Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Spider and The Fly

The Spider and the Fly
by Mary Howitt
Will you walk into my parlour?" said the Spider to the Fly,
'Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy;
The way into my parlour is up a winding stair,
And I've a many curious things to show when you are there."
Oh no, no," said the little Fly, "to ask me is in vain,
For who goes up your winding stair can ne'er come down again."
"I'm sure you must be weary, dear, with soaring up so high;
Will you rest upon my little bed?" said the Spider to the Fly.
"There are pretty curtains drawn around; the sheets are fine and thin,
And if you like to rest awhile, I'll snugly tuck you in!"
Oh no, no," said the little Fly, "for I've often heard it said,
They never, never wake again, who sleep upon your bed!"
Said the cunning Spider to the Fly, " Dear friend what can I do,
To prove the warm affection I 've always felt for you?
I have within my pantry, good store of all that's nice;
I'm sure you're very welcome -- will you please to take a slice?"
"Oh no, no," said the little Fly, "kind Sir, that cannot be,
I've heard what's in your pantry, and I do not wish to see!"

"Sweet creature!" said the Spider, "you're witty and you're wise,
How handsome are your gauzy wings, how brilliant are your eyes!
I've a little looking-glass upon my parlour shelf,
If you'll step in one moment, dear, you shall behold yourself."
"I thank you, gentle sir," she said, "for what you 're pleased to say,
And bidding you good morning now, I'll call another day."
The Spider turned him round about, and went into his den,
For well he knew the silly Fly would soon come back again:
So he wove a subtle web, in a little corner sly,
And set his table ready, to dine upon the Fly.
Then he came out to his door again, and merrily did sing,
"Come hither, hither, pretty Fly, with the pearl and silver wing;
Your robes are green and purple -- there's a crest upon your head;
Your eyes are like the diamond bright, but mine are dull as lead!"
Alas, alas! how very soon this silly little Fly,
Hearing his wily, flattering words, came slowly flitting by;
With buzzing wings she hung aloft, then near and nearer drew,
Thinking only of her brilliant eyes, and green and purple hue --
Thinking only of her crested head -- poor foolish thing! At last,
Up jumped the cunning Spider, and fiercely held her fast.
He dragged her up his winding stair, into his dismal den,
Within his little parlour -- but she ne'er came out again!
And now dear little children, who may this story read,
To idle, silly flattering words, I pray you ne'er give heed:
Unto an evil counselor, close heart and ear and eye,
And take a lesson from this tale, of the Spider and the Fly.
*From my Halloween Spooktacular Swap Quilt 2009

Friday, October 29, 2010

Star Crazy October Blocks

Star Crazy is coming along!
I decided to start laying out the blocks on my design wall that have been finished so far.

A few gaps here and there, but in a little over a month we will have all the downloads available.

For October:
(5) Irish Chains

(4) Evening Stars

We only have one more Irish Chain and the inside will be complete.
Are you as antsy as I am to start putting things together?
**We now have 102 Followers on Star Crazy Log!!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pomegranate Season

One of the reasons I love the fall so much in Southern Utah is because it is the the time of year we harvest pomegranates.
(yes, we are also basking in the warm sunshine, while the Northern part of the state is being blanketed in snow, but I will try and hold back on the "neener neeners".

What is there not to love about this delicious fruit that is full of antioxidants, fiber, vitamin C, potassium, and niacin.

There are many varieties of pomegranates. The pinks are a little more sweet, and children often like them most for eating straight from the shell.

Did you know that there are exactly 840 seeds in every pomegranate?
Some people become frustrated trying to separate the seeds from the membrane. My BIL Stan McConkie has a very EASY technique for removing the seeds quickly. See post How To Seed A Pomegranate 10/28/09

The red pomegranates are more tart and make wonderful jelly.
I am fortunate that the McConkie's generously invite me over and let me pick fruit from their trees.

If you live locally, and don't have access to pomegranate trees, there is also the option of attending the Pomegranate Arts and Crafts Festival in Logandale, Nevada, held every year on the first weekend in November.
The Festival is like an old county fair, celebrating the Harvest of The Pomegranate. There are artists and vendors selling everything pom from fruit and jelly to artwork.

I've been busy making batches of jelly.

3 1/2 C. pomegranate juice
1/4 C. lemon juice
1 package pectin
5 C. sugar
Put fruit and lemon juice in an 8 quart saucepan. Add pectin and stir thoroughly. Make sure all the pectin is dissolved. Put mixture on high heat and bring to a boil. Stir constantly to keep the jelly from scorching. Add sugar and mix well. Stir constantly to a boil so it can't be stirred down.
Boil EXACTLY 2 minutes. Remove from heat and fill jars.
*The recipe says to water bath, but Kathy never does. She adds a clean hot lid, twists on a ring and the jars usually seal on their own. If she ever has one that doesn't seal, she will add a little melted paraffin wax on top.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Cactus Needle Button

Cactus Needle now has a button!!
Many, many thanks to my friend Jodi Nelson of Pleasant Home for the design.
I've known I should have a button for my blog for a long time, but it was one of those things I just never got around to doing. It helps to have talented friends like Jodi who generously offer their services.
**Feel free to copy the Cactus Needle button to place on your sidebar with a link.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Crocheted Ric Rac

Ric Rac is the Rage.
So many fun colors and sizes.
Many quilt designers are now adding ric rac embellishments to their patterns, giving extra dimension and interest.

Experimenting and playing, I've been crocheting my own ric rac out of yarns and threads.
A free tutorial is provided by Kate of Fox's Lane.

Can you visualize this tucked into the binding edge of a quilt?
Hundreds of other possibilities have crossed through my mind. You may be seeing some of them implemented in the future.

The size of the ric rac can be determined by the weight of the yarn, and the size of the crochet hook used.

Kind of earthy, don't you think?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Freda's Flowers Finished

For today's post we are going to talk about the letter "F".
(I think I watched too much Sesame Street with my children as they were growing up.)
Freda's Flowers is Finished.

Freda's Flowers is a new design by my friend Nanette Merrill of Freda's Hive.

71" X 81"
This is a jelly-roll friendly pattern that can also be made into a 39" X 39" wall hanging.

It's also a fun way to use up scraps for the background fabrics.

The flowers can also be scrappy, but I chose to use a jelly roll of Bliss by Bonnie and Camille.

I LOVE this fabric line.

Freda's Flowers is fun, fast, fine, freeing, folksy, florally, flexible, flashy, feminine, feasible, favorite, feisty, a find,

and I will always think of it very fondly.
(like my friend Nanette)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Sew Scraps Along Winner!

The Sew Scraps Along has been a great success. Again, readers have amazed me.
There were 247 entries.
Using the number generator by random. org the winner is #52
Congratulations CJ!
Cynthia, if you will e-mail me your address, I will send this box on to you right away!

Thank you Jodi for hosting Sew Scraps Along. It's been a lot of fun.
And, if you would like more opportunities to win scraps from other contributors, make sure to run over to Pleasant Home.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Out of The Mouth of Babes

"Grandma, I drew this picture to make you happy, because when I go home with my mommy and daddy, you are really going to miss me."
I'll say.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Happy Birthday Amy!

Happy Birthday to our beautiful daughter Amy, who has brought so much joy and happiness to our family.
When she was growing up we called her "Amiable Amy" and "Amy Angel" because of her calm, sweet nature. She has been a peacemaker, a good daughter, kind sister, and one who makes friends wherever she goes.
As an adult I have seen her blossom into a loving wife, and an outstanding mother.
We love you Amy!
Our SIL Dano planned a wonderful surprise for Amy's birthday. Without telling her until a few days ago, he whisked her off to Las Vegas for some much deserved child-free Rest and Relaxation.
Yesterday they made the 7 hour car trip to our home, so we can watch the grandbabies.
My heart fills with joy every time I see these faces.
I've stopped counting, but I'm sure I've kissed little cheeks, tummy's and toes at least a million times.
I just can't help myself.

We love and appreciate Dano, for the kindness he showers upon our daughter, and for the teamwork they have developed in raising their young family.
Dano is an exceptional man, and an extremely hard worker. Right now he is training for The Iron Man Competition in Cozumel, Mexico 2011.
He will swim 2 miles, bike 112 miles, and then run a 26.2 mile marathon.

But during his quiet moments, you will find him spending time with his children, like taking Kayla outside on a warm Sunday afternoon to show her what rain feels like.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Sew Scraps Along

My friend Jodi is hosting a Sew Scraps Along, and asked me if I would be interested in helping.

Yes, THAT Jodi, from Pleasant Home.

Jodi, the famous blogger, amazing photographer, master organizer, designer of awesome tutorials, lady who makes everything she touches cute, and just all around very nice person.

Jodi said she has many readers who are new to quilting, and emphasized that they would love to receive scraps as part of a GIVEAWAY.

Do I have any scraps I would be willing to share? You betcha!
I am just one friend of Jodi's who will be offering a GIVEAWAY, so make sure to run over to Pleasant Home to find more opportunities.

I crammed as many scraps as I could in this small postal box. It's now waiting to be mailed to that special someone, possibly YOU?
You do not have to be a new quilter to win. Everyone is eligible.

To win this box for the SEW SCRAPS ALONG GIVEAWAY
Follow these 2 simple rules:
1.) Leave a comment on this post between now and Wednesday, October 20th at midnight.

2.) Make sure I have a way to contact you! I am receiving a lot of these!! You might want to make sure your name does not send through as a "no-reply" If it does, simply write your e-mail address in the comment section.

*I will announce the winner on Thursday, October 21st