Christmas Angel Book

Merry Christmas, everyone.

With love,
The Ward-O-Matic

The Christmas Angel Book

The Christmas Angel Book 2

The Christmas Angel Book 3

The Christmas Angel Book 4

The Christmas Angel Book 5

The Christmas Angel Book 6

The Christmas Angel Book 7

The Christmas Angel Book 8

The Christmas Angel Book 9

The Christmas Angel Book 10

The Christmas Angel Book 11

The Christmas Angel Book by William Dugan. ©1965 Golden Press, Western Publishing Company, Inc.

William (or Bill) Dugan is one of my favorite illustrators, creating some of the more interesting and colorful books for children during the midcentury era. There were certain details that Bill focused on for some of his pieces, like the hair and fabic, that stood out from the usual stuff.

We read this each year for Christmas.


At least you've got the spirit

If you never saw a white Christmas back in the day, you didn't have to fret. The stores always carried some instant snow for you to spray on your windows, right? To make it even more festive, you could also grab some stencils and make some pretty nifty snow decorations up on the windows themselves. Nice. Here's a couple of packs of Christmas stencils from the 50's for you to check out:

Paas Christmas Stencil Kit
All the stencils in this Paas Christmas Stencil Kit are intact and have never been punched out.

Paas Christmas Stencil Kit - back
I think this is the time when you say "How jolly!" Because that's what we say when we see a Santa Claus face. He's a jolly fellow.

Aero Snow Christmas Stencils
All the stencils are still in this one, too, but have been punched out—two with some paint residue. Guess they didn't want to use the fake snow. Love the cool illustration on the cover of this kit. Dig the kids.

Aero Snow Christmas Stencils - back
The ones that have paint on them are the "Merry Christmas" one (they used red AND white) and the angel praying.

And here, you've got a can of Instant Snow:
Instant Snow
I took this photo last year, during the freak massive snow storm that hit Portland around Christmas time. There's a winter wonderland right behind me when I took this shot.

On the back there's a warning:


Contents under pressure. Do not puncture. Do not throw into fire or incinerator. Keep out of the reach of children. Do not allow children or pets to eat snow.

Gotta remember that last one.


Some Seasonal Ephemera

Howdy, kids. Hope you're getting into the Christmas-y mood. I know that there's snow on the ground over half of the country right now (well, I'm pretty sure it is, I think), so that's a good thing, right? Unless you're having to go out in said weather and get stuck in parking lots and long lines at the Post Office. In that case, sorry.

Well, to help you get in the mood, I've been saving these things for you. A couple of booklets, one from 1958, the other from 1954:

KVP Season's Greetings
KVP Season's Greetings: Christmas 1958: a booklet of carols for Christmastime. Illustrator: Hank Kolodziej.

In case you want to know, KVP stands for Kalamazoo Vegetable Parchment Company. You're welcome.

By the way, I did a little research on Hank Kolodziej, and all I could find was this item on Ebay and a mention in this exhibit on automobile ads during the 60's and 70's, called Drawing Power: Motor City Ad Art in the Age of Muscle and Chrome. Awesome. Sounds like my kinda guy.

Here's some of the other spreads in this booklet (there's more in my Flickr):

KVP Season's Greetings 2

KVP Season's Greetings 4

KVP Season's Greetings 5

KVP Season's Greetings 9

KVP Season's Greetings 10

KVP Season's Greetings 11

KVP Season's Greetings 12
The image above is the inside cover, front (on left) and back (on right).

The following is a little book on Christmas Trees, barely 12 pages long. Something I found in a bundle of various ephemeral items at some antique shop. Didn't really know what it was, but once I opened it up and saw all the wonderful drawings, I had to get it. Plus, the text is by T. S. Eliot. I mean, c'mon! Great stuff.

The Cultivation of Christmas Trees
The Cultivation of Christmas Trees, by T. S. Eliot. Typography, binding and decorations by Enrico Arno. ©1954, 1956.

Enrico Arno has a great style here. This book looks pretty interesting. I might have to buy it.

The Cultivation of Christmas Trees 2
The note in the corner says: "Merry Christmas and Happy New Year - Ward Taylor 1956." Now, what are the odds that a guy named "Ward" actually gave this as a gift over 50 years ago? And that another Ward found it? Boggles the mind.

The Cultivation of Christmas Trees 3

The Cultivation of Christmas Trees 4

The Cultivation of Christmas Trees 5

The Cultivation of Christmas Trees 6

New Holiday avatar
Oh, and one more thing. Thought I'd get into the spirit of things by creating a new icon for Flickr & Twitter. 'Tis the Season! Here's to a great and wonderful Christmas Season, guys.


Free Shipping ends tomorrow!

A gentle reminder that the Early Bird Special: FREE SHIPPING over at The Ward-O-Matic Shop ends at the end of the day TOMORROW! That's Sunday, December 6th.

If this'll make it easier for you to decide on whether or not you'd like to order a print, I doodle something different on each and every shipping invoice that's included with the shipment. Here's one example (actual doodle on an actual invoice, scanned for your pleasure):


The character varies, but always done with a smile.

It gets better, too. I also draw something special on the front (and back!) of each envelope I mail out. Done with marker on study cardboard mailer, I never sketch anything out first, just start drawin'! The character on the front is almost the same, called "The Dreamer", he (or she) conjures up the addressee's name and address for each envelope. (Sorry, didn't get a scan or photo for this post. Maybe next time.) On the back, something unique to every single buyer. Here are two examples:

Mailer drawings

I've had people tell me that they save the envelopes, which totally makes me happy.

Now, don't you want to buy a print today? Of course you do.

Merry Christmas!


Electronic Games Mag: December 1982

Electronic Games magazine: Dec. 1982
To start off December, how's about a magazine from my childhood: Electronic Games, 1982. Yes, this is the actual magazine—I've kept it ever since. Awww, yeah. I was a gamer, circa 1982. Nothing but Atari, Activision, Colecovision, Intellivision, coin-ops, arcades, etc. for me, thankyouverymuch.

And for the record, I'd rather keep the term "retro" for anything older than 1980.

Also related: if you're ever in Portland, and you dig old arcade games from that early gaming era, you should stop by Ground Kontrol, at 511 NW Couch Street. It's a bar/establishment where you can play pretty much of all those classic arcade games. The original ones, of course. While working in Old Town during the summer, I would take a lunch break by going in to play a couple rounds of Tempest. Oh man, good memories playing that game. One of my favorites of all time. Didn't make it to the red levels, though. Next time.