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, September 30, 2022

Christmas shopping??



I'm offering a Christmas sale 
on my landscapes!
From now until Oct. 15 you
can do your Christmas shopping
and get $25 off.

Go HERE to see what's available! 


The last one

 As you can see, there's been progress on the second chef ornament (finished one is pictured as well).  Still quite a way to go but the end is in sight.  

If you'd like to see what I'm aiming towards have a look HERE.

- THESE are really pretty and would make wonderful gifts!

- I think THESE are rather intriguing too.

- Have a look through the portfolio of THIS amazing artist.  I was busily admiring her work and then I saw the section on her website where you could see her prices.  Ouch.  That's me, rubbing my butt, after I fell off my chair!!!

- THIS is a very pretty scarf design.

Today's quote..."Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are endless"

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Proof positive

 Yes, folks, we do have proof that I have indeed finished the stitching on the second Nutcracker.  Phew!  Now on to working on the second chef and once he is done I can start putting them together.

THIS is a great little tote that would serve a whole lot of purposes.

- THIS would be fun to make for your fall decor.

- Have a look through the gallery of THIS artist.

- THIS link takes you to a PDF for a really nice fall wreath pattern that you can can also simply make it using pre-made felt.

- If you like acorns, perhaps THIS might be fun to make.

Today's quote..."I bought a little bag of air today.  The company that made it was kind enough to put some potato chips in it as well"

Monday, September 26, 2022

Stitch, stitch, stitch

 Yes, I have been doing something but it's certainly not very exciting for you to see.  My plan is to make two of the Nutcracker ornaments and two of the chefs but I must admit making the second one is a slog.  I know what it's going to look like so there's no wondering what's going to come next.  So, here is my progress...

AND just so you know what I'm aiming for, HERE is the link to the design so you can see how they will (hopefully!) finish.  Mine won't have the fuzzy hair of the original because I couldn't locate the proper thread.   

- THIS is a really pretty shawl that would use up odds and ends of yarn.

- There are a number of quite pretty shawls HERE as well.

- THIS is a nice easy-to-knit cowl that would make great gifts.

- Have a peek through the embroidered pieces by THIS artist!

Today's quote..."One of the weirdest things about being an adult is having a favorite stove top burner.  No one ever talks about it, but y'all know it's true"

Our thoughts and prayers go out to
the people of our Maritime provinces
who were so hard hit by 
Hurricane Fiona


Friday, September 23, 2022

Because you just never know!!!

 No, you never know what you might find when you visit here at Chez Magpie, as this will attest.   This is a photo of our #4 Grandie modeling a dress that was once mine (you know, from back before dirt!)...

Photo shared with the permission of #2 daughter-in-love!

- If you're a crocheter, perhaps you might like to play along with THIS CAL.

- If you go HERE you can see a virtual quilt show of the contest winners from the Des Moines show.

- If you're a knitter and have problems with joining yarn mid-project, perhaps THIS article might be of interest.

- THESE are incredible!

Today's quote is from Maya Angelou..."Hate.  It has caused a lot of problems in this world but has not solved one yet"

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Alas and alack

 Sadly, there is a lack of any photos to show you of anything I've been doing.  You don't want to see pictures of a few rows of cross stitch added to the latest ornament. 

You also really don't want to see any pictures of the piece of knitting I've frogged more times than I can count either.  

- THIS is a rather nice bag that would make great gifts.

- Have a peek through the galleries of THIS artist!

- And THIS one too!!!!

Today's quote..."Society has gotten to the point where everybody has a right but nobody has a responsibility"

Monday, September 19, 2022

A sad week

 The past week has been a difficult one.  Two  friends, both in their 90's, have passed away as well as the Queen.   I find myself somewhat adrift and haven't been able to apply myself to my creative pursuits as much as I'd like.  So...I'll show you a picture of another project that's not quite complete.  This sweater is lacking buttons.  I found some I *could* use in my stash but they're not quite 'it' if you know what I mean.  I might end up using them anyway but maybe I'll get to a fabric shop and will be able to find better ones.  

- If you don't like bugs you won't want to see THESE, but I found them fascinating.

- Have a look at the creations of THIS artist (and take note of the material he uses)

- There's an interesting article HERE that addresses stash culture.  It's geared towards quilters but knitters/crocheters can easily be subbed in.

- Reading that led me on to reading THIS.  

Today's quote is from Sam Elliott..."A strong man stands up for himself.  A stronger man stands up for others"

Friday, September 16, 2022

Sort of a finish

 I can't exactly say this is a finish per se but at least the cross stitching part of it is finished....

This will ultimately be finished into a circular Christmas ornament but there are still two more in the series to make before I assemble them.  You can see three more of the ornies in THIS post.

And, in case you were wondering...remember that sweet doll pattern I pointed you to in my last post?  Well, I succumbed....

- THIS is shown as a Christmas quilt but there's no reason it couldn't be done in any colour you wanted.  I think it would look good scrappy too.

- Have a peek at the fun garments found HERE.  I love them but would never possess enough nerve to actually wear them.

- Have a scroll through the amazing wooden sculptures found HERE. AND have a scroll through THESE as well!

- And while you're looking at amazing works of art, how about the gallery of THIS one!

- AND just because this is a full-service (totally off-the-wall) blog, check THIS out.

Today the quote is courtesy of Matthew McConaughey...."We gotta really watch how quickly we like to say we deserve something...we can earn things, but I don't think we deserve things"

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Something else

 I've created a few more things for the Christmas box...

Two of our grandies are 'in' to Minecraft so I searched out some appropriate fabric for them...youngest grandson is obsessed with cars....and our wee little girl, although too young for a pillowcase, needs to have one at the ready for when she is old enough.  I used the burrito method from The Seasoned Homemaker HERE to make them.  

- THIS would be a great bag to have for so many uses.

- I have often thought that a bookcase quilt would be a great project so I found THIS discussion very interesting.

- Once I discovered the bookcase quilt I was sent down the proverbial rabbit hole, only to discover THIS (which can be used as intended, but also used as the basis for a quilt).  I sometimes wish I would remember to keep track of all the books I read in a year and perhaps using the printable might encourage me to actually do it.

- I know THIS is a paid pattern but I must admit it instilled an involunatary awwwww moment.

Today the quote is courtesy of Audrey Hepburn..."Nothing is more important than empathy for another human being's suffering.  Not a career.  Not wealth.  Not intelligence.  Certainly not status.  We have to feel for one another if we're going to survive with dignity"

Monday, September 12, 2022

Bubble, bubble

 Over the weekend Resident Chef and I tried making Roasted Garlic and Onion Relish/Jam as you can see....

...and here is the recipe if you'd like to try it for yourself.  Sure tastes yummy on hamburgers!


5 whole garlic bulbs                       3 T. unsalted butter
5 c. chopped onions                       ½ c. balsamic vinegar
1 c. cider vinegar                              3 c. white sugar
1 pouch liquid pectin 
  Slice ½” off the top of each garlic bulb & place each on a
separate piece of foil.  Sprinkle each with 1 T. water.  Loosely
wrap & pinch to seal. Place on baking sheet & roast 45 mins. at 400degrees.
Unwrap & cool 15 mins. Squeeze garlic into bowl and set aside.
Melt butter over medium heat.  Add onion, reduce heat to
medium low and sauté til tender and light golden (about 15 mins)
Do not let onion brown.  Add balsamic vinegar & cook, stirring
frequently, 5 mins.   Add garlic & cider vinegar & gradually
stir in sugar.  Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring constantly,
until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to med-high & bring to a full
rolling boil, stirring constantly, and boil for 1 minute.  Remove
from heat and add pectin.  
Let cool 5 mins, stirring constantly. 
Ladle into hot jars, seal and process 
in boiling water bath
10 minutes.  Remove and cool on a wire rack. 
Makes approx.
six 250 ml jars.  Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 

- I was going to just pick a couple of THESE patterns to share with you and finally decided that perhaps you'd like to see them all so you can choose your favourite(s).

- There are a number of great ideas for repurposing things HERE.  

- Have a look at the portfolio of THIS incredible artist!

- Depending on the colours, THIS would be an amazing blanket.  I would love to make one but then I remind myself that it would involve adding to my stash and I talk myself out of it.   

- HERE is another artist that does amazing work.

Today's quote..."Illiteracy in the 21st century will not be about reading and writing, but about those who cannot unlearn what they were led to believe"

Thursday, September 08, 2022

no words are necessary


R.I.P. Queen Elizabeth II

43 years ago

 43 years ago this man (commonly known as Resident Chef) saw fit to marry me.  It's been a heck of a ride ever since!  

Love you, always and forever!

Wednesday, September 07, 2022

Well, at least one hand might be warm!

 Half of a pair of mittens made to go with the hat I showed you in my previous post.  Think I'm going to win the game of yarn chicken!  

- THIS is simply because I know you've always wanted to know how to make shoes for dolls....yes, just sayin'....

- THESE are really cute!

- Although I can't find the originator of THIS I thought it was worth sharing.  I'd love a jacket like that!

- Have a peek through the amazing creations of THIS artist!  And THIS one too (and if you go HERE you can see some of her work in more detail)!!

- THIS is one of those things that made me saw 'awwww' right out loud (scroll down for the best picture!)

Today's quote is from Oprah Winfrey..."Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down"

Monday, September 05, 2022

Reversal of frogging

 Yes, over the weekend I managed to reverse my frogging of the hat and came up with this one...

Something else for the Christmas box.

Pattern is THIS one and I used Paton's Astra which is a DK weight.  At least the grey is Astra - the red is a mystery yarn out of my stash (I think it's probably Paton's Canadiana).  Now I plan to play yarn chicken.  Do I have enough of each yarn to make a matching pair of mittens??  Stay tuned....

- And just a head's up - if you're searching for some really well written knitting patterns (some free, some not) check out what's available HERE.  I like that most of her patterns can be created with various weights of yarn and that her patterns are actually more 'recipes' than they're anything else.

- Making a few of THESE would be fun for your fall decor.

- Here's a little hint that I do so thought I'd share....if you have problems with dry and cracking hands...  1.  Slather your hands really heavily with a good hand cream, put on a pair of rubber gloves and wash your dishes in the hottest water you can stand.  The heat helps 'drive' the cream into your hands.  2.  At bedtime, I often use a really good coating of vaseline and then wear a pair of cotton gloves overnight.  You can try the vaseline process on your feet too and just wear a pair of old socks to bed.

- HERE's something else that would be fun to make for fall.

- If you're into repurposing things have a look through the links found HERE for some great inspiration.

- I currently have a bouquet of sunflowers on my table (3 flowers sold for $1 per flower) and so when I came across THIS I might be tempted.

- THESE are amazing (be fair warned though, there is some nudity there!)

Today's quote..."Creativity is making marvelous out of the discarded"

Friday, September 02, 2022


 I WOULD have had a picture to share with you.  Seriously.  However....when I checked the measurements of a child's head against the pattern I was using to make a hat I came to the realization that what I was doing simply wouldn't fit.  So....

Meet my friend the frog.
He and I are better friends than I care to admit. I won't mention the fact that I 
cast on 108 stitches and promptly managed to
trip over my yarn and pull half the stitches
off the't mention that

- Thanks to Canadian Needle Nana I can share THIS link to exercises you can do to improve dexterity in your hands.  

- The knitters among you might like to sign up for THIS knit-a-long.

- I found THIS article concerning pricing your handmade goods for sale to be quite interesting, however I must say that if I were to apply the principles to my landscapes I'd have to be asking at least three times as much as I do.   Considering it's hard to make sales at the current price, I can't imagine raising my price would garner any sales whatsoever.  Interesting to contemplate though!  Now, having said that, if you happen to be contemplating purchasing one of my landscapes for a Christmas gift, or asking about a special commission, now might be the time.  Don't wait until the Christmas rush happens and we run out of time! If you want to see what I currently have available check out the 'Landscapes For Sale' category in my sidebar.  This is a direct link to the 'For Sale category....go HERE.

- There are a number of fun ideas HERE for recyling denim.

- I'm afraid I can't find the originator of THIS - but it certainly caught my eye!  If you happen to know who made it, let me know so I can give proper credit.

- And just so I can never be accused of not being a full-service blog, you know you really wanted to know how to make THESE!

- And if you're making those, then you should make THESE to go along with.

- Have a peek through the wonderful works of THESE artists (click on 'gallery' and then scroll down)

- And THIS artist too!

Today the quote is from Stephanie Pearl-McPhee..."It is important for knitters to know two things about frogging:  that cats are capable of this knitting action, and even seem to enjoy it and seek opportunities to do it; and that foul language is a normal, healthy accompaniment to frogging, whether it is you or the cat that accomplished the task"

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Just mumblings

 I'm sorry to say that I don't have any pictures for you of anything I've been working on.  Never fear, there ARE things happening but none of them are photo-worthy as yet.  

I know!  How about I show you something our #2 son has created?

He's making charcuterie boards using Mediterranean olive wood.  

So, instead of anything by moi, how about I catch you up on some of the links I've been finding lately....

- For those who like acorns, have a peek at THIS.

- THIS link takes knitters to the PDF of a really handy cheat sheet.

- THIS is a cute little project to do with kids (and I know few adults that would have fun with it too)  OR perhaps you'd like to try your hand at THIS instead.

- THIS is a link to a pattern for a great scrapbuster purse you can make.

- I think making THESE is rather intriguing. OR....if you'd prefer not to use bleach, HERE is another technique you can use.

- Have a peek through the galleries of THIS amazing artist!

- At this time of year when the leaves are in good shape, perhaps try using some to make THIS project.

- I can see THESE making nice gifts, particularly if they're filled with something!

- I really like THIS quilt for fall.

Today's quote:  "Strength doesn't come from what you can do.  It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn't"

Sunday, August 28, 2022

A busy cauldron, and flying knitting needles

 Over the weekend we made two batches of zucchini relish as you can see from these..... knitting needles have been busy creating three little pumpkin hats for three grandies.  

Pattern is THIS one.  I changed it up for the boys and did a ribbed bottom rather than the rolled bottom as the pattern shows.  Caron Simply Soft yarn once again.

- THIS is another of those things that would serve a myriad of uses.  

- Be prepared for cuteness overload if you scroll down when you visit THIS link.  And have a peek at THESE cute little fellows!

- And THESE caught my eye (no pun intended!)

- I think, rather than use THESE as potholders, I'd like to hang one in the window.

- There are a number of really cute Halloween designs HERE.

- THIS artist does amazing work using real floral elements.

Today's quote..."Good things come to those who wait.  Better things come to those who don't give up, and the best things come to those who believe"

Friday, August 26, 2022

Another thing off my list

 I had this one knitted for awhile but of course procrastinated on the sewing up part of it.  I love to knit but the finishing, not so much.

The pattern is THIS one and I used Paton's Canadiana yarn.  

- Thought some of you might enjoy seeing THESE.  

- In my quest to find a 'better way' to join seams in knitted sweaters, I came across THIS helpful site.  There's all sorts of good information for knitters, along with a number of great patterns.

- THIS is a really pretty design some of you might like to create.

- I've always liked tree of life designs and I think THIS is the first time I've seen a crocheted version (you'll have to scroll down to find the pattern).

Today's quote.."Why is it that you can spend hours cleaning and organizing your craft room, but it only takes one tiny project to make it look like a bomb went off and a tornado hit at the same time?"

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

...and....there's more!!!

 Two more projects from my crochet hooks to add to the Christmas box...

Hat is THIS one and the cowl is from HERE.  I used Caron Simply Soft for both.

- THIS is a really pretty and fairly easy afghan design.

- And some of THESE would be fun for your fall decor.

- THIS is a rather nice bag design that could serve many uses.

- There's a lot of free quilt designs HERE.

Today's quote is from Sir David Attenborough..."If working apart we're a force powerful enough to destabilize our planet, surely, working together, we are powerful enough to save it"

Monday, August 22, 2022

They're multiplying!

 It seems like one hat from that pattern has turned into three - two for adults and one for our baby grandie.  I left the ear flaps off the adult versions and I didn't include the ties on the baby one, simply because I don't feel that they're particularly safe.  

- THIS is a really pretty bag that could serve lots of uses.

- Be sure to have a look at the amazing works by THIS incredible artist!

- If you happen to like flutter-byes, perhaps you'd like to create THIS quilt.

- Have a scroll through the creations of THIS artist!

Today the quote is from Zig Ziglar..."Life is an echo.  What you send out, comes back.  What you sow, you reap.  What you give, you get.  What you see in others, exists in you.  Remember, life is an echo.  It always gets back to you.  So give goodness"

Friday, August 19, 2022

A recipe for you to try

 Resident Chef made these yummy refrigerator pickles and we've very patiently waited the alloted time to give them a taste test and they certainly passed with flying colours.  Thought you might like to give them a try too...


1 c. vinegar (white or apple cider)
1 c. water
1 c. sugar
1 T. of EITHER fresh garlic, sliced chilies, peppercorns, pickling spice, mustard seeds, bay leaves, coriander seeds – or mixture of your choice.
1 heaping tsp. kosher salt
2 lbs. veggies:  cucumbers, zucchini, peppers, pearl onions, sliced red or sweet onions, or carrots

Peel & slice veg’s into ¼” slices & pack into clean jars, leaving about 1” headspace.
Heat water, sugar, spices & salt over medium heat, stirring occasionally until dissolved.  LET COOL COMPLETELY.  Pour cooled brine over veg’s making sure they’re completely covered.  Cover & refrigerate 3 days before serving. Keep refrigerated (unless, of course, you're eating them!).  Makes 2 quart jars.

p.s. if you scroll down to my post of Aug. 12th you'll see a picture of the jars he made.

My crochet hooks have been busy and the latest thing off the hook is this hat...

Pattern is from HERE and I used Paton's Canadiana.  I love that the pattern covers sizing from a baby up to adult (this one is the adult size).The pattern takes a little less than one ball so quite a cheap project to add to the Christmas box.

- If you like hats, have a peek at the other designs HERE from the same designer. And while you're there, be sure to have a look through all her other free designs.  This woman has talent!

- Some of you might like to try making one of THESE.  And further on that theme, THIS has possibilities for several different uses.

- There are links HERE to several really pretty snowflake designs (not that I, in any way!, want to even THINK about such things)

- For those of you who are interested in weaving - have a look at THIS.  

Today's quote..."We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children"

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

The great mystery - revealed!

 Lots of people thought I was making hats.  Nope.  It should come as no surprise that it would be something for the grandies though and so here you have it....

Pattern is called the 'Monster Pillow Buddy' and can be found HERE. Yarn is the Bernat Blanket Bright series and used a 9 mm crochet hook.  Not exactly something I plan to make more of because it's quite hard on my hands but it was sure fun to do!  Oh....and they each measure about 30"  tall.  A good addition to the Christmas box!

- I rather like THIS for fall decor.

- There are lots of links HERE for some cute crocheted Christmas designs - most are free.

- THIS takes you to a PDF of a really cute crazy quilted design for fall decor.

- And, how about checking into THIS lineup of Halloween/fall projects?

Today's quote..."A seed grows with no sound but a tree falls with a huge noise.  Destruction has noise, but creation is quiet.  This is the power of silence"

Monday, August 15, 2022

A return

 I have come to the realization that I'd best get my motor revved up if I'm going to stand a chance of completing the projects I have on my list for adding to the Christmas box.  The great mystery project ground to a halt whilst I await a yarn shipment so I hauled out the set-aside cross stitched ornaments.  I'm currently working on one of the Nutcrackers and still have a second one of those plus another chef to stitch before I start putting them together.  

- For those of you who are heading into fall perhaps one of the projects found HERE might catch your eye.

- Have a look at THIS design too.

- I love THIS idea for upcycling old paint cans!  You'll have to scroll down to find the tutorial.  

- THIS is one of those wow, just wow, things!  

Today's quote is a Native  proverb..."Everything on Earth is borrowed.  There is no "Mine" or "Yours", there is only "Ours".  Even time is borrowed.  We kill over a plot of land that belongs only to our Mother Earth.  All you have is what you came with...and what you will leave with....your Spirit"