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 28, 2023

An honour, or perhaps it's a case of desperation?!

 Our local quilt guild, well over 100 members strong, is having a long-awaited covid-delayed quilt show the end of next month.  That, in itself, isn't remarkable because they have one every couple of seems I have been conscripted to be the 'Featured Quilter' at the show.  I'm pretty sure they were desperate to have asked me, but I'm honoured anyway.  Having said that, I have no clue what it entails.  I was approached by a member who was 'feeling me out' to see if I would agree and I said I would be willing but I wanted more information.  Well, it seems that it's a done deal because it's been announced in their newsletter.  I'm still no wiser what I have to do but have to assume someone will tell me sometime between now and then.

That, on top of being asked to do a trunk show and teach a workshop in January, is a little bit stressful.  As I said, I think they must be desperate!!  Maybe the fact that I haven't attended any of the meetings this year has led to absence making the heart grow fonder?

I'm currently working on prototypes for the workshop and have decided I can use a simplified version of the barn image from my previous landscape I showed you as the 'base' for the class.  To that end I've started creating four examples - one for each 'season'.  You can see the beginnings in this photo...

These are not nearly as large as my 
normal landscapes (which I know is
hard to tell from the photo)

- THIS link takes you to a PDF pattern for a handy crochet hook caddy.  I've done these in a smaller size for holding sewing needles.  

- If we were allowed to hang a wreath on our door I think I'd like THIS one.  Dollar store supplies would make it really affordable to create.

- It could be because I've been having a tearin' good time with fabrics (see above) over the past while, but THIS caught my eye.

- THIS article caught my eye and I'll have to remember it in case I ever get any flowers!

- There are lots of free designs HERE (better pour yourself a cuppa!)

The quote for today..."We are like books, most people only see our cover, the minority read only the introduction, many people believe the critics.  Few will know our content"

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

In which I tell you more about me than you ever wanted to know!

 The question came up with someone wondering why, when I stitch so much, I don't make clothes for myself.  It all stems back to a traumatic experience I had in home ec class in high school.  One of the 'projects' we were required to make was an outfit we were expected to model at a fashion show for the parents.  It made up 50% of our final mark.  The teacher (who was seemingly intimidated by my height...5'9" to her barely 5') assigned what we had to make and I was expected to make a tailored suit.  Everybody else got to make shorts, skirts, and simple tops.  My parents never had much money so it was a real budget stretch to purchase 'good' enough fabric to create a tailored suit.  I was very uncomfortable in mini skirts so I made the skirt below-the-knee (picture a person my height, weighing barely 100 lbs and how skinny and knobby-knee'ed I was).  Mom helped me a little with the jacket because it really was way beyond my sewing abilities.  

Come the dress rehearsal for the fashion show and the teacher took one look at my outfit and promptly took the scissors to the skirt and hacked it off to mini length.  I was mortified.  However, I needed to pass the class so I wore it to the show.  When I got home, my mother (who never threw ANYTHING out) told me to take it off and she mutely held open the garbage can lid and told me to throw it out.  All that money, that we could ill afford, lost.  I was completely traumatized by that experience and only have ever tried to sew a dress for myself once after that and it ended up looking homemade and I hated it.  

There, more about me than you ever
needed, or wanted, to know!


Jocelyn at Canadian Needle Nana shared a link to THIS and the design made me think that it would make fun cards.  I had need of a birthday card so I changed the format to using paper and this is what I came up with...

AND - huge excitement here at Chez Magpie
when I saw this...

My hoya plant is blooming!!!
I haven't seen one in bloom since I
was a kid and my aunt had one.

- THIS is such a cute wee hat (pattern is free on the blog, just scroll down).  And while you're there, click on the 'free patterns' category at the top and you'll find a number of other great designs.

- Have a look through the incredible galleries of THIS artist!  All I can say is wow (and thank you Linda for sharing about this one).

- Have a peek through the gallery HERE - amazing work!

- The whimsical creations of THIS artist are just plain fun.

Here's the quote..."At the end of the day, I'd rather be excluded for who I include, than be included for who I exclude"  (think about it!)

Monday, April 24, 2023


 And yet another landscape has reached completion!  


clickable to embiggen if you'd like

...and a closeup of the dandelions...

I'm not at all certain about how I created the dandelions but at least they look like flowers, even if not entirely identifiable as such.

...and, as a reminder, here is the photo
by Dale Stewart that I used as 
inspiration (with his kind permission)...

- THIS caught my eye - I like the fact that the pattern changes throughout so less chance of getting bored with it.

- I really enjoyed reading THIS post.

- Making one (or more!!) of THESE would be a fun project (and would make a nice gift too).

- Although it looks as though this person stopped blogging quite awhile ago, I came across THIS and would love to know how she created it!

Today's quote...."As long as you feel pain, you're still alive.  As long as you make mistakes, you're still human.  And as long as you keep trying, there's still hope"

Friday, April 21, 2023

Slow and slower

 The progress on the landscape is, at best, extremely slow at the moment but perhaps you can see a little of what I have managed to add...

- Those of you who sew might find one of THESE a very handy thing to have!

- I love THIS - would be fun to try stitching it.

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

- THIS might be fun to create and gift this time of year.

Today the quote is from L.R. Knost.... "Life is amazing.  And then it's awful.  And then it's amazing again.  And in between the amazing and awful it's ordinary and mundane and routine.  Breathe in the amazing, hold on through the awful, and relax and exhale during the ordinary.  That's just living a heartbreaking, soul-healing, amazing, awful, ordinary life.  And it's breathtakingly beautiful"

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Small project and invalid update

 I signed up to do an ATC swap and have created this reversible version.  The recipient (and organizer) owns (or better - is owned by) a corgi so I had fun cross stitching this little guy...

The photo shows the front and the back before
they were put together

A wee update on Resident Chef - he has developed an infection around the incision so I had him at the after-hours clinic last night to get a prescription for antibiotics and an ointment.  Why the surgeon didn't prescribe anything like that in the first place defies logic.  Instead he thought oxy was a good idea?  He's not sleeping well either so that's not helping.  Looks like your blogger is going to be playing nursemaid, chief cook and bottle washer for awhile yet.

- THIS is an interesting article which comes with a project that just might be helpful for crocheters and, I suspect, knitters as well.

- All I can say is Wow about the incredible work of THIS artist (be sure to click on each to see the over-the-top detail!)

- THIS is an 'awww' -thing

- Have a look through the galleries of THIS amazing artist (be sure to pay attention to some of the materials she uses!)

Today the quote if from Socrates..."When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser"

Monday, April 17, 2023

...and....I'm back!

 Did you miss me?

I hope you found things to do whilst I'm
being chief cook/nursemaid/and bottlewasher
here at Chez Magpie.

Thank you for all the messages and comments
wishing Resident Chef well - he 
appreciates them and so do I.
He's still in recovery mode but is
champing at the bit to get back to 
cooking - hmmm, perhaps he's 
afraid I'll poison him?

I was able to spend some time over the weekend working on the landscape and hopefully you can see some of the progress in this photo...

and, in case you can't see the design I used
on the border, perhaps this will help..

Now the embroidery starts!

- You might like to make one of THESE for carrying all sorts of things.

- You might want to play along with THIS - either on your own or taking part in the swap.

- I came across THIS and my immediate thought was...curtains!  I would love this in a kitchen window (if our kitchen HAD a window)

- THIS one is pretty 

- Of course THIS caught my eye (after all, you know how much I like denim!)

Your quote..."Find a man that ruins your lipstick, not your mascara"

Thursday, April 13, 2023

Short update

 Resident Chef's surgery went well and he's enthroned in his comfie chair with a wife waiting on him hand and foot.  He's had his breakfast and his coffee and is flatly refusing to take his pain meds (why would a doctor ever prescribe oxy in this day and age when everyone knows how dangerous it is?!) and is relying on x-tra strength Tylenol.  

Regular posts will resume here on Monday.  Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

A day off for you!

 I'm taking a break from my blog today (and possibly Friday too) so you can party amongst yourselves.  Resident Chef is having some minor surgery and I'll be playing nursemaid and cook (yikes!) for a few days.  

Have fun without me!

Monday, April 10, 2023

Progress, if you can see it!

 After a number of hours, the landscape currently looks like this...

The barn has been pretty much completed and the sky area has been quilted.  Now I'm working on adding detail to the treeline.  Border fabrics have been chosen and those will be the next step before I attempt the foreground florals.  A fence?  Or not a fence?  That is the question.  Stay tuned!

As a further note on my landscapes, I was honoured to be asked to perhaps do a trunk show and/or a workshop for our local quilt guild at some future date.  A workshop is perhaps doable, but I seriously can't wrap my head around any sort of trunk show that would hold the interest of nearly a hundred members.  My pieces are too small for anyone beyond a few feet away to see and passing them around (although I'd be okay with that) just leads to a lot of chitter/chattering and anything I have to say would be lost.  Some would say that would be a good thing.  *If* the guild had enough tables I could lay them out and let people walk along and see them and I could just simply 'mill about' and answer questions.  Hmmm....pondering....

- THIS is a fun article on painting fabrics suitable for stitching.

- And HERE is another fun technique you might like to play with.

- THIS is a pretty hat pattern that would look good on anybody depending on the colours you use.

- Maybe you know someone who needs one of THESE (and just because they made me smile)...or maybe just make a few and leave them for someone else to find.

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

Here's your quote of the day.."Return your shopping cart.  Pick up a piece of trash.  Hold the door open for the person behind you.  Let someone in your lane.  Smile at a stranger.  Small acts have a ripple effect.  That's how we save the world.

Friday, April 07, 2023

Zip, bop and whirr....

 What goes zip when it moves, bop when it stops, and whirr when it stands still?  Why, a robot of course!

Pattern is the Rem
y Robot and can be found HERE-

 Sometimes I stumble across something that is interesting, but I can't quite figure out whether I like it or not.  What do you think of the wall HERE?

- THIS is a really pretty afghan design that wouldn't get boring to create.

- Have a peek through the galleries of THIS artist!

- There's an interesting article HERE about slow stitching.

Today's quote..."Being wanted feeds the ego.  Being valued feeds the soul"

Wednesday, April 05, 2023

Missing hours

 Well, that's two afternoons of time that I won't ever get back.  You probably noticed in my previous post that I had heavily basted the latest landscape prior to stitching.  Nothing unusual about that...but....because I thought I'd try doing a torn fabric technique for the grass area I ended up basting far more than I normally do.  Then I thought it would be a clever thing to tiny zigzag the edges down with invisible thread.  I'd already basted those edges so then the problem arose when I tried to remove said basting threads.  Argh!!!  Lesson learned?? Not likely!

- Although THIS is in French, you can click on the 'scrolls' on the left which will take you to her various galleries of work.

- Spend some time clicking on the thumbnail pieces of bead art by THIS amazing artist!

- THIS is a technique I haven't seen before - very interesting

- Have a scroll through THESE!

- And have a visit to see the creations of THIS amazing artist!

Today the quote is from Elizabeth Gilbert..."How we behave matters because within human society everything is contagious - sadness and anger, yes, but also patience and generosity.  Which means we all have more influence than we realize"

Monday, April 03, 2023 starts again!

 Over the weekend I started the next landscape.  As usual, I'm trying a somewhat different approach so we'll see how it evolves.

- Some of you who are knitters or crocheters might appreciate having THIS chart handy.

- THIS is a great resource as well!  And while you're there check out the free patterns HERE.

- THIS is a beautiful pattern.

- Be sure to spend some time peeking into the galleries of THIS incredible artist!!

- And, THIS artist - wow, talk about incredible work!!!  How I'd love to see his work in person.

- And be sure you go and see THIS!!!!  

- Sometimes the easiest (and cheapest) makes are the cutest as THIS will attest.

Today the quote is from Winston Churchill..."Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip"