scrap notes, 1971


design your own stationery using scraps of yarn, suede, and lace. complete with a few strokes of the pen. the pencil toppers are made from felt, yarn, fringe, braid & wooden beads.

(from "mc call's needlework & crafts" fall/winter 1971-1972)

the craftsman in production, 1964


this issue of craft horizons was completely devoted to the show "designed for production: the craftsman's approach" held at the museum of contemporary crafts, new york from march 6 to may 3, 1964. the issue also served as the catalog for the show.

1. fabric by ruben eskanian for galey and lord
2. ceramics by yusuke aida for bennington potters
3. teak & enamel relish tray by sam mann
4. rosewood tulipwood bookends by jere osgood
5. glass by steven mildwoff
6. wallpaper designed by jack lenor larsen for karl mann associates
7. wallpaper by jack denst
8. upholstry fabric by jack lenor larsen
9. oak, rosewood & porcelain canister set by joseph rodd
10. wallpaper designed by jack lenor larsen for karl mann associates
11. upholstry fabric by roy ginstrom for elenhank
12. upholstry fabic by boris kroll
13. stoneware by tom mcmillin
14. cabinet pulls by luke & rolland lietske

(from "craft horizons, special issue: the craftsman in production" march/april 1964)

a classic collection of candleholders, 1972


these were all made using recycled items from the kitchen: jars, funnels, cottage cheese cartons, egg cups, saucers, lids, tumblers and even a few christmas ornaments. decorated using technniques such as antiquing, papier mache and the dry-brush method. some rickrack, braided trim, string and lace were also used to create this beautiful home decor!

(from "better homes and gardens gifts you can make yourself" 1972)

modern dollhouse, 1972


"today's dolls are mad for the mod dwelling"

after a quick trip to the hobby shop you should have all you need to create this dollhouse - balsa wood, laminated & transparent plastic, cardboard sheets, glue and some poster paints. the carpet & tabletop are covered in gift wrap, the furniture was crafted from building blocks and the fireplace was made with an ice cream carton and a lid from a spray can.

(from "better homes and gardens gifts to make yourself" 1972)

granny square sampler, 1977


(from "better homes and gardens crocheting & knitting", 1977)

recipe for a successful party: lipton california dip, 1964


who dosen't love onion dip?

"you make it in a flash. just pour an envelope of lipton onion soup mix into a pint of sour cream. stir it with a fork...chill. you've got it: delicious california dip. now surround with potato chips and it's dip, dip, horray!"

(lipton onion soup mix ad from "california home" december 1964)

cheese decorating, 1967


i was recently at a friend's house for lunch and met justin. he just happened to have his entire collection of wilton cake decorating yearbooks with him. of course i had to linger long after lunch was over so i could spend some time studying each book. i just about passed out when i found this section on cheese decorating! as soon as a got home i had to do some shopping on ebay so i could add some wilton goodness to my collection.

just as you would put icing in your pastry tube to decorate a cake you can do the same thing with cream cheese or "old english sharp cheese". add a little food color and the possibilities are endless.

delight your guests this new years eve!

(from "cake and food decorating ideas by wilton" 1967)

tempting buffets, 1967


now that christmas is over it's time to start thinking about your menu for new years. i think a buffet is perfect for any new years get together.

and by the way, don't you just love that green blenko bottle?

(from "better homes & gardens holiday cook book" sixth printing 1967)

unique projects made from those greeting cards you've been saving, 1974


don't throw away those cards you received during the holidays! just cut them up, punch some holes and crochet or lace using either yarn, ribbon straw or cord. in this handy how-to book hazel's guest artist marie samaria tells you all you need to know to make baskets, totes, ornaments, placemats, slippers, recipe boxes, tissue box holders, desk organizers and pin cushions.

("creative american craft series greeting card creations" rosemead, california 1974)

bake your centerpiece and some gift boxes, too!, 1973


"pack christmas goodies in boxes that become part of the treat. each box is built with flat ginger cookies, iced with swirls and stars, then trimmed with tiny candies. give them as gifts or use them as candy jars on your table."

(from " mc call's christmas make-it ideas" 1973)

little yule trees, 1962


"we know there's shopping to be done, cookies to be baked, and cards to be sent. but only 20 to 30 fun-fast minutes to make these sparkling trees. what a handsome addition to any room one of these would be! do let our little yule trees brighten your home."

(from "helps for the holiday season" 1962)

holiday string art, 1963


"decorative head pins set designs, variety of yarns--angora, mohair, burlap--create intriguing effect."

(from "better homes and gardens christmas ideas for 1963")

make the gifts you give, 1960s


i think hazel really outdid herself with this wholesale catalog that featured all the supplies and "how to" books to create these and other fantastic handicrafts:

dip glazed wreath
draped wiseman & camel
basket purse
ribbon straw pointsettias
velva-crepe pointsettias
3-D decoupage book boxes
cookin' crystal mushroom
tin can rockin' chair
decorated candles
burlap & yarn angel
heirloom figure, angel
puffed parchment beads
fantasy foil flower

i do think that making the gifts you give is really the best. i hope you are able to give (& receive!) many handmade presents & treats this holiday season.

(cover image from "hazel pearson handicrafts chrsitmas catalog supplement no. 20A" rosemead, california 1960s)

holiday closet holds gift wraps, 1965


while these are all pretty cute and inspiring, i do have to say that the standouts are the "woeful clown of paper & wool" (middle shelf to the right) and the "timid tiger with triangular box body" (front lower shelf). and how about that ice cream cone?

(from "better homes and gardens" december 1965)

fancy ornaments that are handmade, 1955


these lovely ornaments were created with construction paper, ribbon, tissue and bristol board. sequins, beads and tempera paint were the finishing touches. all held together with glue, paper clips, washers, spools, and even a lid from a cologne bottle.

(from "better homes & gardens" december 1955)

fast and fancy canapes, 1965


"the beauty of the canapes lies in their simplicity, yet they look as though you fussed over them for hours." shown here on those breathtakingly beautiful red and green lacquered enameled trays are curried shrimp tidbits, frankfurter petit puffs and many other delights. i can't get over the festive pizza cutouts-why not use a cookie cutter for both your sweets and savories? and don't get me started on the mini tacos.

i myself enjoyed a few (too many) canapes last night at a friend's party. but it didn't end there because the centerpiece turned out was also edible. it was a 2' high chrsitmas tree made entirely out of cream puffs and dusted with powdered sugar!

(from "california home" december 1965)

christmas card tree, 1962


"fun to make and a conversation piece all through the holiday season. you'll have your guests going around in circles when they see this novel tower of greetings."

(from "family circle" december 1962)

holidays ahead from sunset house, 1963


"america's most unusual mail from sunset house"

based in the "sunset building in beverly hills, california" the sunset house catalog offered a wide array of gifts. this catalog offered such gift items as bourbon flavored toothpaste ($1) and an oil painting done by a chimpanzee ($9.98). more practical things such as slippers and tea towels were also available. they also had locations on shopping malls.

i loved the sunset house catalogs when i was little. i did all my shopping there the first year i was allowed to do my own christmas shopping for my parents. i had my dad drive me to the mall. i don't remember what i bought but i do know that i had $8 to spend. sadly the chimp painting was out of my budget.

playtime delights for children, 1965


"our little world of children's gifts is a wonderful one. each color-happy design was planned to bring a special pleasure to a special child. this project requires a father - or doting grandfather - who's handy with tools and a mother willing to do a little exterior decoration. but what a sparkle it could bring to a little girl on christmas day!"

(from "family circle" december 1965)

first-class castoffs, 1975


plastic berry boxes, ribbon and construction paper were used to create these elegant ornaments.

(from "better homes and gardens 1975 christmas ideas")

lee wards is having a sale, 1970


page from lee wards (american's art needlework and hobbycraft center) christmas 1970 catalog

mr. and mrs. santa claus, 1963


mr. and mrs. santa claus were made from an "easy-to-assemble" kit by hallmark.

i just love tissue paper foldouts, especially those balls that come in lots of sizes and colors. teamed up with a few rolls of crepe paper streamers you can decorate your party for just a few bucks.

you might want to take a peek at my friend timothy's line that features tissue paper foldouts in vintage christmas designs as well as other super fun party products.

(cover of "today's woman christmas ideas no. 10", 1963)

craft horizons, december 1952


the cover artist for this issue was tammis keefe, best known for her handkerchiefs. i just adore her work. you can find lots of her designs on ebay.

in the 1970's craft horizons was renamed american craft and is still in publication today.

(cover of "craft horizons", december 1952)

yes, those are q-tips, 1965


"over a fireplace, on a candle-lighted buffet table, or surrounded by pine boughs on a coffee table, these will whet such oh'ing and ah'ing from friends, you will be doubly repaid for the time you gave the making."

(from "better homes & gardens", december 1965)

sparkling symbols of the season, 1963


clockwise (kind of) from upper left: cone bobble sphere made from paper cups, cut paper cube, ojo de dios (god's eyes) made with yarn, layers of net and tissue were used for the large teardrop shaped ornament, wax discs made by pouring paraffin on cardboard layered with colorful tissue, flower made with basket reeds and a felt angel.

(from 'better homes & gardens", december 1963)

arts & architecture, december 1957


arts & architecture magazine was published and edited by john entenza from 1938 to 1962. it played an important role in the cultural history of los angeles and in the development of modernism in the united states.

i just love those little trees and the orange & peach color combination. the artist is charles kratka and his name appears on the masthead as a member of the layout department.

(cover of "arts & architecture" december 1957)

provocative package wraps from the local office supply store, 1972


"you can give a gift an extraordinary lift by using the most ordinary materials"

i can't decide which one i like the best. i'm torn between the snowman made from gummed reinforcements and the santa with the mailing label beard, photo mount eyes & notary seal nose.

(from the better homes & gardens book "gifts to make yourself" 1972)

christmas at a california ranch house, 1964


"if you live in a ranch house, be regional. look to our own southwest for ideas. after all, that's where the ranch house originated. borrow from mexico too. probably your living room is done in neutrals - the beiges or the browns - and furnished in comtemporary or modern, so choose uninhibited colors. the more the merrier your christmas decorations will be."

(from "california home" december 1964)

felt birds and butterflies, 1965


all you'll need is a few felt scraps, sequins and some glue to create these little charmers for your tree!

(from "christmas helps 1965" a family circle publication)

bobi hall's classic jeweled treasures, create elegant wall decor from old costume jewelry, alhambra 1973


"what could be more lovely than a lighted, jeweled christmas tree picture to highlight your holiday decorations? what could be a more delightful way to enjoy your beautiful but old and out of style or broken jewelry you haven't worn for years, but can't bear to throw away!"

as owner of bobi's hobby in alhambra, california, bobi hall was a successful business woman, craft teacher and popular guest on TV's "creative living". bobi was thrilled at the chance to be one of hazel pearson's guest artists as she had built her business on much of the knowledge she had gained from hazel's "extensive variety of craft books".

in this book bobi details the many steps it takes to create one of these beauties.

(creative american craft series "classic jeweled treasures" by bobi hall, 1973)

adventures in celluclay, 1967


"this book has been written as a guide and reference to those interested in exploring the new realm of instant papier mache--photographs, patterns and step-by-step instructions have been combined so that even the beginning craftsman can achieve professional results. simple, inexpensive materials and methods are used, with an emphasis on creativity."

i am just nuts about papier mache. in fact, i have been doing some myself lately. i even tried my hand with some celluclay recently. it's still on the market and believe it or not they still use that same wonderful logo!

unfortunately my projects with celluclay were a disaster! i guess actually need to read my copy of "adventures in celluclay" instead of just looking at the pictures!

evelyn ackerman's finger puppets, 1964


working from her studio in culver city, evelyn ackerman created amazing handwoven tapestries. shown here are her finger puppets. they were manufactured by her and marketed as a kit to be assembled by the purchaser.

i can't really decide which one is my favorite!

(from pasadena art musuem's "california design/9", 1965)

the striking new colors in tupperware, 1975


i hope you had a lovely thanksgiving and are enjoying your leftovers. to keep them fresh i hope you stored them in some tupperware!

pictured here are the "striking new colors" that tupperware was offering in 1975: daffodil, apple green, tangerine, lemon, and butterscotch. and just look at the handy designs: (a) stacking containers, (b) the decorator canister set and (c) the 20-ounce "servalier" bowl.

(tupperware ad from "better homes and gardens", november 1975)

happy thanksgiving!


from my mom's 1972 "betty crocker recipe card library". the set of cards came in a beautiful lime green & avocado plastic box.

gobble-gobble gobbler, 1956


how about a cake for thanksgiving instead of pie?

(from "baker's coconut cut-up cakes", 1956)

gordon the gobbler, 1974


"let's talk turkey about gordon the gobbler --- the center of attention at your thanksgiving feast. you can make gordon in a jiffy and keep him on your table, mantle, or console year after year. gordon's body is a bright brown color and his foam head is accented with wigglie eyes. to make this gobbler a very proud bird, display gordon with a floral arrangement or gay wax candle."

this festive turkey centerpiece was created from an old reader's digest, a foam egg, chenille bumps, chenille stems, pair of 8mm moving eyes, madras tissue paper, brown spray paint, green felt, floral tape, and a foam block.

(from "folded magazine novelties" by hazel pearson)

robinson's ad for mikasa terra-stone, 1966


"surprise your family....delight your guests"

with thanksgiving just a few days away i hope you have figured out what plates you'll be serving your turkey on. i am lucky enough to spend thanksgiving at a friend's house so i don't really have to worry about that.

but if i was cooking at home i would just love to serve my thanksgiving feast on some mikasa terra-stone. i think i would have to go with the curry yellow.

robinson's was a really beautiful store and had locations in malls all over southern california. the styling and art direction of this ad are breathtaking.

california's handweavers present a variety of expressions, 1965


"for the division of space and to delight the eye, california's handweavers present a variety of expressions."

pictured here are works from "california design/nine" by fiber artists john charles gordon, mary bushkirk, hal painter, janet van evera, trude guermonprez and m.e. cranston-bennett.

conceived by eudorah m. moore the california design series was presented every 3 years at the pasadena art mueum (now the norton simon) between 1954 and 1976. the shows featured craft and design in california.

i was lucky enough to find the catalogues for shows eight, nine, ten and eleven when they were not going for as much money as they do now.

(from "california design/nine" pasadena art museum 1965)

make it with.....yarn 'n burlap, 1969


from shasta daisys to mod monster animals this "craft-course book" is chock full of ideas and instructions. it's one of the many (probably hundreds) from the "handicrafts for fun library" put out by hazel pearson. i'm sure you remember the lovely aleene from last week? well even though they were technically competitors, hazel & aleene were best friends. she was right there along with aleene on the craft caravan.

based in rosemead, california, hazel as a powerhouse. in addition to her how to books, she taught classes, put out a full line of craft supplies as well as her famous "kaboodles" craft kits. now that i have discovered hazel's books i see that she was a major influence on the crafts my mom used to make.

here's hazel hard at work in her office no doubt writing one of her fabulous books. on the wall behind her are some examples of her copper tooling. (no date on this photo but it looks like the late 1950's to me.)


two mischievous turtles, 1978


"they will be in turn, snuggable toys, pillows or toboggans. you can play the rainbow of colors at your heart's content. ultra-easy to crochet, they are woked in the round just like caps. sizes: big turtle 35 1/2" in diameter - small turtle 19 3/4" in diameter. rug yarn."

(from the english translation edition of "mon tricot" magazine jan/feb 1978)

clown heads on jello 1965


i was recently going through a box of stuff that i found at my mom's house. a crusty little clown head decoration caught my eye. i decided to keep him even though i have no memory of what party he came from. i actually recreated him and am selling them as cupcake toppers in my etsy shop.

you could imagine how thrilled i was to come across this ad showing the exact same clowns! "happy little clowns-full of velvety kraft mayonaise and other good things". the white clowns are made from mayonaise, cream cheese and crabmeat with olives for buttons. the red clowns are tomato aspic with peas for buttons.

("kraft's parade of circus salads" ad from los angeles times home magazine july 25, 1965)