MAGPIE'S MUMBLINGS

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, July 23, 2021

A hissing good time?

 The final fabric shipment arrived in the mail so now I can finish working on the advent calendars...

The white piece is another tone-on-tone that doesn't really show up in the photo.

And I have two finishes to show you today....firstly, the rose-themed birthday card...


Secondly, I finished knitting a snake.  Yet another thing destined for the Christmas box.  This guy measures about 60" long and made an admirable dent in my stash.  Pattern is the 'Striped Snake' by Sarah Ann Thompson and can be found HERE.


- Being that a jelly roll is in my latest fabric shipment and there will be lots left over (I think), maybe making one or two of THESE might be a thought.

- Have a look at the work done by THIS amazing artist!!  Hard to believe it's on metal.

- THIS is one of those things that you might want to consider making and adding to YOUR Christmas box!

- If you, like me, have trouble with your pearl cotton spools tangling up, maybe making yourself THIS storage caddy might be helpful.

Today's quote is from William Barclay..."There are two great days in a person's life - the day we are born and the day we discover why"

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

More or less a finish - a start - and toil

Don't forget to enter my giveaway - see details in the previous post and leave a comment on that post for a chance to win!  I'll close entries as of midnight on Sunday and announce the winner on Monday.

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 First of all, I finished stitching the bee-themed project and am calling it a finish despite the fact that the search is now on for an appropriate frame for it.  Finished at about 5x7"



Then I turned my attention to the fact that our friend is having a birthday soon so I thought I'd make her a card featuring her favourite flower.  I'll add some lace to tart it up a little more.

In process


The mailman brought a little augmentation for my stash as you can see (but it's not the shipment I need to finish the advents)....

It's hard to tell from the photo but the brown fabric on the left is metallic and the white has a tone-on-tone aspect to it.  The small green piece in the front as well as the quilt label were gifts from the seller (lucky me!!!!).  

And...meanwhile....Resident Chef's kitchen has been buzzing as he does a 'bubble, bubble, toil, and trouble' brewing....

He makes our own kombucha and all these containers are part of the process.  The jar on the right is his 'Scobie Hotel' where he keeps the starters.  They keep multiplying and pretty soon he's going to have enough to set up his own shop!!

- Those of you of a 'certain age' will maybe get a laugh out of watching THIS video!

- Further on the Christmas in July theme, how about making some of  THESE cute little ornaments?

- Not that I like dragons or anything, but how about THIS?  While you're there have a peek at some of her other free designs HERE.  

- THIS is another of those things that made me say 'awwww'.  

Today's quote is from Nathaniel Hawthorne..."Methinks it is a token of healthy and gentle characteristics, when women of high thoughts and accomplishments love to sew; especially as they are never more at home with their own hearts than while so occupied"

Monday, July 19, 2021

 While I've been waiting for the mailman to deliver what I need for the next step of the advent calendars I've started on another little cross stitch project which will be an addition to the Christmas box.  Our friends have honey bees on their property and I thought they might like this (measures about 5x7").  As usual I've cobbled together several different designs to come up with this one.  


It's birthday week here at Chez Magpie and it's  been awhile since I did any sort of giveaway so how about your choice of one of these three magazines?  All you have to do is be a follower (tell me how you follow) and leave a comment telling me which one of the three you would like to win.  Pretty simple!!  


On offer is the Winter 2020 issue of 'Where Women Create', and either the Number 7 Christmas issue of 2020 or the Number 3 issue of 2021 of 'Daphne's Diary'.  

- I know it's too warm here right now to think about such things, but getting an early start is never a bad thing.  Go HERE to see what I'm talking about.

- The work THIS artist does is amazing!!!

- THIS is a sweet little embroidery pattern that some of you might like to try.

- HERE is another thing that simply made me smile.

Today's quote is from Steve Jobs...."Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life"

Friday, July 16, 2021

Ditto - and pretty thing

 I could show you an instant repeat of what I showed you last time (the Christmas tree) because I've created another one....just like the other one....only with the fabrics in different spots.  So....instead....how about this?.....


This poor plant has been through a lot and at one point was threatening to depart for the Great Plant Graveyard but as you can see it has bounced back and is looking great.  The plant in the foreground is a cherry tomato that Resident Chef grew from seeds he brought home from our visit out west a couple of years ago.  You can *just* see our car in the parking lot (on the right).  Good thing I took a photo when I did because shortly afterwards a vicious storm came through and the poor thing looks a little bedraggled right now.

- Some people are having a heat wave at the moment so perhaps making one (or more!) of THESE might be just what you need to help you keep cool.

- It's often hard to come up with good little gift ideas for boys and THIS looks intriguing.

- I'm always happy when someone sees something of interest here in the links and does something with it.  THIS is one of those happy dance moments!!!!

- Some things just make me smile and THIS is one of them.

And, before I leave for today, here are our #2 and #3 grandsons, drawn by our artist Daughter-In-Love...


Today's quote..."Life is ironic.  It takes depression to know happiness.  It takes stress to understand calm.  It takes absence to value presence"


Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Screeeeeeech.......

 Well, I was motoring along quite happily with the advent calendars but that came to a screeching halt when I discovered (gasp, horror!!!) that my stash let me down.  Not only did it not yield anything suitable for hangers for the little stitcheries but also nothing that would work for the background of calendar #2.  So...what's a girl to do, but let her fingers do the walking and then hurry up and wait for the mailman to make deliveries.  In the meantime I was able to do most of the background tree for one of the calendars as you can see from this very poor photo...



I used (mostly) the free pattern for the tree found HERE.  But.....the tree NEEDED a star on top so a search on the internet yielded THIS one (link goes to the PDF for several sizes).  Had to remind my brain how to paper piece and there were a couple of false starts until I got it (mostly) right.  

- There's quite a lot of 'Christmas in July' posts happening around the internet and perhaps you'd like to check out THIS one and see some of the ideas she has linked to.

- I love what THIS amazing artist does with dolls.  Be sure to scroll through her posts so you can see the wonderful personalities she creates.  

- THESE are fun to see (you can use the 'translate' button if you want to read about them in English)

- You can see work by another amazing artist HERE!

- I don't know if you happen to follow this blogger, but if you don't, you might like to consider it!  In THIS post there's a link to download her latest FREE (!!!) beautiful homemakers e-magazine.  

Today's quote is from Plato...."Wise men speak because they have something to say, fools because they have to say something"

Monday, July 12, 2021

A hug - of sorts

 In the comments on my last post Becki mentioned that she didn't know about safety joints such as I use in my bears so thought I'd show a picture...

The back of the picture shows how they go together....the part with the post goes in the arm (or leg) and the mid-sized circle is a washer....the small circle clamps the entire thing together.  

And here is the result of much trial and error....



Here's a recipe we tried over the weekend, adapted
from one found on WellPlated.com

MEDITERRANEAN CHICKPEA SALAD

¼ c. fine diced red onion       
1 can chickpeas, rinsed & drained
¾ c. chopped fresh parsley
½  EACH Red, orange & green peppers, chopped
¼ large cucumber, chopped (1 c)
1 c. crumbled feta cheese

DRESSING:
1 ½ T. olive oil                1 ½ T. red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced  ¾ tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. kosher salt         ¼ tsp. pepper

    Soak onions in bowl of cool water while
prepping the remainder.  Combine all and refrigerate.




- I really like THESE and if I had an outdoor space of any size to have furniture, I'd be making some.

- Have a look at the incredible creations by THIS artist (thank you Donna for the heads up on this one!).

- THIS caught my eye for the cuteness factor (and...I like the basket on its own).

- THIS is a handy organizer that would also make a great gift.

Today's quote..."Teddy bears don't need hearts because they are already stuffed with love"

Friday, July 09, 2021

Off with his head!!!

 We're bloodthirsty individuals here at Chez Magpie.  Yesterday Resident Chef and I beheaded a teddy bear with a hacksaw.  Next thing you know we'll be buying an axe and chainsaw....just sayin'.  

Seriously?  I mounted the head on one of the bears so it appeared as though he had it on backwards.  Looked awful so it became an 'off with his head' moment.  That's what you get when you're trying to create your own pattern.  Trial and error - mostly error.  And those safety joints are pretty much indestructible, hence the hacksaw. 


And....yesterday Resident Chef and I were able to get our second 'jab' of Pfizer vaccine which came with a great sense of relief, even though we won't be changing our lifestyle in any appreciable way.  Masks will still be worn when out in public, and I suspect they will be for a very long time to come.  

Sorry, no pictures from here today - not unless you want to see a rearranged pile of minky fur and various bear body parts which is pretty much the same as I showed you last time.  

- Those of you who like to work with paper might find THIS of interest.  She also has a number of really nice freebies that you might like as well....go HERE to see them.

- You might enjoy a browse through the categories found HERE.  

- THIS link leads you to a PDF pattern for a really nice knitted sweater.  

- If you have a Keurig coffee machine, the tips found HERE for cleaning it might be something you find of interest.

Today's quote is from Mahatma Gandhi..."It's easy to stand in the crowd but it takes courage to stand alone"

Wednesday, July 07, 2021

Fluffies and fuzzies galore!

 Yesterday I undertook to change gears and started working on the teddy bears again.  Cutting out fake fur on a hot sticky day isn't exactly the smartest thing to do.  The fans in my sewing room didn't help matters either!  For those of you who don't remember, our #2 daughter-in-love sent me two onesies that belonged to our grandsons with a special request to see if I could make bears using them somehow.  I hated to cut into the onesies so I'm trying to create bears that will wear them.  So far, so good, in my design plan.  However.....the first prototypes were a dismal failure.  Not only were they too short to fit inside the onesies but I also managed to set the safety joints facing the wrong direction (duh!).  They call those things 'safety joints' for a reason - there's no way they could be removed.  So....back to the drawing board. Reordered the joints AND new fabric (I'm using Minky) and the entire project went into the time-out corner until now.  Now I'm turning this pile of 'body parts' into bears - I hope.  



Don't worry, I'll get back at the advent calendars as soon as the bears are done!  You haven't seen the last of them yet.

- One of our dogs used to love playing with plastic bottles so I know one of THESE would have made him pretty happy.

- Have a peek at the work done by THIS amazing artist.

- THESE would be fun to make for those who have a thing for dragons!

- THESE were rather fun to look through.  

Today's quote is from Sara Lanan..."Is that a warm fuzzy...or just a piece of scrap felt?"   (or in my case, bits of teddy bear!!!)

Monday, July 05, 2021

Phew - sez you!


You, no doubt, will be more than happy (ecstatic even!) to know that I'm down to the final two little cross stitcheries I need to make for the advent calendars and hopefully will finish them this week.  
These are the ones I completed over the weekend (sorry about the picture quality!!!)

And....the mailman delivered an envie of inspiration as you can see from this pile of fabrics.  Two of  them will become the backs of the advent calendars and the others...perhaps fodder in a landscape at some point.  (oops, didn't realize there was a shadow in photo - sorry!)


AND....another little thing I cobbled together is this....

I have some leftover Velvet yarn and thought it might make a fun little 'fidget' thingie for someone having some small issues with dementia.  Crocheted and mostly made up as I went along...measures about 6" and is SOOOOOO soft.  

- I have a bit of an obsession over dragons (a carry-over from childhood I expect) and when I saw THESE I fell in like.  

- And have a look at the absolutely amazing work of THIS artist!  The detail is astounding.  Be sure to scroll down!  I would love to be her when I grow up!

-I think the work of THIS artist is intriguing.

- Some of you might like to play along with THIS Christmas-themed mystery quilt along.  

Today's quote is from Benny Bellamacina (and I apologize for it)...."Christmas comes but once a year, starts in August, ends in July".  For me it starts in January, but I'm a rebel.  

Friday, July 02, 2021

Randomness reigns supreme here

 There's a few more little cross stitcheries completed and you'll be hugely relieved I'm sure to know that there's only about 5 or 6 left to do.  Then it's on to discovering if my 'idea' for putting them together is going to work.  The fabric for the backing arrived yesterday so I have all the 'pieces' and just have to play about with finishing the little stitcheries into mini (very mini!!) little ornaments.  I know what I want to do but it will be a challenge to get the sizing right.  


And just to prove that life here at Chez Magpie never lacks for some form of excitement, have a gander at Resident Chef's toes (I know....who knew you'd be treated to a birds eye view of such things!)....


Funny how they tend to lose a battle waged with a bowl of homemade oatmeal.  Nothing is broken fortunately but they certainly are colourful!!


And....just because I thought you'd want to know, here's the recipe for the offending oatmeal...

RESIDENT CHEF's OATMEAL RECIPE

1 1/2 c. steel cut rolled oats
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
3 1/2 c. milk
5 tsp vanilla
2 Tablespoons maple syrup 
1/2 c. raisins or dried cranberries (or mixture)
1/2 c. sunflower seeds

     Mix together and cook.  He uses a rice cooker and times it at about 15-20mins.  You can also cook it on top of the stove for probably the same amount of time.  Store in refrigerator until needed and then serve either hot OR cold.  

- Have a scroll through the ideas found HERE.  

- And peek at the creations by THIS artist!

- I'm posting THIS You-Tube link more for my benefit than anything else, but some of you might want to try it as well.  I make felted knit slippers for my family and have a constant search for a way to make them non-slip.  This might work - and be a whole lot cheaper than using Shoe Goo.

- THESE made me smile (as did the name of the blog!).

Today's quote..."An injury is not just a process of recovery - it's a process of discovery"  (and in Resident Chef's case?  He 'discovered' it's better to hold onto a slippery bowl with TWO hands).

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Some days are just like that

 Yesterday was a dud when it came to getting any stitching done.  Instead we spent much of the morning slugging boxes, furniture and detritus from one spot to another (and this morning, we slugged them back again).  Reason, you ask? (and I know you were asking....ahem)  Well, the carpet cleaners came to deal with our grungy carpet (most especially the site of the Grande Liquid Laundry Soap Spill of 2021).  That meant everything that could be moved, had to be - and away from the carpeted areas.  Take into consideration that the ONLY parts of our apartment that aren't carpet are the bathroom, kitchen and the front hallway (that wasn't useable for storage because, you know...they had to get in and out?).  So there were piles in Resident Chef's kitchen and had anyone pulled back the shower curtain in the bathroom they would have been horrified to see the stacks of bins and boxes piled in the tub.  No pictures - I'll spare you the horror of the sight.  


Two young men (fresh out of grade school,  I swear) arrived and cheerfully tackled the job, leaving behind a MUCH cleaner looking carpet and a much lighter bank account.  Oh well, at least the GLLSS2021 is no more, so it was worth it.  Once that was over, we vacated the premises to let it dry and managed (how, I can't even begin to imagine) to succumb to the valiant efforts of our car to just happen to drive by the ice cream manufacturing plant.  What's worse, I can't understand how a double-scoop, two-flavoured, waffle cone managed to jump into our hands.  What were we to do?  It was dripping all over so the only thing left was to eat it.  We are nothing if not obedient to the circumstances.  


- I love THESE (scroll down for the free pattern)....lots of uses and could be made in all sorts of colours.

- THESE would make great little gifts particularly if you included a nice pair of scissors.

- There are some cute pincushions ideas HERE.  

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

Today's quote is from Mae West.."I generally avoid temptation.  Unless I can't resist it"



Monday, June 28, 2021

Adding some more

 


I guess the title of this post should simply be 'more, more, more' - more crocheted afghan and more stitcheries.  Over the  weekend I completed the third mile-a-minute afghan; this one longer than the other two because our son is tall and I wanted it long enough to cover him if he wanted to be cozy.  

Here's a close-up of the pattern - certainly an easy-peasy one to do and it works up quickly.




And....three more little stitcheries have been added to the growing pile (I think there's only 8 more to go)...


- THIS looks like so much fun to do.  Unfortunately I don't have any wool in my stash and certainly not in the pretty yellows that are needed.  If I ever get to a thrift store again.....

- THESE would be fun to make - using small fun fabrics from your stash.  She also has a great tutorial for making yourself a new ironing board cover (HERE).

- I like THIS quilt pattern - there's a link there to get the patterns to create your own.

- THIS would be a perfect pincushion and thread catcher set for someone who is a tea drinker.

Today's quote..."If there is no randomness in the universe, then what do we mean by chaos?"

Friday, June 25, 2021

Waffling

 There's only one problem with working on these little Christmas stitcheries - there are more designs I want to do than I have room for in the calendars.  As a result, I decided to replace the lanterns with these cute little birds.  Somehow I think little boys will find them far more recognizable.  So these are the additions to the collection over the past couple of days...


And, another bit of tastiness has magically appeared from the kitchen of the Resident Chef and I thought I'd share the recipe in case any of you would like to try it as well.  It makes quite a bit - but we love it for breakfast and also (gasp!) sprinkled on some ice cream.  

GRANOLA
NOTE:  It makes a lot so don't be daunted by the amount of ingredients - we go to the bulk food store for most of it.  The recipe is easily halved if you prefer.

8 c. rolled oats (the regular, not instant)
1 1/2 cups EACH wheat germ and oat bran
1 cup EACH sunflower seeds, chopped almonds, rye flakes, coconut, chopped walnuts, cashews (we often don't bother with the nuts)
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c. maple syrup
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 c. honey
3/4 c. vegetable oil
1 tablespoon EACH of vanilla and cinnamon
2 cups dried cranberries, raisins or coconut (we use a combination of them) - NOTE - these are added after cooking
    Line two large baking (cookie) sheets with parchment or foil.  Combine dry ingredients.  Combine salt, sugar, syrup, honey, oil & cinnamon and bring to a boil over medium heat (stir regularly so it doesn't burn!).  Add vanilla and pour over dry ingredients and stir to coat.  Spread on cookie sheets and bake at 325 until crispy and toasted, about 20 minutes.  Stir at least once.  Cool and then add the cranberries, raisins and/or coconut.  Store in airtight container(s) and enjoy!


- THESE would make great gifts - or useful in your own home (and...they use up stash!!)

- The work of THIS artist caught my eye (be sure to scroll down)

- There are a number of handy charts HERE.  

- THIS is a really pretty cross stitched house (and at the bottom of the post there are links to others in her series).  AND I love THIS little sampler and might have to add one to the Christmas box for friends who have honey bees on their property.  

Here is the quote for today..."My goal is to create a life I don't need a vacation from"


Wednesday, June 23, 2021

 It was Father's Day on Sunday here and I decided that, if I were a good wife, I should bestir myself and cook supper for Resident Chef.  Daunting task, but I thought I was up to it.  For those of you who don't know, Resident Chef does all the cooking here and has since he retired in 1999.  Prior to that it was my chore responsibility.  So, simply because you never know what you might find here at Chez Magpie, here are the recipes I used...


CHERRY TOMATO SALAD

4 c. cherry tomatoes, halved
chopped fresh oregano/basil (combination)
1 thinly sliced onion

1/ 4 c. olive oil                       3 T. balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. Dijohn mustard          2 tsp. honey
2 cloves minced garlic
S & P to taste

 

POTATO-SAUSAGE FOIL PACKS
1 ea.  green, yellow & orange pepper
   cut into 1” chunks
1 pkg. smoked sausage – cut in ½” slices
2 large potatoes – 1” chunks
3 Onions – chunked as above
6 cloves garlic, minced
4 tsp. each lemon juice & olive oil
½ tsp. pepper
chopped fresh basil, oregano & Parsley (to taste)
    
    combine all and divide into four large
pieces of foil.  Seal and bake (on cookie
Sheet) at 425 for 35 mins.

 PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATES

2 ¾ c. icing sugar
½ c plus 1/3 c. peanut butter
½ c. melted butter
2 c. semi sweet chocolate chips
½ tsp. shortening or margarine
     Beat sugar, peanut butter & melted
butter til smooth.  Roll into 1” balls.
Melt choc & shortening in Microwave  til
melted.  Dip balls & place on wire rack
over waxed paper.  Refrigerate. 


-  Be prepared for an involuntary 'awwwww' when you look at what's HERE.  

- Have a look through the galleries of THIS artist!

- And THIS artist as well.

Today's quote..."There comes a day when you look around and realize happiness is where you are"

Monday, June 21, 2021

34/48

 Yes, there are 34 of 48 little stitcheries completed (albeit there's also been three that were re-done because if the thread debacle).  


- I've often toyed with making one of THESE but just haven't gotten beyond the stage of thinking about it.  

- Have a peek at the work in the galleries of THIS artist.

- Be sure to scroll down through the gallery of THIS artist too.

- I'm sure, after being at home so much over the past year and a half, many are getting heartily sick and tired of their clothes, so perhaps using some t-shirts in THIS manner might be fun.

Today's quote is from Eleanor Roosevelt..."Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people"

Friday, June 18, 2021

On Pig Stys and other things

 I guess this post is falling under the 'mumblings' of a random nature - poor you!


Random Thing # 1 - Booked the carpet cleaners to come and 'do something' with our well-worn but not replaceable carpets (apartment life, what can I say).  There was a small accident in the hallway outside the bathroom door that may or may not have involved much of a container of liquid laundry soap getting up close and personal with the floor.  It may or may *not* have involved moi.  

Random Thing # 2 - Regarding the above - have to figure out how to move everything that's moveable and stash it somewhere else so they have the most access possible.

Random Thing #3 - Thought fleetingly of attending the local pop-up clinic for vaccines tonight to get our 2nd dose sooner than it's scheduled.   Good thing we didn't because it wasn't scheduled to start until 4 and by 3:30 they were completely full.  DH attempted to get his moved closer via the phone and he would only have saved himself 2 weeks and he would have had to drive over an hour to get to the closest available.  Nope, not gonna happen.  As for me, I'm not even going to try after all the debacle I went through to get the first  two scheduled.  Sept. 1 will come soon enough.

Random Thing # 4 - I'm continuing with the little stitcheries and have 32 completed (out of 48).  Here's the latest....


Random Thing # 5 - It pays to be loyal.  For several years now I've requested a loyalty discount from our internet/tv/phone provider and they always come through with something in order to keep our business.  This time I saved $50/month for the next 3 years and a free rental of the receiver/box for the next 15 years.  Not bad....proving that you just have to ask and you might be surprised what they'll offer you.

Random Thing #6 - It's a small-ish town and we really don't expect to have to deal with big city rules but it seems we're being dragged into it no matter what.  Seems imminent that we will no longer have free parking for our guests at our building which is most likely just going to lead to people parking in the park to avoid paying.  The almighty need for the most bucks at work.



- Those of you who embroider and use DMC floss will find THIS PDF chart of color numbers/names invaluable.  

- THIS is a cute (and handy!) little project!

- If you have a little girl to sew for, perhaps you'd like to make her one of THESE.

- THIS is something that caught my eye, just because!

- Have a look through all the galleries of THIS fabric artist.

Today's quote - "The greatest danger to our future is apathy"

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Motoring onwards

 I've been plugging away at the little Christmas stitcheries, as you can see from this photo....



Yesterday was a banner, red-letter, exciting day - we had coffee with our friends that we haven't seen for over a year!  We met in a local park and socially distanced and it was wonderful.  Funny how something so small as having a cup of coffee together ends up feeling like the thrill of a lifetime!

- As a general service (and in case you didn't see the comments from last time), Cathy said that she has her blog printed using THIS company.  If you have any other suggestions, feel free to let me know and I'll update this post.

- THIS might be of interest if you're thinking of caring for the environment.

- Have a peek at the creations by THIS amazing artist!

- For those of you who work with water colors, perhaps you might like THIS nifty little travel idea!

Today's quote..."A cup of coffee shared with a friend is happiness tasted and time well spent"

Monday, June 14, 2021

Crosses - of the fun kind

 I'm so much enjoying creating these little stitcheries for the advent calendars.  After a couple of years of deteriorating eyesight due to the cataracts I haven't been able to do any cross stitching and I've certainly missed it.  Here are the latest additions to the collection....


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A question for those of you who are in the know about these things....the question has arisen and my memory is such that I remember someone saying that there's some sort of printing service that will take your entire blog for a year and print it into a book form.  Does anybody know who/how/where that can be done??  Please comment if you do and I'll pass the information along.

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- There's a most interesting post HERE concerning the sheer amount of garbage we manage to produce.  The post itself is interesting but be sure you also check out the comments.  Some interesting ideas and commentary.  Someone suggested that all school-aged children should be taken on a field trip to the local landfill to just see for themselves just how much garbage their community generates.  Sure would be an eye-opener and might make them better stewards of our planet in the future.

- Some of you might find THIS project a fun thing to do with older kids. 

- If you would like to improve (or just play around!) your photography skills, perhaps you might be interested in THIS.  

- And seeing all of THESE was just plain fun!  (be sure to scroll down)  I had to take it one step further with the first artist and checked out her website - go HERE to see more!

- I may have sent you to see the works of THIS artist before but even if I did, they are well worth another look!

Today's quote is from Nido Qubein...."Your present circumstances don't determine where you can go, they merely determine where you start"

Wednesday, June 09, 2021

A few more additions to the collection

 I've been working steadily on the little stitcheries for the advents and have completed a few more (and also re-stitching the offending 'bleeders' from the other day).....

Some of you may be familiar with the children's book 'The Snowman' by Raymond Briggs...


I must admit the book itself is rather underwhelming because there's no story and it's all small pictures....not something that I think would enthrall a 2 year old.  However....the snowman himself is adorable and Sirdar has a pattern!  So....I had to make one for the Christmas box.  I used Bernat Velvet yarn because the original Sirdar yarn is no longer available.  Sooooooo soft and cuddly!!!!


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A short update - I saw the specialist again this morning and the lesion on my tongue is, as he thought, labeled as being 'pre-cancerous'.  I am now part of a new study that will further access my risk for actually developing cancer.  The results of that assessment won't be back until mid-September at which point it will be decided if I will need to be seen by him on a 4xyear basis or whether the risk level is low enough to be looked at once a year.  Either way, I am confident this was caught in time and now we go on to the next step.  Evidently tongue issues such as mine are on the rise, so please - check yourself and if anything doesn't look or feel right, get seen by a professional.  
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- Wouldn't a bowl of THESE look pretty for your fall decor?

- If you have a little girl in your life, perhaps making her one (or more!) of THESE would be special.

- THIS is another of those things that make you want to say 'awwwww' right out loud.

- Have a look at THESE marvelous sculptures!

Today's quote is from Glenn Close..."What mental health needs is more sunlight, more candor, more unashamed conversation"

Monday, June 07, 2021

A needle - in a haystack....or.....

 The Saga of the Red Thread

by Your Intrepid Stitcher

Chapter One

As we enter the sewing studio of your intrepid stitcher  (hereinafter known as IS) we are greeted by many different little piles.  Here a pile of yarn, there a pile of little stitcheries, and over there - yes, over there - we see a pile of plastic boxes chuck full of embroidery flosses.  As the scene unfolds we see our IS stitching merrily away but coming to the realization that if she were a clever person she would damp stretch the little stitcheries as she goes along.  "Yes, a marvelous plan" said she to herself and proceeded to pin out a number of little bits onto her board.  A spritz of water and our IS went back to stitching more.  "This is fun" she thought.  

Chapter Two

Time unfolds.  Drying happens and our IS decided it was time to remove her freshly stretched stitcheries.  But wait!  What's this?  "Oh, no...... (bleep, bleep)...."  Just look at this....



Some of the red embroidery floss has run!!  It's made a huge mess.  And now our not-so-thrilled IS will be re-stitching several of the wee stitcheries.  Good thing she's stubborn!

Chapter Three

As this tale unfolds, the IS is eyeing her plastic box chock full of different shades of red threads and wondering 'Which one is the Culprit".  "Which one needs to be thrown into the Great Wastebasket Collector?"  Our IS is also bemoaning the fact that for once in her stitching life she actually put something AWAY as she went and therefore the offending culprit is now merrily sticking their tongue out at her and saying 'catch me, if you can'.

THE END

Epilogue: 

As this story goes to press, your IS is pleased to inform you that the offending stitcheries have been re-stitched....with non bleeding thread AND the little blighter has been banished to the Wastebasket Collector.


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- have a look at the gallery HERE.  

- THIS is a really cute design and could use some scraps from your stash - and would make great gifts too (or used as the gift bag with something else tucked inside).

- Have a peek at the work done by THIS amazing artist.

Today your quote is courtesy of Winston Churchill... "Success is not final, failure is not fatal.  It is the courage to continue that counts"

Friday, June 04, 2021

A box of inspiration and progress

 This box of yarn-y goodness appeared in the mail and will evolve into two more mile-a-minute afghans at some point between now and Christmas.....



And, there's been a little more progress on the Christmas stitcheries too....


You will note that I'm doing two of each 'theme', but each of them is different from the other.

- Not that we adults would know this for a fact (ahem) but the kids in your life that enjoy those Freeze Pops would probably benefit from some of THESE.  

- Some of THESE would be fun for summer use.

- I've been on the lookout for the directions to make THESE for quite awhile.  Perfect addition to tuck inside a letter to our grandsons!

- Have a look at THESE and be prepared for an involuntary 'awwwww'.

- If there's a nurse or a doctor in your life, they might appreciate a thank you in the form of one of THESE.  

Today's quote from C. Beaudin Hamada:  "The happiest people don't have the best of everything.  They just make the best of everything.  Live simply, care deeply, speak kindly, love generously and leave the rest to God"

Wednesday, June 02, 2021

More, and a lack

 Over the past couple of days I completed another two little stitcheries for the advents, as you can see...

I blinked and miscounted the number of stitches so I'll be redoing the Mrs. Santa on the right so she's centered.  Oops.

This time I'm not giving you any links because I haven't had the time to search for any (I know, be still your beating hearts.  Do try to curtail your disappointment).  BUT - instead of that how about a few photos from our walk along the river?  For those of you who don't know, our apartment building overlooks the local river and there's a nice walkway all the way from here to the downtown core.  These things caught my eye...







These are the locks and on the left (out of frame) is where the boats go through.




A little snapping turtle sunning himself on the rocks




The Old Mill that burned many years ago and now is a 'Heritage' site (some would say eyesore).  I maintain it should be revamped as a restaurant on the lower level, the Art Gallery on the middle level, and artist studios/shops on the upper.  Of course the town fathers don't agree with my opinion!



And, finally, some fun mail!  


These will be used in the Advent calendar creation when I get to that point.





Today's quote is from David Russell..."The hardest thing in life is to know which bridge to cross and which to burn"