Thursday, November 12, 2009

FrENcH KIssed - No, rEAllY!

I hate to share, I really do because my favorite etsy sellers are a secret source of inspiration and delight. But share, I must because some secrets are just too good to keep!

What does Elvis Presley have to do with French postcards? Well... in my convoluted mind, it all connects. You see, August 16 is always a big deal for me cause that's the day Elvis died and I have been an Elvis fan since I was 11 years old. But one particular Aug. 16 --- in 2002 -- I had more things to worry about than The King's untimely death. I found myself unceremoniously without a job. In a word, I was fired!

Since I had always had raving job evaluations, I was in shock to say the least. I was also in a dilemma because I worked for the one and only newspaper in town. What's a journalist to do? Well, I cried alot.

I also dreamt of making a living with some connection to France -- whatever I could do so that taking trips to France would be a tax write-off! In the meantime, I starting re-selling garage sale finds on eBay.

My mother sent me an article about how the secret to succeeding on eBay was to have a "niche." Niche -- a French word used to describe a special area of demand for a product or service. Voila! That's when I decided I wanted to sell only French items on eBay. That would be my niche.

Looking back now, I am amazed at my innocence and ignorance. I had no capital. I couldn't tote enough back with me on one plane trip to pay for the airfare let alone make a profit! Oh the things that passion drives us to do.
But it was while in Isle sur la Sorgue that I bought my first batch of 50 French postcards and, back at home, when they resold like hot crepes, I knew I was on to something.

For the next couple of years, along with accruing 10,000-plus postcards, I also accumulated a lot of knowledge. I learned about everything from the ins and outs of doing business the French way to a whole lot of trivia about postcard history, the stories behind the people photographed, what images were rare and hard to find.

I also learned that I would never be able to sell enough postcards to actually make a living and support myself. But I couldn't let go of my obsession for these turn-of-century images.

As Fate would have it, one of my customers introduced me to the digital collage world and told me about Etsy. "FrenchKissed" puckered up and put on a smile:) I transferred my Photoshop skills learned in journalism to restoring antique postcards and making the images the highest quality digital scans that I can.

During the Golden Age of Postcards in the early 1900s, cards were printed by the hundreds of thousands. My joy is in finding cards that are TRULY unique, whether it be original art by the sender or the natural collage of the French script, the stamp and the postal cancellation. It's difficult to pick out a favorite, but here's one of many that hold a special place in my heart: a postcard featuring the ballet dancer Cleo de Merode. The sender writes: "Here, Mademoiselle, my idol, Cleo." He says he already has 81 postcards of her! Along the musical notes, he writes (as best as I can translate): "Oh, beautiful lips -- that I tell you a million times!"

Merci beaucoup,
Trishia Jacobs
Antique French postcards and digital scans for the collage artist.
Antique French postcards for the discriminating collector
***Trish would like to extend an exclusive offer to our abode lovers, a Buy 1, Get 1 Free (a free scan $3.99 or under with the purchase of a scan of equal or higher value). I already have an offer on my home page for a free scan with a $10 purchase, so they could take advantage of both offers -- buy $10 in scans and get a total of 2 free ones.

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