Little Dog, Zena Dare and Potpourri


Several years ago, a friend of mine asked me to colour for her a vintage photo of a girl and her dog. The image was lacking a lot of detail as it was so old and worn but I did the best I could. I’d never coloured an animal before apart from the two pets I’d remembered from my childhood – neither of which made much difference as the actual colour of the dog was black, and the cat was black and white! I didn’t even have the luxury, with the family dog one, of a beautifully-coloured surround as he’d been standing on concrete.  Later, I found a photo of the pet tortoises I’d had as a young child and was at least able to make their lettuce look appetizing…. I’ll probably post that here another time.

The thing about doing something out of the ordinary is you then notice more incidences of that same thing. I’d been collecting RP (real photographic) postcards of the Edwardian actresses Zena and Phyllis Dare. They were sisters and – to my eye, at least – beautiful in a very classic English way. I’d already bought a few and then I spotted – and bought – one of Zena sitting in a high-backed deckchair with a shade-canopy, and she was feeding a little King Charles spaniel.

It was in a similar state to the first one I’d done – the image is flat-looking due to light and time having worn away the light and shade detail, but I did the best I could with a little restoration and then set about colouring it.  I decided not to try for too much realism as with a photo in that state it can make things much worse.

Hopefully it’s come out okay.

Several weeks ago when I was creating this site, I was also planning a Facebook page to accompany it. But I was torn between doing a page just for my restoration and colouring work, and one for my other vintage interests. I’d become active in a few Facebook groups that revolve around the 1960s and 1970s but whenever I’d wanted to post something vintage that fell outside their focus, I became very frustrated. Well… I could have started a group myself but having seen some of the work the admins had to do, I came to the conclusion that I’ve the wrong temperament to run one. (Though… never say never…)

So I thought… well, I’m going to start a page for my colouring work which is vintage, why not expand it to all my other vintage interests?

So, that’s what I’ve done. Its focus is on a wide, wide period roughly from the 19th century and into the 1980s. It will have music, photos, scans of pages from vintage books and memorabilia I’ve collected over the years, links to webpages of interest on other sites, and more. It will contain nostalgia and sometimes questions to trigger other people’s positive memories.  It will link to articles and posts about historic things of interest to me – and hopefully will interest other people too.

Just before I began this post, I made part of the photo of Zena and her dog, my page’s user icon because I love her obvious joy at feeding the little dog. 🙂

If you’d like to Like and follow the page, it is called Val’s Vintage Potpourri and you’ll find it by clicking this:

In the near future, I’ll be doing a post (here in my blog) about the image I used for my Facebook page cover. Stay tuned!





12 thoughts on “Little Dog, Zena Dare and Potpourri

  1. It’s a delightful image, and yes, she’s a beauty in that classic English style. I’m sure my daughter will love your vintage page too. Nothing she likes better than parading around with a parasol. She had a lovely but very shabby one with her most of the last weekend as it was so warm. 🙂 🙂

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