Sunday, December 20, 2009

Chez Golden Hands

Last weekend my family went away for a little holiday. We had things that needed to be done (Dolphin watch cruise voucher with looming expiry date) and big things to discuss. What better place than Akaroa.

Ken Oath! booked the holiday home via the amazing McCrosties website based on his criteria of availability, number of beds (sleeps four plus an emergency snoring bed), proximity to the action so that Corolla (or is it a Corona, who cares, obviously not me!) could have a holiday too, and of course, price.

But when we got there we found that his chosen house was accidentally an extra special treat for me. It was a shrine to 1970s handicrafts! I immediately dubbed it Chez Golden Hands! All the things in this house had been made with care and great skill and no doubt told the history of the family who owned the house. A huge effort had been put in to decorate and furnish this house in the 1970s, then it had been perfectly preserved as if in a time capsule. Even the piles of magazines contained nothing later than 1988. Given that that was the year I started fashion school, I had a kind of morbid fascination with the hideousness of them.

It made me think about home decor fashion, which of the currently "in" items will give sniggery joy to people in thirty years time, and about the macrame owl that proudly perched in my family's holiday bach for decades.

The owl-making sister recently gave me a bound four volume set of Golden Hands magazines from the 1970s. Since then I've had many happy hours reading them. No matter how hard I try, I can't resist renaming the various regular chapters. So I end up with Clothes for the Wannabe Eternal Virgin, Man-Repelling Home Decor and Torture Your Children in Style (the numerous all-in-one scratchy wool knitted outfits and all those high-necked tops edged with nylon lace. In white. Handwash only. For wee boys!) My favourite chapter though is the one Golden Hands calls "Collectibles". These are elaborate and extremely time-consuming "textile art" projects, usually in natural colours, quite big, sometimes incorporating found materials such as bark, driftwood and feathers. Hmmmm, tasty. If you can't quite visualise what I mean just go to any op-shop and you'll find a whole pile of these beauties. Maybe I should rename this chapter Future Op-Shop classics or Your family won't fight over these in your will.

So what did my family decide. Our knitting is well and truly back on our needles. We have plans! Ken Oath! is working his magic again, making the world a more interesting place for those who appreciate the performing arts - though not in Christchurch, now or possibly ever again.

TheShortFolk and I are going to stay in Christchurch long enough to run Stash reHash at least one more time. I need to have a chat to the nice old bloke who hires out the hall but I'm hoping for early May. I'll send out a message to previous stall-holders and the mailing list as soon as I have a date sorted. Soon after I'll put information up here.

All the pictures above (OK, except for the dolls) are from Chez Golden Hands. The dolls are from the real Golden Hands and they and their whanau live again on gorgeous greeting cards at the fabulous Pug Design Store.

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