Sit down.... are you sat? Prepare yourself.... are you prepared?
Okay, today's Vintage Article uses.... Plastic Canvas!
A plastic canvas doll! With her own little plastic canvas carrying case! I would ask myself what the hell I was thinking, but there's no point- whatever I was thinking, it worked in that I wrote the article, and it was accepted, and I got paid for it. And this may actually have been my first cover project. (I did get better... I promise).
Women's Circle was a House of White Birches/Tower Press magazine. It came out every other month, and was filled with horrible craft projects (many of them my designs), health tips, pen pal requests, recipes, heart warming stories, and page after page of ads for other HoWB/TP magazines. There were hundreds, and I wrote for most of them.
Here's the back cover- and in case you are wondering why they're selling new 1983 Christmas Annual one-off magazines in a Feb. 1984 magazine, it's because the lead time on these things was very long. This issue probably came out in October '83, leaving plenty of time to order one, or all, of these spiffy issues.
Though HoWB/TP added color pages later on, in the early '80s most of the magazines were b/w only (or with one color tinting), and printed on pulp paper. Luckily, there's a color shot of Needlepoint Nell in all her horrible glory on the cover, so you can see that I chose the colors really badly- the white yarn doesn't have enough contrast with the peach to show at all.
Back in those days, all charts were drawn by hand in pen and ink (back when notations could be made with a blue pencil because prehistoric copy machines didn't pick up that color). Back then, I had to fix inking mistakes with white out, and if I made too many mistakes, I had to start over with a new piece of graph paper.
I noticed a discrepancy between the cover illustration and the published b/w chart when I was entering the new chart on the graph. It's not a big deal, but in case you are making comparisons, you'll notice the mistake too.
In fact, I should mention this now: if you find mistakes in the instructions of these Vintage Articles, you can let me know, but man, there's nothing I can do to fix an article that was published nearly 30 years ago.
Oh, and by '84, I had already flooded my market with designs, and often more than one was published in a single issue. I also designed these Perforated Paper Valentines, from the same magazine. I was busy back then.
I didn't bother to make a color chart for these items because they're fairly simple. And maybe even uglier than Nell.