Thursday, June 14, 2018

Thrifty Acres: Christmas In June Part Two

It's going to get pretty hot here over the next couple of days, so how about cooling off by thinking of Christmas - as seen in Better Homes & Gardens Christmas Ideas for 1962. (My previous post, seen here, covered Part One). 

Let's get right to it:

"Designers show modern ways to do old things" the magazine declares. Guess that was the explanation for covering a pine with "rich purple spray paint". 

I thought these figures were kind of whimsical: old flash bulbs made to look like people. Bits of cotton balls were used to form ears, noses and chins, then covered with crepe paper and painted over. Sections of cardboard egg cartons were used to form the bases. 

Like I'd said, whimsical - but I've not seen old flash bulbs around lately, so I won't be trying out this idea. 

Being a greeting card crafter, I took note of this project: "With only two folds, eleven clips with your scissors, and some embossed gold paper tassels, you can quickly make cards in quantity". 

Indeed, the card would be easy to craft, but the cost of creating it would be another story. For each card, you start with a piece of green paper that measures 10 1/2" square. After the two folds are made, you end up with the card that's 10 1/2" long and 5" wide. You'd need to buy mailing envelopes big enough to hold these, which would add to the expense. But hey, they're easy to make, so why not, right?

"Just wrap with foil you're set!" After gathering up long cylinders (wrapping paper core is one suggestion), metal foil paper and small Christmas tree balls, that is. The two objects on the table below the decked-out cylinders are treated in a similar manner, to become a place card holder and a napkin ring. I like the idea of metal foil paper, but using it to wrap cylinders seems a little weird to me. 

A round of DIY gifts:

"A felt record carrier that will attend every party". Gee, does the girl with the carrier get to come along too?

The handcrafted placemats feature contrasting fabric inserts with embroidered appliques. Not only would it have taken some time to craft that set of four, but three of the four are shown in off-white fabric. (Why only one is shown in blue - the placemat in the back - is beyond me!) Yet it's suggested that these can be used at barbecues. No way I'd want to use these at a potentially messy meal!

At first glance, I'd thought that this "Snowball centerpiece" used styrofoam, but no, a mixture of ten pounds of sugar and a half-cup of egg whites is packed into bowls, then hollowed out for easier handling. Once dry, they're adorned with various trims. Sounds like a variation of those sugar eggs one sometimes sees at Easter. 

More kitchen ingredients, but this time with an edible purpose:

For a holiday dinner, a frozen cranberry sauce-cream cheese/whipped cream concoction. I bet this would still go over well enough in a genteel setting. 

And for the children's table:

Marshmallow Men decorate a chocolate cake. On second thought, this had better not go to the children's table: as cute as these little figures are, they're not edible! The eyes and noses are made with colored glass-head pins and sequins were used to suggest buttons. The marshmallows themselves are stuck together with glue. The hats are made from paper. I'd rather see these made to be eaten. Martha Stewart, are you listening? 

Now check this out:

"It's a time for the boys to entertain. Holiday time is as good a time as any for a stag". Where are the women? Out holiday shopping? Spray painting Christmas trees purple? Buying more metal foil paper? The magazine doesn't say. 

By the way, does this look like a "boy" to you?

Didn't think so; looks like a man to me! And speaking of men, he's manhandling the main course of this "Bachelor's Feast", Deviled Bones. These are barbecued beef rib-roast bones. "Allow about 1 1/2 pounds beef bones for each hungry man. Snip between bones. Eat in Henry VIII style!" 

Whatever that means. Don't think that Henry VIII also had Hot Mulled Cider with Orange Buoys, 1-2-3 Cheese Spread, Assorted Crackers, Can-can Baked Beans, Red Slaw, Green Slaw, Garlic Bread, Neiman-Marcus Apple Pie and Coffee to go along with those beef bones. 

A lot of food for "the boys", yes? But no worries: "To complete the meal, call on wives for finishing touches". So much for it being a Bachelor's Feast!

I've come to end of this post, so here's one last bit from Better Homes & Gardens Christmas Ideas 1962:

"Give ideas for happier living" - and what are Mom, Dad and young Janey holding up? Why, books produced by Better Homes & Gardens, of course! An all-purpose cookbook, a handyman's book and a gardening book are shown. Not shown are the other books available, which include cookbooks for holidays, desserts, barbecues, casseroles and more food subjects. Topics such as money management, decorating, first aid, babies and more are also covered. 

(The girl doesn't actually have a name in the ad; I just made it up for her.)

Better Homes & Gardens must still be proud of these volumes, for recently they've come out with facsimile editions of some of these publications. But why pay today's prices for copies of yesterday's books? The originals, just like the ones Mom, Dad and Janey got for Christmas, show up often in thrift stores, for far less money!

My two-part post on this magazine showed off several Christmas ideas, but I was tempted to include even more. It was a very entertaining magazine and I was sorry when I finally came to the end of its 163 pages. So much fun! 


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