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.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Great mail day!

Sometimes I really like my mailman!  He brought me something I won in the 'countdown to retirement' draw that Vicki (of Field Trips in Fiber)  had on her blog a couple of weeks ago.  Vicki is multi-talented and does lots of wonderful art. 

I was lucky enough to win one of her tie-dyed t-shirts.....

AND - I also won two pieces of her hand dyed fabrics!!!!

Aren't they beautiful?  I'm not sure what I'll be making to use the fabrics - there's enough there for several projects.  I will choose something special because those hand dyes need to be shown off.  As for the t-shirt - I'm wearing it tomorrow!!!

Thank you Vicki!!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Another yard sale find!

While I've been touring around on the Where Bloggers Create studio tour I've been struck by how perfect an inspiration board would be in my 'new' studio space.  Actually I've wanted one for awhile but seeing a few on the tour has added fuel to my desire.

  So - we went to a few yard sales (in the rain) this morning and I stumbled on this.......

 It's plastic but once it's painted up I don't think anyone will know.  It had an ugly mirror in it which we've removed already.  I got it and a piece of rug canvas for $3 (probably could have gotten it for less, but I felt sorry for the poor lady standing in the rain trying to sell her stuff). 

Now I'm off to find the can of paint and start the re-do!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Just a snoopin' around....

I am having SO much fun visiting all the studios that are open on the current Where Bloggers Create II tour!

Karen Valentine of My Desert Cottage
is hosting the tour at her blog

The tour is sponsored by
Where Women Create
and there are over 450 studios taking part.

I'm getting tons of ideas for my next studio re-do and I'm sure you will see a few you might like to implement in yours.  Enjoy the tour!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The great jean hack.....

I have a commission to create another of my recycled denim jackets, only in black this time.  I've been wanting to try one out so I was delighted to take this on.  I might just make one for myself when I'm done, depending on what this one ends up looking like.

BUT....
IN THE MEANTIME......
 I HAVE TO CHOP UP ALL OF THESE!


It's hard to believe there are so many variations in black denim.  I also tend to get even more colour variations by using them inside out.  That way each pair of jeans will yield two different shades of black, and often different textures too.  

When I am shopping for used denim of course I look at the condition of the jeans - I don't use ones that are threadbare, but a few rips and tears are easy to cut around.  I also look for design elements, such as interesting pockets, studding, etc.  Sometimes they have flowers already worked into the jeans - those are definitely a bonus.  I save (and use) the labels too because they also add to the design on the jackets. Labels from all types of clothing (not just jeans) come in handy.  Someday, when I get enough of a stash, I hope to create a purse.

Now I'm heading back to demolishing jeans!
 

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

on giveaways and votes

The above flower is pink in honour of Pam Kellogg's Pink Crazy Garden Quilt which she has entered into a Pink contest being held at the  Daisy Pink Cupcake blog.  Please help Pam to win by going here to vote (scroll down to entry #7 in contest # 2).  I know she'd appreciate your help!


And this purple flower is for Pat Winter, who has a lovely giveaway on her blog right now.  Mind you, I'm of two minds doing this, because I know it's going to reduce my chances of winning!  Go here to see what she's giving away (scroll down).

Saturday, June 19, 2010

New toy!

We did some yard sales this morning and managed to find a few things that we couldn't live without.  Splurged and spent a whole quarter on three rusty baking pans which will be perfect for use when I get back into doing some rusted fabric experiments.  Jack got a great heavy duty broom to sweep out the garage.  And then.....

.................... I SAW THIS!!...............

Five whole dollars, complete with carrying case.  And, wonder of wonders, it works perfectly!!  I don't NEED another sewing machine but oh how I WANTED it.  I was quite willing to walk away but Jack reached in his pocket and the rest is history.  Now it's mine, mine, all mine and I love it!  For a little machine it weighs a ton.  It even has the original manual with it, which is another bonus...printed in 1958.  There were no attachments with it, but I have some from an old machine my mother had so hopefully they might fit it. 

Did I get a treasure?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Watching glue dry

Quite literally that's what I'm doing.  Oh yeah, and mopping up a glass of water that I managed to spill over my entire worktable (how can one little glass of water spread so darned far?).

Anyway.  This photo is what I see every morning right now when I open the bedroom curtains.
And this is what I smell when I go to the backyard.  Mock orange has a scent like no other - so pretty.

This is just a random photo of flower-ness in our garden....

Yesterday Gail asked about my new camera, so here are the specs:  Canon Power Shot SD1200IS;  10.0 Mega Pixels (whatever THEY are!) and 3x optical zoom.  Hot pink and silver.  It's a sweet little piece of equipment!  I haven't even begun to explore the possibilities with it yet.  Thanks Shawn!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Spinning and spinning....

....my wheels, that is!  Nothing seemed to be accomplished today other than some putzing in my studio which totally isn't worth taking pictures to show.  So, instead, how about some more from the zoo trip?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

And - we have a winner!!

All the names who commented went onto little pieces of paper and after a great deal of shuffling I trudged up the stairs and found Jack lurking in the flower bed (cleaning windows!) and he drew out a name and......DRUMROLL......it was Yvonne!!!!  Congratulations Yvonne!  I know you already have that book, so I will find something else for you.

Thank you so much to everyone who entered my little giveaway and to everyone who reads my mumblings.  I would never have thought I would actually have readers or that I would be able to come up with so much to mumble about.  I'm so glad to have met you all!

Now to tell you about what I've been up to the past few days.  Sunday we met #2 son and his fiance at the Metro Zoo and spent the day walking about seeing the animals.  It was a perfect day, overcast and not too unbearably hot. I was lucky enough to be on the receiving end of a new digital camera (thanks Shawn and Winnie!) and I had a great time playing with it.  Got some pretty nice pictures too, even though I wasn't sure what I was doing.
 These little fellows were so cute - two of them, and they had blankets they kept carrying around and peeking out from under.  A lot like human babies would do.  Obviously my focus with the camera ended up being the rope and blanket and not the baby with this one.
 This grizzly bear was fun to watch.  He had a huge ball in his pool and he was having a great time splashing around with it.  Here I think he was contemplating jumping into the pool, but he thought better of it and went & curled up for a nap.
 This was perhaps my favourite of all - a tiny saw whet owl.  I had never seen one before, other than on tv.

And, finally, we actually got to pet stingrays and two small sharks!  The stingrays were absolutely awesome!  We could hold our hand just beneath the surface of the water and they would come to let you stroke them as they swam by.  It was quite a thrill!  I didn't get to pet the sharks, but the rest did.

We had a totally fun day but certainly were footsore and weary when we got home and needed all day yesterday to recuperate!  It was so much fun seeing the animals and spending time with family.
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EDITED TO ADD:  
There's a great giveaway to celebrate reaching 100 followers over at elmilagro studio and even though I'm lessening my chances to win, I'm sending you on over there to see what Anne has up for winning.  You won't be sorry!!  Go here to see

Friday, June 11, 2010

FINALLY!

ONE THOUSAND POSTS!

Now you know why there was a countdown going on!
Who knew I had enough to mumble about to get to one thousand posts?  Well, my family knew, but I was really trying to keep it a secret from the rest of the world.

So....in honour of the occasion....there will be a giveaway.  Doreen won a wee prize for commenting about wondering what I was counting down to, but there is another prize too!  You will have to do a little bit of work for it though....

You will need to answer the following question in the comment section of this post only - "If you had a week of time with no housework, commitments, or family to deal with - what would you do?"    Leave me a comment, answer the question, and your name will go in the draw.  But remember, answer only on this post.  Draw closes Monday June 14.
What might you win?  Well - let me see - how about a copy of 'The Crafter's Devotional - 365 Days of Tips, Tricks, and Techniques for Unlocking Your Creative Spirit' by Barbara R. Call?  There's more going in the package - maybe some stash enhancement for you or maybe a piece of art from me or - -????

Please help me celebrate my long-windedness by entering to win!  Good luck!!!





Thursday, June 10, 2010

finished design - I think

Above is the outside front (still toying with adding a decorative button or something to make it look a little more interesting.  Below is the back....


This will hold my cell phone quite nicely and be easy access.
This is the inside.  The upper flap covers the credit card holder with room for at least nine cards.  The rounded 'thing' is a change holder.  Bills would go in behind the credit card holder section.
Here I'm holding the coin area up so you can see the cheque book holder underneath.  There's also another area behind that for more bills (HAH - as if!!).

What do you think?
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WILL TOMORROW BE THE DAY?
edited to add...that Doreen is a winner!  Because she noticed the countdown and commented, she will be receiving a wee prize in the mail.   Don't the rest of you wish you'd said something now?? 

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

dolls - of the little sort


The theme this month for the Decidedly Different Doll Doll Group was May flowers and above is a photo of the beautiful wee doll I received from Stacie.  There is an incredible amount of beading on her and I`m totally thrilled with her.  Thank you Stacie!

Below is the doll I made for Stacie....

  
Stacie and I also did a small swap of atcs and above you can see the first ones she has ever made.   I think I`m pretty lucky to get her first efforts!  She also included a pkg. of bead soup which she knew my magpie leanings would delight in.  Be sure to enlarge the picture so you can see them - I especially like the rusty coloured ones.
Thanks Stacie!

Monday, June 07, 2010

------THREE MORE!!!!------
 Difficult as it is to believe these roses came from the same bush.  The one on the left is very closely petaled and has very little scent.  The other flower is highly scented and has a lot fewer petals.  The entire bush is like that.  Its one of our scrounged plants, so who knows what the origin might be.
 I spent most of today putzing around with this prototype for a wallet I'm trying to put together using several ideas I like from several other patterns.  I can't seem to find one that has all the features I want, so I have finally resorted to more or less designing my own.  It's definitely a work in progress at the moment! Yet one more use for recycled denim.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Shudayra has returned home!!

..........FOUR MORE!!!!..........
------------------------------
Remember this doll?  She left me to travel the United States and Canada a year ago.  In the meantime she has visited many places and just today has returned to me...beautiful and totally amazing.  I sent her on her journey looking like the picture above...naked, faceless and without character.

Here she is now...................

Isn't she spectacular?  I know there are better words than that to describe her, but my mind is too overwhelmed to think of any.  To say I love her is an understatement!  Thank you SO very much to Gail (our grand...in every sense of the word...leader); Barb; Jeanne; Em; Yvonne; Karma; Robyn; and Susan (who, although unable to participate in the group, was cheering us on).  

There will be more detailed pictures later when my hands stop shaking long enough to take them!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

I'm blessed

ONLY FIVE MORE TO GO!!!
Just look at what came in the mail for me from Freda!!  I was completely and totally surprised and overwhelmed by her generosity and thrilled beyond words with the treasure she sent.  She included a lovely note that actually brought me to tears (which isn't something I do very often).  

Freda had done a review of her copy on her blog and I commented about having to add another book on my 'wish list'.  Well, she fulfilled my wish!  Thank you SO much Freda - I have drooled over each page already and will settle down to read it cover to cover.  
This book is a full colour extravaganza of eye candy and techniques, most of which I can't wait to try.  If you're interested in acquiring your own copy, here are the specs (and no, you're NOT getting mine!!)...
"Fabric Embellishing - The Basics and Beyond' by Ruth Chandler, Liz Kettle, Heather Thomas and Lauren Vlcek.  Published by Landauer Books;  ISBN 13:978-9818040-3-3,  c. 2009.

Lucky lucky me to have friends such as Freda!!

ps. Freda, I emailed you privately too.