Penny Richards and the Flying Car Case

We first noticed the artwork of Penny L. Richards when she created beautiful upcycled cases using vintage Library of Congress images posted on the Flickr Commons. We were thrilled when she used two images from the State Library and Archives of Florida, which she found on our Flickr Commons photostream. We decided to interview Penny Richards to learn more.

Tell us about yourself.

Penny Richards: I’m Penny Richards, I’m a mom at home in Redondo Beach, California, and a research scholar affiliated with UCLA’s Center for the Study of Women. I sometimes teach art in my kids’ school, and I run or contribute to about 10 blogs (but most of them aren’t mine).

How did you become interested in vintage photographs?

PR: My PhD is in Education, but I’ve always done historical projects, and I’m currently president of the Disability History Association, so it’s mostly from my academic work. I had been gathering disability history and women’s history images from the Library of Congress holdings for a while before the Flickr Commons project started, so it was easy for me to get involved there when it did start.

How do you convert a purse or case into a piece of art?

Well, each one is different, but the basic steps are in this tutorial.

What drew you to these particular photographs (the flying automobile and the woman with camera)?

A good image for my purposes is clear and has all its edges—meaning, I can cut out a person or an object without losing any of the outline—and it’s a good shape for the bag. Most portraits are vertical, but most bags and cases are square or horizontal, so that’s always a challenge.

The flying car just made me smile, and I knew it could be printed onto different papers and cut into pieces for more definition, almost like the anatomical sections of an insect. I also didn’t mind the blurry propeller because that was easy to paint in. The woman who owns that case is a crafter based in Orange County, who loves strong color and offbeat images.

The woman with the camera is just lovely, she has a pleasant expression and she’s looking straight at the viewer (in so many older portraits of women, that’s not true); I’ve used that one a couple times, because I figure a lot of people who’d like my bags would also like photography. The woman who bought that case works in animation, so I guess I was on target there!

Flying car case

Flying car case

 

Jess Dixon in his flying automobile

Jess Dixon in his flying automobile

 

Upcycled case, back

Upcycled case, back

 

Young smiling woman, holding a camera

Young smiling woman, holding a camera

 

Photographer purse

Photographer purse

National Library Week (April 8-14, 2012)

It’s National Library Week, so don’t injure that book!

These rules and regulations come from the Library of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union of Dunedin, Florida circa 1915.

Broadside from the Library of the Women's Christian Temperance Union of Dunedin, Florida

Broadside from the Library of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union of Dunedin, Florida

1st. Any person may become entitled to the privileges of this Library on payment of twenty-five cents, quarterly, in advance.

2nd. No person shall be allowed to keep a book over two weeks without paying a fine of five cents for each additional week.

3rd. No person will be allowed to draw a book until the one previously drawn has been returned.

4th. Any person injuring, or failing to return a book will be held responsible for the same.

Passover

The Jewish holiday of Passover starts today. Passover lasts seven to eight days and commemorates the biblical story of the Exodus, in which the ancient Israelites were emancipated from slavery in Egypt.

Passover supper at Temple Beth Jacob Servicemen's Center under the auspices of the Jewish Welfare Board, Miami Beach, 1943

Passover supper at Temple Beth Jacob Servicemen's Center under the auspices of the Jewish Welfare Board, Miami Beach, 1943

 

Seder at the home of Aaron and Marcella Kanner, Miami, 1950s

Seder at the home of Aaron and Marcella Kanner, Miami, 1950s

 

Passover Seder services, conducted by Rabbi Max Shapiro at Fagan's Palatial Kosher Restaurant, Miami, 1938

Passover Seder services, conducted by Rabbi Max Shapiro at Fagan's Palatial Kosher Restaurant, Miami, 1938

Pysanky (Ukrainian egg decoration)

Pysanky is created when patterns are drawn on eggs with wax, which then protects the covered areas from the dye that is applied. By repeating this process with different colors of dye, a multi-colored pattern is built up. Pysanky artist Ola Kryway describes the process of Ukrainian egg decorating, including preparing/selecting eggs, drawing design, dyeing, and the meaning of designs.

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Download: MP3 More Info: Catalog Record

Webinar Information and Link to Recordings

Want to learn more about Florida Memory from the experts? The Florida Memory team is conducting a series of webinars that provide detailed information about the website and digitized collections from the State Library and Archives of Florida.

All webinars are free upon registration. Simply provide your name and an email address when prompted.

[UPDATE: Go to our Webinars page for free recordings of past sessions.]

Register to receive a recording of our first webinar, “How to Use Florida Memory to Find Resources For and About Your Community.”

Close-up view of a Marsh rabbit - Osceola County, Florida

Our first webinar was on Groundhog Day (February 2). Since groundhogs are neither indigenous to Florida, nor to our collections, we chose this Marsh Rabbit as our mascot: Osceola County, 1991. While Marsh Rabbits cannot predict the weather, we hear they are quite adept at swimming.

[UPDATE: Go to our Webinars page for free recordings of past sessions.]

You can also receive the recorded version of the second installment in our webinar series,  “Finding and Using Primary Sources from the Florida Memory Website.”

Miccosukee boys reading at the Mission

Many of our second webinar attendees were teachers and librarians, so we chose this image from the Bedell collection of two Miccosukee boys reading at the Glades Cross Mission to illustrate our theme: Everglades City, 1941.

[UPDATE: Registration for this session has ended.]

Register for our third webinar, “Florida Memory: An Introduction to Audio Resources,” which will be held on April 5, from 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. EDT.

  1. Go to this page: Register for this session.
  2. Enter the meeting number – 592 243 890
  3. Click on the “Registration” link.

Stay tuned for more information about upcoming webinars from the Florida Memory team. Enjoy!

Women’s Basketball

With the annual hoopla surrounding the beginning of March Madness and the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, many forget that the NCAA women’s tournament occurs simultaneously. The inventor of basketball, Dr. James George Naismith, envisioned basketball as a sport for men and women. In fact, women’s high school and college basketball teams played an important role in promoting the game and coincided with the earliest men’s basketball teams at the beginning of the 20th century. So with this, Florida Memory highlights women’s basketball in Florida from its earliest days.

Stetson University women’s basketball team: Deland, Florida (1907)

Stetson University women’s basketball team: Deland, Florida (1907)

 

Florida State College for Women’s basketball team sitting atop Westcott gate on College Avenue: Tallahassee, Florida (ca. 1920)

Florida State College for Women’s basketball team sitting atop Westcott gate on College Avenue: Tallahassee, Florida (ca. 1920)

 

Florida A & M College women’s basketball team: Tallahassee, Florida (1929)

Florida A & M College women’s basketball team: Tallahassee, Florida (1929)

 

Pierce Junior High School women’s basketball team: Polk County, Florida (1937)

Pierce Junior High School women’s basketball team: Polk County, Florida (1937)

 

Lincoln High School’s women’s basketball team: Tallahassee, Florida (1950s)

Lincoln High School’s women’s basketball team: Tallahassee, Florida (1950s)