Friday, September 30, 2011

My love of '70s craft books

It's Katamari Damacy! In the living room! And it's about to roll over that lady!

My pictures here today are from "The Great Granny Crochet" book by the American School of Needlework, 1979. As a child, I thrived (throve?) on 1960s and 1970s craft books that had lingered on shelves into the early 80s. I would go from front to back, exploring every craft within. Papier mache elephant pencil holder? Done. Painted a rock to look like a bug? Many times.

The look of those books had something really unique to it -- the avocado green, mustard yellow, that kind of bronzy pumpkiny orange, and of course the most disagreeable shades of brown imaginable. There was lighting that never quite illuminated the subject. Worst of all were the photos of food, of course. There is an entire blog and several books devoted to the subject of horrifying food art from cookbooks of the past. I have my own collection of those kind of cookbooks, because I am enchanted by the wibbly, wobbly, gelatinous horror of the endless "jello molds full of hot dogs" that apparently passed as food in the decade of my birth.

There are four pictures of this kid and a can of soda in this book. See, teens used to be so well behaved!

I've worn some pretty strange outfits in my time but I think this is probably the most daring fashion feat I have ever seen perpetrated.

Start making one of these cuddly robots now and it might be finished before the real robots become super-intelligent and start to take over!

Anyway, you get the idea! Most of my '70s craft books are lodged at the bottom of many boxes of books I have stored away right now but I am inspired to keep finding and scanning my favorites. Except to find some of them in your Christmas stocking this year if I know you! And I'll have to make the stocking too of course.


  1. I think I know a kitty that would find a giant ball of yarn more exciting than the model with the distant stare. ;)

  2. These are great! You're right, that beanbag totally looks like a Katamari Damacy ball!

    If you like crazy 50's jello molds, you might enjoy this blog, where a lady decided to live as a 1950's housewife for a week, including cooking vintage recipes. Her stories of her jello molds are hilarious:

  3. Thank you, paintedladyfingers and Kelley!

    thank you for the link Kelley that is a wonderful site! That is exactly the kind of thing I'd do! :D