Sunday, December 21, 2014

Remembering Marshall Field's at Christmas Time

The famous clock at Marshall Field's State
Street store in Chicago.
       When my husband and I were dating, we lived in Chicago for a brief time. I have so many fond memories of that city, especially Christmas memories. The first time we visited downtown to look at window displays and purchase gifts we stopped at Marshall Fields to have a bite to eat. 
       Among the "firsts" by Marshall Field's was the concept of the department store tea room. In the 19th century, ladies shopping downtown returned home for lunch; having lunch at a downtown restaurant unescorted by a gentleman was not considered ladylike. But after a Marshall Field's clerk shared her lunch with a tired shopper (a chicken pot pie), Field's hit on the idea of opening a department store tea room, so that women shoppers would not feel the need to make two trips to complete their shopping. To this day, the Walnut Room serves the traditional Mrs. Herring's chicken pot pie.

The South Grill Room, Marshall Field & Co., Retail Chicago.
       That is just one among many innovations by Marshall Field's. Field's had the first European buying office, which was located in Manchester, England, and the first bridal registry. The company was the first to introduce the concept of the personal shopper, and that service was provided without charge in every Field's store, right up to the chain's last days under the Marshall Field's name. It was the first store to offer revolving credit and the first department store to use escalators. Marshall Field's book department in the State Street store was legendary; it pioneered the concept of the "book signing." Moreover, every year at Christmas, Marshall Field's downtown store windows were filled with animated displays as part of the downtown shopping district display; the "theme" window displays became famous for their ingenuity and beauty, and visiting the Marshall Field's windows at Christmas became a tradition for Chicagoans and visitors alike, as popular a local practice as visiting the Walnut Room with its equally famous Christmas tree or meeting "under the clock" on State Street.
       Marshall Field was famous for his slogan "Give the lady what she wants." He was also famous for his integrity, character, and community philanthropy and leadership. After his death, the company remained to the very end a major philanthropic contributor to its Chicago-area community.
Left, Marshall Field's Wholesale Store around 1890, Center, 1934 Marshall Field & CO. Store for men. Right, 1934 Narcissus Fountain Room at Marshall Field Co.
        Field, the store he created, and his successor John G. Shedd, helped establish Chicago's prominence throughout the world in business, art, culture, and education. The Art Institute of Chicago, the Field Museum of Natural History (as renamed in 1905 for its first major benefactor), the Museum of Science and Industry, the John G. Shedd Aquarium, and the University of Chicago all have been aided by the philanthropy of Marshall Field's. Marshall Field was also a major sponsor of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition. Read more...


       "Marshall Fields and Christmas were practically synonymous. Generations of Chicagoans and out-of-towners made a pilgrimage to the legendary State Street department store to shop for gifts and enjoy Fields marvelous holiday ambiance and superb quality service. This video blends historical images and Christmas music from a bygone era with latter-day clips to recreate a whirlwind tour of the palatial building circa 1945-1955. Stroll down Candy Cane Lane, dine in the Walnut Room next to the Great Tree, and visit Santas Cozy Cloud Cottage. Fields became Macys in 2006. Macys has continued some of the holiday traditions, but the magic and soul of the old store are now just memories."

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Flying Kewpie Christmas Ornaments

       This Christmas ornament clip art by Rose O'Neill was cleaned and colorized by Kathy Grimm. Please read the Terms of Use before printing it out for personal crafts only.

We Want to Fly About Your Christmas Tree
Designed by Rose O'Neill

       Cut out the backs and fronts of the Flying Kewpies, join them together, inserting a loop of red string or ribbon in the topknot before it dries. Lay under a weight.
       Hang the Flying Kewpies by their loops from the twigs of your Christmas tree. Be sure to wait till the paste is perfectly dry or the strings will come out and Kewpies fall.

The Kewpie Gardener.
The Kewpie Cook.
       The Kewpies love to fly in the green branches of a Christmas tree, among the glittering bells and the shiny tinsel and the children's legs. Pop! goes Kewpie Army's gun as he shoots at a Teddy Bear. Kewpie Cook feels gay, for he's seen some dolly cookies and he means to get the recipe for the Kewpies.
The Always Wears His Overshoes Kewpie.
The Careful Of His Viscose Kewpie.
       The flying Kewpies never have such good times anywhere else as they have in a Christmas tree. They skip and caper, dance and prance, and gurgle and grin so gleefully that all little boys and girls, babies and grown ups who see them and even the stuffed animals and the jumping jacks who see them laugh too.

The Army Kewpie.
The Wing Kewpie.
The Centerpiece Kewpie.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmas Clip Art by Ellen Clapsaddle

       Ellen Hattie Clapsaddle (January 8, 1865 - January 7, 1934) was an American illustrator/commercial artist in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Not only is her style greatly admired and well recognized, today she is recognized as the most prolific souvenir/postcard and greeting card artist of her era.
Boy with Christmas candle by E. H. Clapsaddle.
        Ellen was born during the Civil War period in the small farming community of South Columbia in Herkimer County, New York, near Columbia, New York on January 8, 1865. She was the child of Dennis L. and Harriet (Beckwith) Clapsaddle. From an early age she loved to draw—she is said to have been a shy and delicate child who displayed artistic ability and was highly encouraged by her parents to develop her skills in art. Clapsaddle was the great-granddaughter of the American Revolutionary War hero, Major Dennis Clapsaddle.
       She attended a one-room school until the 8th grade and then graduated from Richfield Springs Seminary, a local academy (later known as high schools) in Richfield Springs that prepared young ladies for higher education, today known as a college in 1882.
       Ellen's parents and teachers highly encouraged her to pursue a career in art so she applied and received a scholarship to attend a selective private college for two years, the Cooper Institute known as the Cooper Union Institute for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York City. Only highly recognized individuals are chosen to attend this college and all attend on scholarship. Upon the completion of her studies, around 1884, she returned to her parents' home in South Columbia. She placed an ad in a local newspaper to offer private painting lessons and began her career of teaching art out of her home.
       Ellen started by giving art lessons in her home in South Columbia. At the same time she created her own landscapes and was commissioned to paint portraits of families in Richfield Springs. She also submitted her work to publishers in New York City and became a recognized commercial artist. Her illustrations were often used in advertising and on porcelain goods, calendars, paper fans, trade and greeting cards. Her greatest success was in the development of her artwork into single-faced cards that could be kept as souvenirs or mailed as postcards and she specialized in designing illustrations specifically for that purpose. She has been credited with over 3000 designs in the souvenir/post card field.

       The following Christmas designs by Clapsaddle have been restored and colorized by Kathy Grimm for the personal use of our visitors only. Read the Terms of Use here.

Clapsaddle's boy with violin.
Children under an umbrella by Clapsaddle.


Child Elf Christmas Clip Art

      Please read the Terms of Use before using this elf clip art in your personal projects, Thank You.
Child elf clip art in full color.
Monochromatic blue child elf clip art.
Monochromatic green child elf clip art.
Monochromatic red child elf clip art.


Restored "Nimble Nicks" for Christmas 2014

       Love "nimble nicks" as much as we do? Here are the latest editions for 2014, fully restored and simply adorable! Read Terms of Use folks.

Nimble Nicks sled down hill at break neck speeds!

Nimble Nick wishes you "A Tip-Top Christmas!"

This holiday greeting by a cute little nimble nick reads:

"In spite of miles,
Storms and obstacles
My kindest wishes
Will be with you on
Christmas Morning"

Monday, December 15, 2014

Print "Three Ships" by Henry Payne for Christmas Letters

"I Saw Three Ships" graphics in navy, red, burgundy and green for Christmas cards. The above image for pinterest only please.
      The illustration here was drawn by illustrator, Henry Payne; He based it upon the popular carol "I Saw Three Ships (Come Sailing In)" from England. A variant of its parent tune "Greensleeves", the earliest printed version of "I Saw Three Ships" is from the 17th century, possibly Derbyshire, and was also published by William Sandys in 1833.
       The lyrics mention the ships sailing into Bethlehem, but the nearest body of water is the Dead Sea about 20 miles away. The reference to three ships is thought to originate in the three ships that bore the purported relics of the Biblical magi to Cologne Cathedral in the 12th century. Another possible reference is to Wenceslaus II, King of Bohemia, who bore a coat of arms "Azure three galleys argent". Another thought was the three kings that came to baby Jesus.
       An arrangement by Martin Shaw appears in The Oxford Book of Carols. The Carols for Choirs series of carol books features an arrangement of the carol by Sir David Willcocks. Organist Simon Preston and former conductor of the Choir of King's College, Cambridge, Sir Philip Ledger, have also written arrangements that the choir have performed at the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols in recent years. This carol is also featured in the musical Caroline, or Change, but as a counterpoint. Adapted by Jon Schmidt on Jon Schmidt Christmas album. John Renbourn has arranged it (in a rather free adaptation) for guitar. The song appears on Nat King Cole's 1960 LP "The Magic Of Christmas" (l/k/a "The Christmas Song"), arranged by Ralph Carmichael. Progressive rock singer Jon Anderson released a version as the title track of his album 3 Ships in 1985. Sufjan Stevens recorded a version of the song in 4/4 time for his album Hark!: Songs for Christmas, Vol. II. Wikipedia

"Rare video featuring Marianne and The Chieftains performing the song 'I Saw Three Ships A Sailing'. From the Chieftains 1991 CD 'Bells Of Dublin'."

      The following pictures by Henry Payne were restored by Kathy Grimm for the purpose of reprinting on Christmas Cards or including a little print with a handwritten letter for a loved one. Visitors should read The Terms of Use before downloading them from here. Use them in your own personal crafts and letters freely but do not redistribute them over the web or profit from them by selling the work in it's original state. (This means burning the jpgs. to CDs or using them to draw traffic to web pages.) Click directly on one of the four options to download the largest files.





Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Bride's Christmas Tree

Above are ornament types often found on the bride's first Christmas tree in Germany.
       In Germany it is customary to give Christmas ornaments to the bride on her wedding day. Below are the original meanings attached to the traditional ornaments that hang upon the couple's first Christmas tree. The ornaments are most frequently made of glass, however, you could give a selection of these Christmas ornaments made from any number of interesting materials. A young girl might even collect each ornament herself over a longer period of time and store them in a hope chest.
      My husband's mother collected his first ornaments, one per year, every year, until he married. Then these ornaments were boxed up and gifted to me at my wedding shower.
  1. Acorn - Resurrection in Christ
  2. Angel - messengers from God
  3. Apple - reminder to avoid temptations
  4. Bell - joyful noise, announcing important news
  5. Birds - bring messages of joy
  6. Bird Nest - money, fortune, physical wealth
  7. Carrot - good luck in the kitchen
  8. Church - spiritual family/home
  9. Devil - He serves St. Nickolas, according to legend, for one day every year (Christmas) as form of punishment because of his disloyalty to God.
  10. Dove - symbol of the Holy Spirit, the third person of The Holy Trinity
  11. Fir Tree - Everlasting life through Christ, because it remains green during winter
  12. Fish - identity in Christ, provision, Peter finds the tax hidden in a fish
  13. Flower Basket - symbolic of hope, it springs eternal
  14. Fruit Basket - abundance of good health, harvest
  15. Grape Cluster - communion with Christ and other believers
  16. Heart - love
  17. House - shelter
  18. Orange - wealth and prosperity, during many centuries to have oranges in winter months was considered a luxury 
  19. Pickle - game, extra gift goes to those who find it on their tree
  20. Pine Cone - wisdom
  21. Rabbit - fertility, rabbits multiply easily
  22. Pink Rose - Virgin Mary
  23. Yellow Rose - Friendship
  24. Walnut - good fortune, also connected with telling fortunes
  25. White Rose - Spiritual Love
  26. Saint Nicholas - generosity and goodwill towards others, The Bishop of Myra was an abolitionist
  27. Ship - passage through trouble or over troubled waters
  28. Star - guiding light, early believers used the night sky to guide them on their journeys, astrologers from the east followed a constellation to find Jesus
  29. Teapot - hospitality, offering tea to strangers has ancient roots
  30. Tulip - A red tulip means eternal love