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Non-Fiction as Inspiration

Halloween in America and Midcentury Christmas books



I shared in one of my first blog posts  that mid-century children's book illustrations have been a big source of inspiration for me when it comes to spun cotton. I'm also a fan of Pinterest for researching vintage art and  holidays..particularly Halloween and Christmas. 

But for me, there's nothing better than diving into a book...and books that inspire are always a win! I came across Halloween in America 2nd Edition by Stuart L. Schneider and Midcentury Christmas by Sarah Archer recently and had to add them to my collection.

I took my time reading Halloween in America, also researching the history of each company mentioned (like Beistle) on my own. So much fun! If you're curious about the history of Halloween itself, there's a brief introduction to get you started. Otherwise this book is chock full of vintage Halloween items, with a few newer artists also included.

a page full of vintage Halloween items from the book Halloween in America Edition 2



Of course, we all know how much I love creating trick-or-treaters, so the vintage costumes more than caught my eye..

vintage Halloween costumes from the book Halloween in American Ed 2 by Stuart L Schneider

And these vintage Halloween photographs of little trick-or-treaters are wonderful and get my creative juices flowing! 

vintage Halloween photographs and costumes from Halloween in America by Stuart L Schneider

I was born in the '70s, with the majority of my childhood spent in the '80s (hence my weakness for everything '80s related!), but when it comes to Christmas, all of my favourite items were the ones my mom grew up with. Kitschy ornaments and decorations, vintage Christmas music and movies, so festive yet cosy. So Midcentury Christmas was lots of fun to dive into!

Kitschy vintage Christmas card images in Midcentury Christmas by Sarah Archer

Remember flipping through the iconic Sears Christmas Wish Book as a child, pen in hand, circling all of your favourite things you just hoped Santa would bring you? I LOVE everything about this 1958 cover!

Sears Christmas book image from Midcentury Christmas by Sarah Archer

I can never get enough of Christmas movies in December (well, we technically start the day after Thanksgiving - the small price my British husband has to pay being married to an American!). This gem is part of our collection.

Miracle on 34th Street movie poster image from Midcentury Christmas by Sarah Archer

A fun work of art for a Christmas recipe book by Consumers Power Company, 1970.

Santa and reindeer image in Midcentury Christmas by Sarah Archer

These books were so full of great photos that it made it really hard to narrow down what to share, but if you're one for vintage holidays and a good bit of nostalgia I highly recommend these two!

Happy reading,

Jessica