Paper Ephemera section of The Retro Ranch's Etsy store.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Found It: Cans!

As a farmer, Grandpa was quite scrappy: waste not, want not.  He loved to organize his nails, bolts, tacks, and all other small things in old coffee cans, because, why buy an organizer that's basically the same thing?  Usually, he would then immediately forget about them and start again with more cans, filling them with whatever weird little doo-dads he ended up purchasing at an auction.  I get a wild hair about me, too, and organize ALL THE THINGS, then forget where I put them, and entropy reigns until I feel I need to dig around again for that thing I just KNOW that I have SOMEWHERE AROUND HERE.

Anyway, I found some cans on my excursion to the farm months ago and finally have a break in art-making to sort through it all, shoot some pictures, and list them in The Retro Ranch's Etsy shop.


I love the blue and orange on this one!

Wish I had the lid for this, but who needs lids on a farm?
Pansies, that's who!

Large Mobiloil can...fancy gold for your fancy garage.

Fleming's was a Kansas City based coffee!
I hear it was rich in flavor.

The 1970s loved to put the real thing in the ads.
I find it unnecessary.
Hopefully I can send these out to folks who want to reuse some old cans for planters, pencil holders (I have one on my work desk for this purpose--bonus: it's magnetic), or their own nail/washer/bolt organizers just like Grandpa Bill.

See the whole collection here.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

June Art Shows

I've been pretty busy this month--three art shows in two states covering over a thousand miles on the road.  It's been great!  As I am just starting out in this business (relatively speaking), it has been so nice to have a show goal to make work for, try new things out, and learn about different shows and cities. 

With every new show comes a new set up.  Even if the conditions are the same, I'm always tweaking and rearranging my booth, trying to strike a balance between showing my work, being available for customers, but not in their faces (because...awkward). 
Notice I had both clocks and wall art for sale here.
 So, I don't love the way this looks from far away, but it does the job.  I added a set up of my Frameables on the right side above the bins, which helped.  But being able to see into my "back stage" area under the panel legs bothered me.  Also, my table in the back was too big, so I actually bought a new one!  I never buy stuff, but there are some things that the 21st century has done right, and it's collapsable plastic tables with telescoping legs. 

This was my second time at Liberty Arts Squared, where I was awarded Best of Show last year.  My set up was similar last year.

Looks less like a yard sale!
Much better!  I added a drape to my back stage table and brought new "smallies" (art and individual letters) to sell.  As I hadn't used them in a set up before this, I was forced to wing it when I got to show day.  I added some different tables and coverings (it's amazing what you can find in your basement).  I still feel like the wall behind my check out table is a little empty, so I might play around with something to put back there.  Penants are SO HOT right now...dare I take the plunge that so many party-decorators have been inspired by from Pinterest?

This was my first year at Iowa Arts Fest and, can I just say, Iowa City is a great place with nice people and a lovely college town feel.  The show runners were very attentive, as well!
Throw a wrench into it: indoor show!
Des Moines has two art shows the last weekend of June: the Des Moines Art Festival (a.k.a. the Downtown Show) and ArtFest Midwest: "Other" Art Show, indoors at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.  Aside from being a more economical show for artists and patrons alike, one doesn't have to schlep a whole tent with walls and stabilizing bars and all that when admitted to The Other Show.  Or, at least I don't bring those things.  SO. MUCH. EASIER.  Except I had to figure out just how to set up here, since I didn't have those mesh walls and whatnot to use.  So I switched it way up and put myself out front to better showcase my Frameables against a black background.  I got lucky that my neighbor was using their fancy ProPanels to hang their art and our work wasn't fighting (visually).  I had to use my brain a little more since it was my first time with this configuration inside, but I'm pleased with the result.

My second visit to The Other Art Show was great and I exceeded my sales from the first time I participated two years ago, which is all I ask for most of the time.

I have July "off"--which means I'll be playing catch-up from June, and then I'm off to Minneapolis for the first time!  Loring Park Art Festival is one of three festivals that weekend in Minneapolis, and I'm excited to see what that's all about.  I'm sure I'll change my set up again, because I just can't help myself.