Posted in 3rd SHELF FROM THE TOP, Blog, Inspirations, Paper Ephemera

Art Deco – Paris 1929

The Art Deco period during the 1920’s and 1930’s, I think is one of the most stylish periods in the history of design.

The black and white advertisements I have found in my copies of the French magazine ‘L’Illustration’ of April 13th and April 20th 1929, are quite stunning in draftsmanship, humor, and little historical plots in the life in the chic Parisian lifestyle that men and women were aspiring to during this period between the First and Second World Wars.

1929 Art Deco Ladies Paris

If you compare the images from my earlier post on the L’Illustration magazine – 18th October 1913 edition, to the images here, it is quite remarkable the difference in style over the 10 year period from 1913 to 1929.

So what happened?

The 1925 Paris Exhibition was probably the biggest influence on style, design and architecture, and the birth of the Art Deco movement.

The First World War – 1914 to 1918  had a huge influence on the change in culture, particularly for women. (anyone who is watching Downton Abbey on the TV at the moment will know what I’m talking about – ITV – Sunday nights UK).

Life was meant to be gay and carefree – women where at last beginning to feel in their grasp the much strived for freedom in the fashions they wore, the sports they undertook and the wonderful new adventure that the motor car was providing.

Such a Romantic Period – Super Fast Cars – Gorgeous Watches – Holidays in Nice – 1920’s France was the place to be!

1929 Cars Paris France

Do you like these L’Illustration Magazines? if so, do look in my Etsy Vintage Shop – 3rd Shelf from the Top. They are for sale there INCLUDING the magazines that have the images illustrated here!

So go have a look. Here is the link to the THREE MAGAZINES that I am selling together:

October 18th, 1913 – April 13th, 1929 – April 20th, 1929

This is a great way to buy them, as the shipping costs are much lower if in a package of 3 magazines, so quite a bargain.

I would love to know who buys them and why.

Are you a designer who likes to collect historical documents of the early 20th Century? I must admit they are very inspiring when the creative juices are being stirred!

Perhaps you are a digital artist and need to add some more images to your library. I know a lot of you are very gifted Scrap booking and collage artists. I would love to see what you could do with these Art Deco images.

Are you learning French, or studying French history? L’Illustration magazine is a more interesting way to help you on your way with the French language and provide little snippets of French history, which was the daily news during the 1920’s.

Of coarse, you could just keep them on the coffee table and wallow in the wonderful world of the Parisian Lady of 1929. A little glimpse of her world, what she was buying, what she read……What was going on on April 20th 1929?

Posted in 3rd SHELF FROM THE TOP, Blog, Paper Ephemera

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside – The Old Suitcase

I love the flea markets that are in our region of South West France during the summer months. I found this battered old suitcase at one of them the other week. What a surprise  when I opened it up and found inside……..

All these books!

old French books

I just couldn’t resist – especially as the price was only 5 euros. OK, it was very heavy, but I hauled it back to the car, put it in the boot, and carried on looking around the rest of the Flea Market (‘brocante’ in French).

Can you see the maps in the background? I bought them at the same market – what a good mornings work!

And what was inside the books?

What a surprise! When I was delving into these old French paperback books, what did I find?

letter postcard envelope in old books


Bookmarks for most of us usually end up being the nearest piece of paper we can find at the time. And so it has been for most readers for many a year. I found a lovely little collection of impromptu bookmarks in my suitcase of battered books:

I. An old postcard from ‘Le Havre’, France

2. An old envelope from Paris in 1927

3. And a love letter!

More of these at a later date. Oh the romance of old paper ephemera!

Posted in 3rd SHELF FROM THE TOP, Blog, Paper Ephemera

French Military Map from WW2

Well the sun was shining again after a week of rain, it was Sunday and the market was on, and St.Antonin was having its annual brocante fair down by the river. What better way of spending an hour or two browsing. And we weren’t disappointed—we struck lucky— a guy from Toulouse with his wares spread before him on the grass saw me begin leafing through a folder of what looked like old maps…  “Don’t worry yourself,” he said, “you can have the lot for €10”. Maybe he was feeling generous as Denise already had an armful of other stuff of his she had snaffled. So it wasn’t till we got home that we could look through everything.

This particular map seems quite interesting — maybe any WW2 buffs out there can shed more light on the topic!  The map was printed in 1934, and subsequently amended on the 1st June 1939 by having it stamped “SECRET” and reserved for military use only. The bottom right-hand corner shows the river Rhine, and what appears to be German defensive guns/fortifications marked on with blue ink. Here’s a close-up image of this area.

The scale of this map is 1:20,000 which gives more detail than the current standard British Ordnance Survey Outdoor Leisure maps at 1:25,000. You can see all the individual field boundaries and areas of coppice and woodland. I must try and lay my hands on a modern map of the area — it would be great to compare the two and see all the changes and new building that’s taken place since the 1930s.

Posted in Let's Be Creative!

Garage/Car Boot Sales – Start Collecting!

When you are ‘Out and About’ – perhaps browsing around your local Car Boot or Garage Sale (called ‘brocante’ by the way in French), as well as looking for old frames for our tutorial, keep a look out for a few other items that we will be using in future DIY projects. For instance:

Old Keys
Interesting Postcards
Old Photos
Old Books with Interesting Text