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.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

A whole lot of mumbling

Today was a really miserable rainy windy and downright dull day.  It was a nice day to stay inside and enjoy the company of friends.

So....because I was enjoying that company with friends, I have nothing creative to show you today.  

And finally, a couple of notes to some people who left comments and are set to 'no-reply'.... Lesley in UK asked about the availability of my family diary books in UK - Leslie, the cost in postage alone to mail the books to you would make them beyond the reach financially of most people.  If you are truly interested, I would be happy to talk to you about it and you can email me (marmic1954 AT hotmail DOT com)......and there was interest expressed in the slow-cooker potato recipe I showed you.  So, ask and ye shall receive...

4 large baking potatoes, skins on, washed and  patted dry
8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp. each of salt and black pepper
2 T. melted butter
2 T. olive oil
sour cream, for garnish
           Slice each potato crosswise every 1/2 inch, almost but not all the way through.  Shove as many garlic cloves as you can into each slit. Place potatoes into slow clooker.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Combine butter and oil and drizzle over top of each potato, trying to get it into the garlic-filled slits.  Cover and cook on low for about 6 hours, or on high for 2-4 hours.  Top with sour cream to serve.
             - Recipe from 'Make It Fast, Cook It Slow' by Stephanie O'Dea.

Phew.  Now you've made it this far in this post, I will reward you with the daily quote... "The food that enters the mind must be watched as closely as the food that enters the body"  (Pat Buchanan)



Tuesday, October 27, 2015

I'm not a biker but....

This morning I read this and was moved beyond words.  I am not a biker, I never will be a biker, and quite truthfully, they (bikes) terrify me.  Reading this made me stop and think - not only about the dangers inherent in riding a motorcycle, but about the people who ride them.  Not always do they look in a manner that makes us feel comfortable and I'm sure most of us are overly quick to judge.  I think maybe, after reading this, I will  be more thoughtful.

I saw you hug your purse closer to you in the grocery store line.
But you didn't see me put an extra $10.00 in the collection plate last Sunday.
I saw you pull your child closer when we passed each other on the sidewalk.
But you didn't see me playing Santa at the local mall.
I saw you change your mind about going into the restaurant.
But you didn't see me attending a meeting to raise more money for the hurricane relief.
I saw you roll up your window and shake your head when I drove by.
But you didn't see me driving behind you when you flicked your cigarette butt out the car window.
I saw you frown at me when I smiled at your children.
But you didn 't see me when I took time off from work to run toys to the homeless.
I saw you stare at my long hair.
But you didn't see me and my friends cut ten inches off for Locks of Love.
I saw you roll your eyes at our leather coats and gloves.
But you didn't see me and my brothers donate our old coats and gloves to those that had none.
I saw you look in fright at my tattoos.
But you didn't see me cry as my children where born and have their name written over and in my heart.
I saw you change lanes while rushing off to go somewhere.
But you didn't see me going home to be with my family.
I saw you complain about how loud and noisy our bikes can be.
But you didn't see me when you were changing the CD and drifted into my lane.
I saw you yelling at your kids in the car.
But you didn't see me pat my child's hands, knowing he was safe behind me.
I saw you reading the newspaper or map as you drove down the road.
But you didn't see me squeeze my wife's leg when she told me to take the next turn.
I saw you race down the road in the rain.
But you didn't see me get soaked to the skin so my son could have the car to go on his date.
I saw you run the yellow light just to save a few minutes of time.
But you didn't see me trying to turn right
I saw you cut me off because you needed to be in the lane I was in.
But you didn't see me leave the road.
I saw you waiting impatiently for my friends to pass.
But you didn't see me. I wasn't there.
I saw you go home to your family.
But you didn't see me. 

Because, I died that day you cut me off.

A person with friends and a family. 
But you didn't see me.

I don't know the author of this, but if anyone does, please let me know so I can give proper credit.

Monday, October 26, 2015

A mish mash (more commonly known as 'mumblings')

Did you happen to notice anything untoward happening in the sky on the weekend?  Fluffy rose-coloured clouds?  The moon bouncing up and down?  If not, you missed all the excitement at Chez Magpie!

Some of you might remember that I've been spending a large amount of time typing my old family diaries covering the time period between 1869 and 1943.  Book one (called 'Self Doing Naught') was published in 2010 and was approximately 450 pages long.  It was the diary of my great-great grandfather.  After that I started typing the diaries of his son (my great uncle).  I had the first of those books ('Did Little But The Chores') published earlier this year (although it was actually ready for publication a year ago) and it came in at 500 pages.  Phew!

Well, the excitement on the weekend was that I put the last piece of type into those books and now 'Did Little But The Chores - Volume Two' is ready to send off to the publisher.  It was 'only' 340 pages in length!!    Approximately seven years of my life - a labour of love from start to end.  I will miss my daily immersion in farming life of days gone by, but am so happy that I have finished the project.  Guess what - now I have more time to stitch!!

In order to make this post a little bit interesting with a picture, how about I show you what the resident cook (not moi!!!) made for supper last night?

These are garlic-stuffed potatoes - done in the slow cooker.

oooh boy  - were they ever good!!!

Today your quote is from A. A. Milne:  "What is say is that, if a man really likes potatoes, he must be a pretty decent sort of fellow"

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Mumblings today

I don't have much in the way of a picture to show you today, 

Just got back from the dentist and we both had good reports - so what did I do to celebrate?...hmmm.....wonder how those Coffee Crisp chocolate bars got into my hands?  Tsk tsk.

Today your quote is from Will Rogers...."Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip"


Monday, October 19, 2015

The grand reveal!

Here you go - the grand reveal of the fall pillow cover... 

and a couple of closeups...

I think you should be able to click on these to embiggen them.

This morning I had to go and have my eyes checked - a dreaded enterprise as far as I'm concerned.  I have astigmatism, which wouldn't be a huge issue for most people, but I'm one of the 'lucky' ones whose eyes are radically different from each other which makes it interesting.  A year ago when I went, I attempted to explain to the eye dr. that I wasn't able to see to stitch and that I was looking over my glasses in order to be able to function...then I had to look 'through' my glasses in order to see the pattern....back and forth, and forth and back, and a sore neck as a result.  There was a minimal change in my prescription and he said that taking my glasses off to stitch wasn't going to hurt my eyes in any way.  He didn't 'get' that I have to look back and forth between the actual stitching and the pattern.  

This time I carted my embroidery frame and my pattern into the office with me (which caused a great deal of interest throughout...I guess it's not 'normal' for somebody to bring in an embroidery frame...who knew?).  Well, it was a worthwhile venture because now the dr. 'gets' it..yay.  I now have a prescription for an extra pair of glasses that will allow me to see up close on the bottom and a mid-sight for the pattern.  I won't be able to see distance with them, but that's not a huge issue.  Finally - a possible solution that hopefully will work.  I'll know in a couple of weeks after the new ones arrive.

Today your quote is from C.C. Jung.... "The creative mind plays with the object it loves"

Friday, October 16, 2015

Almost done!

You will be happy to know that the fall pillow cover project is almost done (I will be showing you pictures on Monday) and this little fellow was one of the last things I added...

Since I took this photo I added a little acorn for him to hold in his paws.  

Boud posed a question in the comments yesterday asking about the ultimate end for this pillow cover.'s mine, mine, all mine!!   My plan (and for once I actually have one!!) is to end up with  different pillow covers (reflecting the seasons and one for Christmas) that can be changed out as required.  The Christmas one is done, and you will get to see it a little later.

Last night the sky was absolutely incredible - the sun was shining on the treetops across the river and the colours were amazing.  Unfortunately my pictures didn't do it justice, but I thought you might like to see them anyway...

Many of the leaves have already fallen (thanks be to some windy, rainy days). 


Today your quote is from Elizabeth Lawrence.... "Even if something is left undone, everyone must take time to sit still and watch leaves turn"

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Additional progress

Now I can show you some additional progress on my fall pillow cover (which is nearing completion, btw)...

Here I have added a bee and some honeycomb and seam treatments (fall leaves, beaded flowers; and acorns).

In this area I added the crow perched on a pumpkin, a beaded seam treatment, some apple trees, and the macrame spider (thank you Connie!!) and his web.

And, here are the final pictures in the garden journal series (and aren't you glad?!!)....

If you look just to the right of my fingers, the butterfly lifts up, similar to a match book.

This is the final page in the journal and on the left you can see a table and chair - when our garden was featured on the local garden tour, this was a 'setting' at the very back of our property.  DH made the table using an old sewing machine base and he created the top out of cement in an organic shape.  His old gardening hat was pressed into service as a decorative element too, along with a found-on-the-roadside rocking chair.

Today the quote is from Leo Buscoglia.... "A single rose can be my garden - a single friend my world"

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Too busy to take pictures

It's been a busy few days, so my picture taking has been a dismal failure.  So, how about some more garden journal pictures?  I promise I will show you my progress on the pillow later in the week!!

It's difficult to see in the photo, but the page on the right is actually two - there's a small 'page' made with lace that lifts up to show a greeting card designed by one of my favourite artists - Marjolein Bastin.  I actually used several of her greeting cards throughout my journal.

Today's quote is from Isak Dinesen.... "The cure for anything is salt water:  sweat, tears or the sea"


Friday, October 09, 2015

And....we have a winner!!!!

Sorry, it isn't the lottery and there's no money forthcoming, but....

By the uber-scientific method of writing names on
slips of paper, folding them up, putting them in a 
container, and asking DH to pick one...

Christine, your name came up!

Your book will go in the mail as soon as I get your snail mail addy
(well, it'll have to wait until Tuesday because we have our
Thanksgiving weekend coming up).

Today it's dull and spitting rain here, so pictures are not good.  I do have a bit more done on my fall pillow, but will hold off on pictures of that until the conditions are better.

In the's more of the garden journal.... (I know, it's getting boring, eh?)

Throughout the journal, I not only used my own photos from our garden, but also images from greeting cards I had been saving over the years.  You can perhaps see some of them in the photo above and the one to the left.

The page on the right is fabric - woven and stitched with running stitch.  

Your quote today is from Morrie Schwartz...."The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love and to let it come in"


Thursday, October 08, 2015

If at first you don't succeed...

...try, try again.  Well, I'm trying this again in hopes that my picture of my small amount of accomplishment on my fall pillow will post...

Well, yeah!!!!   It worked!  Yesterday I could NOT get this picture to post right-side up no matter what I did.  And now, it worked fine.  Blog-grrrr must have been having a hiccup yesterday.

After all of yesterday's links, I will just show you pictures today, but before I show you any more - don't forget that today is the last day to get your entry in to get your name in the draw for the book.  Go HERE to do that.  Only comments left on that post will be entered, and be sure to give me a way to contact you should you be the lucky winner!

The first picture today is a pair of knitted socks I
just finished.  I just wanted to show you to prove that
there IS actually something creative happening at 
Chez Magpie!

 and now, here's some more pictures of the garden journal...

The photo on the right on this page is from my family, but the girl is unknown.  

Sorry about the fingers, but I had to hold the book open somehow.  And I see that the messy tabletop is showing too.  Ooops.

Another quote from an anonymous source... "Everyone is really standing in a circle, holding hands.  Whatever you give to the person standing next to you, it eventually comes back to you."

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

A bunch of mumblings, and stuff

 here's some more pictures of the garden journal...

Are you sick of it yet??

I did try to have a picture of the progress on my crazy quilt
fall pillow for you today - the picture is on my computer, but
it will not orient itself correctly onto my blog, despite
my best efforts.  Maybe tomorrow.  Fingers crossed!!

This quote came from an anonymous source.... "Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps a singing bird will come"

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

...and they called her the streak.....,

...fastest thing on two feet....
Lookit that, lookit that....

(and now, if you have that song running through your head, I claim no responsibility!!)

Never let it be said that, after 36 years of marriage, I don't still have the ability to shock the daylights out of my husband.  And never let it be said that I don't, at times, even shock myself!!

I got my hair cut.  In and of itself that's no big deal, right?  Well.....coming home with a purple streak in it probably was just a BIT surprising.  ooooops. 

Oh well, sometimes it's fun to set the locals on their ear.

Here's some more pages from my garden journal....

And, don't forget to leave a comment on my previous post
in order to be entered into my giveaway!

And, speaking of comments, I was asked if there was any handmade paper in this journal, and the answer is yes, but not made by moi.

Today the quote is from Emile Zola.... "If you ask me what I came into this world to do, I will tell you:  I came to live out loud"

Friday, October 02, 2015

As promised

This morning we woke up to the realization that summer is over.  It was definitely a 'brrrrr' morning.  I'm in mourning for summer. 

However, in the spirit of the season (at least in this hemisphere) here's a photo of some more progress on my fall pillow cover...

I have added another vine (to the right of the wheat) - just a simple line of whipped backstitch, with bullion & lazy daisy leaves and bead flowers.  There's a new cross-stitched maple leaf, a new seam treatment and some silk ribbon bulrushes.  

And, to continue with the journal series (which, btw, is a re-show of something I created a number of years ago, so isn't new)....

 And, I find myself in possession of a second copy of a book I already have, 

"The Art of Silk Ribbon Embroidery"
by Judith Baker Montano,
c. 1993

Today your quote is from William Penn... "I expect to pass through life but once.  If therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow human being, let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again"    I think, perhaps, we should all make this our personal mantra, especially in light of the horrible loss of life once again in the US.  God bless those who lost their lives and those who are now grieving.  

Thursday, October 01, 2015

More, more, more

(and if you now have the song running through your head, I plead ignorance).

I had every intention of showing you the progress on my fall pillow cover today but the day got away on me and I didn't get photos taken when the light was decent.  So... you're getting  a few more peeks at the pages of my garden journal instead.  So sorry!!

'Henry' (the statue) kept watch over the back garden, so of course his photo had to appear in my journal.

The flower on the left page below was touted as being the 'mystery plant' 
on the local garden tour.  
Unfortunately, it's still a mystery because now I can't remember 
what it was called!!  

I don't know if you can tell, but there's a little 'flappy page' in the middle of these two.  The bicycle paper was originally a paper bag that a local store used to give out when you bought something. 

Today the quote is from Deborah Chaskin.... "Just like the butterfly, I too will awaken in my own time"