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.

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,
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


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


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?

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 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
magazine giveaway



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


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.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Latest denim jacket...

Today I delivered the latest recycled denim jacket to the new owner and she graciously allowed me to take her photo and also gave me permission to share it here.

here's Irene,
sporting a creation by MA...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Want to join in a fun game?

I stumbled across a fun blogging game and it's something I absolutely HAVE to take part in!

Do you have a spare glass jar?
How about some ORT's?

WHAT?  You mean you don't know what ORT's are??
Tsk, tsk!

ORT's are those pesky little bits of 'Old Ratty Threads'
you end up with when you're sewing.
You know the ones...the clippings, the throwaways.


Monday, November 28, 2011

Beautiful things....

First of all,
here is our beautiful
daughter in law
wearing her 
new scarf...

The scarf is a really quick knit (even for me - notoriously SLOW) - I actually knitted it in one day!



Baked and decorated by the
beautiful d-i-l!!

Don't you think she's a keeper?

Oh yeah - and the cake's all gone

Monday, November 21, 2011

Saturday, November 19, 2011


Finally, the winner of the 'GreenCraft Magazine' giveaway (after the highly scientific method of writing each name on pieces of paper, shaking them mightily, and getting DH to draw) is...........

I need your snail mail addy Kaite and I'll pop it into the mail for you next week. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Temari ball

 Today I was given this beautiful temari ball.  I don't know if the pictures do it complete justice, but hopefully you can see the details.  It's amazing that the ball is wound with something as small as sewing thread and then embroidered with the design.  The design thread in this case is metallic.

Don't forget to enter my giveaway from the previous post.  You have until Saturday to leave a comment on that post.  Scroll down for more details!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I got nuttin, so how about this?

I haven't been home long enough to do much of anything that would be classified as 'creative'.  I could post a picture of my clean bathroom, but I don't suppose that would excite you.  I've cut out some fabric that I can't show because it's for a gift.  I bought some cool yarn, but can't show that either. 


How about a giveaway?

Let me see, what will I have you do in order to get an entry?  I know - how about telling us what your absolute favourite Christmas present was and why?  Leave your answer on this post only and I'll draw for a winner on  Nov. 19th. 

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

a book review

I picked this book up at the library and have really enjoyed 
reading it cover to cover.

Part of the description on the back cover... " Twelve quilters participated in a two-year-long international virtual collaboration.  Each created a 12x12 inch art quilt every two months based upon a particular theme, such as "dandelion" or "shelter".  This lavishly illustrated book showcases all 144 quilts..."

I found the whole thing to be fascinating.  I like the concept of doing a virtual exchange (nothing to get lost in the mail).  Each of the artists has written a chapter in the book talking about their own experiences during the collaboration.  It's quite interesting to follow their thoughts on both the process and the way they each interpreted the twelve different themes.  This book is definitely going on my personal wish list.

Specs:  "Twelve by Twelve - The International Art Quilt Challenge",  published by Lark Crafts, c 2011, ISBN:  13-978-1-60059-666-7

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Great mail and stitching...

I received a lovely surprise in the mail yesterday
from Pam Kellogg....a pretty brooch
in my favourite colours!

Isn't it pretty? 
Thank you SO much Pam!!

I finally completed one section of my
Road To My House wallhanging!

Please keep in mind that these are my first attempts at free-motion stitching!

Monday, November 07, 2011


This weekend we had #2 son and his wife home
and I'm now the proud owner of these...

As you can see, the common denominator in both of these is Eeyore.  I have no clue why I'm a fan of Eeyore but I've always liked his character.  These are both Hallmark pieces - the top one is a tree ornament and the bottom one is porcelain (although the blanket is fabric and the little tassels on the Snowbaby are 'real').  So cute!! 

Friday, November 04, 2011

Thrifting find

Sometimes a goldmine will pop up when you're thrifting and other times it's a complete and total waste of time.  Yesterday I stumbled upon a really ugly necklace although the colour intrigued me and it looked as though it might have some useable beads*.  Upon further inspection the main element of the necklace was what made me run right to the cash register and pay whatever they wanted! 


Isn't that a gorgeous button? 
The photo definitely doesn't do the shine and
sparkle justice. 
The beads in the necklace were just an added bonus.
* just a little sidenote - if you are in need of beads to add to your
collection, keep in mind that purchasing used necklaces 
often yields great beads FAR cheaper than
buying them packaged and sold as beads.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Great mail day!

I was a lucky winner of a giveaway that Patty did on her blog and this arrived in the mail...

Specs:  'Collage Discovery Workshop: Beyond The Unexpected' by Claudine Hellmuth, published by North Light Books, ISBN 1-58180-678-7

Sorry about the dark picture - it's nighttime here and it didn't photograph well. 

Patty also included a fun handmade card...

Thank you Patty, I will enjoy reading the new addition to my library and the card is already pinned up on my inspiration board.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Not a Halloween costume!

but my handsome husband!

Real men DO blow bubbles!

Monday, October 31, 2011

A change of pace...

Two pillows made from denim squares
cut from bits that are too small to use
in my jackets.  

Friday, October 28, 2011

Another one!

Another one done!
This one is for a man so has been made
shorter in the body and has less
in the way of 'decoration'.

One thing I've discovered about apartment
living is the 
lack of places to photograph things. 

I'm going to have to do some thinking about that!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fun mail

Recently I was lucky enough to win an ephemera  giveaway from Yvonne and here's a look at the goodies that have arrived in my mailbox (sorry about the dark's been a dark day here)....
I was expecting an envie filled with paper bits, but this is so much more!  There are three old maps from National Geographic magazine (I need a new art journal and I think I will be using one of these to cover it);  some music paper; fall leaves; wooden buttons; four beautifully crocheted flowers; there are two tree themed quilt blocks; and a lovely little journal book.  Such fun!  Thank you so much Yvonne!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

CQTeers and ATC's

Today was our monthly CQTeers meeting and, as usual, we consumed far too much chocolate and had far too much fun gabbing and showing off our latest creations.  This time the theme for our atc swap was 'silhouettes' and here's a photo....

The two on the upper left were made by Irene (one is in the style of Monika Aebisher).  The two on the bottom left were made by Sue and the ones on the upper and lower right were mine.  We are amassing quite a collection of atc's - little works of art that are so much fun to do.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


I hate shopping, unless it happens to be in places like a fabric store or Michaels.  Today I got to visit both.  I went in quest of zippers for my jean jackets, but came home with several other things. 

There's enough of these two yarns to make two pairs of felted slippers.
There's a half metre of the beaded trim and approximately
the same amount of that gold 'stuff'.  I have NO idea what
it is actually meant for, but I couldn't resist.

Magpies LIKE sparkly things!!

And, aren't these the cutest little owl buttons?
They just have so much personality.  

No idea what I will end up doing with them but they had to come home with me anyway.

All that, and I got the zippers too!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Mumbling again

The Creativ Festival ended up being rather a disappointment.  I've missed going for two or three years and was quite surprised to see that the entire size of the show has been cut in half.  Whether that is simply a sign of the times or because the cost of having a booth at the show is too high, I don't know.  Having half the space meant that everything was crammed in; the aisles between the displays were narrow too.  Several of the vendors that I particularly like weren't there at all.  The major sewing machine companies were represented but without the space they formerly had.  The machines looked all scrunched together and it wasn't at all an invitation to test them out. 

I only purchased two things.  This lovely trim caught my eye.  It will most likely be torn apart
 for the pretty flowers. 

This book was on my wish list before I went so I felt lucky to find a copy.  Whitework has fascinated me for a long time so I know this book will be a good read. 

Specs:  'A-Z of Whitework" - Book 1, published by Country Bumpkin Publications,  C2007, ISBN 9-9757094-9-6

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Today I've spent trying to compress 'stuff' into less space so they're more easily moveable. 

No, we're NOT moving again but it's going to feel like it!!

'The Man' is supposed to be coming next week to install the new baseboards (we've only been waiting since summer!).  That's a good thing, right?  Well, when I sit down and contemplate the amount of sheer WORK this is going to entail, I'm not so sure I even want baseboards at all!!  Every single piece of furniture (and their innards) will have to be moved out of the way and put somewhere (hah!!).  Not only that, I expect there will be a ton of dust created out of all this because there's nowhere to cut the boards other than the middle of the living room floor.  Oh, and did I mention that the closets will have to be emptied too? 

Give me strength

On to another subject that doesn't raise my blood pressure so much.

Remember me mentioning the thrift store trip we made a couple of weeks ago?  You don't?  Well then, proves how forgettable my mumblings are.  Anyway....I lucked out and found this book.

It's a collection of some of the articles from the first 29 issues of 'Threads' magazine....illustrated with tons of colour pictures.  There are articles on battenberg lace, shisha, samplers, net darning, freestyle embroidery, drawn threadwork, crewel, needle lace and lots more.  Fascinating reading!

Specs on the book:  'Stitchery and Needle Lace" from Threads Magazine;  published by Taunton Press, c1991;  ISBN: 1-56158-010-4

I won't be posting tomorrow because I'm off to the Creativ Festival in Toronto!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Stitching, and eye candy, and stuff of interest....

* * * * * * * * *, here's today's efforts at stitching in the Frankenstich way

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Outside my zone of comfort, but fun!!

This week I'm concentrating on the Frankenstitch class I'm taking with Arlee and here are the results of my playing today...

Frankenstitch is a form of stitching that Arlee has developed to add texture (and a great deal of interest) to her embroidered pieces.  I'm more of a perfectionist with my stitching so this format is quite different for me. 

I've decided to do each of the techniques as a sort-of sampler which may or may not become a book when I'm done.  Or?????

Monday, October 17, 2011

Final pieces of stitching

These are the final pieces of free-motion stitching that will be going on my wallhanging. Every element I've stitched has some special meaning for me.  I won't be posting any more photos until it's all done so you'll have to wait & see what it will turn out like.

p.s. - in case you're wondering....the bottom 'bit' will have flowers hand stitched on top of the wonky stems and leaves I did with the machine.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

more stitchings -

And I haven't sewn my fingers - yet!!

Friday, October 14, 2011

More houses

Today I actually did some sewing and made these houses....

Each one represents a house I have lived in during my life.

Free motion stitching is entirely foreign to my nature, but my husband recognized the houses I was trying to depict so I guess I'm not that terrible at it.  Either that or they were lucky guesses on his part!!


These are being done for the online class 'Road to My House' given by Carole Brungar.  I will show you some of the elements I am including, but you won't be able to see the finished product until the end.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


I thought you might get a kick out of seeing my first attempt at free-motion stitching for the 'Road To My House' class I'm doing online with Carole Brungar.  Methinks I need a bit lot more practice!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Potatoes, hot pots, and chocolate shoes

I'll bet that post title raised a whole bunch of interesting
possibilities in your mind!

First up, I've had a request for the recipe for
the Hash Brown Casserole
we made for Thanksgiving.

so, here it is....

2 lb. bag of hash browns, defrosted
2 cups sour cream
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
3/4 cup fine chopped onion
1 tin of cream of chicken soup
2 cups cornflakes, crushed a bit
1/2 cup melted butter or margarine

Place combined ingredients in a large casserole dish.  Sprinkle with crushed cornflakes (or any unsweetened  cereal you prefer).  Drizzle with the melted butter.  Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, uncover and bake for 30 minutes more.  Enjoy!

Next up, is about hot pot...
Our #2 son Shawn  and his wife Winnie were home for Thanksgiving
and treated us by cooking us 'hot pot',
which we ate with chopsticks.  Yummy!!

Finally, a chocolate shoe!
Winnie brought this for me
and I don't want to eat it!!

Doesn't it look amazing??

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Cabinets and denim

Because today was spent doing mundane things like grocery shopping and laundry, obviously nothing creative got done.  In the interest of having at least SOMETHING to mumble about I took these two photos.

The first one shows the new cabinet I picked up on my thrifting expedition.   It's hard to tell from this but it fits exactly under my cutting table (without a bit of space to spare!).  My Cloth,Paper, Scissors magazines and my Quilting Arts magazines are in the bottom, and my Sew Somersets are on the shelf above.  When I find where I've put my other ones (!!) I'll be able to fit them in too.  It's perfect for the space and exactly what I was looking for.  Yay!

Above is the pile of denim pockets and design elements I came home with.  Of course they just HAPPEN to be attached to full pairs of jeans which I will now have to find a space to store until I can get them used up.

This weekend is our Canadian Thanksgiving and I rather doubt I will get a chance to post over the next few days.  If it's your Thanksgiving, have a good (and safe) one!