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, December 30, 2020

Good riddance!

 For the most part 2020 has been a huge bummer, hasn't it.  January was wonderful, at least here at Chez Magpie, because we welcomed a brand new baby grandson.  After that the year sort of went to h-e-double-hockey-sticks - at least the outside world did.  Here at the Chez we were warm, cozy and had lots to keep us occupied.  

Over the year I completed a number of items and, like many bloggers, I will do a little 'show 'n tell' of the highlights (more for my benefit than anything!).





Masks, masks and more masks



If you are seriously interested in knowing more about any of these projects, simply click on the month in my sidebar and scroll through and you'll find it.  And I think these pictures are clickable to embiggen. 






Monday, December 28, 2020




And,.....another landscape done!  This one measures 24 x 32". From an original photograph by Janice Holton and used with her kind permission.  This is the original photo...

Thank you Janice!

Today's quote..."I think that when the dust settles, we will realize how little we need, how very much we actually have, and the true value of human connection"

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Christmas wishes and mumblings

Here is a wonderful quote from Mrs. Frugalwoods..."Merry Pandemic Holidays!!!! We're ready to celebrate how much we love our families by.... not seeing them!!"      
Wise words indeed!

This will be my last post for a few days and I would like to take this opportunity to wish you a very happy Christmas even though it is a very different form of celebration than many of us are used to.  Be safe, be well, and stay home so that we can all have a merrier Christmas next year.  

I leave  you with this.  Enjoy.            ....

Monday, December 21, 2020

Another little peek

I'm not quite ready to show you the entire thing (mainly because I'm still tweaking it!), but here is another little tidbit for you...

Today's quote is from Thomas S. Monson.... - "Giving, not getting, brings to full bloom the Christmas spirit"    and here is another one, from Bob Hope,      ..."My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others"

Friday, December 18, 2020

A couple close-ups

 Today I will just show you a couple of close-ups of the latest landscape.  The rest isn't quite ready to be revealed at the moment.

 The quote is from Calvin Coolidge..."Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind.  To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas"

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

There's more - can you see it?

 Yes, there's been more happening on the latest landscape.  The eagle-eyed among you will see a few animals have been added and some birds too.  The tree is being worked on and then it will be time to start adding the embroidered details.  Some would say I'm anal....

And, these have been my 'sit in front of the tv in the evenings' project over the past couple of weeks.  Resident Chef will have toasty toes this winter.  They've been tucked under the Christmas tree for him to be oh-so-surprised (!!!) Christmas morning.  

Today's quote..."I still believe in Santa Claus.  He may not be the one that puts the presents under the tree, but his spirit works through us each time we give freely without expectation and each time we spread joy, love and light"

Monday, December 14, 2020

 There are some further updates on the landscape as you can see from this photo...

Some of the additional elements have been fussy cut from pre-printed fabric.  The work on the tree has begun with the leaves ready to be added next.  Then it will be on to the embroidery part of it.

Today's quote is from John Holmes..."There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up"

Friday, December 11, 2020

Hard to see, but there's been progress!

 I don't know how well you can see the additions to the landscape, but here's a photo anyway....

The barn and the sky, as well as the grass, has been stitched/quilted and I've started shading the barn and working on the clouds.  There are several more layers of paint/pencil to add yet before it looks the way I would like it to.  Of course there's always the very real risk that I might well flub it up totally!  

Today's quote... "Living a stress free life doesn't come from perfect experiences because there is no such thing as a perfect life; rather, it's a reward of frequent positive interpretations of one's ordeals"

Wednesday, December 09, 2020

Nice to know we are loved!

 Yesterday morning we were notified that there was a delivery on the way from one of the local florists and this is what arrived....

Thank you SO much to our
#2 son and daughter-in-love!!!!

This week I don't have a whole lot to add to my list of 'Making Space' items but these are better than none....

There's an LED base thingie that's supposed to support another thingie that makes it look pretty when it's lit up. powers of description are sadly lacking aren't they!  This thing was purchased when I bought the second 'thingie', not realizing that said second 'thingie' came with one in the box.  There's a little rotary cutter that came with a bigger one.  I've never used it and so it's being let go.  And...the jar of coconut oil....another misguided purchase on my part.  I had heard it was good cream for your skin so thought I would try it.  Well, over the summer it entirely melted and when it went back to normal when the weather cooled it ended up lumpy and the lumps refuse to blend into my skin.  Yuck.  So...buh bye to that one too!!  Only three things this week - bringing the total to 40 items.  

Instead of a quote today, how about playing a little game?  Mine is Pompom Pointysocks....

Monday, December 07, 2020

A teeny bit of progress

 Yes, there's been a teeny bit of progress on the landscape but the picture doesn't really show all that much because some things are happening behind the scenes (hopefully those will become apparent later in the week).  

I've started working on the grass and the entire thing has been sandwiched with batting ready for me to start the actual stitching on the grass area as well as the sky, both of which have to be done before I can go on with some of the other details.  

Today's quote..."Never underestimate the power of a woman and her sewing machine"  

Friday, December 04, 2020

A small beginning

 I have a small start on the new landscape to show you.  I will be taking some creative liberties with this one and making some additions but you'll just have to wait and see what they are.  For that matter, even *I* will have to wait and see what they are!!  

 Today's quote is from Amy Carmichael..."You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving"

Wednesday, December 02, 2020

A hodge podge

 Typing that title for this blog post made me stop and wonder where those words actually came from.  One of the mysteries that make up the English language!  

++++++++++++ UPDATED TO ADD......++++++++++++++

Hodge-podge is a thick, nourishing stew with origins in the Canadian region of Nova Scotia. The name of the soup is probably derived from the English term hotch-potch, which means a mixture, referring to the fact that the stew is prepared with a combination of different vegetables such as carrots, beans, and potatoes.

Thank you Maureen for this tidbit of information!  Folks...she was up at 2 am researching this - so kudos to her!!!!


Today I do have a myriad of things to mumble about so here goes...

First of all, I did finish a project.  This afghan was my 'in front of the tv watching Christmas movies on W' project for the past month.  It is one of two that are destined to be wedding gifts over the next year....

The pattern is the 'Grace Throw' from Mary Maxim
and I used Caron Simply Soft yarn
Yesterday we awoke to a winter wonderland outside.  I, of course, am hard-pressed to think of it that way but I'm attempting to be positive!

This is the view from our balcony overlooking the river 

And this is one of the two large spruce trees that are right outside our bedroom window


And, just to prove that I am trying to be creative...

I've pulled some fabrics that might - or might not -
make the cut towards the new landscape.

Today, instead of a quote, how about this....

Monday, November 30, 2020

Christmas decor at Chez Magpie

I must admit it's unheard of for Christmas decorating to happen here at Chez Magpie before the beginning of December (most often even mid-December) but we hauled everything out and did the deed.  There was a great deal of muttering and even a teeny little bit of swearing involved (mainly Resident Chef as he wrestled the "easy-peasy lift from the bottom, hook at the top" pre-lit Christmas tree into submission.  The 'hook at the top' was an issue because for some mysterious reason said hook part had evaporated since last year.  There was another bit of blue air over the fact that some of the lights had quit working.  Luckily we happened to have a spare strand so that disaster was averted.  Every year we swear we're going to buy a new tree and every year it doesn't happen.  We can only have an artificial tree due to fire regulations and the one we have is/was too tall for the space we have for it now so at some point the Chef lobbed off part of the top.  The entire thing makes Charlie Brown's tree look positively lush, at least until I stuff a fluffy, shedding all the while, hunk of garland into the middle of it.  

Please note you can click to embiggen the photos!

This sits atop our tv cabinet.  The sleigh once held a floral arrangement.  

Some assorted ornaments 

Our tree sits atop an old treadle sewing machine in front of our only living room window.  Beneath you can just catch a glimpse of the wooden nativity Resident Chef made a number of years ago.
The nativity is a set that Avon produced a number of years ago - purchased while I was a rep.

The tree - bad lighting and all.

The topper ended up being a teddy bear - because, after much searching, it was determined that we got rid of our previous one and had intended to buy something new.  Obviously - intent and doing are two different things!

This is a Belsnickel Santa that I made for our friends back in 2002.  We inherited it back again and he now resides at our house.  

If you would like to know more about the history of this particular type of Santa go HERE.  

This sits on top of a cabinet in the living room.  I made the lamp shade in a workshop years ago and the angel (which lights up) was a gift

Today, instead of a quote...