Entries in packaging (5)


Recycled Charm

Genuine Whatman Filter Paper :: Abbie // C-Type Plate // No flashOver the years I have collected lots of little vintage packaging items. I don’t merely put them on display (dustcatchers, I call those collections) – I actually use them, and find them much more charming for it.

This little cardboard box originally held 100 circles of chemically prepared filter paper; some kind of photographic consumable presumably, but I’m not sure exactly what it was used for. I used a darkroom in high school and art college, but can’t recall using this kind of filter then either.

Today it resides in the top left drawer of my vintage wooden desk, and holds paper clips – as well as a whole lot of charm. Much nicer than some kind of plastic modern equivalent.


’Tis the Season

A Christmas Carol, Basil Rathbone (narrator), Columbia Records, 1942Wow, who can believe 2012 has flown so fast? I’ve come to the last page of my Steinweiss calendar, and appropriately it is all decked out in green and red for the Christmas season. Not so much snow here in Australia though; we are celebrating the first day of summer.

But it’s time to reflect on the year gone past, what have we achieved, what have we struggled through, or triumphed in and celebrated? I have had some sad times, chiefly my beloved cat Hero’s passing. I still shed a few tears here or there when I suddenly remember she’s gone. And some good too – finishing The Yuckies books was a highlight, and making new friends and reacquainting with old ones.

I am looking forward to 2013 though – I have lots of exciting plans, but more on those later. And I am fully prepared already with a new calendar to celebrate the months of the New Year, this time a lovely illustrated calendar produced by the magazine Frankie.

In the meantime enjoy the holiday season!

Chopin Etudes, Op. 25, Frédéric Chopin, Remington Records, c.1957


Remember Movember

Piano Concerto in A Minor, Edvard Grieg, Columbia Masterworks, 1945Poor old November gets a bad rap from writers born in the northern hemisphere. Alexander Pushkin, in Eugene Onegin, writes: A tedious season they await/Who hear November at the gate.

It’s certainly a windy picture that’s been chosen for my November calendar page. We’ve had a very windy October here in Melbourne – we’re hoping for some improvement as we near to summer. I like the notion here though, sailing away on the breeze of a piano concerto (although let’s hope it doesn’t bring as much hayfever as October has). Or, even better, dancing away the blues with some boogie-woogie.

Boogie Woogie, Various, Columbia Masterworks, 1942Happy November folks. Or, if you’re here in Australia, remember it’s Movember. (I can’t believe it’s not listed on the Wikipedia entry on November – how remiss.) I’m looking forward to seeing some enormous moustaches on the street this month.

Please to Remember Movember :: Big Up // Watts // No flash


Like Crazy, Man

Concerto in D Major for Violin and Orchestra, Beethoven, Columbia Masterworks, 1947

Woah, it’s October already. I know, I say this every month, but how this year’s flown! October’s calendar brings me Beethoven and Bartók. Both of these album covers designed by Alex Steinweiss feature swirls, but it’s the fab handwriting on the striking Beethoven cover that I love. Both have that distinctive 50s style, although the first was actually produced in 1947. These classic long plays are totally coolsville, striking and modern enough to appeal to nerds aspiring to be hepcats. Like crazy, man.

Concerto No 3 for Piano and Orchestra Petite Symphonie Concertant, Bartók, Decca Gold Label Series, 1955


Vintage Porto

The matt white hardback has silver foil lettering and a black matt/gloss slip coverRoughly translated from the Portuguese, Embalagem – Estórias de Embalar by Manuel Paula means ‘emblems – stories of wrapping’. The book celebrates the history of packaging in Portugal. I purchased it on my recent overseas trip, unable to resist its vintage allure as I love this kind of early twentieth century ephemera. 

The book is entirely written in Portuguese (which I can’t read), with a short essay at the beginning. No matter: the real heroes are the images of course – and everyone knows a picture tells a thousand words. Chocolate boxes, shoe boxes, match boxes, liquor crates, ink bottles, biscuit tins, boxes for perfume, tooth powder and soap … so many are represented, and more that I can’t translate. I could have scanned all the pages for you, but these must suffice. Quaint, fascinating and inspiring.