Tag Archives: Catbird


Jim found this lovely catbird for me. If you look at the logo in the upper left, it says “SINGER MANFG. CO. ” Beneath the words is a needle and thread design. So especially appropriate!

Click the picture to open it in another tab. 


The artist was John L. Ridgway, a scientific illustrator best known for his illustrations of birds and other wildlife, as well as his drawings for the U.S. Geological Service. The copyright date at the bottom left is hard to read, but looks like 1892. (The library notes say it was issued in 1899, so perhaps I’m reading it wrong.)

The American Singer Series was a set of 16 trading cards that also served as advertisements. The catbird card shown above was 4.5″ x 6″. I don’t know if they were all the same size. Other cards featured birds including the brown thrasher, orchard oriole, and rose-breasted grosbeak. On the back of the catbird card is an ad for the Singer No. 101-2,  an electric machine.

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Notice also the easy payments and liberal exchange allowance!

Jim found this (and 679,149 more items!) in the New York Public Library’s digital collections. Thanks Jim!

Power Builders 03.06.15

This is Week #5 of my Power Builders creative links. If you’d like to see last week’s, you can find it here.

I call this series “Power Builders” because that’s what these little items do for me. They make me more powerful in my art and in my life. I hope they do the same for you. Some of the links will be about how other creative people use their time, structure their work, find inspiration. Some may be videos, music, or podcasts to inspire you. Some of it will be directly quilt-related but much of it will not. What you see in Power Builders will depend on what I find. Feel free to link great things in comments, too.

1) I’ve seen this announced in multiple places. John James Audubon’s Birds of America displays the beauty and artistry of these Audubon prints. They are also available to download for free in high resolution. Here is my lovely catbird:

2) Here’s an interesting post from Hyperallergic. It discusses research into the colors that are shared most in Pinterest photos. Admittedly Pinterest may have a unique demographic. However it’s worth considering what impact colors will have on your audience.

3) And in a related note, take a look at this link to see how many different colors you can identify. It may be an indicator of your sensitivity to color, including how many receptors you have.

4) Austin Kleon again, this time with a post on how to draw, even if you don’t know how to draw! Looks like fun to do with kids, and even grown-ups should try it! (Scroll back to the top of the page, if it doesn’t load that way for you.)

What has inspired you this week? Let us know in comments.