Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Pardon My French (Ephemera)

Last weekend had to be a record here. Thirteen estate sales were advertised around the city. I can't remember another weekend with that many sales!

Sadly, since this was one of the first warm and nice weekends we've had here, I felt compelled to finish cleaning up the flower beds and pruning rose bushes and shrubs. That left little time for estate sales, but I did make it to one--the one closest to where I live.

I'm always on the prowl for ephemera I can incorporate into my handmade journals and wasn't disappointed at this sale.

My take included what I think is a French notebook--it's difficult to tell from the cover--and a French dictionary, as well as a cute bakery receipt book, a large stack of yellowed penmanship paper and several decks of playing cards with interesting themes. All the finds are vintage.

I don't know French, so I'm not sure what the cover of this journal says. Inside are several pages of handwriting. Guess I'll have to enlist my hubby to try to translate some of it for me. He knows a little French.

While not in the best condition, the journal is precious. The handwriting makes it so personal.

Whose was it?

What does it say?

Is it full of deep thoughts or is it merely a place to practice writing in French?

Regardless, I won't dismantle this gem for my journal and decoupage projects. I plan to digitize a few pages so I can leave the book intact and still use some of the handwriting.

At the same sale, I acquired a sweet little French/English dictionary. The cover is in pathetic condition, with the spine nearly completely detached. Someone had tried mending it, front and back, with masking tape. So sad.

Measuring about five inches square, it was printed in 1945. Considering the condition of the cover, the inside pages are in good vintage condition. They have that nice "yellow-with-age" hue.

Nice inscription inside the cover. Wish I knew what it says.

The receipt book is from Dale and Helene's Big Horn Bakery of Basin, Wyoming. The "fill-in-the-blank" date on the receipts indicates it's from the 1950s.  Could be as old as I am. Not many pages left in the pad, but what's there is in very good vintage condition.

Looks great on the antique Hoosier cabinet with some of my vintage kitchen items.

It's always a successful weekend when I come home with interesting ephemera.

Make it a great day!


  1. Your French notebook it fabulous, the only word I recognise is ...
    appartenant which I believe means belonging.
    Such pretty handwriting, oh what fun you will have trying to figure it all out.

  2. Oh my! So love that French notebook and gorgeous French dictionary. Such lucky finds for your journals. Love the handwriting too!

  3. I love the little Bakery Receipt Book! Whenever I buy something in a foreign language I always use Google Translate. You could try it. Lovely finds!

  4. Such beautiful Frenchy finds....can be used in so many wonderful ways:) And I really love the beautiful handwriting inside :) I bet it will be a lot of fun finding out what it says....thanks for sharing with us~hugs, Poppy

  5. Your French Finds are Fabulous! Such pretty handwriting!

  6. Wonderful finds--the French script is lovely. I recently found a partial journal with handwriting I liked and a photocopied several copies to use in some altered art projects and it looked original. That way I couls save the original and keep making copies. I think the notebook cover says, "Notebook of Songs belonging to ..."

  7. The notebook is entitled "Cahier des Chansons." Roughly: Song Notebook or Notebook of Songs. You've already got the "belonging to" in the post above. The last part is the name of the girl who owned it. First name is Agatha. I can't make out all the letter in the last name. (That is some fancy handwriting there.) The first letter of the last name is a "W" I think.

    As for the inscription in the other book it says that the book is a gift from a Belgian cousin to another cousin, so that she (the other cousin) "won't ever forget French." (Again loose translation, but that's the gist of it.

  8. Love vintage ephemera and your finds are exquisite... I found a couple of old books written in chinese the other day - they are so cool and will find their way into some of my scrapbook projects....

  9. Good finds I would say for sure love the books and your kitchen finds
    I use Google Translate when I am trying to read literature of another language ,however EM did a good job for you LOL


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