Saturday, September 18, 2010

the golden hands book of popular crafts

The Golden Hands Book Of Popular Crafts
Published by Marshall Cavendish Publications Ltd, 1971/72/73

This won't be the last you'll see of Golden Hands books, let me tell you! This is my most recent Golden Hands acquisition, though. I got it when we were in Aberfeldy last month. As you can see from the state of the dust jacket, it's been well used. It also has a natural-dye-stained photocopied handout from The Textile Workshop and Gallery in Edinburgh (I wonder if that still exists?) all about natural dyes. Books like this, ones that cover more crafts than one individual would ever pursue, are pretty irresistible to me.
Like most '70s craft books, this book has great little scenes set up and photographed. No vicars in hammocks here, mind you... This beach picnic (if you can call an orange and a Tupperware box of lettuce a picnic) is used to demonstrate raffia work. There are instructions to make the bag and the shoes.
Sticking with the beach theme (ooh, the hips don't lie...) a scantily clad lady is used to demonstrate one of the many beadwork projects. I'm not sure how I'd feel about handmaking an item and then posing seductively in it in public. I get the feeling that, just as I was about to ensnare a man with a medallion tangled in his chest hair, I'd exclaim, "I made it myself!" and try to tell him how as he quickly lost interest and took his medallion off to someone who would appreciate it.
This is one of many uses for yarn daisies, and doesn't the little girl look thrilled with her daisy-bedecked jumper?!
In the feltwork chapter, there's a whole section on fruit and vegetable jewellery. I like this carrot brooch and the jumper beneath it. Felt fruit and veg is still popular today, I think, but work conditions must have improved because these days the fruit and veg can be seen to smile.
A nice patchwork cushion, again with the preference for orange. I would like to have patchwork cushions, but I think Graham definitely wouldn't!
Staying with patchwork, this is the Happi coat. As the caption says there, the Happi coat "is fun to make and wear". Much as I like it in theory, I don't think I'd make or wear it. Mind you, I could do with a new dressing gown...
As well as the usual photos, this book has the odd illustration, like this one for leatherwork. I love it. I have some postcards of old Woolworths adverts that are in this sort of style. I really like that style of drawing hair. I made a picture book about Orpheus and Eurydice once and gave Persephone hair a bit like that. You probably wouldn't recognise it, but I'm telling you!
3D paperwork. I like this lady. Some 3D paperwork is a mystery to me, but this looks vaguely achievable... maybe.
A little montage I put together (can you call this a montage, or is it just a collage?) of some of the examples of weaving in the book. Why oh why does it sound so complicated to make your own weaving loom? I have so many books with instructions, but can't follow any of them. Plus they all involve hammering in nails really precisely (straight up and down, very close together and evenly spaced) which I know would be a problem for me.
Swans are very popular these days, have you noticed? I think swans may be the new owls. This swan and its reflection is a fabric collage.

And there you have it - another craft book from my collection. Sorry you had to wait so long for this installment. What with volunteering to do overtime and then being summoned in when I was on call, I have been practically living at work this month. I still don't have a single day off until Wednesday. Boo! I've got that general feeling of my life becoming a precarious pile. I have emails I've been meaning to reply to for weeks, a mountain of mess to clear up, yet more birthdays looming on the horizon, projects I want to make a start on, deadlines for market applications that I'm missing every day... Oh yeah, and a boyfriend I live with, but somehow never get to see. Still, at least in this job, I know this is a blip (hopefully I should be back to normal 40 hour weeks after Wednesday) whereas if I was still teaching, this would be my life permanently. Permanently! Did I mention I went crazy one night recently and threw out all my teaching stuff? I am not one for throwing things out (hence the general feeling that my life is a precarious pile!) but, my god, it felt so good. People, I have officially given up teaching. Yas!


  1. I love the swan, and I desperately want the book! I'm now keeping a wee beady eye out for vintage craft books :)

  2. Damn! You mean I've given myself more competition for craft books in Glasgow?! ;) I'll keep my peepers peeled for another copy of this book too.

  3. I have a Golden Hands book somewhere with that same little girl with the daisy jumper and I don't think she looks happy in the photograph I have either! I gave away all my teaching stuff to my sister in law (she is a teacher just in case you think I am strange!) a couple of years ago and it was great. I'm never going back to teaching either!

  4. Ah, I love that book! Could you make me one of those beaded necklaces for my forthcoming Greek holiday? I will wear it the wrong way round for the entire week if you do!

    If it's any consolation, I have the same living at work thing going on just now too - OT last week, OD today - I am commenting from work! So, see you when you get here - BAH! (About work, rather than you!).

  5. Lynsey - yay for quitters! ;)
    Claire - I'll see you in an hour. Boo. I find it hard to be consoled by the fact that EVERYONE at work is yawning and has big bags under their eyes, but I am consoled by the fact that my days off for the next couple of weeks are now OFF and not on call. They can't get me on Wednesday or Thursday. Mwa-ha-ha! Hope you get a day off soon too.


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