A blog about my interests, which include fabric landscapes and various and assorted other artsy pursuits and sometimes known to contain mumblings of a random nature.

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Check -

 Yep, place a check mark beside another completed project.  This is a shawl created for a person who uses a wheelchair....just something to tuck around the shoulders for additional warmth and (theoretically at least) it's supposed to stay in place...

A close-up to show the pattern detail....

Pattern is THIS one and I used Caron Jumbo yarn.  The colorway is perfect but I'm not 100% sold on the softness of the yarn.  This one might just end up being a do-over project.  

- Some of us have an old glass coffee pot lurking about in a cupboard somewhere and perhaps using it to make one of THESE might be fun?

- If you, or someone you know, is into decorating for Halloween, making one (or more) of THESE might be on your list.

-THIS is cute for fall.

- If you have an old dresser perhaps some of THESE  revamping ideas will catch your eye.  

Today's quote is from Robert Holden..."Beware of destination addition, a preoccupation with the idea that happiness is in the next place, the next job, and the next partner.  Until you give up the idea that happiness is somewhere else, it will never be where you are"

Monday, September 27, 2021

Three things today

 First of all, I made these pillowcases over the weekend for three little 'grandies' who just need to have something fun to sleep on.  I used the burrito method from THIS great tutorial.  

Second, the mailman brought me a wonderful parcel all the way from the US stuffed full of wonderful buttons for my collection and inspiration.  The little green frogs are already in a baggie with some baby yarn to make a wee sweater.  Thank you Liz - you know I'll find a use for all of these!!!!

And finally, I finished off the cookie cross stitch ornaments.  Three of these are going to go along with a container of "Grandpa's Cookies' that will be mailed to the grandies close to Christmas.  The other one will be put aside for another Christmas  for our expected wee one.  

And....thank you to everyone who gave me ideas of what to create from the Scottie Dog cross stitch!  Some really clever ideas that I certainly hadn't thought of.  Now I have to decide on something!

Today's quote...."Resolve to be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant with the weak and wrong.  Sometime in your life, you will have been all of these"

Friday, September 24, 2021

The end? For now?

 This is the final cross stitch project I had planned (hooray, sez you?) 

I wanted to make a Scottie dog for my Australian cousin and this design caught my eye.  Now I just have to decide what to turn it into.  It measures about 4" wide.   Any ideas???

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

- And look at THIS!  It's crocheted by an artist named Beata Bylinka.  Unfortunately she only seems to have a presence on Facebook but at least this link shows just some of her work.

- There are a number of cute Halloween projects HERE.

Today's quote is from George Bernard Shaw..."Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance"

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Two more things

 Here is the second completed sweater - done with the same yarn (different colourway, although still 'denim' blue)  and using the same basic pattern as the one I showed you in my previous post...'s another little completed cross stich project - our #1 grandie is currently reading Harry Potter books so I thought he'd enjoy having a themed bookmark.  


The lettering around the bottom reads "I solemnly swear that I am up to no good'.  

Today's quote..."If I waited until I had all my ducks in a row, I'd never get across the street.  Sometimes you just have to gather up what you've got and make a run for it"

Monday, September 20, 2021

One (of three)

 I realized I forgot to share this completed project with you....

I used 'Jeans' yarn by Lion Brand and it is from the 'Wonder Years' pattern by Elizabeth Smith Knits and can be found HERE.  I love this pattern and have used it several times.  There's a second sweater currently drying after being blocked that I will show you next time, also from the same pattern, and I started the third one as well.  Three little grandson will be warm come Christmas I hope!

And, this is a teeny little glimpse of another project I have underway...

Today's quote isn't a quote but something that made me laugh (hope it doesn't offend anyone!)

Friday, September 17, 2021

Good eating and ornie update

 The four little ornaments are ready to have the beading added but I have to wait for the mailman to deliver what I need.  I have tons of beads but they're all too large for these.  

The white area around the outside will be trimmed away before they are finished with felt on the back.

The mailman very nicely left me a package that held a piece of this fabric...

...which I hope will work well with this fabric I got just  a little while ago... make a little baby quilt.  Now I've let my fingers run amuck and I've ordered the coordinating 5" squares in the first fabric line to bring the panel up to the size I need for a baby quilt.  I love both these fabrics and I'm pretty sure our daughter-in-love and #2 son will be happy with it.  

Resident Chef made this recipe and it's definitely a winner.  Good  for breakfast OR you could serve it with a dollop of ice cream for a dessert.  Good either way!

2 c. old-fashioned rolled oats
2 T. butter, melted    ½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda   ¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon        1 ½ c. milk
1 c. vanilla yogurt            2 eggs
2/3 c. brown sugar, divided
     350 degrees – 9” square pan. Combine all
but 1/3 c. brown sugar.  Cover pan with foil &
bake 20 mins.  Remove foil and bake another 25
mins.  Sprinkle with remaining brown sugar & broil
3 – 5 mins.

Today's quote is from Honore De Balsac...."When you doubt your power, you give power to your doubt"

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

New little stitcheries....and yet another debacle......

 I came across a fun little cookie-themed cross stitch design so I decided I would make each of the 'grandies' a Christmas ornament.  Resident Chef makes cookies and sometimes there's a care package that heads out in the mail to our grandsons so Grandpa is pretty cool in their eyes.  Each ornament will be slightly different but the basic outline is the same.  Right now I'm awaiting a shipment of tiny beads to add here and there for additional sparkle.  When we send the ornaments of course there will be a box of cookies to go along with them.  

These are done using perforated paper which is a first attempt for me.  I think I'll be doing more.  

Just to show you that this blog is never predictable (Hah!!), the subject of mold came up on another blog and it reminded me that I have stumbled across a good product that seems to help with that issue, at least in a bathroom.  We've been battling mold in ours for several years and I've tried numerous different things - bleach, vinegar, and a baking soda concoction I read about on the internet.  Nothing worked for any length of time.  Finally I read about a product called 'Lysol Bathroom Bleach Cleaner' (purple label) and thought I'd give it a try.  Best results yet!  

Oh the adventures that await us upon awakening here at Chez Magpie boggle even the mind of your intrepid reporter.  Yesterday morning Resident Chef undertook to clean out the fridge which should (note the key word I used there....should) be relatively uneventful.  Suddenly there was a monumental crash and the ominous sounds of something breaking, followed rapidly by some rather colourful language.  I hit the doorway running and immediately saw a flow of ooze.  My first thought was 'NOT THE CARPET' because we just had it cleaned.  More by luck that anything else the goo remained on the kitchen floor.  But HOW in heaven's name can one little bottle of kefir manage to spread itself across half the kitchen floor??  Yeeeewwwww.  

So....the least decrepit of us (read that, moi) was down on the floor once again trying to mop up.  Of course it managed to ooze it's way beneath the fridge itself along with the cabinet on the other side.  

What caused all this (beyond the fridge cleaning)? One of the shelves in the door of the fridge decided that it should come unattached launching the contents downwards.  To Resident Chef's credit he managed to catch two of the bottles of kefir but not being in possession of three hands was a definite drawback.  Maybe I should send him to juggling school?

Today's quote is from Leo Tolstoy...."If you see that some aspect of your society is bad, and you want to improve it, there is only one way to do so: you have to improve people.  And in order to improve people, you begin with only ONE thing - you can become better yourself"

Monday, September 13, 2021

Knees up? And I'm not Mother Brown.....

 Well, folks, I hope this is the final chapter in the ongoing saga of whatever-it-is-that's-happening-here at Chez Magpie.  (and here you thought I was done....).  The removal of small table from the living room to take up residence beneath the small fridge in the storage room left a gaping hole and 'stuff' that didn't have a home.  Hmmmm.   Whilst out and about Friday morning Resident Chef made the clever suggestion that maybe we could just have a wee peek at the thrift store to see if there might be a nice 'little' table (please do note....the usage of the word 'little').  

Alas no tables but (and here's where the NEXT debacle began) there just so happened to be a really pretty bakers rack.  Hmmm....said I.  And Hmmmmm. said he.  Out came the measuring tape and yes it would fit.  Okay - done.

But...ummmmm - how to shoehorn it into the back of our Rav4.  3 men working their so-called magic after much pondering and test fitting....all the while refusing to listen to the one lonely woman who just 'happened' to have an idea.  Funny thing....they finally resorted (under much male testosterone duress, I might add) to using my idea.  Unfortunately said idea, altho' good in theory, ended up with the passenger seat pushed as far forward as it would go.  Have I mentioned that I have a 36" inseam?  And that the passenger seat is where I sit?? Now you know why you have an ear worm stuck in your brain...."Knees Up, Mother Brown" or maybe a mental picture of a can of sardines.

And then.....then.....came the question of how to haul it up to the apartment.  Yet more raised eyebrows in  the building lobby as we trundled through with said baker's rack on our trusty little cart.  Sometimes I think we live here just for the amusement of the masses.

Oh, and did I mention that Resident Chef then decided that he could take said rack apart so that I (note.....the use of the word 'I' as opposed to 'HE') could paint the wooden shelf part?  That, of course, meant crawling about on the floor and the inevitable beached whale syndrome when trying to get up again.  He also decided he would remove the wine rack part because we very rarely drink wine.  Altho - I might JUST consider taking it up if all this upheaval continues.  

Not a great picture, but here it is in situ....

To the left of the photo you can just see the corner of the cabinet that houses our tv.  Sorry about the mess below the new rack - I bought some artificial grapes and washed them and they're still dripping so there's a towel on the floor to absorb the drips.  Just in the very front (on the floor) you can see my silverware chest that once belonged to my grandmother.  I took a course in furniture refinishing many years ago JUST so I could learn to refinish that chest.  It will, once the grapes stop their drip, sit beneath the grape bowl on the bottom shelf.  To the right is our couch and just above you can catch a wee glimpse of a beautiful poppy picture that we bought for one of our 'special' anniversaries (25 years, maybe??). 

Today's quote..."Life doesn't allow for us to go back and fix what we have done wrong in the past, but it does allow for us to live each day better than our last"

Thursday, September 09, 2021

A trussed up chicken?

 Why, no, not a chicken but a mattress!

You can't see in the photo, but it's tied to our wonderful little cart.  Resident Chef pushed and I pulled our way to the elevator (only bumped into the wall a couple of times....and they're painting them anyway, so it doesn't matter). I'm blaming his driving skills on that.  Waited til the dark of night to attempt this rather dubious enterprise and wouldn't you know, there would be a man in the lobby who took one look and wanted to know what on earth we were doing.  I'm sure he went away talking to himself about the crazies that live in this building.  If nothing else, we do provide a certain amount of entertainment to the masses.

Now we hope the recyling guys picked it up before it gone rained on this afternoon.  

And, further on the fridge saga - it is now residing quite comfortably on top of the table and Resident Chef is happy.  It's loaded with all the preserves and doing the job quite nicely. find another table to replace the original in the living room.  Yep - it's the galloping ick at work once again.

- I think THIS is cute - and useful too.  I might consider embiggening the pattern just a bit and it would be perfect to carry a mask.  

- All I can say is wow over THESE!

- HERE is an idea for something you could make for kids (or adults too, for that matter).

- Have a peek through the galleries of THIS artist.

Today's quote..."Don't compare your life to others.  There's no comparison between the sun and the moon.  They shine when it's their time"

Wednesday, September 08, 2021

Chapter 2 - and 21, 22, and 23...and 42

 I'm beginning to wonder if the Saga of the Fridge/Mattress is ever going to draw to a close.  This morning I booked the recyclers to come and pick up the mattress but that will mean getting it downstairs.  To my mind, throwing it over the balcony whilst shouting 'LOOK OUT BELOW" is good enough but Resident Chef refuses to entertain that thought.  So, he arrived in my sewing room doorway this afternoon wondering if I was doing anything. need to ask???.....However I, being a dutiful wife, followed him into the living room where he announced that he's figured out a way to transport the thing.  We will just fold it up and tie it and then it will fit on our cart.  Me, being a skeptical wife, yet as above-noted, also dutiful - was commandeered to throw myself bodily over said mattress to hold it in place whilst he tied it up.  Long involved story short (and under much trepidation on my part, having all sorts of mental images of said mattress uncoiling and throwing me upwards towards the ceiling) the mattress is now trussed up like a chicken, awaiting the next part of the process, that of tying it onto the cart and wrestling it into the elevator.  If you don't hear from me, you'll know said mattress has thrown me down the elevator shaft....

Oh, and a further side note to the storage room/small fridge debacle?  Now Resident Chef has decided that he simply doesn't want to bend over to deal with what's in that fridge and therefore it needs to be 'up on something'.  Of course, that 'something' is ALSO just a half inch too big to go in guessed it....moving that shelving unit again.  Our 42nd wedding anniversary is today and I suspect he's leaving wading into that project until after we've gotten through the day because he's quite sure I might not be speaking to him afterwards.  Wonder whatever would give him that opinion?

The final three ornaments (minus one, that's awaiting knowing what the baby's name will be) are stitched....

Santa is part of another design - as is Mrs. Santa.  The owl design ended up becoming a snowy owl and I re-designed his feet because the originals were much too large.  

Today the quote simply has

 to be an anniversary wish to the love of my life!

Monday, September 06, 2021

A Saga, In Several Parts


Saturday we canned spaghetti sauce and made a second batch of tomato jam.  Took most of the day.  Of course then I came up with a brilliant idea (first mistake!!) and suggested to Resident Chef that maybe we should consider buying a small bar-sized fridge to use as a cold cellar.  That led to deciding to get rid of our water cooler which we haven't been using since Covid hit - we've gone to a Brita instead (and b'sides the jugs of water are getting too heavy for the Resident Chef to handle).  Removing said water cooler would create space for a small fridge.  Rather clever thought?  Canadian Tire just happened to have a fridge on sale so out we went and came home with one.  So far so good. was exactly one half inch (!!!!!!!!) too wide to fit through the storage room to where we needed to put it.  THAT meant we had to move the huge shelving unit (and everything on and beneath it!) out of there and into my sewing room. 

Hard to fathom the size of the shelving unit from the awkward angle of the photo but you can get the general idea I'm sure!

 Did that, put everything back,  only to discover that the fridge freezer wasn't set properly (looks like it had been jarred in transit somewhere and came loose).  Of course THAT particular issue wasn't discovered until AFTER we'd moved the storage unit back and reloaded it.  Resident Chef wrestled with it and managed to clip the freezer back into place and....fingers seems to be working okay.  The thought of having to move all that stuff again was more than I could bear last night.  Ah, the life here at Chez Magpie!

Oh, and speaking of wrestling - the new mattress arrived.  Another huge box to deal with.  So hard to believe that a box that looks like this...

....turns into a full-sized, very thick, queen-sized mattress in a matter of minutes.  Of course my diabolical mind got to wondering what would happen if one of these boxes 'sprung an air leak' in the delivery truck and exploded all over the place.  Could be the stuff of comic strips.  

Now....the old mattress.....that's a whole 'nother issue!  More wrestling, heaving and 'glowing' (my mother, bless her, always insisted that women don't 'sweat', they I surely had a glow on!) and the oldie is currently resting comfortably leaning up against the living room couch awaiting final resting place with the mattress recyclers.  In lieu of flowers, please donate to a charity of your choice.  

The next chapter in the ongoing saga that is my life will involve hauling said sadly-departed mattress down six flights of stairs to await the mattress hearse recycling garbage truck.  

Our area has a recycling program for mattresses and so I thought I'd give you a quote today that reflects that.  Couldn't find one that quite suited, but I did find this instead and thought it might be a good one to share...

Friday, September 03, 2021

19, 20 and kitchen stuff

 First of all, there was a little bit of 'bubble, bubble, toil and trouble' going on in the kitchen here at Chez Magpie and this is what came forth.......

Tomato Jam!
From the recipe HERE
(thank you Liz!)

We used the second recipe Liz posted and ended up with six half-pint jars.  A note I would make on this is to not only thinly slice the lemons but also chop them up somewhat, otherwise you end up with long pieces of lemon rind in the jam.  No difference to the taste, but for 'viewing' it might look a little nicer.  And...another note....we found it takes about twice as many tomatoes to end up with the required amount to make the recipe.  This is a keeper recipe!  We will, I think, make more for tucking in with a few Christmas gifts.

Two more little stitcheries are being added to the pile...a wreath and the cookies.  The cookies were more or less my own design.

These two may change somewhat yet - I might add some holly to the cookie one and I'm not overly thrilled with the bow on the wreath so I'm toying with adding a ribbon bow.

Today's quote is from Paulo Coetho...."The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion"

Wednesday, September 01, 2021


 Yep, I'm falling down on the job! Only one little stitchery to show you today.  Another of my 'cobbled together' from, in this case, 3 different patterns.  

In my defense, we made a trip in quest of new pillows for our bed yesterday and that seriously cut into my sewing time.  Somehow the car managed to find its way to Costco as well as Fabricland.  There is a great need for appropriate buttons for three little grandson sweaters that are being undertaken, as well as maybe some suitable for a wee girl too.  Oddly enough, despite my massive collection of buttons I don't have enough of any  that will work for sweaters.  Who knew!!  There just *might* have been a couple of packages of bias tape and some coordinating bits of fabric that got into the car somehow.  Funny how that happens.

Today's quote...."Sometimes we need someone to simply be there....not to fix anything or do anything in particular, but to just let us feel we are supported and cared about"