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, December 30, 2022

Progress, but not quite by leaps and bounds

As you can see from this photo, the landscape is progressing.  I still have a couple small areas that I'm not sure how to proceed with but overall it's starting to look like what I have in my mind.

- I think THIS is really different and I suspect you could put pretty much any design on 'top'.

- THIS is a pretty cowl pattern that would be wonderful for the cold months.

- HERE is an interesting technique you might want to try. And THIS is another one!

My New Year wish for you:  "Choose to live by choice, not chance; to be motivated, not manipulated; to be useful, not used.  Choose to make changes, not excuses; to excel, not compete.  Choose self-esteem, not self-pity.  Choose to listen to your inner voice, not to the random opinions of others"

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

There's been progress

 Over the past few days I've been working on the latest landscape and as you can see from the photo, I've accomplished quite a bit.  There are a couple areas I'm struggling with and I'm not quite sure how I'll finish them.  Once I finish quilting the sky area I'll start adding the foreground.  

Sorry about the photo quality - it's
a dull day here and the lighting is

- THIS is a really pretty blanket that could be made larger for an adult as well.

- As further proof that you just never know what you might discover when you visit Chez Magpie, how about THIS?

- THIS is a fun tutorial for making bag handles that are really pretty.

- Have a scroll through the amazing work of THIS artist.

Today's quote..."Whatever is coming up in your life right now is not here to stay.  It will pass, but you have to let it.  Sometimes that takes getting out of your own way and accepting that things are the way they are.  You can't change what happens to you, but you can choose what happens next"

Monday, December 26, 2022

The best of plans

 The best of plans sometimes don't come to pass and such was the case for our Christmas plan.  #1 son (the chef) finally managed to finangle Christmas day off, something he hasn't been able to do for at least ten years, and we had planned to travel about an hour and a half north to spend time with them.  Unfortunately Mother Nature had another idea so it was decided that we would hold our celebration at a later date.  We did, however, have a fun video chat with #2 son and his family and were able to watch our grandies opening their presents.  Our gift from them was a beautiful charcuterie board and it's now enjoying a place hanging on our living room wall....

Handmade by #2 son

- Seeing THESE will brighten your day I'm sure (be sure to scroll down!)

- THIS is a pretty lap quilt pattern that could be embiggened if you wanted a larger size.

- If you're like me and have odd balls of sock yarn lying about, perhaps some of the ideas found HERE might be just the thing OR maybe THIS might be a great use for some of them!

- If you're looking to create a cheese board for your New Year's Eve celebration, perhaps one of the ideas HERE might be helpful.

Today's quote..."If only our eyes saw souls instead of bodies, how different our ideals of beauty would be"

Friday, December 23, 2022

Christmas wishes

I expect most of us have a favourite piece of Christmas music that is filled with meaning, and this one is mine....

Today, on the eve of the Christmas weekend, I leave you with a collection of quotes that I hope you enjoy...

"My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others" (Bob Hope)

- "The way you spend Christmas is far more important than how much" (Henry David Thoreau)

- "Christmas is most truly Christmas when we celebrate it by giving the light of love to those who need it most" (Ruth Carter Stapleton)

- "What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store.  What if Christmas...perhaps....means a little bit more" (Dr. Seuss - How The Grinch Stole Christmas)

This is Resident Chef and I's Christmas wish for you:

Comfort on difficult days, 
smiles when sadness intrudes,
rainbows to follow the clouds,
laughter to kiss your lips.
Sunsets to warm your heart,
hugs when spirits sag,
beauty for your eyes to see,
friendships to brighten your being,
faith so that you can believe,
confidence for when you doubt,
courage to know yourself,
patience to accept the truth,
love to complete your life

(Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

A landscape update

 There have been several additions to the landscape as you can see...

- THIS  is a really pretty scarf design.

- For those of you with an over-abundance of fabric scraps after your Christmas-making frenzy, perhaps THIS might be fun.  And if you have yarn bits leftover, how about making THIS.

- I wouldn't mind some of THIS appearing at Christmas time (well, anytime, really!)

- THESE would be a fun edible gift 

- And if you're wanting to serve a charcuterie board, HERE are some ideas.

- If you're searching for a quick gift for a neighbour or friend, how about THIS

Today's quote is from Steve Maraboli..."Want to keep Christ in Christmas?  Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, forgive the guilty, welcome the unwanted, care for the ill, love your enemies, and do unto others as you would have done unto you"

Monday, December 19, 2022

A finish!

 Some of you might remember me showing you THIS link to a crocheted vest that I rather liked and that Resident Chef insisted I order the yarn.  This is the result...

Made with Jeans yarn from Lion Brand

- Sharon Boggon has announced what looks to be a really fun stitch-a-long for next year.  You can find out more HERE.

- HERE are a few quick gifts to make. And HERE. Or how about HERE.

- I wouldn't mind taste-testing a few of THESE!  They'd make a great gift accompanied by a selection of crackers.  Hmmm....and followed by some of THIS!!!

- There are links to lots of quick gift ideas HERE.  And there's more HERE.

.....have you had enough yet??.....

- More ideas HERE

- THIS would make a pretty gift.  As would THIS.

- If you're giving money this year, how about packaging it in a fun way like the ideas HERE. Or HERE.  AND HERE

- Some of THIS would make a nice gift, especially if it was packaged with some of THIS.

The quote is from Oren Arnold..."Christmas gift suggestions:  To your enemy, forgiveness.  To an opponent, tolerance.  To a friend, your heart.  To a customer, service.  To all, charity.  To every child, a good example.  To yourself, respect"

Friday, December 16, 2022

Ka- boom!!!

 Yes, my sewing room looked like a massive explosion happened just shortly after these photos were taken...

Do you see all those totes?  They're full of fabric which shortly after these pictures were taken was dumped out on the floor for me to paw through searching for fodder for the latest landscape. 

Trust me - you don't want to see what THAT mess looked like!!!

This is the result....
It's at the stage where I seriously wonder why I think
I have any business working on these at all.
It will get better.  
I hope.

- There are some great gift ideas HERE.

- It might be a tad late to make THIS for this year, but something to bookmark for next year.

- HERE is another of those awwwww things.

- There might be some ideas HERE for gift giving.  And HERE too. And HERE. Oh, and HERE.  Or maybe HERE.

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Will it...or won't it...that is the question

 Now that Christmas prep is pretty much done and dusted I'm ready to embark on a new landscape adventure.  I suspect this one WILL be an adventure because it's more ambitious than any I've tackled before.  This is the inspiration photo...

Photo is by Barbara Stanbro and used
with her kind permission

Update on the rant from Monday about the computer keyboard...Resident Chef has evidently gotten tired of listening to me swear discussing the merits of said keyboard and is insisting that I get a proper one.  

And, not quite the promised finish, but I did finish making this bowl 

Pattern is THIS one and yarn
was some Lion Brand Hometown 
I had lurking in my stash

- If you're planning to wrap gifts in brown paper this year, there are some great ideas HERE

- Patterns for snowflakes about this time of year, but THIS one caught my eye.

- THIS is a nice memory ornament that's easy to make.

- HERE is another really quick and easy gift you can make for everyone on your list.

- THIS would make a nice gift for the tea-lover on your list.

- There are lots of ideas for jar gifts HERE.

- There's some different ideas HERE for making chocolate bark.

Today's quote is from Tom Selleck..."Few of us are as good as we think we are; none of us are as good as we can be"

Monday, December 12, 2022

Mini rant - and mumblings

 First of all, the computer keyboard bit the dust and I was happy to know that I had one on hand.  Unfortunately the new one is way smaller than my old one and is a complete lesson in frustration.  The 'enter' key isn't where the old one was (why????)...the Caps Lock key is in a different place too.  All I can say is that I'm glad I already did the links for this post or there wouldn't be any.  Every single time I attempt to hit the letter 'a' I get either the caps lock or the letter q.  For a person who is a typist it's totally maddening.  ARGH!!!!

Rant over - soapbox dusted

I have a project that is almost completed which I hope to show you on Wednesday, but in the meantime, enjoy some links....

- THIS intrigued me.

- HERE is a quick little sewing project that would make great gifts.

- And HERE's another one.

- THIS is a cute Christmas ornament that's easy to make.

- HERE is something that would make a nice Christmas gift.

- I'd really like to attempt making THESE - heaven knows I have enough beads!!

THESE would become a welcome gift I know.  (scroll down for the tutorial).

- If you happen to have any teacups gathering dust in your cupboard, perhaps making THIS would be fun.

- THIS is a fairly simple idea that might be fun to try.

Today's quote (one which I need to take to heart)....

Friday, December 09, 2022

Nothing but mumblings


Sorry folks - I have nothing to show you because I've been living the life of sloth for a couple of days.  Christmas 'stuff' is done, wrapping is pretty much done, and I've been taking it easy.  Puttering is happening, but it's hard to take pictures of puttering.

- For those of you who love crazy quilting, or even are hoping to learn, Sharon Boggon has a new book out and you can find out more by going HERE.

- HERE is another awwwww moment!

- There are lots of uses for something like THIS

- If you're contemplating making a temperature blanket in 2023 perhaps THIS might be valuable.  Even if you're not thinking about a temperature blanket it's fun to look through the web site.  Best pour a cuppa before you go though!

- I might have posted a link to THIS before but another dose of cuteness never hurt anybody!  (Thanks, Val!)

- Shhhhh - Resident Chef doesn't know it, but he's getting some of THESE for Christmas.  Instead of flimsy tea towels, I got bathroom hand towels for extra absorbency.  He doesn't use aprons but if he did, I'd make him some of THESE too.  Wouldn't a matching set make a great gift?

Today's quote...."When you choose joy you feel good and when you feel good, you do good and when you do good it reminds others of what joy feels like and it might just inspire them to do the same"

Wednesday, December 07, 2022

In which I discuss the fact that I'm losin' it

 Some of you might remember that I made advent calendars for our grandies...two were mailed in time for the boys to enjoy last Christmas but of course our wee granddaughter wasn't quite born yet.  I, however, knew she was coming and made her an advent in preparation for THIS Christmas and tucked it away.  Last month I put it in with a box of goodies heading out their way and felt quite smug knowing that I was on top of things.  Well.  You can pretty much guess that wasn't the END of the story!  Over the weekend we received a call from our mystified son wondering just how they were supposed to attach the cross stitched ornaments TO the advent.  Turns out I had totally overlooked sewing the buttons onto there went my feeling of smugness.  Good thing she's not quite a year old yet and doesn't know what an advent even is!  It will be returned to me and I will do what I should have in the first place.  Serves me right for not checking it over before I sent it!  And why, I ask you, didn't I put the buttons on when I was making it??  One of the great mysteries of life. 

For lack of any better pictures to share with you, thought I'd show you how I packaged the snowflake soaps I showed you earlier.  Pretty simple packaging - wrapped in Saran, a little bit of curling ribbon, and a sprig of holly berries 'harvested' from a cheap dollar store wreath.

The quote of the day..."If an egg is broken by an outside force, life ends.  If broken by an inside force, life begins.  Great things always begin from the inside"

Monday, December 05, 2022

Something from the Resident Chef


3 onions, chopped
2 leeks, white & green sections, chopped
12 cloves garlic, minced
3 T. olive oil
1 T. Italian dressing
6 c. chicken broth
1 c. chopped broccoli
1 c. instant white rice, uncooked
1 c. skim milk
1 can evaporated milk
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
  Saute onions & leeks til tender.  Add broth, water &
broccoli.  Bring to boil & cook 8-10 mins.  til broccoli is
tender.  Add milk & rice. Reduce heat to medium & cook
5 mins.  Blend in blender til smooth.  Reheat on low. 
Top each serving with cheese.

And, just to prove that I haven't been slacking, there's this...

The final knitted gift for this Christmas!  Made from stash yarn, using up bits leftover from the sweaters.

- If you find yourself in need of some small bows for any reason, check out THIS tutorial for a great how-to.

- Val sent me the link to THIS and thought it would cause an 'awwww' moment.  It did!

- There are some really pretty snowflake designs HERE.  

- If you have a family member that's obsessed with Minecraft (there are 3 in my family) then perhaps making one of THESE would be welcome.  I, however, won't be making one because it would only lead to fights over it!

- Have a look at the amazingly intricate work of THIS artist.

- I found the discussion at the beginning of THIS to be interesting.  Perhaps food for thought??

- And, finally, if you have a kitty in your life, don't you think using scrap yarns to make one of THESE would be a most welcome gift?

Today's quote is from one of my favourites - Ralph Waldo Emerson...

Friday, December 02, 2022

The final toy

 This is the last toy I'm making for this year.  I'm not overly thrilled with it, but I guess it looks a little like a cat if you REALLY use your imagination.  

- The quilters among you might find THIS of interest!

- Sometimes the simpler things are the most welcome gifts as THIS can attest.

- If you know someone who is a fan of chickens, perhaps they'd like THESE!

- I don't know if any of you might have need for THIS but throwing it in, just in case.

- There are lots of great gift ideas to be found HERE.

Today's quote... (disclaimer:  This is not my artwork, nor is it my poem...sadly!)