A blog about my interests, which include crazy quilting and various and assorted other artsy pursuits and sometimes known to contain mumblings of a random nature.

Friday, September 04, 2015

I have finished the tree I showed you yesterday - I think.  I may add a few more green leaves to it just to help 'lift' it from the background a little more.  I also have a cute little owl button I plan to perch in the tree.

 I removed the waste canvas and then simply added lazy daisy stitches for leaves in various 'fall-ish' colours.  I also wrapped the tree trunk with another shade of brown to give it additional interest.

Unfortunately the true colours aren't showing in these photos and this next picture is a little blurry.  I've had a huge struggle getting these pictures to post to the blog right-size up, so I was happy to get as much as I did!

Stem stitch leaves,  spider web and buttonhole wheel stitches for the grapes, and couched metallic thread for the curlicues.

Pause here for a slight rant - Just had to buy a new cell phone, which in itself is not a bad thing (despite the fact that it's very rarely used and is just over two years old and shouldn't have needed replacing).  I buy the absolute cheapest thing I can find because it's just kept for emergencies and the odd very short call.  I don't have any desire to surf the web on my phone, and nor do I use it as my primary means of contact.  The rant part of this comes from the fact that I stood in the store for over an hour while one (one!!) person waited on several people - two of which she assisted ahead of me because their needs were 'short'.  Waa??  Another employee assessed each persons needs and that's the order they were looked after.  If I hadn't already been standing there for a very long time by that point I would have walked out.  I stuck it out because I imagine the line-up will be the same no matter when I went.  One of the 'perks' of living in a small town is that there isn't a whole lot of choice and you're pretty much stuck.  There....rant over.

Today the quote is from Sister Elizabeth Kenny....."As a girl my temper often got out of bounds.  But one day when I became angry at a friend over some trivial matter, my mother said to me, "Elizabeth, anyone who angers you conquers you"     I think I should have read those words before I went to the phone store!!

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Slow progression

There has been some stitching on my fall crazy quilt and here you can see what I managed to do yesterday....

I really love working with waste canvas (which I'm sure you have figured out by now!) and this was a great tree to create using that technique.  It was 'interesting' getting the threads removed - I think because the stitches were in all different directions.  My post tomorrow will show you what I did next with my tree.

Today the quote is from Jane Logan..... "When you're stressed is when you most need to look for all the ways that you're blessed"


Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Well, surprise, surprise.

There is something happening on the creative front at Chez Magpie!  I know, it came as a bit of shock to me too.  The colours in this photo aren't 'true' but it's all rusty golds and reds (with a tad bit of green) that will ultimately turn into a fall-themed crazy quilt pillow cover.  My plan is to make an interchangeable series of pillow covers that I can swap out with the seasons.  We'll see if my stick-to-it-ive-ness will end up coming unglued before I complete the entire series!!

Further on crazy quilting, Kathy Shaw has opened up registrations for her ICQC102 - Paints/Dyes/Inks/etc. online class (which is still free!).  You can go HERE for further information and to register, but you must do so before midnight on Sept. 4th.  

Came across something rather fun in my travels about about cyber-space today and thought you might find it worth checking out.  I must admit a few of these came as a total surprise to me.  Go HERE to see what I'm referring to.

Today your quote is from Joseph Addison.... "What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity.  They are but trifles, to be sure; but, scattered along life's pathway, the good they do is inconceivable"  


Tuesday, September 01, 2015


I had a grand plan today of taking a photo of the fodder I have pulled from my stash for my next project.  Alas, the day has come and gone and now the light is gone and pictures will not be forthcoming.  This next project I will be able to share as I go along (don't all fall all over yourselves in relief that the looking back series has drawn to its excruciating demise!!).

So....instead, here's a couple of announcements....

1.  Wen, of Apple & Apricot, has announced that she is starting a fun new linkie party called 'Simply Neutral Tuesday' and her first party date is next Tuesday (Sept. 8th).  If you love neutral shades and want to see what the party is all about, pay her a visit HERE

2.  I know that there's something to be said for not coveting things, but I have to admit that THIS makes my heart go pitter pat.  It's something than any knitter would love to have!  So handy (pun intended!) and so beautiful, especially the blue one!!

3.  Today is official release day of the 2016 Crazy Quilt calendar by Pam Kellogg of Kitty and Me Designs.  It promises to be another amazing showcase of embroidery talent (you can go HERE to see the lineup of artists - pretty cool!!).    You can go HERE to order your very own copy (and remember - Christmas is coming and these would make wonderful gifts for all the stitchers in your life). 

Today your quote is from Bob Talbert...."Teaching kids to count is fine, but teaching them what counts is best"


Friday, August 28, 2015

Eureeka!! Oh Happy Day!!!!

Did you hear it?  All the big celebration happening over at Chez Magpie?  Let me tell you - it was huge and it would be a shame if you missed it. 



The final in the three-some of Quilt-zzzzzzzzz  is done.  Well, I guess I should qualify that and say that it still needs to be machine quilted (not, however by moi) and I have to put the binding on.  But I'm calling it done.  And no-one had better argue with me because I'm celebrating and that's all there is to it.  

And just because I can, here's something you might also like to have a peek at...

- Over at A is for Artistic they have online art doll classes and I do love taking a peek to see what they're doing.  I don't have space for any more dolls so I've resisted taking any but if you're interested go HERE.  There's also a newsletter you can sign up for.

Today your quote is from Frank A. Clark.... "Why not upset the apple cart?  If you don't the apples will rot anyway" 


Thursday, August 27, 2015

More Quilt-zzzzzzzz

Most of you will remember the two massive Quilt-zzzzz projects I did over the winter and some of you might remember that I had some leftover offcuts from the blocks.  Well, there's a third quilt-zzzzzzz underway to use those up. 


The white sections are the leftover block pieces and I purchased the small black flower print to increase the size to a double.  The bit of fabric you can see on the edges is what I have for the backing.  

Today I don't have a quote for you - instead I am going to tell you a story (courtesy of a facebook post from my daughter-in-love).  I don't know the origin of this, unfortunately.

A young woman went to her grandmother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her - her husband had cheated on her and she was devastated.  She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up.  She was tired of fighting and struggling.  It seems as soon as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her grandmother took her to the kitchen.  She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high heat.  Soon the pots came to boil.  In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans.  She let them sit and boil, without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners.  She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl.  She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl.  Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.

Turning to her granddaughter, she asked "Tell me what you see."

"Carrots, eggs, and coffee" she replied.

Her grandmother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots.  She did and noted that they were soft.  The grandmother then asked the granddaughter to take an egg and break it.  After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg.  Finally, the grandmother asked the granddaughter to sip the coffee.  The granddaughter smiled as she tasted its rich flavour.  The granddaughter then asked, "What does it mean, grandmother?"

Her grandmother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity:  boiling water.  Each reacted differently.  The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting.  However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak.  The egg had been fragile.  Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.  The ground coffee beans were unique, however.  After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

"Which are you?" she asked her granddaughter.  "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond?  Are you a carrot, an egg or coffee beans?"

Think of this:  Which am I?  Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat?  Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff?  Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean?  The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain.  When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor.  If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you.  When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level?

How do you handle adversity?  Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Better sit down!

Yes, sitting is definitely recommended because I truly don't want you to fall over from the shock of seeing actual NEW content on this tattered old blog.  I'll bet you were beginning to think it would never happen!

So, just to prove that all is not stagnant here, 
I give you...

little ten-minute pieces of what I jokingly refer to as

Now I'll bet you're doubly happy I told you to sit down, because the sheer magnitude of these pieces must have been so overwhelming.  Maybe you need a moment to recover.

The back story - last month at our CQTeers meeting Irene challenged us each to fill a little paper book with 'something'.  I completely drew a blank as to what to do and finally resorted to hauling out my 'component box' and then I challenged myself to create something (anything!!) using fodder from my box and doing each page in under ten minutes.  It was actually quite fun.  Who knew?

For the sake of giving you at least something that might prove to be of interest, here's a few more things I've come across on my internet travels...

- there's an interesting photo editing tutorial available from Apple & Apricot HERE.  It's the first of what will become a series.  

-  there's a good reference guide to common increases and decreases for knitters HERE.

Today I have another quote from an anonymous source.... "At least once a year everyone is a genius"