Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Reviving Childhood Memories: Sarah Kay




Meet Sarah Kay, lover of sunshine, springtime and floppy straw hats. A country girl at heart, she’ll choose gardening gloves over sparkly accessories any day of the week. Her favorite jeans are well worn-in, and her ideal footwear is none at all. Friend of animals, grower of flowers and fruits, her place of preference is anywhere outdoors – but especially in her garden. Little sister and big dreamer, she cares deeply for family, friends and the world in which they live. Kind in spirit and full of heart, she believes that we can make that world a better, more beautiful place, starting right in our own backyards.




The Sarah Kay collection was started by Valentine Publishing in the early 1970s and quickly became popular among girls throughout Australia, New Zealand, most of Europe and Latin America. Sarah Kay illustrations were featured mostly on greeting cards, swap cards and postcards. The illustrator is Vivien Kubbos who does not desire any fame hence she doesn't have a website of her own. However Valentine Publishing eventually became John Sands (Australia) Ltd, and they still manage the brand today.


At the very mention of that cute name, there is a tide of wonderful, warm, heartfelt memories unleashed. I got my Sarah Kay sticker album when I was third or fourth grade and filled it full to my and my sister's delight. We used to sit for hours, and leaf through it, savouring every single image, learning the rhymes by heart - for there were rhymes accompanying every picture, pretending we can join the little characters in their play and chores.

What I still love most about it is the set of values praised through the illustrations: love and respect of all living things, nurturing friendship, encouraging acceptance of rights and especially responsibilities, enjoying nature and the world, respecting traditions.

I still have the album stored somewhere, but couldn't find it in time for this post. Has any of you had the Sarah Kay experience :) ?
I also wrote about Marika who is another of my wonderful childhood memories.

18 comments:

Sigrid Swinnen said...

How lovely to see these illustrations back!! I had some pages en envelopes to write letters on , with this kind of drawings on them.
I loved them, thought they were too beautiful to use, but I lost them somehow.
You're right about the feelings those illustrations give you, they make you feel good and somehow are very comforting to look at.
Hope you have a wonderful day,
Sigrid

Alhana said...

I had a book illustrated by her and loved it so much! Sadly, it got lost among many childhood toys and stuff when we moved to our current house 30 years ago. Thank you for bring me back so many memories! :-)

Maya Kuzman said...

So glad to hear that Sigrid! Now I remember having stationary that I was reluctant to use.

Maya Kuzman said...

Happy to know there are pepole who she made happy in the lifestyle she promoted:)

Divya N said...

I remember seeing some of these images in greeting cards in the 90's as a kid. Lately I also see similar images in paper crafting stamps

Marjan Hoebeke-Pfaff said...

Oooh, dear Maya,
Sarah Kay ist great, isn't she? I grew up with three Sarah Kay pictures in my childhood bedroom - they are still there even though the room was turned into a guestroom (guess my mum likes those puctures too).
Even today I have Sarah Key pencils, a ruler, a rubber, a sharpener and some cross stitch embroideries AND an enamel kitchen sign - and I love them!
When I come across Sarah Kay, it simply have to smile. Sarah Kay's work makes me feel happy, grounded, at home, guarded and safe, peaceful, at ease. That down-to-earthness is very soothing.
Thank you for sharing your childhood memories with us!
Marjan

Maya Kuzman said...

Dear Marjan, I am so happy we share the same memories. You said it besutifully!

handmade by amalia said...

I've never heard of here but she looks adorable and a bit like my beloved Holly Hobby.
Amalia
xo

Maya Kuzman said...

Yes, you are right Amalia. With the bonnet and patchworked dress she resembles Sarah Kay. I googled it snd the similarities are striking.

JES the Pilgrim said...

I LOVE her! She reminds me of Holly Hobby from America :) Thank you for sharing her with us on the Art of Home-Making Mondays!

Admirartem said...

So beautiful illustrations! I remember some posters of this cute little girl hanging on the wall of my mom's young sister room a lot of time ago. But I never knew about the great philosophy behind this lovely girl pictures: love for nature and life , respect of traditions, etc.. I think we need more icons like this one nowadays!

Kim said...

I never tire of seeing the sweet and whimsical illustrations of Sarah Kay, nor for that matter the delightful pictures of Holly Hobby! They do fill one with warmth, whimsy and happiness. I have oodles of these gorgeous pictures pinned on my Pinterest board....just waiting for a little machine sketching...one day.

Michelle Leslie said...

Oh Maya, this brought back so many beautiful memories. I can't believe I'd actually forgotten how precious the Sarah Key illustrations were. We used to find them in all the shops here in South Africa too. Thank you so much for reminding me about a time when things were innocent and pure.

Maya Kuzman said...

Thank you for having me Jes!

Maya Kuzman said...

I think we need more of that philosophy with each day Lilah!

Maya Kuzman said...

So glad it lit the sparkle Kim! How wonderful to be able to revive those memories through another medium. No doubt your creations would be a true representation of Sarah Kay's spirit.

Maya Kuzman said...

Dear Michelle, it is her good, universal vibrations that binds us all into one collective memory. I am so happy Sarah Kay spiced up my childhood. The feeling is priceless.

The Charm of Home said...

I was a Holly Hobbie lover. They are similar. So cute! Thanks for sharing at Home Sweet Home!