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.

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"

Friday, January 17, 2020

Progress on a couple of fronts

Not a great picture (very dull outside) but you can see the progress I think...

And....some more results of the decluttering efforts here at Chez Magpie....

A ruching marker thingie, a flower yo yo maker, sequins, a needlecase, sheet holders, and a head

old calendars and CQ magazines that are very outdated

old pictures and picture frames 

cotton yarn (I hate the stuff); a sleeve of recordable CD's, some white cloth 'bits' too
small for what I need, and a couple of storage  containers

two dog brushes (no, I don't have a dog!). a knife sharpener that didn't have directions so I have no clue how to use it, a couple of rulers, two lethal cutters that have led to a lot of blood shed, and a bobbin case for a sewing machine I got rid of years ago
- There's a nice crocheted scarf pattern HERE (scroll down for the pattern itself).  Great for stash busting!

- THIS is one of those small projects that just might be something you - or someone you know - needs.  And THIS one is too!

- Have a look at the sculptures gallery of THIS amazing artist!

- Finally, for those of you who are 'in' to gnomes, perhaps THESE cute little guys might be something you'd like to make.

Today's quote..."The beauty of handmade lies in the imperfections.  Anything perfect is machine made"

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

There be a tractor!

Well, there's at least an OUTLINE of a tractor.  There's a long way to go yet before it looks quite right but at least you can see the beginning...

....or is it the beginning of the end?  Time will tell!

And...further on the decluttering project, here's some more results....

Beads, beads and more beads

Assorted beads, metal 'thingies', wooden bits, shells

glass doorknob (why???); a clock face; metal bobbins that have never fit any sewing machine I've owned,
hinges, blenders and a wheel of pins (I have more!)

A bag full of assorted paper 'bits' having to do with sewing; some fabric covered wire,
a pile of harvested fur, a sewing gauge (several more still) and a couple of pincushions

3 pkgs of seam binding, some paper bits; more beads, and a scarf

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

- I really like THIS - great use for a piece of upholstery fabric.

- Sometimes the most simple ideas are the best, and THIS is proof of that.

- Great eye candy HERE!

Today's quote is an apt one from Francine Jay..."Your home is living space, not storage space"

Monday, January 13, 2020

Is it over yet? And a beginning

Just to give you something else to look at other than my downsizing efforts, how about an inspiration for a new landscape?  This is a photo of my uncle with the tractor he refurbished and now drives in pretty much every local parade in his area.  I've wanted to use a tractor in my work and so this has become my inspiration.  Of course his tractor is far too 'pretty' for my liking, so you KNOW that part of it is going to change!

and this is the beginning of my version....

I know - doesn't look like much does it!!

I'm sure some of you are asking that very question of 'is it over yet?'  and I'm sorry to say you're going to be subjected to  downsizing caper results until the end of the month.  All together now.....groan.....

A box 3 parts full of scrapbooking paper, some plastic rings, a bag of pom poms, some calligraphy guides and a guide to making paper beads

small paper envelopes (I have more!); alphabet stamps, stencils, a pair of scissors that won't cut and some tags

A bag of feathers, a bag of faces, sequins with no holes, bottle caps, plastic eggs and some
stuff of questionable origin/use

card sleeves (I have tons still!); photograph corners; pom poms, and a pkg. of pop dots 
- Seeing THESE resulted in an involuntary 'awwwww' from me.  So cute!

- And THESE are cute too.

- Have a look at THIS and be sure to read her post.  Amazing!!

- For those who knit and want to help out in some small way in the animal rescue efforts in Australia 100% of your purchase price on THIS pattern goes to cause.  Most of you will remember the little gnome I knitted for our soon-to-be-born grandson - the pattern was from this designer. 

- And have a look through THESE incredible crafting spaces....would any of us be this tidy? 

Today's quote is from Deborah  Wirsu....."The thing is, by adulthood, we've learned to recognize quality in other people's work, but find it difficult to see the merit in our own"