Margaret Rose Rubenstein's Profile

About

A BIT ABOUT ME

My name is Margaret Rose, and I work in the performing arts as a writer and director. I have been around theater, music, and visual arts all of my life, but it took quite awhile for my love of visual arts to combine with my love of music and be expressed in the form of a decoupage plate!

I inherited an eye for visual composition from my father. Dad was a photographer and had his own business as a lithographer, preparing layouts of books for the printing presses. I was fascinated to watch him manipulate his lettering machine and loved watching him create paste-ups of the book pages. To this day the smell of rubber cement takes me back to afternoons when I would watch over Dad’s shoulder as he worked at the light table, inspecting and refining every detail of the page in front of him. Dad bought me a Kodak…

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  • Female
  • Joined January 12, 2012

Favorite materials

Paper, Glass, Crystal, Silver, Ephemera, Wood, Wire, Photography, Quilting

Shop

About

A BIT ABOUT ME

My name is Margaret Rose, and I work in the performing arts as a writer and director. I have been around theater, music, and visual arts all of my life, but it took quite awhile for my love of visual arts to combine with my love of music and be expressed in the form of a decoupage plate!

I inherited an eye for visual composition from my father. Dad was a photographer and had his own business as a lithographer, preparing layouts of books for the printing presses. I was fascinated to watch him manipulate his lettering machine and loved watching him create paste-ups of the book pages. To this day the smell of rubber cement takes me back to afternoons when I would watch over Dad’s shoulder as he worked at the light table, inspecting and refining every detail of the page in front of him. Dad bought me a Kodak instamatic camera and talked to me about foreground and framing the shot and how to use the light. After each roll of film that I shot, when we got the photos back from the printer, Dad would look at each photo and give me constructive criticism about my composition. I didn’t know it then, but the instincts he created in me would provide me with a critical skill in my theater career: as a director, I am constantly creating pictures on the stage, arranging people and sets and props in ever-changing images.

My husband Danny and I have always been attracted to things from the past … I love the architecture from the 1890’s – 1910’s, snazzy deco barware from the 30’s, ladies’ fashion from the 40’s, and kitchen wares from the 50’s. One of our favorite activities is to rummage through someone’s aunt’s attic at an estate sale – the junkier and more cluttered the better! – just to see what treasures we might uncover. Danny runs the other division of “Yestergoods” in his store on eBay, where he sells vintage sheet music. For years, I watched piles and piles of vintage sheet music pass through his shop, and I’d set aside my favorite pieces to keep for myself. The covers of these pieces are often simply gorgeous. Beautiful lush roses, quirky titles, pretty ladies with flirting eyes, deco designs, and bold distinctive graphics. I kept thinking that one day I might frame them, but I continued to have the thought that there was something more I could do with them.

THE INSPIRATION MOMENT

A few months ago I was looking through Danny’s pile of Christmas music. The sheet music cover for “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” was nice as it was, but it wasn’t something to put in a frame and hang on your wall. It was too utilitarian – very practical if you wanted to sit at the piano and play the song, but not that great to look at on its own. Still, there was a great illustration on it, and the bright green color was perfect for Christmas. I decided to take elements from the music cover, combine them together with some of the actual music, and in this way create a collage that became a more succinct and interesting representation of the song. Once I had the collage layout in mind, I decoupaged it onto the underside of a glass plate … and fell in love with what I had created! I couldn’t wait to get started on the next one (“Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer,” of course!).

Since that beginning, I’ve been stealing more and more from Danny’s stock, and have enjoyed creating dozens more plates. Sometimes I’m drawn to a beautiful illustration, sometimes I’m amused by the song title. I love bold decorative lettering. I love playing with the composition of these graphic elements; rearranging them and creating a new look for them that suits their new life as a plate or platter. I’m using decoupage glue instead of rubber cement, but it takes me back, again, to all those lessons from Dad. And most of all, I love that this sheet music – each piece that I use and “upcycle” into a new item – has a history. Decades ago, someone bought that piece of music, set it upon their piano, and raised their voice, singing the very words and notes that now dance under my glass plates. You won’t be able to put my plate on your piano and play the song. But in using the plate, seeing it as you drop your keys onto it or slice into a wedge of brie from it, perhaps you’ll be touched by the spirit of that long-ago voice, singing words and notes from decades past.

SPECIAL FEATURES

Each of my plates, unless specifically noted, is made with actual sheet music rather than a reproduction or photocopy. I like the history of this … some of the music I work with is over 100 years old … and it is now reborn on this plate, so it can see the light of day and be enjoyed in a new way!

Each plate is unique. While I may be lucky enough to find another copy of the same music, and I may therefore create another plate that is similar, the nature of “handcrafted item” means that no two are exactly alike. And isn’t that why we all love shopping on Etsy?!

Each plate is beautiful but not “slick.” While modern items are conveniently and efficiently made by machines and assembly-line robots … art isn’t. Nature isn’t perfect and neither am I. You’ll see the incision marks that I made with my Xacto knife while cutting the designs… you’ll see small frays and tears that are natural on decades-old paper … and you’ll see the way all those little things come together to make something beautiful.

I am passionate about packing! Each glass item that is shipped will be double-boxed and properly cushioned to protect it on its way to you.

Please read my Shop Policies, but know that the bottom line is I will do whatever I can to make you a happy, satisfied customer. I hope you will return to my shop often, and recommend to your friends to visit YESTERGOODS on Etsy.

(Note that I have had a brief presence on Etsy as "MargeeRose," but that account is currently being phased out and all activity moved here, to "Yestergoods.")

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