What could be in the gigantic box?

Over the years I've occasionally made this blog a hub for hosting swaps and promoting swaps, and I've loved participating in every variety of them. Nothing better than sending off a box full of magic and in turn receiving gifts and treasures from friends all over the world. Some of whom I've never met in person, and some we've been lucky enough to encounter at art events. 
And then there are the things that arrive without any provocation. The one sided "swaps" with lucky ole me on the receiving end. Surprise gifts! Well the latest great mail day like this brought a giant box full of amazing! When I saw the oversized box I had no idea on earth hat it could be. I was told by my online friend Nancy to keep an eye on the mailbox because she was sending a vintage recipe book that had a vintage doll theme. Then a HUGE box arrives and I'm like whaaaaaat??
Ok, somewhere in transit the said recipe book somehow multiplied into a foot tall stack of amazing recipe books...and they were just the half of it. The box turned out to be more like a clown car full of well loved, aged, cracked, and tattered dolls!!

Not sure if the photo accurately captures how incredibly big this gal is. The stuffing is coming out of her snow suit like body that is the palest pink vinyl. Will you look at that face!

Oh and these two! ha! Aren't they so patriotic? They can't wait for 4th of July. What an adorable duo!

 And this lil gal looks like she partied a little too hard. Too much sugar and staying up late maybe. ha!

 This fella happens to be one of Nancy's favorite buddies from childhood. He's a dapper little clown named "Happy". 

So this here happens to be the book that started it all. The book all on it's own is perfect...how on earth did it spawn such a treasure trove of vintage magic?

Really, does it get more me?! Vintage dolls and cake recipes!

 The book in the two pics directly above made both Aaron and I do a double take. It has no cover...which isn't the weird thing...since these are all so old and it is incredible that any of them are all in one piece. But take a look and see how the pages look layered. Well it turns out someone apparently  took all the pages of the cook book and glued them to pages of a farmer's almanac. Whyy?? Was it a weirdo kid? A weirdo like myself?? Cuz, I totally did weirdo stuff like that during my childhood summers. I'd pretend to be at my job writing or publishing books. But of course I really had no idea what it was to write and produce books. I'd take a seashell or horse identification book and by hand I'd copy the pages cover to cover! Writing out all of the text and even drawing every single illustration. I'd make myself put in a real 9 to 5 day. Total Weirdo.

There are so many fun illustrations in these books! I have a very large collection but some of these are new to me and I am in heaven!

Let's talk about Aunt Jenny...ha! (is that a line that will be said by my nieces and nephews in the future?) I actually had this very book on my ebay watch list a few times. Aunt Jenny is a crack up. Aaron likes to call her the pre-television era Paula Deen.  

Aunt Jenny drops her G's and talks fun and folksy like Paula Deen. And like Ms. Deen she doesn't shy away from fat for a second. 

I love the little convos all throughout the book. They're meant to resemble her radio show from the 1930's.

Oh that Calvin!

oh reeeally Aunt Jenny? you don't say. 
Yes, look closely, that is a steak literally frosted with Spry!! ha!

I have only shared a fraction of the incredible gifts from Nancy. I am just beyond thankful...holy crow what amazing stuff! So much source material and inspiration for future artwork. I'm honored to receive such well thought out and personal gifts.

Hey, looks like the Jersey sun has finally appeared...we've switched to a rock station in it's honor. Earlier when it was gray and raining we were working to a soundtrack of Billie, Ella, Louis, and Nat. That only works for so long. Ok, thanks for reading!

xo, Jenny...and Aaron


  1. What a fab surprise! Thank you so much for sharing with these great pics of your mail treasures. The glued recipe book/farmers almanac reminds me of one my friend loned me. It was assembled by his little Czech grandma. Her husband was a dentist and she glued her recipes onto the pages of his old appointment book! A few of the patient's names are still visible in the margins. I was so hoping to find that of my Czech grandma who was a patient of the good dentist back in the 1950's! Love your blog...so happy and cheerful! dix---

  2. What a nice surprise :)

    The whole lot was superb.

  3. Wow...what a haul...gorgeous gorgeous things!

  4. What a fun surprise! I love the vintage dolls with their quirky faces, and the books are a little piece of history themselves. Enjoy!

  5. Wow! How much fun is this box of goodies? What a wonderful surprise! I love the Aunt Jenny book. The men are getting ready to eat a meat pie and there's a big plate of donuts on the table! LOL! I could spend hours looking through all of those books! Have fun! Hugs, Leena

  6. So glad you are having fun with the box I knew you would everyone looks so happy to be living on the east coast!!!!! Thanks for giving them a home!

  7. OMG

    Jenny I have seen your comments on facebook for Cheryl Day at back in the Day Bakery, my favorite place in Savannah, even Paula Deen is second to Cheryl & GRiff

    I followed them around for their book signing in Nashville Tenn, I drove 8 hours to get their autographs in the new cookbooks

    It's so nice a blog follower sent you a surprise box, don't ya jus love it???

    xoxox Janice

  8. You lucky girl. You get the best stuff.



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xo Jenny & Aaron

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