Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I'm surprised my grandmother let them in the house...

This is my feeble attempt at a St. Patrick's Day celebration. Everyone at work wore green today. EVERYONE! Except me. They tried to make me feel better by saying that my turquoise necklace was green. Nice try, ladies. You're very sweet. And I appreciate it. But I don't think they have a lot of turquoise in Ireland, especially not in the shape of Texas.

To make matters worse, a lady, who was stopped at a red light, opened her car door and yelled at me as I crossed the street, "Hey babycakes... Where's your green?" (I kid you not. Babycakes!)

But this post is not about St. Patrick's Day or "funny" people. This post is about these fabulous 50s pinups I've had for years. I'm so lucky they're mine. Please allow me to elaborate...

My grandmother was born in 1899. She told everyone it was 1900 but the family Bible doesn't lie. I think she liked the idea of being a couple of years younger than my grandfather. She didn't have my father until she was in her mid 40s. My point in telling you all this is so you will understand that she was always an old grandmother... and a verah, verah conservative old Southern lady to boot.

I remember watching Miss America with Grandmother every year. She'd give a speech about how the contestants were "such ladies" because they didn't wear "vulgar" two-piece swimsuits. (I hope Grandmother doesn't have TV in heaven.) My, how times have changed!

That's why I'm so surprised to have this lovely little collection of notepads which belonged to my grandfather. Surely Grandmother would have found them to be offensive. Or maybe she found them as beautiful as I do. Or maybe they were hidden in the garage. Who knows? The important thing is, they're mine now... and I absolutely adore them.

(Post update: I am very exicted. Look what I found inside one of the notepads. It's my Grandmother's handwriting! Check out the old phone numbers.)

I adore them so much, in fact, that I've had them wrapped in a plastic bag for years (years!) and shoved in a drawer. What a shame! They should be out so I can enjoy them all the time. My plan is to frame them in long shadow-box-type frames. I found some suitable frames at Walmart but the mattes were slightly the wrong size. I think if I ever get around to framing these, it's going to have to be custom... and it's going to cost me.

I'd love to know your creative ideas about what to do with these. This one is my favorite, by the way...

I wish ladies still looked like this these days. But it certainly looks like a lot of trouble, doesn't it?

I'm only sharing a few with you today. There are 33 in all, dating from 1949 to 1955. I will share the rest of them future posts. (Well, all but five of them... some might find them too risque'. I don't want to offend anyone. This is a family blog, after all!)

Here's what's on the inside covers...

Look what I found inside one from 1954. It's a list of tourist attractions in Mexico, written by my dad. He must have been around 13 when he wrote this. I think I remember that he and Grandmother took a trip there.

Okay, so I'm going to cheat a little and kill a few birds with one stone and link this post to some wonderful parties.

Linked to Rednesday at Very Cherry World...


  1. These are fantastic and beautiful. They so need to be framed and displayed..They're just wonderful.

  2. These are so wonderful!

    What great pieces of art. What a hoot, that you found them in your devout grandmothers home. That is hilarious. You say they'd be risque today-- most of these were probably risque when they were printed. ha!

    and yes, you should frame them and display them proudly!

  3. Hey there Babycakes...

    Those lovely ladies are leaving something to the imagination, and that is what makes them even more provocative.

    I'm sure they are collector's items. I would check that out before having them framed as that might reduce their value.

    Talk to you soon ;)
    Bunny Jean

  4. The illustrations are wonderful! I love how the women are so feminine! You have some real treasures there!

  5. I think it's so funny that grandma actually used one of these! I'm so glad you have this little set!

  6. I adore old pin-up girls as well. I don't have any old ones in my collection, all my are newly printed and purchased at Barnes & Nobles bookstore. I also bought to very large prints to frame for my bedroom. I took a class in framing at the local Vo-tech college, you could try your local colleges or sometimes the parks department offers arty type classes. BTW, still don't have those prints framed although I have all the mat board and frame material hanging out in my shop for over 5 years now. Procrastination is my middle name.

  7. I love these retro images! Women were certainly different back then! Very nice! New follower...

  8. I'm OF that era myself, and you'd understand why she allowed them if you knew the significance I's hard to explain.

    My show n tell is HERE. I do hope you can find time to stop by and visit me. I'd love your company.

    Have a super weekend.

  9. Those pin-ups are great and the story about your Grandmother even better! I think it's wonderful that you have the hand written notes too. I love this "Show and Tell"! Have a great weekend "Babycakes" (just kidding about the nickname).

    Susan and Bentley

  10. Wow! Love finding items that have family history! I would frame them! Amazing that you have so many too!

    Thanks for sharing,

  11. Wow, those are truly amazing. How lucky that you have them and I'm sure they were hidden away somewhere, kind of like dirty magazines of the day back then LOL. They will look great in a shadow box!

  12. absolutely Dee-Light-Full! What a great post! I dropped in from "My Romantic Home" and am so happy that I did. Please accept my invitation to drop in at my place one day soon when you get a moment. until later...

  13. I want to have legs like that!!!! How cute!

    m ^..^

  14. What fun! I love the lady in white with the colt! My kind of gal.
    ~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

  15. Necel, what an adorable blog! I love it! I've added it to the Blogroll on my site and looking forward to spending more time here.

    Susan at Charm of the Carolines

  16. Oh those are wonderful! My 22 YO son is a pretty romantic soul (the girl who gets him will be very lucky) and he loves the 40s-50s pinups...and he has 2 younger sisters in and out of his room, so his SI Swimsuit edition stays out of sight...but I encourage him to put these on the wall...esp the WWII ones!

  17. Just stunning - and you are so lucky to have inherited this sort of ephemera... it's the day-to-day stuff that makes an ancestor real (even if it was just one generation back!). Love the pix - Hope you frame them. :)