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, August 30, 2010

Tears in my spaghetti

Yes, there were tears in my lunch spaghetti!

A parcel arrived at my door
and, when I opened it....

I cried.  
I was expecting this gorgeous tussy mussy to arrive from
Adria, Pam Kellogg's sweet mother.
Pam has an etsy shop where she sells
her work, and that of her mother and her sister.

However,
when I opened the box and
peeked inside, 
I also found
THIS!!



Adria had  made a tussy for Gypsy too!!

Yeah, I cried.  Jack had tears in his eyes too.  Overwhelming kindness quite obviously runs in that family!  What is even more amazing is that Adria is legally blind and she is still able to create such lovely work - obviously she's a pretty amazing lady.  

THANK YOU SO MUCH ADRIA!!


***edited to add:  For those of you who don't know, Odin and Gypsy were our dogs, both of whom passed away since January.




Saturday, August 28, 2010

Have you noticed?

I've been doing some blog updating!

If you will have a look to the left...

see?

There are all sorts of posts now
sorted with labels,
so hopefully you (and I!!)
will be able to find things
easier. 



Friday, August 27, 2010

atc's

Wednesday was our CQTeers meeting and this month the theme was 'doors'.  The bottom left is by Sue and the one on the right (with the door open) is one of Irene's famous pebble-heads.  The upper right one is by moi -I don't know if you can tell from the picture, but there's a tiny little roll of toilet paper to complete the 'outhouse' theme.  We had fun with the fact that Sue and I both were thinking outhouses!!

The bird card on the upper left came in the mail yesterday from Debbie.  She included a nice note written on a card she had stamped with the same little bird, along with the envelope too.  Needless to say one of those little birds is going to appear in my garden journal!  Thank you Debbie!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Journal pages

Yesterday was our monthly CQTeers meeting and our learning portion of the day was to play with a technique Jude Hill wrote about in the latest Quilting Arts magazine.  It too was out of my comfort zone, but it was tons of fun!  I made my test piece with the idea that it would end up in my journal and here it is already in the journal -
 I more or less used Kantha stitch on it, plus I added some little insects using the TAP (Transfer Artist Paper) transfer method.  I obviously need to do more of this sort of work, but I'm pretty happy with my first effort anyway.
Here's another journal page...

This one is simply a piece of a tatted doily (one my mother made many years ago) and a piece of ephemera (source unknown) I had in my stash.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Images

The images below come from
the October 1915 issue of
Needlecraft magazine.
Please feel free to copy these for use in your art!

From time to time I will blog a few more of the images from these old magazines and you are welcome to use them.  I would love it if you would let me know what you end up making with them!!


Monday, August 23, 2010

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Playing TAPs and Embroidery

Today I played with TAP
and here are some of the results...
For those of you who aren't familiar with TAP - it's Transfer Artist Paper (Iron-On image transfer sheets) by Lesley Riley.  This stuff is utterly phenomenal to work with.  The papers are 8.5 x 11" which is perfect for your printer.  Because it is not cheap, you are best to plan your sheet of transfers prior to printing them off to avoid wasting any of the TAP.  I decided on my layout and then lightly used a glue stick to adhere them to a regular piece of copy paper to hold them in place.  Then I simply printed directly onto the TAP.  The images are then iron-on-able (is that a word??) to pretty much any surface including wood, metal and glass.  I ordered mine directly from Lesley here.

In the picture I've tried ironing onto three old doilies (one is a hankie I think) - the image of the lilacs, the one in the upper left and the little girl.  The middle image on the top is on muslin and the lower left is onto a piece of a natural fabric (similar to linen).  I also ironed some onto the watercolour paper I'm using for my journal class.  

Speaking of my journal class - here is another of my pages.  I really like this one!  Sorry about the paper clip - forgot to remove it!

AND

For those of you interested in embroidery 
AND eye candy 
you really need to visit 
Karen Ruane!

Karen does exquisite embroidery in a contemporary way.  When I say 'exquisite' I mean that in the true sense of the word!  You can read her blog here and you can also see more of her work in her Etsy shop here.  Please do visit her and say hi!


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sunset and depression

That makes a great post title doesn't it?

This is what we saw out our front door last night.  The colours were absolutely spectacular!  Unfortunately we have a lot of wires between us and the sky which doesn't make for very good pictures.
  The second part of this post is to point you towards the latest installment in the on-going series about depression that my friend Pam has been posting.  She and I have had many discussions about the depression we both suffer from and I so admire what she's doing with these posts.  How I wish I had known someone like her when I was first diagnosed.  It would have been so helpful to know I wasn't alone.  Please go here to read Pam's latest post.  Even if you don't suffer from depression yourself, reading her posts will help you understand those who do.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Journal pages

Here are the first two pages I've been 
working on for the on-line class...
I won't be able to show too much of what I'm doing 
in order to be fair to our teacher, Carole.
I'm sure she will be offering this class
again at some point.
I am absolutely thrilled with it
so far!!
Thank you Carole!
more information can be found


Monday, August 16, 2010

Look what I won!!

I entered a draw on the CRAFT blog/website and 
was lucky enough to be the winner of this book! 

I have made a few pairs of socks but have to admit they haven't been my favourite thing to do - mainly because it's so very difficult to actually finish the second sock of the pair.  This book solves that entire problem by showing you how to knit both of them at the SAME time on a circular needle!  Not only that, but because they are knitted from the toe up there is less danger of running out of yarn before you're done.  Win/win I would say!!

There are 15 sock designs in the book.  Another of the pluses to this process is that you are able to try on the socks as you knit to get a perfect fit.  The author, Melissa Morgan-Oakes, has another book too - "2-at-a-Time Socks'.    Specs are:  'Toe-Up 2-at-a-Time Socks' published by Storey Publishing,  c2010,  ISBN 978-1-60342-533-9.
Thanks CRAFT and Storey Publishing!!

and finally, here's a photo of a butternut squash flower 
from our garden.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Jacket - done!

Above is the front...
and below is the back...

You can see the seminole stripe down the sleeves,
and you will note that the sleeve length
isn't complete.  I wait to do that until
the recipient can try the jacket on.
These pictures were taken outside, but the black
still looks blue/grey in the photos. Sorry!

and...
some closeups...





Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Stitching right along...

Today I finished working on the sleeves for the black jacket.  Unfortunately my photo doesn't show the true black colour of this, but you can get the idea.  The lighter strips down either side of the seminole have a subtle shimmer of gold which I thought added a bit of interest.  Perhaps if you enlarge the picture you'll be able to see it better.

The jacket is now ready to put together....

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Well, well, well....

IT WORKED!!
The studio gremlin must have been listening!
He brought back my missing box
AND
my missing seam ripper!!!!!!!!!
Of course the fact that I was re-shoveling out my studio in preparation for a friend to come for coffee this afternoon didn't have a THING to do with the lost being returned.  I'm sticking with the gremlin story, so there!!
-----------------------
I've been working on the black denim jacket, but nothing ready to show quite yet.  Hoping to finish it tomorrow and I'll post pictures then.  I'm more or less working on two at once but I think I'll finish this one up so I can see what it looks like.  I can't wait until I finish both of them because I so want to see what they look like done in black.
----------------------
So, because there's nothing else in the picture line, here's some more from the after-rain photos I took yesterday.  Enjoy!
 


Monday, August 09, 2010

There's a gremlin at loose!!!

Not only has the resident gremlin stolen my favourite seam ripper and made off with it, now I discover that there's a whole box filled with to-do projects that has managed to escape the premises.  For the life of me I can't find it and my studio isn't THAT big!***  That's what I get for thinking I should re-arrange it...it put my treasures in plain sight and the gremlin TOOK it!!!!!!!!!


HEAR THIS, STUDIO GREMLIN...
BRING IT ALL BACK
OR ELSE!!!!!

So, I shall thumb my nose at that miserable studio gremlin and post pictures of the garden after the rain (so there!!)
 

*** and just so you know, I'm well aware that I'm losing my mind. ***

 

Friday, August 06, 2010

Nodda.....

....is what I seem to have managed to accomplish today.  I made the mistake of mentioning to my husband last night that, other than for a few errands, I had the entire day today to work on the denim jackets.

welllll..........

the aforementioned errands morphed into a TON of them, all of which took time.  Then, my forgetful brain managed to forget several things which meant two return trips to places I'd already been.  Sigh.  We won't mention that things I remembered AFTER I got home!!  There's no stress in my life - no, not a bit!!

and then.........

I came home to do various and assorted 'stuff' - none of which involved the use of a sewing machine or needle.  I've felt like a whirling dervish all day but when it comes right down to it - I don't have a darned thing to show for it all!!  
So........



maybe this little flutterby is having a good day?

yeah, I know - do I want a little chocolate with my whine?


Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Sometimes I *heart* the mailman!

Today was a great mail day!

Look what arrived.....

It's a beautiful hand made needle keep from my friend Pam Kellogg!!

A few weeks ago Pam issued a plea on her blog looking for pink eyelash yarn which was evidently in very short supply in her area.  A trip to my local dollar store yielded up what she was looking for and off a little package went to her.  This is what she sent me in exchange...isn't it lovely?  When I opened the parcel I immediately focused in on the handsome spider!

Thank you Pam - I love my new needle keep!!
p.s. - if you check Pam's blog you'll find an excellent tutorial on how she makes her spider webs.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Rip it, rip it (oh, ouch!)

I begin this tale of woe with the sad fact that something
ate my favourite stitch ripper. 
It's been my faithful companion
lo these many years
and I miss it!!

Yeah, had to buy a new stitch ripper which is MUCH sharper than my old trusty one.  This afternoon I've had a marathon of reverse stitching all these denim pockets getting them ready for possible inclusion on the latest jacket.  Did I mention that my new stitch ripper is sharp?  I now have several owies and did I also mention that I want my old ripper back?  So...if whoever/whatever made off with it reads this I'd appreciate its speedy return. 
----------------------
I'm excited about something else - last night I signed up for my first on-line course (after plunging headlong into the mysteries of using PayPal, which was a feat in itself).  I've been watching with extreme interest a few postings around the 'net about Carole's Journal and finally asked her to keep me in mind if she decided to rerun the course.  She's not exactly rerunning it at the present time, but she is allowing a few people to join in the present class.  I'm SO excited, nervous (well, terrified actually, but don't tell Carole that!) and getting ready to tear into my stash to pull out all sorts of 'stuff' to use in my journal.  My 'plan' is to use  a lot of the garden photos I've taken this summer in my journal to create a memory book.  Of course, plans are apt to change because pretty much every project ends up having a mind of its own.  If you would like to find out more about the class, have a look here!

So....here's a photo that I might be using in my journal.....






Monday, August 02, 2010

Just a topstitching fool

Yep, that's what I've been doing all day  -  topstitching on the two jackets.  NOT very exciting to show you I have to admit.  I think I mentioned here a few days ago that I hoped to get white (or cream) jean thread, but evidently they don't make it.  I ended up getting white upholstery thread which worked perfectly.
-------------------------------
Dot Lewallen of SpeedieBeadie has created a wonderful beaded art doll you have to see!  Go here to see it and to read about why she created it.  I'm a lucky person to actually own a beaded doll made by Dot.
------------------------------
Pam Kellogg has another installment of her series about depression and it's ramifications and ways to cope.  This time she talks about finding your passion.  Go here to read her post.

And finally....how about these for potatoes from our garden?  They're Yukon Golds and Jack very nicely left the toe of his shoe in the frame so you can get some idea of their size.