Esther Howland Valentine Card Maker
Esther Howland was an American artist, business woman, and card maker.
Esther is credited with the invention of ‘lift-up’ valentines, which were paper-lace motifs built upon one another in layers, using thin colored paper, three dimensional accordion effects and flowers that opened up by pulling a string and revealing a verse.
Esther believed that verses should be private so she made places that verses could be incorporated in Valentine’s Day cards without being able to be read by everyone.Continue reading →
Puppy Valentine’s Day
Animals of all types featured on Valentine’s Day cards,
but puppies were extra special.Continue reading →
I’m Ringing in the New Year and Wishing Everyone Good Luck and a Prosperous 2017Continue reading →
A Regency Era Christmas time tradition.Continue reading →
The custom was started in the UK in 1843 by Sir Henry Cole. He was a civil servant who wanted ordinary people to become more interested in the new ‘Public Post Office’.
With his artist friend John Horsley, they designed the first card and sold them for 1 shilling each.Continue reading →
Christmas Carols In History
The word ‘carol’ comes from the old French ‘carole’ for a song written and played as a courtly dancing song. Carols then took on a more popular form, telling stories and celebrating religious themes for all seasons until the late 19th century when they became associated with Christmas.
In 1822, Davies Gilbert published “Some Ancient Christmas Carols”, in which he described a typical English West Country Christmas. The collection sang of food, drink, and good things celebrated at Christmas.
The British Museum said: “Mr. Gilbert has taken advantage of old Time, and made safe, for some centuries at least, a record of our ancient Christmas Carols; and for this good deed has secured the gratitude of Antiquaries yet unborn. These Carols are genuine national curiosities.”
They took the place of Psalms in all churches on Christmas Day and, as the whole congregation could join in, were greeted with huge approval. Carols were passed on orally from place to place, often with different words or tunes.
The published carols included songs still popular today, including The First Noël, I Saw Three Ships, and God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. This collection was followed by compilations of carols from other scholars such as William Sandy’s works in 1833 and 1852.