Ephemera is a broad term used to describe items of paper that were created for use in a short time span and meant to be thrown away after one or two uses. Items generally put into the ephemera category of collecting would be sheet music, posters, stock certificates, post cards, cigarette cards, magazines, catalogs, and the like.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Greg Johnson's Button People: Or What to Do with Your Old Family Photographs

For the past several years I have been following Deb Dusenberry's blog about her Kansas store "Curious Sofa".  Even though I live in Maryland I love to see how Deb decorates her store for each holiday and to see her new merchandise.  (Good news:  she now does mail order, too!)

This weekend when I checked in with Curious Sofa I was delighted and amazed to see these photos from her Halloween display from the artist Greg Johnson:

How creative!  I have so many family photos like these of Madeline's family.  I look at each one and wish I could display them all in our home and share them with others.  Never did I think to do something like this!  Greg takes these photographs to another dimension.  Each time I look at his "button people"  I see something different. 

When I emailed Deb to ask her permission to post the photos she referred me to Greg and I have exchanged a few emails with him.  He sent me this fabulous photo:

To quote Greg:  "I love working with vintage ephemera; especially vintage photos, carte de visite & cabinet cards.  I call them all my "instant ancestors"."    I agree with him.  A few years ago my husband and I were browsing in an antique store and came across a photo album of a couple which detailed their travel through the years.  Lots of photos of cruises and holiday parties from the 40's and 50's.  The album even showed them aging, but still taking trips together.  I felt an instant connection to this couple and wondered how this album ended up in this antique store.  When I wasn't looking, my husband purchased the album and presented it to me for a Christmas present.  I love to browse through it from time to time and have even used some of the photos to make greeting cards.  We are so blessed to have all these vintage photographs and paper collectibles from the past.  The digital photos we take today will be some one's vintage collectible tomorrow.  I think being creative with them is a compliment to our ancestors. 

Follow Greg on Facebook here.

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