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.

Thursday, December 30, 2021

Happy New Year wishes

 Today I have a little something different to share with you.  I came across this and thought it would be something that you would enjoy - and it is my wish for you, and for all of us, as we enter into a new year that I hope will be a happy, healthy and safe one for all.

By Jack Levine 

Here’s my 20-item Emotional Gift Guide which I hope will be meaningful for you in this season of celebration. 

To yourself....respect, confidence, faith and fortitude. 

To a family member....communication and understanding, even if there have been relationship challenges. 

To a friend....a heartfelt, caring spirit and appreciation. 

To our natural world, animal and plant life....admiration, protection, and preservation. 

To a good cause....generosity of time and treasure and ardent advocacy.

 To a open door of hospitality. 

To our military forces, first responders and their loved ones....honor, admiration, and support to heal the wounds.

 To the ill and hurting....conscientious concern and comfort. 

To the hungry and homeless....compassion, emergency services, and creative community solutions. 

To the abused, neglected and abandoned....representation, security, and hope.

 To someone with a special challenge....recognition, acceptance, and a path to independence. 

To the addicted and arms, forgiveness, and a positive path to recovery.

 To an infant and toddler....attention, attachment, safety, and learning opportunities.

 To a child or teen....patience, guidance, and a positive example through mentoring.

 To a parent in need....a helping hand and guidance. 

To an elder....reverence, gratitude, and dignified care. 

To a customer or client....excellent service and lasting value. 

To everyone you see, friends and strangers alike....a warm smile, acts of kindness, and positive energy. 

To people of every age....unconditional love and sincere gratitude. 

To all the peoples of the world....justice, and peace.

written by Jack Levine

and found via 'Grand Magazine' online

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Mystery solved?

 Remember that pile of 'mystery' I showed you before Christmas?  Well, I had a special request from Daughter-In-Love #2 for some Asian-themed felt foods for our grandies to play with.  How could I refuse?  Here's the results (there's at least 5 pieces of each food, sometimes 10, but I'm not showing you the entire lot).  

and some closeups....

- THIS is a cute project that would be fun to make, particularly for kids.

- There just might have been a small involuntary awwwww when I saw THIS.

- Some of you might enjoy a scroll through the projects shown HERE.  

Today's quote is from A.A. Milne..."Piglet noticed that even though he had a very small heart, it could hold a rather large amount of gratitude"

Monday, December 27, 2021

Post-Christmas Post

 I hope your Christmas celebrations, in whatever form they took, were happy ones.  Here at Chez Magpie it was just the two of us so very low key.  We were able to enjoy a video chat session with #2 son and his family in BC and watch the grandies opening their gifts Christmas morning.  Yesterday we did another short video session with #1 son and his family.  We're still hoping to be able to get together with them for a short visit when he has a day off (he's the chef so therefore has to work on Christmas).  Resident Chef and I gave each other that 'blasted' new phone for Christmas so now I guess I have the huge learning curve in store figuring out how to use it.  He won't touch it because he knows absolutely nothing about technology.  I'm not much better but I'm stubborn so I will figure it out.  Maybe.

Over the break I did complete a couple of projects for the baby....

The sweater pattern is THIS one,  the hat came from HERE, and the toy is the one I make for all new babies and is THIS one.  

This morning there are big snowflakes coming down outside and we rather wish we weren't booked for our booster shots this afternoon. At least we don't have to go too far to get them.  

- Obviously it's too late for this year to make any of THESE but they can certainly go on the list for next year!  Absolutely too cute not to share!  AND....while you're there, check out THESE adorable little guys!!!

- Some things just absolutely boggle the mind!  If you're even remotely fascinated by miniatures, then enjoy watching THIS!!!!!

Today the quote is from Bob Hope..."When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things, not the great occasions, give off the greatest glow of happiness"

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Happy Christmas Wishes!


Resident Chef and I would like to

wish all of you - and those you love -

a very happy and blessed Christmas.

Be safe, be well, and enjoy your

celebration in whatever form it

may take

Sunday, December 19, 2021

A Grandma's pride

 Today, in lieu of something by me, I thought I'd like to share a piece of art created by one of the youngest members  of our family - our 5 year old grandson....

- You know how something just pulls at your heart strings?  I don't know how many of you have seen THIS commercial but if you haven't, it's one of those things that brought tears to my eyes (and Resident Chef's too).  

- THIS is an interesting technique that raises all sorts of questions in my mind and now I'm wondering if it could be used in my landscapes somehow.  Pondering....

- I've seen THIS on a couple of the blogs lately - very cute and even I might be tempted to make one.

- There just might be enough time to make one or two of THESE (or save it for next year!)

- HERE is another handy item - we all have cords that drive us crazy!

- THIS is a fun little Winter-themed cross stitch design.  

Today the quote is from Billy Graham..."The very purpose of Christ's coming into the world was that He might offer up His life as a sacrifice for the sins of men.  He came to die.  This is the heart of Christmas"

Thursday, December 16, 2021

And just what do you suppose......

 ......this might turn into?

- THIS would add an element of elegance to your Christmas tree.

- THESE would be a quick and fun addition on the top of a gift or to hang on the tree.

- HERE is a really pretty quilt pattern that would look great as shown but I think would also be fun if it were made with scraps.

- If you're a plastic canvas enthusiast perhaps making THESE would be fun.

- THIS is adorable!!!!  

- and THIS is a sweet little project too.

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Oh yes, FINALLY a finished finish!!

 At long last, here is the finished landscape!  It took a lot of reverse stitching and a lot more new stitching but I'm finally happy with least now it's lying flat!  

"Ghostly Memories"
measures approx. 28 1/2" x 24"


My inspiration came from this photo of 'Our Lady of Mount Carmel' in Raymore, Saskatchewan and kindly shared with me by Dale Stewart, a wonderful photographer!

When I first saw this photo I immediately wanted to see if I could create it as a ghostly image of the church.  Not sure how successful I was, but I certainly learned a lot.  
Some closeups...

I think you can click on them to embiggen

- THIS is a super cute embroidery design that you might still be able to make in time for Christmas.

- If you happen to have some flannel shirts that you hate to throw out, perhaps one of THESE ideas might be useful.

- Some things, like THESE, are just plain ingenious!

- If you're searching for some quick-to-make Christmas gifts, how about checking through the gallery found HERE....or HERE...or HERE

Today the quote is from Maya Angelou.... "I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he handles these three things:  a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights"

Sunday, December 12, 2021

A finished finish? But then again....

 Well, those of you who have been holding your breath waiting for the reveal of the landscape will just have to wait a teeny bit longer.  There has been much avail made of the stitch ripper and much 'discussion' with the sewing machine regarding my insistence that I truly DO want to use invisible thread.  At the moment it remains to be seen just which one of us is more stubborn than the other.  

So....instead of THAT finish, how about another one?  A wee baby sweater using leftover yarn and gifted buttons.  

and a close up of the buttons...

Pattern is the Little Coffee Bean by 
Elizabeth Smith and can be found HERE.  

- Have a scroll through all the interesting crocheted items HERE.  Some are downright beautiful, some are amazingly fun, and there's some that are a trifle odd.  It takes a minute to load, but worth the wait!

- HERE is something else that is fun to scroll through! (takes a second to load)

- HERE is another gallery of amazing art to scroll through (you can click on each to embiggen to see further details)

- I don't know if you are familiar with THIS, but perhaps you might want to consider playing along. The guidelines are HERE.

Today's quote...

Friday, December 10, 2021

A frustrating finish!

 It took me awhile but I finally almost finished the latest landscape called 'Ghostly Memories', inspired once again by a photograph kindly shared by Dale Stewart.  When I saw his photo of the 'Our Lady of Mount Carmel' church in Raymore, Saskatchewan I immediately was inspired to try to create it as a ghostly image.  Not exactly sure how successful I was but I certainly had a blast working on it.  Now, having said that, I'm late posting today because everything I have attempted to do has been accompanied by frustration.  This still isn't finished and at the moment is adamantly refusing to lie flat.  Never had that happen before so I know there will be some more stitching to try to wrestle it into submission.  In the meantime you can get the general idea for now and I'll post another 'Finished Finish' later on.


We interrupt the current dose of mumblings for a news flash!  Due to circumstances beyond your not-so-savvy writer's control (and no doubt there's a degree of stupidity involved) today there will be no pictures of finished objects - unfinished objects - or much of anything else.  Camera doesn't want to talk to the doesn't want to talk to the camera.....both are throwing hissy fits of grande proportions.  Your intrepid correspondent has been seen joining in with the general hissiness of the entire thing.'s not even Friday the 13th OR a full moon!

- THIS is a small project that would be a great little gift to tuck in with something else for your sewing friends (or perhaps it could be a table favour?).  And HERE is another version.

- And THESE are another quick little gift that a sewer would like.  Or maybe you'd prefer THIS version.

- THIS is another quick and useful little gift you could make.  

Today's quote is from R. H. Swaney..."I wish we could talk about our hearts like we talk about the weather, because whether or not we are okay is more important than the chance of rain"

Wednesday, December 08, 2021


 I almost forgot to post today!  What would happen to the world if I didn't?!!!  Surely it would come to a halt in complete consternation?

Anyway....this post centres around food.  First of all - how about a recipe?  Resident Chef served this for supper tonight and it's definitely a keeper!  The original recipe is on the menu at Le Cellier Steakhouse at Epcot but of course the Resident Chef changed it somewhat to more suit our tastes..


1/ 2 lb. bacon, 1/2" pieces
1 onion, chopped
3 ribs celery, cut into 1/4" pieces
4 T. butter
1 c. flour
3 c. chicken stock
4 c. milk
1 lb. cheddar cheese, grated
1 tsp garlic powder
1 T. hot pepper sauce
1 T. Worcestershire
1/2 c. warm beer (the rest goes to the cook)
Salt and pepper to taste

Sauté bacon until lightly browned.  Add onion, celery and butter and sauté until onion is soft, about 5 minutes.  Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat for about 4 mins.  Whisk in chicken stock and bring to a boil for 1 minutes.  Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add milk
and continue to simmer for 15 minutes.  Do not boil after milk is added.  Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients (reserving beer).  Blend with immersion blender until cheese is melted.  Add warm beer.  If soup is too thick you can thin with a little milk.    

Another thing that has come forth from Resident Chef's kitchen are these....
These are about the size of a small pizza and are topped with M&M's.  

- How about making slippers from fleece?  You can find a free pattern HERE (I would want to add some non-slip coating on the bottom I think)

- THIS is another great pattern that would be fun to make for Christmas giving.

- If you would like to turn a picture of your home (or someone else's...perhaps for a gift?) into an embroidery pattern, have a look at the tutorial found HERE

- THIS intrigued me.  Not enough to make one, but I might have had we more room to display it.  

- Those of you who enjoy quilt shows will love looking through THIS virtual one from the Victorian Quilters!  There are several categories - click on one and then you can look through by simply clicking on the arrows on the right side.  Some pretty amazing quilts!! (This was found via Linda Steele who just happened to win a couple of the prizes for her work).

Today's quote..."There are some people who could hear you speak a thousand words and still not understand you.  There are others who will understand you - without you even speaking a word"

Monday, December 06, 2021

A little cowl

 Over the weekend I finished knitting myself a new cowl.  I'm ashamed to say how old my previous scarf is and I still love it, but I think people are heartily sick of seeing it, so....a new cowl.....

Mr. Crow makes a good model, don't you think?  Pattern is The Copycat Cowl by Verna Glass and can be found HERE.  I used a regular long-tail cast on and some Maximum Value yarn from Mary Maxim. 

- For the knitters, there's a huge number of knitting stitch patterns HERE and there are ones for crochet HERE.  

- It's not too late to make THESE for your Christmas décor.

- Pam Kellogg has just released THE sweetest cross stitch snowman design which you can find HERE.  

- THIS is a really nice basket design that would make wonderful gifts (especially if you filled them with something fun!)

- HERE is another fun thing that would make great gifts at Christmas...especially if it were maybe accompanied by a handmade bar of soap.

Today's quote..."If my body was a car, I would be trading it in for a newer model.  I've got bumps, dents, scratches, and my headlights are out of focus.  My gearbox is seizing up and it takes me hours to reach maximum speed.  I overheat for no reason and every time I sneeze, cough or laugh either my radiator leaks or my exhaust backfires"

Thursday, December 02, 2021

Putz, futz, fuddle....pfft

 So I've been putzing and not one bit of what I've done is of the least bit of interest to you.  I know you were just sitting there wanting to know that I finished wrapping all but two gifts.  You really wanted to know that I re-vamped a vest for Resident Chef so it fits him better.  I know you were absolutely holding your breath to know that I blocked a wee sweater for the baby, a process which requires crawling about on the floor.  I'm sure you REALLY wanted to know that I managed to get up off said floor.  You also, I know, wanted to know that I made the label and sewed it on the back of the baby quilt.  More importantly, I'm sure you had the knowing that I put a precious few stitches into the latest landscape high on your wish list.  

AND....drumroll please....I know, beyond a shadow of any doubt whatsoever, that you are just sitting on the edge of your seat waiting to hear that I spent over an hour searching for pictures of              

....wait for it.....


Gosh, I'm glad all your waiting is now over and you can go back to your regularly scheduled life.  You're welcome.

- If you are gifting something like a couple of fat 1/4's to someone at Christmas have a look at THIS cute packaging idea.  

- THESE would be so pretty on a tree - or used as a package topper - or even as little gift.

- And just for the sheer delight, have a scroll through THESE.  

- If I was a sane quilter I would be SO tempted to make THIS (please note, link takes you to the PDF of the pattern)

- Once I discovered the snowman quilt, it led me to look to see what other free patterns are available - there's lots!  

Instead of a quote, this came up on facebook and it made me laugh so I thought I'd share (there IS a wee bit of 'language' so be prepared)...

Wednesday, December 01, 2021

I do get around to things - eventually!

 Resident Chef carved this Santa many years ago and there it sat.  Unloved, unpainted, and stuffed in a drawer.  I finally decided that I was going to get it painted if it was the last thing I do.  Only took me over ten years....

- Those of us whose kids watched Sesame Street will remember the Yip Yips and now there's both a crocheted AND a knitted pattern to make them.  I think kids now, even tho' the Yip Yips aren't 'on' anymore would still get a kick out of them!

- THIS is a pretty little mug rug design that you could make for either yourself or as a gift.

- If you like roses, perhaps you might like THIS (scroll down to see the full design!).  Seeing one block won't give you the full effect.

- THIS would make cute little gifts too - particularly if you were to give the mug and fill it with maybe some hot chocolate or cider packets.

- If you plan on giving gift cards this year, perhaps making some of THESE would make a cute presentation.

- There's a great in-depth review HERE of products you can use to create a snowy texture on your projects.  

Today's quote is from Victoria Erickson..."There's a turning point.  It arrives when we find ourselves quietly hovering inside the realization that the choice is between two pains:  the pain of the jump or the pain of regret"