Collecting Things of Beauty April 3, 2007

Last week I mentioned* my favorite craft book from childhood, and here’s another peek at it: Childcraft volume 11, “Make and Do.” I love this book so, so much. Somewhere along the way the rest of the Childcraft set vanished, but Make and Do is with me for life.

Childcraft Make and Do (1976 edition)

I traced the paper dolls, cooked the recipes, practiced the magic tricks, and played the car games with my brother. I had a trunk full of my mom’s 60s clothes from college and I would play dress-up all the time like the Halloween costumes in the book. My favorite Easter ever was when my Easter basket was a surprise sewing basket — with real, grown-up scissors and my very own measuring tape and thread, and I could hand-sew clothes for the army of yarn dolls my friend Sarah and I had made…

I still remember playing with all the vintage buttons I had: pouring them out of the Mason jar, and arranging them just-so and then changing everything all around. And I’d restring broken jewelry on dental floss and feel so glamorous with an improvised bracelet or necklace on. So of course my favorite pages of all were “Collecting Things of Beauty”:

Collecting Things of Beauty

One funny thing: at the time my favorite colors were pink and purple, and so when I proudly wrote my name in my very own copy of course I reached for the purple marker. Twenty-some years later I’m not so wild about the color, but I love seeing my wobbly little four-year-old handwriting, before I was very good at Ns, and when I adored purple so much.

my nameplate in "Make and Do"

*Lynn, my copy is actually blue and it’s volume 11 (the 1976 edition), but you nailed it — pretty impressive from a picture of half of one page! Mine is way well-loved at this point, the blue is all scuffed up but I love the colors…

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