Just doesn't have the same ring to it as Throwback Thursday does it? I am not sure what it is about cold gray weather that makes me want to dig around in my book shelves, but here we are. I was looking for something else (of course) and came across these. I have kept them forever as they really inspired me at the time, to the point where I can trace the switch from my retail career to my art career directly to them. I have done embroidery of one sort or another since childhood and at one point, about 30 years ago, I was designing cross stitch patterns for magazines. By today's standards these are what you would call quaint, but after paging through them again I still think they have merit.
Stitches, Patterns and Projects for Needlecraft by Wanda Bonando and Marinella Nava
Copyright 1981, Harper Colophon Books
I was surprised that the copyright for this was from the 80's as it seemed older than that. This book covers about every sort of embroidery there has ever been since the beginning of time. While the projects in it are really conservative, it was a jumping off point for me. I used to check it out over and over from the library and then one day came across a discarded copy at a library sale and just had to have it for my very own.
Mary Martin's Needlepoint by Mary Martin
Copyright 1969 William Morrow and Company
Yes, that would be the Mary Martin of Peter Pan fame. In fact, the picture on the back of the dust cover features her in her costume all stung up for flight. I not only really liked her designs, I got a kick out of how her needlework lived right along her theater and movie career. This was another library book, but then I found a copy at Aunties Books and had to have a copy of it for all of $1.95.
Sylvia Sidney Needlepoint Book
Copyright 1968 Van Nostrand Reinhold Company
Again, I really liked her artwork as well as the fact that she did all or most of her own drawings for the patterns, and showed you how to do it too if you were so inclined. While not particularly interested in needlepoint, I did use her methods to start doing my own cross stitch patterns. This one is also peppered with stories about her career in Hollywood. Again, it was a library book I checked out long ago, but I bet whoever traded in the Mary Martin book at Aunties also traded this one in too, so I had to get it for old time's sake-at a $1.99 who could resist?
The Yestermorrow Clothes Book
by Diana Funaro, copyright 1976, Chilton Book Company
You could say this book inspired my entire art and craft career. I got it while in high school just about the time I learned to drive and was off to the thrift stores in Kansas City! I loved taking vintage clothes (real vintage, from the 20's, 30's and 40's) and rebuilding them. This book had great ideas and great general directions for taking stuff apart. When I look at it today, there are plenty of things in it I would still wear, and in fact, I see on sites like Etsy everyday. She had timeless vision.
Needlework to Wear
by Erica Wilson, copyright 1982, Oxmoor House Inc.
Called the "Julia Child" of needlework, Erica may have been one of the first women to be a "craft powerhouse" long before the quilting girls got going. I remember doing her patterns as a child in the late 1960's and as a teenager in the 70's. Again, I came across this in a library and then found a used copy years later that I had to have just because. I think I found this one fascinating because she did fiber jewelry-and not macramé either! She used very traditional techniques to come up with really modern designs-for the early eighties. Now the clothes in particular look really dated, but at the time this book was ground breaking in that she was not sitting around doing stuff out of the past, she was making contemporary wearables using traditional techniques.
Ok, my tea is cold and whatever I originally started to do still isn't started, so I had better get back at it.