Tuesday, October 26, 2010

rub out

now, this may not look like much....
just a collection of something from S.C.R.A.P.  (oh, scrap, resource to the resourceful,  let me count the ways...)

But, a few weeks ago when i walked into Flax to pick up my annual supply of transfer letters, the guy looked at me straight on and said,
oh, they stopped making those.  The display we had was the last of it's kind. 

My mouth dropped open. 
Noooooooooooohhhhh!  

WHY does this keep happening?!  I wanted to get on a soapbox and holler:  People! (i imagine i would holler) TYPEWRITERS, VHS PLAYERS, TINY STAPLERS, HAND-CRANKED PENCIL SHARPENERS, BROWNIE CAMERAS, DOVE-TAILED WOODEN BOXES, ELMER'S GLUE, WELL DESIGNED BUTTON CARDS, OLD WOODEN HAND STAMPS, BOOKS, LARGE ROUND CORNERED FLASH CARDS, ALL THESE THINGS are still useful
You can't just stop making something all-together or decide to stop fixing that particular thing, as it goes to it's dinosaur-like death.  People use transfer-letters.  They do!

Okay, I DO!

So, someone does...


and there's no way, really, you can't tell me that the rub-on letter inventor-guys decided they weren't cool anymore. 

I re-discovered the ole rub-on letters years ago and, ever since, have continued a one-way love affair.  I use them regularly in card designs, I use them in art work often, and I've done entire pages of text this way for a hand-made book.  Thinking they were gone forever from my grasp,  I remember telling a few friends about it:  Sure, I got weird looks and the repeated question, "People still use those?!"  I was fairly bummed out.

But your lows will have their compliment of highs.


Weeks later, after I've done an on-line search and come up with the most horrible transfer letters and images ever thought of, finding nothing I could possibly use ... I walk into SCRAP, purely unassuming.  I often find something I need like crazy here.  More often than not, it's two or three things.  This trip was on a different level.  I was going with a purpose, for certain finds:  old envelopes, maybe some old paper, a great old stapler and pencil sharpener (all of which I found).  But, never did I imagine coming across this treasure trove.


The pencil lead here is still raw to the touch.  I had stopped using a pencil for transfers when I was a kid -- learning that you don't need to be drawing all that lead out, you can use any hard edge -- but now I'm back, due to this inspiration.  Something extremely satisfying about drawing out the old lead to get a simple black letter.

I love thinking about all the different office people that used these, each one with a different style:  black pen, super hard scratching, pencil led, soft touch, just the outline of the letter, all around the letter.  Then a type I'd never seen: the cut-out-rub-on-letter,



Each envelope was specifically crafted for holding these very important sheets of letters.

Large manila envelopes:  sides split, tops taped, and the fronts clearly labeled.


And, a bonus sheet:


never ending periods, ellipses, or dots galore, however you look at it.
And I'll be looking at this whole bunch of goodness for quite awhile now.

10 comments:

Mi Piace Kate Design said...

oh.my.god. good find friend, that may in fact be the best find ever!

scissor variations said...

i have a very large collection of these in their origial boxes (11 x 17!)--I love using these and no matter how old they are they still work like a dream, unlike today's versions you see.

Bonbon Oiseau said...

LUCKY!!! god i loved these things...

Susan Fuquay said...

Molly, I love your blog and thought process. I spent two whole summers in college doing almost nothing but applying lettraset letters. All I spelled was Graham, Anderson, Probst and White on presentation boards over and over again. This was the name of the architectural firm where I worked.

Thanks for the memories! Press on letters have a beauty all their own. Have you seen the documentary called Helvetica?

Susan

Susan Fuquay said...

PS Have you seen the movie Herb and Dorothy? Another interesting documentary that, as a creative mind, you might enjoy. Susan

Anonymous said...

Molly...Haven't we always said, S.C.R.A.P. is close to HEAVEN? Mom

Christina said...

Oh that is awesome!!!

paige said...

Phew.

I think I was holding my breath the whole time I was reading. Just thinking about all the things I haven't appreciated in too long, like rub on letters and Elmer's Glue, made me really anxious. What else are we going to lose?

Thank goodness for SCRAP.

Anonymous said...

This post had me on the edge of my chair, holding my breath, say it ain't so... And then, 'The Hunt', comes into play. We must collect, or we will not have what we desire & NEED!!!!
Bravo Mol & Excellent Hunting! OXOx, Hol

Rose Brier Studio said...

My daughter discovered SCRAP almost as soon as she moved to the Bay Area, 2 months ago. She's promised to take me when I visit next year. Can't wait.
~Marilee

ps transfer letters are cool!