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.

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"

Monday, February 26, 2024


 Over the weekend I finished the latest landscape as you can see...

"Lonesome Wheel"



Measures approx. 22x25". It's based on the photo by Dale Stewart (below) and used with his always kind permission.

- There's another 'best of' quilt show HERE.  

- I think THESE are cute - would make a nice gift, perhaps think ahead to Mother's Day?

- Although THIS is shown using Christmas fabric, I don't see why it wouldn't be perfect for other occasions throughout the year.

- Perhaps some of you might find THIS of interest.

- And THIS gave me an awwww-moment.

Today the quote is from Keanu Reeves..."The simple act of paying attention can take you a long way"

Friday, February 23, 2024

19 +1

 Stash reduction is a thing.  Isn't it?  Well, my knitting needles and I have been beavering away making hats using double strands of yarn.  You'd think that should reduce the stash - well, I hate to say it but it sure looks like you (and I!) are wrong.  

At any rate, there's 19 hats (plus one on the needles)
ready for donation to needy people...

My stash looks the same.

How could that be??!!!

- Those of you who knit might find THIS of interest.

- You can see pictures of the award winning quilts from the American Quilter's Society HERE.

- I like THIS idea for some outdoor fun.

- You might want to make one of THESE to have ready for the growing season.

While I've been housecleaning my blog I came across a few things that I think bear repeating and this poem is one of them...

Instead of your quote today, I thought I'd share this beautiful poem written by Joseph J. Mazzella...


The television news was droning on and on this evening.
It was full of every bad thing that happened in the world today.
Finally I had to turn the set off.
It wasn't that I couldn't handle the bad news.
It was just that I knew all that was being left out.
I knew what else happened today.

Today a mother held her newborn baby in her arms for the first time and felt her heart open with a love she never knew she had.
Today mothers and fathers both played with their children, hugged them tight, and kissed them goodnight when they tucked them into bed.
Today animals were petted, fed, and cared for by loving owners.
Today a child learned how to be kind when he saw his Mom hold a door open for an elderly lady.
Today wise words were spoken and minds were opened in a million school classrooms across the world.
Today clothes, food and money were collected to be shared with the poor and hungry.  
Today the sick were cared for, the disabled were helped, and the crying were comforted by so many caring souls.
Today smiles were shared and kind acts performed with no thought of reward.
Today songs were sung, sweet words were said, and laughter was heard.
Today adult children gathered around their Mom's deathbed to hold her hand, tell her they love her, and kiss her for one last time.
Today someone finally realized just how much God loves them.
Today a million prayers went up to Heaven on the wings of faith and a million 'Thank You's' were said to God with hearts full of love.
Today this world was made better by the good we did, the kindness we shared, and the love we gave to others. 
Today all the angels of Heaven joyfully smiled as they watched us strive to love each other, to help each other, and to live as God's children here on earth. 
That is what happened today.
That is what happens every day of our lives here.
Don't let the bad news bring you down.
Its hate and darkness can never stand against our love and light.

Wednesday, February 21, 2024


 I've been working away on the latest landscape and have a little progress I can show you...

- There are some interesting ideas HERE.

- I think THIS would look great on an outdoor chair in the summertime.

- THIS looks a little different than most.

- THIS one too.

- There are tons of links HERE to some yummy-looking muffin recipes.

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

Monday, February 19, 2024

Inspired to do some housekeeping

 Please do get your mind out of the gutter by thinking that I'm doing some ACTUAL housekeeping!!  However, I was inspired by another blogger who is updating her blog posts and know that I really should do the same.  Many of the links I referenced 'back in the day' are no longer live so I have decided that I should remove most of them and only try to keep the ones from the past couple of years.  Methinks it's going to take a very long time to do that particular chore but it might make my blog easier to navigate.  Oh....squirrel......

Over the weekend I started working on the latest landscape and here's the progress so far...

- Have a peek at the work by THIS artist.

- THIS is a great tip for layering quilts in a small space (and to save the dreaded trying to get up from the floor scenario!)

- I think there could be many uses for THIS

- Now might be the time to be making some of THESE (great gift idea!)

Friday, February 16, 2024

Sweethearts and teaching and seniors moment

Oops - I had a momentary lapse of brain power and forgot to post this at my usual time.  So sorry, but better late than never, right?

 Well, I think the teaching gig on Wednesday went okay.  It was a learning curve for both the ladies and myself but we muddled through.  Now it's to be hoped they can finish their project on their own and be happy with it.

Being that it was Valentine's day and I knew I'd be too tired to go out for supper my Resident Chef decided he'd make me a sweet surprise instead.  He used what he had and created this...

 I, of course, shared!

- THIS made me smile.

- THIS is SO cool!!!!  

- THIS would be handy for many people, especially walkers and joggers.

- There's an awwwww moment HERE.  (and before anybody asks I know 2024 is the Year of the Dragon, not the rabbit)

Today's quote..."Sometimes you have to eat your words, chew your ego, swallow your pride and accept your mistakes.  It's not giving up.  It's called growing up"

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Awol for today


So sorry that you won't be getting one of my regular mumblings today.  I'm off teaching a workshop on making landscapes.

Wonder how many of my students will be left feeling like this...

Oh, and because it's that day...

- THESE guys made me laugh.

- I like THIS!

- And THIS made me laugh too.

Today's quote is from Les Brown..."Never say you're having a bad day...say you're having a character building day"

(hah, that quote is definitely applicable 
to me today!)

Monday, February 12, 2024

Those pesky squirrels!

 Over the weekend I suffered from an extreme case of procrastination over starting the new landscape and instead these happened... 

I've never ventured into felting using those instruments of torture they call felting needles but I was gifted with a fun kit to attempt to make this little snowy owl for Christmas.  I mustered my courage and had a go.  Not perfect but I like him (and, remarkably, my fingers are still intact!).  The kit was this one....

Then another squirrel went scurrying through my sewing room and I ended up creating a a book of samples of all the fancy stitches on my Janome sewing machine.

There are several pages similar to this.

- THIS is a rather different design that I really like.  Might have to make one or two of these for the Christmas box.

- I'm not a shawl person but I might be tempted by THIS one.  

- If your wooden spoons and cutting boards are in need of a little lovin' perhaps you'd like to make some of THIS (would make great gifts too!).  Finding that little gem led me to finding THIS too. (never let it be said that sometimes you find the oddest things when you explore these links!)

- I thought THIS was an interesting article.  Another of those 'who knew?' things!

Today's quote..."The reason most people fail instead of succeed is that they trade what they want most for what they want now"

Friday, February 09, 2024

Another finish!!!

 I finished the latest landscape and am now awaiting delivery of some materials to attempt doing that old wagon wheel scene.  On one hand I'm anxious to start on it but on the other I don't know if my skill set is quite up to that amount of detail.  I guess we'll see!

"Grande Ol' Dame"
measures approx. 24x20
features applique, paint, colored crayon,
hand and machine embroidery,
machine quilting

- I thought THIS was an intriguing design.  Would look amazing done with hand dyes or batiks.

- THIS is beautiful - and would be fun to try.

- I know it's a tad early for Easter things, but you'd need some time to make THESE.

- THESE would be a perfect use for some precious pieces of pretty fabric.

- I think THIS is something we should all ponder and possibly pay attention to.

Today the quote is by C.S. Lewis..... "Have fun even if it's not the same kind of fun everyone else is having"

Wednesday, February 07, 2024

A little bit of progress

 There's been some progress on the latest landscape as you can see from the photo...

Our #2 son made it to Halifax for the trade show but it was sheer luck.  His original flight was cancelled due to the massive snowstorm in and around Halifax and he was rescheduled for Monday but with an additional stopover in Montreal.  He left here at 7 am Monday and just as he was on the plane from Toronto to Montreal he was informed that for his second leg of the journey he was bumped down to flying standby.  He was extremely lucky and was the very last one that they allowed on the plane.  Phew!  Having to stay in the airport overnight was not a pleasant prospect.  He got to Halifax safely and then worked hard  getting set up for the trade show.  Now it's to be hoped that his return to BC today will be uneventful.  He has a stopover in Calgary which is on a really tight timeline so hopefully he'll get out of Halifax and make his connection.  Although everything didn't go entirely as planned we got an extra day to spend with him so we're not complaining!  EDITED TO ADD:  Current update on his status - flight this morning was delayed out of Halifax which means he'll miss his connection in Calgary.  This entire trip has been nothing but a hassle for the poor guy.  

- THIS is a rather cute quick project for Valentine's day.

- I thought THIS was intriguing - something that would be good to have on hand should the power go out in the cold weather. (scroll down for the how-to)

- Of course you know THIS would catch my denim-loving eye!

- HERE is another quick little project suitable for Valentine's day.

Monday, February 05, 2024

Fun, with a little bit of stress thrown in

 This isn't my usual blog post because there will be less links (and no photos) for you than usual because I haven't been on the computer over the weekend.  Our #2 son has been here for a very fast visit which turned out to be a day longer than expected (we aren't complaining!).  He was on his way from Vancouver to Halifax for a work 'thing' and arranged a layover here from late Friday night until early Sunday morning.  Unfortunately for the work 'thing' the massive snow storm hit the east coast and all the flights in were cancelled yesterday.  As of 7 am this morning the drive service picked him up and he's on his way to Toronto for a flight to Montreal and then another layover and *hopefully* another flight later today in to Halifax.  The weather there still doesn't sound good but not as bad as yesterday and so far at least there's no word about that flight being cancelled.  Fingers crossed because being stranded in Montreal isn't a good thing.  I feel sorry for him travelling all by himself and having to deal with all the stresses.  

We had a wonderful visit and we're all hopeful he'll be able to do it again if there's another work event held in this end of the country.  It's the first time he's been home in over twelve years so it was a treat for him I think.  Not that we spoiled him or anything of the sort!

Regular mumblings should return on Wednesday!

- THIS would be a great scrap-busting project - and useful too.

- I need to make one of THESE for reference with my new sewing machine.

- THIS is a really pretty pattern for a baby blanket or perhaps embiggen it and use different colours for older folks.  While you're there, have a peek through some of the other free designs she has available.

Friday, February 02, 2024

A little update

 There has been a little progress on the latest landscape.  

This is the photo I'm using for inspiration.  I can't give
credit to the photographer because I neglected to
make note of it.  If you know, or if it's yours, 
please let me know so I can edit this.

This one is going to involve LOTS of embroidery - French Knots to be exact.  All that will be happening whilst I ponder how I'm going to attempt to create this one....

Photo credit - Dale Stewart
and used with his kind permission

This one speaks volumes to me although it's not a building or a vehicle.  Dale shared a colour version as well but my imagination is truly wanting to see if I can do it monochromatic.  The question is...does my stash have what I need.  Pondering....


A mini rant
by Magpie

It's been somewhat of a secret that I submitted my work (along with an article) for consideration for publication in the 'Our Canada' magazine and that it was accepted.  It has come as somewhat of a shock that our beloved Canadian magazines ('Reader's Digest'; 'Our Canada' and 'More of Our Canada') will cease publication in the spring.  I hate to think that my being published had anything to do with it!  It seems that many print magazines are suffering the same fate and it's very sad to see, particularly here in Canada where it's really difficult to find Canadian content in publications.  'Our Canada' has been an amazing outlet for Canadian writers and photographers and they have always produced a high quality magazine.  'Reader's Digest' (the parent company for Our Canada) has been publishing here in Canada for over 75 years and has been a mainstay of many households for much of that time.  It's sad to witness the demise.     (If you're interested, and can find a copy on the newstand, my article will be appearing in the Feb/March issue of 'Our Canada').

Rant over

- I'm putting THIS here so I can keep track of it.  Wish I'd known how to do this when I was struggling with inserting elastic in the waistbands of the sleep pants.

- There are several links HERE to tutorial for printing onto various items.

- Of course you know THIS caught my eye.  

- THIS chart might be useful for some of you.

Today's quote..."Our world is not divided by race, colour, gender, or religion.  Our world is divised into wise people and fools.  And fools divide themselves by race, colour, gender or religion"