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, June 28, 2024

Sometimes I surprise myself

 I challenged myself with this landscape and managed to pull it off which came as somewhat of a surprise.  There were techniques and challenges but where there's a will there's a way.  What do you think?

'The Red Chair (Muskoka Tuberculosis Sanitarium)'

Measures approx. 22x29"


The original photo is this one by Michael Lalonde and used with his kind permission...

- THIS concept is intriguing.

- HERE is something you might like to try.

- And HERE is a rather clever idea.

- There are tons of really great tips HERE (some of which I intend to implement!)

Today's quote is from Rob Bell..."What every artist must learn is that even the failed pieces are essential"

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

There's been more

 Yes, more progress on the landscape, namely some areas have been quilted, others have had netting added to tone down some of the fabrics, and there's been a layer of Mod Podge and crumpled tissue paper highlighted with paint to create  the cement floor.

- THIS is one of those awwwww things.

- Have a look through the galleries of THIS artist!  And THIS one too!!

- THIS process intrigues me and if we still had a garden I'd be tempted.

- THIS made me laugh.

Today the quote is from Jon Acuff..."Be brave enough to be bad at something new"

Monday, June 24, 2024

Progress and another addition to the Christmas box

 First of all, these came off my knitting needles over the weekend...

Pattern is my generic one and the yarn was Paton's Kroy Socks FX in the geranium colourway.  Already added to the Christmas box.

And...I've made a good start at the current landscape as you can see from this...

- There are a number of ideas HERE for using lavender from your garden.  And have a peek at THIS (sorry, can't find the original creator, but I liked the idea anyway)

- I haven't shared an 'awwwww' lately, so how about THIS one?

- Have a peek through the gallery pages HERE.

- And the creations of THIS amazing artist too!

Today's quote...'There's really not a difficult thing unless you decide it's a difficult thing.  Otherwise, it's just the next thing you're figuring out"

Friday, June 21, 2024

Never let it be said....

 Yes, never let it be said that I don't attempt to challenge myself with each landscape I do.  This next one is definitely falling under the 'challenge' category!  

Photo used with the kind permission of
Michael Lalonde
( Talking Walls Photography )  

Stay tuned to watch the evolution of this one!

A little back-history to explain my interest in this particular subject... this photo was taken inside the Muskoka Sanitarium which was once a hospital used for victims of tuberculosis.  My mother was one of those patients and spent four years of her life starting when she was 18 as a resident there.  She was one of the lucky ones in that my grandparents were able to afford for her to be housed in the building itself.  Many others weren't so fortunate and were left to reside in tents on the grounds where many of them died from a combination of TB and exposure to the elements.  At the time pretty much all they had for treatment was fresh air, so the patients were required to sleep outside - winter and summer.  My mother often said she had to shovel herself out from under snow in the winter time.  If you are interested in reading more about the history of the building, read Michael's post HERE

This picture was taken of my Mom when she was a patient - taken in 1941...

- THIS link takes you to a ton of fun crocheted bookmarks that would be a great summer project.

- Of course you know I would be intrigued by THIS!

- Have a look through the gallery of THIS artist!

- THIS artist does interesting work as well.

Today's quote..."We live on a blue planet that circles around a ball of fire next to a moon that moves the sea, and you don't believe in miracles?"

Wednesday, June 19, 2024


 Yes, I had a squirrel moment and I'm not the least bit ashamed.  Some of you might remember the tea towels I made to put in the Christmas box and from those I had some leftover fabric, just enough to make hot pads as an add-on to the original gift idea.  At least I used up the fabric AND pretty much put an end to the Insul-Bright I had too.  Win/win!

- Do you remember making pillows using THIS technique? I know my mother had several.

- Have a peek through the creations by THIS artist!

- And scroll down through the works by THIS artist too!

- Nann left a comment on my previous post pointing me to a fun YouTube video that discusses making crumb blocks (and her storage system is genius!).  Go HERE.  Thank you Nann!

- THIS is really pretty (I know it's labeled as 'winter' but I think it would be perfect for summer evenings too).

Today's quote..."I make art to show my soul that I am listening"

Monday, June 17, 2024

Who'd a thunk it

 You will have noticed a definite lack of crazy quilting here at Chez Magpie and that's by design.  After spending so many years doing projects for publication in the Crazy Quilt Quarterly magazine I think I was burnt out.  Even went so far as to get rid of a lot of my CQ stash in favour of fabrics more suited to landscapes.  Ebb and flow of life, I guess.  Well, there's a rumour that I might get asked to teach a workshop in the fall so I had to come up with a prototype.  Several years ago I taught making a hussif * but it takes two sessions to even come close to completing.  So my thoughts turned to doing the entire thing by machine and this cover for a hard-backed notebook is the result...


Opened, to show the back

* if you don't know what a hussif is, check out the links in my sidebar.

- I think THIS process would be fun to attack those pesky fabrics scraps you have been saving for a rainy day.

- THIS is such a pretty pattern that would work in so many different sizes and yarns.

- Although the pattern isn't with THIS, I thought it was worth sharing anyway.

- I love the creativity of THIS artist.

Today the quote is from Caroline Myss..."Perfectionism is the fear of being criticized"

Friday, June 14, 2024

A completion

 Yes, I completed the latest landscape - never to be repeated again, at least not this way...

Based on this photo by Dale Stewart,
and used with his kind permission...

I liked the idea of using a map but (and here's the issue I had) I tried to use a paper map because I didn't have the capability of printing it onto fabric.  Methinks the copy shop would frown on trying to put fabric through their printer.  My search for a decent 'map' already on fabric didn't bear fruit so I attempted to change the 'hand' of the paper using different products I had in my stash, finally settling on Golden Soft Gel.  It left the paper feeling somewhat like plastic which wasn't the texture I hoped for.  My stash didn't yield anything else however so I went with it.  Lesson out of all this?  Don't do it again.

- Have a look at the amazing creations of THIS artist!  I can't imagine working with that many individual pieces of fabric!

- And the creations of THIS artist too (be sure to check her other galleries while you're there).

- I thought THIS article was quite interesting.

- THIS is a really cool idea!!  And HERE is something else you can do with the same material.

- I don't think I would wear any of THESE but they are definitely interesting to see.

The quote is by Paul Klee..."Art does not reproduce what we see.  It makes us see"

Wednesday, June 12, 2024



Well, the grandiose idea of using map thought bubbles on the latest landscape evaporated due to sheer ugliness.  Oh well, nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?  We won't mention the fact that it took me an entire day to come to realization that it looked just plain stooooopid.   It's now back to what you saw in my previous post and I'm struggling with quilting it now.

- Have a peek at THESE.

- And THESE are interesting (be sure to scroll down)

- The knitters among you might find that THIS is quite pretty (and would be a good stashbuster too).

- You know that THIS would catch my eye.

Today's quote.."Laundry is the only thing that should be separated by colour"

Monday, June 10, 2024

There's more

 I really wish I had kept track of how many hours have gone into the embroidery on this landscape, but if I had to hazard a guess I would say close to 40.  Am I obsessed much??!!!

Now, it comes to an executive decision and part of my 'experimentation' process that sometimes leads to dismal failure.  I initially had the map embiggened at the copy shop and thought I would use the paper version in my landscape.  What to do to change the 'hand' of the paper to make it softer.  Some experiments later, I decided that I'd use Soft Gel medium brushed over top.  It sort of worked but more on the side the sort of didn't.  I could use it, but stitching it was going to be a chore.  Another consideration would be how durable it would be over a period of years...would it change colour and yellow with time...or worse, turn hard?  A search through my stash has (wonder of wonders!) yielded a couple packages of T-Shirt Transfer paper by Avery which has led me to wonder if...big if....I could print the map onto that and then iron it onto the fabric to make it the texture I'm wanting.  Next ponderment would be how to join the pieces together because, of course, the transfer sheets are only 8 1/2x11".  Then my mind wandered over to wondering what it would look like if I simply went with that size and appliqued them willy nilly over top of a blue sky background....or maybe....what about using them as 'thought bubbles' of a sort, so that my working title for the project of 'The Roads No Longer Travelled' would reflect the old truck thinking about its past life.  Sometimes I really marvel at how my mind works (or doesn't!).  Stay tuned!

- THIS is something you might like to try making.

- You'd best have at least a loaf of bread crumbs to find your way back out of THESE resources.  If you click on the older issues, they're free and you can read to your heart's content.  So much inspiration!!!

- I'm being serenaded outside my window.  You can have a listen to a recording of what I'm enjoying by going HERE.  

- Seeing THIS sent me hareing off to look at my needles.  Hmmm....who knew? 

- Have a peek through THIS gallery of embroidery art!

Today your quote is from Pablo Picasso..."It takes a long time to become young"

Friday, June 07, 2024

A little glimpse

 Here is a teeny little glimpse of what I have been working on for several days now.  There are several more days before this part will be complete...

-  THIS would make great gifts!

- THESE wee birdies are definitely awwww-worthy.

- I hope THIS will work for about amazing!

- Some of THESE are quite incredible.

This quote made me smile..."Some people are so poor, all they have is money"

Wednesday, June 05, 2024

Just a stitchin' away

 Yes, stitching is happening but it's not at a point where I can share quite yet.  Serves me right for thinking that the current landscape needed embroidery.  I'm obsessed, I tell you.

So, instead of a photo of what I'm working on, you no doubt know what I shall do instead....

- THIS is a little sumthin' you might like to try making.

- I know at least one of my readers is playing with pin looms, so perhaps THIS might be of interest.

- HERE is another technique that would be fun to try.

- THIS proves you can recycle pretty much anything!

This oh-so-true meme was snagged from Boud's blog (thank you!)....

Monday, June 03, 2024

Somebody's feet

 Yes, somebody's feet will be warm this winter because these are headed for the Christmas box.  Sock recipe is the generic one I always use and the yarn is Paton's Kroy Sock yarn.

I had a fun Saturday spent teaching a landscape workshop for one of the local guilds.  I'm never quite sure when I go into these things whether I can instill even a small percentage of my passion for landscapes but they seemed happy enough to want to know if I would teach an intermediate workshop in the fall.  

- You might enjoy having a peek through THESE.

- Finally found a good use for vodka (heartily dislike the stuff)!  Go HERE.

- THIS is a technique some of you might like to play with.

- And THIS would be a fun thing to experiment with.

- THIS technique might appear in one of my landscapes at some point.

Today the quote is from Ray Bradbury..."So while our art cannot, as we wish it could, save us from war, privation, envy, greed, old age, or death, it can revitalize us amidst it all"