Pucker Up!

From the late 1800s to mid 1950s, before the use of mass produced cardboard boxes, fruits and produce were packed and transported to the marketplace in wooden crates with colourful, informative labels attached to the ends. These labels were an important part of enticing consumers to choose one brand over another and this competition kept packers working to design the most appealing labels.

Introduced to America by European artists, this profession became known as lithography, the first commercial art. As the fruit market grew larger each season, immense competition at the local markets erupted. Orchard owners used this new concept of lithography to bring attention to their fruit.

L'Orange ~ L'Arancia ~ Orange

By the 1950s, regulations and economy caused packers to begin using preprinted cardboard boxes instead of wooden crates with their beautiful labels. An American art form was lost with the crate and its label. Today, this artistry is finding new appreciation among collectors and anyone looking for unique vintage prints.

I've got my own modern version of citrus crate labels and now have them available in my Etsy shop ~ a crateful of goodness.

Limon ~ Luscious Limes ~ Limetta

Pompelmo ~ Pink Grapefruit ~ Pampelmousse

My "crate labels" were originally illustrated in pen and ink and then painted with gouache and watercolour on acid free canvas paper. I have printed these illustrations in my studio on 8½” x 11" Kodak Ultra premium high gloss 74 lb. photographic paper. The image size is still approximately 6½” x 9½” with a white border allowing for framing. The price is an affordable $15 and each print is hand signed in ink before I ship. The colour is as intense and the originals and they fit perfectly into a standard frame. Another option is to mat them to a larger format and place them in a larger frame or hang with simple glass and clips.

They are terrific as a set of four, but also great individually or in groups of two or three.

Citrus Cooler
Set of Four Gift Tags with Natural Raffia Ties

These too were originally hand illustrated in pen and ink and painted with gouache and watercolour on 140 pound cold press watercolour paper, these “Citrus Fruit” tags have been printed in my studio on Strathmore, acid free, 100 lb. smooth finish Bristol board, hand cut with a deckle edge, and are mounted on an over sized hand cut, deckle edge tag made of the same Bristol board. Generous twenty four-inch (24”) natural raffia pulls through a punched hole for tying.

These are terrific for any gift adornment, charming place cards for your Spring or Easter table, or pretty cards to attach to a bouquet of posies or a gift basket of fruit. Also great for bookmarks all year long or even recipe cards.

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Now for some delightful news...I am the featured seller on the Cottage Style Street Team @ Etsy this week and just found out that last week I was the featured seller on Etsy Cottage Style. Thank you Pops for your lovely, kind, and funny words about me and Marcela for your beautifully written and edited post of my work. If I still lived in California I would be hanging out a lot at the shop Marcela shares with her sister, Nice & Easy Antiques. For some fun a little "pop" in your life, see Popalicious Too!

Thank you friends.

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Ciao amici,