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, 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"

Wednesday, February 03, 2021

A mini update

This is not the post I had planned to do for today but it's been an upsetting morning and I'm behind in what I need to be doing.  Don't worry, we're okay - but I was dealing with an elderly friend who isn't.

So....just so I have a picture or two, here's a couple quickly-taken close-ups of the latest landscape...

The landscape is very close to being complete and hopefully I'll have photos of that for you next time.

- THIS is a cute little design you could make for Valentine's Day.

- There's a great article HERE about extending a piece of too-small fabric in order to fit it into your embroidery hoop.  

- Have a look at the incredible work done by THIS artist!  And THIS one too!!!

Today's quote..."Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner" 

Monday, February 01, 2021

One never knows what one might find here!

 I keep eyeing my bag filled with yarn odds and ends and wondering what I could make to use some of them up.  It suddenly came to my attention that such a thing as mile-a-minute afghan patterns are out there and wouldn't that be the perfect use for those partial balls of yarn.  I made one strip and weighed the ball of yarn before and after and came up with how many oz. I need to make a strip.  Resident Chef then undertook to weigh all my leftover yarns and we sorted them into what I can use for my afghan.  I will need to augment for a few colours I would like to use but otherwise I think I can pretty much make a useable blanket.  Useable is the key word here because, like much of what I do, I don't have any use for said blanket.  It will go in the Christmas box and maybe will 'bless' some poor unsuspecting soul in December.  

There follows a mini-rant so be prepared!

One would think, if one thought upon such things, that paying a lot more for something that's supposed to be 'better quality' would mean that I wouldn't be taking a picture and circling in RED what happened to my office chair this morning.  One would think that one would be comfortable in said chair for several years to come.  One would think that, wouldn't one.  Well....said chair has had a massive squeak since Day One and has required many applications of the wonder elixer called WD-40.  I'm sad to say that WD-40 can't fix this.  The arm rest snapped right off very nearly dumping moi very ingloriously onto the floor.  Resulting screech of dismay brought Resident Chef running, only to have to wade through the air that was rapidly turning blue.  Sigh.

- The February issue of the new 'Crazy Quilt Magazine' is now available and you can get your issue in either print or digital form (or both!)  by going HERE.

- If you're searching for an afghan pattern, have a look HERE because there's lots to choose from!

- I've heard of doing temperature blankets/afghans but have never heard of temperature quilts.  Go HERE to learn more.  

- If I had space in my sewing room I might consider making one of THESE to organize my thread (mind you, I'd have to buy a whole lot more thread in order to fill it!!).

anybody got any spare gold lying around?
One chair, in need....