Category Archives: Vintage Graphics

Loving these Midcentury Preschool Puzzles!

I was at the thrift store when I spied this little friend. The cover was a bit unassuming, but when I opened the box I was SO excited to see a collection of amazing illustrations staring back at me. The style is so terrific….playful and fun. I wish I could figure out who the illustrator was! Hmmm. The theme for this set is SHAPES. Let’s take a lil look!

THIN THINGS! I love the carrots and that clever lamp post! OK that worm is pretty cute too.

FAT THINGS! Heh. OK, so it’s *totally* not PC, but that walrus?? Adorable! And the piggie!

SHORT THINGS! Cute cute cute! The chip monk is a little bit Charley Harper no? And I just love that snail! And the mushroom.

TALL THINGS! Oh tall things….this one might be my favorite. The lollipop tree with tire swing! That super hip dad with his white tie! A clown on stilts! Even the skyscraper is cute. Alas, the flagpole is missing. But I love these!

I know these are for really little kiddos, but I was always a big puzzle fan. I’m trying to encourage Wolfie to do them with me too! Do you like puzzles?

Cover Lovers // Groovy Album Art

When it comes to vintage record albums, it’s TOTALLY ok to judge a book by its cover! Even if the inside record is a bit beat up, the cover can still sing. I’ve started posting some fun record finds on instagram—you can follow along too if you like! I’m @galexina over there. Post your own record finds and tag me  and the tag #coverlover so I can find you too! I’m also thinking this could be a good way to document cool things without buying them…..hmmm,

Charley Harper, you’re our guy.



Ahhh, Charley Harper! Charley Harper was a Cincinnati-based American artist who was best known for his highly stylized wildlife illustrations. His work has an amazing simplicity and charm—I just love it. And of course designer Todd Oldham loves him too. He and Charley developed a unique friendship and Oldham made it a passion of his to expose as many people as possible to his work. Since Charley’s passing in 2007, he has worked with the Harper estate to produce a ton of cool things. Like The Big Book of Charley (ok, ok, it’s really called Charley Harper: An Illustrated Life). This huge book (it’s gigantic) is a stunner. I don’t own it, but I’ve seen it and let’s just say you’ll need a big coffee table. (little tip, the book is a bit pricey, due to it’s large size, but it’s worth every penny! They re-issued it in a resized, smaller version that is much cheaper—$20— but I hear the quality isn’t quite as good. If you find a great deal on the book, make sure you check the size to see if you are buying the smaller version or the original!).

When Todd Oldham was at Old Navy (remember? he was the Creative Director for a while! I had totally forgotten about that…) he produced a really adorable kid’s collection, featuring Charley Harper artwork—board books, a memory game, a coloring book. We have them all and they are awesome.

In a style he called “minimal realism”, Charley Harper was able to capture the essence of his subjects as simply as possible. When asked to describe his art style, Harper replied,

“When I look at a wildlife or nature subject, I don’t see the feathers in the wings, I just count the wings. I see exciting shapes, color combinations, patterns, textures, fascinating behavior and endless possibilities for making interesting pictures.” — Frame House Gallery excerpt, 1977

Isn’t it gorgeous?? Of course you’ve probably heard about the new Todd Oldham line for Target, Kid Made Modern. It’s REEEALLY cute stuff….like these Paint By Numbers!

And then I discovered these adorable wood figures—little birds and leaves that you and your kiddo can paint. Sweet! I can’t wait to do these with Wolfie! {there are a ton of  other non-Charley Harper goodies in this line, I posted a bunch of photos on instagram under my handle: @galexina. You can see them here. You can also see more of the line in Last Month’s Hootenanny. #8 over here!)

Do you love his work as much as I do?? And are you planning on hitting up Target to scoop up some Kid Made Modern goodies??

Sneaky Color :: 45 Record Love

I totally remember the first 45 record I had: Dancing Queen by those satin loving Swedes, ABBA.  I’d fire up my little record player and hop around to the awesome disco goodness. I eventually accumulated quite the little stash of 45s and even though I was only seven, I remember feeling like a massively cool teenager spinnin’ my hot tunes. (Oh wow, I remembered that for my First Communion, my neighbor Cheryl Hazel gave me a copy of the awesomely inappropriate record Afternoon Delight as a present…HAH! I think it was included with “Disco Duck”. But that’s a whole other story.)

Like most music lovers, I have a huge fondness for vinyl. But I have to say that 45’s are a little bit of the forgotten stepchild. Not only are they tons of fun, they often came in really cool little mini sleeves—usually with artwork that was a little bit different than that on the album. I think these would look GORGEOUS framed (without the record) or hung on a piece of fancy twine with mini clothes pins (if you keep the record inside).  Take a look at some of these. Pretty spectacular and SO very colorful!


What do you think? Pretty swank huh. Kavel Rafferty agrees because she has put together an amazzzzzzing collection of 45 record sleeve art. Stop by her site to see them all!