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, April 29, 2022

A discourse on the spinning of wheels

 I know, I know, everything happening here at Chez Magpie is just about as inspiring as watching grass grow and I get it, truly I do.  However, how do I show you that I spent umpteen hours trying to wrestle my printer into printing correctly (I lost) and THEN I switched my attention to trying to figure out why Resident Chef's camera was refusing to talk to the new computer.  They didn't want to play nicely at all and kicked sand at each other just like kids in a playground.  They pouted and they hurled insults (oh wait - the insults were being hurled by yours truly).  Finally, after much bumbling and most unladylike utterances of words, I managed to get them to talk to each other.  I think.  

As for the printer issue I've finally narrowed that one down to it being a faulty ink cartridge.  My printer is an Epson and uses 4 cartridges, all of which need to be spitting ink at the same time in order to perform correctly.  The blue is refusing to cooperate (the other colours are working fine) so it leads me to believe that it's faulty.  

I can show you a tiny bit of progress on the latest cross stitch - the background on this one is done now and I'm currently adding the top stitching and little details.  

Oh, and I can also show you a photo of my Resident Chef...

- THIS is well worth seeing and reading about.  

- There's an article/how to HERE for making a jacket from a quilt.

- Some of you might find THIS site of interest.

- Have a peek at the amazing creations by THIS artist!

- If you're searching for a natural homemade weed killer (have I mentioned that this is a full-service blog???) go HERE.  

Instead of your quote today....

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

up, down and in and out

There's been a lot of up and downing and inning and outing going on in the studio here at Chez Magpie - all accompanied by the occasional ouch.  Not much to tell you other that stitching continues on the latest ornament.  Pondering continues over the current landscape at the same time.  

- HERE is a cute little project you might like. 

- Have a peek through THESE (click on the pictures to be taken to the next one)

- THIS is a fun project that you might like to use to add to your decor.

- Have a look (be sure to scroll down) at the amazing embroidery done by THIS artist!

- I thought THIS was a really interesting article.

Today's quote:  "Be careful when you follow the masses.  Sometimes the M is silent"

Monday, April 25, 2022

Twenty nine thousand, two hundred and fifty eight

 Yes, you read that correctly.  29,258 half cross stitches to get to the point where I'm at on the Christmas ornaments (3 done, working on the 4th).  I thought I'd amuse myself by figuring it out and I astounded even myself.  Who knew?

Well, now YOU do and I'm sure you couldn't
possibly NOT want to know that little 
tidbit of information!

- A friend of mine does the most amazing short films and she graciously is allowing me to share her latest creation with you.  Her work is incredible and she has won several awards for her filmmaking and deservedly so.  I suspect this one will win her more accolades. Go HERE (have your sound on).

- I must admit that when I saw THESE there was an involuntary awwww on my part.

- HERE is another great use for odd bits of yarn.

- There's a semi-tutorial here for THIS - lots of room for interpretation.

Today, instead of a quote....

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Nada, nuttin, and not a thing

 Yep, that about explains my past couple of days.  I finished going through most of the rest of my crazy quilting fodder and there's nothing noteworthy about that - nor are there photos.  

There's nothing noteworthy about the fact that I added the shirt buttons (beads) to the cross stitched chef I already showed you.

There equally nothing noteworthy about my starting another cross stitch in the same line - this one is Santa's house.  No photos of that either.

There hasn't been a single stitch taken in the latest landscape but there's been some pondering going on.  Obviously there are no photos of the inner workings of my mind and you should be grateful for that let me tell you.

There also nothing noteworthy about the fact that I've started knitting yet another 1898 hat just like the other ones only a different colour.  

Yeah, even I'm managing to feel bored about all of that. about some links....

- Have you heard of book nooks?  Apparently they're taking the internet by storm and this is the first I've heard of them.  Go HERE for more info (and 'do a google' if you want to see even more!).  If you want to attempt making one yourself perhaps THIS could be a jumping off point.

- There's been some discussion going on about kantha stitching and I came across THIS and thought some of you might be interested in seeing it.  I won't, however, be paying that much for one for myself!

- HERE is another of those things that's really eye-catching but I'm not about to make one.

- If you want to be astounded at some needlework - watch THIS video. (Thanks Boud for the head's up on this one!).  Franklin chats a bit at the beginning and then the video moves into the patchwork pieces.  Amazing pieces!

Today the quote is from Amar Dave..."Too many people are thinking the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, when they ought to just water the grass they're standing on"

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Just a knittin' away

 The landscape, although being worked on somewhat sporadically (blame Arthur who seems to have attacked once again), has a little done but not noticeable in a phone,  so I've been knitting a little bit and completed another 1898 hat and mitten ensemble which is destined for the Christmas box.

And...I've almost finished the cross stitching on the chef - just a little more topstitching to do.

.Today's quote is from Martin Luther King..."When evil men plot, good men must plan.  When evil men burn and bomb, good men must build and bind.  When evil men shout ugly words of hatred, good men must commit themselves to the glories of love"

Monday, April 18, 2022

On backhoes, shovels, and bags

 I mentioned in my previous post that I was going through my stash of crazy quilt 'fodder' and downsizing dramatically.  Well, you might be interested to know that 2 garbage bags are outta here and that's just the fabric alone (need I say, I have a LOT?!!!).  Don't worry, I still kept some.

Then I turned my attention to the tote bin I had filled with bits of lace.  The lid was perilously close to not going on so it was past time.  Most of it was 'bits' that were saved for CQ but not useful for anything else. I kept the longer pieces that would maybe be useful for adding to baby dresses along with a few sentimental pieces of knitted lace that my maternal grandmother made.  Still more than plenty for making crazy quilts!  

Not my stash but you get the idea!

Next up was the shoebox filled with small lace bits - I kept a lot of those but cut out motifs I might use from the larger bits and got rid of the rest.  Funny thing - the shoebox lid now closes!  Interesting concept.

Today I'm delving into a shoebox that's filled with broken bits of jewelry and embellishments.  I could have likely dumped the entire lot and not missed any of it but my conscience dictates that I at least go through it.


Don't worry, I am not giving up on crazy quilting entirely and I've kept things that I know there's a chance of getting used.  I don't foresee doing any more large projects and will instead concentrate on small things like greeting cards and perhaps some of hearts for the 'I Found A Quilted Heart' initiative.  I suspect, beyond the aspect of needing the space for other things, that I burned myself out when I was on staff of the crazy quilt magazine.  I came up with a project four times each year I was involved and the idea well has dried up.  Being able to just do small things is appealing now.

And don't worry that I'm wasting money on all the trash stash I've gotten rid of...most of it was dumped on  gifted to me or came from thrift stores back when thrifting was really cheap.  

The space I gained from doing all this shoveling means I can now move my more-often-than-not-on-the-floor yarn stash into drawers and, gasp, actually be able to FIND what I'm looking for.  Same goes for the fabrics...what I have kept I love and I know there's a good chance I will use it.  Even better?  I won't have to paw through it all in order to find what I know I have somewhere if only I can find it.  In theory, all of this should mean that no longer will I buy fabric or yarn because I'm certain I don't have anything suitable for the project I'm contemplating, only to discover that it was lurking somewhere all along.  

- THESE would be a great use for brooches and would look pretty on a collar or on a tote bag.

- THIS looks to be a very quick and easy pattern for a scarf that would be perfect for spring and summer. THIS one too! Or how about THIS one?

- And...just because I've been going through my yarn stash, THIS might be a good idea.

- And THIS is so pretty!

Today's quote:  "Don't waste words on people who deserve your silence.  Sometimes the most powerful thing you can say is nothing at all"

Friday, April 15, 2022

A question for you.....

Question for you..... are any of you getting a message that looks like this when you try to leave comments?  One reader has been and I'm trying to sort it out.  Your feedback would be welcome!

In case you have difficulty reading the above:  "Reply Not Supported - The reply address (no reply @ does not appear to be a monitored address. Messages to this address will likely not be read by anyone"

And, having said that, do any of you have any idea why this is happening??  And better yet, how to fix it?  Or is it simply Blog-grrrr being a bully in the playground again?

On another front (and sorry, no pictures) I am finally making the plunge and getting rid of most of my crazy quilt fabric stash.  I've come to the slow realization that it's taking up precious real estate in my sewing room and I have no (yes, absolutely none) desire to crazy quilt again.  All that space would be better utilized to store my yarns so The Grande Sort is underway and I feel happy.

- If you have vintage linens lurking about in the bowels of your storage system, perhaps you might  enjoy this blog hop, beginning with THIS one.  At the bottom of her post you can click to visit the other participants.

- If you have kids, or just have a curious mind yourself, prepare to get lost in THESE!

- THESE are such pretty Easter eggs and not the least bit fattening either.

Your quote today is from Mahatma Gandhi..." A man who was completely innocent, offered himself as a sacrifice for the good of others, including his enemies and became the ransom of the world"

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

C - ouch OR c- oooch???

 Couch or cooch, that is the question.  One more instance of the English language being a mystery. Never mind, I suppose both are right and it's what I've been doing for the past few days as you can (hopefully) see from this photo....

- Have you heard of low-volume quilts?  I certainly hadn't, so THIS article was interesting.  Another thing that falls under the 'who knew?' category!

- THIS is so cute!

- Never let it be said that this is not a full-service blog!  Have a look HERE (and I'm not responsible for what you do afterwards....just sayin')

- If you crochet, perhaps THIS might catch your eye.

- I thought THESE were intriguing and not all that hard to do.

Today's quote is from Thomas Sowell..."Have we reached the ultimate stage of absurdity where some people are held responsible for things that happened before they were born, while other people are not responsible for what they themselves are doing today?"

Monday, April 11, 2022

Treats and tots

 Today, rather than boring you with the landscape that doesn't show all that much at the moment, I thought I'd show you the spring flowers I treated myself to over the weekend...

And....just as a little fun thing for our youngest grandies - three little Izzy dolls for them to play with...

- THIS link takes you to a PDF of some really cute Easter cross stitch designs 

- I like what THIS person did to transform cheap planters for use in her garden.  Doesn't look all that difficult to do.

- Perhaps you'd like to pay her a return visit and check out the many pages of fun recycling ideas (go HERE).

- Have fun peeking through the gallery of THIS artist!

- If we still lived in a house with a workshop I would SO be trying out some of THESE!  (be sure to scroll down to see the projects)

Here's your quote of the day..."Before saying something that may hurt someone, take a piece of paper and crumple it up.  Now try to make it the way it was can't, right?  People's hearts are like that piece of paper.  Once hurt, it's difficult to leave them the way you found them.  Before saying something hurtful, think hard about what you're saying.  Always be considerate.  Always be kind"

Friday, April 08, 2022

Little bit more

 There's been a little more done on the landscape, mostly on the house itself.  I think (key word, think!) the house part is done and now it's on to the sky.

I also made a couple hearts to take into the wild (so to speak) from inspiration found HERE.  The "I Found A Quilted Heart' initiative is just plain fun to do.  I don't know if I'll ever hear that someone found these but it doesn't matter.  The fun is in finding places outdoors to hide them in plain sight.  I plan to make more over the summer months, just because I can!

- I know there are multitudes of blanket patterns out there but THIS one caught my eye primarily because of the wonderful colours. 

- There's a really pretty sunflower cross stitch design HERE.

- THIS would be something cute to make for Easter.

- I found THIS an interesting read even though I don't do needle felting.  Some of you probably do, so I'm sharing!

- An interesting article HERE re how important getting gauge is when knitting or crocheting.

Today the quote is from Leo Buscaglia..."Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around"

Wednesday, April 06, 2022

Can you see it now?

 Hopefully you can see the changes I've made in the landscape now because I think they're a little bit more noticeable.  I still have some work to do in the 'windows' and on the roof before I can call the house part done.  

- THIS is a sweet little cross stitch design that would make perfect gifts (especially if a book went along with it!)

- There's an interesting article HERE regarding water colour painting on fabric.

- And if you go HERE there's another tutorial that might be fun to experiment with.

- If you go HERE there's a tutorial for making a blanket that would be perfect for using up scraps.

Today the quote is from William Faulkner... "Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed.  If people all over the world would do this, it would change the earth"

Monday, April 04, 2022

Bit by bit

 There's been a little more accomplished on the landscape and I don't know if it's really noticeable.  The house itself has been darkened in places and I've started to stitch the detail into the wood areas.  Once I've finished stitching that I will decide if I need to do more shading.  

Today's quote is an old poem but one that I love....

Friday, April 01, 2022

A little progress, noticeable or not!

 I know it's hard to see in this photo but the grass area has been 'quilted' (there will be more details added later on) and I've started filling in the house details.

- There is a wealth of information HERE for both knitters and crocheters.  This link takes you to their main page - then look in their sidebar on the right to click on areas of interest to you.

- THIS would be a fun gift to make for a family.

- If you hate to throw away scraps of fabrics or yarns perhaps THIS might be something fun to try doing. 

- Go HERE for a wonderful online 'show' of amazing quilts.

Today's quote...."When you find no solution to a problem, it's probably not a problem to be solved but rather a truth to be accepted"