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, September 28, 2012

Slight change of gears

I know I should be working on the latest jacket but I decided that, at least for today, I wanted to work on something to do with this...


The base is a brass candlestick (courtesy of the thrift store) and the pincushion, so far, is made of dupioni silk.  You'll just have to wait & see what I will end up doing with this!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Here's proof!

Yep, we aren't starving - yet.  I have come to the realization though, that the slow cooker is my friend.  Bosom buddy in fact. 

Jack is still ailing so the cooking, cleaning and char-lady detail is falling to me.  The latter two aren't so bad, but the cooking is not my favourite thing in the world.  However, I have to say that the 'More Taste of Home Slow Cooker Classics' cookbook is a lifesaver.  

This is what I made today...

SAUERKRAUT SAUSAGE SOUP

4 c. chicken broth
1 lb. smoked Polish sausage, cut into 1/2" slices
1 can (16 oz) sauerkraut, rinsed and well drained
2 c. sliced fresh mushrooms (I put in more)
1 1/2 c. cubed peeled potatoes
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 1/4 c. chopped onions (I used frozen chopped onions)
2 large carrots, sliced
2 celery ribs, chopped
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 tsp. dill weed
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. pepper 

Combine all ingredients in a 5 qt slow cooker.
Cover and cook on low for
5-6 hours.

I have to say that this stuff was GOOD!!  I copped out when it came to chopping onions and did it the easy way.  The frozen ones we had also have red & green peppers in with them, so I suppose that could alter the flavour of the soup somewhat.  

Cookbook Specs:  'More Taste of Home Slow Cooker Classics', c 2010, published by Reader's Digest, ISBN (10): 0-89821-831-4.    There are over 400 recipes in the book and they all look really good - lots of colour pictures too!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Stitchin' and Nursin'


Just thought I should post some proof that yes, I have been stitching today!  Here's the beginnings of the back of another recycled denim jacket.  It still needs lots of bling to make it look 'right'.

I'm continuing the chief nursemaid and cook duties.  We haven't died yet so I guess the food I'm managing to make must be edible......

Monday, September 24, 2012

Mouse houses

Sorry folks, no stitching being accomplished here at the moment - too busy nursing ailing husband (and having to....gasp.....do the cooking, which might just end up making him feel worse!!).

Instead, I want to send you HERE to see the cutest miniature tree  house for mouses you've ever seen.  The attention to detail is astounding!  I've always been fascinated by miniatures so I had to share.  There's also a link you can click onto in her post that will send you to a wonderful Hobbit house she's made too.  Fun!!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Sanity vs. insanity

....or, in other words, something nice followed by a rant.  Pick which one you prefer!

First of all, my friend Marie Alton is having a big sale on her lovely beaded creations.  Some are jewelry and many are suitable for use in our crazy quilts.  I can attest, from personal experience, that her pieces are very reasonably priced and very pretty.  Go HERE

Now for the rant/insanity part of this post.  I was racking my brain trying to think of something to post about today (being that what I'm stitching is not in the least bit inspiring) and came across a most interesting post Karen did HERE about the delights (?) of trying to find a perfect purse. 

........ I'll wait while you check out Karen's post.....
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*
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Ok, you're back?

I don't know about you, but having to shop for a new purse is almost akin to having a bikini wax (not that I've ever had one of those, but I am pretty certain that it involves pain and therefore is to be avoided).  The criteria for a perfect purse (at least for me) ends up being a long list.

- a place for my keys on the outside of the bag where they can be easily reached and retrieved, especially when juggling several bags and parcels.  That place, in order to be perfect, must also keep control of those keys and not allow them to just fall out willy nilly every time the purse tips over.  

- a place for my cell phone, also on the outside of the bag, where the phone is held securely (see above re the willy nilly tip over problem) and yet accessible enough that said phone can be gotten to before the person calling hangs up.  

- it must have several compartments (but not so many so that I lose track of what might be kept in each one).  Too many and I get confused (some would say that's my normal state).  Compartments are necessary in order to avoid the proverbial drop-n-hunt (you know - you drop something in and it promptly dives down to the bottom of the bag necessitating a long-ish hunt for same, most generally whilst in a huge line-up and having to withstand the daggers being looked into your back by the waitees).  I'm pretty sure that once something gets into the bottom of such bags  it promptly develops the enviable ability to either a) become invisible or b)  develop legs so it can escape. 

- the lining colour must be such that it doesn't show dirt but also be light enough that you can actually SEE what's in there (see above). 

- having a bag that has built-in organizers for credit cards can be a good thing, but more often isn't.  Those lovely little slots are rarely the exact right size.  They're either just a tad too small and you have to muscle the cards in place (see above re the daggers in your back) or they're too big and it's inevitable that your purse will tip over and result in a cascade of cards all over the floor (again, see above).  

- And while I'm on the subject of card holders - why do they think we only have half a dozen cards, at most?  I don't know about you but I carry a whole lot more than that and I don't even HAVE a credit card!!

- A built-in coin holder - great idea in principle, but have you ever tried to dig down to the bottom of those dinky little things they insist on installing in bags in quest of that elusive dime that you know is in the bottom (oh yes? More daggers).  OR - if you can't dig that dime out and resort to dumping out the change and Mr. Murphy's Law being what it is and the change ends up scattered to the four winds? 

- a holder for a pen that actually will HOLD a standard sized  pen?  And better yet, said pen holder in a place where you can actually get at it?

- a strap that will actually stay on your shoulder and won't fall off just at the point where your hands are full of packages and suddenly the strap slides down and you're at risk of a dislocated shoulder?  Or tripping yourself (because the bag is suddenly dancing with your ankles?).  Oh yes, and there's the sideways sorta-hitch walk you develop because you're trying to keep said strap on your shoulder.  

- I need a bag that's small enough to carry all that I need, but not big enough to be forced to act as a repository for husbands excesses that simply won't fit in their pockets.  That's WHY they can get away without carrying bags - they have us to carry their stuff for them!

- oh yes, and it has to be certain colours so it can go with everything I own because if ever I find that perfect bag it's gonna be with me for life!!

Ok, rant is over.
Now it's YOUR turn -
what do you need in a perfect bag?


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Incredible eye candy!

No, sorry to say the eye candy hasn't been produced by MY needle, but I really hope you will go and check these places out.  I don't think you will regret it!!

1.  Di van Niekerk has posted a beautiful tutorial for making a ribbon Dapple Dawn Rose on her blog.  Absolutely stunning!!  Go HERE to see (be sure to scroll down).

2.  Thanks to Arlee for sending me the link to this site.  You all know how much I like to work with denim so you know I will love these pieces of art.  There are tons of pictures to explore  and I know I will be going back again (and again, and again, and.......) just to drool over THESE.  When you get to his site click on 'work' and be prepared to be blown away!!

Monday, September 17, 2012

TUSAL & turkeys

Here are my TUSAL ORTs for the past month.  These prove that at least some stitching was done!





and below is my ORT jar for the year.  Thanks to DaffyCat for organizing this totally fun project!


AND,
over the weekend we happened upon
this little flock of young
wild turkeys...

Not a very clear picture but if you embiggen you should be able to see them better. 




Friday, September 14, 2012

A finish - of sorts!

Some of you may remember me taking part in an on-line course given by Carole Brungar called "The Road To My House" a few months ago (oooh - maybe even a year??).  Because wall space is at a premium here in the apartment, I have chosen to cut the original wall hanging into three pieces and add them to my embroiderer's ledger.  Here are the results...

Page one...


Page four...



In the middle I have a loose page that
includes the title (a quote from a song by
Neil Diamond)....



which is backed by another house...


(oops, it's missing a doorknob!!)

The houses I have attempted to depict in this are all ones I have lived in (with the exception of the larger one).  All the other little details reflect things that have special meaning to me.  Free motion embroidery is something that I'm definitely not good at, but have had a great deal of fun trying out.  Thanks Carole!  btw - you can click on the pictures to embiggen them if you'd like.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Miniature creations

It's been a long time since there was any discussion about dolls on this blog and so I thought I'd give you THIS to look at today.

Otherwise?

I got nuttin'!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Thrift store score

I lucked out today and found this beautiful lace collar at one of the thrift stores...


 close-up....


I consider this $3.99 well spent!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

more on feathers - and - Stephen Leacock

I do have odd titles for my posts don't I!!

First of all, most of you will remember my posting the pictures of the beautiful feather painting we bought last weekend.  I finally remembered to dig out the website address for the artist.  You can go HERE to see more of her work, and also there is a much better photo there of the piece we bought.

- - - - - - - - -

This past Sunday we took one of our sanity days and did
some traveling around our beautiful province.
We ended up in Orillia and
were intrigued to see
the downtown filled with
wonderful artistic 'chairs'.
Not quite sure what they 
were about but it seems that
people could vote for their
favourites and that they
would end up being auctioned off.

Here is just one example...


- - - - - - - - -

And finally...I have just discovered a really fun blog and must send you over to see Cy's rock pool in a fish bowl project HERE.  It's stitched and is absolutely wonderful fun!  Be sure you scroll down to see all the details!

Saturday, September 08, 2012

33 years ago today....


....
this man married me.

33 years,
and they said it wouldn't last!!

I think I'll keep him.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Pretties, and a request



Here's a virtual bouquet of flowers,
to you, from me,
with love!

- - - - - 

Now for the request part of this post.  Do any of you happen to know where I could get a really nice pattern or tutorial for making a hussif?  I'm trying to compile ideas because I have committed myself to teach a 2 day workshop in crazy quilting next winter for our local quilt guild.  They would like to end up with a useful project (rather than 'just' a block).  I've toyed with the obvious (tote bag or pillow but I think everybody has all they need of those!) and have now gotten myself stuck on the idea of a hussif.  Something that is much more than just an ordinary needlebook - one that would hold all sorts of necessary sewing items in a pretty way.  The pattern has to be relatively simple because I suspect I will be teaching different levels of sewing ability and the actual putting together portion of the class would need to be done on their own, but I also want the finished article to be pretty.  Any suggestions or ideas or places I should check out?  Please leave any suggestions in the comments so we can all benefit.  

Thanks!!


Tuesday, September 04, 2012

A revisitation

Some of you may remember this piece from awhile ago, which remained unfinished but never out of mind.  It's from an online course by Carole Brungar called 'The Road To My House'.  Other things came up and I never got around to actually finishing it - along with the fact that there is limited wall space in our apartment.  What to do?

Well, sez I, why couldn't I more or less combine the ledger class AND the 'Road' class into one?  So I have cut (gulp) the wall hanging into three pieces which will fit absolutely perfectly into my ledger (meant to be, some would say).  I worked on the first section today.....


This is by no means completed!

Go HERE to visit Carole.

Monday, September 03, 2012

Feathers?

Did you know that it was possible
to paint pictures on 
real honest-to-goodness
feathers?

Here's proof...






Sorry about the reflection of the overhead light in the glass.  We purchased this wonderful piece of local art at an outdoor show over the weekend.  We had seen her work before and regretted not having snapped up one of her pieces.  Luckily we found her again and we both fell for this one.  I think if you click on the picture you should be able to embiggen it so you can see the details better.