Don't get me wrong, I love Japanese craft books. I even own a few. I mean, I gotta love the fact that there is a Japanese term for the nutty items I seem to churn out like I've just consumed an entire 12-cup pot of coffee with an Excedrin chaser (no I don't really consume this...often) - Amigurumi! Yes, now does this terminology not elevate the status of a crocheted vegetable donning bloodshot eyeball? It's not simply a crafty anomaly. It's an AMIGURUMI for Pete's sake! So there.
Anyway, yes, LOVE the Japanese craft books and apparently so does EVERYONE ELSE out there in crafty blogdom. I cannot tell you how many blogs have post after post dedicated to these books. And rightfully so, but being that I only own a few of these books combined with the fact that (i) you've probably seen the ones I own on another blog already and (ii) you've probably seen the ones I own on another blog already, there's absolutely no need for me to show the few highly publicized Japanese craft books that I own on my blog.
Instead, I am going with an alternate theme: Old Craft Books! Yep, you betcha! Think those scary macrame leaflets from the 70's lack merit? Not to me! There are simply not enough knotted owls with enormous wooden bead beaks in the world IMHO. The same can be said of those texts featuring the art of latch hook. Hairy, beachy sunsets from decades past reminding us of a time when canvas was king and oftentimes found in the same book as the macrame owls! Go figure. Oh yeah, I own a latch hook and I'm proud of it! I just never know when the need to hook a rug will take me by the throat and pin me up against the wall...Ooooops, sorry. That visual was a bit much.
Anyway, embark on a trip down the bibliocrafty memory lane and delight in delicate doilies, a plethora of potholders, teeniebopper twin sets and hats aplenty! Learn to tat, knit a wrap, crochet granny squares amany! Embroider hankies, quilt log cabins, sewing deconstructed. Felted slippers, woven blankets, dolls and toys for every child. These pages are a treasure trove of human hands at work, telling stories, sharing wisdom, teaching others how to dabble successfully in the alchemy of craft.
Leafing through the old musty pages reminds me of decades past sitting with my Nana in her sewing room at the back of my grandparents California ranch house, inhaling the scent of mothballs and wool, hearing the nightly newscast BLARING from the television in the adjacent den accompanied by Poppie's snoring sonatas while "watching" his program. Each an every turn of the page brings forth memories of rummaging through Nana's yarn and fabric stash looking for the perfect piece of fiber for my next project. Gently leafing through her myriad crochet, knitting and sewing books in search of inspiration, waiting for a project to call out to me, begging to be made. Listening to the hum of Nana's sewing machine as it accelerated from zero to sixty in 2.5 seconds, zipping out the most amazing pair of trousers ev-ver! Yes, the pages of Old Craft Books harbor a plethora of hidden treasures, images from another era, memories made, memories shared, each exhibiting the markers of generations, be it clothing or housewares, toys or gifts, all of which urge the reader to turn off the television, step away from the computer and make something with your hands. Go ahead, create something from nothing, enrich your mind and live in the moment. Couldn't we all use a little push like that every now and again? I know I could.
So, without further ado, I give you today's source of inspiration...
POTHOLDERS! Oh, and Hot Platter Mats...
There just aren't enough rockin' potholder books to be had as of late. So, when I need a potholder fix, I get it from pamphlets like this one. Circa 1951, this book has got it all. A little shellfish. A little astrology. And all for the low, low price of 10 cents! C'mon peeps, even your local gumball machine is begging for quarters!
Love this combo: a pineapple; a watermelon; and polka dots all 'round!
Did you say tartan??? Oh yeah, plenty of that amidst the pages of this goodie!
A flat tomato and a Kaffe Fassett precursor...
Your basic square within a square within a square within a....um, you get it.
And tying the whole collection together...my favorite subject matter!
So, what did your hostess with the mostest make from this inspirational crafty wondertext?
You guessed it...Zombie Asparagus! Um, maybe you didn't guess that...
So, I embellished a little. Okay a lot. I can assure you, these Zombie Asparagus have the heart(s) of a potholder and the mind(s) of, yeah, reanimated vegetable monsters. Okay, I tried to make a functional item! I did!
Copyright 2005 Regina Rioux Gonzalez. All rights reserved.