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. 






- Have a peek through the gallery of THIS landscape artist!  I would love to command the prices she gets.

- If one of your goals for 2021 is to get your studio space organized, perhaps some of the ideas found HERE might be useful. Or maybe the ones found HERE  

- There's a number of ideas HERE for using old books.

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!

- You have to go and pay a visit (and stay awhile!) to THIS blog!  (Thank you Boud for suggesting this one!).  

- Have a look at what THIS artist does!  

- And be prepared to be wowed by the work of THIS artist!!  Simply boggles the mind!

- If you have young people and are looking for ideas to entertain them that are also educational, check out THIS Pinterest board!

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!

- Have a look at what Donna is making HERE - looks like such fun!  If we weren't trying to downsize things I would be making this!

- There's another super quick gift idea HERE.  

- And another one HERE.  

- Have a scroll through the amazing creations of THIS amazing artist!

- I think THIS is so cute - maybe a little late for this Christmas but a keeper nonetheless.  

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 liitle 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...

- Have a peek at the work of
THIS artist.  Be sure to use the translate feature and then go see her individual galleries - such a variety of work using various raw materials.  

- HERE is a really quick little last-minute Christmas gift idea - perfect for tucking in with a pair of mittens or into a stocking.  

- I think I may have mentioned THIS before but thought a reminder might not come amiss.  If you have vintage linens and would like to get them out of storage it looks like a wonderful project!  This link leads to her first post about the project but you can read succeeding ones that are leading up to the start of the project the first of January. I don't think my stash will yield quite enough to do the entire project but I might be tempted to do part of it and make a smaller version.

- Kathy Shaw has announced her schedule for her free online crazy quilting classes and you can get more information by going HERE.  She normally has a very short window of opportunity to sign up so if you're interested in a specific class be sure to mark your calendars so you don't miss out.

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.

- THIS is one of those 'oh wow' things!!!  Embiggen the picture so you can get an idea of what she used to make it!  And go and read THIS wonderful article about the artist (and to see more of her amazing work).

- THIS would be a wonderful gift and there might just be enough time to make one (or more!)...or for yourself in the new year.  Going hands-free with purses is a good thing these days!

- Making THIS would be a fun project too - and perhaps something teenagers could do.

- THIS might be a fun use for your fabric scraps.

- Go HERE for some cuteness overload!!!  (scroll down!)

Today 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.  

- If you are a quilter, there are two pages of interesting tips to be found
HERE that you might find of use.

- Although the blog isn't in English (there is a translate feature) I'm sure you could figure out how to make THESE on your own.  

- I rather like THIS idea but I think I'd be tempted to enlarge the size a bit just to alleviate any possibility of a mug tipping over if it was set down too close to the edge.  

- THIS is a quick-to-make project that would make a really nice gift.

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.

- THIS is a really nice cardinal quilt block design you might like.

- Not sure how easy it will be to get the raw materials at this moment since many would be covered with snow, but I do love THESE!

- Making THESE roses would be fun - and so many possibilities for their use!

- For those of you who enjoy working with paper, perhaps making some of THESE might be fun.

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!  

- THIS is a rather cute cross stitch design for a reindeer.

- If you are interested in gnomes, perhaps THESE might intrigue you!

- Seeing THESE was another 'awwww' moment!  While you're there check out the other amazing galleries too. 

- If you would like a nice free pattern for knitting a Christmas ball have a look at THIS one.  

- Never let it be said this isn't a full-service blog!  If your dishwasher isn't running up to par, check out the tips found HERE.  

- Have a peek at the pretties created by THIS artist.  

- If you are searching for ideas for gift baskets, there are some really interesting ones HERE.  (be sure to scroll down)

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.  

- THIS is a really pretty embroidery pattern some of you might enjoy.

- Have a peek at the amazing creations of THIS artist.  

- And THIS artist too!

- THIS pinterest board has some incredible inspiration.  

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.  

- There are two new delightful stocking patterns HERE!  

- And wouldn't making one (or more) of THESE be fun?  Another great stashbuster too!

- There are some really pretty snowflake patterns HERE - perfect for the Christmas tree or to give as little gifts.

- How about making one of THESE for the sewer in your life? 

- Or maybe one of THESE?

- Have a peek at the fun creations of THIS artist! 

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!!  

- THIS is a really nice cowl pattern - would use up yarn scraps from your stash quite nicely.

- And if you have one of those pretty variegated cake yarns in your stash, perhaps creating THIS might be fun (and would make a beautiful gift too!).  And while you're at that site, check out all her other free patterns - there are some really nice ones!

- I know you've all seen fabric gift bags and there are tons of how-to's out there.  THIS one caught my eye however - mainly because of the fabric she used and the way she decorated them.  There's also some ideas for filling them in her post.  

- THIS would be so much fun to make for kids!!  I suspect there's a good many adults that might secretly love it too.

- Sometimes I come across a great idea when I'm moseying around visiting blogs and I had to share THIS idea (scroll down to the end of her post to see what fun game tradition her family has for stockings!).  

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


My 'finds' this week for the Making Space challenge don't look like much here...but....there were a LOT more light bulbs than that because we replaced our bulbs with LED's.  Rather than count them individually I will just count these 5 (and before any of you get worried, they all went down to the laundry room for other people to take).  There's the remains of the Christmas cards, a full and a part roll of annoying Christmas ribbon that I am happy to get rid of, and 7 postcard 'blanks' that I have had sitting here for several years and know I will never complete.  So...that puts the count at somewhere around 52.  Definitely a 'creative' count, but at least it's progress!


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.


- HERE is another adorable Christmas ornament to create.

- THIS is interesting to see and read about!

- THESE are very cute - scroll down!

- And THESE are fun to see as well.

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