Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Right Way to Carve by James Beard

The Right Way To Carve
There are a few chefs that I can name whose philosophy of eating changed the way we perceive dining. James Beard is one of those giants. My copy of American Cookery is well loved and well used. His simple tomato soup recipe has been a winner at every dinner party I have served it. I even served it as the first course for Thanksgiving dinner several years ago and it set the tone for the rest of the entrees to come. 

As Thanksgiving approaches once again and you are presented with the task of carving the turkey or roast or whatever you are serving your guests, fear not. In this 1950s article from Woman's Day magazine, James Beard walks you through the steps for a perfect presentation without the anxiety. Download the article HERE and from the pattern sellers on Goodsmiths, we wish you a very 

 Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Free Tutorial for Setting a Festive Table - Vintage Napkin Folds

From the Practical Encyclopedia of Good Decorating and Home Improvement Vol 16 1971©

I recall a story about Andy Warhol who, as a very young but celebrated artist, was invited to dine at the home of a well-to-do museum patron. The table was large and the guest list legendary. Each place setting had every imaginable utensil in it's proper place. Andy Warhol came from rather humble beginnings and had no idea how to proceed. As the courses were placed in front of him and removed untouched, the guest to his right remarked... but Mr Warhol, you have eaten nothing. His relpy ... I only eat candy. Now THAT is classic Warhol.

Whether you set your table for fine dining of for family dinners, one thing that transforms a simple place setting into an elegant presentation is a folded napkin strategically placed on the plate. For this year's Thanksgiving or Holiday table settings, whether your gathering is buffet style or sit down dinner, try these festive folds and impress your guests. This is something that can be done ahead of time leaving you time for more important things like enjoying your own party.

Courtesy of Cynical Girl on Goodsmiths

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Stained Glass Trivets and Coasters - Easy to Make Holiday Gift Ideas - Free Pattern

Easy Glass and Poured Plaster Trivets or Coasters

Protect your tabletops from heat and spills with these festive stained glass trivets. Made of poured plaster of paris and pieces of colored glass, these easy to make trivets can be scaled down for coasters too. You choose the colors and shapes of the glass pieces as well as the design. Pour into the bottom of a half gallon carton for a square trivet. Keep the plaster white or paint with poster paint afterward or why not try adding food color to the plaster to color it before pouring. Stack half a dozen small coasters and tie with a pretty ribbon as a gift for the hostess this Thanksgiving or Christmas. The possibilities are endless. In a very large mold with poured concrete you can make decorative stepping stones for a pathway for your favorite gardener. Published in 1963 by the John Oster Manufacturing Company, Milwaukee, maker of the original Osterizer. Download instructions HERE.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Free Pattern Friday - 1950's Santa Face Apron Pattern For the Ho Ho Hostess - Great for Gifts Too!

1950's Santa Face Apron Pattern

In the 1950's the "Face" apron was popular in many themes. This Santa face apron is easy to make with a bit of applique and embroidery to finish the details. How fun to wear this retro holiday apron while you play hostess to your friends and loved ones this Christmas. Or make a few to give as gifts. They surely will be cherished. Download HERE. Prints on 8.5" x 11" sheets of paper. Complete instructions included. 

Courtesy of CynicalGirl on Goodsmiths.

Folded Paper Choir of Angels - Free Vintage Holiday Decor Pattern

Sing, Choir of Angels. Sing in Exultation.

Call it vintage. Call it retro. Whatever you call it, the 1960's "Look" is back and in full force. White, silver and pink Christmas trees with revolving spot lights, bottle brush trees and painted figurine candles ... it's all new again. These simple figurines of folded paper and ornament heads can be scaled up or down to create giant or miniature displays. So gather up the kids, the spray paint and pipe cleaners and get started on your new "Look" for the Holidays. Download pattern here.  Published in 1963 by the John Oster Manufacturing Company, Milwaukee, maker of the original Osterizer.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Vintage Toothpick Angel Sculpture - Free Pattern - Deck the Halls

Toothpick Angel

In Gladbrook Iowa there is a little museum called Matchstick Marvels housing enormous sculptures of incredibly detailed castles, mansions, ships, planes and yes, even the White House and Hogwarts. These sculptures are the work of one man, Patrick Acton, and are entirely made from matchsticks and date from the 1970's to the present. Definitely worth a visit.

The 1960's and 1970's crafting world brought forth ideas for creating objects for holiday and every day decor that used all manner of household objects. Remember spray painted macaroni ornaments and wreaths? I don't recall matchsticks being used but I do remember toothpicks. This Toothpick angel would make a lovely centerpiece for the table or the mantle, or an awesome retro tree topper. Either way, it's easy to make with no special skills or tools. Published in 1963 by the John Oster Manufacturing Company, Milwaukee, maker of the original beehive blender. Download directions HERE.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Free Pattern - Partridge in a Pear Tree Christmas Fiber Art Collage Pattern

Partridge in a Pear Tree Fiber Art Collage
The Partridge in a Pear Tree is the first gift from the classic folk song The Twelve Days of Christmas. Historians note that the Partridge may have been a common hen as "Banty Hens" are smaller and know to roost in low branching trees, such as juniper. Second in rank only to Five Gold Rings as an easily remembered verse, the Partridge in a Pear Tree ranks first in visual appeal. Imagine how an ornate old picture frame would get a new lease on life with this attractive fiber art picture made of felt or left over scraps of fabric depicting this well known Holiday theme. Scaled down in miniature, these would make lovely hand made Christmas greeting cards. Published by John Oster Manufacturing Co. 1963. Easy to make. Download directions HERE.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Buttons - Finding the Right Size for Your Project - Or What is a Ligne?



You have seen button cards with the sizes indicated in inches and millimeters. No doubt you have seen the letter L followed by a number or the word Ligne. What in the world is a ligne?

In French or German, Ligne means line. It is a unit of measurement applied to the diameter of buttons that predates metric, which was installed in the 18th century as the universal standard of measurement in Europe. In the 9th century, German button makers used ligne to represent a measurement of 1/40th of an inch, more or less. Today, Ligne, a term probably brought over to the US from German immigrants, is the standard measurement for buttons. Strict and precise, a ligne equals exactly 1/40th of an inch of the diameter of a button or a snap.

This snappy button sizing chart from Britex Fabrics in San Francisco is available as a download HERE. But do visit their website if you are looking for high quality fabrics, notions and trims. They have great sales too!! Follow their BLOG to keep up to date.