Free Patterns

Welcome. if you are here looking for free patterns you will find them listed in a menu on the right of this page. You may have to scroll down. Click on what interests you. A page will come up with the pattern. Click on "File" in the upper left hand corner. Then click on "download original". If you like what you see click on "save a copy " in the floating toolbar at the bottom of the page. I hope the pattern makes up for these extra steps. Enjoy.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Merry Christmas

All the gifts are wrapped and ready for Christmas Day. Those for out of state delivery have been mailed, and those for giving here at home are ready for their spot under the tree.

Although our family is now spread out from coast to coast, and we can no longer be assured that everyone will be at the table Christmas Day, we hold each other in our hearts, as I hold all of you in my heart this Christmas season. Have a wonderful Christmas surrounded by joy and love.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas Candy

Christmas is the time we bake and make all kinds of goodies for family and friends. Many of us are pressed for time, however, Well here is the easiest candy recipe you will find. A friend from my days as a Girl Scout leader gave it to me and it has been a holiday mainstay ever since.

Potato Fondant

Ingredients: 1 small Russet potato
3 cups confectioner's sugar. You may need more as much depends on the size of the potato.
1 tsp. vanilla

Peel, boil and mash potato. While it is still warm begin to add confectioners sugar. Using an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy. Add vanilla. Wrap fondant in plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator to firm. Fondant should be firm enough it will hold it's shape when formed into balls. If it is too soft all is not lost. Just put some confectioner's sugar on your board and knead it into the fondant until you get a consistency that you like.

Now you can make little balls and roll in chopped nuts or coconut. You can use it to stuff dates. My family favorite was p-nut butter fondant. Working with half the fondant at a time, roll out your fondant to a sheet about 1/4 inch thick. To keep it from sticking cover your board and pin with confectioner's sugar.Cover the sheet with p-nut butter. Roll up like a jelly roll and cut into pieces. With any candy you make it is a good idea to let the pieces sit out on a clean towel to dry for about an hour.

It has been my experience that if you are giving this to neighbors or taking some to work it is a good idea to have the recipe typed up on a few cards because someone will want it. Enjoy.

Package Returned

Well, that is what one gets when one has smugly announced to the world their Christmas mailing has been done. Today one of the packages was returned. It apparently had been stomped on and the address label was gone. Sigh---. I repacked it in a new box. All the contents were there and intact. Then I readdressed it, and my husband will make yet another trip to the post office, not his favorite thing to do. I have never had this happen before and have no idea what went wrong. The recipients should still get it before Christmas. With the blizzard back east I wonder how much is getting through. Well, no problem. I know Santa can make it.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Packages

The Christmas boxes are in the mail and on their way. Didn't think to take a picture of the pile of knit goodies that were sent, but almost everyone got a knitted gift.

I have such a large family I long ago established a routine I have followed through the years. I never stop knitting for Christmas. Everytime I see a pattern I know someone would like, or I am asked by someone if I can make a specific item or when I simply become aware of a fashion trend I know the young people will want, I make it. I have a plastic storage bin into which each item goes when finished. As Christmas approaches I sort everything, wrap and for those in other states pack and mail. I don't know if this system would work for others, but by preparing all year I am no longer rushing around at the last minute with that sinking feeling that someone has been overlooked.

Of course there is one draw back. Items left out where visiting family members can see them often end going home with someone.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Fall Color Tour

Yesterday my husband insisted I go to the front door and take the "fall color tour". Many of you may live in one of those areas that becomes a mass of brilliant red and yellow each year as the leaves turn color in autumn.

Here is our example. Okay, so it lacks a bit in dramatic impact. but are the red and gold leaves in the East highlighted by a background of palm trees? I think not. And you can look at our autumn splendor wearing a T shirt. It is seventy three degrees outside.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

December 7

As some of you may all ready know I am a survivor of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. For those history buffs among you, my personal account of the bombing is here in three parts. Scroll down to start at the beginning.

I referred to myself as a survivor, but don't really think of myself that way. I think of the survivors as all the sailors, marines and soldiers who rushed to their duty stations and tried so valiantly to fight back without the resources to do so. How does one shoot down an enemy plane with a hand gun? My father broke open a locker that contained machine guns, and the men with him set them up, but a machine gun is a poor weapon against an enemy plane overhead.

Let us hope that someday human beings will learn to settle their problems without war. The cost is too high.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Free and Almost Free

As we approach Christmas we are being deluged with ads on TV. It brought to mind the devices used by manufacturers of the past. There was a time when radio ads and the print media were all that was available to the makers of different products. So what to do? Well, many turned to free giveaways to convince the buyer to try the product.

Children were a prime target. All the major cereal makers had shows on the radio that came on just about the time you got home from school. It was a ritual with most of us. You came home, put up your stuff, got your "after school snack" and lay on the floor facing the radio, although, of course, there was nothing to see. You listened to the Lone Ranger, or Captain Midnight or Little Orphan Annie or whatever was on in your area. All the shows had some kind of promotion. For example: Those like Captain Midnight had membetship cards and decoder rings. Little Orphan Annie who was sponsored by Ovaltine had an Ovaltine mug with a picture of Annie on it. All these wonders were free. One only had to send in a label or boxtop from the product and 25 cents for shipping and handling.

It is hard to imagine the eagerness with which we waited for our free gift, The anticipation was almost overwhelming. Every day parents all over the country were being badgered by a child waiting for that decoder ring or other prize. "Is it here yet? Is it here yet?"

Then the big day. You got home from school, and your Mom handed you a package with your name on it. You immediately rushed to your room, tore open the box and there it was, an official looking membership card and joy of joys, your decoder ring. After listening to the program that afternoon you carerfully took down the "secret message". You went to a private place, because, of course, it was secret , and non members could not know what the message was., For those of you who have seen Christmas Story that is exactly how it was. The secret message was a plug for the product or a simple admonition on some moral issue like "Captain Midnight's friends never tell a lie."

Grown ups were not left out of this bonanza. Those that made dish or laundry soap, and it was soap, not detergent, often included something like a free dish towel in the box. You could send away for a piece of Fiesta Ware or a free, framed print to hang on your wall, to name a few.

As a child I had my membershio card and decoder ring, an Orphan Annie Ovaltine mug, a wonderful circus you cut out of heavy paper and put together with tabs and slots offered by Rice Krispies and a flashlight. The flash light was a tube made of heavy, textured cardboard and painted blue. It had a bulb at the front covered by a piece of glass and a circle of cardboard at the other end. No switch. To turn it on you simply pushed on the cardboard covering the back end which pushed the battery up where it came in contact with the bulb and like magic, a beam of light. I can not tell you how many hours I spent in the yard after dark using my flashlight or how often I read by flashlight at night when I was supposed to be sleeping. I don't remember who offered this gem, but I remember it with great fondness.

It may be hard to understand in today's world the excitement that one of these promotional gifts produced in the child fortunate enough to get one. It was more than a toy. It was a ticket to a world of imagination where you could be a super hero, a circus performer, or anything you could dream.