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.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

The end of one, the beginning of another

Here in Canada we are winding down the last hours of 2011, a year that was challenging for so many people - a year that was filled with disasters and trials of so many kinds throughout the world.  Personally we've had two weddings and we've also sold our home and moved into an apartment.  Major changes, even though they were happy ones. 

Creatively, my year did not exactly go as planned but I still managed to finish a few of the things I had hoped to do.  I've noticed a number of bloggers have been choosing a 'word' to focus on in the new year (I'm sorry to say I don't know who to give credit to for the original idea).  I hadn't planned on joining in, but one has popped into my head and I'm going to use it.  My word is 'completion'.  Thinking about completion leads me to two different interpretations - the first being the obvious - that of completing projects, including some UFO's that are waiting for attention.  The other meaning, at least to me personally, is attempting to feel 'complete' in my art.  I want to feel fulfilled and at peace with what I create - no more angst over whether it's 'good enough' or as innovative as what others are doing.  When it gets right down to it, I just wanna be me!

I've been bleating about returning to my crazy quilting roots for the past couple of years and, needless to say, it hasn't happened.  Obviously talking about it wasn't accomplishing my goal, so putting myself out there and signing up for a great online embroidery class and also a CQ round robin should help me get on track.  Limiting time spend mindlessly surfing the internet will also help me accomplish my goal.  Continuing to reduce my stash of reycled denim is a given, lest I drown in it. 

No year-end post would be complete without thanking you, my friends and readers, for faithfully reading my mumblings - each and every one of you deserves a reward.  The fact that I have over 90 followers is totally mind-numbing - thank you one and all.  All I can say is that I really hope to come up with something that will continue to keep you visiting - please do say hi in the comments, because I love to hear from you!

And finally, my wishes for you in 2012...
good health,
happiness,
and all the creativity you can stand!!

Friday, December 30, 2011

A question for you....

What book in your collection
do you find to be the
most inspirational?

I know we all do different types of art/craft and therefore would most likely be inspired by different types of books.  This afternoon I hauled my favourite off the bookshelf and settled in for another good read and dose of eye candy.  

I know this picture isn't the best and certainly doesn't do justice to the wonders held within this book - things such as this...




Hopefully you can click on the picture and embiggen so you can see the detail.

Specs for this book:  "Celtic, Viking & Anglo-Saxon Embroidery - The Art & Embroidery of Jan Messent", published by Search Press,  c 2010,  ISBN: 978-1-84448-409-6

Now, I throw the question out to you....please tell us in the comments what book (or books) you find to be the most inspirational to you.  Curious minds want to know!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

brrrrrr......

Well, after an almost-white Christmas, we awoke to this today....


These photos were taken from our balcony this morning.  If you embiggen them, hopefully you can see the river in the background...not frozen over, but it does have a skiff of ice here and there.  Unfortunately the sun didn't come out for the photo op!

These little tracks were in the snow on our balcony,
most likely from mourning doves.

We're still recovering from the usual over abundance of good things to eat and have spent the most part of today ensconced in our easy chairs with our books, only getting up occasionally to replenish our cups of tea.  ahhhhhh......

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas!


I would like to take this opportunity,
before things get too busy,
to wish you 
and the ones you hold most dear
a very happy Christmas.

May it be joyful, safe, and full of meaning.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

knitting



My knitting needles have churned out several of these scarves for gifts.  They seem to be all the rage, so I did my bit for a few people to look 'current' (if there is any such thing in fashion).  I had fun knitting them, which is always good!

Monday, December 19, 2011

pincushion fun

Obviously, by the lack of mumbling here, I've been either a) busy; b)lazy; or c) doing nuttin' worth mumblin' about.  Take your choice!

Anyhoo...  I've been meaning to post these pictures and hadn't done so.  Two of our projects we've done at our little CQTeer meetings have been to make pincushions.  (One I might have shown you already but see "b" above, which will explain why I'm not bothering to go and check).

First, was this one that Irene
showed us...

Would you believe the base is a plastic bottle cap?









AND,
this is the one we did last month,
with guidance from Sue..

You can't see in the picture, but the base is a wooden thread spool.


Clever, aren't they!

Monday, December 12, 2011

knit n felt

My knitting needles have been beavering away on making these for Christmas gifts....




I've lost track of how many pairs I've made over the past few years and some people are on their second pair already.  I'm told that they are very comfie and warm, but I have yet to find out for myself.

What's that they say about a mechanic fixing everybody else's car and not his own?  Guess I'm like that mechanic!

Pattern is the felt clogs from Fibre Trend.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Making a cluster!

Sorry about the non-activity on my blog the past few days.  For some reason I've been out a lot and the rest of the time has been spent creating things for Christmas presents.

Each year I make a limited edition of ornaments which some of my friends have built into collections (who would have known??).  This year I came across The Legend of the Christmas Spider, which is folk legend originating from Germany and the Ukraine. 

Here is the story,
courtesy of 

The Legend of the Christmas Spider
Once upon a time, long ago, a gentle mother was busily cleaning the house for the most wonderful day of the year....the day on which the Christ child came to bless the house.  Not a speck of dust was left.  Even the spiders had been banished from their cozy corner in the ceiling to avoid the housewife's busy cleaning.  They finally fled to the farthest corner of the attic.
 
T'was the Christmas eve at last! The tree was decorated and waiting for the children to see it.  But the poor spiders were frantic, for they could not see the tree, nor be present for the Christ child's visit.  But the oldest and wisest spider suggested that perhaps they could peep through the crack in the door to see him.  Silently they crept out of their attic, down the stairs, and across the floor to wait in the crack in the threshold.  Suddenly, the door opened a wee bit and quickly the spiders scurried into the room.  They must see the tree closely, since their eyes weren't accustomed to the brightness of the room...so they crept all over the tree, up and down, over every branch and twig and saw every one of the pretty things.  At last they satisfied themselves completely of the Christmas tree beauty.

But alas!! Everywhere they went they had left their webs, and when the little Christ child came to bless the house he was dismayed.  He loved the little spiders, for they were God's creatures too, but he knew the mother, who had trimmed the tree for the little children, wouldn't feel the same, so He touched the webs and they all turned to sparkling, shimmering, silver and gold!

Ever since that time, we have hung tinsel on our Christmas trees and, according to the legend, it has been a custom to include a spider among the decorations on the tree.


I was lucky enough to find a perfect tutorial that Kathy Shaw had done (go HERE to see it) and so....I've made a cluster of spiders!  (Yes, a group of spiders is called a cluster).



Here's a closeup....


Aren't they cute?


Saturday, December 03, 2011

And...drumroll please......

The winner of the
'Holiday'
magazine giveaway

is

v
v
v
v




I'll need your snail mail addy Melody!
I'll email you!!

Congratulations!

Friday, December 02, 2011

A day to remember

Today I was treated to my birthday present from one of my friends.  Yes, I am well aware that my birthday is in July, as is she!

Her gift to me the past two years has been a 'mystery tour'.  She picks me up in the morning and off we go to explore someplace totally unknown to me until we get there.  Today we visited a small town called Lakefield and explored all the shops.  Then she treats me to a nice lunch and more shopping (mostly looking for both of us). 

I picked up a couple of things for Christmas presents and purchased the latest 'Knit'nStyle' magazine because I fell in love with the sweater on the cover.  It's precisely what I would want to knit for myself and I was quite excited about it...until.....I went online to get the price of the yarn.  Oops.  At $79 for ONE ball (and I would need four!!) methinks I'll just frame the picture and look at it.  No way I could spend that much for yarn - especially when it would also need 5 balls of another yarn that're $9 each.  Nope, too costly for my blood, but nice to contemplate anyway.  Maybe if I win a lottery??

Anyway, I had a most fun day and have already told my friend that she is more than welcome to repeat the gift next year!

Thursday, December 01, 2011

A quickie....

,,,,giveaway, that is....


How would you like to win a copy of this magazine?
I'm not going to ask you to do anything,
except leave a comment on THIS post
and I will draw a name
on Saturday night.