MAGPIE'S MUMBLINGS

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.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Incognito dog




See my handsome dog? See the paint all over his butt? I think he has dreams of being all white (with a little warm taupe thrown in for good measure). He has paint in his tail and various and assorted other places on his body. You can't say he doesn't want to be helpful. Too bad I couldn't convince him how to dip his tail in the can and actually paint the walls!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Stuffed (and trussed) turkey

Yep, that's me. A stuffed and trussed turkey. Spent today at Kyms for our CQTeer meeting which was also a potluck and her birthday celebration. We had two (count 'em...two) decadent chocolate desserts AND several chocolate truffles which found their way into my shouldn't-have-been-so-willing mouth. That was on top of several wonderful pasta and salads we partook of (far too much found it's way onto my plate and of course I was honour bound to eat it all!!). THEN, to complicate my already over-full state we went out for supper with our friends. Yep, I'm a stuffed turkey who is feeling trussed into pants that aren't meant to expand this much. All I want to do now is go to bed and sleep it off. Groan........

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Sew day with friends

Had a fun sew day with a couple of friends today. I didn't actually sew...I knitted on a toque for my DH for Christmas. Julie has been working on a quilt she has put together from thrift store finds and, oddly enough, she found a fully done quilt in the same pattern at another thrift store AND using pretty much the same colors. Jacquie is making place mats and using up some leftover material from making curtains. Can't say we don't use things up!

Tonight I've been madly trying to finish a paper doll I need to have done for the CQTeers meeting tomorrow. Since it was my challenge I had better get mine done!! Hopefully I will be able to scan her tomorrow so you can see what I came up with.

Monday, November 27, 2006

More painting and comfort

After my yoga class this morning I went back to painting and finished the second coat on the living room. Now we just have all the trim to do, which isn't likely to happen until at least Thursday.

The topic on Studio Friday this week was 'Comfort' (what brings you comfort in your studio or artistic work environment). For me, I would have to say there are two things. There's a certain black and white cat who sleeps high up on one of my shelving units and keeps an eye on whatever I'm doing. He occasionally takes a closer look and walks all over my projects. The other thing that gives me comfort is my husband bringing me down a cup of green tea in the middle of the afternoon. Sometimes my dog spends some time laying at my feet too, and that's a nice thing when it happens.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Four hours of painting

Four hours spent painting today and have nothing to show for it, other than an unholy mess. Putting on primer just leaves things looking horrible. I got the first coat of paint on the kitchen though (it looks horrible too at the moment). Sure do wish I could wave a magic wand and have the whole thing done!! Hopefully I can finish the kitchen tomorrow and get at least the first coat on the living room. Did you ever notice that, once you start changing something, the rest of the house suddenly starts looking seedy? It's just like the galloping ick. I was perfectly happy with the cellarway until I see it against the new kitchen color...now it's yeeewww. However, it will wait til after Christmas.

When the dust settles we hope to have painted the kitchen, living room, cellarway, one of the bedrooms and all the trim in the house (which is going to be a colossol pain in the butt). I'm even going off the deep end and painting all the doors which are the old ('50's) style slab doors currently just finished in varnish. It would be nice to replace them, but there are just simply too many (11 to be exact).

Wish me luck!

Friday, November 24, 2006

More technology, sew day, and 3 done!

Had a sew day with Kym today and gave her the birthday presents I had for her...two sock monkeys, which I completely forgot to take pictures of. Sorry. While she was here I finished three more Christmas presents which I was happy about.

She also dragged me, kicking and screaming, into the new version of Blogger. It's supposed to do all sorts of exciting things, which I am sure I will totally ignore (out of pure and unadulterated fear of the unknown). Yep, look out technology....here I come!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy United States Thanksgiving!


Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in the United States and to any 'transplanted' citizens out there! Hope you all get your fill of turkey or whatever you enjoy.

I'm sorry to say that the chocolate theme has come to an end. This is the last one. I love all the funky fibres and the little girl on her tippy toes to get chocolate from the birds nest.

Now I'm off to clean. Yep, it's reached 'that' point again in my workroom and since I have Kym coming for a sew day tomorrow I guess I had better do something about it. I'd sure like to know where all the dust comes from!!!!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Sorry, dear reader (s)

I realize I neglected to post yesterday and, to add insult to injury, I have no pictures for today either. Oh oh.

In my defense...yesterday I was busy working on presents and have three more reaching completion. Last night, when I should have been having my computer time, we ended up helping out at my brother-in-laws. Today, we went Christmas shopping and pretty much are done. Just have a few stocking stuffers to pick up and get it all wrapped. Now before you all go getting excited about 'how far ahead I am', calm down. If you could see my to-do list you would understand that there really isn't anything to be excited about. We might have the boughten stuff done, but I'm no-where near finishing the 'made' stuff. Plus which, I intend to paint two rooms sometime before the tree goes up. Yeah, go ahead - tell me I'm nuts. I can take it.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Done!!


One more Christmas present done this afternoon. I honestly thought this one would take a lot longer so I was pleasantly surprised.

For those who are wondering it's a pattern from 'Seams Like Glass Designs' by Lise Merchant (who happens to come from Whitehorse, Yukon) called 'Chickadee Dee...Dee...' (obviously). Reverse Applique and machine quilted. Size is approximately 27" square.

We were in Toronto yesterday 'having Christmas' with #2 son and his girlfriend. She might be leaving for France in a couple of weeks and won't be here for Christmas, so we thought we should give her the presents early. They gave us a two day trip to a B&B, which we can use anytime in the next year. That was really nice because anyone who knows us knows that we never get away. This will be a real treat!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Two days!


Two days and look what I accomplished! I really like reverse applique. The great experiment with freezer paper was a success. I did have to re-iron a couple of places, but it worked great. Glue sticks and freezer paper are marvelous things!

Now it's on to putting it together and quilting it, which will be a 'TV watching' activity.

Tomorrow we're off to the city to have a little Christmas party for #2 son's girlfriend who is leaving for France in a couple of weeks and won't be here for Christmas. We will miss her, but she hasn't been with her family for a couple of years so we certainly can understand her going.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Progress being made


Take a look at this! I can't believe it is coming along so well. Reverse applique isn't so hard after all. I'm even surprised at how well the freezer paper is adhering too. Of course I'm treating it with extreme TLC. I've always loved the stained glass look in quilts but was always afraid to try it.

Now I have an idea that I might try combining the stained glass with CQ. I'm sure it's been done already, but not by me!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

oops!

I don't know what just happened....blogger didn't look as if it took the first post and now I have two. At least I hope all I have is two!! It was acting really weird...so maybe there's a dozen. My apologies if there is!!

Chewing nails....



Two more of the chocolate swap cards.

I'm chewing my nails over a pattern I'm about to attempt which requires reverse applique, which I've never done. My friend (who doesn't read the blog) would love it...provided I can do it! It just might be another velcro episode in my life and will be scuttled in favour of something easier. I've used freezer paper before, but I'm not sure as to how it will 'stick' (and stay stuck long enough!) for this technique. Stay tuned!

Trying something different!



Two more in the chocolate swap series.

You can't say I'm not adverturous going into Christmas! I'm attempting to do a 27" wallhanging using reverse applique, which I have never tried to do before. I know my friend (who doesn't read this blog) will love it, but I'm not sure about the technique. It looks like a lot of work and it might just get scuttled before it gets off the ground. I've used freezer paper before but I have some trepidation about how well it will stick and if it will hold it's place long enough. Stay tuned! This might be another 'velcro' episode!!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Two more (in more ways than one)



Here are two more of the chocolate swap cards. I love the wee girl on the 'chocolates' card!

The other 'two' is that I finished two more presents today. Now things will slow down because the next ones I have to make are much more involved and will require several days (weeks?) to do. I think, looking at my to-do list, that I am right to be pushing the panic button at this point. I know I'm not alone in my panic-mode though (www.yarnharlot.ca).

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

More and more



More chocolate cards. The nude is wearing a lovely organza bow and the candy in the bottom left corner is dimensional on the other one. The recipe on the back of the nude is called 'Death By Chocolate'. Sounds good and can't wait to try it.

The other 'more' relates to Christmas presents. I finished three more today and have another one well on the way. Don't worry...I am taking pictures of everything!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Studio Indulgence(s)


Studio Indulgences is the topic for Studio Friday this week. "What can't you live without in your studio?". I have two things I would be lost without...my Janome sewing machine that I absolutely love and use practically on a daily basis, and my computer (which I didn't bother to take a picture of because you all know what they look like!). This sewing machine is by no means a fancy machine - more of a work horse actually. I bought it because it sews denim (many layers!) beautifully. It also has a small series of fancier stitches, which is all I need because I prefer hand embroidery anyway.

Today we were inspired to do a 'clean sweep' of Christmas decorations we no longer love/need/use and have managed to put aside 5 boxes of 'stuff' heading toward the thrift store. You know, the idea that you see on the TV show (Clean Sweep) works! Pick something up and immediately make a decision as to keep, toss, or donate...do not take time to think about it too much. I got rid of things I know I would have kept had I given too much thought to (most would have been kept out of guilt). Ahhh. It feels good! Not only that, but there might be some room in the storage cupboard...woohoo!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Chocolate Chubbies



Yep, chubby is what I'll be if I eat all the wonderful chocolate recipes! Actually the recipe on the back of the 'Party On' card is called Chocolate Chubbies (cookies).

Are you getting bored yet with the series on Chocolate? Hope not, because anything I've been working on can't be shown and otherwise I don't have any pictures. Once Christmas is over I'll have tons of things to share. You'll just have to be patient.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Mystery solved and more chocolate


The mystery as to why the scanner did two separate scans one day, and did both together yesterday has been solved! If the images I am scanning are perfectly flat they will scan separately...if they have dimensional objects on them, they scan together. Another lesson learned!

These are more from my wonderful chocolate swap. If I eat my way through all the recipes, I will be VERY rotund (but I want to!!).

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

More chocolate!


Life is so full of mysterious happenings. Like what just happened when I scanned two more of my pieces from the chocolate swap. Yesterday (and the day before) when I scanned two cards at the same time the scanner did two scans...one for each card, and only the cards themselves showed up and not the background of the scanner. The mystery now is why didn't it do the same thing this time? I didn't change anything (other than the cards, obviously). Gremlins??

I don't know if you can tell from the pictures here but the bottom one has a bottle cap in the upper corner with the image inside. I have a whole bunch of bottle caps, so guess what I'm going to be doing? The other card has a button and a really nice piece of ribbon down the right hand side.

I'm liking these cards - a lot.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Two more....



These are two more of the wonderful chocolate cards I got in the swap. I'm loving them and each time I look through I find something else I've missed before. I can't wait to take part in another of the swaps sometime because it's such a learning curve.

Spent the afternoon sewing with my friend Jacquie. We have gotten together pretty much every week since we met about 20 years ago. Our projects have certainly varied over the years, beginning with folk art and then morphing into quilting and all the variations thereof. We have each made 'going away' quilts for our kids (she has 4, I have 2) when they left for college. She has one more to do for her youngest son who will be leaving next September. Then we will both have the empty-nest syndrome (unless you count our having my dad here...he's like having a kid around!). Wonder how many gallons of coffee we've consumed over the years?

Monday, November 06, 2006

Chocolate Swap received!



All I can say is wow! These are two of the wonderful pieces of art I received in the chocolate recipe card swap in today's mail. Each of the cards has the creators favourite chocolate recipe on the back and, let me tell you, after I've tried them all I'm gonna need a whole new wardrobe! As the card above says...I'm going to slow down my aging process and gorge myself on chocolate in all it's glory. More pictures tomorrow...

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Painting...at long last

Today we got the primer coat of paint on the kitchen. Yes, it's a big deal. We've only been trying to figure out what colour to do it for over two years and, once we had a colour, it's taken months to muster the courage to start. Our kitchen is very cut up and there is very little area where you can use a roller which makes it hugely time-consuming.

Painting is like the galloping ick though because one part leads to something else and pretty soon you've had to re-do the entire house! As it is, we have to do the living room too and all the woodwork in the house. You can't change the colour in one place and not carry it through. I heartily dislike doing woodwork because the ratio of crawling on the floor/my back isn't always a pretty picture. Oh well, it can't last forever...can it?

On another note, I crossed off another Christmas present this afternoon.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Another gift done!

One more off the list. There would have been two except I forgot to take an essential part of it when I went to Kyms for a sew day today. Duh. I was able to work on something else though, so it wasn't a complete loss (despite the fact that her cat insisted he needed to play with my yarn, much to the detriment of what I was trying to do!).

Any of you who are interested in knitting might want to check out these two sites: www.lionbrand.com and www.elann.com Kym and I spent some time today going through the patterns available and there are some pretty nice ones on both sites...and for free, too! There are also some free patterns available on www.garnstudio.com I haven't been to the garnstudio one for a bit, but hopefully the patterns are still there.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

I'm on a roll!

I don't know what's happened but I've had a good couple of days! Last night I finished six Christmas presents AND today I made two more!! Be still my beating heart. Sorry I can't post pictures but be assured I'm taking them as I go along and after Christmas I will post them so you can see what I'm up to.

Every year I do upwards of 25 ornaments both for 'little token' gifts and for toppers for bigger gifts and I'm so excited that I've come up with my plan for this year. Don't you wish you could see them? Sorry, you'll just have to wait. Aren't I an awful tease?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Interesting article

Sorry, no pictures today. However, there is an interesting article entitled 'Creative Health For Life' at www.CoachCreative.com/blog today. Anyone who reads this blog regularly will know that I've been struggling somewhat with the creative process. I stumbled across Dan's site a month or so ago and find him to be one of the best (at least he helps me). I've been slowly reading through his archives and am quite enjoying the process.

You all will be relieved to know that my stuggles with velcro installation are now over, at least for the moment. I really wish the powers that be would come up with some sort of adhesive on the back that would hold without any sewing required. The adhesive that is on them at the present time just manages to gum up the sewing machine, my handsewing needles and my thimble...to say nothing about my fingers. All I can say is (since I can't show pictures of Christmas 'stuff') people better appreciate my efforts!