Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Hearts of My Hand and Home

A random sampling of some of the hearts of my hand and home....

 Needlepunch Heart Box

 "Love in Bloom" Hooked Mat (pattern/design by Need'l Love, hooked by me).
  "Be Mine" Hooked Heart

"Be Mine" Needlepunched Tuck (pattern/design by Stone & Thread, punched by me). 

Dress and Needlepunched Pouch (pattern/design and crafted by my silly friend, Mary, from Willow Ridge Primitives). 

Hooked Heart Hanger (by Sherry Kristoff)

Piece-Quilted Wall Hanging (by me)

Needlepunched Heart Make-do (pattern/design by With Thy Needle & Thread)
 Little Hearts Hooked Mat (pattern/design by Red Barn Rugs, hooked by me).

 Appliqued Wool Heart Pinkeep (pattern/design and crafted by my dear friend, Cathy, from Red Barn Rugs).

Valentine Cross-stitched Pinkeep

 Paper-pieced Heart Pillow (by me).

 Hooked Heart & Star Make-do

"Valentine" Cross-stitched Tuck

 Hooked Hearts on String

Needlepunched Heart with Bird (pattern/design by With Thy Needle & Thread)

Wishing you a full and happy heart.....

Friday, January 20, 2012

A PODD In Nod....

Every once in a while, you come upon a artist....who captures your heart and imagination with their creations and amazing talent.  One of those creative souls for me is Pamela Gracia - better known as "Ol' Softee" from Soft in the Head, the "home of singing and dancing mice and humorous frogs" and many other amazing characters with character!

Pam recently had a drawing and gave away one of her wonderful of her famous PODDs (i.e., "Portly, Original, Designer Dolls").....And not just ANY PODD, but this very special Witchy PODD.....And, YIPPEE!!! I won, I won, I WON!!! (I know well that my shouts of joy and excitement were heard all over the Land of Nod that day and for many days to come....)

 (Because I take horrible photos, and this gal is just too beautiful to be done any injustices, I'm including Pam's photo also:)

Isn't she just the cutest dang thing?? (I looked, and looked - thought for sure she had my name written on her somewhere...thought maybe Pam had a picture of me in her head when she dreamt this charmer up, but nope....Oh well - we're two peas in a pod (or is that "PODD"??) now and I have a new GF!!!)

So now there is an official PODD in Nod....and I couldn't be happier. Thank you, Pam, so INCREDIBLY much!!! I absolutely adore her and am honored to have one of your charming and whimsical works in my home. (And, yup, she's going to be in a place of honor all the year through....Now I have a very valid and worthy excuse for having Halloween up 365 days of the year.....)

I'm sure most of you know of Pam's talent but, if you've been living under a rock and don't, do yourself a kindness and visit her collections. I guarantee you that they'll bring a smile to your face.  (And, by the way, her PODDs are so popular, they even have their own home in Blogland....You can visit them at PODD'Sville USA.) And one of Pam's very special PODDs, Elwood, managed to land himself a photo shoot and spread in the Winter 2012 "Prims" magazine....and that's not the first time a PODD was in PRIMS either....  (Told ya they were famous....)

Wishing you all a weekend filled with whimsy and imagination!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Snowflake Smiles and The Verdict on Dudley and Stephens....

Happy, Happy, Sunday!!

Those who know me even a wee bit, know I'm not an aficionado of the white stuff that blankets our landscape here in Nod the better part of 7 months of the year.  However, I do admit, a snowflake is an amazingly beautiful thing.
So, when Teri from White Sheep Farm recently had a "snowflake building" contest, I couldn't resist.  Teri asked that we make a virtual snowflake and send it to her.  She chose two winners and showered them with some winter wonderland treasures.  I guess my "snow" experience served me well, because I was one of Teri's very lucky winners.  (Either that, or Teri felt bad because I ended up playing with snowflakes for hours when I should have been doing you know what....)  Anyway....Yesterday, I received a wonderful winter wonderland in a box from Teri.....

Two snow glitter candles:

Two of Teri's "2x4" snowmen:
 (These came packaged in an adorable snowman box that I neglected to photograph.)

And 5 feet of awesome glittery snowflake garland:
(Yes, my tree is still smart comments, ya hear?)

Thank you so snowy much Teri!!! Now this kind of "white stuff" I absolutely LOVE!!

Teri's contest is over, but you can still play in the snow at "Snowdays" (but don't say I didn't warn you it was addicting!):

I also wanted to thank everyone who left such fun (and sweet) comments on my last post. I am grateful you were sport enough to play along, and promise I won't bore you on a continuous basis with my legal musings.

Class went well.  For this case, I divided them into "crews" of four (a Dudley, Stephens, Brooks and Parker in each) and, not surprisingly, we had some very differing verdicts - including:

1) Dudley (the captain who actually committed the act) guilty as charged, but Stephens not guilty;
2) Dudley and Stephens both guilty of murder;
2) Dudley and Stephens guilty of murder - and would also have found Brooks guilty of at least manslaughter, if not murder;
3) Neither guilty because it was a maritime crime and the court lacked jurisdiction over the defendants (do you think I'm going to have my hands full with this group????); and
4) Not guilty because it was a crime of necessity, akin to self-defense (did I mention I have several law enforcement folk in my class???)

Anywho - for those of you interested, this, as I mentioned, was a real case. It is Regina v. Dudley and Stephens, 14 Q.B.D. 273 (1884).  Although a criminal case, I chose it because, as one follower (Christine) commented, it is an "onion peel" of a case with many, many, layers.  It demonstrates clearly the varying theories of jurisprudence, the fact that "nasty politics" is nothing "new," and a score of other legal principles, none of which I'm sure you care to hear about.  But, long and short of it, the judge in the case (Judge Baron Huddleston) took some very unprecedented measures to ensure the result he wanted and to put to rest, "once and for all," the so-called "Custom of the Sea" and the "necessity" defense. 
Baron Huddleston took the case out of the jury's hands, directing them to return a "special verdict" which he, himself, had written.  The special verdict essentially recited the facts of the case and those indicated in my last post as the facts you could assume, and Judge Huddleston himself declared the men guilty of murder.  On appeal (which also had some peculiar procedures), the murder verdict was affirmed.  In his opinion, Chief Justice Coleridge stated:

"To preserve one's life is generally speaking a duty, but it may be the plainest and the highest duty to sacrifice it.  War is full of instances in which it is a man's duty not live, but to die.  The duty, in case of shipwreck, of a captain to his crew, of the crew to the passengers, of soldiers to women and children....; these duties impose on men the moral necessity, not of the preservation, but of the sacrifice of their lives for others, from which in no country, least of all, it is to be hoped, in England, will men ever shrink, as indeed, they have not shrunk."

Very eloquent, don't you think?  But, I wonder....if the duty is to "sacrifice life" and to "die to save others," wouldn't Dudley and Stephens (and Brooks) be equally as guilty for not voluntarily sacrificing their lives to save the others????  (Just my legal mind running amuck mind you.....)

So....Dudley and Stephen were convicted of murder and sentenced to the statutory death penalty.  However, there was a recommendation of mercy, and their sentence was later commuted to six months' imprisonment, without hard labor.  Hope you all can sleep better at night now.  ;o)

Oh....And one of my favorite things about this case??? A very strange coincidence:  In Edgar Allan Poe's novel, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket, published in 1838 (i.e., decades before the Mignonette sank), four men are cast adrift on their capsized ship and draw lots to decide which of them should be sacrificed as food for the other three.  The loser was the sailor who had proposed the idea.  And character's name???? Richard Parker..... (I kid you not....)


To borrow Linda Parker's theme, the "menu plan" for this week's class:

1)  Torts and Cyber Torts (Intentional Torts against Persons; Intentional Torts against Property; Unintentional Torts (Negligence); Strict Liability; and Cyber Torts - Online Defamation).
2)  Intellectual Property and Internet Law (Trademarks and Related Property; Cyber Marks; Patents; Copyrights; Trade Secrets; and International Protection for Intellectual Property).
3)  Criminal Law (Civil and Criminal Law; Criminal Liability; Types of Crimes; Defenses to Criminal Liability; Constitutional Safeguards and Criminal Procedures; and Criminal Process).

Fun stuff, hey?  Well, I best be getting back at it.

Hope you all have an amazing, and thought-provoking, week ahead!!!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Two Tins of Turnips, A Turtle....and A Cabin Boy......

In 1883, John Henry Want, an Australian lawyer, purchased an English yacht named the Mignonette.  The only practical way of transporting the vessel from England to Australia was by sailing her there.  However, she was a small vessel, and it took some time before Barrister Want could find a suitable crew capable of making, and willing to make, the 15,000-mile voyage.  She did finally set sail for Sydney from Southampton on May 19, 1884 with a crew of 4:  The captain, Tom Dudley; the mate, Edwin Stephens; a crewman, Edmund Brooks; and a cabin or ship's boy, Richard Parker (no relation that I know of to our dear Linda Parker).  Parker was only 17 years old and not an experienced seaman.

The voyage went rather uneventfully for a month and a half, but on July 5, 1884, things changed.  Though the weather was not extreme, and the vessel was not in any difficulty, the captain gave the order to "heave to" so the crew could enjoy a good nights rest.  As Parker went below to fix tea, a wave struck the Mignonette and crashed through the lee bulwark.  Realizing the yacht was doomed, the captain ordered the single 13-foot lifeboat to be lowered.  

The Mignonette sank within 5 minutes of being struck.  The crew escaped with a few navigational instruments and two tins of turnips.  The lifeboat was of flimsy construction, with boards a mere 1/4" thick.  The very first night, the crew had to fight off a shark with their oars.  Historical accounts indicate that they were about 700 - 1,000 miles from the nearest land.  The captain saved the first tin of turnips until July 7th, at which time its 5 pieces were shared among the 4 men.  Two days later, Brooks spotted a turtle, which Stephens dragged on board.  The men devoured the turtle, bones and all, but would not drink its blood since the blood had been contaminated with seawater.  The turtle, together with the second tin of turnips, lasted the men until July 17th.  However, they were unable to catch any rainwater and finally began drinking their own urine.  Young Mr. Parker, however, could not resist the temptation of seawater and became quite ill.  By July 20th, he lay helpless at the bottom of the lifeboat, drifting in and out of consciousness.

On the 18th day adrift - after 7 days without food, and five without water - the captain proposed that lots should be drawn so that one of them could be sacrificed to feed the others.  Brooks rejected the proposal, and Mr. Parker was not consulted.  That night, the captain again raised the matter with Stephens and pointed out that young Parker was probably dying, and that he (Dudley) and Stephens had wives and families.  They let the matter alone until morning.  But morning came, with no prospect of rescue in sight.  Dudley and Stephens silently signaled to each other that Parker would be killed.  (Killing Parker before his "natural death" would make his blood more suitable for drinking.)  Dudley said a prayer and, with Stephens standing by to hold the youth's legs should he struggle, Dudley pushed his penknife into Parker's jugular vein, killing him.

All three of the remaining crew - Dudley, Stephens, and Brooks - fed on Parker's body and drank his blood in the days to come.  The crew finally did manage to catch some rainwater off their parkas.  Four days after the killing, the three survivors were spotted by a German vessel, picked up by it, and ultimately returned to England.

All three men were eventually arrested and charged with murder.  The charges against Mr. Brooks, however, were ultimately dismissed, and he was called as a witness against the other two.

Now what say ye....are these two men guilty or not guilty of murder????  As ye ponder, I will tell ye that it can be assumed that, had the men not fed on the body, they probably would not have survived to have been picked up and rescued, but would have, within the 4 days, died of starvation.  Also, it may be assumed that the boy was likely to have died before them.....


I'm deep in it and, as you can see, my mind wanders terribly....but this is, in fact, a real case that will be discussed in this week's class....Thought you might like to know what I've been up to.....   (Yes, I'm teaching business law....but we have to keep things interesting, eh?)


 I miss ye you all horribly.....I hope you can find it in your hearts to forgive my scarcity and silence.....