Collecting: Vintage by Degrees

Paper-mounted thermometers were popular advertising giveaways (back in the day when telephone digits were oh-so-simple). Pastoral scenes with sheep and mountains told the temperature courtesy of the local funeral parlour, while plump babies and fluffy puppies decorated those for dairies and grocers. This fancy number, above, with silver foil and embossing was the proud token of customer appreciation from the Carleton Bros. Watchmakers and Jewellers.

I've created a Treasury on Etsy of vintage temperature devices. 

















Treasury tool supported by the dog house


Dispatch from London: Old Buttons at Spitalfield

Sylvia Llewelyn, author of the book "Old Buttons"

I've been home from London for a few weeks, but since I had my camera round my neck from the entire time I was in the UK I have a LOT of photos still to share! I already posted about the amazing time I had with Emily Chalmers, but after we parted, there were still more stalls to explore in the market.

Sylvia Llewelyn is a thespian, collector and author dividing her time between London and other European cities. She has over 300,000 buttons in her collection and recently authored a small but thorough book on the topic of old buttons. I purchased the book plus a few buttons from Sylvia and her booth at Spitalfields' Thursday afternoon antique market.

Most of the buttons reproduced in the book are at actual size, as Sylvia demonstrates. The book and an extensive array of buttons are available in the Old Button Shop.

Professional collector Fritz Karch

Martha Stewart Living collections editor Fritz KarchMr. Karch wrote the foreword for A Collection a Day last year. What an amazing style he has!

Click here for more photos from Time Out New York.

The Sunday Collection: my tins

Even before I designed the tin package for Lisa Congdon's A Collection a Day, I had a fondness for old tins. Here are some of my favourites: top left floral tin is one I found at the Hillhurst Sunnyside flea market (which is a small Sunday market near my house—I should head out there today!) The orange tin I borrowed from my mother-in-law Iris. The blue tabacco tin is from Glen's collection. Though a Polish tin for jam, I purchased the turquoise round tin in Estonia. The yellow tin is one of my dozens of typewriter tins.

I have these on my shelf at work for some daily eye candy.

The intricate motifs and details on these old tins inspired the book and package design for A Collection a Day

Jumpstart your creativity

image by Sara StevensonSarah at Redlinedesign has relaunched her site with a focus on creative exploration. She recommends starting a collection as a jumpstart to creativity and I couldn't agree more. It is invigorating to find something that inspires you—whether it is a beautiful retro button that starts a lifelong love of sewing, or a vintage package that leads to a deeper appreciation of lettering, or a simple bread tag that reminds you to appreciate the little things. Read more at Redlinedesign.

(Purchase A Collection a Day here.)

Collecting: Less than 100g

Tony Xia has started a new blog that celebrates small things such as erasers, stamps and bottlecaps. Head on over to Less than 100g and check it out!

Collecting: Typewriter Tins

Chris from Seattle shares pictures of his typewriter tin collection, displayed with magnets. As most collectors can attest, he started with just one!

"I bought a ribbon tin (unknowingly) several years ago with my daughters at an impromptu "garage" sale underneath Pike Place Market in Seattle. Loved it. Looked it up (big mistake). Found them on eBay (of course), but became enthralled after seeing your flickr collection (beautiful)."

Collecting: Bottle Caps

The current issue, #10, has a fun collection by a very special contributor. The bottle caps have been lovingly collected by Gail Anderson, formerly the senior art director of Rolling Stone magazine (1987-2002) and SpotCo. Gail's editorial design at Rolling Stone was very influential on me; I was studying design in college during the early to mid-nineties, and had dreams of working at a big magazine or book publisher. Before the heydey of the internet, young and eager students such as myself devoured real and tangible examples of good design. Gail's layouts were exciting, intricate and innovative.

(Her design of the Type Director's Club Annual #22 from 2001 remains my favourite in that series.)

I'm honoured that Gail has contributed to UPPERCASE magazine and very excited to share with you that she's working on another article for a future issue!

{Visit Gail's website for more of her collections. And if you like collections, you'll love this book.}

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I've been spending a fair bit of time watching Sesame Street online with Finley. It is amazing how much of the content, especially Bert & Ernie whom we watch most, relates to the magazine! Case in point: Bert's bottle cap collection...