Friday, October 30, 2009

Vintage Black Friday, A Tribute to my Grandmother

From the time I was just a little girl, October 31 was more than just Halloween, My paternal grandmother was born on this day in the late 1880's. Not sure the exact year, she was in her 40's in 1929 when my Daddy was born. She was always alot of fun and had interesting things for me to do and play with when I visited. We would bake cupcakes together and make homemade popcorn balls. Halloween was always a special occasion when she was alive.

I wanted to share with you a couple of keepsakes that I have from my grandmother, Irma. The photograph below was taken when she was 17. The gold locket from my grandfather Jack, was his engagement present to her. He was so handsome, and beside the photograph is a lock of his hair.

So very romantic.

She was a jokester and very witty, and her father had been a photographer who owned a studio. My mom has photos of my grandmother and her friends, at the river when they were in high school, and then some of her and girlfriends dressed up like men. I'm not sure what the occasion was, but they were having fun posing and being silly in the photos.

The black photograph album is one that I picked up a few weeks ago at a flea market, no sentimental value, but I liked it as a backdrop for this post.

The locket has her initals engraved in it:
 IGR. Irma Gertrude Russell.

My grandfather was a printer and owned a printshop. They were big party goers in their younger years. He loved surprises and hosted a surprise  Halloween Birthday Party for her November 1st., 1926. Below is the invitation he sent out to all their friends.

Can you read it? Click to enlarge it.
 He wrote the little poem for the invitation.
The black cat and pumpkin graphic are original.

And since Halloween is Saturday,
I thought I'd share a few images
 of vintage black fun for your enjoyment.

image from Country Living

image from Country Home

And in closing I'll pay tribute to my old kitty, "Blackie".
Alyson rescued her at a "Haunted House" downtown,
 Halloween Night, of her 7th grade year.
Blackie was 17 yrs. old when she passed.
Still miss her.

(she's on the kitchen counter, where else?)

Be sure to find other Vintage Black Friday Finds
Thank you Jill!

Have a Fun Vintage Friday,
and a great weekend!



  1. Oh my! So many great memories here, I just love that poem invitation, so sinister for so long ago! :-) The locket with the engraving is beautiful! Your photographing skills are amazing and your writing is very nice, too! Very talented you are! Happy VBF... You've made my night! Suzy

  2. wonderful Halloween post! what a connection and memories you have to the holiday. Love the poem/invitation he wrote...

  3. Debra...this has to be one of the most heart warming, well written blogs..

    well done!



  4. Hey Debra. It's wonderful that you have your Grandmothers sentimental keepsakes. I just love the photos and the locket and can't believe you have that lovely invitation created by your Grandfather. She was so beautiful and he was quite handsome. My Grandmother was also born in the late 1800's. She passed away when I was 13 and she was 93. I was so crazy about her. And by the way I've been thinking about making some popcorn balls myself. But once I start eating them watch out. I usually end up making batches for a couple of weeks with just me eating them ~ can you say pounds!!!!
    Hugs...Tracy :)

  5. Love that invite you've saved. :)

  6. What a sweet collection! Love all of them and the lockets, wow:) Have a blessed day!

  7. Wow Debra, those are wonderful memories. Your granddad was one handsome and clever man. G'ma Irma must have known some secrets the rest of us don't...he obviously adored her.
    The locket is just beautiful and I can't believe that invitation. Style, it all just says style.

  8. How wonderful for you to have these momentos from your grandparents. The invitation is just so sweet! Your site if fabulous, glad I found you! Theresa

  9. What a great history you gave us on your grandmother and wonderful is that locket...and the photos...these are certainly treasures of the heart.....have a happy and safe Halloween....blessings

  10. Ahh, that's so sweet! You are lucky to have those treasures!

  11. Hi Debra,
    Beautiful your family mementos...the locket is beautiful and you have displayed and photographed it so artistically. It is always fun to see what you come up with here! Have a great day...
    Take care, Laura

  12. Very nice write up - enjoyed looking at the pictures and lock of hair - and the little poem on the invitation was 'inviting', so long ago! Fun to read!

  13. Those are some fine looking ancestors you've got there, Debra!
    How sweet to still have those precious keepsakes.

  14. I love seeing old photos of family members. Your gramma was lovely (and actually looks quite a bit like my dad's side of the family!)
    Thanks for sharing these precious memories with us.

  15. Debra thanks for sharing. I love old pictures and the poem. I bet it was just so much simpler in those days.

    Hugs Pam

  16. Debra,
    I love the tribute very sweet and precious. Your blog is a joy every time it works well with my morning coffee. Have a wonderful weekend


  17. Debra..what beautiful treasures to have. They mean so much. Great post. Happy VBF...

  18. Debra,
    How sweet is that?! And I, too, love the suitcases you painted...all of that trimming did a GREAT job!
    I just took a peek at your new blog-I enjoyed reading your opening post and getting to know you a bit more...

  19. Debra, this is my favorite VBF post this week. I love that you still have such wonderful mementos. Thank you for sharing them with us.

  20. I always look forward to your posts. Your grandmother sounds like a wonderful person. The locket is so beautiful - What a handsome couple they made. I know you treasure these memories of her.

    Happy VBF!
    Oh, and Blackie was such a cutie!

  21. What amazing treasures, I love the invitation. I would be thrilled with an invitation personalized for my bday, what a lucky lady she was!

  22. What a beautiful post! Such sweet memories. My birthday was yesterday and my mom's was a few days ago so we will celbrate tomorrow with a halloween party. My parents own a small printing shop also. No wonder this post struck a note with me! Your grandparents were very stylish and romantic. It's a very sweet story.

  23. Its always nice to know where YOU came from to help in getting to where YOU are going. Family history and a real connection to YOUR past is a wonderful gift.

  24. Thanks for sharing your sentimental treasures!
    Amazing locket. Great photos. Wonderful memories...
    Glad you enjoyed the black kitty pumpkin. Consider it a tribute to your sweet "Blackie."

  25. Hello Sweet D...Just stopping to wish you a wonderful Halloweeny Day! :)


  26. Debra, you've knocked my socks off, again ... I adored learning about your grandparents, what a love story and how lucky you are to have such sentimental items.

    Happy {a tad late} VBF to you!


  27. I love this post! I love that you have such meaningful keepsakes from your grandparents--so full of personality. I also love your tribute to your kitty... Enjoy what's left of the leaves!


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