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.

Monday, February 23, 2009

My running shoes are no good in snow

Nope, I didn't run fast enough (or maybe long enough) to escape Jack's germs. Dad has managed to succumb too so the whole household is feeling cruddy. So....I might not be posting for a couple of days. Go ahead and talk amongst yourselves.

OH...one good thing to happen is that my Pay It Forward gift from Paula arrived in the mail today. It's absolutely drop-dead gorgeous and I will post a picture as soon as I can stop coughing long enough to hold the camera steady. Thank you Paula!!!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Creating...sort of

I have been looking forward to playing with the rolls of metal I showed you a few days ago, so this is the beginning (I think) of what I have in mind. This isn't metal - it's denim, but it will be the substrate.

This first picture shows the first layer of denim I cut and laid out on my worktable. This is the final piece after I wove more denim strips into it and stitched it with metallic thread to hold it down. Now I will start adding metal and other doo-dads to it. Ultimately I plan to use it to cover a coffee tin which will hold some of my knitting needles.
One of these days I will find time to figure out how to crop pictures in this program!


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Just stuff

Another day, spent spinning my wheels and nothing done in the studio (unless you want to count the fact that I moved one thing from one side of the worktable to the other). Sigh. I'm starting to feel the usual 'downer' I traditionally get in February and I was so hopeful that this year would be different. Winter is getting to me, as it always does. We had a few days of semi-decent weather and now it's back to snow and cold again, so I expect that's what has put me over the edge; that, and not having had any time to be creative.

So, instead of continuing to whine (which I do SO well, don't you think?)...I have a few sites you might like to visit:
- http://www.yarndex.com/ has a whole lot of information, but primarily focuses on yarn comparisons which is great if you want to make something and can't find the called-for yarn
- http://projecttiesthatbind.blogspot.com/ is under the banner of 'Artists United to Benefit Ovarian Cancer' and they are currently showing large number of very interesting handmade charms
- http://planetpurl.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=20 has tons of links to free knitting and crochet patterns
- and, another note about the OzBushfireAppeal currently ongoing at http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=6902734 I know I mentioned this a couple of days ago,but you might like to check it out again because there have been a lot of items added

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Did you think....

....I'd fallen off the face of the earth? Not really, but for some reason I just haven't found time to post the past few days. Do I have anything to show for the lack of posting time? Why, no...no, I don't.

However, on the bright side, I got some fun mail today! You might remember me blathering on about winning a book from Chrysti (of Art By Chrysti) in her 29 Days of Giveaways on her blog? This is what I won and I'm really looking forward to reading it. She also included some sweet little paper (?) flowers in the package. There's no point in taking a picture of the progress made on the CQ panels until they are actually in the frames. Things have come to a screeching halt because DH has come down with his bronchial 'disease' again, so there won't be any woodworking done until he's better (or spring comes!). My part is done though, so I will just have to wait for the rest.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Help for Australia and metal goodness

I know we've all been reading and hearing about the devastation happening in Australia between the fires and the flooding. I found this today on the internet and thought I would pass it along in case any of you would like to help. Right now there is an Etsy site where you can offer a piece of your art and they, in turn, will sell it with 100% of the money going to relief for those who are now homeless. You are responsible for shipping your piece of art to the person who purchases it. You also have to send a small blurb about your piece and a picture to the organizers so it can be posted on the site. Go here to find out more: http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=6902734 There are some pretty nice things listed on there already and more being added all the time, so if you don't want to donate an item...please look around to see if there's anything you would like to purchase (or do both!).

My order of metal from Stockade came and just have a peek at the sparkly results (the picture doesn't half do them justice either). I can't wait to start playing with them!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Decision made!

This is it folks. Three panels of four blocks, blended together with green dupioni silk, mounted on hidden wooden frames. My resident carpenter has agreed to make the frames AND (after dragging him to the art gallery this afternoon) he MIGHT make an additional strip frame around the outside to finish them off. It's such a relief to have decided and actually have begun! IF we managed to have some sunshine, this might have been pretty. Jack has dumped the frozen water from the rain barrel and it's lying in clumps on the snow bank. Quite sparkly and interesting...


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A dilemma?

What's this you say? It's yet another idea of what I can do with my 9" square crazy quilted blocks from the Take It Further Challenge last year. This one involves creating three panels of four squares each (to cut down on some of the weight AND perhaps make it more portable for possible hanging at shows. It could be hung either in this direction or sideways, depending on the area that's available. Or...it could simply be hung as individual pieces (perhaps changed three times a year to give variety?).

Idea #2 - is to put them all together into one larger panel...mounted on wood for support. It would take a fairly big area to hang it as a whole and be less portable.

Idea #3 - is to put them into a book format. Smaller for storage is a plus...however...not perhaps as easily viewed in a show setting, or in the house for that matter (I don't know if people tend to pick up books and look at them when they are in your house???).

I really need to make a decision and get these things done so I can go on to other things. So...what say you? Please give me your feedback, pros and cons, or whatever you think!

Monday, February 09, 2009

Pay It Forward

I'm not sure how many of you are familiar with the Pay It Forward movement, but I wasn't until I heard about it on Paula's blog. It is an exciting concept so I waved my hand in the air and pledged to do it, in return for a gorgeous stitched paperweight from Paula. It's not here yet, but I know it's gorgeous...sight unseen!

Anyway, I will try to explain Pay It Forward and hope you will want to play too!.....

Once I heard about it, I Googled and discovered the concept started with a book, titled (oddly enough) 'Pay It Forward' by Catherine Ryan Hyde. I got the book from the library and was mesmerized! What an incredible story and it now resides in my Top 10 Favourite Books. If you can find a copy it's well worth reading!!

"Pay It Forward is a wondrous and moving novel about Trevor McKinney, a twelve-year old boy in a small California town who accepts the challenge that his teacher gives his class, a chance to earn extra credit by coming up with a plan to change the world for the better - and to put that plan into action. The idea that Trevor comes up with is so simple and naive"....."What is his idea? Trevor chooses three people for whom he will do a favor, and then when those people thank him and ask how they might pay him back, he will tell them that instead of paying him back, they should each 'pay it forward' by choosing three people for whom they can do favors, and in turn telling those people to pay it forward. It's nothing less than a human chain letter of kindness and good will." (Quote is taken from the book jacket).

So, how does this translate to the blogging world you ask? Well, as Paula explained it...you find three people who agree to accept a piece of your art...they each, in turn, find three additional people to send THEIR art to. And so on...around the world!! Great, huh??

Here it is...what I've decided to give to the first three people who either leave a comment on this post OR email me at marmic1954 'at' hotmail 'dot' com. You just have to agree to find three people to 'pay it forward' to. C'mon you know you want to play too!!
On offer is a beaded button similar to this one, in colours you prefer. The size is approx. 2" across and is hand-beaded by moi.
Oh yeah...specs on the book: 'Pay It Forward' by Catherine Ryan Hyde, published by Simon & Schuster, c1999, ISBN 0-684-86271-9

Friday, February 06, 2009

Merrily I bead along, bead along, Merrily I....

Oops. Forgot to remember (!) that what I'm beading requires a seam allowance. This will reside in the component box until I find a use for it.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Behold......!!

....the beauty that is called organization!! Too bad I hadn't thought to take a 'before' picture so you could see the amount of actual improvement that has taken place. Be sure you take note of the fact that there is actually some bare shelf showing (unheard of, until now).

...and before you ask, no, I didn't just move everything to the other side of the room for the photo op!!!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

You just haven't lived until......

....you stand outside on the side of the road in the freezing cold, with one foot on the road and the other in a snowbank, bailing dog barf out of a cup holder in the car, where dog, sporting a funnel -shaped cone on his head, has managed to aim. Nope, you surely don't know what you're missing. 'nuff said.

On a more positive note, Odin had his stitches removed and doesn't have to wear the ridiculous cone any more. The pathology report on his eye still isn't back, so we don't know the cause. No matter, because right now he's a happy dog - chewing on his brand new (disgusting-smelling) bone and growling ferociously at anything that dares come near.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

I wish this was what it looked like outside!!

Here's the picture I tried to post last night. Plants and I don't normally have a good relationship but for some unknown reason African Violets seem to like me. I do absolutely everything wrong (at least according to the books I've read). They grow, and blossom, beautifully and I can even manage to start new ones. I keep our favourite local restaurant supplied and have started giving them to our coffee shop too. I really wish I had a red one, but they are hard to find. We saw them at the Canada Blooms show in Toronto several years ago but haven't seen any since. I had every intention that day of buying one before we left and, of course, I forgot.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Blog....grrrrr

Well folks - I did have a picture to post. Blogger is having a hiccup tonight and will not load the picture in. So, I guess I shall have to mumble instead. Let me see...

- you might like to check out the work at this site www.calna.ca
- several more Canadian sites you might find interesting: www.country-yarns.com; www.geminifibres.com; www.andjareenas.com
- for those of you interested in collage, check out http://www.layersuponlayers.com/collage-techniques
- also at http://www.layersuponlayers.com/creating-backgrounds-for-artwork/

- today was grocery shopping day (yuck...my LEAST favourite activity) but I managed to get a quick trip to Michaels, mainly to buy some wool and some E6000 glue. I can't understand how several other things managed to leap into my basket...the latest issues of Art Doll Quarterly and Belle Armoire Jewellry; some absolutely wonderful metal wings (bought all they had); and a Swarovski crystal cross. Nope, no idea how they got there.

- while at the grocery store a package of 100 (!!) brown paper lunch bags lept into the cart too. Hmm...must find SEVERAL projects to do in order to use them up (none of which will include lunches either).

(why do I think this post is headed for the great hole in the ozone layer??? Blog-grrr is having issues. Better quit while I'm ahead?