Let us put by some hour of every day for holy things...

Think on th' eternal home,
The Saviour left for you;
Think on the Lord most holy, come
To dwell with hearts untrue:
So shall ye tread untired His pastoral ways,
And in the darkness sing your carol of high praise.

--from Keble's The Christian Year, Thoughts in Verse



Saturday, October 22, 2016

Mittens and Naughty Kittens

This morning I spent some time fooling around with the sewing machine and some old sweaters. I made my granddaughter a pair of mittens with a pattern I purchased from an Etsy seller last year, and then got inspired and contrived a stocking cap for her as well.

The mitten pattern is available through the link below.
The hat I came up with on my own, which explains the lame excuse for a "bow" attached to the headband.



Making the mittens was rather fun and easier than one would expect. I like it, too, as a way to use up old sweaters, felted or not. You can get your pattern here from Etsy shop FibersandTwigs:


So that's that for the projects.

Now I want to show you some of the finds I nabbed on my recent junk outing, notable because I discovered, after bringing them home, that they're actually worth a bit.

What I bought were three postcard books featuring cats. I found them in a thrift shop where they were priced at $1.00 each, but it was a buy-one-get-one-free day so, with the other things I purchased there, they came out to 50 cents apiece.

My thought was that they would simply be cute little cards to send in the mail to granddaughters (kids love to get mail) and also to enclose in packages as fun freebies when customers buy something from my Etsy shop. 

Let me run them by you one by one.

First off, I found this 1987 publication, The Cat Postcard Book.
Of course, some ninnyhammer had to put an adhesive price tag on the front, but since I was buying these for my own use, that didn't deter me. This book contains "30 full color portraits by renowned artists", all of which are intact. Here's a peek at a couple of them:



I went to my trusty used book site to check out what this book might be selling for should I decide to go ahead and sell it, and was staggered to see only 19 copies of it available, and the average price was $24. Of course, prices varied up and down the scale, with one seller having the temerity (or nerve!) to price their copy at $100.51, and a few others willing to take a pittance, but on the whole, this appears to be a desirable book that it might be worth my while to offer for sale. As it is, it's my least favorite of the three postcard books I found, so I could part with it without pain.

The second book is definitely more in my line, being totally absurd and fun. This is a 1982 book entitled Catcards, Purrfect for Every Occasion by artist/author Victoria Chess. 

Again with the adhesive tag--sigh. But forget that. It's what's inside that counts:




Billed as a "wonderful collection of 24 unique Catcards, all absolutely purrfect for sending or saving, framing or fun" it, like the book above, is complete and unmarked. 


Of this book, I found only three other copies available, the lowest priced at $8.37 and the highest at $148.08! (I know you're mad to know the price of the one in the middle--it was $24.95.)

Okay, now for the final book, which I've saved for last because 
a. It's my favorite,
b. It's NOT vintage, and 
c. It's fabulous!

This book has the simple title Cat People, was published in 2000 by a Seattle company, and includes 30 postcards which are reproductions of cards produced in Switzerland from about 1940 - 1960. The artist's name was Eugen Hartung. Again, all of them are present and intact.

Here are two of the postcards; it was difficult to decide which ones to share as they are all fascinating and delightful.



I've always thought of these images as "Mainzer cats", which is how they are usually referred to on Etsy and other sites, because of the Belgian publisher Alfred Mainzer who published most of the later designs. The originals are highly collectible; what's nice about postcard collecting is that it isn't an overly expensive hobby, and it's a whole lot of fun! It would be a nice collection for a young person to begin.


www.etsy.com/listing/472596061/vintage-mainzer-cats-postcard-looking, $5.00, original card


Okay, here's what I found about the value of this book. It's not as high as the Catcards book, but the prices are definitely more consistent. There are 10 copies available on Alibris, and they start at $18 and go up to about $95. This means they average out to about $57 each. Not bad for a 50 cent investment!

If you'd like to learn more about these sought-after postcards, you can read more at mainzercats.com.



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