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, May 30, 2015

Friday, May 29, 2015

Updates - times two

First of all, thank you all for expressing your concern and prayers for our building superintendent who was shot in that incident last night.  The latest information we have is that he was airlifted to Toronto (our nearest big city) and is in stable condition.  The shooter is still at large, but police divers have recovered the gun from the river that runs past our buildings.  There was a very large police presence around our buildings for much of the day.

Apparently our super got into an altercation with a moron who was walking around with open beer - against the law - which culminated in him being shot twice at close range.  We live in a smallish town and I know we have our fair share of morons here, but these sorts of things are quite rare and certainly not in broad daylight in an area that is primarily retirees.  Certainly rocks the world you think is safe!

Now, on to better things....

Because our parking lot was cordoned off most of the day, I wasn't able to go anywhere so I was able to get a little stitching done on the hussif...

The seam to the left is simply a piece of flowered trim with some little ball trim on each side for additional interest.  The seam to the right is done with pearl cotton.  The cat (a brooch) was discovered on our last thrifting expedition and is absolutely perfect for this project.  The recipient has a cat we jokingly call 'The Cat From H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks' and doesn't this one look the part?  He's not stitched down as yet and will end up having beads for eyes.  I'm working on another section, but will save that to show you later.

Today the quote is from the Dalai Lama..... "We live very close together.  So, our prime purpose in this life is to help others.  And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them"

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Progressing along

I've done a little bit more on the hussif as you can see from the photo...

The coins on the upper seam treatment are held down with beads that are quite reminiscent of jade.  Below that is a narrow seam treatment done using my favourite waste canvas.  To the right of the tree the seam was done with the aid of the wonderful stencils by SharonB.

Some of you will remember that a few weeks ago I was invited to judge a crazy quilt competition at one of the local quilt guilds.  Last night I was presented with a lovely thank you gift which will enjoy pride of place in my sewing studio...

Thank you Chrissie!!

We just had a scary incident in front of our buildings - one of our building superintendents was shot.  There's a massive police presence outside and we have been told to stay inside (which we are very happily doing).  Our super is alive, but has been shot twice.   I guess our safe little town, really isn't all that safe after all.  Of course we know that it's an isolated incident, but it rather shakes your faith in how safe your neighbourhood really is. 

Today's quote is from J.M. Barrie.... "Shall we make a new rule of life from tonight:  always to try to be a little kinder than is necessary"

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Public service announcements

First off all - our local quilt guild is having their show this weekend and the info is as follows...

Lindsay Creative Quilters' Guild
"Quilted Treasures" Quilt Show
Saturday, May 30 and Sunday, May 31, 2105
Lindsay Curling Club, 18 Peel Street, Lindsay
10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. both days
Quilt Exhibits, Members Boutique, Vendors, Scissor Sharpening, Tea Room
Admission $5.00

If you live anywhere in the Lindsay (Ontario, Canada!) area, you might want to check the show out.  If it's anything like previous ones, it will be a good one.

Today your quote is from Leo Buscaglia.... "Life is a paradise for those who love many things with a passion"

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Thrifting finds

We had to do a run to Costco yesterday and it so happens that we have to (note the HAVE TO part of the equation!!) drive right by a Value Village thrift store.  While we were there two things jumped off the shelves and landed in my cart....

Isn't he just the cutest teapot ever?  I have absolutely NO need for another teapot (technically this little fellow wouldn't work well as a real teapot anyway....his little hat comes off and it's nigh onto impossible to stuff a teabag into the tiny little hole, much less get it out again once it's wet and has expanded).   No matter, he makes me laugh every time I look at him, so he had to come home with us.

Some of you know I have an ongoing quest to find interesting books about embroidery for my collection and this little beauty jumped into my cart too.  It's a wonderful reference book and also has a number of patterns inside, one or two of which I already plan to utilize on my latest hussif.  
Specs:  'The Cross Stitcher's Bible' by Jane Greenoff; published by David & Charles, c 2000,  ISBN  0-7153-0929-3

Monday, May 25, 2015

More progress....

As I mentioned last time, I wasn't happy with my first tree effort on the hussif, so it's subsequently been replaced.  Not that this one is a whole lot better, but in real life it shows up better than in the photo. 

The tree is worked with straight stitches and the trunk is chain.  The seam to the left is a wrapped back stitch and there are lazy daisy stitches surrounding the rice pearl beads. 

Today's quote is from an anonymous source... "Don't look where you fall, but where you slipped"

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

One step forward, many more back

The progress on the hussif was rather dismal today.  As you can see, all I accomplished (that's fit to show anyway) is a little panda face....

I spent a couple of hours stitching a tree, and then promptly reverse stitched it.  I use tissue paper to create patterns and stitch over top of it.  I thought the colours I had chosen for the tree would be okay, but once the tissue was removed the tree faded into the background too much.  I should have remembered to take a picture before I ripped it all out and shown you a 'how-not-to' post.  Oh well, tomorrow I will re-stitch it and hope it looks MUCH better!! 

Today the quote is from anonymous.... "When nothing goes right, go left" 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Several things

I have a bit more done on the latest hussif and thought I'd show you...

Yes, I know there's nothing even remotely Oriental about Winnie the Pooh!!  However, my daughter-in-love happens to like Pooh Bear AND her name is Winnie.  Of course there had to be a 'Winnie' on her hussif, don't you think?  She also likes tea, so the little tea pot and cups reflect that.  (and yes, he is standing straight on the hussif!)

Today your quote is from Winston Churchill ... "It is a mistake to try to look too far ahead.  The chain of destiny can only be grasped one link at a time."

Friday, May 15, 2015

A little more progress....

Today I made a little more progress on the new hussif.  Actually, I've done a bit more than this, but right now it looks rather like a 'blob' of cross stitching that has no meaning, so you will have to wait and see what it will become.  In the meantime...

Some sections of this hussif won't be embroidered because the pattern in the fabric is already perfect, as you can see here.  All I've added is a simple cross stitch seam treatment at the bottom, some whipped buttonhole stitch on the upper right, along with the recipients name (another use for waste canvas!).  I don't think she reads my blog, so it's safe. 

Today the quote is from Terri Guillemets...."With arms outstretched, I thank.  With heart beating gratefully, I love.  With body in health, I jump for joy.  With spirit full, I live"

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A little more done

Had to be up early this morning so I got a little more time today to stitch, as this photo will show...

I did a trapunto treatment on the fan, added a waste canvas cross-stitched 'ox' and added the beaded tree beside the dragon.  I hope that the tree somewhat resembles cherry blossoms - at least that was the intent anyway!!  For those that are interested, the tree 'trunk' is simple whipped back stitch with pearl cotton and the leaves are lazy daisy stitches surrounding cast-on stitch, also done with pearl cotton.    The 'ox' is because the recipient of this hussif was born in 'The Year of the Ox'.

I'm giving you a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson today, and I want to pose a question to you....if there was anyone in history that you would like to meet, who would that be?  For me, it would be Mr. Emerson...  

.... "To laugh often and much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty;  to find the best in others;  to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.  This is to have succeeded"

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

There be dragons!

Well, just one dragon, but that's okay. 

Cross stitched, using waste canvas

I put this little guy on the Oriental hussif I'm working on.

Today the quote is from Beverly Sills... "You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don't try"

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Happy Mother's Day weekend!

(for some reason, Bloggrrrrr is having a hissy fit and won't let me set up this post properly!  So - sorry - but it looks like you will have to get your quote of the day at the beginning, rather than the end).

Today's quote is from Elizabeth Stone.... "Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body".

Happy Mother's Day to all of you!

Look what arrived this morning, courtesy of #2 son and daughter-in-love!  I'm definitely a lucky mom!!

                                    #1 son and daughter-in-love had planned to take both mothers to a lovely big greenhouse tomorrow, but we've had to decline.  Neither DH or I feel our allergies can cope with an influx of scented flowers and plants at the moment.  It would have been such a lovely outing though.  Hopefully once the allergies straighten up and fly right, we can re-schedule our trip.                                          


Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Food? Did somebody mention food???

It's been a long time since I've shared a recipe with you and, because there's been precious little stitching of interest going on at Chez Magpie, I thought it might be about time.  'Resident Chief Cook' (better known as DH) found, and perfected, a really delish banana bread that we've been eating altogether too much of.  Well, can we help it if bananas keep insisting on getting too brown to eat out of hand?  Can't let 'em go to waste, you know...

(Chez Magpie Style)

1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
4 teaspoons vanilla
5 cups all purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
3 teaspoons baking soda
8 ripe bananas, mashed
2 cups coconut milk (canned version)
2 cups shredded coconut
chocolate chips, optional (REALLY??)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease 3 loaf pans.
In mixer bowl combine oil & sugar; add eggs and vanilla & mix.
Combine dry ingredients.
Combine bananas & coconut milk.
Alternately mix dry ingredients & banana mixture into oil mixture.
Fold in coconut.  Evenly divide between 3 loaf pans.
Bake 1 hour and 15 mins (or until toothpick inserted in
center comes out clean).  Cool completely in pans.

Oh, you wanted a picture too?
So sorry.
We ate it all

Today's quote.....  Call your mother. Tell her you love her. Remember, you're the only person who knows what her heart sounds like from the inside. ~Rachel Wolchin

Tuesday, May 05, 2015


There's really no better title for this post than that, because this one will be all over the place in content.  (Better pour a cuppa, because it's going to take awhile!)

First of all, I must thank my blogging friend Christine from 'Patchwork Allsorts' for nominating me for the 'One Lovely Blog Award'.

 The rules are as follows (but we all know that I don't always follow the rules!!)...

In order to accept the award the nominated blogger must: 
   - Thank the person who nominated you and link back to them in your post.
   - Share seven facts about yourself.
   - Nominate 10 other bloggers for the award.

Seven facts, huh?  

1.  I've been married to Jack for nearly 36 years and we have two sons (32 and 30) and two amazing daughters-in-love and now one incredible grandson.

2.  I was a stay-at-home mom and prior to that I worked in banking for a number of years, as well as being a secretary in a high school before that.

3.  We are now retired and live in an apartment building that overlooks our local river.  There's a walking path just outside our building that follows the river to the downtown core (and our favourite coffee shop).  

4.  I was raised on a farm and my playmates were dogs, cats, cattle, pigs and a horse.

5.  I'm an only child and married a man who has 8 siblings.  Talk about culture shock!

6.  I first started into crafting when my aunt came for her yearly visit (I was about 12 I think).  She was crocheting one of those huge single-Granny square afghans and showed me the basic stitches.  I progressed from there into many other forms of craft and am pretty much self-taught.  The advent of the internet opened up a whole realm of possibilities (and interests) in crafting and that's how I learned.  

7.  I am a crazy quilter (but you all know that, don't you).  

Now, according to the rules, I'm supposed to nominate 10 bloggers for this award.  Instead, I'm going to nominate ALL of you!!!   All of my readers are such wonderful people and have such interesting (and fun!) blogs, so how can I pick just ten?  So....I'm throwing down the gauntlet....if you want to play along (or are even just looking for something to write about on your blog), consider yourself nominated!!!!  

Finally, because I know there should be a picture to 'reward' you for all this reading you've been doing, here's the block I just completed with Kathy Shaw's online Beginner's Crazy Quilt Class.  I definitely can recommend her classes to anyone considering trying crazy quilting and even those of us who are versed in the art.  Alas, her latest Basic Beginner's  class registration has closed, but I will be sure to notify when the next one is available.  (According to her website the next Basic class registration will open June 27-29).  

Today your quote is from Tallulah Bankhead...."If I had to live my life again, I'd make the same mistakes, only sooner"

Monday, May 04, 2015

Rudolph? You got company!!

As far as red noses go, I think Rudolph still has me beat, but that's not to say I'm not trying to run a close second!  Be gone, allergies - get thee behind me so I can go outside and not be kept inside like a hothouse plant!

Today the quote is from Florida Scott-Maxwell...."I want to tell people approaching and perhaps fearing age that it is a time of discovery.  If they say "Of What?" I can only answer "We must find out for ourselves, otherwise it won't be discovery"

Saturday, May 02, 2015