I’m often asked, just what is a vintage paper ephemera collage? ‘Ephemera’ is defined by Google as, “items of collectible memorabilia, typically written or printed ones, that were originally expected to have only short-term usefulness or popularity.” Things like ticket stubs, ads, old letters and envelopes, postcards, stamps, sewing patterns, posters, packaging, bubble gum cards, greeting cards… all of those things that we might not consider important enough to keep. Yet many of these things aren’t thrown away, and end up in piles or boxes at flea markets and garage sales. Some of them are crumbling and fragile, while others may be in remakably good shape. I’m always looking for these unique paper items that make me feel like I’m looking back though time, getting small glimpses into the lives of people who lived long ago. ‘Vintage’ is a term that may be a bit harder to pin down. How old does an object have to be to be considered vintage? The truth is, this term has no real meaning, except where it applies to the year a particular wine was made. The best definition I found comes from the Urban Dictionary: “Too old to be considered modern, but not old enough to be considered antique.” That said, some of the papers I use would be considered antique, because they are about 100 years old or more.
Regardless of what you call them, I love these old papers for two reasons: They’re unique and stand out from modern-looking papers, giving my work character and a feeling of connection with the past. Also, I’m recycling things that would probably, at some point, be thrown in the garbage, saving them to be enjoyed for years to come. The vintage papers I’ve used for this vintage paper ephemera collage are book pages (including Asian script) – some from a 100-year old bible; part of an old Italian postcard; vintage ledger paper, sheet music, and maps; an old magazine ad. Let Me Know has been embellished with an illustration from an old botany book, as well as dried flowers from my garden. With its soft ivory, beige, lavender and rose palette, it will bring beauty to any room in your home.
Let Me Know is an unframed collage on Multimedia Artboard, 5.5 x 7 inches, suitable for framing.