MAGPIE'S MUMBLINGS

A blog about my interests, which include crazy quilting and various and assorted other artsy pursuits and sometimes known to contain mumblings of a random nature.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Hard to tell?

I know it's probably very hard to tell from the picture, but there actually HAS been a lot of stitching added to the church.  Just a little more to do and then it's on to the grass area.  


- There's an interesting article on Mary Corbet's site regarding thread keeps, and also a link to a really pretty free one you can print.  Go HERE to read all about it.

- I think THESE are going on my 'grandma-make' list!  

- There's a cute cross stitch sampler pattern HERE.  

- If you live in Canada, perhaps you might like to sign up for some free seeds to help support our dwindling bee population.  Go HERE.  

- You might like to make some of THESE for your spring decor.

Your quote..."Hate no one, no matter how much they've wronged you.  Live humbly, no matter how wealthy you've become.  Think positively, no matter how hard life is.  Give much, even if you've been given little.  Forgive all, especially yourself, and never stop praying for the best for everyone"

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Disaster averted

Well, never let it be said that excitement doesn't touch down occasionally here at Chez Magpie.  Yesterday I had an entire day (practically unheard of!) home and planned to spend it working on the latest landscape.  My idea of heaven!  Part of the plan was to augment the birch trees with some paint to hopefully make them look a tad more realistic.  Good plan...

You know what happens to many good plans....they're bound to run amuck.  

Needless to say, the advisability of having a small palette of paint perched on the side of my worktable was perhaps not 'the thing', particularly when one decides to get up to answer the phone and watch in horror as the in-process landscape slid to the floor, managing to marry up with the paint palette during the descent.

I didn't want to look.

Paint....on my pants.
Paint .... on the floor.
Which I promptly stepped in,
so...
Paint....on my shoe.

Oh, and just a few splatters on my landscape.

ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!

Took off pants....washed pant leg.....mopped up paint on the floor.....mopped off my shoe......flooded splatters with water...hoped for the best (oh, and there was just a teeny little bit of swearing too).

To my complete relief the damage to the landscape was minimal and the application of some more paint (scary thought!) will set things right.  Phew!


- THIS is a great stash-buster pattern that would be SO cute for Easter!  Thank you to Joy for this link and you can see her version HERE

- THIS is rather cute (handy too!) and perfect for using up some fabric bits from your stash.  The pattern is offered in three sizes (wouldn't a set make a nice gift for someone?)

- There's a cute little Easter project HERE

- If you have a pretty doily in your stash just waiting for inspiration to strike, perhaps THIS might give you an idea. 

From that anonymous source again...."Never regret a day in your life:  good days give happiness, bad days give experience, worst days give lessons, and best days give memories"


Monday, March 25, 2019

Use it up!


In my ongoing quest to use up stash I decided I'd make a little sweater for my grandson using some leftover yarns I had.  This is the result...

The pattern is  'Snow Bunnies' from a Beehive booklet called 'Knit Menagerie' - knit in the round and made a tad longer than it called for because our grandson is tall.  If I had to do it again, I would make the stripes much wider (and less of them) and I wouldn't carry them quite so high up the body.  











HOWEVER - after all that, I don't seem to have made so much
as a DENT in my stash!!

- THIS is a really nice fabric basket that would use up some stash and would make nice gifts too (particularly if it was filled with goodies)

- AND (!!) if you go to the link HERE there are tons of links to all sorts of patterns (oh, maybe I should have warned you to pour yourself a cuppa before you go.....)

- For those of you who are getting rather creaky in the knees and don't want to have to crawl about on the floor trying to block a piece of knitting (not that ANY of us are in that state!!)....have a look at THIS video for an alternate method.  

- THIS would be a cute little project to do for Easter - perhaps even with the kids or grandkids?

Anonymous quote again..."Hate has 4 letters, so does Love.  Enemies has 7 letters, so does Friends.  Lying has 5 letters, so does Truth.  Negative has 8, so does Positive.  Under has 5, so does Above.  Cry has 3 letters, so does Joy.  Anger has 5 letters, so does Happy.  Right has 5 letters, so does Wrong.  Hurt has 4 letters, so does Heal.  It means life is like a doubled edged sword....so transform every negative side into an aura of positivity....we should choose the better side of life"

Friday, March 22, 2019

Ahhhhhhh - that's better!


There's an old line that says 'when momma ain't happy, nobody's happy' and I have to say that my first two attempts at grass for the church scene were NOT making me happy.  So....here's the latest effort and I have to say it looks a whole lot better (at least in my mind anyway).  


Either way, I'm not doing it again!

THIS is most definitely on my list to make!  Thank you to Mary Katherine for the head's up about this pattern.

- Kathy Shaw has a fun new pattern available - one that can be either 'sane' or 'crazy' depending on how you want to make it.  Go HERE!

- If you live in the United States, perhaps you might find THESE state outlines useful for a project.

Resident  Chef just came back with some laundry and called me to see the stalagmites popping up from a washcloth.  Had to take a photo because it made me laugh.


Methinks it might be time for some new ones!

Another anonymous quote..."Brain cells, hair cells and skin cells - they all die constantly, but fat cells seem to have eternal life"





Wednesday, March 20, 2019

I Got Mail!!!


Last week there were some surprises that arrived in my mailbox and I wanted to show them to you...


My camera isn't happy about taking pictures this close,
but the first surprise was a wonderful hand-painted
button in my favourite theme!
The details are incredible and I thank Gerry Krueger
so much for making this little treasure and
letting me give it a home.
Thanks Gerry!

The other thing that arrived in my
mailbox was a lovely little 
book - from the creative fingers
of Liz (also known as Boud).


She used a commercial card for the
cover and inside I discovered some of
her handmade onion-skin paper!
UPDATED TO ADD:
the lovely card was from a 
woodblock print created by
Hajime Namiki


Thank you Liz!


- If you have little ones in your life, perhaps THESE might be fun for them.  Would make great pillows too!

- There's a great chart and tips HERE for watering your houseplants.

- THIS looks like something fun to crochet - and could be used in many different applications.

- Have a peek at the eye candy from THIS artist!  She does many different installation and art pieces.

- There are a number of great slipper patterns HERE.  

Today your quote is from Karen Salmonsohn...."The older I get the more I realize the importance of walking away from people and situations which threaten my peace of mind, self-respect, values and self worth"

Monday, March 18, 2019

Maybe, but then again....

Some additions, deletions, and distortions have happened.....which may, or may not have made it better....or worse.  Waffling?  Oh yeah!!!!


But, then again, perhaps this....



or maybe......

Well, tomorrow is another day and we'll have to see what
happens!

Sorry, but I haven't had time to find you any links for today.  I know I could simply have not posted at all, but thought you might wonder where I've been (I know - dream on!!).

I do have a quote though....from Phil McGraw..."Sometimes you make the right decision, sometimes you make the decision right"




Wednesday, March 13, 2019

A little bit of progress


Perhaps now you can see the evolution of a church - maybe?  Then again, maybe not!!  There's a lot of stages that look like a dogs breakfast until it finally starts coming together and at the moment it's very dog breakfast-y (of the sort that some might think more closely resembles barf!!). 



- Some of you might enjoy spending a little time watching THIS live cam of a barred owl nest (it's rather addicting - I warn you!).  Thank you Jocelyn for the heads up on this one!

- There's a cute Easter-themed cross stitch project HERE.  I think the designs could be expanded and used in other applications too.

- I haven't tried THIS method myself, but it looks like a super way to turn a tube of fabric.  

- Mary Corbet has posted part two of her 'Stitching With Variegated Threads' tutorial HERE.  Well worth a read!

- Most of you know that I'm involved with the 'Crazy Quilt Quarterly' magazine and I thought some of you might be interested to know that Pam Kellogg (owner & editor of the magazine) has been issuing a lot of her amazing cross stitch patterns.  Check out her listing HERE.  No affiliation on my part apart from us being friends!

An anonymous quote..."Never regret a day in your life:  good days give happiness, bad days give experience, worst days give lessons, and best days give memories"


Monday, March 11, 2019

And.......


Just another reminder that I'm now responding to your comments directly here on the blog, so don't forget to check back! 

- And.....another one starts.....



This is the beginning of the next landscape.  At this stage I pretty much always hate it and this is no exception.  Hopefully it will look better as I go!  If you want to see the photo I'm working from go HERE.  


- I absolutely adore THIS pattern!!!  So cute - wouldn't he look amazing perched on a bookshelf?

- If you check out the site HERE (crochet patterns) and HERE (knitting) you will find lots of interesting pattern choices - some free, some for a nominal charge.

- The newest issue of 'Online Quilt Magazine' is out and there are some really nice patterns and articles to peruse (oh, and my latest landscape is in the Reader's Showcase!).  Go HERE to download your free copy and, if you'd like to subscribe for more content, the link is there as well.  It's only $10/year so well worth it!

- THIS is rather intriguing - not sure I'd actually do it, but there are possibilities.

Today the quote is from Oprah Winfrey..."One of the hardest things in life to learn are which bridges to cross and which bridges to burn"



Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Framed!


Someone wanted to see this after it was framed so here it is (mainly because I still don't have anything else to share!)....


It's really hard to get a photo of something that's behind glass because there is always a reflection.  I took half a dozen pictures and when I downloaded them I had to laugh because the glare on this one looks as though the headlight is on!!  I chose not to mat this for two reasons - 1.  I got this frame for nothing and I didn't want to fork over the bucks for a larger one, and 2. trying to mat something that's relatively thick is really difficult, unless you opt to go for a shadow box effect.  Nice, but costly!!  If the new owners want to re-frame it, they are welcome to do so, but in the meantime this will have to do.  I rather wish I was keeping this one!

- Mary Corbet has posted Part One of a very interesting article on the use of variegated threads.  Some great information and it can be found HERE.  There will be another article in the series in an upcoming post on her blog.

- THIS rather intrigued me - not that I have any use whatsoever for the technique, but it IS interesting!

- There's a great article HERE that shows eco-dyeing with plants - both the plant itself, and the results.  

- Lots of ideas HERE to use charm packs.

- And if you look HERE there are tons of ideas for using jelly rolls in your quilts.

Today's quote is from Tony Gaskins..."To be content doesn't mean you don't desire more, it means you're thankful for what you have and patient for what's to come"



Monday, March 04, 2019

Mumblings - again

First of all, thank you for the supportive comments over my scanner woes.  You'll be happy to know that I figured it out and (fingers crossed) all seems to be working the way it should now.  Of course now I've said that, I'm liable to have jinxed myself!

This morning we woke up to sunshine.  Amazing how that improves your outlook on life!  It's cold, but the sun makes you feel so much better.

Alas, today I have no pictures for you.  Not a one.  Nada.  None.  Zip.  Zilch.  We won't discuss how I managed to fall head first down the rabbit hole commonly known as Ancestry and spend altogether too many hours inputting family history that was generously shared by a distant cousin.  It's amazing how wrapped up one can get in what was happening in people's lives many years ago.  This morning I was rather taken aback to see that one relative ended up marrying (AND divorcing!) the same woman three times!!  Too bad they couldn't make up their minds!

I will do my level best to break away from my fascination with family and get back to creating tomorrow.  The next landscape is calling me.....

- My friend Sherry sent me a photo of THIS little chapel and it sent me off on another tangent trying to find out more.  Have a look at the article found HERE and also HERE.  What an amazing thing and how I would love to see it 'for real'!  (Thank you Sherry!)

- Have a peek at the amazing art done by THIS artist (there are several galleries to see!).

- If you have space for THESE, perhaps they would be a fun addition to your decor.

- There are some great sewing supply tips HERE.  

- Being that it's the Year of the Pig, how about making THESE cuties?  Or THESE?  

- What little one wouldn't love being wrapped in one of THESE??

- HERE is a fun photography challenge you might like to play along with.

Today the quote is from Kate Morton..."Don't slide down the rabbit hole.  The way down is a breeze, but climbing back's a battle"


Friday, March 01, 2019




ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SOME DAYS JUST SUCK

Heaven deliver me from technology.  Why is something that should be so simple is bound and determined to thwart me every single solitary step of the way???

My much-loved Canon printer/scanner/copier decided, after much service, that perhaps it was tired and deserved to die a natural death.  After appropriate funeral-like sympathy, your blogger got a brand shiny new Epson (which seems to be one of the few printers these days that simply prints, scans and copies without all sorts of other bells, whistles and farts that aren't necessary to my existence).  

It arrived yesterday and after much nail-biting and mustering of courage, your writer undertook to set it up.  Hmmm.....plug this into that....and that into this.  So far, so good.

Oh....and it comes with a CD.....wow, that's easy.  Right?  Wrong!!  Inserted CD and watched while things whirled, and spun and said click this....click that....wait.....and finally, finish!  Woo hoo!!!  

Well, not so fast.  It didn't want to play nice with my computer.  Hmmm......much reading of manual....that first had to be located on the internet because, after all, such things no longer come with it.  After much swearing and trying this and that....oh, and maybe this other thing too.....they decided that talking to each other might be good.  Yay - it even printed a whole entire photo!!!  

Much celebration here at Chez Magpie.  

But wait....

Someone (moi) jumped the gun and celebrated much too soon.  Maybe she believed it would scan because after all, it said it did.  Hah....not.  

So....much more reading of on line manual and googling ensued and lo - another 'thing' had to be downloaded and installed.    More whirling and spinning and clicking ensued.  And we had a scanner that worked.  Maybe. 

Yep, success.

But wait.....

(we're now on Day 2 of this process)

Now why do you suppose your writer would ever want to do something so stupid as to want to RESIZE a scanned image for insertion in such places as Ancestry....or.....gasp.....this blog???  Yes, why......

Well, much more reading of online manual where, it appears,  resizing images is not 'a thing'.  Hmmm.  Your writer then consulted with the experts at Google who seemed very sure that another 'thing' had to be installed.  So more whirling, spinning and clicking....

.....and swearing.....

AND IT STILL WON'T WORK

Two days....lost.  Your writer's temper.....lost.  

And the saga continues...........

The quote - "There was a piece of ornamental water immediately below the parapet, on the other side, into which Mrs. James Harthouse had a very strong inclination to pitch Mr. Thomas Gradgrind Junior"  ( from Charles Dickens, Hard Times)

A very good quote, but I think it should read - "There was the Scugog River immediately below the balcony, into which Magpie had a very strong inclination to pitch a certain Epson XP-5100 printer"  (so there)