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.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work....

Well, I'm not the one going off to work, but it didn't stop me from creating these...

and while I was at it, I made
matching mittens...

The pattern for the socks is 'Get To Work!-Baby Socks' by Laura Sapergia and can be found HERE.  The mittens came from a generic plain baby mitten that I changed the colours around to make them match the socks.

- There is a really sweet little pincushion pattern HERE.  This pattern is definitely a keeper!!  Perfect for gift-giving.

- If you have little ones in your life that want to help out in the kitchen, how about making them an apron?  Go HERE for that.

- I would imagine many of you have the same issue as I do with messy cords lying about.  There's a fun solution HERE that uses up scrap  

- Kathy Shaw has opened registrations for her FREE online traditional quilting class.  Making mug rugs is the perfect way to learn how to sane quilt, as well as creating some useful items that you can either use yourself or give as gifts.  Go HERE for further info (registration closes Aug. 31, so you'll have to hurry!).  

Sometimes someone has a brain wave and wonders why they never thought of it before.  Such is the case with the brilliant solution my DH came up with on the weekend.  We went to the local market and came home with large 'bouquets' of kale and swiss chard.  It, of course, needed to be washed and dried before refrigerating.  DH had a lightbulb moment and you can see the results...

The veggies came with elastics around the stems to hold them together and simply hanging the clumps on the cupboard door handles directly above the sink makes for a perfect drainage system.  Please ignore the messy counter though!

The quote for today came about when I researched possible quotes to reflect brilliant ideas and is from Sue Grafton...."Ideas are easy.  It's the execution of ideas that really separates the sheep from the goats"   I don't think I'll tell DH about this one - he might not like the comparison!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Grandparenting joy!

One of the joys of being grandparents is that we get to do fun things like take our grandson (and his mommy and daddy!) to the zoo.  Yesterday we did just that, and a great time was had by all. 

Grandpa, Daddy & Logan
feeding the giraffe. 

Mommy and Logan
Very first pony ride!

and, just because of the cuteness factor...

Elmvale Zoo, just outside of Barrie (Ontario, Canada - for those not from the area) is a wonderful little zoo and well worth a visit if you live anywhere close.

And, because we can't have a post without mumblings...

- I've discovered several really nice crochet basket variations and those can be found HERE, HERE and HERE.  Great way to use up stash AND perhaps create a few Christmas presents at the same time?

And for those of us who are stitchers, how about checking out the following links|:

 - 17 Needlepoint Eye Stitch variations HERE

-   30 Needlepoint Tied Stitch variations HERE

- Needlepoint Cross Stitch variations HERE

- Needlepoint Leaf   Stitch variations HERE

Don't forget that many of the stitches used for needlepoint can be also used with waste canvas in our crazy quilting projects!!

Today's quote, very fittingly, is about grandparents and comes from Rudy Giuliani... "What children need most are the essentials that grandparents provide in abundance.  They give unconditional love, kindness, patience, humor, comfort, lessons in life.  And, most importantly, cookies"   (and in case you're wondering, yes, we took cookies....some of the ones you saw in my post a couple days ago).  

Friday, August 26, 2016

M & M's

The first 'M' is for mail - and two special things have arrived in my mailbox.  First of all, 'Boud' send me a wonderful postcard with an image of a painting by Alfred Sisley called 'Snow at Louveciennes, originally painted in 1878.  

Thank you Liz!!

And I received this lovely from Patty...

The card fits inside the pouch.  I forgot to take a picture of the mailing envelope she sent it in too - so cool!  Thank you Patty!

And, of course you know that the other 'M' just has to refer to mumblings!!

- Just because this made me laugh, how about checking this out (definitely a paper doll with a difference!!).  Be sure you have a peek at the costumes too.

- for those of you who like calligraphy and perhaps, like me, don't know how to create those lovely letters, there's a great tutorial to do a faux version HERE.

- Kathy Shaw is doing something quite interesting with hexagons and you can read more about that HERE  and she has several patterns available in her Etsy shop HERE.  

- There's a really cute scrappy pincushion tutorial available HERE

- I don't suppose many of us would be anxious to try embroidering on a winter coat, but just look at the results!   

- for the quilters, HERE's a great idea for making sorting pieces for scrappy quilts.  Looks rather brilliant! 

Today your quote is from an unknown source...."Our lives are like quilts - bits and pieces, joy and sorrow, stitched with love"

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Second childhood - or - dotage? Take your pick!

Sorry about being somewhat absent over the past week.  There hasn't been much in the way of stitching being accomplished around here, plus there's been an issue with my camera talking to my computer with any degree of success.  Finally resorted to re-installing the program and eureka!!  Would have been helpful had I thought of that in the first place.

I've been busy though, although there are some that might suggest that I've taken leave of what's left of my mind.  I'm sure those of you with grown children have dealt with the dilemma of them moving away and leaving their 'stuff' in semi-permanent storage with you.  Our boys were pretty good (especially when faced with the threat of what they don't take before we moved to this apartment would get a one-way trip to the dump...funny how that gave them incentive!!).  Anyway, the point of all this (and I do have one, believe it or not) is that one of the few things we kept was a giant tote filled with their Lego.  Our upcoming road trip to visit our #2 son gives us a perfect opportunity to get rid of some of it.  So....good ol' mom (who is actually a closet Lego-lover) hauled the lot out and with DH's help sorted it out.  Then I started to build the kits - or at least as many as I could.  Of course a lot of the pieces were lost over the years (most likely gobbled up by the vacuum).  


This was only one (the biggest) of the kits
I managed to pretty much put together.

Now that tote, and its contents will be outta here!

While I was doing all that (it *only* took me four days!!), DH was pottering about in the kitchen creating these...

These are our trail mix cookies which will be taken on our trip and serve as breakfast food.  For those of you who might be interested in a healthy cookie, here's the recipe...

(this makes a LOT!!)

4 c. all purpose flour
2 tsp. EACH baking powder & baking soda
1 tsp. salt
4 c. large flake rolled oats
4 c. Trail Mix (see below)
2 c. margarine
1 c. EACH white & brown sugar
(Note: we only use 3/4 c. of each sugar)
4 eggs, beaten
4 T. water
4 tsp. vanilla
Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda & salt.  Cream together margarine & sugars.  Add liquids to dry ingredients.  Drop by heaping tablespoons onto cookie sheet.  Flatten with spatula.  Bake at 375 degrees for 15 mins.

(note: you can buy trail mix if you prefer)

1/2 c. sunflower seeds
1 c. chopped or slivered almonds
1 c. dried cranberries or raisins (or combination)
1/2 c. coconut (small flake)
1 c. chopped peanuts

Because I can't leave you without ANY mumblings (I know - most of you would say that all of the above fits under that umbrella...ahem....), how about checking out the myriad of patterns available at THIS site. 

Your quote for today, and one I plan to adopt, is from C.S. Lewis..."It's never too late to have a second childhood" 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Blessings - some good, some not so

Today has been an 'interesting' day on several different fronts - and none of them involved stitching done by my hands.  The first order of business today was for DH to trundle our car out to the mechanic for a good once-over prior to us leaving on our 'big road trip'.  Alas, the once-over culminated in the necessity to replace ALL four tires!!  Not an expense we were anticipating right now, thank you very much.  However, the thought of attempting to drive through the Canadian Rocky Mountains with tires that were iffy made the replacement of same a no-brainer.  

This morning a friend was here for coffee and came bearing gifts for our soon-to-be-born grandson and this afternoon I had lunch with another friend who has made the most amazing quilt for him.  Alas I don't have a picture of any of the above to share, but they are all beautiful and so very thoughtful of my friends to share in the birth of our wee one.  I am blessed to have such good friends in my life.

Sometimes, in these days of  doom and gloom on the news every day, it's nice to read a heartwarming story and THIS one certainly is just that.  What a wonderful man!

- Kathy Shaw has released a fun hexagon quilt pattern that you can see HERE   

- if you're a tatter, you might like the free pattern HERE for angel's wings.

- Sharon Boggon has a free floral embroidery pattern for downloading HERE.  

- there are lots of ideas HERE for fabric manipulation techniques.

- there are some really cute free patterns available here (be sure to check out the teddy in the altoid tin!)  

- for the awwww factor, how about THIS little fellow!!  

Today your quote is from an anonymous source....

 Twelve things to always remember:

The past cannot be changed
Opinions don't define your reality
Everyone's journey is different
Things always get better with time
Judgements are a confession of character
Overthinking will lead to sadness
Happiness is found within
Positive thoughts creative positive things
Smiles are contagious
Kindness is free
You only fail if you quit
What goes around comes around

Monday, August 15, 2016

A play date

Yesterday we were happy to have a play date with our grandson and his new puppy, along with a lovely visit with our son and daughter-in-love.  

Meet our new grand-dog...

Her name is Riley and she's a 
black lab/boxer/border collie mix.

And, here's the reason they got her...

What's better than a little boy and a dog?

- There's a nice pattern HERE for a crocheted butterfly mobile (but the butterflies could be used for many other things too simply by varying the weight of the yarn/thread used!).  

- THIS is a great way to store your crafting supplies if you're traveling or even if you want to keep the fodder for the current project you happen to be working on.  Thanks to Donna from Brynwood Needleworks for the link for this one.

- There's a really cute knitted sweater pattern HERE.  

- and for more of the awwwww factor, check out the bears HERE and HERE and another one HERE.  There is more bear cuteness in THIS blog.

Today your quote, fittingly, is from Erma Bombeck...."Every puppy should have a boy"

Friday, August 12, 2016


It seems the promised rain has gone all around us and there will be none here, unless there happens to be a major miracle.  The heat and humidity continues.....

Not much being accomplished on the stitching front although I am managing to get a little bit done on the next 'secret' project for the magazine (which also happens to be for a Christmas present). there are no pictures forthcoming from Chez Magpie, how about yet more mumblings....

1. Today I have three things from my friend Pam Kellogg that you might find of interest.  First, she has put out a call for submissions for the Spring 2017 issue of 'Crazy Quilt Quarterly' and, rather than me re-writing her words, here's what she said... 

" Attention Crazy Quilters!!! I will be starting work on the Spring 2017 issue of Crazy Quilt Quarterly magazine around October 1st. The theme for this issue will be BIRDS! Please consider submitting photos, tutorials or articles to me for that issue."

You can  contact Pam through her blog HERE.

2.  Pam has also re-released one of her very popular cross stitch patterns for another set of biscornu's.  This time she features birds (robins, cardinals, goldfinches and blue jays) and you can find out more by going HERE.  She has also released a sweet little *free* companion piece and you can find that HERE.

3.  THESE fall under the best definition of 'awwww'.  No pattern, but definitely drool-worthy anyway.

4.  HERE's a cute pincushion pattern - these would make great gifts.

5.  I found another of the 100+ free pattern links - this one is for zippered pouches.  Some great ideas!

Today your quote is from Walter Winchell - "It's a sure sign of summer if the chair gets up when you do"

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

No salsa 'round here!

No rumba, no salsa, not even any sedate waltzing.  Too hot for anything beyond languidly reclining, iced tea to hand, and the consumption of the occasional bon bon to keep the strength up.  

And if you believe that I even know how to dance?  Hah! Nope, never learned.  Even the bon bons are few and far between.

So....(and you know what I'm going to say already, don't you!!) about some more mumblings?

- I was putzing about on my blog last night and going through some old posts and reminded myself that I really have wanted to make one of THESE - obviously ever since 2010 when I initially posted about it!!  Perhaps you might like to make one too.

- Many of you know that I used to make a lot of creations using recycled denim and I still have a fascination for it.  Imagine how excited I was when I found THIS site.  The denim creations there are beyond incredible!!!  Be sure to spend some time exploring his site to see the treasures he has created.  

- Fall is coming, so perhaps you'd like to make one (or more) of these fun mug rugs.

- THIS wee crochet pattern is one that fits all the criteria for 'awwwww'

- if you have some fat quarters in your stash, perhaps you might find something HERE that might be of interest.

- and, because it's hot here and I want to think cooler thoughts (despite not being a fan of winter!), perhaps you might find some ideas for Christmas creations HERE.  

- HERE's a cute robot quilt tutorial for young people (or the young-at-heart!)

Today your quote is from Carl Bard...."Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending"

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

No picture from moi - BUT.....

I'm sorry to say that I have nothing to show you today, at least that has been made by my nimble, but arthritic, little fingers.  However, I'm pretty sure I will be forgiven if you go and feast your eyes on something spectacular HERE.  Be sure you click on the pictures to embiggen so you can see the details!

In my continual quest to organize my life (hah - and if you believe THAT you're sillier than I thought!), I came across a fantastic idea to sort out my bin of interface scraps.  I need to do this!!

If you have a Star Wars fan in your family, perhaps you might find something HERE that you could make for them.

For the awww factor, and a cute little sewing project that would make a really sweet pincushion, how about THIS.  

And, because I can't leave you without at least one picture.....

Boy, I wish my dentist had one of these!!

Because of the picture, how about a quote about dogs? This one is from Caroline Knapp.   "The dog's agenda is simple, fathomable, overt:  I want.  "I want to go out, come in, eat something lie here, play with that, kiss you."  There are no ulterior motives with a dog, no mind games, no second-guessing, no complicated negotiations or bargains, and no guilt trips or grudges if a request is denied"

Monday, August 08, 2016

Last one (at least for now)

Because I don't have anything in the way of photos to show you today, how about I share the last page of the snowflake/flower/seam treatment designs?

I hope some of you will be able to use these in your work (I would love to see if you do!).

- For those of you interested in journaling, Sharon Boggon has re-introduced her InAMinuteAgo blog and will be discussing that very thing.  Have a look HERE

- Kathy Shaw has updated her planned online class registration dates and if you're interested in learning about crazy quilting and her latest venture, sane quilting, have a look at that HERE.  

- If you have a toddler in your life, how about creating a backpack for them from the tutorial found HERE.  

- For something a little different, maybe you'd like to create a beautiful fall floral arrangement using the tutorial found HERE

- For lots of free tote bag links, have a look HERE.   Or even better why not check out their archives HERE.  Be sure to scroll down....there should be enough inspiration there to last quite awhile!!  Maybe even a lifetime!

Your quote for today is from Winston Churchill..."We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give"

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Bear vs Bare

I must say that the title of this blog post is very apropos today.  It's exceedingly hot here once again and the humidity level is climbing rapidly.  No rain in sight either, so there's not much hope of a cooling down for at least a few days.  So 'bare' would be a wonderful thing!!!

However, since this isn't an x-rated blog, I will have to simply share with you this fellow...

He stands about 15" tall and was created using Vogue pattern # 7534.  It's an older pattern and might not still be available.

There are a few mumblings for today...

1.  There are some sweet (and free!) embroidery patterns to be found through THIS link.

2.  For tatters, there's a really pretty heart border pattern HERE.  

3.  There's an adorable crocheted  kitty pattern available HERE and there's an even more adorable monkey HERE.  There's also an owl HERE.  

4.  For sewers there are some really nice basket patterns HERE

5.  Those interested in dolls and/or fashion might find THIS link fascinating (I know I did!).  Thanks to Deanna for telling me about this one. 

Today your quote is from Orison Swett Marden...."All men who have achieved great things have been great dreamers"

Monday, August 01, 2016

A number of mumblings

This morning I have several mumblings that I want to share with you.  I do have a finished project but no photos as yet so I will save that for a later date.

In the meantime...

1.  I wanted to let you know that the latest issue of 'Crazy Quilt Quarterly' is now available!  It's another great issue and for those of you who might be interested I have an article in there about a crazy quilted family tree project I did.  You can click on the cover image below to order your copy (either print or digital...or both) or you can go HERE (or click on the cover image in my sidebar). 

2.  Most of you, I expect, are familiar with the work of Trish Burr but perhaps you aren't aware that she has several free patterns available.  She has just released a wonderful Blue Tit (bird,'s a bird!!) and Pansies.  Have a look HERE.  

3.  There's a fun tutorial HERE for a great purse organizer.  Don't know about you, but I hate those purses that I like to call 'Drop and Hunts' (you drop it in and then spend all your time hunting for it).  This might just solve the problem!

4.  If you have a Harry Potter fan in your family, perhaps they might like to have one of THESE.  

5.  If you're looking for a fun project that will add a little bit of 'rustic' to your decor, how about having a go at THIS.  

6.  If you have leftover yarn you don't know what to do with, how about making a flock of THESE?  They'd also be a great craft for teens.

7.  For those of you who live in England, or plan on visiting, and are as in like with denim as I am, you might want to check THIS show out.  Sure wish I could go!!

8.  Last, but by no means least, I want to let you know that Karen Ruane (embroider extraordinaire) has announced her latest online class 'Wrapped and Bound In Stitch' and you can go HERE to find out more information.  It sounds like another great one and I can assure you, from previously having taken part in a few of her classes, that you will have a great deal of fun and learn SO much!!

- - - - Mumblings done - - - -
(for now)

Today your quote is from Kent Nerburn.... "Remember to be gentle with yourself and others.  We are all children of chance and none can say why some fields will blossom while others lay brown beneath the August sun"