Today, your Crap Archivist brings you the finest in forgotten and bewildering crap culled from thrift stores, estate sales, and flea markets.
Macrame Holiday II and four other ’70s craft guides
Discovered at: Cheyenne Antiques, Cheyebbe, WY
The Cover Promises: Snowmen need scarves and hats, which is counter-intuitive. Also, they can totally grow afros.
In the 1970s, macrame became a wildly popular hobby among the millions of American homemakers who longed to decorate their homes with twine-and-knot based plant-holders that often suggest gunnysack or the beards of ZZ Top.
Here is a typical example:
It’s the craft project that dares to ask, “What if one of Cher’s Oscar dresses could vomit leaves?”
To devotees, showing off a macrame masterpiece trumped all over decorating concerns, including the basics of how rooms are supposed to work:
In the 70s, only the most honored party guests and family members were given the space on the couch directly behind dangling macrame.
And as this marvel from 1976’s Macrame Masterpieces demonstrates, the true believers had ambitions beyond just hanging plants:
That one is for everyone who ever dreamed of honeymooning in Willie Nelson’s braids!
Anyway, like everything else in this country, macrame has on occasion gotten balled up in Christmas, that two-month long holiday that American celebrate by worrying about how other Americans are celebrating.
Perhaps the most chilling way to celebrate: decorating your home with this leering, black-toothed macrame skull.
You might be surprised to learn just how much blood there is in just one snowman:
As impressive as that knotty crime scene might be, the sad truth is that macrame is an awfully limited medium for artistic expression. In it, even angels can come out as doggy chew toys.
1978’s The Wild Kingdom of Macrame offers us a glimpse into the art’s late, decadent period. With holidays all decorated for, and America’s houseplants all securely hammocked, macrame artisans found yet another way to ruin Christmas: toy-making.
I’ve stared and stared, but I still can’t say for sure just what that dark lump in the middle is meant to be. A bear? An evil-eyed garage scrap rag? Also, note the lion’s sad, shattered legs.
Here’s another cat, one whose sorry limbs remind us of that when it comes to representational art macrame is pretty much only good for creating only one thing: rabbinical sidecurls.
Speaking of cats, savor this handsome puss lying upon a macrame rug like Cleopatra upon her barge. Then, ask yourself: Has there ever been a more promising romping ground for allergens?
One more Christmas treat! If this reindeer looks to you like it’s ready for battle, well, that’s probably because it’s muzzled in what years later would be Rambo’s head-scarf.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on November 23, 2012