Thursday, June 24, 2010

Home-Made Kitsch...

1970's style! In this case, two felt wall calenders, which were all the rage in the 60's and 70's. While they still make them today, the are a bit too tame...these little gems are just a perfect slice o' the hippy era.

The first one is from 1972. Mine in the actual kit sports groovy avocado green felt, the rest is as you see here. The idea is to cut out the felt fruit shapes, sew on sequins & beads, stuff them and attach them to the felt, giving a 3-D effect. Because otherwise, you know...it might not be noticed. And don't forget, you're gonna have to stare at this thing for an entire year. Good GOD.

I LOVE the designers name--Edna Looney is perfection itself.

A better look at the kit's cover page of the finished product. That toucan just looks SO happy to be there, and doesn't 1972 look like it's having fun?

Even after nearly 40 years, the felt looks brand new and the colors are vibrant. The toucan is made of black velvet with specialty sequins for his tail. It's amazing the thing survived this long!

The instructions. Now, kits these days take GREAT pains to explain every little thing, as if to an idiot child. NOT in 1972 bucko, this was IT. It's, 'whip stitch' this and 'blind stitch' that. And they only begrudgingly gave you this much help. I do love the elegant little note left by the inspector, though. Rarely do you see pre-printed 'thank you' notes with such panache.

On to the 1971 kit!

This one...this one...ahh, this one is a thing of wonder. At once the same and yet very different from the 1972 kit.


This one came from Sears, and Sears in the 70's pretty much had a lock on tacky. Here is the cover sheet showing the finished product. It crows about how the kit is made from something called 'Nylocraft', which I suspect is actually asbestos + felt in sheep's clothing. It has a rather creepy feel to the hand.

And yes, you have to SEW ON every single one of those damned beads & sequins, no lame glue shortcuts here.

The kit & instructions, such as they are. Again, they assume you already know basic sewing stitches and have more than two brains cells to work with.

A closer view of the felt, pre-beading. The colors are stamped on good & thick, by God, and the gold is blinding to the eye, even BEFORE the bead & sequin combo is overlaid. No shortcuts.

Detail shot. Words alone cannot describe how much I'm loving the font of the text and the sassy expression on the birds.

Can't wait to get these done. I'm gonna start with this one!

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