There are some mornings when I’m very glad to own a camera. Mornings when I walk into the room where I was quilting the previous night, and find it’s grown sunbeams.

Mornings when packages arrive from the nursery with bare-rooted roses, and from Ebay with 57 mismatched Golden Hands magazines:

Did these magazines come out anywhere outside Australia? My guess would be that they started in England, as so much Australian media did in the sixties and seventies, but I could be mistaken. My Mum and Grandma always seemed to have a few kicking around, and they still pop up in Op shops around the country. Now that I have 57 of them, I have the perfect excuse to op shop until I have them all!

I love them so much, but [because] they’re so very uncool. They tell you how to make a pomander and how to remove any kind of stain. They have useful hints on quilting your man an elegant waistcoat (mine would die of shame) or crocheting matching outfits for you and your daughter. Have an old jumper and want to refashion it into excruciatingly ugly pants for your toddler? Golden Hands can help.

For some reason it’s important that I own these: not just because they give me so much pleasure, but in case one day (far, far, far away) I become a mum myself. To raise a child without adequate pomander-making information would be cruelty.

Can you see why I love them? Here’s a macrame bed jacket:

“God, I hope my boyfriend never sees these pictures.”

And of course, a knitted caftan for those icy days of summer: I think this one’s using the palm tree as insurance against fainting.

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