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, December 31, 2010

2011 - what will it hold?

My hope
for all
in the
year
to come...

GOOD HEALTH

MUCH HAPPINESS

PEACE

AND....
 
AS MUCH
CREATIVITY 
AS YOU CAN 
STAND!!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

 

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas houseguests

We have had two guests visiting with us over the Christmas week. They went home this morning, but will be returning for another few days a week from now, while their 'humans' are away on holidays.

This is Winnie...
and before you comment,
yes, I know....
we had two Winnie's here,
which led to some confusion,
especially when one
is human,
and one thinks she is!!




And this is Nipper -
who happens to be our
Odin's brother.



It's hard to believe that Odin and Nipper were actually brothers - Odin was a definite throwback to the border collie whereas Nipper is very much a springer spaniel. 

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My loved ones...

I know I've probably never shown pictures
here of my boys and their fiances.

I think it's high time I 'introduced' them,
don't you?


First is #1 son RJ (Robert)
and his fiance Julia...


And...
here is # 2 son Shawn
and his fiance Winnie...


and finally,
just to make your day complete,
Mr & Mrs. S. Claus...

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Fiddling about

Hope everyone had a very happy Christmas!  I certainly did...my family was all home and a few friends thrown in for good measure and a grand time was had by all.  We're still eating leftovers, but that is fine by me!

You will notice yet another change with my blog - it's a work in progress.  I'm not at all sure that I'm liking the current change, but we'll see.  My favourite flower is the poppy so I thought it would be a good background - just not so sure about the colours I've put with it.  Any ideas?    EDITED TO ADD:  Well, the poppies didn't last long and now I'm trying this one instead. 

The picture today is of the gift I gave to a friend who loves to knit.  She has a gorgeous shawl she wears over her winter coat and was lamenting one day that she didn't have a shawl pin to hold it in place.  'Aha', said I, and began a search for one.  Well, this town didn't haven't a CLUE what I was talking about.  I was met with total blank stares.  Obviously my quest was going to be a fruitless one.  Hmmm.  So to the internet I went, hoping that I could order one for delivery in time for Christmas.  Nope.

SO.....


I made her one!

My stash yielded up some copper wire which I bent somewhat into the shape I wanted.  Then I hammered it flat (making my husband come running wondering what on earth I was doing).  A quick dip in a warm water/lemon juice/salt bath made it all shiny again, and voila - a one-of-a-kind shawl pin.  The colour in this picture just doesn't do it justice.

Do you think I should take up business??

Friday, December 24, 2010

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

TO YOU,
AND
TO THOSE
YOU HOLD
MOST
DEAR.

MAY IT BE
HAPPY,
HEALTHY
AND
SAFE
FOR ALL

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Potatoes

Here's our favourite recipe for
a potato dish you can make
ahead for Christmas.

10 potatoes, cooked, mashed & cooled slightly
250 g. pkg. cream cheese
1/4 c. butter or margarine
 ---
Combine above.
---
1 c. chopped green onions
1 c. sour cream
1/2 c. minced parsley (or 3 T. dried)
pinch of marjoram
salt & pepper to taste
---
Add to potato mixture.
Place in 2 L casserole dish
and top with
1/2 c. dried breadcrumbs.

At this point you can freeze it if you like.
Unthaw before cooking tho'!

Bake at 350 degrees 40 mins.

ENJOY!!!





Simple creche



I never look at this
without
'Oh Holy Night'
coming to mind.





Jack made this several years ago.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A hug to you, from me


Did you know?
That a group of bears
is called a 'hug'?

Our Christmas tree has
lots of bears on it,
including one
on the VERY TOP!!





Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas mouse


There's a wee little
Christmas mouse
at my house!

Monday, December 20, 2010

It's Christmas time!


This little fellow makes me feel happy.

Doesn't he look like he's
full of fun
and mischief?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Linkie goodness - 2

Still stitching on the jacket, so here are some more of the blogs I read for you to check out...

- Cathy has a lot of crazy quilting on this one.

- Emmy (Cramzy) does a variety of fun stitching projects here.

- Doreen from Creative Meanderings is a multi-faceted artist & is always fun to read.  Her sense of humour comes through!

- Dabbled - a mixed bag of things, most of which are interesting and fun.

- Debra Spincic also discusses a variety of things - lots of quilting.

- Jackie of Dog Daisy Chains - what can I say?  Her work is one of a kind and oh so inspiring.  I was lucky enough to win one of her pieces awhile ago and it is one of my treasures.

- for the genealogists amongst you, I enjoy reading Genealogy by Cindy
-----------------------------------
I have quite a few more on my reader and eventually I will post them all here.  Maybe you will find a few new ones to add to your favourites!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Linkie goodness

I've been sewing on another jacket and that's kinda boring to show you (at least until I get it finished) so I thought maybe you might like to visit some of the blogs and sites I have on my RSS feed.  I subscribe to these and thought it would be fun to share a few with you now and then.  So, here goes....

- Judi has an interesting site that quite often shows her latest art dolls, along with lots of other fun things too.

- Susan Lenz is a perennial favourite of mine.  Her work is SO inspiring and so very different.

- Vero posts about her sewing and garden (with a few interesting trips thrown in).

- I know I've told you about Allie Aller before and I never tire of seeing her stitch work.

The next three are general crafting sites and quite often have good ideas.  There is some overlap between them at times....
Craft Gossip;    Craftzine;   and  Craftside.


Have fun with those and in a day or so I'll be back with a few more. 

Monday, December 13, 2010

New Visitor!

Today a new visitor arrived!
Serenity
came for a visit....

Serenity is the next doll in the current Art Doll Coolaberation 
and belongs to Amy.

Can't wait to see what
Serenity wants me to
give her!!

Don't forget - if you want to see the latest updates on the dolls, please check out our blog here. (The latest pictures of my doll Anneelaw are on there now!!).

Friday, December 10, 2010

Angels we have heard on high?

Yesterday and today I've been busy creating these little charmers.  24 of the little white ones and the four coloured ones you see here.  The white ones are from the 'Littlest Angels Kit' put out by The Beadery.  There were several pieces left over and I combined some of the bits in my stash to make the coloured ones.  These are little presents and/or 'bows' for the top of parcels.  Every year I make a number of ornaments and some of my friends have collections!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Sparkles!!

Nothing quite like treating yourself
like a queen!!





Yes, it's gold.
Of the 'real' variety.

While I was cleaning out the things that belonged to Dad I came across both his wedding ring (broken) and my mothers' engagement ring.  I already had Moms' diamond placed into the new ring I got on our 25th wedding anniversary (it has my engagement diamond and a sapphire, along with the diamond from Mom).  Gold is expensive right now, so I decided I would put the rings, along with a couple of other ones I had, together and have a cross made - so that I could wear a piece of all three of us.  

This was made by a local jeweler - didn't she create something lovely?  I gave her free rein to do whatever she pleased with it and I'm so glad I did!  There was enough gold left over that I was able to sell it and pay for half of the chain I'm getting to go along with it.  I don't have much 'good' jewelry, so this is pretty special.

btw - the red showing at the bottom of the cross is a reflection from my shirt!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Art doll - Raisa

Yes, I messed my studio up today!!

But, I was playing with a doll which was
WAY more fun than a clean studio
any day!

Meet Raisa....


Isn't she sweet?
Her body is a petit-point box measuring about 3x4".
Gail had added the ruffle around the bottom, along
with some interchangeable legs.
I thought and thought about what Raisa
would want next,
and finally she told me she wanted
more music in her life.
So....
in my clearing out of 'stuff' lately
I happened across a
"Let Us Have Music For Piano"
book I had when I was little,
and an idea was formed.

I copied the first few bars of 'Rigoletto' (La Donna e mobile) by Verdi  onto fabric and made her a collar with some beads as embellishment.  She liked that very much.  
But she wanted MORE!!
So I stash dived and made her arms - using some coiled wire with more beads - plus copper wire inside for strength.  Now she has arms AND legs and she's pretty happy.
Next came her journal.
Yvonne had altered an old music book
for us to use as a journal for Raisa.

Here's the first page....
I used the first few bars of 'Rigoletto' again, along with a copy of the words.  More stash diving yielded the lace flower and the word 'music'.  There's a tag in behind the words that has my info.

And here's page two...

More of the music from 'Rigoletto', a piece of turquoise ribbon and some music charms.  The quote is from Maya Angelou.   Hope you like what I did Yvonne!

For more information about
Art Doll Coolaberation 2010
go HERE!





Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Studio unveil (Part Two)

Thank you so much for all the lovely comments yesterday about my studio redo!  I'm certainly happy with it.  As promised, here are more pictures....

The computer area.  Above the desk you can see a wonderful carved
wooden clock that a friend gave me a few years ago.  
Under the printer is the latest sewing machine
I've acquired.  I have yet to try it out!
My work area.
My trusty Janome is at the ready!
Above is a shelf that holds several things
I'm displaying - these are on a rotation so that
there's something new there periodically.
In a former life this little unit was red.
Now it's a nice cream colour and holds
little bits of things.  Perhaps if you
embiggen the picture you can see what
I keep in there.
This little treasure is a music box - 
another thrift store find!

A new addition to my space is this
lazy susan supply holder. 
I love it because all my
most used things are easy
to see.

Finally, this unit fits handily in the
corner and holds yet more
of my most-used supplies.
See the little sewing machine?
It's a pencil sharpener!

If there's anything you'd like a better look at, let me know in the comments and I'll try to get a close up.

The room isn't quite done yet - the trim needs to go down around the baseboards, but it will have to wait until after Christmas.  The cabinet I keep my iron on is also destined for a paint job in the new year.  Hope you've enjoyed seeing my new space.

NOW I CAN GO AND MESS IT UP!!!!!

Monday, December 06, 2010

Studio unveil!! (Part One)

The long-awaited studio unveil
(or at least part of it!!).

Do you remember this???

The above pictures are the 'befores' that I took just before I began painting.   The walls were a soft purple and the furniture was green.  OK, but not something that might be advantageous to attract any potential buyers!  If you have a look in my sidebar under 'studio tour' you can see more 'before' pictures.

I will show you the 'new' studio in two posts, one today and one tomorrow.  There are a number of pictures and I wouldn't want to either bore you OR overload your computer!!  The colours here aren't exactly 'true' - envision a lb. of butter and you have the wall colour.

Here you go...
TAH DAH!!!!

This is just inside the door.  The dresser holds my crazy quilting fabrics, pretty much sorted by colour.
The cabinet to the left holds my beads and there is more fabric storage below.

My bookshelf, being guarded by my dragon!
You can just see my 1950's sewing machine.
The cabinet under the iron holds various items - a few
office supplies and little things that don't seem
to fit anywhere else.

The little cabinet above is a 'find' from
the thrift store - little cubbies to hold
treasures.

See?

There's my little sewing machine and the
cabinet below - all yard sale finds!
This is beside the door in the other direction.
My cutting table, up on blocks to make it
high enough for me to use in comfort.
You can see the cat toy hanging from the
drawer handle.
The plastic unit below holds my laces and trims.
Above is my inspiration board
(another yard sale find).
See?



More tomorrow!!




Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Wooz - eeeeee?????

Well, the basement reno is moving along and today the new carpet was installed.  It looks really nice and certainly brightens up the space considerably (the old carpet was dark brown and this is a pretty taupe).  The only problem is that I have a physical aversion to the smell of new carpet and my trips down to my studio (which is right next door to the freshly carpeted area) are going to be sadly curtailed until the smell leaves the premises.  I don't know why it is, but I get decidedly light-headed when I'm in carpet stores and sometimes in fabric stores too. 
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Just a quick reminder - Dolores and Leone?  I need your snail mail addys so I can sent out the magazines you 'won' yesterday...thanks.
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Mary Corbet of NeedlenThread reminded me of a lovely piece of needlework that, if it gets enough votes, might be headed into space!  Go here to check her post and then place your vote.  Wouldn't it be something if a piece of stitching went into space?    While you are at Mary's site, don't forget to look around.  She never fails to have something interesting to share about stitching.