Archive | June, 2012

Dear Readers: Miss Lady Heart Heart’s Your Kind Comments

21 Jun

One of my favorite parts of doing all this free work for you, my dear readers, is the thoughtful comments and e-mails I get from fans all over the world.  It can be nerve-racking putting yourself out there, to be scrutinized and judged by the public, but your kind responses are what keep me at it.

Here’s a few of my personal favorites.

sexcontact writes:

“Wie wil het nou niet? Lekker sexcontact met honderden of zelfs duizenden vrouwen, mannen en stellen. Iedereen toch? Voor de lekkerste dates zit je dan ook goed bij ons. Sexdaten is natuurlijk helemaal gratis en anoniem!”

Oooh! Sexdaten is gratis en anoneim?  I’d certainly be interested in contacting some of these honderden of mannen you say you can put me in touch with.  I’ll keep that in mind for later!  Thanks for writing, sexcontact!

In a short yet deeply personal comment, a group of  “pest control specialists” write:

“Great Post!

Pest Management Services”

Just the fact that people out there are taking time out of their busy days to read my writing is very humbling.

I also value any constructive criticism you guys have out there on how I can improve my blog with more engaging and informative content.  Here is one such letter sent from Carl Mont Pharmacy:

“Have you ever thought about including a little bit more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is important and all. But imagine if you added some great photos or video clips to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with images and video clips, this website could definitely be one of the greatest in its niche and you could add more topics about female viagra dosage. Awesome blog!”

That certainly gives me some things to consider for the future.   I thank Carl, and all my other recent commenters; sexdatinggratis, sexdate, date-sex, and viagra pillen, it’s all for you.

With thanks,

Miss Lady Heart

I wasn’t able to find a recent picture of myself, but fortunately I was able to find a picture of this woman, who is pretty much my exact double.

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Stickers: Backstreet’s Back, Alright!

19 Jun

I came across my old Backstreet Boys “Official Sticker Album” the other day and I was delighted.  It was one of those cheap, quick to market sticker books with pictures and info of the band interspersed with spaces to put specifically numbered, square stickers, which you could buy in packages of 10 or so, at convenience stores.  When I was actively buying stickers for this album I was about 12 or 13, and everyone at my school loved the Backstreet Boys and a lot of other girls had this album.  Because it was an all girls school we were afforded more opportunity  to obsess over teen heart-throbs, because there were no boys to be embarrassed in front of about it, and there were no boys to be…anything…in front…of.

And while we’re on the topic of embarrassment, have you ever seen someone or of photo of someone doing something that is so embarrassing and cringe-inducing that it makes you feel embarrassed yourself, like by witnessing that awful scene you are now covered in what should be that person’s shame?  These stickers have that type of quality to them, they just…these stickers are dignity destroyers.

When I was looking through the book I thought “Has enough time passed that this album is now ironically cool and I can show it to people?  Or has it not yet passed into “good” territory,  as in, “so bad it’s…,” especially considering I had pretty much all the stickers and had taped one of the card wrappers on to the last page as an envelope to put in duplicate stickers to trade with others?”

Well I will let you, my dear readers decide.  I was shocked at just how ugly these guys really were, and you will be too.  All of the pictures are horrifyingly cheesy in their own way, but they do provide more than 50 ideas on what to do with your arms and hands while posing for photos.

The cover of the Backstreet Boys “Official Sticker Album” What does it mean when something is “Official”?  You see that a lot in commercials, especially things to do with the Olympics, I notice. Like at the end of the ad the voice over narration will say something like “Davidson’s Hose Clamps; the official hose clamps of the 2012 winter Olympic games” like that’s supposed to mean something to me.

From the introduction on the inside cover, from “Your Backstreet Boys team”

Apparently, at the time the sticker album came out, (1997) the Backstreet Boys had just come off a “huge tour as DJ Bobo’s supporting act.”  Wow, can you imagine getting to open for the DJ Bobo?!  Never heard of him.

Each member got his own 2 page spread with a “Bio.” For example, on the Brian Littrel page one of the lines reads:  “Hobbies: Sports, reading, music, movies.”  And from the Howie Dorough page:  “Hobbies: Music, movies, television, reading.” Fascinating, no? You couldn’t make that stuff up, even if you had to rush some merchandise of a flash-in-the-pan band to market, as quickly and cheaply as possible.

First up in the 2 page spreads was Brian Littrel, who was my favorite at the time, though now I’m not really sure why exactly, but, the heart wants what it wants, I guess.

My 7th grade dream boy

There was one of these weird balloon heart stickers with a Backstreet Boys (BSB) member’s photo on it for each guy. I think the designers had some trouble with coming up with more than 160 different types of stickers for this book.

The second spread was of Kevin Richardson, the oldest member of the group.  He pretty much had the least personality of all of them and it shows in his photos:

After Kevin came Nick Carter’s profile, the favorite of most of the girls at my school, who is now most well known for dating Paris Hilton, his DUI’s and rehab stints, and for being such a loser that Paris Hilton decided that his younger brother Aaron was a more suitable man to date (his brother was like, 10 years younger than Nick and Paris at the time.)  He wins the prize for the most smouldering picture in the album, but in most of his pictures, he just looks…pretty.

What an awful, awful haircut.

Nick, in his “sexy, smouldering” pose

I guess it’s easy to see why Nick was the most popular with the young girls; he’s the most non-threatening, being so young and so pretty. Someone like Kevin, who was like 45 years old and who’s nickname, according to this album, was “Train,” was just too much man for us to fathom.

More androgenous Nick!

But I must say, Nick must have being doing something right, because I think Kevin took a few cues from him on how to look attractive in that non-sexual teeny-bopper way:

Kevin posing a-la-Nick

Howie Dorough’s 2 page spread came after Nick’s.  Most people liked Brian and Nick, but there were a few girls that liked Howie, and I thought they were masochists.  But looking at this album now, I think we pretty much all were.  Which Backstreet Boy you liked was a big part of your identity at my school at the time, and I always thought that the girls who liked Howie, many of whom were secret Howie lovers who publicly professed love to another Boy, were somehow “off” in some way.  I thought the only way they could possibly like Howie was if they had let their pity of him as being the grossest, ugliest and biggest loser member of the group, overtake them in some way, like a kind of Florence Nightingale syndrome type thing.

Have a look at Howie’s stickers.  It may actually be a close call between him and AJ (the 5th member of BSB, of which you will see many pictures of soon) as to who is the most off-putting.

Ewww, under “Distinctive Traits” it says “He loves to Flirt!” Barf

Howie’s heart balloon sticker. Barf

And then lastly there was AJ, who started off being sort of clownish, as evidenced by the following photos, but who later went on to find his identity within the group as the tattooed bad boy who wears a lot of heavy jewelry.  This guy did the same god-damned “looking over my sunglasses” pose in every picture.  Please also note that he had both his ears pierced, and for some reason her wore matching giant, thick hoop earrings all the time, like some sort of pirate.

AJ’s smouldering “over the glasses” look

AJ’s smiling “over the glasses” look

AJ”s head tilted to the side “over the glasses” look

AJ”s is-this-photo-shoot-done-yet “over the glasses” look

AJ”S my-heart’s-not-really-into-it “over the glasses” look

AJ”s Christmas time “over the glasses” look

AJ”s curl on the forehead “over the glasses” look

AJ’s smirking to the right “over the glasses” look

AJ would sometimes change it up by doing a few “sunglasses on the forehead” poses:

AJ”s pouting, “glasses on forehead” look. According to the makers of this album, this is a “romantic” sticker

AJ”s confused ape “glasses on the forehead” look

Here’s a few of those “dignity destroying” stickers I was talking about earlier.

Unfortunately,  I was missing the sticker for the upper left corner of this “Mega-puzzle.” There’s nothing like dressing up like Santa for a sexy photo-shoot with four other guys to leave your dignity in tatters.  And I must say, whenever an artist does a Christmas album I lose any and all respect I might have had for them. (Usually the type of “artists” who do that are hacks anyways, but I see it as a lame excuse for a cash grab and high billboard numbers when stores and people are looking for holiday music to play.)

Also in the “holiday themed no-dignity photo-ops” repertoire is the hideous matching sweaters option.

Pretty much any matching outfits will do, when you’re looking to diminish the dignity of grown men:

Matching vests for a German album cover

OOOH! Hockey Jerseys, and Kevin has gone wild and worn a hat!

I was also a little bit sickened by some of the photos, which were aimed at a very young fan base, in which the “Boys” were shirtless and all greased up:

A greasy Kevin.

An even greasier Howie. Gross.

But I guess the above photos were nothing compared to the “Quit playing Games With My Heart,”music video, a hit for the BSB that this sticker album miss-identifies as “Quit Playing Games With My Heat.”  In the video, the boys stand around in a park singing, and when it starts to pour rain, they passionately rip their shirts off in lovelorn anger, then writhe around in the rain sensually touching their chests and hair while pouting at the camera and waggling their hips around.

And now, as promised, here are some ideas, courtesy of the Backstreet Boys, on how to avoid looking awkward in photos by finding something natural and comfortable to do with one’s hands:

Idea: Flash gang symbols of gangs you are not affiliated with. They totally don’t mind

Idea: Make one “gun” with each hand, and point them at the camera.

Idea: Make one “gun” with your hand, stretch your arm towards the camera, and point it down

Idea: Cross your arms but squeeze one bicep with the opposite hand

Idea: Reach one hand out towards the camera, low in the frame.

Idea: Reach out with one hand towards the camera, a little higher this time

Those are just a few ideas to get you started, but there were many more.  If you get stuck, contact me and I’ll email you some more Backstreet Boys approved ideas for hand and arm gestures in photos.

I would love to know what you guys think.  Did any of you out there have this sticker book, or one of the many others like it?  I know that they had sticker books of this type for all sorts of things, animals, cars, Barbie.

Were any of you BSB fans who are still willing to admit it?  If so, who was your favorite?  I’d especially like to hear from you Howie or AJ fans out there.  What allowed you to see past their many obvious flaws, to find them a place in your heart?  Is this sticker album finally so bad it’s good or should I lock it away somewhere for another 15 years?

P.S, does anyone out there have doubles of sticker numbers, 77, 93, or 135?  A friend of mine needs them to complete her album.

Lady Heart’s Portfolio: Period Pin-Ups

18 Jun

I recently created a painting series/installation that juxtaposed the products, messages and imagery of both the pad/tampon companies, and the pornography industry in order to make a comment on the ridiculous, misguided, sanitized and patently false ideas that both have marketed to the public in regards to women’s bodies, sexuality and real experiences.  Though this is a serious topic, my intention was to use humour to highlight the common absurdity in what these two industries have created.  The following is a bit long, but I think the paintings need a bit of explanation in order for you, my dear readers, to see what a good artist I am.  No, seriously though, you should read it.

My work consisted of five paintings of pin-up type photographs of women painted onto the colourful,  and wonderfully smooth and matte  surfaces of menstrual pad wrappers.

This project was inspired by a few, seemingly unrelated things.  The paintings were inspired by and created in reference to a deck of  nudie cards I had that is from the 80s.  The pictures on the deck were laughable, consisting of  preposterous scenarios, (like taking a naked sponge bath while sitting bare assed on a bale of hay) and sexual cliches that have little to nothing to do with the true nature of women’s sexuality (laying on the ground in ecstasy while spraying one’s naked body with a hose, standing or sitting around topless squeezing one breast between thumb and fingers, and just awkwardly posing with no bra or panties, but wearing long gloves, pearls and/or brimmed hats.)

Let’s all take a look at what I mean here for a sec.  And keep in mind these are here for artistic purposes only, and I will not be posting anymore nudity or pornography.   I’ve already attracted some wierdies with that post about pantyhose packages I did a while back that gets multiple views everyday and is always in my Google search terms stats, which show the keywords people have used to get to this blog.

There’s really nothing more relaxing, or sensual that sitting naked in some hay, am I right? Ladies, I know you must be nodding your heads in agreement out there. Plus, the immaculate environment provided by animal bedding and feed creates an excellent opportunity to bathe, obviously.

How did she even hold that pose? Look at it, its a semi-squat in high-heels, each foot on a different stair, and you know that water is making the ground slick.

The cards weren’t really sexy, they were more just…confusing than anything.  Anyways, I got thinking about how the tampon and pad companies also portray women’s bodies and reproduction and sexuality in a distorted way.  I think we’ve all seen the commercials that have women cartwheeling around in white pants, or the ones where the whole message and design of the product is based around concealing one’s use of pads and tampons, and by extension, the occurrence and existence of one’s menstrual cycle.

I decided that the pad wrappers as a canvas would be a good way to bring together the two industries, the tampon/pad companies, and the pornography world.  The name of the product says it all, “Sanitary Napkins” , a product that is meant to sanitize, for the wearer, and the public, the realities of female reproduction, an issue that is also “sanitized” in pornography and the like, where birth-control, pregnancy and menstruation are completely out of the picture. I also liked the pad wrappers because the way they open, in three sections, is very much like the centre-folds in adult magazines like Playboy.

So many of the pad and tampon advertisements focus on cleanliness, freshness, like the white bleached cotton of the pads and tampons and the clean looking mystery blue liquid stand-in for blood, two things that don’t exactly match women’s experiences I’ll bet.

Another element that helped gel this whole concept was the following.  I laughed out loud when I saw this sticker on a truck stop bathroom tampon machine, which succinctly summed up the gist of the marketing message the companies try to sell women about the freedom and benefits of their products:

Large sticker from truck stop bathroom tampon dispenser. Are you seeing the hilarity?

The image at the bottom is of a woman in an old fashioned long dress with a scarf, standing on the edge of a cliff in front of the ocean, the breeze whipping at her face and through her scarf, the sea spray misting her face; the freshness must just be unbelievable for this woman.

Isn’t the sticker relatable ladies?  I mean, a new tampon while on pit-stop from a long car ride is about as refreshing as the ocean breeze, no?  I presented this sticker along with the series of paintings, to punctuate the disparity between tampon marketing and reality.

And now, finally, here are the paintings, which range in size from 5 to 12 inches:

“The Hose Pose” Girls: have any of you done this in an attempt to seduce someone? If you’ve answered “yes,”  I don’t believe you.

I always thought cold showers brought the sensuality down to zero, but perhaps this is some sort of hot water hosing.

I love that it looks like her skirt just blew forward.

“Ooops! Tee hee!”

I thought the card that the painting below was based upon, depicted a very odd pose.  I guess it was supposed to be sexy, the woman touching her breast in a come-hither kind of way, but it just looks stupid to me, like she’s squeezing her breast like “honk, honk!”

honk honk!

And this next one, check out the “outfit,” and why is she posing like that?  The only time a person might do that pose in their life, is with a bat in one hand while posing in the front row for the baseball team group photo.

She didn’t even co-ordinate her shoes to her clothes. God!

And lastly, there’s this one, which I guess is the least absurd conceptually:

I hope you have enjoyed another look at my eclectic art portfolio, and that you are pleased with these paintings and the accompanying sticker.   Laughs aside, I think we’ve all learned a lot today about the false images of female sexuality, bodies and reproduction.  This is a series that I hope to expand upon with more paintings.  The pad wrappers are a wonderful surface to paint on.  I love the smooth, velvety texture, and the white tabs at the top are perfect to hang them.  Try making some of your own feminist, political art today!  I think you’ll find feminism is a popular topic that everyone is always eager to hear more about!  Menstruation too.

Tip for budding artists: Take a picture of your work while it is installed in the gallery.

Bonus:  Two pictures of public art (ie: vandalism) found in the same public bathroom, weeks apart:

The bathroom tampon machine: A veritable roundtable for relevant political discourse

And here’s a statement I think we can all enjoy

Lady Heart’s Portfolio: Coney Island Colour

6 Jun

I recently spent a few days in NYC and while there I went to Coney Island.  I was so charmed by the old fashioned rides, games and amusements which must be completely unchanged since the 50s or 60s at least.  The colours, the food, the old fashioned aesthetic, it was beautiful.  I thought I had read somewhere that Disney has, or intends to buy Coney Island and Disnify it, which, if true would be a national, nay, international tragedy that must be prevented! Check out my photos, they show an amusement park that that has more charm, more authenticity and more artistic value than any Disneyland could ever have.

This is the sign they have at all of the park entrances

The fishing game. I used to have a miniature magnetized version of this.

The decorative top of an old fashioned merry go round

A picture of the giant Ferris wheel, dubbed “Wonder Wheel”

The “Wonder Wheel” and the corner of the sign that runs the top perimeter of the bumper car arena.

I took a number of pictures of the bumper car sign. I am very drawn to colour and I just loved this sign.

The corner of the little snack shop, which had delicious churros and popcorn, among other treats.

The candy apples from the above pictured snack shop. To me they were works of art, like plastic sculptures.

They had classic carnival games, like this one, where you shoot the water pistol at the clown’s mouth to pop the balloon above it. The clown heads were great, their pastel colours dreamily faded by the summer sun. This game was packed with players. At all of the games I watched, the person shooting at clown number 14 won.

It’s almost perverted when you think about it. Or is that just me? Scratch that last thought

These were some of the prizes you could win at the clown game, but everyone I saw who won picked the stupid smurf dolls or the other recognizable commercial characters. I was like “Nooo! You stupid, get the pink dolphin or one of the miscellaneous googly-eyed puffs above it.”

See, now isn’t that preferable?

After seeing these prizes the smurfs were dead to me.

They also had a few of those “strong arm” game machines that test one’s strength. This one was my favorite; it had some stupid frothing meat-head guy (not pictured) flanked by two girls, this blond one being my favorite.

I love her ecstatic expression and wild, tacky make-up. I also love that her pose makes it appear that she has plunged her hand inside her head. I wondered what they were made of. A composite material, I guess.

This was the girl on the other side of meat-head guy on the game. Good, but not as great as the blond because her expression is so mild.

This is the display of another strength testing game where the player squeezes together the horns of a bull head that protrudes below this scale. The hand moves up the categories written on the fan to give the player their rating.

The pink front of a pinball game

An old horse ride of the type you used to see outside grocery stores. I love its expression and ergonomic posture.

There was a second clown game, further into the park, but strangely it was empty where the other one was full. These clowns where much more garish.

This was the giant eye of a cyclops monster head that loomed large at the entrance to a spooky house type ride. The eye looked back and fourth ceaselessly, a red light flashing from within through a broken spot in the centre. I was charmed by the decay of the rides and displays, it made things seem sort of sinister, but also earnest and authentic, and I was glad they hadn’t tried to make everything perfect.

This was from a souvenir stand where you could have your picture taken and have it printed on a button, key-chain, mirror, or these colourful felt posters that had cheesy backgrounds. I had a pink sparkly plastic key-chain made with my photo on one side and this image in the back, accompanied by the words “You and I forever”, but what I really wanted was to buy some of the sample souvenir photos he had, which were so great.

I loved this girl’s photo. She posed with much more flair than I achieved. Your choice of background was either this wicker chair, or an airbrushed scene of a rainbow and waterfall, which I chose.

This girl was also looking good in the wicker chair. I thought she was really cute and I liked that it said “Girl’s just gotta have fun” at the bottom

This girl is pictured in front of the same background as I was, which was charming in it’s crudeness.

This couple’s poster was my favorite. See how years of being exposed to the sun has made their faces look extra colourful and almost iridescent? I should have asked, no, begged him to sell it to me. Just one of the many regrets I have to live with in my life.

My most favorite part of the visit though, was this automaton fortune teller. “What does Grandma say?” It invites you to find out. When you put in a quarter she sort of rocks back and fourth a little bit, and her hand sweeps across the table, over her tarot cards.

This thing must be very old. The detailing is amazing, her hoop earrings, the diamante pin the wears in the centre of her collar, and her wrinkled, weathered face. I was really magical and wonderful.

Look at her jewelry and old fashioned blouse. It was a little hard to get good pictures because it was under a partition that was lit, so there were many reflections on the glass.

This booth was actually right next to that “Zoltan” or whatever-his-face-is, the genie fortune teller booth seen in the movie “Big” with Tom Hanks.  When I saw that this awesome grandma one was right next to it (and was probably even there first) I couldn’t believe that the movie used that stupid Zeutroy or Zantam guy instead of Grandma!  This thing is way more mystical and magical that the stupid genie, and don’t you think that the female, especially the older female mystic seems way more powerful than some guy in a stupid feathered hat?  Look at the pictures of her hands, and you’ll see the mystery and magic that’s there.

Her delicate, wrinkled hands move across the cards…

And the best part was her eyes, which were both broken and rolling back into her head.  It was very spooky and unnerving, like she was haunted.  It was really strange and powerful to look at her and watch her move, it was like seeing a ghost, or a dead person come to life.

Her smile and crazy eyes…she has seen a lot inside that booth. There’s a wavelength of energy you can tune into at this booth, I’m serious. Not very many people seemed interested in her. I was able to stay and photograph and put coins in for a long time.

I hope you have enjoyed these photos of Coney Island, dear reader, I was a magical place, really magical, more so than anything Disney could ever create.  Go to Coney Island and see what Grandma has to say…

Vintage Books: The Grade School Textbook as Art

4 Jun

Vintage children’s textbooks are a wonderful source for illustrations.  I am inspired by the work of Henry Darger, an outsider artist who collected pictures and drawings of children to use as reference in his beautiful paintings, which he created to accompany an epic book he was writing.  These old books contain exactly the type of sweet drawings of children in old fashioned clothes that Darger used.  They also feature great typography typical of the times, typography that you don’t really see anymore.  The books tend to be small, most being no more than 7″ X 5″, and when I hold them, as with many old objects, they seem to have this energy about them that makes one wonder about its life before it came into one’s possession.  Also, when you look at them it makes you realize that you can’t remember how to do long division anymore.  I have quite a number of these textbooks, some dating back to the 1920s, but here are a few of my favorites.

The first is a science textbook called “Science Stories: Book Two”  It is missing the page that indicates the publisher, edition and release date, but it is probably from the 1950s.  Concepts such as weather, electricity and living things are explained with small stories that are punctuated with illustrations.

The cover of Science Stories

The inside cover and first page

The images inside depict children in 1920s era clothing, beautifully rendered in water colours:

An illustration accompanying a story about weather

An illustration depicting a westward wind

The illustrations of children are too numerous to show them all.  There were also lovely illustrations of animals.  Here are the ones of the “hipster” animals, the deer, and the wolf:

From the chapter on “Living Things”

I love the pink sky

“A garden spider eats many kinds of insects.”

There were some nice paintings of landscapes from different climates, and drawings of food and household items:

From the text underneath this illustration: “This picture shows clouds in the sky. But they have not covered the sun. Do you think the ground is warm where the sunshine touches it?”

“There was the ocean at last!”

Electric Helpers “Electricity is one of our best helpers.”

I love the way these scissors are rendered in blues and pinks, this would be awesome as a sticker or t-shirt, or, if you are a hipster, as a tattoo (you guys have seen the scissor tattoos that are cropping up lately, right?

The book also had wonderful illustrations on the chapter title pages, and as part of the section headers:

Chapter title illustration

Section header

The second book is an eighth grade spelling book from 1950.  I love the fountain pen and ink bottle on the black cover:

Cover of The Canadian Speller, Grade 8

Most of the illustrations in this book were small horizontal drawings at the heading of the page, accompanying the chapter title.

“Some of the ———– stamps are very rare.” The instructions ask you to write the word “collector’s” in the blank space. Talk about a pointless exercise!

I love that this textbook has stolen copyrighted Disney characters for this illustration. Perhaps they hoped that Canada is so obscure that it would renderthe discovery of this infringement nearly impossible.

Any good spelling text for children should have a chapter about personal problems. “Some persons, losing their tempers, become very impatient, and allow their actions to be controlled only by their moods. They become nuisances to themselves and to all with whom they have any association.” Under this paragraph about solving personal problems and a vocabulary list of related words is this: “REVIEW– Indians wear moccasins on their feet.”

Here’s an illustration to make you cringe; the accompanying text explains that a Christian missionary is someone who pursues the ideal of self adjustment for others’ comfort while enduring personal hardship to do so! What?! I also enjoy the beehive with chopsticks in it that two of the stereotyped cartoonish African women are wearing.

“Going to a Party!” “The main feature of a party is a group of people having fun together.” Is this really information that people in grade eight are unaware of?

“Your Personality and the School” It’s not clear if the one with the personality disorder here is the conceited girl, the two snickering about her behind her back, or the guy prancing around.

This guy’s personality and the School

“How to Make and Keep Friends” There’s a Harold and Maude joke here, but I’ll let you come up with it. The review at the bottom of this page states “I saw two men quarrelling (sic) on the wharf.” I don’t get what you are supposed to be learning from these reviews!

“Our Cruel Blessing” is, according to this illustration, that we have to give money to people dressed like Abraham Lincoln.

The next book is a grade 7 mathematics book from 1940 that has nice black and white illustrations.  Here’s just a few:

Cover of “Junior Mathematics, Grade 7”

The little girl’s outfit is so sweet!

Wow, the boy in the centre seems rather formally dressed to just find a percent of a number

For grade sixers, as we used to call ’em, I have this textbook, “Living Arithmetic”

The cover of “Living Arithmetic” I love the drawing of the pilot and the children looking at blueprints.

“Everyday Problems” They never end, am I right?

“Problems About Measures” I like that the foreground is drawn in dark black, while the background is grey. It’s an interesting effect.

And finally, if anyone is still reading this long post, there is this grade four text “Arithmetic for Everyday Use”

The cover of “Arithmetic for Everyday Use” published in 1937

Things that cost five cents in 1937

A cozy little drawing at the margin of one of the pages

This was super tiny, like one inch by one inch. I love the giant hair bow and giant neck ruffle

In contrast to the above girl’s leisure, a few of the illustrations depicted little girls sent off to do errands that they look too young to do by themselves.

This poor little girl had to go to this maniac’s dead animal store.

This girl’s parents had a less morbid errand for her to run, but still.

This poor little girl had to buy her school supplies alone.  I guess her parents don’t care to take part in the family ritual of “back-to-school” shopping.  God!

Well, anyways I hope you have enjoyed this look at some of my vintage children’s textbooks.  They are really very sweet in their content.  At times though with some of these books there will be a little story about, you know, “see Jane run, run run, run, Dick wants to run too, Dick and Jane run,” but when you flip to the back of the book where there is teaching material for the instructor you see that that little asinine three lines was supposed to teach you a whole page of stuff, like about how physical activity is important to grow up well adjusted, how it’s important to wear weather appropriate clothes, different emotions manifest themselves in a variety of physical ways and on and on, on topics that did not come to mind while reading the thing!  It’s amazing the way books for children of these grades really shape one’s perception of the world in ways you don’t even realize at the time.

I liked their small size too, like I said they were all only about 5 by 7 inches.  They are much better than those hulking 10″ X 12″ hard cover monstrosities they make you carry now.  And most of the text book now just have boring stock photography or crappy modern cartoon-like line drawings that have no artistic value.  No wonder I forgot how to do basic math, I just wasn’t visually inspired the way I could, nay, should, have been!

I purchased all of my vintage children’s textbook (I’ve only shown a few here) at Value Village thrift store, which have them some times in their vintage book section.

Textbooks purchased at Value Village, 1319 Bloor St. W., Toronto