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, July 31, 2019

Crazy quilting again

Over the past few days I've been working on a new crazy quilt project.  It's not ready to show just yet, but here's a couple of glimpses of what's been done so far...

- If I can find the glycerine, I'd like to give THIS recipe for homemade fabric paint a try.

- Di van Niekerk  is one of the world's leading silk ribbon embroidery artists and she has a wonderful online series on how to embroider a pre-printed design.  THIS goes to part one of the series and from there you can access the remaining series.  Keep in mind that you do NOT have to work on her panel itself, but that her techniques and embroidery can be used in many other applications.  Beautiful!!!!

- THIS is a really pretty crochet pattern - multitude of uses!

- HERE is a fun way to use up denim scraps and make something useful too (you can add as much to it as you like....I think it would look great as plain denim too).

This quote made me smile..."I'm a repurposing, upcycling, vintage adoring, antiquing, dumpster diving, garage sale-ing, thrift store hunting, junk sifting, yard-n-tag sale shopping, glue gunning, stencil & spray painting, do it myself-ing, look what I made kind of girl!"

Monday, July 29, 2019

Two 'fer one special

Today I have a two 'fer one special going on (two projects 'fer one post...hah hah).  First of all, I made a couple produce bags....

Stash fabric, but I purchased the mesh which is the 'stuff' you use when lining bathing suits and such.  Don't know what it's called though!

And...another pair of the generic socks that will be going in the Christmas box....

Pair 5 of 9
Regia sock yarn

- THIS is a really cute pincushion - and has some extra storage too.

- For the crocheters out there, how about THIS wonderful blanket pattern?

- Have a look through the galleries of THIS artist - some amazing work.  Be forewarned, a few of the images are a little sad.

- I know I've mentioned THIS before, but it bears repeating over and over.  This is a great way to do your small bit to help make the world a better place. 

Today's quote..."Forget the mistake, remember the lesson'

Friday, July 26, 2019

Diving and Busting

Yep, I went stash diving and ended up busting some outta bondage and into the light of day.  First up, I made a couple of tote bags.

Some of you may remember my trying to use up a pre-quilted whole cloth chunk of quilt I was given and that I added several of the doilies from my stash to it.  I finally used up the rest of it to make this....

I was stash diving and came across some brown upholstery sample squares I've had for ages and thought I should be able to make something out of them.  Also came across a piece of chocolate-themed fabric and decided another tote bag might be a good use for at least some of it......

Two more things going in the Christmas box!

And while I was putzing about with the upholstery fabric sample squares I realized I had just enough to make this cute little pillow cover for our grandson....

Measures about 16" square

- If you like dragons (I do!), then perhaps you might like THIS cute little freebie.  And while you're there, if you click on the forward and back buttons you'll find more!

- And HERE is another fun project that might serve as a stash buster.

- For those of you who enjoy the current trend towards modern quilt making, perhaps THESE might be of interest.

- THIS is amazing eye candy!  Imagine the number of hours that had to have gone into making it.

Today's quote..."This is the beginning of a new day.  You have been given this day to use as you will.  You can waste it or use it for good.  What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it.  When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever.  In its place is something that you have left behind.  Let it be something good" 

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

More recipes

I'm running behind today so this post is going to be a simple one.  Thought I'd share a couple more recipes we find quite tasty...


1 small onion
2/3 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 c. white vinegar
1 c. salad oil
1 tsp. poppy seeds
Place onion in blender and chop.  Add sugar, mustard, salt and vinegar & blend.  Add oil a small amount at a time.  Add poppy seeds and refrigerate.  Use on salads, as a sandwich spread, or as a 'dip' for raw veggies.


2/3 c. raspberry vinegar
1/3 c. vegetable oil
1/3 c. sugar
2 T. lemon juice
2 tsp. poppy seeds
1/4 tsp. Worcestershire
1 T. minced onion
1/4 tsp. paprika
Combine vinegar, sugar, lemon juice, Worcestershire, onion & paprika in blender.  Slowly add veg oil.  Add poppy seeds & refrigerate.  Serve over romaine lettuce with sliced strawberries and pecans.


1 c. mayo (we use Miracle Whip)
1/2 c. sour cream
1/2 tsp. EACH dried chives, parsley & dill
1/4 tsp. EACH garlic power & onion powder
1/8 tsp. EACH salt & pepper
Combine in blender and refrigerate.  Use on salads, as a sandwich spread, or as a 'dip' for veggies.  

I don't have time today to search out any fun links for you (sorry), so I will leave you with today's anonymous quote...."When nothing goes right, go left"

Monday, July 22, 2019

Well, it's happened

Yep, it's official.  I'm an old farte.  And I don't feel any older despite the calendar saying I should.  The best part is the government is now going to see fit to pay me for the privilege of being old....bring it on!!!

The weekend was very hot here so not much was done on the creative side of things. about a nice summer recipe?  We've been eating this one the past couple of nights and I have to say it's pretty tasty and perfect for summer.

2 small boxes Lemon Jello
1 cup boiling water
1 small can crushed pineapple, drained
1/2 c. salad dressing
1 c. chopped celery
1 c. chopped walnuts (optional)
16 oz. cottage cheese
1/2 c. whipping cream, whipped ***

*** NOTE:  Resident Chef didn't have any whipping cream on hand, so he made up a lemon instant pudding and used that instead....tastes great!  Left out the walnuts too (didn't have any in the cupboard).  

Dissolve Jello in boiling water and refrigerate until starting to jell.  Add remaining ingredients.  Chill and Enjoy!!

- I mentioned awhile ago that Kathy Shaw has a new book ("Stunning Stitches For Crazy Quilts") out that is making a stir among the crazy quilting and embroidery world and today I noticed that she now has templates available, which are an invaluable aid  (although not absolutely necessary) when creating the designs.  You can find more information about the book HERE and the templates are available HERE or directly from Kathy HERE.  The book is available on Amazon too.

- Reading blogs will often lead me to something that is really great and THIS is no exception.  I NEED one of these for my sock knitting because those pesky little DPN needles keep wanting to dump their stitches and escape for parts unknown.  Thanks Barbara for this one!! thing I did over the weekend was make one!.....

I didn't have snaps, so I opted to use
dome fasteners that I gussied up with buttons.
Had just a bit enough scrap of fabric leftover from
making my sock knitting bag, so a win/win.

- I must admit I love the idea of THESE and the fact that it would alleviate the 'drop in and hunt' aspect of most purses.  Would I make one and actually use it?  First of all, I'd have to use a purse that was actually big enough to accommodate such a thing....something my chiropractor would frown most severely upon.  So...throwing it out there for those of you who DO have the proper sized purse!

- There's a fairly comprehensive printable grocery list available HERE.

- And have a look at THIS yarn stash organization!  Talk about yarn envy!!!

Today your quote is from Lucy Levenson..."If I plan something I never enjoy it as much.  I like the journey of not knowing how it turns out"

Friday, July 19, 2019

And....the beginning of something else!

Over the next little while there just might be a few baby-ish things appearing here at Chez Magpie...and this is the start of one of them....

Why, you might ask?
Well...there's a wee little 'grand' bundle of joy
to love  making an appearance 
in our lives come the end of January.
So...what's a grandma to do but make things?

- HERE is another artist that does interesting work.

- There's an interesting technique HERE showing how to create a faux concrete look.

- And if you use pegboard, how about gussying it up with some of THESE ideas?

- I've seen a lot of THESE around the internet and I'm curious to know - would you use them?

- I love the whimsical work of THIS artist (be sure to scroll down).

Instead of a quote today, I came across this and thought you might enjoy it....

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Another tah dah moment!

And......we have another finish!!  I loved making this one and I know I will be searching for more crusty rusty vehicles so I can do more (not that I'm giving up my love of buildings anytime soon!).  There are definitely NOT enough hours in the days to create all of these I would like to do.  (Please excuse the quality of the photo - of course it's raining here and the lighting is dismal!)


The color in the close-up is a bit more 'true' ...

Inspired by this photo and kindly used with the permission of Dale Stewart (thank you!!!!)......

This one measures approx. 32" x 23 1/2" and is for sale.  If you're interested, drop me an email!  

- Have a peek at the work done by THIS artist (and you can read her interview as well).

- And look at the amazing textile art HERE and HERE!!!

- If you have a little girl in your life I'm pretty sure she would love one of THESE for her dress-up box.

Today's quote...." I feel like a failure.  I've been shopping for craft supplies for 20 years and I still don't have what I need"

Monday, July 15, 2019

and....another one bites the dust....

....another pair of socks that is!
#4 of 9, using my favourite sock 'recipe'...

Yarn is, once again, 'Pairfect' by Regia.  

I think there will be a finished landscape to
show you on Wednesday, so stay tuned!

Throwing this out to you for help...
If, in your travels over the summer, 
you come across a great old rusty 
tractor or vehicle and are able to stop (safely!)
and get me some good clear photos I
would certainly appreciate it!
Fodder for such things is scarce in this area.
(of course I'm always interested in old houses,
churches and barns too!)

- There are some fun ideas HERE for using jelly rolls.

- HERE is something the little ones in your life are sure to love!  

- Although THIS isn't my style, I can appreciate the artistic side of it.  Be sure to check out her galleries.

- I don't have long hair, and even when I did (many moons ago!!) I would never have been clever enough to begin to think of doing any of THESE styles!  Great fun to watch the video anyway.

- Have a look at the galleries of work by THIS artist!  Such detail in something so small.

- And never letting it be said that this blog doesn't have a variety of mumblings, how about learning to paint fabric with watercolours as done in the tutorial HERE.  I want to try this - might be less messy than using shaving cream!!

Today's quote..."Life is amazing.  And then it's awful.  And then it's amazing again.  And in between the amazing and the awful, it's ordinary and mundane and routine.  Breathe in the amazing, hold on through the awful, and relax and exhale during the ordinary.  That's just  living a heartbreaking, soul-healing, amazing, awful, ordinary life.  And it's breathtakingly beautiful"

Friday, July 12, 2019

Soapboxes, progress, and pretties

First, I'll start with the soapbox....this morning we had our first telemarketer call at 6:50 am.  Followed by two more within half an hour.  What is WRONG with these people?  Do they not know that your heart stops when the phone rings that early in the morning?  Do they not know that there are (hah) laws that state they are legally not allowed to call before 9 am and after 9 pm?  If we didn't live in an apartment and there were noise bylaws in place I would buy a whistle (or even better an air horn).  Maybe deafening the suckers might give them pause for thought - although I seriously doubt it.  Fortunately we have call display and never answer calls that are from a number we don't recognize and you'd think they would get tired of calling when they get no response.  
Climbing off soapbox now.

And just to get my ohmmmm about these....

Resident Chef bought me flowers!
No special reason either....lucky me.💖

And here's a progress picture...

- How about going on a fun little garden tour found HERE.  Some great ideas!

- THIS would be a handy tote to make - I would be tempted to line it I think.

- You might want to pour yourself a cuppa and go exploring HERE.  There are lots of amazing fibre artists listed and it appears as though you can click on each one and be taken to further information (and more eye candy!!).

- There's a great tutorial HERE for a sweet sewing bag.

Today's quote, from Francine Ohiar..."Some people just don't get that I'd rather talk to a wall than them"

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

A bit more progress

Hopefully you can see a bit of what I've added to the landscape over the past few days.  Still more to go!

- There's a lovely new stitch-along starting HERE.  Looks like it will be tons of fun!

- It's strawberry season here and I came across THIS crocheted version.

- Have a look at the amazing fibre art done by THIS artist!

- If you have a little one to knit for, there's a ton of great patterns available HERE

Today's quote..."One small crack does not mean that you are broken.  It means that you were put to the test and you didn't fall apart"

Monday, July 08, 2019

December in July

I did accomplish a little more on the landscape over the weekend but not enough that you can really see much of a difference.  So....instead of showing you's another of my 'evening projects' I just finished.  Something else for the Christmas box!

The pattern is the 'Basic Knitted Socks' by
Kate Atherly, and can be found on
Ravelry HERE.
Yarn is 'Pairfect' by Regia.

This is my 'go-to' sock pattern - easy and lots of
stretch so they fit quite well.  The only thing I change is to
begin with 12 rows of knit 1, purl 1 for additional
stretch at the top.  

- There are some great patterns available HERE for knitted slippers.

- There's a cute little bag tutorial HERE.   While you're there poke around in her free pattern section - lots to inspire!

- I stumbled across THESE in my travels about the internet and was most intrigued - something I can perhaps aspire to.  But then.....then......I saw the price!

- THIS is a fun little case for holding your phone (takes a second to load).

Another anonymous quote for you today..."Some days I amaze myself.  Other days, I look for my scissors while I'm already holding them"

Friday, July 05, 2019

And yet more progress

As you can see, there has been a bit more progress on the old car part of the landscape.  

Sometimes there are mysteries that happen here at Chez Magpie and yesterday PMS Albatross decided in her wisdom that she should start sewing one of the decorative stitches completely backwards.  No reason.  At first I thought it was because I had pressed the reverse button but then I remembered that the decorative stitches don't HAVE a reverse option.  So why, oh why, did this particular hissy fit occur?  Yet another in the litany of idiosyncrasies of PMS Albatross!!  

- THIS falls under the category of 'who knew?' - I certainly didn't know there were that many options for different sock heels!!

- Sometimes I come across something that just plain makes me smile.  I'll never make THIS, but it's good for a smile anyway.

- I thought it was interesting to see the creation of THIS

Today's quote..."Warning!  This woman is a quilter.  She actually enjoys chopping up perfectly good fabric into little teeny tiny pieces and then sewing them all right back together again for fun!"

Wednesday, July 03, 2019

A bit of progress

There has been a bit done on the newest landscape as you can see from this photo...

- Should have posted THIS in my previous post (to go along with the Lego blanket!).

- You would have to use the translate feature for THIS one - but I don't see why any doily pattern would work.  Such a pretty way to protect your dishes!

- I know I've shown you something similar to THIS before, but I like the non-traditional use of fabrics this time.

- There's a nice cross stitch butterfly pattern HERE.  

Today's quote..."In the rhythm of the needles there is music for the soul"

Monday, July 01, 2019

Another finished project

Over the weekend I finished working on another gift that will be added to the Christmas box.  I really enjoyed working with the bright colours and of course the Lego theme was a winner in my eyes.  The pattern is the crocheted 'Building Blocks Throw' from Red Heart and can be found HERE.  I would recommend, if you were to do this, that you use a #3 yarn, rather than the # 4 the pattern calls for.  It's a tad heavy and I think a bit lighter weight yarn would suit it better.  

- Have a peek, at the incredible textile art by THIS artist!  And you can see more by visiting her web site HERE.

- Oh, and have a look at THESE little cuties too!!

- THIS is an interesting method of adding a zipper to knitting, without sewing.

- If I still had a garden, I would love to try making one (or more!) of THESE.

- Most of you know that I've always had a fascination with creating things with denim so of course THIS caught my eye!

Another anonymous quote (and one that I think we can all identify with at times!)..."A perfect metaphor for my life would be 'someone trying to stand in a hammock'