Thursday, August 27, 2009

Needle Books

I love olde sewies! What are olde sewies? Well, to me they’re any kind of vintage item associated with sewing! Simple! This time around I’ll be talking about Needle Books. I have a nice little collection of them which started on my antique shop haunts a few years ago. Make sure you check the glass cases at the antique shops and flea markets, as sellers seldom leave these small items just lying around. With the internet and selling sites, you can find them all over the place!

Humble sewing-needle books are admired as tiny works of antique art. They offer a walk through history with their colorful pictures. They contained needles and sometimes the little needle threader. Many of the older needle books came with a variety of needles.

Few are dated, though some are marked Occupied Japan. Most were produced from the 1920’s to 1950’s or so, however, you can find some earlier. A bit of historical sleuthing can get you in the right era they were made by they style of clothes people are wearing, for example.

There were many categories of needle books like Advertising, Animals, Army/Navy, Baskets, Canadian, Children, Christmas, Fans, Flowers, Horseshoe, Pop Up, Space Series, Travel, Women Sewing, Worlds Fair and Zeppelin.

Many were promotional giveaways and clearly advertisements. They often feature a picture of a logo or product and they usually say nothing on the cover about “needles”.

Conditions of needle books can be a problem, as with most paper collectibles. Besides, needle books were meant to be used, not saved. I have duplicates of some books because I’d find one in even better shape down the road!

So what do you do with needle books? Well, you can frame them, display them in little baskets or even put them behind acid-free protective album sheets. It’s recommended to remove rusty needles from the books before you store them. With many historical items, keeping them out of the sun is always advised.

Enjoy the slide show below of some of my needle books!


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And now for a little FREEBIE! Who doesn't like free, right!
Click on the link below for a free pattern to make your own needle books to use with your prim dolls or sewing cases, whatever you like!


Blessings My Friends!

~ Barefoot Primitives ~


Click below to get your:



Sunday, August 16, 2009

Autograph Books

Simply put, an autograph book is a small book to collect autographs of others. Self explanatory…right? However, vintage autograph books, also known as album amicorum ("book of friends") or stammbuch ("friendship book”), included beautiful hand written personal messages and remembrances in stunning penmanship and calligraphy, poems, rhymes, little sayings from a bygone era, and even drawings.

Autograph books have been around for centuries! From the 15th until the mid-19th century, they were popular among university students of central Europe to have their personal bibles signed by classmates and instructors. Finally, their popularity began to diminish and they were replaced by yearbooks, though a considerable number of young women continued to exchange them.

The first true autograph books appeared in German and Dutch cultures by the mid-16th century. By the late 1800's, German immigrants transported the tradition to American culture.

It’s soothing to look through these vintage treasures with their personal thoughts and messages from a time when life might have been a bit slower and harder to boot. Long before computers and type writers were used by just about everyone, your hand writing spoke volumes of who you were, your education and your gender. I admit with all my typing, my scribbling would shame my ancestors!

You can find vintage autograph books in antique stores, estate sales and online. Prim crafters can make aged books with a few vintage pictures, cardboard and scrapbooking skills. Go ahead! Give it a try and take a step back in time.



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