Your Crap Archivist brings you the finest in forgotten and bewildering crap culled from Golden State thrift stores, estate sales, and flea markets.
A stack of '60s and '70s Christmas craft magazines
The crafting of ridiculous tchotchkes became hugely popular in American life right around the time that Americans stopped making their own food, gifts, and clothes.
At a time when they had to somehow reconcile the notion of Santa's pre-industrial workshop with the mass-produced reality of the oil-based Mattel dolls, it's understandable that parents might seek some connection to the handmade and homespun, especially around ancient holidays.
What's less understandable is why those crafts had to be so godawful. Take this from 1978's Macrame for Christmas:
Girdle Santa looks like he's spent a lot of time on an uncomfortable bike seat.
Then there's this twiney sacrilege:
This raises many theological concerns. Perhaps those alleged in the gospels to have denied Jesus's divinity had merely been saying "Knott Christ."
From 1977's Have a Macrame Christmas, here's what Santa would look like as an uncooked pizza:
That's a more traditional macrame disaster than that thready manager scene up above. The best of bad macrame tends to dangle whiskerly off walls, accumulating cat hair and generally looking like what you would get if the scraps of net and rope discovered in a whale's belly could themselves somehow vomit.
That style is exemplified in 1975's Macrame Forms and Figures, a collection of bead-eyed, no-mouthed Santas, clowns, and witches, each so stringy, hook-pierced, and impossible to believe that they could be Stieg Larsson heroines.
This Santa, for example, seems built to hang helplessly from the basement wall until some killer is ready to start the yuletide torture.Here's a full page spread from the same book. The images may seem random and confusing, but try to read them in a sequence, as the storyboards of a David Lynch dream sequence. You will be unsettled.
That's enough with the macrame! Here's some more workaday craft wrecks, the first batch all coming from this 1966 Woman's Day special issue.
In it we find a terrible surprise: Evidence that just five years after the UFO abduction of Betty and Barney Hill, the black-eyed gray aliens had fully infiltrated our lives:
They've even taken over our wise men!
Next: more Woman's Day madness, as well as lots more of the too-dark jokes that Christmas for some reason inspires from me