Saturday, February 13, 2016

Weekend Window Shopping at Birdhouse Books

Hi all!

I have many vintage cards newly listed at Birdhouse Books this week.  I'm wrapping up Valentines (for now!) and have some Easter and St. Patrick's Day cards beginning Sunday evening.  You'll find all these pretties at Birdhouse Books on eBay.

Sharing just a few of the many new cards listed:

A little girl cuddles her cat on this vintage Valentine.

 A cute Beagle puppy takes a bubble bath on this vintage Valentine.


This vintage Valentine features a little girl wearing snowshoes.

A boy stands by a retro radio on this vintage Valentine.
A cute little terrier dog uses an old fashioned cash register on this vintage Valentine.

Two little fish swim in a goldfish bowl on this vintage Valentine.


A little girl dives from a diving board on this swimming theme vintage Valentine.
 
This lovely early 1900's vintage Easter postcard features iris flowers.


An Irish colleen stands by a flag with a silver harp on this vintage St. Patrick's Day postcard.


This vintage St. Patrick's Day postcard features a wooded glen, handshake, harp, and shamrocks:  "Dear Harp of My Country."


I hope you've enjoyed this peek into the windows at Birdhouse Books!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Dear Abby - Valentine Covers of Calling All Girls Magazine

Dear Friends,

It's almost Valentine's Day - a day of love.  Sigh!  I celebrate love every day.  I honestly can say I love everyone I meet.

I have some cute pictures to share with you today.  They are Valentine covers from Calling All Girls magazine.  This magazine was popular in the 1950's and 1960's, and the illustrations often featured a dachshund on the front cover.  How neat is that?!

This cover, from February 1960, shows a girl decorating a heart-shaped cake with the help of her dachshund.  (I bet the doxie will get a piece of cake!)


The dachshund on the cover of this February 1961 magazine is taking a break from helping with a Valentine project.  From the expression on the girl's face, I wonder if the dachshund may have helped a little too much.


At a Valentine's Day party, a girl is playing pin the tail on the dachshund.  Of course, her loyal doxie is helping.  This illustration is from February 1962.


This February 1963 Calling All Girls cover is all about perfume ... and since dachshunds are scent hounds, I bet the doxie will find a way to help.  


Wishing you a happy Valentine's Day!  I hope you enjoyed these vintage illustrations.

As always, I love to read your comments, as well as questions for future Dear Abby posts.

Love and xoxoxo,

Abby 

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Throwback Thursday - Vintage Valentine Memories


When I was a little girl, we made a Valentine box each year in school.  They were usually made from a shoebox, decorated with wrapping paper or foil and trimmed with accents like ribbon, doilies, and sequins.  On Valentine's Day, we would collect Valentines from our school friends in the box.

I remember shopping for Valentines.  Sometimes they came in a cellophane wrapped package.  Sometimes they were in a punch-out book.   I would spend time looking at the cards and deciding which Valentines to send to different friends. 

I still love Valentines today.  I collect vintage dachshund Valentines, and also sell vintage Valentines in my online shop, Birdhouse Books.   I really enjoy hunting for the cards and then listing them.

Here are a few 1960's vintage Valentines for your enjoyment.  These are all little die-cut cards for children.













I would love to hear your childhood Valentine memories in the comments, below.  Do you remember making Valentine boxes for school?  What type of cards did you enjoy giving and receiving?

Book Review - The Mapmaker's Children by Sarah McCoy

Book Synopsis
Have you ever wondered if your decisions could change the course of history? Questioned whether or not bad things happen for a reason? In Sarah McCoy's THE MAPMAKER'S CHILDREN: A Novel (in paperback February 9, 2016), two women's lives are inextricably linked as they struggle through personal conflicts and wade through mysterious secrets. As the chapters alternate between these two commanding female protagonists, the reader must redefine courage, family, and destiny alongside these two remarkable women.

Sarah Brown, the fiercely independent daughter of abolitionist John Brown, is a talented artist in 1860s West Virginia. When Sarah discovers that she cannot bear children, she turns her skills toward helping others and becomes one of the foremost mapmakers for the Underground Railroad. Taking cues from Slave Quilt codes, she hides maps within her paintings as the United States moves toward a bloody civil war.

Over one hundred and fifty years later, Eden Anderson, a modern-day woman struggling to conceive a child, moves into an old house in West Virginia as a last-ditch effort to save her marriage and start a family. When she stumbles across part of an old porcelain doll in the root cellar, Eden slowly uncovers a dramatic connection to the Underground Railroad.


McCoy, whose novel The Baker's Daughter was a nominee for the 2012 Goodreads Choice Award for Best Historical Fiction, spent three years researching the Brown family history. This research became the basis for her inventive narrative, one in which McCoy honorably portrays the spirit of the real Sarah Brown and imagines her ties to the fictional Eden. Skillfully plotted and magnificently transporting, THE MAPMAKER'S CHILDREN highlights the power of community and legacy, illustrating the ways in which history and destiny are interconnected on one enormous, intricate map.

Purchase Links

My Review
What a fascinating premise for a novel!   The Mapmaker's Children has several features that I especially love in a book.

First, it is beautifully detailed historical fiction, and I feel that I learned from reading this book.  Although I found the subjects of John Brown, the Underground Railroad, and cartography interesting, I knew very little about these topics before reading The Mapmaker's ChildrenThe historical details in this book are fascinating.

Second, it is a dual timeline novel.  It takes place in the past and also in the present.  Sarah McCoy handled this seamlessly.  I really cared about the characters of Sarah and Eden, and love how their stories worked together in this novel.

Third, it is beautifully written.  The descriptions were vivid, the characterizations were multi-dimensional, and I found myself absorbed in the story, staying up past my bedtime to see what happened next.  This is my first read by Sarah McCoy, and it will not be my last.

I enthusiastically recommend The Mapmaker's Children for other fans of historical fiction.  You are in for an enjoyable and engrossing read! 
 

Author Bio
SARAH McCOY is the New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author of the 2012 Goodreads Choice Award for Best Historical Fiction nominee The Baker's Daughter as well as The Time It Snowed in Puerto Rico and the novella "The Branch of Hazel" in Grand Central. She has taught English writing at Old Dominion University and at the University of Texas at El Paso. She calls Virginia home but presently lives with her husband and their dog, Gilly, in El Paso, Texas.

Sarah enjoys connecting with her readers on Twitter at @SarahMMcCoy, on her Facebook Fan Page or via her website, www.sarahmccoy.com.

I received this book from TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.