Holiday Card 2023

This was the annual holiday card for 2023, and hopefully everyone has received theirs by now!  Lots of lessons learned on this one, and the screen and ink just didn’t cooperate with me, so this was frustrating, but the results are pretty great and hopefully don’t show how I very nearly scrapped this and didn’t even do a card this year.  There were four screen printing passes on this card – two for the front, one for the message inside, and one for the information on the back.  My husband had spent two years in Portsmouth, UK as an exchange officer with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, and I got to visit a few times and see exactly this gorgeous view out of his apartment window.  The structure on the right is the Spinnaker Tower (wikipedia link) and the colorful sky in the background is the sunset that can be seen when it’s not raining (England, you know..).  I found out after printing that square cards require extra postage since the machines can’t tell which way is up – rectangles sort perfectly in their machines but squares get bumped out for hand stamping, so it was an extra 20 cents of postage.  Lesson learned folks, don’t send square cards.  The back is printed with a little info about the tower and husband’s work overseas, and my name and the date.  These went out REALLY late, so I put a more New Year’s style greeting inside.  I may play with this design later and do a linocut since I do love how it came out and I think it might lend itself better to a linocut, honestly!

Darling Baby Postcard – 1909

Yet another in the set of Maher Postcards!  This features, “To Darling Baby” on the front with a heart made out of roses and clover surrounding the heart.  It’s pretty heavily embossed.

The postmark stamp on the back is 9 September 1909.  The only other identifying mark is “Printed in Germany” on the left side.  The card was sent to William Maher at 113 Aldrich Ave in Buffalo, NY, in care of BA Maher (his father, Bernard).  William appears to have been born on 17 August 1909, so he would’ve been only one month old at the time this was sent.  The message reads, “Hello baby, wish I could see you.  I hope mama & Brothers are well.  From Aunt Nell.”  Aunt Nell is likely Bernard’s sister Ellen.  I’m still not sure how my grandma came into possession of these cards, but they’re such a neat capsule of communication to the family who left home in PA and went to Buffalo, NY.

Open Print Exchange 2 – Prints Received

Updating this post to show my prints received!  These came a few months ago, but let’s be honest, the holidays are hectic enough, and it just didn’t make it to the blog till now.  The next exchange is already kicking off, so it’s good to have these posted.  There’s a really great variety of prints here with different printmaking methods and a range of styles.  Really love these!

The prints, top row, left to right:
“Blue Hour” by Villia Maria Jefremovas – Open Print Exchange Link
“Happy Robots Family” by Annika – Open Print Exchange Link
“Untitled” by Heather Hartz – Open Print Exchange Link

Middle Row, left to right:
“Zigzag” by Maja Denzer – Open Print Exchange Link
“I love snails” by Dana Bjorum – Open Print Exchange Link
“One owl” by Jessamy Harvey – Open Print Exchange Link

Bottom Row, left to right:
“Quiet day in the harbour” by Lino Lord – Open Print Exchange Link
“Entangled Geometry” by Louise Ockenden – Open Print Exchange Link
“Untitled” by Kate Jenkins – Open Print Exchange Link

Jaarsma Siblings

Tucked into an album of modern photos from roughly the 1960s-1970s was this photo that was clearly older than the rest.  On the back is handwritten, “Douglas Jaarsma,” presumably by my husband’s grandmother since it looks like the same handwriting I’ve seen on other photos.  Doede “Douglas” is the second in from the left with what I believe are his three older sisters.  From left to right, all four are, *I think*, in this order – Gettje (Grace), Doede (Douglas),  Klaaske, and Oepkjen (Audrey) being the oldest on the right.  The photographer’s name is at top, A de Jong, Sneek, referencing the town of Sneek in Friesland, Netherlands.  As far as a date, Doede was born in 1911, so if he’s maybe 4 or 5 here, it was probably taken around 1915-1917 or so which would make the oldest sister, Oepkjen, about 10.  Klaaske was the only sibling of the four in this photo to remain in the Netherlands.  Gettje came to the US and lived not too far from Doede, and Oepkjen went to Ontario, Canada.

I couldn’t find much about the photographer without doing A LOT more work, but he regularly had advertisements for his studios in Leeuwarden, Heerenveen, and Sneek (link to BIG ad in the Leeuwarder Courant from 1916).

Rusty Reuben Radio Gang

I did a pretty decent job last year scheduling out blog posts for once a week, and while I missed a few weeks at the end of the year, here’s to a new start this year!

First up is this photo card for the Rusty Reuben Radio Gang, including a group photo at center of Ted, Ickey, Freddie, and Tex, and individual photos around it of Betty Lou, Rusty, Barbara, Jean, and Uncle Jim.  Rusty Reuben was the stage name for Harry Edward Brest (1907-1994).  His obituary is posted online here, and has a load of information about his life and family.

As far as the other people in the group, a magazine posted here mentions that the, “cast comprises Ozzie Gile, Elmer Peabody, Tex Richards, Tex Hart, Ickey Pepin, and Freddie Stone.”  It seems like the lineup of other performers switched up fairly often though from other newspaper articles.  In the photo, the girl at top center, Barbara, appears from census records to be the daughter of Rusty and, I’m assuming, Jean, since Edward’s wife’s name was Genevieve.

The majority of the newspaper results come from about 1932-1939, and if grandma saw them, I’d imagine it would be when they were doing larger tours later in their career, which may have been when she picked up this card.  She would’ve been in her early 20s in the late 1930s, so that fits pretty well.  Just a neat piece of ephemera that grandma loved enough to tuck into a scrapbook!

Rivery Slaney at Killurin – 1912

Another edition in the Maher Postcard set (click the tag above to see all the Maher Postcard posts).  This one is a postcard featuring an image of the River Slaney at Killurin, Co. Wexford in Ireland.  I did a quick image search and while I found views of this bridge from the same time period that are similar, I didn’t find this exact same card.

The back says, “Best Wishes from Mary McDonald,” and is addressed to Mrs. Bernard Maher.  The postmark is from Lackawanna, NY, dated April 24, 1912, with a one cent Ben Franklin stamp.  There’s a mark next to the stamp that says, “Printed in Germany” and printing on the other side of the card that says, “Lawrence, Publisher, Dublin.”  I’m not sure who Mary McDonald was since I don’t see her in the family tree and the majority of Bernard and his wife’s family were in Pennsylvania.  I’d guess Mary McDonald was a local friend who traveled and then sent the postcard locally instead of from abroad.

Windber High School Postcard

The front of this postcard shows the Windber High School in Windber, Pennsylvania. I wasn’t able to find a similar postcard online, so this is definitely worth posting here!  I couldn’t find out much about this building, and it probably doesn’t exist anymore.  A new high school was apparently built in 1924 and that has since been demolished as well, so, it’s probably safe to assume this isn’t standing.

The back has an errant “1909” from a possibly misplaced postmark, the stamp is missing, and it’s pretty hard to read.  Identifying marks are that it’s published by Chas. George & Co., in Windber, PA, printed in Germany by “SL & CO,” and has “E 10664” as an identifying number.  It’s addressed to Mr. Bernard Maher at an unreadable address in West Seneca, New York.  Even after running some Photoshop filters, I still find the message VERY hard to read.  Best guess on the message:
“Hello Bernard, How is all the family.  I am in Windber two weeks today and will not get home before next Saturday. [illegible section] From Mother.”
When I say that was hard to read, it wasn’t the handwriting, but the thoroughly degraded pencil on paper.  I mean, for over 100 years old, stuffed in a box in unknown conditions, it’s pretty impressive it’s even here.  At least we know it’s from his mother, Catherine Garrity and I can tell from the 1905 NY census that they were living in West Seneca New York, and it looks like it’s 613 Second St per the census which is why the street line in the address might be crossed out.

Fjord Socks

Fjord Socks
Started: 16 February 2023
Finished: 5 March 2023
Pattern: Plain Old Socks (my pattern)
Yarn: Madeline Tosh, Tosh Sock in “Fjord”
Needle: US 1.5 / 2.5 mm
Notes: According to Ravelry, I picked this yarn up on a visit to Loop in Philadelphia in 2011.  Probably some of the newer yarn in my stash, but you see yet again, blues and greens/browns.  Yes, I have a type.  I started these while on vacation in the UK, visiting the husband, and finished them just after returning home.  It’s remarkable how different the two socks are even though knit from the same skein – one definitely has much more blue than the other, but since I like fraternal twin socks, this is actually a bonus for me!  Really comfortable, soft yarn, and these are undoubtedly going to get tons of wear.