From a vintage party planning booklet, this tip on decorating chairs to look like tombstones. For Halloween parties and other macabre meetings.
Words to stitch and live by. Via.
We all know comic book art, pinups, and many other art forms exaggerate the human form; especially the female form. However, if you want any sort of realism at all — let alone to avoid complaints about body image, statements that comic book nerds have never seen nude chicks, etc. — check out this illustrated tutorial by Ovens (aka Unconventional oven), of Effort Comics (18+ webcomic):
In case you don’t have a pair of your own, haven’t ever seen naked boobs before, or simply forget about physics, this is an excellent reminder. It also pleases me as it points out that our female finer points move, are affected by position & gravity, may not point at all, and may even sag — all of which is natural and beautiful.
I say, exaggerate away, artists, as long as you get the most simple basics of flesh and physics right.
See also: The seventh in the I Draw the Line series by Tom Nguyen. (Sadly, this archive of the series is sans illustrations.) In his “how to draw boobs” entry, Nguyen provides the ultimate artistic breast advice:
Boobs have a general shape, yes, but keep in mind that they are soft and have weight. Therefore, their shape changes to work with gravity and clothing.
It was my hope that my doodling would improve a bit each week — but then Laura had to make a complicated theme this week. *sigh* So here you go.
And now here you go — to doodle. Right?
I’m a dork. I know it, and now you’ll know it too.
When I spotted the cover of this 1975 Simplicity sewing book — “updated!” — I had to have it.
I had to have it because I actually thought that they’d have instructions for how to make the hat. Yes, I thought that 1) the kitschy fisherman’s hat adorned with pincushion (with pins, no less), scissors, and measuring tape-turned-bow, would be awesome to wear going to rummage sales on those rainy days, and that B) a book of sewing instructions would actually include instructions for creating the item featured on the cover.
Now you might agree that I’m just plain silly for the first thing; but don’t you think a person ought to expect the latter? But no. Apparently Simplicity thinks making the hat is obvious enough. Which I suppose is better than being like that super-annoying and frustrating Science Channel show, How It’s Made, which informs you that markers are made by putting felt into a plastic tube and inserting ink into the absorbent felt. A Duh. That’s not how something is made, that’s how something is assembled from already made parts.
But my point is, while I can buy a bright yellow rain hat and all the sewing supplies, I have no idea how to attach said sewing supplies without ending up having to wear a pirate’s eye patch — and telling people that I was blinded by my own lack of sewing skill, causing a scissors to fall from my kitschy hat & skewer my eyeball.
None of this, however, dampens my desire for such a hat. Sew So, if you know how to make such a hat — that is safe enough to wear — please do tell.
Knit your own Space Invaders leg warmers, yo.
I began doing traditional rug hooking (using wool strips and a hand hook – you pull loops of wool strip up through burlap/Scottish linen stuff). It is very relaxing, and I like the idea that I can still be “busy” with my hands while I vegetate in front of the TV set… I tend to do this more in the winter since the wool is hot in the summer to have it on your lap. The squirrel rug was the first rug I did with Bob – he drew it, I hooked it. I had only hooked one other thing before, a pillow piece that was part of a one day class I took at the Museum of Folk Art in NYC where I met this great teacher, Marilyn Bottjer.
I’m not very good at always following the rules, or keeping in between the lines (so much of my work is like that, I always think that my idea of things “not being perfect” has something to do with my curved spine, and knowing that I was never “straight” and I tend to see things a little off kilter etc.)
Anyway, Bob drew this picture of a cabin (who knew we would own a house that looks like that a few years later) and a squirrel etc. Originally Bob was going to call it “A squirrel as big as a Cadillac” but we decided against that and then his dad – in his own corny and sweet way – said it looked like “nuts about you” so that is what we called it.
The next rug was the big map rug, which was all the road trip things from the first three years of us dating. Everything we ate, saw, bought, experienced, and photographed (I love my Polaroid camera – and the photo in the corner of the rug is the place in NH where we got engaged) in the. On the 4th year, we eloped to Iceland… But that is another story.
Speaking of 1980’s-Desperately-Seeking-Susan Madonna & boots…
Fans of the film Desperately Seeking Susan will remember that the whole hullabaloo started when Susan (Madonna), trades in her fabulous jacket for a pair of boots spotted in the window at Love Saves The Day (the old, original location, not the new one in New Hope, PA) — and then Roberta (Rosanna Arquette) buys the jacket, gets hit on the head and, trying to discover who she is, uses the key in the jacket’s pocket to open the Pandora’s-box-of-a-port-authority locker, setting off a romantic comedy of mistaken identity. An entirely awesome film. Seriously. Just try not to enjoy Desperately Seeking Susan.
With the 80s fashion comeback, blah-blah-blah, how would you like to be so hip & retro it hurts and have these boots? (Frankly, back in the day, I wouldn’t have been caught dead in them — too copy-cat, even though I was dressed as scandalously; but now those boots are kitsch-a-licious — now with added irony!)
Bakers – Leeds owned the license to copy the boots designed by the film’s Costume Design Assistant, Alison Lances, but Town & Country knocked-off a netting with sequins over vinyl version. Frankly, it would be hard to tell the difference, right?
But good luck finding either of them — if & when you do, be prepared to pay several times the original $49. Yup, even for pleather.
However, crafty girls could likely figure out how to adopt this vintage hairpin lace crochet pattern to make the netted boot overlay and add sequins, right? (Click this larger image from MadonnaUnderground.nl to guide you.)
If rhinestones & shiny bling aren’t exactly your thing, you can opt for more punk studs — no, not men with attitude; boots with stud decorations, dears. Alyssa Zukas AKA Two Sting Jane does — and she even shares how! (If that link doesn’t always work — and it is wonky, giving 404s, try the DIY link and scroll; it’s worth it!)
And, because what are shoes without the right handbag, why not make a purse version of the iconic skull suitcase.
However, if you never ever would have traded costume designer Santo Loquasto’s jacket for those boots…
Well, copies of those jackets were licensed and made “retail available,” just like the boots, and advertised on MTV.
Made by Identity, Inc. &/or Creative Embroidery Corp. (I say “and/or” because both were marketed by Targeted Communications, Inc., so they could have been the same company.), the jackets have a hefty price — if & when you can find them.
If you can sew or at least embroider, you can add the pyramid & eye, like that on a dollar bill, and the phrase “Novus Ordo Seclorum” to a jacket — just like Awsumgal did — sure, it’s a doll’s jacket; but it’s the same steps, just a different scale.
So get crafty and create your own fashion homage to the 1980’s that you so desperately seek. Aidan Quinn sold separately.
You’re going to need more than a swatch to make these retro “free form” (from a pattern) decor boards — but the good news is that you can use cheap ol’ burlap, as instructed, or any fabric you like (Maybe even old sheets?) The June, 1957, issue of Popular Mechanics describes the DIY project thus:
In addition to being conversation pieces in themselves, decor boards are the answer to the problem of displaying small pictures, curios and other knick knacks in a room of modern furnishings. Besides adding a sharp contrasting background, these “bulletin boards” save the wall from numerous nail holes as they hang like pictures.
Fabric of your choice
Small rubber tacks
And the patterns for “free form” shapes as shown (click to enbiggin’).
Rather than making a mixed tape, learn how to make a cassette tape wallet — just be sure to put money in it, because it’s bad luck to give a purse or wallet without some money in it.
As I’ve said, I’ve long admired Laura’s Living Dolls series, but it wasn’t until this little vignette that I felt inspired to try a photo myself. (And it was perfect timing too, because the Cheap Thrills Thursday post I had in mind ended up being more of a collector’s post than I thought!)
Upon seeing Laura’s recent photo, my first impulse was to interrupt the kids (13 year old daughter and 9 year old son) in the middle of their chores (not that they minded) and excitedly yelp at them: “Stop what you are doing — and bring me a Bratz doll and a toy shark!”
To which they responded (only slightly puzzled, because they are used to my bouts of insanity), “I don’t have a toy shark…”
How can we not have a toy shark?!
But I re-group well. “OK, how about an alligator?”
“Anything that lives in water… Has a big mouth?”
But all we’ve got is a Bratz doll — and a boy one at that. (He’s the only one that hasn’t made it into the rummage sale box; note to self: pillage that box before next weekend’s sale to see about sharks, other dolls, etc.)
But I am nothing if not flexible. So I scrap the idea of posing the girl Bratz doll, seated on the edge of a plastic dishpan, above a pool of razor-teeth-critter-infested water & reformulate a new one.
“Whatcha got with teeth, and a big open mouth…”
OK, so that still works with my fantasy — to play out my Bratz doll fears. No, not the slutty ones; the ones that involve the feet that pop off with the shoes. :shudder:
Anywho… Here we go; my first attempt at a Living Doll creation:
I couldn’t choose just one fabric to show you today, so I’m showing you two. (Plus, this sort of makes up for skipping Fabric Swatch Friday last week.) When you see them both, I think you’ll see why I couldn’t pick just one…
First, this vintage feedsack with an Asian novelty print:
I’d love me some Braemore Le Cirque Sky curtains — but an apron is more likely.
Fashion Girls fabric, for those who can’t wear enough fashion.
Sew Bettie’s amazing Retro TV Fabric twists “As Seen On TV” into something new — yet retro. Can you dig it?
Yes, I said “made this fabric,” because once she designed this pattern, based on Ava Gardner, Claudette Colbert and some others (she calls it of “starlet harlots“), Samantha used Spoonflower to have her custom fabric printed on demand.
Yeah, you heard that right; you can create your own fabric pattern and then have Spoonflower print it — on actual fabric — for you. Wowza.
Anyway, once your blown mind settles down, click here if you want to see Samantha’s pin-up chair (and get a testimonial about Spoonflower too).
Just two words: Mermaid fabric!
In which I show you things I got so cheap, it’s embarrassing — for someone other than me. I love my bargains.
This vintage boudoir doll is made from huge (baby diaper sized) safety pins, beads, some wire, and a small vinyl doll head (which reminds me of Dawn Dolls).
No, I won’t take her apart to show you how she’s made — I lurve her. Plus, she was a quarter — and supplies will cost more than that. But if you want the all-expense-paid fun of making one, here are what appear to be the instructions. (Really crafty folk probably guessed all of this anyway.)
Because I shop for fabric far more often than I use it, Fabric Swatch Fridays are born; hopefully this will bring about more peace in our house. To celebrate, this Peace Sign fabric by Alexander Henry — fabulously red & retro.
At my other blog hubby & I do a quasi-regular feature called “Craft-Scan Fridays”, so I was digging ’round in my old crafting magazines. This lead to a vast number of possible posts — and, being too eager to wait & schedule them all out for weeks & weeks, I thought I’d share one here.
It fascinates me for several reasons.
One, the long history of recycling ladies’ hosiery. You may recall such things from war efforts, but this was also a huge arts & crafts fad in the 70’s. The notion of recycling appeals; but the irony of using fabric that’s been on your feet, possibly next to your sweaty crotch, to make flowers is inescapable.
Two, check out the nice ad placement for All-Fabric Tintex (which, by the way, is still around). The vintage ad even promotes sending in for “a free illustrated Tintex flower leaflet” — which sounds just like The Workbasket article itself. The vintage nylon corsage article might as well be an advertorial.
Instructions from Barry at 3stylelife for making your own “Modified bear” Radiohead Logo t-shirt with just simple household objects — and a clean “blank” t-shirt, of course.
From the March 1951 issue of Profitable Hobbies Magazine, the news that we’ve all been waiting to hear:
“Mrs. J. E. Woodard of Reform, Alabama, has figured out the answer to one of life’s hardest questions — what to do with old straw hats.”
If you, like I, were surprised to learn that this matter of what to do with straw hats was a question of such deep importance to society that it joined the ranks of “What’s the meaning of life?” “Is there a God?” and “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?”, thus meriting the One of Life’s Hardest Questions title, then you’ll likely find the answer, turning straw hats into baskets & purses, anti-climactic.
Frankly, I thought straw hats & purses were made from straw baskets. Thus this brief vintage article shatters my paradigm — or at least perverts my perception of the natural order of things…
Which came first, the straw basket or the straw hat? Where do straw purses fit into the scheme of things?
Oh, how can I live my life without knowing…
If this is news is so tantamount to human existence, then why didn’t the publication’s cover boast of such enlightenment? Why bury the true lead on page 17? And what’s a scoop without photographic evidence?
In any case, you likely won’t be surprised to learn that Profitable Hobbies Magazine only turned a profit for about a decade before becoming defunct.
Decorate your belts, purses — maybe even your shoes? — with this set of six adorable vintage Scottie Dog pins:
Welcome to the premier edition of the New Vintage Reviews Carnival.
At Collectors’ Quest I review (with the help of my daughter) What Shall I Be? The Exciting Game of Career Girls, © 1976.
Also at CQ, my son and I review NFL All-Pro Football, an official National Football League game, made by Ideal, 1967.
And my family reviews the 1976 board game, Happy Days, “Fonzie’s Real Cool Game By Parker Brothers.”
Also, my review of The Homicidal Virgin, a Mike Shayne Mystery, by Brett Halliday.
This isn’t really a review — but it’s so clever, I had to include it! Wendy Piersall presents Recycled Crafts: Microwave Dinner Tray to Flower Pillbox Hat posted at Craft Jr.
And hubby’s review of Herbert’s Freaks, by Gregory Gibson, while not technically a review of a vintage book, is about Diane Arbus photos and ephemera from Hubert’s, a ‘freak show’ museum in New York during the ’50s and ’60s.
That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of new vintage reviews using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts (maybe you’ll be one?!) can be found on our blog carnival index page.
Apparently, the March/April issue of Quilter’s Home magazine was “too hot” for Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts — at least that’s what they told the distributor for the magazine when they refused to carry the “controversial” issue in their chain of stores. This after editor/owner Mark Lipinski had paid $2,500 to wrap some 45,000 copies in plastic like a porno mag.
Why so much fuss about a quilting magazine? Because the publication dared to include Shocking Quilts, an article by Jake Finc.
The shocking quilts include Gwendolyn Magree’s Southern Heritage/Southern Shame, a quilted response to Mississippi’s refusal to remove the confederate flag from the state flag (which shows lynching), and Mary Beth Bellah’s Helping Hands, which is apparently a cheeky representation of erectile dysfunction — complete with a hand and little blue “pills” made of fabric, a couple of which have actual penises printed on them.
These quilts are the very definition of art — not just something made by hand, but unique works exploring issues of our society. You remember art, don’t you? It’s one of the ways people communicate & exchange ideas, start dialogs. Well, Jo-Ann will have none of that.
Please confine your creativity to the kits provided.
Oh, bother. I thought that with Bush banished from the White House, censorship would move back into the hands of individual consumers. You remember them, right? People who choose to buy — or not to buy — based on their own particular set of values.
But Jo-Ann feels the need to protect us from ideas & creativity.
…Hmmmm… Doesn’t that seem to be against the mission of an arts & crafts retailer?
Let’s see. This is what the company has to say for itself:
Today, Jo-Ann Stores, Inc. is a leading national specialty retailer of crafting, decorating, and sewing products-a “Create-It-Yourself” Superstore. We sell fashion and decorator fabrics, related notions, patterns, crafts, seasonal products and other merchandise. We sell the components to which our customers add their own talent and time to make fun and exciting projects. We are the only fabric and craft retailer that offers creative people everything they need-the products, the assistance, and the inspiration-to fulfill their creative dreams.
So what if my dreams include penis-print fabrics? What if my exciting project explores racial history, or otherwise doesn’t share your CEO’s political philosophies or religious leanings?
I guess then I’d need to shop elsewhere.
I could just let that irony be the last nail in their coffin, let the marketplace speak & pronounce the chain dead for such a stupid thing — because I and millions like me won’t shop there anymore. I personally have a Hobby Lobby and a Michael’s — both well-stocked. As well as an internet full of other options. I urge all readers to use any of them rather than Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Stores.
But I don’t think that’s enough. I think we all need to support Lipinski and Quilter’s Home, let them know that we appreciate the coverage & support of creative artists & atypical projects — and the best way to do that is to subscribe. Yes, even if you don’t personally quilt; give it as a gift.
Or better yet, keep the mag & dare to be inspired to make your own radical quilts.
(Thursday Thirteen header by Jenn.)
Are a lot of your friends announcing engagements, getting married and having the stork visit — so many, that you’re running out of party ideas and ways to celebrate? Here are 13 vintage ideas, loaded with kitsch and just begging you to use them, maybe even update them a bit…
Remember — all the images get much much larger when you click them — so read away!
1. How To Tell The Secret, aka bridal announcement ideas, from The Bride’s Party Book, published by Dennison. Some of these may be tweaked to fit other announcements — or even used to invite guests to the next event.
2. The next few bits come from Bridal Shower Party Games, “For As Many As 20 Guests” (presumably because it originally had 20 copies of each of the game sheets), Leister Game Company, Toledo, Ohio, (N-1400). The company is still around (but the site isn’t working — or they did just perish — so some links are to Goggle cache).
Inside the front cover, ads for baby & bridal party games and products. The company has gotten racier since then; now they have “Naughty Bingo” and “Condom Blow Jobs”. So you may prefer the quaint & corny vintage Leister games.
One of the party games is Card Pass — “a relay race that’s a little daisy!”
Totally believe you should open a brand new pack of playing cards for this; you don’t know where the hands of previous card holders have been and you’ll be sticking them in your mouth. :shudder:
3. A game called Lucky Pairs:
4. Want-Ad Marriage (which, by the way, is also a fun game to play on girls’ night — having you write each other’s ads):
5. Variation Mystery Feelers
(Don’t know about you, but I don’t want any of the objects back — they’ll be covered in toe-jam!)
6. A Game Of Pairs
7. This next one is a fill-in-the-blank game — but don’t get excited thinking it’s a Mad-Lib; it’s a geography quiz. You fill in the blanks of the Honeymoon Trip.
Sadly, the answers were on the back cover which has been cut; so you’ll have to figure out some of these by yourself. (Treat it like a test — like you have to be this smart to get married.)
8. This next one, Wedding Spell, is some twisted spelling bingo thing. Too complicated for me these instructions are. May Yoda help me.
9. Back to the Dennison’s book again…
This time, it’s the bride who gives a party (and isn’t it about time!)
I love the sweet-kitschy-goodness of making these little dolls with faces cut from magazines — I totally want to do this for other parties (but that could be another list of 13…)
And the legal team wants me to tell you not to stuff the cuff party favor with cigs; totally not healthy or PC, you know.
I’m totally skipping the wedding day stuff; I’m certain your bride is not going to let you make crepe paper couple centerpieces. Or crepe paper anything. That doesn’t make her Bridezilla either; she just doesn’t want the kitsch enshrined forever in photos on the in-laws mantle.
(If, for some reason, you need these crepe paper frights delights, let me know.)
10. “There Went The Bride” is “A Mock Wedding for Your Anniversary Celebration” — complete with kitsch skit.
The bride “as seen by her future mother-in-law — carries rolling pin decorated with flowers”.
The clergyman begins the ceremony with, “Dear Friends, we are gathered here before this congregation of fellow sufferers to join this headstrong couple with the shackles of matrimony. If anyone present can show just cause why this painful ceremony should never take place — for heaven’s sake — speak up — tomorrow may be too late!”
The groom, repeating after the clergyman, vows: “I ____ take thee ____ for my duly wedded wife, to hold, if I have to, from this day forward, in spite of your ceaseless conversation, your unappetizing cooking, your nagging and complaining, your silly girl friends and willful spending — until death do us liberate.”
The bride, repeating after the clergyman, vows: “I ____ take thee ____ for my duly wedded husband, to hold if I have to, to tolerate your black cigars, to laugh at your corny jokes, to clean up after your poker parties, to balance on your budget, until death do us liberate!”
It’s not just me who sees the bitter irony in these two sets of vows… Is it?
Well, at least the ceremony ends with handcuffs… :wink:
11-13 First comes love, then comes marriage — and if you make it through the mock wedding anniversary celebration — next comes your friend with a baby carriage. Some announcements for the new arrival:
Upon My Sole! Announcements with a shoe theme
Non-Stop Flight Announcement has a flying stork theme
The Family Tree is an announcement stretching things — using a hat rack?
Ship’s Log has a nautical theme.
All the patterns for these baby announcements are found on page 24 and the scan is here:
I thought I was going to have this fab-u-lous Valentine’s Day beauty project for you, but I ran into a few problems along the way…
I had the concept: Wrapping your fingernails in red velvet.
Ridiculously impossible sounding as far as living with them goes — they’d be sure to get full of gunk and even showering would be a disaster. But the idea of one romantic night where you could both look and feel so glamorous that practicalities were of no consequence was seductive… What would it feel like to run bits of velvet along my skin… His skin… So unexpected! Plus, I just lurve red velvet, so practicality be damned!
I knew a few things would be problematic going in to this project… Like fabric itself was going to be a real bitch because getting it to adhere and keeping the edges from fraying were going to be too monumental for my wee crafting skills. So I immediately thought of flocked paper — the very same paper used by altered artists and scrapbooking folks. I headed out to Hobby Lobby.
But it was February 11th, and if they ever had red flocked paper, they were out. So I went to Michael’s. Even worse, no flocked paper at all. So back to Hobby Lobby again to buy the pink flocked paper — and a paper with a red flocked pattern because, I figured, with the size of fingernails, I could get a few out of those wide areas and maybe a stripe of red ‘velvet’ would be cool too. (OK, and I bought a few other sheets of a pink pattern because it was on sale at 50% off. And because I could.)
I went to Wal Mart, intending this to be a quick run-in for a box of Lee press-on nails — only to find that the world of fake nails has become much larger and cheesier than ever. No Lee press-on nails either. So I carefully selected fake nails that did not involve the dreaded acrylic powder (which would render my very temporary red velvet nails far more of a mess at removal time than making them would be) and ended up with a box of 100 Kiss Active Oval glue-on nails for like $5.
I got all my items together and ambushed hubby when he came home for lunch today to take the pictures — because I knew with my hands busy, someone would need to snap the photos.
The plan was relatively simple:
1 Select the nail that fit you, file off that center ‘prick’ with a nail file. Shape it a bit if you wanted to.
2 On the back of the flocked paper, trace the nail — rolling it as you did so, in order to get full coverage of the fingernail.
3 Cut out the fingernail shape you traced, staying just slightly inside the tracing line so that you’d fit the nail and not end up with discolored edges along the sides of your nails.
All that went swimmingly; now it was time to for step 4: glue them on. In order to better assess which type of glue would be best (and to inspect the fit of the flocked paper nail), I placed the paper cut-out nail on the top of the curved plastic Kiss nail. Quickly I discovered that the paper was too thick; it would not nicely curve around the plastic nail without leaving a bump or fold-like area. Hmmmm…
Hubby suggested I tear off the white paper backing, removing a layer to make it thinner. So we did that and it curved much better. As a razor was required to get the separation started, I decided to cut a section from the flocked paper sheet & separate if first, then trace and cut. Now I had two pink flocked paper nails to apply.
I figured the Super Glue would be problematic; be too fast drying for all the curving & smoothing required, that the glue might seep through the paper making an unsightly mess of the paper, or that I’d end up gluing my fingers to themselves or attaching them inappropriately to the fingernail. So I decided to try US ArtQuest’s Perfect Paper Adhesive 8 Ounce-Matte first. (It’s my favorite glue/adhesive.) I applied an even, medium coat to the plastic nail and formed the pink flocked paper over the top of it. The edges just didn’t want to remain down.
I briefly considered a few other options, such as making larger pieces of the paper nails to fold around the edge — but then I’d have to cut sections to fit the curves. Ugh.
I decided that we were close… but not quite there… Maybe the Super Glue would work. So I used that on the second try. The bad news was that it worked even worse. The good news was that I was right about how much more troublesome the glue would be — and that even with a few scary moments, I did not end up glued to anything.
(Nail on the left was created with Super Glue; nail on right using PPA.)
So, I’ve not yet found a way to get red (or any other color) velvet fingernails. Not for this Valentine’s Day, anyway.
Got any ideas on how to do this? Hit me with ’em.