September 4, 2006

I Heart Ephemera

e·phem·er·a or e·phem·er·ons

1. A short-lived thing.

2. ephemera Printed matter of passing interest; Short lived. Those bits of throwaway paper of every day life (eg: advertising, ticket stubs, programs, some booklets and pamphlets, etc.)


I have Ephemera saved from Grade school. Ticket stubs, candy wrappers folded into flowers, pamphlets from vacations, autographs, postcards sent, received and bought. A paper crane from an artist’s collection of 1000 paper cranes she folded to make a wish come true (her wish was that AIDS would go away). An 1800's postcard I bought off Ebay because the artist shared my maiden name. About 5 years worth of Mary Engelbreit paper dolls meticulously cut from her magazines.

I took care of a woman whose daughter gave me a big box of old Christmas card cut-outs. They are so great; all flocked and glittered... embossed and yellowed. I guess Anne had cut the best images out of her favorite cards and saved them for years. Here she was; 80 years old, with dementia, living in an Assisted living facility... with her Ephemera... and no use for it anymore. I plan to hold on to it for her. I think about using some of it... sometimes... but I might never get around to it. I like to picture the cool shadow box collage Anne's Ephemera would make. But it would be a shame to lock the fuzzy brittle shapes behind glass. I think they serve a greater purpose sitting in my funky box courtesy of the always inspiring Oilily. I love to lay the paper treasures out and enjoy them as one might enjoy a small pet like a mouse or a frog. These are the kinds of things you keep in a suitable box and take out once and a while to play with.

I find it terribly sad to see "used" Ephemera in Flea Markets and Garage sales... Old photos, programs, even wedding albums with no one to love and take care of them. I have bought many a box of papers, just to take them into my warm home. Who would give these items away; or worse yet... inherit them and then sell them! "Here you can take this whole box of precious priceless memories for $3 bucks... I hated my Aunt Sylvia!"

I am the Cat Lady of Ephemera, and if there is ever a fire in my home I might prefer the safety of my paper memories over that of my actual cat.

Happy Labor Day!

Ephemera Society

1 comment:

Marty Weil said...

It's great to see ephemera like this in the spotlight. The items I feature on my blog dovetail nicely with this post. Just wanted to say I enjoyed seeing this featured on your blog. Very interesting. Nice work.