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, December 30, 2019

Completed quiet book!

I have finished the quiet book!  It took some thought to figure out how I was going to put it together but eventually I settled upon making a 'hinge' of sorts for the spine.  I cut 3 3/4" strips of fabric the length of the pages, folded them in half, and sewed them to the sides of pairs of pages.  Then I put two 'pairs' together, wrong sides together, and basted around the outside.  Then I cut my own double fold bias tape using fun fabrics to bind the pages.  I made the cover 'spine' a bit wider in order to accommodate the inside pages.  Then I used some of my 'fancy' stitches on my machine to topstitch the bias tape.   Added handles to the sides of the cover pages for easy carrying.  I ended up with three 'signatures' and the outside cover.  I marked the center of the spine for each pair of pages for a guide for sewing, along with marking three guidelines on the inside spine of the cover.  Pinned each signature in place along the guidelines and stitched in place.  Tah dah.....

And just a little reminder....if you'd like.... please join me 
in my efforts to downsize throughout January.
I'll be posting my results and would love it if
you would join in!

And here is another fun thing you might like to do in 2020....get an empty jar and at the end of each week add a note with a good thing that happened.  On New Year's Eve 2021, open the jar and read about the great 2020 you had!

Today's quote..."My new year's resolution is to stop procrastinating.  I am not starting until next week though"

Friday, December 27, 2019

Three more pages

The quiet book is done but I'm a bit behind in posting pictures so here are the rest of the pages....

Above is the inside front cover - a snow globe
with sequins inside.
Below is the front cover.... a family 'tree'

Below is the back cover - they have a 
cat so I made this one using some
fake fur I had in my stash...

I will show the completed book in
my next blog post on Monday.

  Today's quote...."Be so busy loving your life that you have no time for hate, regret or fear"

Monday, December 23, 2019

Christmas wishes!

Resident Chef and I would like to extend
our best wishes to you and those you hold most
dear for a blessed, happy, safe and wonderful
Christmas...and we would like to share one of
our very favourite songs.
Go HERE and enjoy!  

Friday, December 20, 2019

And.....another page.....and surprises

At this point I'm working on the outside and inside cover pages for the quiet book. This will appear on one of the inside covers....

and this is what's inside...

and these are inside the envelopes...



Just look at what arrived from our family out west!!

How did they know I had planned to replace a number of our fading ugly plants with some new ones after Christmas?

There are at least eleven different succulents crammed in this beautiful pottery bowl!

Huge thanks to our wonderful family - love you guys!

Today, instead of a quote, I came across this story and thought I'd share....

I remember my first Christmas adventure with Grandma. I was just a kid.
I remember tearing across town on my bike to visit her on the day my big sister dropped the bomb: "There is no Santa Claus," she jeered. "Even dummies know that!"
My Grandma was not the gushy kind, never had been. I fled to her that day because I knew she would be straight with me. I knew Grandma always told the truth, and I knew that the truth always went down a whole lot easier when swallowed with one of her "world-famous" cinnamon buns. I knew they were world-famous, because Grandma said so. It had to be true.

Grandma was home, and the buns were still warm. Between bites, I told her everything. She was ready for me. "No Santa Claus?" she snorted...."Ridiculous! Don't believe it. That rumour has been going around for years, and it makes me mad, plain mad!! Now, put on your coat, and let's go."

"Go? Go where, Grandma?" I asked. I hadn't even finished my second world-famous cinnamon bun. "Where" turned out to be Kerby's General Store, the one store in town that had a little bit of just about everything. As we walked through its doors, Grandma handed me ten dollars. That was a bundle in those days. "Take this money," she said, "and buy something for someone who needs it. I'll wait for you in the car." Then she turned and walked out of Kerby's.

I was only eight years old. I'd often gone shopping with my mother, but never had I shopped for anything all by myself. The store seemed big and crowded, full of people scrambling to finish their Christmas shopping.

For a few moments I just stood there, confused, clutching that ten-dollar bill, wondering what to buy, and who on earth to buy it for.

I thought of everybody I knew: my family, my friends, my neighbours, the kids at school, the people who went to my church.

I was just about thought out, when I suddenly thought of Bobby Decker. He was a kid with bad breath and messy hair, and he sat right behind me in Mrs. Pollock's grade-two class. Bobby Decker didn't have a coat. I knew that because he never went out to recess during the winter. His mother always wrote a note, telling the teacher that he had a cough, but all us kids knew that Bobby Decker didn't have a cough; he didn't have a good coat. I fingered the ten-dollar bill with growing excitement. I would buy Bobby Decker a coat!
I settled on a red corduroy one that had a hood to it. It looked real warm, and he would like that.
"Is this a Christmas present for someone?" the lady behind the counter asked kindly, as I laid my ten dollars down. "Yes, ma'am," I replied shyly. "It's for Bobby."

The nice lady smiled at me, as I told her about how Bobby really needed a winter coat. I didn't get any change, but she put the coat in a bag, smiled again, and wished me a Merry Christmas.

That evening, Grandma helped me wrap the coat (a little tag fell out of the coat, and Grandma tucked it in her Bible) in Christmas paper and ribbons and wrote, "To Bobby, From Santa Claus" on it.
Grandma said that Santa always insisted on secrecy. Then she drove me over to Bobby Decker's house, explaining as we went that I was now and forever officially, one of Santa's helpers.
Grandma parked down the street from Bobby's house, and she and I crept noiselessly and hid in the bushes by his front walk. Then Grandma gave me a nudge. "All right, Santa Claus," she whispered, "get going."

I took a deep breath, dashed for his front door, dropped the present down on his step, pounded his door and flew back to the safety of the bushes and Grandma.

Together we waited breathlessly in the darkness for the front door to open. Finally it did, and there stood Bobby.

Fifty years haven't dimmed the thrill of those moments spent shivering, beside my Grandma, in Bobby Decker's bushes. That night, I realized that those awful rumours about Santa Claus were just what Grandma said they were -- ridiculous. Santa was alive and well, and we were on his team.

I still have the Bible, with the coat tag tucked inside: $19.95.That store clerk was one of Santa's helpers,too!

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

A return

Yesterday I returned to working on the quiet book I'm making for our expected baby and this page was the result....

The van has a zippered pocket that holds the transportation-related felt pieces.  At this point I think I can start putting it together so that I can know the size I will need to make the cover.  

I may have shared this poem with you previously but it's one I pull out every year and re-read simply to remind me that all is not sweetness and light this time of year.  Some of us struggle with the holiday season and all it entails.  This poem was published in the Woman's Day magazine dated 12/20/88 so it's an oldie!

Dear Lord,
'Tis the season to be merry and I'm not, really.
'Tis the season of goodwill, of general and particular
blessedness, of worship and praise and warmth of heart...
And I, like the Grinch, have spiders in my spirit, and
garlic in my soul.
And I come in confession and remorse, asking You for....
....for Christmas.
Is it the dither, Lord, that sets my day on edge?
Is it the too-muchness, the lavishness, the
extended list that gnaws at my extended self?  Hmmm.
I do believe I could trim a thing or two off that list.
Is it that I am trying to make a Production
out of Christmas when what I really want is a 
That I'm trying to guarantee, by my own efforts,
what can come only as gift, by Thine?
Is it the begrudging, Lord?  That I want to
do lovely things for my loved ones, 
only I resent the time spent 'doing' for the
one I am so irked at right now....or that
I want to do gracious helpful things for 
nebulous 'others' but I certainly want to know that
they will appreciate my efforts adequately!
Forgive my begrudging, Father, and my 
strings attached.
Forgive my production, and my dither,
and fill me with carols of hope, and
hymns of praise, 
and prayers of deep joy....
fill me with Christmas.

Today's quote is a short one..."Be naughty, save Santa the trip"

Monday, December 16, 2019

Another wee toy

Over the weekend I finished knitting a wee toy for our expected new grandbaby....

I make this toy for pretty much every new baby that comes along because it seems they all end up loving it.  Pattern is the 'Knubbelchen' and can be found HERE.  You can use pretty much any soft yarn to make these provided the needles are compatible with the yarn weight.  In this case I used DK weight and 2.5 mm needles.

Today's quote is from Steve Maraboli...."Want to keep Christ in Christmas?  Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, forgive the guilty, welcome the unwanted, care for the ill, love your enemies, and do unto others as you would have done unto you"

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Landscape reveal

The latest landscape has reached the buyer so I am now able to show you....  


Below is the original photo ...

Photo credit: Laureen Catchpole-Heatley
and used with her very kind permission

Monday, December 09, 2019

How about this little charmer?

The pattern is the 'Bed Time Gnome' by Knitting By Post and can be found HERE.

Today's quote..."The best kind of people are the ones that come into your life and make you see the sun where you once saw clouds;  the people that believe in you so much that you start to believe in you too;  the people that love you, simply for being you.  The once in a lifetime kind of people"

Friday, December 06, 2019

This proves it!

Yep, the fact that I waited all day to make my blog post so I could show you a picture of what I was working on is a moot point now, unless I want to un-wrap a just-wrapped gift that currently holds today's project!!  Argh.  Just more proof that I'm losin' it!

Today's quote (and I promise it's not a repeat of the last one!)..."Life is kind of like a party.  You invite a lot of people, some leave early, some stay all night, some laugh with you, some laugh at you, and some show up late.  But in the end, after the fun, there are a few who stay to help you clean up the mess. And most of the time they aren't even the ones who made the mess.  These people are your real friends.  They are the ones who matter most"

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

A little something

The astute among you will have realized that I'm losing it (if you've read to the end of this post and realized that I repeated the exact same quote as I gave you last time!!).  Yep,  not only can I not remember WHY I've entered a room, but I can't remember quotes either!!!  Sheesh.

Over the past couple of days I've been making this pillow to go along with the Super Mario quilt and bed pillowcase I already made.  It will be a themed Christmas for our littlest grandson it seems!

I used a coloring page I found online for the pattern and then appliqued the pieces in place.  

Today I have the final (at least for now!) in the little series I've been sharing..."As I get older I realize getting lucky means walking into a room and remembering why I'm there"

Monday, December 02, 2019

A little bit of stash reduction

Over the past couple of weeks my knitting needles have been busy creating these two cowls made from mohair I had in my stash for far too long.  All that knitting though - and I only decreased the stash by one single solitary ball!!!!

The patterns are pretty generic  - the beige one is simply 5 rows knit and 5 rows purl, rinse and repeat.  The ivory version was a little more complicated and was a pattern from one of my stitch books.  Unfortunately the design is pretty much lost in the fuzziness of the yarn so if I do more I'll probably stick to the beige version.

And another in the little series of quotes I've been sharing..."As I get older I realize that getting lucky means walking into a room and remembering why I'm there"

Friday, November 29, 2019

Sorry folks!

Sorry to say there's nothing of interest here today.  No photos.  Nothing to show.  Nada.  Zip.  Zilch.  

That's not to say that here at Chez Magpie there aren't things happening.  It's just that I can't show you those happenings - yet.  I do, however, have some links for you and, of course, the quote of the day!

Another in the aging quotes...."As I get older I realize that wouldn't it be great if we could put ourselves in the dryer for 10 minutes and come out wrinkle-free and three sizes smaller?

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

A small update

I've been spending a lot of hours working on the latest landscape and here is some of the progress...

This is NOT a great photo - for one thing, it's very dull here today and difficult to get decent pictures AND I've cropped it so you can't see the area I'm currently working on (nothing exciting as yet anyway!).  At this point I will ask you to wait to see the finished project because I'd like my client to be the first to see it done.  I will post another photo once it has been delivered to her.  Hope she likes it!

Another in the getting older series of quotes..."As I get older I realize that even duct tape can't fix stupid, but it can muffle the sound"

Monday, November 25, 2019

Two days

Here you can see the result of my having two entire days at home and being able to spend them working on this project (those days are definitely rare!)...

The trees have been thread painted (a solid day of work there alone!) and now I'm working on the borders.  The picture isn't the greatest but you can get the general idea I think.

And, another in the getting older series of quotes..."As I get older I realize that when I was a child I thought nap time was punishment.  Now it's like a mini-vacation"

Friday, November 22, 2019

Landscape progress

On Tuesday afternoon I was able to make good progress on the landscape I'm working on...

and I was lucky enough to have the entire day at home on Wednesday (a rare occurance!) and I was able to get a bit more done...

The grass is pretty much done and I've added the treeline.

Here's another in the series of getting older quotes...The biggest lie I tell myself is "I don't need to write that down, I'll remember it"

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

A little catch up

Today I will share a few projects I have completed recently.  First up is a twin-sized quilt featuring Super Mario's outfit.  Can you see it?

Maybe now?

Our #2 grandson will be getting his room re-decorated for Christmas and they're using a Super Mario theme and a special request was made for Grandma to make him a twin-sized quilt.  Of course, what's a Grandma to do but oblige?  While I was at it, some of you might remember the pillowcase I made to go along with the quilt....

and, if all goes well, there might just be a throw pillow too.

I also just put the finishing stitches in another wee sweater for our expected grandbaby....

The colour here is definitely off (sorry, dull day...again)
but it's using the same yarn as the previous sweaters.
Pattern is the 'Room to Grow Baby Sweater' by Laura Marconi-Cox
and can be found HERE.

Over the past weekend things started ramping up in the kitchen of Resident Chef and one of the creations was a batch of 'Carrot Cake Jam'.  Oh boy....yummy stuff!  I haven't done the labels yet, but here's what's going to a few people for Christmas this year...

And here is one of the lace cards I made that will be heading off to live in Australia with my cousin who just happens to own a really cute Scottie dog named Maggie...

And, finally, these three fabric postcards were created...

Very simple, keeping in mind the fact that
they should have been in the mail two weeks ago!

Today's quote is a continuation of the series...."As I get older I realize my people skills are just fine.  It's my tolerance of idiots that needs work"

Monday, November 18, 2019

A little update

Over the weekend I did manage to get a little bit done on the landscape and here is where it stands now...

Another in the getting older quote series:  "As I get older I realize sometimes I roll my eyes out loud"

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

A new beginning

Now what do you suppose this pile of fodder could be turned into?  Bet you've already guessed!

Monday, November 11, 2019

Two more pages

Over the weekend I finished two more pages for the quiet book.  These two will be side by side in the finished book.

I used a leftover piece of fleece for the 
quilt and the little pillow is stuffed.

The little boy comes out and has snaps to
attach his clothes, which can be stored
in the dresser which will be on the opposite page.

The top drawer is zippered so that the
clothes can be stored inside
and here is the 'wardrobe'

I used dome fasteners on the little
boy and the clothing.  The rug is a piece of
fake fur I unearthed in my stash.

Friday, November 08, 2019

and....another one......

Another completed quiet book page....

This one is mostly felt with quilt batting for the clouds and the flowers are pre-made from the dollar store I think.  Ooops - just noticed I forgot to add the door handle!!

Today's quote...."One day or day one.  You decide"

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

and....another page....

This is the latest in the series of pages for the quiet book...

Kids these days seem to live in velcro shoes and I can understand why, but still - they should know how to tie them too!

Today's quote..."Someone once said: If you look at the people in your circle and don't get inspired, then you don't have a circle you have a cage"

Monday, November 04, 2019

Another page

I pretty much finished this page over the weekend...

The tent (made from a recycled suede jacket) opens and will have a family picture inside once I get some more ink for my printer.

Today's quote is from Rick Godwin..."One reason people resist change is because they focus on what they have to give up, instead of what they have to gain"

Friday, November 01, 2019

A mixed bag

This was the view from our balcony earlier in the week.  This little tree was sporting her best fall colours and hanging onto her leaves so tight against the wind.  Most of the trees around her had lost theirs.

This little baby was delivered on the weekend - a Brother CS6000i - and now I'm having fun learning all her little ins and outs.  She does everything PMS Albatross was supposed to do and cost less than half the price.  She even has a few more frills than PMS did.

So far there has been no
swearing - hers OR mine!

I'm not quite finished with this page for the quiet book but close enough to show you.  The pieces are backed with velcro and act like a jigsaw puzzle.

Today's quote..."Time decides who you meet in life, your heart decides who you want in your life, and your behaviour decides who stays in your life"

Monday, October 28, 2019

And....another little project for baby

These will co-ordinate with the sweaters I've already
made.  The hat is 'Golden Pear' from Viridian Hue   
The mitts are just generic using the same
stitch pattern/colourway as the hat.
Yarn is Cascade 220.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Another wee project for our expected grandbaby....

This pattern is "Little Coffee Bean' by Elizabeth Smith and can be found HERE.  For this one I also used Cascade 220 yarn.  Yet to be blocked!

For better or for worse (hopefully not the latter!)
I pushed the 'order' button on Amazon and a
new Brother CS6000i sewing machine is
on the way!

Now - is anyone in the market for a good used
boat anchor??
Today's quote:  "You might think that you don't matter in this world, but someone hears a song on the radio and it reminds them of you.  Someone has read a book you recommended to them and gotten lost in its pages.  Someone has remembered a joke you told them and smiled to themselves.  Never think you don't have an impact.  Your fingerprints can't be wiped away from the little marks of kindness that you've left behind"

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

First of all - a question for you...
do any of you own a Singer 9960 Quantum Stylist
sewing machine?  If so, what do you think of it?
Obviously no sewing happening here at Chez Magpie for a few days so how about I show you one of the baby things I've completed...

This is the 'Everyday Toddler Hoodie' by Megan Goodacre.  I used Cascade 220 yarn.  It still needs to be blocked but I'm waiting to complete all I have planned and I will do them all at once.

Today's quote is from St. Jerome...."Good.  Better. Best.  Never let it rest until your good is better and your better is best"

Monday, October 21, 2019

Small project

I wasn't planning to show you this until I had the quilt that accompanies it done. But....with no sewing happening here at Chez Magpie, I need to come up with something (anything!) to show you.

It's a pillowcase, made using the burrito method.

And...beware - there's a computer hack going around that says that you have detected viruses through Google Chrome - it keeps popping up with dire warnings that your computer is infected with dangerous viruses.  I checked.  It's a scam.  

Well, now I'm officially bored.  No sewing.  Patterns have been downsized and sorted.  Does this mean I have to tackle trying to fix PMS Albatross which I already know will do nothing more than increase my blood pressure.  Sigh.

Today's quote...."Time and good friends are two things that become more valuable the older you get"

Friday, October 18, 2019

Another page

Here is another page for the quiet book...

Now I've switched gears while I try to figure out PMS's latest issue and have a gigantic mess in my sewing space.  See?.....

This is the result of attempting to downsize two hugely stuffed 2" binders of embroidery patterns I've collected over the years into just one.  Am I suffering from piles?  Oh yeah!  (You, at your peril, can click to embiggen if you dare).

Today's quote ... "Love the people God gave you because he will need them back one day"