A blog about my interests, which include fabric landscapes and various and assorted other artsy pursuits and sometimes known to contain mumblings of a random nature.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Bad day

I'll probably be gone from here for a few days while we tend to family things. Jacks brother-in-law was killed this morning, so we're pretty much in an upset mode and not really coping very well. So, I'll be back, but maybe not until next week.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

a yucky day

It's just plain yucky outside today. Half raining and cold east wind. Brrr. brighten things up, I thought I'd post a picture of one of my African violets which is in full bloom. Pretty, isn't it. I took this one to the restaurant where we have breakfast every Saturday morning in trade for a couple of pot-bound, really sick looking ones. I seem to have pretty good luck starting new ones, so I have promised they will get them back at some point. I really don't know why I'm able to grow them because, according to the books, I do absolutely everything wrong!

Today I plan to start cutting out the latest jacket. Went to Fabricland this morning and picked up the flannelette for the lining. I indulged myself and actually got the bright green I've been drooling over! I figure that it will be ok, because by the time the rag look is 'out' so will the lime green craze. There 'is' a method in my madness...sometimes!

Friday, April 21, 2006


Isn't this beautiful? I don't know the name of the plant, but it's some sort of cactus. The leaf these flowers are on, is broken part way through and it still blooms! It has already had a single flower and this time there are three. They start out as little non-descript pinkish flowers and you think that is all there will be to it. Then they keep growing and eventually end up looking like this. Each flower is about three inches long. No smell, but they don't need to have when they are this pretty.

Today I have most of my clothesline full of old jeans and jackets that are waiting to be entered into my denim stash. It's going to take me a whole day to cut it all up so that it works in my storage system. There's no sense in me keeping the holey or stained parts...I just don't have the room in my 'studio'! I guess I had better get sewing so I can use some of them up!!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Another art doll

Meet Doll-e-Pardon, the floozie fairy. She is definitely a trollop, in more ways than one. She sports numerous words on her body all referring to being a 'loose woman' (had to consult the thesaris for some of them!). Her body is made from some recycled wild fabric probably dating back to the 70's (most likely was a caftan). I picked the material up at a Value Village and squirrelled it away for a doll someday and Doll-e was it. She has old watch faces for her 'boobs' complete with dangling twirlers. Her wings were another experiment...organza fabric for the base, with wire for supports. I zig-zagged over the wire a couple of times. Her hair is another hairpiece with fibres added. Her cheek tatoo is an of the ones made from shrink plastic. She lounges in her lawn chair, just waiting for a man.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

the first 'art' doll

Today's picture is of the first 'art doll' I made. She came from an elinor peace bailey pattern and is quite the granny, sitting in her rocking chair. Her hair began as a hairpiece (from the dollar store) and I added a bunch of varying fibres to liven it up a bit. Her hat is a felted piece of wool that I moistened with a white glue/water mixture and then shaped. Poor dolly has a couple of old hat pins rammed into her head to hold the hat on (ouch). Her shawl is a garage sale find and I'm told it is something that women wear over their hair when they are in church. Made a perfect shawl anyway. It was my first attempt at making fingers and I'm fully aware that I need to spend some time practicing. They turned out much too big. I don't think you can see in the picture, but she has funky blue nail polish too.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Knitting Olympics purse

This is a picture of the purse I did for the Knitting Olympics. It is made from 1/2" strips of recycled denim, tied together and then treated as wool. My challenge was knit with denim fabric and to use circular needles, both firsts. It was a learning experience! My first problem was that I overlooked the circular knitting directions where it said to "be sure not to twist your cast-on stitches" (that's not important because you can just flip them around, right?...NOT!). I discovered the error of my ways after I had knitted several inches and held it up to admire. Ooops. Had to frog-stitch that. The second try went much better, however I discovered that knitting with 'tough' fibre such as denim is not easy on arthritic fingers! Needless to say, I won't be making another any time in the near future.

Hopefully you can see on the picture (click on it to enlarge) that the handles are made from the double-stitched seam part of the jeans, braided. The top of the purse is the waistband. I lined it inside with some flannelette from my stash.

I had originally thought of using it as a knitting bag..but...the thing weighs a ton all on its own, without putting anything inside it!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Another finished UFO!

Here's more proof that I'm working on my UFO pile. This is a finished Victorian Needle Box which I made using a kit from 'Charted Imagery'. I got the kit at the Toronto Needlework Festival a couple of years ago and finally got around to working on it. Purple and green are the colours of my workroom so it looks nice sitting on my table. It was a fun kit to put together and the instructions were pretty clear. Not only did I finish the project, but I also actually took the pictures AND loaded them onto my blog...all by myself. Now I know that doesn't sound like a huge deal, but to me (and to anyone who knows me) it is!

I'm having a real battle with myself at the moment trying not to succumb to starting another knitting project. I picked up the nicest yarn at Michaels on the weekend to make a baby jacket and found a cute (and free) pattern on the Coats & Clark site ( I don't know if the baby will be a boy or a girl, so I got the wool in a colour called "aquamarine" which should be OK for either. The baby isn't due til July 23rd (maybe might be born on my birthday?!) so I have a bit of time. I start the jacket or do I do some more UFO's? What to do, what to do....

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Internet was down

My internet was down for several days, hence my lack of posts. Amazing how out-0f-touch I felt too. It's funny how dependant we become on computers!

Yesterday we had our family get-together here and, being a potluck, we all ate far too much. Even trying a little bit of everything leads to a plate that's much, much too full! Too bad the boys weren't here, because they would have cleaned a lot of it up.

Today we went to a garden show, which was great. It's fun to see all the nice growing things and think about how our garden will look once it starts. Hopefully I will be able to post some pictures later on so everybody can see what Jack works so hard at.

I really wish we were rich though...there was a wonderful decorative art piece at the show I would have brought home. They use bottoms from wine bottles and various 'bits' of wood, metals and whatever to create wonderful collages. They also make wind chimes using bottoms of bottles, which the lady said they heat in a kiln and then form. Really cool stuff, but at $189 for one of the collages they are a little steep for my budget!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Crazy Quilt Round Robin Bag

My friend Kym was here for a 'sew day' today and very graciously installed my software for the digital camera!'s what I hope will be the first of many more pictures of what-I-do-when-I-should-be-doing-housework. This is the completed crazy quilt purse that my group worked on as a round robin. I am absolutely thrilled with the end result! I think (hope!) that you can click on the pictures and get an enlarged version so you can see the detail. I have a very talented group of friends and I love what they did on this.

Finished another UFO yesterday and worked on another while Kym was here. Just have a bit of finishing to do on it, and another one bites the dust. I'm on a roll! I'm eyeing my bead knitted half doll, but shudder when I think about having to transfer all those beads from the skeins. Wish I could wave my magic wand and have that part done!

Kym and I hit the dollar store this afternoon and scored some pretty cool stuff. Even got some Christmas shopping done!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Why, oh why?

Todays pictures are of a couple of teddy bears I made, using old fur coats. They were both special orders and very fun to do.

To explain the title of this particular post...why, oh why are computers so complicated? The first disaster (if you choose to call it that) is that, when Shawn tried to install the program for the new digital camera, the computer locked up and absolutely refused to do anything. He, being computer literate, backed up and re-installed. Problem solved..right? Wrong! Still didn't work. Ok, so I can keep trying (even though I have NO clue what I'm doing!). Problem two...why, oh why when one thing is changed on your computer does it have to affect something else? My carefully noted instructions on how to scan pictures and post them here are no longer valid. Suddenly what WAS there, isn't. So....after much use of creative language, I think I got that figured out (again).

I swear, there's a gremlin living in this thing...

Monday, April 10, 2006

Busy weekend, busy Monday

Sorry folks, no pictures today. I haven't had time to scan anything and have yet to have time to play enough with the digital camera to post pictures. It's been a busy few days! First, we had our boys home for the weekend (with all the muss and fuss that entails...mainly laundry!!). I have yoga class on Monday mornings and our local quilt guild meeting this afternoon. The Guild meeting is always quite hectic. I'm the librarian and in charge of approximately 350 books, which explains why things can get so hectic. I will be giving that position up in June, so am looking forward to actually enjoying the meetings for awhile.

We had some wonderful quilts on display for our show and share this time. Some of the ladies are SO talented! With two hundred members, I guess it stands to reason there might be some pretty good quilters. I certainly can't count myself among them! 'Sane' quilting is not my thing...I much prefer crazy quilting, which I suppose fits my personality better. Doesn't stop me from loving what other people do though.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Another picture

This picture is of the small wallhanging (18x18") which I donated to 'The Quilt: A Breast Cancer Support Project" in 2005. It sold for what I thought was an obscene amount of money, but I was delighted to be able to donate to the cause. I have done this for several years and intend to continue as often as I can. I donated another one in January of this year, but unfortunately the pictures of it are still in my camera waiting to be developed. I'll post one if they turn out!

Got our final estimate for our bathroom today and it looks like its a 'go'. I can't wait! Living with a bathroom that is straight out of the 50's just isn't my style. It wouldn't be so terribly bad if it weren't pink (yeew) and if it didn't have a full wall devoted to mirror! Who wants to see THAT much of their body when they get out of the shower, particularly at our age!!

Now I'm off to attack another one of my UFO's. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Another UFO bites the dust!

Yahoo, I finished another of my UFO's yesterday. I can't remember exactly when I started this, but it has to be over two years ago (dare I admit that?). It's difficult to tell in the picture, but the purse itself is about two inches long. Now I'm facing the same sort of project, but a skirt for a half doll, which requires two hanks of beads (the purse only took less than one). I have to muster my courage to start. Even just stringing those many beads gives me the heebie-jeebies.

We had the fellow from Home Depot here this morning to give us an estimate on our bathroom. They will do it all, including the painting! Only trouble is that they have to actually take the walls right back to the studs. I refuse the think about the mess that plaster dust will make all over the house and will fix my sights on the finished product. Can't wait. Pink gone!!!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Another Picture!

After much mucking about, I think I've got this putting pictures in the blog thing. Although, maybe I had better not speak too soon! Pride most often goeth before a fall.

Shawn called last night to tell me he had picked up my digital camera, which will be a whole new learning curve. I'm hoping for more 'instant' pictures for my blog, so I suppose it will be worth the money. It's ok if I can scan what I want to post, but things like this jean jacket are just too big for that system. Waiting for a film to be developed from my 35mm can be frustrating because sometimes it takes me months to finish a film. I want instant 'show-off-ability' (I know that's not a word, but it covers what I want to say).

I've had a couple of requests to see one of the jackets I make from recycled denim, so here is a picture. I made this one several months ago. My next project is to attempt to make a below-knee length, more dressy version of the same thing. Stay tuned!

Monday, April 03, 2006

I'm still confused!

Of course, when I think about it, being confused is a pretty normal state for me. I don't know how I muddled through with posting a picture last time. I wanted to do it again, and for the life of me I can't remember what I did, hence my state of confusion. I'll keep trying though and see what happens. Should I be lucky enough to have it work...the picture is of a little purse I made for our CQTeers group challenge.

To make matters even worse..I have a digital camera on order. Oh dear.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Magpie's Mumblings

Interesting Day
Today we had our usual Saturday morning breakfast out and then made a trip to Home Depot to look at 'stuff' for our new bathroom. Fun, but hard to envision what things will actually look like when they get put together. We already had our main pieces picked out, but had to settle on taps, towel rods, paint colours and such. We ended up going for the brushed nickel look for the taps, etc and some rather dark laminate flooring. The walls will be partially white beadboard with green on top. Hopefully it will all look good together. Can't wait!

Then I managed to con Jack into stopping at both Chapters AND Michaels! Didn't find either of the books I was looking for at Chapters (really wanted the new Mason-Dixon knitting one, but they didn't have it)...but....I did get my own private personal (mine, mine, all mine!) copy of 'Pockets, Pullouts and Hiding Places'! Now the library won't have to accuse me of having their copy out on semi-permanent loan!!

At Michaels I scored a number of things (but only one was something I actually went there to get). I got a set of cool paper shapers scissors; an embossing pad & a thing of powder; and four rubber stamps for $1.50 each!! Not bad. I went looking for something called 'gel medium' and ended up getting two things...something called 'Decoupage & Collage Gel' and some 'Memory Mount'. Dunno if they will do the trick, but will experiment later.

Tomorrow we have to be up early because Bell is coming to install ExpressVu TV. Not quite sure what the neighbours will think if they start drilling into our brick outside TOO early in the morning!