Good morning and welcome to a very special post! Today the cross stitching community is honoring a very brave & inspirational fellow cross-stitching blogger and someone I'm proud to call my friend... Cathey, also known to many of us, as "Pumpkin."
When Sharon/Daffycat came up with the idea of a "Pumpkins For Cathey" day, I thought it was brilliant. After all, what other blogging community is as supportive of each other as our cross-stitching family? If you aren't familiar with Cathey (better known as Pumpkin) she blogs at Pumpkin Patch & Co. and today is her blog's 7th anniversary. When you visit her blog, you'll notice her beautiful stitching, her addiction to Cadbury Cream eggs, and her love of bunnies and dachshunds. You'll see many darling photos of her 17-month-old little son--the little sweetheart she has nicknamed "Junior." However, you can't help but also notice her more recent posts on her serious health problems. Cathey is battling cancer and her bravery and desire to live each day to the fullest for herself, her husband and their adorable little son have left all of us humbled and inspired (and many times in tears wishing we could do more).
Sharon, who blogs at It's Daffycat, sent out an email suggesting that we each post something "pumpkin themed" today, September 27, 2013, in support of dear Cathey. So, I immediately set to work in stitching a fun Halloween finish with three of the cutest pumpkin heads I've seen. What makes this such a delightful piece to stitch? Well...
Simply combine one grinning pumpkin
with one frightened pumpkin
and one tiny, baby pumpkin.
Add in a couple of black crows
sitting on a candy corn tree.
Mix in a full moon
and finish it off with a few
sage words of Halloween advice!
sage words of Halloween advice!
And what do you end up with?
HALLOWEEN IS IN THE AIR!
I can't remember when I've enjoyed stitching a piece as much as this one. And knowing I was stitching it in honor of Cathey/Pumpkin makes it all the more special. The designer of this chart, All Through the Night, is fast becoming one of my favorites. I used most of the suggested overdyeds (although I did make a couple of minor substitutions when I didn't have the correct colors in my stash) and stitched it on some unknown 40 ct. R&R Reproductions fabric. I bought a lot of 40ct. fabrics on Ebay last year and they weren't labeled with names, but I thought this antiquey-looking fabric was perfect for a Halloween piece. I thought this had a very vintage look to it with the colors and the expressions on both the moon and the little pumpkins. And the candy corn "tree" is just too cute!
All Through the Night's "Halloween Is In the Air"
Speaking of candy corn (and pumpkins!)... here is a simple pumpkin craft for any of you planning a Halloween party or just looking for a quick and easy project to do with your little ones. I love Martha Stewart's ideas, but many of them are simply too time-consuming or take too many materials to make them doable for the average person. When I stumbled upon these little Jack-O'-Lantern Party Favors I just loved them and thought to myself, "Oh, I wish I had a little one around to make these with!" Well, that didn't stop me--I just made some for myself to hold the contents of the bag of candy corn I recently purchased! They took about five minutes each to put together and this way, perhaps, I'll ration my candy consumption. And, if you want something healthier--they would look almost as cute with nuts or trail mix in the little bags...
To download the pumpkin faces simply go here. I used thick card stock, plastic lunch bags that I cut the tops off, and floral wire (wound around a pencil) to make the curly stems. Martha, of course, covered her wires with brown cloth of some sort to make them look more realistic--I just used the plain dark green floral wire and it looks perfectly fine to me... I think this trio of pumpkins would brighten up any party, don't you? (And I'll bet Junior would love creating these with you, wouldn't he, Cathey?).
MORE PUMPKIN GOODNESS... I was in a pumpkin mood all day yesterday while preparing this post and thinking of Cathey so I made some of my favorite Pumpkin-Raisin Muffins. I've been making this recipe for over 30 years--I think it came from the back of a can of Libby's Pumpkin. They are so moist and delicious--a wonderful autumn treat. I've included the recipe below--hope you enjoy them!
Pumpkin-Raisin Muffin Recipe
1 ¼ cups sugar
¼ cup canola oil
½ cup Libby's pumpkin
1 ½ cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. salt
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
Combine first four ingredients and beat well.
Combine remaining ingredients.
Add to first mixture.
Stir in ½ cup raisins until smooth.
Fill muffin tins lined with paper cups.
Bake at 370° for 25 minutes.
Makes 12 muffins.
That winds up my "Pumpkins For Cathey" post. I hope it made you smile, Cathey--I think of you so often and I'm sure after reading all of the special posts written in your honor from all over the world today, you'll realize just how very special you are to all of us. Sending a warm hug your way, my friend... And thanks to Sharon for organizing this special event! If you want to see the links to all of the other bloggers participating in "Pumpkins For Cathey" day, please visit her blog.
I hope each of you is enjoying the lovely autumn weather that we've been having here in western Pennsylvania--what a delight! And remember to take time to really look around and appreciate the simple things in your life this weekend. Bye for now...