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 30, 2021


 Just realized I referenced a photo of the quilting on one of the advents in my last post and then forgot to add it.  Ooops! is one calendar as they stand now, both are quilted and awaiting their binding.  Next step will be to finish the ornaments and then decide where to have them hang on the tree and then stitch on 48 buttons to hold them all.  There's a ways to go on the project(s) yet.  And then I have to make another one!!

It's a very poor photo and I do apologize but this morning I don't have time to get anything better.  You can get the general idea of what the advents are going to look like though.  

Today's quote is from Mark Twain..."Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured"

Monday, July 26, 2021

A winner and carrying on

First of all, I would like to to announce the winner of my little magazine giveaway (chosen, ever so scientifically, by the 'little slips of paper in a bowl' and chosen by Resident Chef).....

And the winner is....

Mary, of Hill Top Post!
She has chosen the issue of 'Where Women Create'
and I will pop it in the mail as soon as you send me your
snail mail addy Mary
(email me....marmic1954 AT gmail DOT com)

I spent much of the weekend sandwiching and quilting Advent Calendar #1 - which has taken me far longer than I ever would have thought!  I'm obviously NOT a sane quilter!!  I'm still not done but you can get the general idea.  I machine quilted stars in gold metallic which I know is hard to see in the photo.  Today I plan to finish the quilting on that one and get the second one sandwiched and ready to quilt.  

And....further appears there is now going to be a need for a third advent!  Yes, #2 son and daughter-in-love are expecting!!!  And this time we are all more than surprised to learn that it's a girl!  Girls don't run in our family as a rule so this is a more than happy surprise.  Grandma gets to play with girlie things!  Now I have to learn how to sew little dresses....who knew?

Today's quote....'When the children you love have children  you adore with all that is within you, only then to you fully understand how Grand being a grandparent is"

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.

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

 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!!

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.  

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. 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.

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


 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.  

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


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

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.

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.  

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.

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.  

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...


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.  

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).