Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Farm Journal Christmas Book

This past weekend, while I was out and about, I stopped in at a thrift store, just to poke around, you know. Like all shopping establishments, they were gearing up for Black Friday and had a whole shelf of Christmas books. I picked up a few interesting ones, a couple will be xmas gifts to some small girls in the family.

This one turned out to be a treasure trove of fun ideas and vintage goodness!

The copyright date is 1970, but the content is from The Farm Journal from 1948 through 1968! It is interesting to see the differences in the older photos. I think that between '48 and '68, there were some major technology improvements in magazine color printing. Still, the older ones are very fun to look at.

Some of the projects are very agricultural, making a Christmas tree stand from an old plow disc, for instance...

...and this tumble weed centerpiece!

Some years back, I heard a radio program about a woman and her daughter, from Wyoming, I believe, who had started a mail order business, selling tumbleweeds. Tumbleweeds were apparently very intriguing to folks who do not see them regularly...

This is one of the older projects in the book. The topiary is made from... egg cartons!
I thought this project might be something that I would try. I have picked up several fat quarters of holiday fabric and of course, all the holiday prints will be on clearance in a few weeks. I am thinking this might be the perfect project to practice applique. The detailed instructions in the back of the book suggest not worrying about making the circles perfectly round, as "they are more interesting if they are not perfect"! Sounds like just the thing!

This page of projects illustrates the transition into the '70's. Crazy 'mod' colors and motifs! The purple candle holder is papier mache over paper plates and bowls with a 'Coffemate jar' and a canning lid thrown into the mix. The turquoise 'vase' in the upper left is a barbecue sauce bottle. If you look closely, you can see the plastic forks that make the design around the base.

Lots of fun ideas! I don't really need additional holiday decor at this stage of life, but there are some edible projects and things that might be fun to do with the smalls. Or maybe I will perfect my papier mache technique and make candle holders for everyone next Christmas!

(I think Dearest Sis has been knitting all year towards holiday gifts. She and I are not alike in that way... I may have to shop at AtomicSisters, this year!)

9 comments:

Debbie said...

Wow; I was born in west Texas and grew up seeing plenty of tumbleweeds, but I never saw one flocked! That was charming:) It is wonderful to find older books. We collect quite a few. Styles just seem to keep cycling.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
Debbie

Lynne said...

We had plenty of tumbleweeds in CO. I can't imagine getting too close to one to trim it though ... those things are pretty stickery! But, I suppose if you're living on the prairie with no trees in sight ...

I like the idea of the fabric tree!

lunaticraft said...

The Christmasball Tree Picture thing is such a cute idea! And the tumbleweed thing is neat, though I will admit that after growing up on the eastern seaboard, I have never in my life seen one, so I don't know about the practicality of that one... =D

Iron Needles said...

I can't imagine the tumbleweed thingie being very durable. Seems it would dry out and get brittle. Perhaps it was intended for one year only. Perhaps I think wrongly that all my crafty efforts need to La-aas-st for posterity. I mean, really. The purpley whatever would last, but why for?

Martha said...

I really like that Christmas ball tree -- and you're right -- it's a great combination of a new technique for you (applique) and one at which you are very accomplished (embroidery). It's also nice that they give you permission to make imperfect circles.

Gaynell said...

I have a "vintage"craft book that suggests making a belt by using the tops of frozen orange juice cans (this was back when there was only one, small size of those), and after painting them, and I think punching holes in them, stringing them together, and tying the ends of the "stringing together ribbon " in the front. I don't think I ever tried it. (Yes, it is vintage because I have kept it so long.)

Kate said...

Oh, how cute. I'm thinking a Tumbleweed Centerpiece is just the ticket for our Christmas dinner.

I gave you an award over on my blog. Please stop by when you have a moment. :)

Tish said...

Mom made us a Christmas tree out of a tumbleweed one year when we were young. She loves saving EVERYTHING she can get her hand on so she can make it into something "artsy" at a later date. The problem is, that later date seldom comes and we end up with a hundred oatmeal boxes (for making Easter Baskets), cereal boxes or the like (shadow boxes)and on and on and on....every little pill bottle, box, container....she has a plan for it. She is the original recycler!

Allie said...

I love old craft books - the Christmas ball tree is awesome, but there's lots I could live without, lol - some look like what we made in Campfire Girls!