In addition to learning how to embroider at a very young age, I also enjoyed “Paint by Number” projects. Christmas was a time when I would get a new picture, complete with the brush and oil paints. I learned, by trial and error, to paint all of one color and let it dry before attempting to paint the next color nearest to it. I think that learning to ‘paint by number’ was the basis for moving on to painting on fabric when I got older.
Artex was the ballpoint fabric paint fad that swept the domestic landscape in the 1970’s while Hobbytex was the Australian version. I used to love to paint with Artex and had a good assortment of colors to choose from. Artex was sold at home parties – similar to Tupperware – and one could purchase a case that would serve as a storage container as well as a carry case to make it easy to take along to the next party. Pre-printed designs could be purchased, or one could put designs on their own fabric. Thus, dish towels, pot holders, tablecloths, pillowcases, and articles of clothing all became targets for Artex!
While Artex seems to have fallen by the wayside, Tri-Chem is still around. Tri-Chem was founded in 1948, has a line of over 270 paint colors, stencils, iron-on designs, and accessories that are distributed and sold in over 50 countries worldwide. To be honest, I didn’t know that Tri-Chem was still available until I was doing some research for this blog post. My days of painting seemed to diminish as other crafts came along.
While most of my crafts involved needles and thread or a sewing machine, there were times that I tried my hand at other mediums. Evening classes were very popular back in the ‘70’s and I attended various classes including How to Cut Hair, Cooking with your Microwave, Macramé, Paper Tole, and several others.
What is Macramé? When I Googled Macramé, this is what I found:
“Macramé (MAC-ruh-may) is the art/craft of tying cordage into knots in such a way that they form a useful or decorative shape. This was a very popular craft in the 1970s in the USA that is now being revived in the form of jute jewelry and knotted purses. Using all types of knots and additional decals such as beads, you’ll be able to create your own macramé crafts in no time.”
Macramé was not only popular in the USA, but also in Canada. Macramé is an easy, affordable craft to learn. It requires very few tools and just some simple knowledge of basic knots.
After practicing the common knots in class, it was time to pick a pattern. There were extravagant patterns – some holders were designed to have a glass shelf which could hold a lamp. The holders were all fastened to a small ring, perhaps no more than a 1 or 2-inch ring, which was covered with the cord as well. That ring would then be put onto a ceiling hook which would then display the holder. My macramé projects were not extravagant. I went on to pick a fairly simple pattern for making a holder for an indoor plant. I made a number of smaller holders for indoor plants – and if I recall correctly, the largest plant pot holder measured about 4 feet from the ceiling hook to the base of the holder. I had used a silky cord for this project and purchased an artificial fern to display in this holder. I really was quite fond of the finished project, and it moved from home to home with me for quite a number of years.
While I had a booklet showing all the common knots and instructions on how to tie them; today we can just “Google” to find videos and articles that teach the common macramé knots one can use to create a variety of macramé projects.
I found an interesting article on YouTube showing how to make a bracelet using knots and beads. Square Knot Loops Bracelet Tutorial by Macrame School http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjSWdBdDFVQ
I sometimes wonder what grandma would think about how information is shared today, and how we can just “Google” to find answers to questions and every pattern or book that one can think of.
Sew Perfect Stitches