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.

Friday, February 29, 2008

A black blob


This black blob is a persian lamb coat which I've been commissioned to turn into two teddy bears. I've worked with fur before, but this is the first time for persian lamb. Hopefully it will be relatively easy to sew!
SharonB has announced the TIF challenge for March on her blog and I have to admit I'm in real like with the colours this time. Of course I like anything with purple in it, so this is perfect. Check it out at her blog http://sharonb.wordpress.com

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Dump or Studio?






Take your pick. Is it a dump or a studio? And this is only PART of the room!!
When the actual working area recedes to about 12 inches square and the cutting table about the same, then it has to be time for a general muck-out. I wonder if there's a Molly Maid service for studios?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

#495, oh oh, and atc trades


Post # 495...we're closing in on 500!!
Somebody named 'Anonymous' left a comment on my post yesterday to remind me that I didn't do my motherly duty and mention that Monday was #2 sons' 23rd birthday...which was one of the reasons we were at #1 sons for supper. (There, Shawn..is that better??? Have I earned my motherhood stripes back??)
On to the subject at hand, which is the CQTeers swap we did today. The top picture shows our goodies. On the left you can see a wonderful little book that Sue made to hold atcs. The middle two atcs on the top were the ones I made for our swap. Irene did the one on the bottom left and Sue made the three valentine ones on the right. The black blob on the upper right is what we worked on (second picture was a second effort to come up with a good picture, but I guess it's too 'shiny' to turn out well). Anyway. We played with bits of punchinella (sequin waste) and mine, which started out to be flowers, turned into fireworks. Fun to do and nice to learn something new. Don't ask about the consumption of chocolate, because I'm pleading innocence.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

494...and counting!

This is post number 494 and I'm working on a couple of prize ideas for when I reach 500, and, because they're *ideas* at the moment, there's no way I can take a picture of them. Don't think anybody would want to see the inside of my brain!

So guess what? It's a mumble-day (again). Poor you.

- Can anyone tell me why it is that I feel honour-bound to trudge on that stupid treadmill every night? I hate the thing. I hate exercise. I hate spending time on something that isn't creative. And don't go trying to tell me that it's good for me. Sigh.

- Spent the day yesterday with #1 son which was nice. He took us to Kensington Market while he shopped for supper-makings (convenient that we have a car to carry all his loot!). We went to a marvelous spice shop where they sold all kinds of exotic coffees and teas, which all smelled soooo good. Then a cheese shop. Talk about sensory overload...the smell in there was over-the-top good AND they would let you have little slivers of any cheese you wanted to taste. I didn't want to leave. Then we went to a bread bakery. 'Nuff said!

- he cooked supper for us last night with all the nice fresh produce he had picked up. How did I ever get so lucky as to have a son that's a chef?

- Another of life's little mysteries I would like to have explained is why, when there's a whole day on the calendar with nothing written in and the plan is in mind to spend it all creating, the entire day manages to get putzed away with a grand total of maybe ten minutes of it in the studio? It's like when you come into a bit of money and that little black cloud that follows you around promptly sends his slimey little fingers down and snatches it away before you can do anything fun with it!

- and can anybody explain why it is that the dog's water dish by some miracle unknown to man always manages to empty itself the very second your butt sits itself down...generally when you're in the studio and finally getting two minutes to yourself?

- and further on the subject of dogs, can anybody explain why the male-type members of the household have selective eyesight and hearing when it comes to dogs wanting out? Why is it that I (in the basement) can hear the anguished trot of a dog going back & forth to the door upstairs when the one who is closest to the door doesn't?

- darn it, I haven't heard that dreaded treadmill blow up in the last few minutes, so I guess I'd better go trudge. I don't have to like it....

Friday, February 22, 2008

FEBRUARY TIF - FINISHED and bubble, bubble, toil & trouble


I finished my piece for the February TIF challenge and all-in-all I'm pretty pleased with it. The picture is clickable so you can enlarge it and see the details better (maybe I shouldn't tell you that in case you find something wrong with it!).
The other picture is the reason I have rather bright brown fingers at the moment. I'm playing around with a technique my friend Doreen ( http://doreeng.blogspot.com ) posted on January 30 on her blog. I threw a number of tea bags into hot water & let them steep for awhile. They're now drying in the square container. The hot liquid left over was too good to waste, so....there's a hunk of cotton fabric and several used Swiffer dusting sheets percolating in the measuring cup. Can you guess that there's something tea-themed coming up?
Speaking of things coming up...I am rapidly nearing my 500th post, which is cause for celebration. Who knew I had that much stick-to-it-ivness to make it this far? So, folks, there will be a draw for a prize or two coming up!! You'll have to stay tuned for further details and be sure to get your 'comment' fingers exercised up.


Thursday, February 21, 2008

Thanks, TIF and Tutes

How's that for an overabundance of 'T's??

First, thank you so much for all your comments yesterday about #1 son's breakup. It's nice to know people care!

The picture today is a closeup I took of the area I was working in today on the TIF project. On the dark area on the upper rightish side you can see some French Knot Roses, which I've never done before. I flubbed up one of them, but am pretty pleased with the rest. My friend Marie has a new blog and has posted a tutorial on how to make these, and has today posted another picture of some cool roses. Please check it out at http://sredeluxe.blogspot.com

Below (& slightly to the left of the roses) you can see a flower group I did using some round 'things' I had in my stash (spacers for beaded necklaces??) which I 'filled' with pearls to make the flower centres. Not bad. The seam treatment to the left of that is pretty simple and then I added the heart, which is from a necklace I picked up at a yard sale. Wonder if the diamond in it is real?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Progress being made

I've made a little more progress on my block. Don't forget that you can click on the picture to enlarge it so you can see more detail.

I apologize for the no posts the past few days. Our oldest son and his fiance have ended their relationship so we've been in rather a state of shock and needing to do 'mommy and daddy' things, even though he's just turned 25. I don't think it hurts any less at whatever age you are when it happens. Suffice to say, we will miss her too.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

I got mail!



Just look what came in the mail! The postcard is from Donna of http://quiltpixie.blogspot.com . I really hope the colour is at least somewhat 'true' in the picture because it's a lovely multi-layered fushia with lots of sparkle and sheen. Thank you so much Donna (I'm still working on yours & will have it in the post as soon as I can).
The atc is the one I received from Susan Lenz for our trade. Regulars here will remember me talking about the CyberFyber exhibition and that Susan had done a ton (!) of fibre atcs and postcards which are up for trade here : http://cyberfyberexhibition.blogspot.com She's trading 1/1 and the pieces you send her will be included in the exhibition. Really exciting! The rules and such are on the blog, so please do check it out. Thanks Susan!
The other picture shows some progress on this months TIF. I have to keep remembering that slow and steady wins the race.

Friday, February 15, 2008

TIF progress...at last!


I'm running late this month so have to really get busy on this block. Hopefully tomorrow will see a bigger amount of progress.
In the meantime, there's a wonderful interview with my friend Arlee (of Albedo Design at http://arleebarr.squarespace.com/designjournal ) which was published a day or so ago on this site: www.layersuponlayers.com Some of Arlee's wonderful art is pictured there, along with a nice chat with her. Check it out!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

This boy is a genius!!!


#2 son just figured how how to fix my computer...long distance. He's brilliant!!!
Please note the picture too...not only is the kid brilliant, but so is the shiny new 2008 Toyota Matrix he just got on the weekend!
Back to regularly scheduled programming later....

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

H-e-l-p?

No pictures...again. Do any of my readers happen to know if installing a spyware program into the computer would have any bearing on the ability to load pictures into my blog? I'm such a computer illiterate and really have no clue. Or is it Blogger itself that's having issues?

I also can't seem to make any links work at the moment and am wondering if it has any bearing on the spyware program?? #2 son loaded the spyware program on when he was home on the weekend and it seems odd that all these problems have cropped up at the same time...or is it just coincidence? Any ideas? Make sure the ideas aren't too technical, 'cause I dun't speaka da puter-ese wif any degwee of bwain!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Tomorrow never comes...

...yep, proof positive that it doesn't come is that there are no pictures again today. I've decided that the internet doesn't like this cold and snow any more than I do. I had to go out in it today...twice. Didn't relish it either time. And guess what? IT's SNOWING AGAIN!!!!!!!!!

I should have been born a bear.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Hmmmm......

Sorry about the no-posts the past few days. The internet has been acting twiddly and to top it all off, now that I'm more or less working, blogger is refusing to load pictures. Hmmmm and hmmmm. Don't they know that I'm computer illiterate? Every time I attempt to load a picture, the computer locks up. What's up with that?! I can't survive without pictures on my blog.

I'm blaming the weather, which probably has absolutely nothing to do with anything. I'm heartily sick and tired of having snow dumped on us...another ten inches or so yesterday and last night. More is expected tomorrow. Enough already!! I'm getting buried alive....

I have been working on my TIF and my Exquisite Corpse pieces although I obviously can't show you proof. Can't show you the Corpse pictures anyway because we are sworn to secrecy so that's not a problem, but its a different matter with the TIF challenge. Maybe tomorrow.....

Thursday, February 07, 2008

February TIF block pieces and ready to roll


Finally had a chance to piece my block for the challenge for this month. I know I got carried away with too many small pieces on this one and I'm most likely to regret it as I work on it. However, in order to come somewhat close to Sharon's colour challenge I had to utilize some small-ish pieces from my stash. Hopefully it will all come together in the end. Stay tuned for updates....

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Oops! and pieced block


This block will be winging over to Australia to spend some time visiting Doreen. We've arranged an exchange where she will work on a block I've pieced and I will work on one of hers. This will be one more block I will be including in my quilt and I have to admit I'm really looking forward to having some of Doreens beautiful work in my hot little hands!


As for the oops part of this post - I very nearly had a panic attack this afternoon over a birthday gift I'm making. It was coming down to the final stages and I was attempting to quilt (very large stitches, kind of folk arty style). I was quite pleased with my efforts until....gasp, oh no, just LOOK AT WHAT I DID, there's a HOLE right in the MIDDLE of it!!!!!! HOW COULD I HAVE BEEN SO STUPID AS TO THINK YANKING KNOTTED CROCHET COTTON through one of the layers to 'bury' it would go well. To my eternal credit, I didn't swear. Not even a little bit. (Much).
Ummm....what to do, what to do?????
AHA said I - BoNash powder is for just these sorts of disasters. Perfect, right?
Careful snipping of teeny-tiny threads of the black fabric, even more careful application of a miniscule bit of powder into the hole, followed by carefully tucked bits of threads and more powder. Ahhh...it looks really good. Now...apply iron (with a proper pressing sheet over top of course). Ummm.....oops.
There's an iron-shaped splat in the middle of the quilt, which WASN't supposed to happen. AND to make matters worse my carefully applied bits of threads and powder are now shiny. Very, very shiny. Well, @#$%!!!!!!!
oooookkkkk....what if I 'carefully' applied the iron and tried to blend afore-mentioned splat and make it look as if it was supposed to be there? Not perfect, but ok. Now, what to do with the very, very shiny ex-hole. Hmmmm....
Suffice to say, it's pretty amazing that an appliqued new moon covers a multitude of sins and should have occured to me in the first place!!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Pile + Pile = Beginnings



I enjoyed a sew day with a couple of my friends today and the sum total of my creative efforts were these two piles of fabrics I'm auditioning for a couple of CQ squares for my quilt. The purples, blacks and greens are for an exchange I'm doing with Doreen ( http://doreeng.blogspot.com ) and the other pile is for the TIF challenge for February ( http://sharonb.wordpress.com ). Not all of these fabrics will be used in the blocks, but they are the ones I'm considering. Two piles, for an entire day of effort. However, we won't mention the amount of gabbing, drinking coffee and eating we did!

Monday, February 04, 2008

Thrift Store finding



Yesterday we were invited to #1 son's for supper and on the way we stopped into one of the Value Villages in Toronto where I picked up a nice size bag of threads...both embroidery floss and some tapestry wool too. The bottom picture shows the usual 'snarl' of threads that most people have and the top picture is of the more useable bits. I wind all my threads onto cardboard (or plastic) bobbins which helps to keep them MUCH neater and pretty much avoids the snarly mess which is completely and utterly frustrating.
I also picked up a few books - one on creative coffee-making which intrigued me because I loves me my java! Can't wait to try a few of the recipes and get higher on caffeine than I normally am. Yum....

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Announcing Cyber Fyber Exhibition!!

I am pleased and excited to announce what is turning out to be a fantastic exhibition which will be taking place. You can get all the information here: http://cyberfyberexhibition.blogspot.com/2008/01/announcing-cyber-fyber.html

Susan Lenz is organizing a fiber arts exhibition which will include a number of invited artists (the list will astound you), atcs and fabric postcards. She has created a large number of both atcs and postcards which are available for trade one-on-one and in turn, your piece of art will be on display at the Cyber Fyber Exhibition. How cool is that?

I'm really happy to say that Susan has agreed to trade the atc I posted here yesterday for #105. We're both mailing on Monday so I'll be definitely watching my mailbox!

Please do check it out and read her explanation of what's going on because I know mine is leaving much to be desired!

Friday, February 01, 2008

ATC and guess



Today I have two pictures for you. The first is of an atc I just finished. The base is iron on interfacing (brand name has long gone from the package). On top of that I added snippets of fibres, ribbons, silks and just whatever was in my little jar of 'bits' I keep for just this type of thing. Then I ironed on another layer of iron-on interface and topped it off with a piece of Glad Wrap plastic wrap, which I also pressed with an iron. It shriveled up quite nicely, but stunk a bit so I think I really should have done that part outside. Didn't set the smoke alarm off though, so it couldn't have been too bad!
The other picture is the beginning of my next project. Any guesses of what it might be? And before you go getting any ideas, I have not partaken of all those wines!