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.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Just a quick drop in and out....

I did manage to finish the second scissor pouch over the weekend...

The out-ards above, and the innards below...

If you embiggen the photo you can see the
beaded scissor fob as well

I'm afraid I've fallen down on the job and I don't have any links to share today.  I will try to make up for it on Friday!

Today's quote is from Antoine de Saint-Eupery..."Loving is not just looking at each other, it's looking in the same direction"

Monday, February 17, 2020

Dull day = oops

Sometimes my ability to waste time on something astounds even my low expectations of myself.  I should know better than to choose colours on a dull poor-lighting day as this photo will definitely show...

Do you see what I did?  The green on the right does NOT in any way blend even remotely with the embroidered part on the left.  And before you make any comments that ALL greens go together OR that it's the inside of the pouch and therefore won't show - it hurts my eyes.  So there will be some frogging happening here at Chez Magpie today.  

However, on the good side, I did finish the embroidery for the front...

The lighting is much better today so hopefully the re-do of the 'innards' will be more pleasing to the eye!  Never let it be said that your Magpie is afraid to show you her mistakes.

- I don't normally post links to cleaning tips (after all, who WANTS to clean!!) but I stumbled across THIS one and thought it was worth sharing.  I don't know about you, but cleaning the tub is one of my most hated jobs and this might just make it easier on my back and knees.

- And while you're at that site have a peek at some of the other brilliant ideas she has for using Blue Dawn soap (HERE).  We use it all the time for pre-treating grease spots on like a charm and SO much cheaper than products made commercially for that purpose.  (no affiliation with either the site OR with Blue Dawn - just a happy user).

- There's a really sweet pincushion tutorial HERE

- If you like to crochet perhaps you might enjoy making THIS. 

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, February 14, 2020

Happy Valentine's Day!

After much faffing about I finally got my camera to play nicely with the computer so I have a picture for you...

For some reason the camera and the computer didn't want to play in the same sandbox this morning so it was a struggle to get even this to show you.  Maybe they're cold - it's *only* -21 Celsius outside this morning (which, for those who use Fahrenheit, is about 5 below zero).  We won't discuss the windchill factor.  

Sorry there's not more to show you - but I've been too busy being social and doing mundane things like errands to get much time to pick up needle and threads.

- THIS is a rather pretty reversible scarf pattern.

- There are lots of makeup bag patterns available HERE.

- Denim!  THESE are definitely fun.

- Seeing THESE created an awwwww moment!

Today's quote is from Erich Fromm...."Love is an act of faith, and whoever is of little faith is also of little love"

Wednesday, February 12, 2020


A wee update on the previous rant about Canada Post - the parcel arrived late on Monday, remarkably unscathed despite all the adventures it had.  Phew!  I plan to become best buds with UPS from now on - Canada Post has burned their bridges!

It's been a busy couple of days so there has been absolutely nada done on anything creative so I don't have any photos to share.  At least I have a few links for you to explore and hopefully I'll have something to show you on Friday.

- Mary Corbet has done a great article HERE on how to raise up an embroidered daisy stitch to make a really pretty flowers. 

- Although the instructions aren't with THESE there are plenty of inspirational ideas for using recycled denim. 

- You have time to make some of THESE for Valentine's Day. 

- And perhaps there might be something HERE you might like to make for your sweetheart.

Here's a little smile for your day..."Not to brag, but I just went into another room and actually remembered why I went in there.  It was the bathroom, but still....."

Monday, February 10, 2020

Progress - and a rant

I've started on another scissor holder/pouch - #2 of what will be 3 I think....

It's been awhile since you've been subjected to a rant here at Chez Magpie but sometimes a gal has just gotta vent.  Scroll down if you're bored already!

Back story - You've watched the projects unfolding that were/are destined to be gifts for the newest addition to our family.  You've seen the Baby Yoda - and you've seen the extra things that were for his big brother.  Well,  the author of this rant hauled the rather large parcel to our local post office two weeks ago and paid an exorbitant amount to have it sent to their doorstep.  Delivery, they said, would take 6 business days.  Key word here - they 'said'.  The doorstep in this case is over 4000 km away from here.  According to the tracking information the parcel has been on a rather interesting journey.  It went from here to Toronto where it is sorted and put on a plane bound for British Columbia where it next surfaced in Richmond.  So far, so good.  The next appearance put it in Regina.  Regina???  That's half way BACK in this direction.  Hmmm.  Oh, and isn't it good to know that the parcel thought it wanted to also see Calgary?  Which is STILL in the middle of country and nowhere near where it needed to be.  Oh look - it's BACK in Richmond - that's at least in British Columbia.  Oh oh - just look - it's back in Calgary.  Fast forward two days (spent compulsively checking the tracking web site) and it's BACK in Richmond, where it's spent the last four days 'in transit'.  In transit, to where I wonder?  Oh the mysteries that make up our illustrious Canada Post!!!    (Oh, and the web site still says it will be delivered last Thursday!!).  
Rant over

- THIS site leads to lots (!) of free knitting patterns and their sister site HERE gives you crochet.

- I know that tutorials/patterns for tote bags abound, but THIS one caught my eye.  You can either purchase the pattern or follow the directions on the blog post to make your own.

- Tutorial HERE for making a nice wallet.  And if you have to carry a bunch of cards, perhaps THIS wallet might be just what you need to organize them.

- There are some fun ideas HERE for recycling denim.

Instead of a quote, how about a housekeeping tip instead?  "Always keep several get well cards on the mantel.  That way, if unexpected guests arrive, they'll think you've been sick and unable to clean"

Friday, February 07, 2020

Another finish!

Yes, there's another finish here at Chez Magpie and an addition to the 2020 Christmas box.  Several of you 'almost' guessed what I was creating!

Above is the outside and below the inside 
(clickable to embiggen)

I fell in like with some beautiful embroidery scissors and simply HAD to create a special pouch to hold them.  This is number one of a series of three.  And here are the scissors that started all this in the first place....
They measure 4" long

- The San Francisco School of Needlework and Design has announced their latest Stitch At Home challenge titled 'Twenties Visions'  and you can find out more HERE.  

- There are lots of free tutorials/patterns HERE for making wallets.

- THIS is a really pretty crocheted heart pattern that could be useful in the next week or so!

Today's quote..."Perhaps this is the moment for which you have been created"

Wednesday, February 05, 2020

Embroidery is done

The embroidery part of this project is complete I think so here it is...

And here are closeups ....

This afternoon I hope to put it together
so there *might* be a reveal on 
Wednesday (don't hold your breath tho')

- THIS is a cute take on a pincushion with storage built in.

- There's a nice fabric case tutorial HERE.

- Have a look at the work by THIS amazing artist!

Here's a quote I found that bears thinking about...."Handmade gifts are NOT cheap.  If someone has given you a handmade crocheted (or knitted)  afghan, the average cost to them (not including time spent) for materials averages $45-$50.  Each skein costs about $6 and each afghan pattern requires approximately 8 skeins.  If someone made you an afghan, it took them a month or more to make.  They love you"

Monday, February 03, 2020

Getting closer!

Yes, it's getting closer to the reveal of what this particular crazy quilted 'thing' might be turned into....

Now the big question is....will it turn into what I envision....or not?

- Some of you might find THESE printable project labels useful.

- I really like THIS!  If you have a yarn stash you might like it too.

- THIS zippered pouch is a little bit different take on the normal ones you see.

An interesting quote I found (courtesy of a book called "How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind' by Dana K White)....regarding decluttering...."Do the trash first"  (in other words - just get rid of the trash first and the rest will follow and be much easier). 

Friday, January 31, 2020

The end!!!! And a beginning?

Yes, it is indeed the end of the decluttering photos!  I know - do try to contain yourselves.  
oops - I think I photographed the thread spools twice!
There are 20 pairs of mittens and a small photo album

2 power bars, 2 wire brushes and a package of furniture sliders

Although I've posted the photos as if the decluttering happened on a daily basis throughout the month, in actual fact it only took about a week to go through our entire home.  Now, before you fall over in a dead faint over THAT tidbit of information, do keep in mind that we live in a small 2 bedroom apartment and not a full-sized house!  We got rid of a lot of stuff (a few things are still waiting to be delivered to their ultimate destination) and quite honestly our place still looks the same.  How can that be? 

All in all the downsizing exercise was a success and led to some hard decisions being made over things we had held onto for far too long.  The underlying thing in my mind was remembering the mantra - "Will my kids want to deal with this when I'm gone" and /or "What would my kids DO with ........ when I'm gone'.  Remembering that made a lot of the decisions, particularly over sentimental items, that much easier to make.   Overall the house doesn't really look as though we got rid of much but the difference shows in the fact that drawers now open and close easily and some things that were residing on the floor are now tucked away into drawers that were either emptied altogether or downsized to the degree that their contents could be housed together with something else.  Like is with like - something that will make life a whole lot easier going forward.  Would I do this again?  Most definitely!

Switching gears completely, I've started on
a new crazy quilted project...

Watch this space to see what this becomes!

- The spring issue of 'Crazy Quilt Quarterly' is now available!  There just *might* be a couple of items by me in this issue too.  Go HERE to purchase your copy from MagCloud or HERE to get it from Etsy.  There's lots of fun content as always!!

- THIS is a fun way to make something useful out of a favourite t-shirt.

- There's a tutorial HERE to make grocery bags.

- HERE is a great crocheted trivet pattern - perfect to use up scraps!

Today's quote..."Not to brag, but I just went into another room and actually remembered why I went in there.  It was the bathroom, but still....."

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Another finish

This is a hat I recently finished knitting - it only takes one ball of yarn so it's quite economical to make...

The pattern is the '1898 hat' and can be 
found HERE.  
I like the fact that the brim is worked double and the 'flaps' over the ears are worked with simple increases and decreases.  I'll be making more of these! (actually I've already started a second one)

Believe it or not, the downsizing pictures ARE drawing to an end.  And yes, I can hear the collective sigh of relief all the way from here!!

more dishes, excess wooden spoons, and a pile of paper napkins (which we have cut into squares
and are currently using up)

a pile of envelopes (equal pile still in the drawer!); some thread that's basically rotten; beeswax
candles that I don't dare burn due to Resident Chef's allergies; a CD case and two CDs
(and before you ask the wooden thread spools have been sent off to bless
someone else who might make something out of them)

- There are some great ideas HERE for creating and displaying a family tree.

- THIS is a rather cute pincushion pattern.

- THIS idea was done at Christmas time, but it would be a great gift anytime of the year.  Fun project for kids to do too (under adult supervision!).

- There was a discussion recently about uses for t-shirts and making yarn from them - HERE is a pattern you might find interesting.

Today's quote..."That moment when you're supposed to be cleaning, but you pick up your yarn to tidy it and accidentally make a hat"

Monday, January 27, 2020

Done and Done

Yes, the landscape is done as you can see from this photo....


As you can see, this one is for sale.  If you're interested please PM me.  (and if you check under the label 'landscape quilt' in my sidebar you can see others I have available for purchase).  

The photo doesn't do the snow justice in this one.  A lot of it glitters like 'real' snow and that simply doesn't show up in a photo.  The true test will be when my uncle sees it and gives me his critique...hopefully he thinks I've done the tractor justice (altho' I know he will hate the snow aspect because he dislikes winter as much as I do!).  

And now, on to some more show and share of the decluttering efforts here at Chez Magpie...

A set of wheels (WHY????!!!);  a stack of plastic containers, some peat pots, a cake
pan and a sprayer

a grill pan, 2 cookbooks, a ladies wallet, a hip bag, and a ring from a long-gone microwave

three tablecloths, a too-small-to-be-any-use throw; and half of a huge chunk of red fabric

Resident chef contributed 3 pairs of too-big pants; a basket from our old rice
cooker; and there's a pair of winter boots I haven't worn in likely 10 years

A few more assorted books
Sometimes I stumble across something that seems so incredibly easy and I wonder why I didn't think of it.  Go HERE to see a short video to see what I mean!  Now I'm wondering if this method could be used when changing colours as well.  Hmmmm.....

- There are lots of free resources for quilting HERE.  Scroll down for the free items.

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

Rather than a quote today, I have this little warning I thought was worth sharing:  "When writing a date on any document in the year 2020, we should write it in its full format e.g. 31/01/2020 and not as 21/01/20 because anyone can change it to 21/01/2000 or 21/01/2019 or pretty much any other year.  That can render a document invalid"

Friday, January 24, 2020

Small update and of course a continuation

I think you can see that there's been some progress on the latest landscape....

And yet more photos of the Grande Declutter Project
(good thing January is coming to an end, sez you!)

assorted dishes and salt & pepper shakers, along with a 'not-real-silver' jug

Assorted dishes along with a plate 'holder-upper thingie'

glass - wine glasses, bowl, etc.

mugs, plate, vase too large to hold any flowers I ever get, and two serving bowls

casserole dish, teddy Christmas tree topper, 2 teapots & pig candles

Resident Chef unearthed these metal pans, a canister & two lids of undetermined origin from the

- Have a peek through the galleries of THIS amazing artist!

- There's a cute tutorial HERE for a heart pillow/quilt that would be perfect for Valentine's (or any time of the year!)

- There is a very detailed tutorial HERE to make a purse organizer. And there's another one HERE.  

- Have a look at the amazing work done by THIS artist too!

Today's quote..."Nothing makes me more productive than the last minute"

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Big excitement!

First of all I have to show you the latest addition to our

Evan Richardson
born January 20, 2020

We're in love!

Here's more of the decluttering efforts..

two small jewelry boxes; assorted earrings & pins; a horrible metal nail file that shreds your nails to bits (THAT went in the garbage!)

two towels; and a box of books (actually there were two boxes but I overlooked a picture
of the second one)

two banks, 4 balls of yarn; a Christmas bracelet & a blob of white stuff that for the life
of me I can't remember 

dishes, candlesticks and a glass hanging plant holder

bowls - I have at least as many more still in the cupboard

Halloween decorations, more dishes, and a glass tube that holds flowers
(the brown 'blob' is a paper-covered plastic pumpkin)
- THIS is a cute cross stitch dragonfly pattern - and it looks as though she has a number of other designs as well.

- I know there are a number of different fund-raising efforts happening for aid to the animals of Australia, but THIS one in particular caught my eye.  

- THIS is a pretty cowl pattern some of you might like.

- 2020 is the Chinese Year of the Rat, and HERE is a really cute rat pattern (scroll down for the free version).  And yes, rats CAN be cute!!!

Today's quote:  "In life, it's important to know when to stop arguing with people and simply let them be wrong"

Monday, January 20, 2020

Another update

I made a little progress on the landscape over the weekend....

And here are a few more results from the
Grande Declutter...

3 plastic storage boxes, 2 pairs of pinking shears (I still have two!); a pen that doesn't write, a word search
puzzle book & a fridge magnet

A pile of manuals and such for the computer I had years ago; a pile of paper; 3 journal books, a single
knitting needle, and some dull rotary cutter blades (I treated my cutter to a new blade)

a bunch of bookmarks, a wooden box, some sort of breathing apparatus, a thingie used to
fill my water pillow; a partially carved Santa, a single shoelace; and a thingie of
undetermined origin

2 more calendars, old crazy quilt magazines, and a bunch of
crafting books

sewing patterns, a roll of drywall tape (???), a roll of silver tape evidently used for
taping furnace pipes (ummm....????); tracing paper, a pair of tweezers

- Have a look through the galleries of THIS amazing artist!!

- Making one of THESE might be fun - especially if you know someone who is 'in' to sheep.

- Although we've had a weekend of a lot of snow here, I thought THIS would be really cute to make for Easter for a little one.

- There's an interesting article HERE regarding how to price your creations for sale.  

Today's quote is from Joshua Becker..."Owning less is better than organizing more"