With cold winter days and evenings, I find myself wanting to curl up under a quilt with a cup of hot tea and a good magazine. Sadly one of my favorite magazines, Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion, is no longer in publication. Fortunately I'm a pack rat who saves back issues of favorite magazines.
As a child of the 50s, I spent many an hour with paper dolls. My sister and I would spread a quilt out on the lawn, open up our paper doll collections, and disappear into a fantasy world all our own. Betsy McCall, the paper doll of magazine fame, was one of our favorites. When Mary Engelbreit introduced her own Ann Estelle paper doll series, it brought back a rush of sweet memories. I've left the paper doll pages in tack within my archives of HOME COMPANION, but recently while reading HOME COMPANION, February & March 2003, I decided it was time to take out the scissors and let Ann Estelle come to life. In honor of M. E. Monday and the upcoming Chinese New Year which begins February 3, here's Ann Estelle in her best Chinese dress ready to twirl her pretty little parasol.
In addition to the paper doll feature in each issue of HOME COMPANION, Mary offered readers the opportunity to purchase limited edition lithographs of exclusive illustrations that she created for each month's issue of HOME COMPANION. Each issue also included the illustration in a smaller version printed on card stock with a perforated edge so one could carefully remove it and pop it into a frame all its own.
Entitled "Chinese New Year", the February March 2003 lithograph featured two sisters ready to ring in the Year of the Sheep. Notice Ann Estelle, dressed in her best Chinese dress, has her own parasol ready to join in the celebration. I think this charming illustration looks beautiful in its mother of pearl frame and is the perfect touch for my desk as I bring in 2011 Year of the Rabbit. "Thank you, M. E."