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, May 07, 2021

 I didn't have anything ready to share in the way of a photo today and then these arrived.....

Thank you Shawn and Winnie!!

- There's an interesting article HERE about the use of stitch markers.

- There's a cute Halloween themed block of the month going on and you can get the latest two blocks (which I think are definitely ones that can stand alone) HERE, and also find out how to get the previous blocks as well.

- If you like to embroider flowers, have a look at THIS free design.

- THIS is for those who sew for little girls.

Today's quote..."Sometimes doing nothing is doing something very important"

Wednesday, May 05, 2021

Another finish and a recipe

 Today I have a couple of things to share with you.  First up is that I've finished the latest landscape (well, all but the label!). The photos are pretty awful because we're in a period of dull rainy days here, but you can get the general idea I'm sure.

Above is the original photo, shared with the kind permission of Dale Stewart (thank you!), and is of the Uneeda School near Paradise Valley in Alberta.  Below is what I created using his photo as inspiration...


And this is a closeup of some of the embroidery and the border detail

And, because I haven't given you a recipe lately, how about this one?  It's one of my favourites that come out of Resident Chef's kitchen...


2 eggs
1 c. milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. all purpose flour

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease a standard muffin pan & set aside.  Beat eggs until creamy and add remaining ingredients.  Beat until smooth. Note: the batter will be thin!  Fill each muffin cup half full with batter.  Bake for 35 mins.  

- I think THESE flowers are so pretty, and easily created too!

- THIS just defies imagination - how anyone can work that small is incredible!

- THIS artist creates wonderfully colorful art pieces.

- And I'd love to own something by THIS artist!

Today's quote..."Your terrible job is the dream of the unemployed.  Your house is the dream of the homeless.  Your smile is the dream of the depressed.  Your health is the dream of those who are ill.  Don't let difficult times make you forget your blessings"

Monday, May 03, 2021

A finish

 I began this project before I had my cataract surgery in hopes that I'd be able to work on it during the hiatus period.  That didn't happen, but I did finish it over the weekend....

I was given four balls of the Bernat Velvet yarn and needed to find a project that would use it up (those balls are HUGE and take up way too much stash space).  I don't have an immediate use for a baby blanket but at least it used most of the yarn.

Another wee note re the Velvet yarn - it feels so wonderfully soft but the balls I have had a number of knots which were quite annoying.  And trying to use a pattern with much stitch definition would be frustrating.  I just used a double crochet post stitch which worked fine.

- The May issue of the 'Crazy Quilt Magazine is available now!  Lots of great eye candy, articles and inspiration, and it can be ordered HERE.  

- Have a look through the galleries of THIS fibre artist

- And THIS artist too!

Today's quote....

Friday, April 30, 2021

Hard pressed

I've thought and thought about  what I could show you for a picture today and because yesterday was my first day back to playing in my studio, there unfortunately isn't much.  I *could* show you a picture of Jack the Ripper because he certainly came into play a lot yesterday.  He's a little shy though and doesn't feel as if his best side is showing. about I show you some of the mail that arrived during my hiatus from blogging.  First came this...

Some of you might remember that I'm working on a mile-a-minute crocheted afghan which was originally planned to be a stash buster.  Unfortunately the best laid plans of mice and men came out to bite me and I ran out of colour options.  So what's a girl to do but order more?

Sorry about the horribly dark picture (it's raining here) but inside this box are three different shades of 'denim' yarn destined to be three little sweaters for three little boys.  Oh, and there's a ball of white in the bottom that just *might* turn into a snowman.

And finally, this arrived just before I got my glasses and is providing me with lots of interesting reading at the moment....

- I often point you to something interesting on Mary Corbet's blog and today is no exception.  This time she shows a really nifty way to deal with embroidery threads that come in a twist rather than on a spool.  Go HERE to see her clever solution. 

- Karen Ruane has a great new online class on offer which will also include Zoom meetings at points throughout the class.  Go HERE to find out more about her 'Sewing Circle Interactive' class.  

- Earth Day happened while I was gone but I saved THIS sweet little cross-stitch design to share with you.  I think it's perfect for ANY time of the year.

And here's your quote for today..."If people stopped looking for things that offended them and started looking for things that inspired them, I'm sure we would have a better country"

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

A return - of sorts!

 Firstly, I want to thank everyone for leaving such wonderful encouraging comments during my enforced hiatus from have all been so very kind and I enjoyed reading your words. I've made it through to the other side and now I can see and return to my much-missed normal activities, including blogging, commenting AND needlework.  I hardly know what to do first!!

The other hurtle I need to cross is getting my vaccine.  It seems the computer system doesn't like my health card and keeps insisting I have a duplicate.  I don't, as a couple of visit to the eye doctor will attest.  No problems using it there.  The last time I called to attempt to register they told me that they could see the issue was with their system but unfortunately my file had to be sent 'up the line' and I've been told to wait.  Three weeks now, and counting!  Resident Chef got his first shot (Pfizer) with no problems  so at least he's half protected.  

May 12 & Sept. 1

Obviously nothing exciting has been happening here at Chez Magpie, beyond completing the clean out of our friends condo.  She has been moved to a lovely nursing home residence near her daughter and we know she's in good hands there, despite knowing we will miss her tremendously.  

Spring is really trying to make an appearance here and it's inspiring to look out the window towards the river and see all the trees leafing out.  There are so many amazing shades of green this time of year.   I'm looking forward to getting out for walks now that I'm able to see where I'm putting my feet!

I'm sorry I haven't been able to search out the normal number of links (or, obviously, photos) for your viewing pleasure, but here's one I did find (be sure to click on each of the thumbnails to get the full picture!).  I can aspire to be her when I grow up!

And, finally, here's a quote....“We can easily manage if we will only take, each day, the burden appointed to it. But the load will be too heavy for us if we carry yesterday’s burden over again today, and then add the burden of the morrow before we are required to bear it.”

– John Newton

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Another teeny update

Just a quick drop in on my part to let you know that I ordered my new glasses today so in about a week I'll be able to see...that will be HUGE after eight very long weeks.  Now, if I could only get the covid vaccination registration site to allow me to register to get my vaccine.  For reasons known only unto itself it insists I have a 'duplicate health card' and kicks me out of the system.  Oddly, I used that same health card when I saw the eye doctor with no issues.  One of those mysteries of life that I sure hope will be rectified soon!! 

Thursday, April 15, 2021



The landscapes you see here are all for sale!

Each one is created with fabric and features embroidery, painting, and many other techniques to create the images you see here.  I enjoy all that is old and abandoned - houses, churches, barns and vehicles. Most of the ones on offer here measure approximately 20" - 30" wide and have a hanging sleeve attached.

If you are interested in purchasing a piece of my art for your very own...or....if you would like to commission a creation using your own photograph...please contact me via marmic1954 AT email DOT com, using 'Landscape Enquiry' in the subject line.  I accept payment through PayPal.

Inspired by a photo by Dale Stewart
Measures 24 x 28"

Measures 26" x 29"

Inspired by a photo by Dale Stewart

Measures 32" x 24"

Inspired by a photo by Janice Holtom

Measures 28" x 22"
Inspired by a photo by Robert St. Clair

Measures 22" x 28"
Inspired by a photo by Dale Stewart

Measures 31" x 23"
Inspired by a photo by Jeff Fuhre

Measures 34" x 25"
Inspired by a free domain photo

Measures 24" x 30"
Inspired by a tractor owned by my uncle

Measures 29" x 23"
Inspired by a photo from my personal collection

Measures 30" x 23"
Inspired by a photo by John Phillips

Measures 30" x 22"
Inspired by a photo from Dale Stewart

Measures 29" x 22"
Inspired from a photo by Euvah Bryant

Measures 28" x 17"
Inspired by a photo from my personal collection

Measures 31" x 20"
Inspired by a photo from my personal collection

Measures 29" x 18"
Inspired by a photo from my personal collection

I would like to thank all the great photographers who have been so willing to share their amazing photos with me.  The inspiration you've provided has been invaluable!

Friday, April 02, 2021

Happy Easter!

 I'm still not seeing well enough to spend much time on here, but wanted to wish everyone a very happy and blessed Easter.

AND....I thought you might like to see the amazing articles Mary Corbet has written about embroidering on eggs.  Yes, real eggs!!!  Go HERE!!

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Short check in

 Thought I'd pop in for a minute to let you know that my eyes are healing well but I still can't see anything close up and mid-distance is a strain so my computer time is still limited.  I've been trying to skim through your blogs so I don't miss anything important but I haven't been making comments.  Gosh, I miss you guys!  I see my optometrist April 19th so hopefully I'll have my new glasses shortly after that.  Can't happen soon enough.

In the interim we've been working hard cleaning out a condo belonging to our friend who is heading for a nursing home.  A lot of work but a good distraction for me right now.

Keep talking amongst yourselves and I leave you with a couple of fun links (just so you don't miss me TOO much!!!)   

- There's an excellent article HERE about cleaning and oiling your sewing machine.

- Have a look at THIS!  I've always been fascinated by miniatures and this certainly caught my eye.

Monday, March 08, 2021

A short update

 First surgery was a success - second one is on Wednesday.  It appears, however, that my hiatus here might be longer than I first anticipated.  If the first eye is any indication I won't be able to see much in the way of reading anything until I get new prescription glasses in about six or seven weeks.  It's going to be a very LONG six or seven weeks because I am not a person who can sit and do nothing and certainly not for any extended period of time.  Poor Resident Chef might just be serving divorce papers by the time all this is over with!

Carry on folks - I'll be back, hopefully sooner than later!

Tuesday, March 02, 2021

just a note

 I know I said I was taking some time off and I will be....but....thought I should mention a new class that Karen Ruane is offering that might just be valuable for some of you (and I guarantee it will be a fun class because Karen's always are!). Go HERE to find out more.

Monday, March 01, 2021

A new project and an announcement

 First of all, the landscape I've been working on still isn't ready to be shown so instead I thought I'd show you the beginnings of a new project....

It's a terrible photo I know...but....this pile of 'stuff' consists of two well-loved onesies belonging to our two littlest grandsons and there's two different pieces of Minky fur behind.  Two teddy bears have been requested so Grandma can't possibly say no!  I'm going to try to just use the onesies for the body of the bears and then create the head and 'hands' from the Minky.  Fingers crossed it works!

👀  👀    👀  👀  👀  👀  👀

And....I wanted to let you know that I might be MIA for a couple of weeks or so and my blogging presence both here and visiting with you all will probably be sparse.  I will be having cataract surgery on both eyes and don't know what to expect as far as the healing process is concerned.  Bottom line is that I'm very much looking forward to being able to see!!  Please play nicely amongst yourselves and I'll be back as soon as I can.

👀  👀  👀  👀  👀  👀  👀  👀

- Some of you might find THIS idea interesting, and THIS explains how to do it.

- THIS might take a moment to fully load but they're fun!

- And THESE are amazing (another one that takes a minute to load)

- There are some interesting art pieces HERE.  

- Have a peek through the gallery of THIS artist!

Today's quote..."This woman has fought a thousand battles, and is still standing; has cried a thousand tears, and is still smiling; has been broken, betrayed, abandoned, rejected, but she still walks proud, laughs loud, lives without fear, loves without doubt.  This woman is beautiful.  This woman is humble.  This woman is you"

Friday, February 26, 2021

Nothing - but a mess?!

Yes, I still have nothing of interest to show you.  As you can see from the photos below there are things happening (the mess will attest to that!) but absolutely nothing is ready for you to see.  I never did claim to be neat when I'm in the throes of creating despite my continual vows to clean up after myself.  Behold - the mess thinly disguised as creativity here at Chez Magpie...

- I think THESE are rather nice - and would make great gifts! 

- Pam Kellogg has just released the first part of Band 7 of her free Never Ending Sampler and you can find that HERE.  

- Have a look through the portfolios of THIS artist - I like how she combines photographs with fibre. 

- Pour yourself a cuppa and prepare to get lost in the wonderful galleries to be found HERE!

Today's quote is from Albert Einsein..."If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?"

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Nuttin, Nada, Zip and Zilch

Yep.  There's nothing to see here. 

 Even I'm bored with me.  

Can't show you a picture of the landscape (it's at THAT stage where it's not dressed for company).

Can't show you a picture of my messy studio (it's at THAT stage where it's not dressed for company either).

Can't show you a picture of the socks I finished knitting last night (well, I COULD, but they look the same as every other pair of socks I've knitted.  Yawn).

Can't show you a picture of the pre-op covid test I had this morning (definitely NOT interesting!).  

Oh wait!

Here's something...

- Have a look through the gallery of THIS prolific needle artist!

- There's a fun new block-of-the-month project starting HERE that you might like to play along with

- THIS link takes you to a PDF file with some really nice ideas for DIY studio organization and storage.  

- If you're interested in the zodiac then perhaps you might find THESE patterns of interest.

- THIS project has possibilities - all sorts of things could be embedded!

Today's quote (a fitting end to this post!)..."Running through things because you are familiar with them, breeds routine and this is the seed of boredom" - James Galway

Monday, February 22, 2021

A little of this, and a little of that

I'm not sure that you can see much  change on this landscape but most of it has been quilted now and some of the detail stitching on the school has happened.  This week I will start the embroidery in the foreground and this particular piece will have a lot of it - or at least such is the plan. 

The mailman has been rather nice and brought me two nice additions to my stash...

Some new yarn colors to add to my mile-a-minute afghan I'm crocheting and some of these little clips that I've had on my wish list for quite awhile.  

- Have a look at the art found HERE  (thank you Penny for the head's up on this one....and Penny is one of those amazing artists!).

- And HERE is another great artist (click on her 'gallery' button and have fun exploring).

- THIS pinterest board features all sorts of ideas for repurposing old books.  I especially like the one at the top of the page

- Have a look through the gallery of THIS amazing embroidery artist!

Today's quote.. "Remember when people had diaries and got mad when someone read them?  Now they put everything online and get mad when people don't"

Friday, February 19, 2021

The excitement knows no bounds!

 Yes, the excitement here at Chez Magpie can be just overwhelming.  Case in point?  See this?....

Take the lid off the homemade kefir jar and you'd better be ready to run before it takes over your life!  An experiment in cheese-making is now underway.  Yep, the excitement knows no bounds.

- Have a peek through the gallery of THIS amazing quilt artist!  How I wish I could be a little fly on HER wall and watch her at work!

- If you like making plushies for your kids or grandkids, there might be something HERE that would catch your eye.

- It seems like bath bombs are all the current rage so maybe you might find THESE interesting.

- Have a look at THESE!  (takes a second to load)

Today's quote is from Martin Luther King.."If you can't fly, then run.  If you can't run, then walk.  If you can't walk, then crawl.  But whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward"

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Some things for THAT day

 You know?  THAT day in December???  Well, here's some additions to 'The Box' - three pairs are heading there once they've received their non-slip bottom anointing and the other pair is being gifted now due to the untimely appearance of holes in a currently loved pair.  

The two pairs in the front fit a size 13 man, the orange pair fits a size 10-11 woman, and the purple would fit a size 7 ladies foot.

There's been more progress on the new landscape and it's starting to look a little better (at least IMHO anyway!)...

- Those of you who like Halloween projects might find THIS BOM of interest!

- And THIS project uses old tshirts to create.

- Have a peek through the works of THIS artist!

- These two links were shared by my friend Maureen (thank you!)....if you're a quilter, you will love poking around HERE and HERE.  

- THIS is a nice pattern for a pocket shawl which seem to be all the rage at the moment.

Today this is your quote..."He who blames others has a long way to go on his journey.  He who blames himself is halfway there.  He who blames no one has arrived"

Monday, February 15, 2021

At that stage...and it must be love?

 I'm at the stage with the current landscape where the possibility is great that it will land in that proverbial 'file area' that resides on the floor beside my table.  I have done this enough to know that I need to carry on and try to break through the ugly.  Many of you guessed what I was doing with that piece of blue woven fabrics I showed last time.

First of all, I will show you the photo I'm using as inspiration for this one - once more shared with me and permission granted for my use by Dale Stewart (thank you Dale, as always!)....

And here's where I'm at at the moment....

Yeah.  'nuff said.  Stay tuned for further developments!!

AND, yes it must be love when this piece of chocolate fudge appeared last night....handmade by the clever hands of Resident Chef.  Chocolate with peanut butter and decorated with dried cranberries.  Yeah, he loves me - even after all these years.

- THESE fall under the awwwww category I think.

- Have a look through THIS gallery of work.  I love the use of colour.

- And the fine detail on THIS is astounding!

- Have a peek through the galleries of  THIS  artist.

Today's quote.."At the store there was a big X by the register for me to stand on...I've seen too many Road Runner cartoons to fall for that one"

Friday, February 12, 2021

A yawner and a puzzle

 One more pair of felted slippers hot off the needles (I have discovered that I can knit a pair of these in about 12 hours...just so the curious among you can know)....

And....what do you suppose this might end up being?....

- Those of you who are quilters might find THIS resource of interest.  Better pour yourself a cuppa before you go though!

- And HERE is the same resource, only geared towards knitters.  

- There are lots of great hints and tips HERE for embroiderers.  

- THIS would be a cute little project you still have time to whip up for Valentine's Day.

- And THESE are really cute (how about for holding a tea bag or two?)

Today's quote..."I'm too busy working on my own grass to notice if yours is greener"

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

 Today, for something different (and because I haven't done much that's creative to show you) I thought I'd share something I came across on my travels around the internet.  There's much food for thought in this one and I hope you enjoy it...

Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the much older lady that she should bring her own grocery bags, because plastic bags are not good for the environment,.
The woman apologized to the young girl and explained, "We didn't have this 'green thing' back in my earlier days."
The young clerk responded, "That's our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations."
The older lady said that she was right our generation didn't have the "green thing" in its day.
The older lady went on to explain: Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled.
But we didn't have the "green thing" back in our day. Grocery stores bagged our groceries in brown paper bags that we reused for numerous things. Most memorable besides household garbage bags was the use of brown paper bags as book covers for our school books. This was to ensure that public property (the books provided for our use by the school) was not defaced by our scribblings. Then we were able to personalize our books on the brown paper bags.
But, too bad we didn't do the "green thing" back then. We walked up stairs because we didn't have an escalator in every store and office building.
We walked to the grocery store and didn't climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks. But she was right. We didn't have the "green thing" in our day.
Back then we washed the baby's diapers because we didn't have the throw away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning up 220 volts. Wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days.
Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. But that young lady is right; we didn't have the "green thing" back in our day.
Back then we had one TV, or radio, in the house -- not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana.
In the kitchen we blended and stirred by hand because we didn't have electric machines to do everything for us.
When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.
Back then, we didn't fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power.
We exercised by working so we didn't need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity. But she's right; we didn't have the "green thing" back then.
We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blade in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull. But we didn't have the "green thing" back then.
Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service in the family's $45,000 SUV or van, which cost what a whole house did before the "green thing."
We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn't need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 23,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest burger joint.
But isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn't have the "green thing" back then?

Unfortunately I don't know the original author.  If you do, let me know and I'll happily give credit.

Actually, I DID start a new project that is likely going to take me awhile.   See?.....

The pattern can be found HERE and if you want to see a better example of what I'm creating have a peek HERE.  I'm using 'Sugar and Cream' yarn.

- THIS is a cute little project that would be perfect to use up scraps.

- Although it's too late to knit THIS for Valentine's Day, it would be perfect for a baby gift, or made larger for someone you love.

- Do go and have a look at THIS and see what I aspire to!  Be sure to check out the rest of her work while you're there!

-For those of you who like hats, perhaps you will find THIS of interest.

Today the quote is from Mother Teresa..."I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things"

Monday, February 08, 2021

A hodge podge of mumbles

 It's been a few days of not much happening on the creative front.  I did finish knitting another pair of slippers that will be felted eventually and took a picture with my size 11 foot included so you can see just how much these need to shrink in the felting process.  

And....this was the sight that greeted me when I got up early this morning - the view is over the river that runs just outside our apartment building...

I don't normally include too many family pictures on my blog but I simply can't resist this one...

 He's a man who loves his peanut butter!

- There are lots of free knit and crochet patterns available HERE.  

- HERE is a fun little project to recycle denim jeans.

- The San Francisco School of Needlework and Design has issued their new online challenge and you can get more information by going HERE.  

- THIS caused an involuntary 'oh wow!!' reaction when I saw it.  I simply can't imagine DOING it though! (be sure to scroll down to see the variations on the design)

- Have a peek through the gallery of THIS amazing artist (you'll have to embiggen the pictures to see the details).

Today's quote is from Zig Ziglar - "If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you.  If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you"

Friday, February 05, 2021

Another finish!!

 It's finished!  At least I'm saying it is anyway....


Created from a photo by Dale Stewart,
and used with his kind permission.

- THIS is an adorable cross stitch design!

- THIS is a nice cowl pattern that would be perfect to use up stash yarns.

- If you're looking for a cute little project to do for Valentine's day, have a look at THIS.  

- There's an interesting article HERE regarding 'harvesting' and recycling yarn.  

- I think this is beautiful!  You can get the pattern download HERE and read more about it by going HERE

- There's a great tutorial HERE to make fleece mittens.  

- THIS takes you to a PDF for a really cute bee pattern for quilts.

The quote of the day - "5 by 5 rule:  If it's not gonna matter in 5 years, don't spend more than 5 minutes being upset about it"