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.

Monday, April 15, 2024 know....

 Yes, you know I've started a new landscape (this one will be my 51st) and this time it's inspired by a photo by Glen Bowe (and shared with his kind permission).  Here's his original...

And, this is how I've begun...

I snagged this fun little game from Boud's blog and thought it was worth sharing.  Please post your 'name' in the comments, just for fun.  Mine is 'Angel of Sacred Compassion'.  

- Perhaps you'd like to check out THIS online auction of some pretty amazing quilts (a fundraiser for SAQA).

- I thought THESE were really cute. You might want to use the 'translate' feature, but wonderful to see even without it.

- Have a peek at the amazing denim creations HERE.  

- And check out the various galleries of THIS amazing artist.  I love her use of colour!

Today's quote is from Abraham Lincoln..."We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or we can rejoice because thorn bushes have roses"

Friday, April 12, 2024

A pile

 I spent some time sewing tea towels (16 of them, to be exact) that are destined for the Christmas box...

Otherwise, there's been nothing on the creative front happening here at Chez Magpie.

- Have a peek at the gallery of THIS incredible artist!  Would that I could crochet like him!

- Perhaps making one (or more) of THESE would be useful.  

- Last time I was at a thrift store I noticed they had a pile of glass cases and had I thought of it I should have picked some up to make some of THESE.

- If you have some of the glasses you used to see the eclipse, check out THIS and consider donating them. (UPDATED TO ADD:  Please also see Boud's comment attached to this post for another suggestion of donation for the glasses).

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

A finish - a trunk show - and AWOL

 First of all, I have finished the latest landscape as you can see...


"Lonely Sentinel"
inspired by a photo by Dale Stewart,
and used with his always kind permission.
Measures approx. 22" square

Below you can see Dale's photo...

Yesterday I was invited to a quilt guild that's about half an hour from here to do another trunk show.  It seems that they, and I, managed to survive the ordeal.

Monday was our local quilt guild meeting and of course I was hopeful that the AWOL landscape that disappeared when I did the trunk show for them would reappear but sadly such was not the case.  I guess, much as I dislike to admit it, that I will have to now assume that it was stolen.  All I can say is - I hope they enjoy it.

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

- I don't know if you've noticed all the posts 'round and about the internet talking about the Emotional Support Chicken, but if you haven't HERE is the link to the pattern.  

- THIS would be a pretty accessory to make for summer.

- All I can say is wow over the creations of THIS incredible artist - be sure to hover your mouse over each and you can see what he used for the background.

Today's quote..."Did you ever think all those stars are porch lights in heaven, waiting for their loved ones to come home"

Monday, April 08, 2024

Better late than never

 Finally finished knitting Resident Chef's new socks that I promised him at Christmas....

If you, like many of us, are attempting to declutter, perhaps this quote from Dana White (author of 'Decluttering At The Speed of Life') might be useful... Embracing the Container Concept means looking at every space that holds stuff (a container, a shelf, a drawer, a closet) as a limit and filling it with favorite stuff first. The size of the "contain"er determines when enough is enough, and that makes it easier to get rid of things that don't fit. It's not about deciding whether something has value or is worth keeping, it's about not keeping more than will fit.

- THESE gave me an awwww moment.

- I like THIS but I wouldn't have it hanging in my car because I don't think it's overly safe.  I think there are lots of other uses for it though.

- Have a peek through the gallery of THIS amazing artist.

- And THIS one too!

Today's quote, once again from an anonymous source..."This, my dear, is the greatest challenge of being alive:  To witness the injustices of the world, and not allow it to consume our light"

Friday, April 05, 2024

A couple of you guessed correctly!

Unfortunately there's no sun here today (again...what's new) so I couldn't really get a decent photo of the progress on the landscape so you will have to use your imagination to know that it's made using denim.... 

- I found THIS article interesting.

- And THIS too.

- THESE are rather cute and would use up yarn scraps.

This made me laugh (but how true it is!)...

Wednesday, April 03, 2024

Now, what do you suppose?

 Here's the beginning of a new landscape and I wonder if you can guess what I might be adding next?  

- THIS is one of those wow things!

- Have a look through the galleries HERE.  Lots to see!

- Those of you who like to play with paper might want to try THIS.

- For those who live in the US, perhaps you'd like to sign up to celebrate your birthday at some of THESE places.

Monday, April 01, 2024

Mostly mumblings and a little housekeeping

 I think I mentioned awhile ago that I was undertaking a 'houseclean' of my blog posts starting from my first post in 2006.  As of now I've completed 2006-2019 and have removed 'dead' links as well as added labels to some that got overlooked.  If you're interested in any of the categories in my sidebar feel free to click on them and go exploring.

Sometimes I wonder at the mysteries of life that seem to happen with alarming regularity.  A few weeks ago I told you that I was doing a trunk show at our local quilt guild and sharing my collection of landscapes.  I brought them home and put them away.  It wasn't until I got them out again to prep for the second trunk show that I realized that one was missing.  I called the venue and nothing had been turned in.  A plea subsequently was sent out to all the guild members but so far the lost hasn't been found.  I seriously hesitate to point fingers and think that someone has stolen it and am choosing to believe that it was inadvertently scooped up and taken home by someone else who hasn't touched their things since then and therefore hasn't noticed.  T'is a mystery that I hope gets resolved at the next meeting in a couple weeks.

I don't often do any sort of book reviews (why, I don't know) but have to point out two that I've just read that I highly recommend.  First, I finished Ken Follett's 'The Armor Of Light' and this is what 'Goodreads' says about the plot... The Spinning Jenny was invented in 1770, and with that, a new era of manufacturing and industry changed lives everywhere within a generation. A world filled with unrest wrestles for control over this new world order: A mother’s husband is killed in a work accident due to negligence; a young woman fights to fund her school for impoverished children; a well-intentioned young man unexpectedly inherits a failing business; one man ruthlessly protects his wealth no matter the cost, all the while war cries are heard from France, as Napoleon sets forth a violent master plan to become emperor of the world. As institutions are challenged and toppled in unprecedented fashion, ripples of change ricochet through our characters’ lives as they are left to reckon with the future and a world they must rebuild from the ashes of war.

And the second book is 'The Women' by Kristin Hannah.  It wasn't an easy book to read but I would put it in my top 10 best books list.  Here's what 'Goodreads' has to say...  Women can be heroes. When twenty-year-old nursing student Frances “Frankie” McGrath hears these words, it is a revelation. Raised in the sun-drenched, idyllic world of Southern California and sheltered by her conservative parents, she has always prided herself on doing the right thing. But in 1965, the world is changing, and she suddenly dares to imagine a different future for herself. When her brother ships out to serve in Vietnam, she joins the Army Nurse Corps and follows his path. As green and inexperienced as the men sent to Vietnam to fight, Frankie is over- whelmed by the chaos and destruction of war. Each day is a gamble of life and death, hope and betrayal; friendships run deep and can be shattered in an instant. In war, she meets—and becomes one of—the lucky, the brave, the broken, and the lost. But war is just the beginning for Frankie and her veteran friends. The real battle lies in coming home to a changed and divided America, to angry protesters, and to a country that wants to forget Vietnam.

- I try not to send you to too many commercial links, but I have to say the cross stitch designs HERE are absolutely awwww-some!

- My goodness, I can't imagine being able to crochet THIS small!  (be sure to scroll down)

- Those of us who suffer from depression might want to read THIS and make up little therapy kits that are similar.  Perhaps you know someone who is battling mental health issues and who might benefit from the gift of such a little kit.

This simply made me laugh out loud so I had to share...

Friday, March 29, 2024

Wheel spinning

 Not much of the creative bent has been done over the past couple of days.  I did finish the little hat and diaper cover to go with the dress I showed you last time.

Sorry about the picture quality - once
more the sun isn't gracing us with its

- THIS is a very interesting article that is geared towards crocheters but pertains to all of us who are creative.

- Have a peek through the galleries of THIS artist.

- And THIS one as well!

- For multiple awwwww's go HERE and scroll down.

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Still sewing

 Yesterday I finished working on this little dress for our wee grandie....

Pattern is the Infinite A-line Dress Pattern from Bonnie and Blithe.  I'm currently working on a matching diaper cover and will be making another little hat too.  

- Joy is starting a fun new block-of-the-month that combines piecing as well as sweet flower embroideries.  Go HERE to find out more.

- You might want to experiment with THIS.

- Making one (or more!) of THESE would be fun and would make great gifts.

- THIS is a different method for casting off your knitting.

Today the quote is from Walt Disney..."Growing old is mandatory, but growing up is optional"

Monday, March 25, 2024

Just a little switch of gears...

 Spring is coming so I decided our little grandie needed a new outfit (actually, there will be two) and this is the result...

Pattern is Simplicity 1453

- Some of you might find THIS article about junk journaling to be of interest.

- THIS is really cute!

- Have a peek at the creations of THIS artist.

- THIS would be fun to make for Easter.

Today the quote is from Albert Einstein..."Everybody is a genius.  But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid"

Friday, March 22, 2024


 I finished the latest landscape but haven't come up with an appropriate title for it yet.  It measures approx. 24x22" and features lots of embroidery, fussy cut and painted leaves, applique and machine quilting.  Once more, Dale Stewart granted permission and provided the inspiration with one of his photos.

"Nostalgia in the Sunshine"

This is Dale's photo...

- You can go HERE to see some award-winning quilts.

- THIS is one of my 'awwww' things.

- I don't know how well THIS would work, but you might like to give it a try.

- I know it's not quite dandelion season yet, but perhaps you might want to bookmark some of THESE.

Today's quote..."Dream as if you will live forever, live as if you only have today"

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Today - in 2006

 The world was struck by my mumblings here on this blog starting today in 2006.  Who knew  that I would manage to come up with something to mumble about for all that time.  This blog originally began as a way to keep our sons up-to-date on what I was making and nobody was more surprised than I was when I started getting readers outside the family (family is honour-bound to have to read) and an even bigger surprise came when people started to comment.  Now it seems I have 270 followers, some of whom comment regularly.  Had you asked me, back in 2006, if I would even still be blogging in 2023 I would have said there was no way.  Well, I'm still here and still finding 'stuff' to regale you with, for better or worse.  Even better, so are you - and for that I am beyond thankful.  

- Some of you who enjoy weaving might get an idea from THIS video.

- THIS would be a fun project to use up some scraps.

- THIS made me smile.

- Making THIS would be a nice addition to your sewing space - or a nice gift.

Today the quote is from Queen Elizabeth II.."We are all visitors to this time, this place.  We are just passing through.  Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love...and then we return home"

Monday, March 18, 2024


 Over the weekend I got some time to play with the latest landscape and now I can show you where it's at right now...

Just as a little sidenote, I actually kept track
of the time that went into just the embroidery
alone....17 1/2 hours.

- THIS idea made me smile and perhaps you will too.

- And THIS just plain made me laugh.

- Have a look at THESE amazing creations!  Be sure to click on them so you can see further details.  All I can say is wow!

- And go and pay a visit to the gallery of THIS amazing artist!

- You might want to make yourself one of THESE (I'm sure there are more uses for it!).

Friday, March 15, 2024

Well then....

 Well, that's 4 1/2 hours of computer time I'll never get back and a whole lot of angst on my part.  Resident Chef decided we needed to go on a quest yesterday to search out a possible solution for fixing our kitchen island cupboard so off we went, leaving me with doing my blog post last night.  Theoretically not a bad computer virus program decided that it needed to do something called an 'Advanced Disenfection' which meant that I could do absolutely nothing but wait until it knocked every single dust bunny from every little corner.  Four and a half hours later it was bedtime and needless to say I went to bed in disgust - and no blog post even started. pictures (for that matter no stitching done either)...but hopefully a squeeky clean computer.

Regular scheduled programming here at Chez Magpie should (fingers crossed) return on Monday.  Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Road runners

 Yesterday Resident Chef and I went on a little road trip in quest of some apples.  We like to go to a place called 'Algoma Orchards' which is about 45 minutes away and we pick up enough to last us a couple of months.  It was a lovely day for a car trip but alas it meant I didn't get any stitching done.  So....mumblings it will be....

- If you're in the throes of garden planning, perhaps you might want to take THIS into consideration.  And have a peek at THIS.  

- THIS made me laugh.

- HERE are some other ideas for your garden.

- THIS is an awwwwww thing.  And so is THIS.

Today's quote..."Actions prove who someone is, words just prove who they pretend to be"

Monday, March 11, 2024

Oh, the mystery

 I'm not ready to show you the complete progress on the landscape (suffice to say it involves a ton of embroidery!), but I will share this little glimpse....

I had hoped I could show you more when I do my post on Wednesday but the next couple of days will be busy so there won't be much time to stitch.  This afternoon is our quilt guild meeting and then on Wednesday night I have to do another trunk show for the evening guild.  I guess you'll just have to wait on another update (just don't hold your breath).

- I would love to make THIS for one of our grandies (sorry if Hobbii site wants you to 'do something' in order to see it...???).  They have lots of free patterns that are really cute if you want to explore further.

- Scroll down a bit HERE and you'll see the cute duckie pattern that would make a fun baby quilt.

- THESE made me smile.  And THIS made me laugh.

- If you've ever wanted to make a quilted jacket, perhaps you will find THIS interesting.

- And, finally, I thought I would share THIS

Today's quote:  "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.  You can show a person the truth, but you can't make them think"

Friday, March 08, 2024


 Well the time-out didn't last too long.  After I slept on it (not literally!) I decided that frogging the black strips was the way to go.  It's not exactly the idea I had in mind when I started out but it works better than only a half-way job.  

ARGH - It seems the internet is throwing hissy fits all over the place.  First of all Facebook went nuts on Tuesday - widespread apparently.  Then Google decided they would do an update and that messed up email.  Then, for reasons unknown, my Pinterest board decided to pitch a fit and refused to let me in.  AND...tried to do my online grocery order and had to fight with the site to get it to work.  That was after they threw me to a store in Toronto instead of my 'home' store and then didn't want to let me put in our local place.  Weird. it a full moon I wonder?

Oh - and I already had two links for you ready to go in this post and they've disappeared.  Weird.

- THIS takes you to a number of pretty potholder designs.

- Have a peek through the gallery of THIS artist!

- THESE are an awwww.

- THIS is a cute project you might like to try.

Today the quote is by Socrates..."Smart people learn from everything and everyone, average people from their experiences, stupid people already have the answers"

Wednesday, March 06, 2024

In the time out corner

 Well, folks, I think this is the first time I've started a landscape and really didn't like's in the time-out corner and I will start again.  I might come back to it but at this point I doubt it.  If I'd had enough of the iron-on bias tape to complete the cross-hatching I had in mind I think I would have been okay with it but for now it's set aside.  Who knows maybe I will lighten the bank account and buy some more tape but it's pretty pricey and defies my goal of using from my stash.  I toyed with trying to cut my own but it's less than a 1/4" wide so methinks that would just prove to be a lesson in frustration - to say nothing about danger to my fingers wielding a rotary cutter that close.

Maybe I'll even wield the stitch ripper and 
remove all the tape....hmmm...


On another subject - I think I mentioned I was going through all the pre-2022 posts on my blog and updating them.  During that process I've been re-introduced to the series of 'seam treatments' I did when I was crazy quilting.  If you like embroidery and are interested, check out the 'seam treatment' category in my sidebar and you'll be taken to lots of designs I came up with that you might like to use.


- THESE are cute to create for Easter.


It appears, at least to me, that the internet is throwing hissy fits all over the place.  Anyone else having issues?  First of all, Facebook went weird and refused to let me sign in without changing my password, which I did.  Several times, before it 'took'.  And then it seems my Pinterest account has gone on strike too and now I can't get you the normal number of links.  Oh yes, and the screen where I sign in to my gmail account has changed.  All that leads me to wonder if they are doing some sort of upgrade which has messed things up.  

Today's quote is from Elizabeth Gilbert..."Stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone ought to be"

Monday, March 04, 2024

Progressing along

 The new landscape is developing and I already have an idea for a new one that hopefully will involve the use of a paper map.  I'm wondering, if I steal the one RC refers to sometimes, how long it might be before he notices it's missing.  Hmmm.  In the meantime I will continue working on this one....

Rather a poor picture but it's all that's ready to show you.  I started out with the grand plan that I would cross-hatch the sky using a roll of iron-on bias tape I had kicking around in my stash.  Sadly, my plan was thwarted when I ran out of tape before I could start the 'cross'.  A search online to find more yielded some but it costs a small it will be.   

- Some of you might find some good tips on THIS list.

- If only I had the proper yarn in my stash I would be making THIS.

- I dare you not to say 'awwww' when you see THIS.

Today the quote is from Charles Darwin..."It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change"

Friday, March 01, 2024

I just can't help myself

 Yes, the wheels are turning as I contemplate how I will turn this photo into a new landscape...

The photo, once again, used with the
kind permission of Dale Stewart

- I hope you don't need THIS, but here it is, just in case.

- THIS, I thought, was awwww-worthy.

- I know THIS is a paid pattern, but it made me laugh.

- THESE are cute but I'd be tempted to sew them.

Today's quote..."One minute you're young and fun.  And the next, you're turning down the stereo in your car to see better"

Wednesday, February 28, 2024


 Late last fall I submitted an article to the 'Our Canada' magazine and to my surprise they wanted to publish it along with some photos of my work.  I'm happy to say that it's in the current Feb/March issue of the magazine which should be on the newstands shortly.  On the one hand I'm really happy that they wanted my article, but on the other hand it's tempered with a great deal of sadness because 'Our Canada' and its parent publication (Reader's Digest - Canadian edition) are both ceasing publication in the spring.  So much for Canadian content!  'Our Canada' is totally written by Canadians and is filled with amazing Canadian photos - all from submissions from people like me.  It's distressing to see such things being discontinued.

At any rate, I know many of you can't lay your hands on a copy of the actual issue so I thought I'd show you my part of it here....

- There are lots of stuffed toy links HERE.

- THESE would be cute to make for Easter.

- And so would THESE.

Today the quote is from Mark Twain..."The truth has no defense against a fool determined to believe a lie"