Friday, September 24, 2010

Balm for the Crafting Soul

"One word," says Mr G.
I look at him.
"One word: No. Enn Oh: No. No, no, no."
Goodness me, he's such a drama queen.
All I did was show him this:

"I know what you're thinking," he says. "You're thinking: I could make that. I know you and I'm telling you now: No. The time has finally come for me to put my foot down and that's what I'm going to do ..."

Once again, I'm distracted from his rant by the picture on the cover. I find it strangely captivating. The young woman manages to be sultry and wholesome at the same time, a feat not made easy by the fact that she's sporting an ankle-length granny square skirt. Let's have a look at it in more detail, shall we? Feast your eyes, readers:

" ... don't even think about it. The name of that pattern is probably Grounds for Divorce," Mr G. is saying. "I mean, be sensible, woman. Just imagine trying to cycle to work in that skirt ... "

The magazine is one of a dozen or so that were sent to me about a year ago by a lovely friend called Pat in NJ (hi, Pat!) and, frankly, I am enchanted. Every now and again, I take them out and read them, cover to cover. It alarms Mr G. when he sees me poring over patterns for tissue-box covers in lurid oranges and browns or toilet-roll covers in the shape of fruit (want to know where the loo roll is? Check underneath the crocheted apple!) or flashlight covers in the shape of candles (the idea being that you crochet something that looks like a candle to place over the flashlight. Don't ask. I have the feeling that anyone who stayed still long enough in the 70s quickly found themselves draped in a crochet cover). Not that there aren't really interesting or pretty patterns - there are. Lots, in fact. But they're not quite as interesting as the things that are quintessentially of that era. It's like stepping back in time.

Take, for example, the ads. I love the ads. You can do correspondence courses in Spanish! You can order plants and have them sent to you - by post! You can learn to make your own snow globes or cross-stitch welcome mats. You can order pantyhose, model houses and mantlepiece ornaments. And there's a cornucopia of money-making ideas for the stay-at-home housewife:

Should you not feel like giving your local Persian rug maker a run for his money, you can gather up your empty pill bottles and recycle them as Christmas tree decorations:

Flipping ingenious. It doesn't quite work with a blister pack of aspirin tablets, but I love the idea.

Don't let my fivolous tone deceive you: I sincerely love these little magazines. They're captivating, enchanting, quaint. Reading them is balm for the crafting soul.
And I am so making myself one of those skirts.


Unknown said...

I inherited my Grandmother's stash of those magazines. I love reading the ads. I happen to have that exact issue.

I also have a few issues of McCall Needlework from the 70's with all sorts of granny square outfits. Funny thing is, I don't remember seeing anyone wearing afghan clothes in real life. Only in the magazines.

Spundun said...

OK, I confess, I rather like that skirt!

Yes, I too love the old adverts - claims made in those days were no less preposterous than they are now.

Off to see if I have any pill bottles anywhere...

Quinn said...

That model actually manages a "come-hither" look whilst wearing an afghan. Impressive!

But I'm with your husband on this one :)

Gracey is not my name.... said...

I also have some of my Meme's magazines (grandmother) the only thing I have of yours..

- said...

I love it too, lots to see and back then there were a lot less ads and there were so many more patterns in one issue. Make sure to promise us you will model the skirt if you do it....please?

Heather - The Good Life said...

Thanks for the laugh! Loved your post! :-)

Beadpup said...

Gingerbread Lady, your posts always make me smile. As if Mr. G has any say in the matter! Might I suggest making a shorter version and replacing the black with maybe a dark green or navy blue??!

Paul & Carla said...

Let's just say I was alive AND the right age for that skirt in the 70s, and I didn't make one? 'kay?