i have been collecting cigarette cards with bizarre imagery for about 10 or 12 years. it all started with a set of chinese swimmers. at that time, you could get a really cool set on ebay for just about nothing. now it's a different story. i look for cards that aren't in complete sets now. or ones that have damage or creases. they are still a bargain, and perfect for me.
another collection of mine is old first aid books and other medical stuff. as you can see, the card in the piece below fits both categories. i am working on 5 pieces for this series. i have the center blocks all done. they are 5x7 blocks of birch plywood, which i have covered with old letters and then various found objects. cut up tins, window marker tacks, tiny nails. under the block, there is a monoprint, an overall pattern. i thought it re-emphasized the text from the tins, and gave a modern twist to the work. the whole deal will be placed in a deep frame. haven't decided if i will just seal the piece or use glass to protect it.