A blog about my interests, which include crazy quilting and various and assorted other artsy pursuits and sometimes known to contain mumblings of a random nature.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Little pitchers

I have been stitching on my latest barn but taking a photo at this point wouldn't show you much more than you saw the last time.  The stitching involves mainly highlighting, so difficult to see on its own.

So....instead of seeing that, how about I show you a couple of my little milk pitchers?  I don't have many of those either, but these two are my favourites...

They both measure about 4" tall.  The brown one is from Pier 1 Imports so is quite modern (reminds me of those brown Betty teapots) and the other is labeled 'Churchhill England'.  No idea of the age of it because I think I picked it up at a yard sale.  

- THIS would be really handy to take if you were stitching away from home.

- For those of you who appreciate classic looking knits, perhaps you might like to make THIS sweater.

- THIS is one of those things that I can't imagine making, but it certainly would be a showpiece!

- My last post included a link to making snippet rolls, and I've since found THIS different take on them. 

- There are a whole lot of interesting organizational ideas for your crafting space HERE.  

- For the quilter trying to use up scraps, perhaps THIS might be a fun one to do?

- THIS cross stitch pattern made me laugh - and reminded me of all the books currently residing under our bed waiting to be read.

Your quote for today:  "Four things you cannot recover:  the stone after the throw; the word after it is said; the occasion after it is missed, and the time after it's gone"

Friday, May 18, 2018

The last two

This is the final post in the cup and saucer 'series' I've been doing.  As I mentioned before, my collection is small!!

This one has a quite nondescript outside
and it's only as you drink your tea that
you realize the pattern is on the inside.
It only has the words 'Fine China' on the
bottom - no other identifying marks.

This one is from my mother's collection.
She never had 'good' dishes and when
company would come she would set
the table with her normal mismatched pieces
that she used every day.  When I got my first job
I decided that for every occasion such as birthday and 
Christmas, I would buy her a place setting for her
favourite pattern.  She ended up with enough
for twelve settings, as well as some completer pieces
which I have now inherited.
The pattern is 'Trillium' by Royal Albert
and has since been discontinued.

And, just to prove that I HAVE been doing something in the stitch part of my life, here's an update on the latest barn I'm working on...

- I'm sure you will enjoy scrolling through the amazing pictorial quilts found HERE (might take a few seconds for it to load).  And there are more HERE.  

- If you are a quilter, you will find lots (!) of links HERE to all sorts of free patterns.

- For those that like to work with paper, there's a tutorial HERE for making your own junk journal (using junk paper!).

- Many of you know that I like denim, so of course I would find the work that THIS artist does amazing.

- There's a cute bee-themed pincushion tutorial HERE.  

- I did one of THESE several years ago but mine was a needle case.  This one is a different take on it. (If you want to see mine, it's HERE).  

Another anonymous quote..."A strong person is not the one who doesn't cry.  A strong person is the one who cries and sheds tears for a moment, then gets up and fights again"

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Two more

Here are two more from my cup and saucer collection (I promise...there is only one more post to come!).  

This one is another that is labeled 'Castle...
Hand Painted Japan'
It is also highlighted with
mother of pearl.

This cup was one that I received 
in a gift exchange when I was in public school.
It's the ONLY one in my pitifully small
collection that actually belongs to me and
wasn't inherited.  
It is labeled 'Royal Standard - Fine Bone
China - England'

- Kathy Shaw has opened registrations once again for her FREE online Basic Crazy Quilting course.  You can find more information HERE (but as always, you will have to hurry because she's only leaving registration open until the 17th!).

- Sometimes something just makes you say 'awwww' right out loud - and THIS did!

- If I was a parent of young kids I would SOOOO make them one of THESE!  I'm one of those oddball parents who, when their oldest kid asks for his room to be done in an 'outer space' theme, goes over the top.  His room ended up being a whole planetary theme, complete with navy fabric (spattered with glow in the dark paint to represent stars) stapled onto the ceiling, the top half of the walls painted to reflect outer space (including the planets as a headboard) and the earth (mountains, a sea with sailboats and houses).  #2 son wanted a baseball theme, so I found a silhouette of a player, embiggened it and painted it on his wall, along with baseballs and various other baseball-themed things.  When we moved to our last house his room needed re-doing so I asked him if he and his friends would like to write all over the walls.  The only stipulation I had was that there be no profanity.  He and his friends had a blast (and, secretly, so did I!!!).   So, yeah, I'd SO make one of those race tracks in the back yard!

- THIS caught my eye....not because I would use it as it is shown, but I think it would work well in the kitchen to hold a recipe as well as when I'm working on a landscape quilt and want to refer to the photograph I'm using as inspiration.  As it is now I put the photo down somewhere and then it gets covered with all sorts of 'stuff' and then the search is on to unearth it.  NOT that I'm sayin' that I'm a messy creator or anything of the sort!!

- There's a great article HERE discussing the various different types of threads and their uses.

- For those who like to embroider you can go HERE to find links to a series of posts for making all sorts of different flowers.

Another anonymous quote for you today..."If you don't like something, just take away its only power:  your attention"

Monday, May 14, 2018

More precious-nesssssssss?

First of all, I have to share a picture of the beautiful flowers I that were delivered for Mother's Day from our #2 son and daughter-in-love who live all the way across the country in British Columbia.  Aren't they beautiful?  We also got to Skype with them yesterday and had a lovely visit.  Great fun watching our sweet little grandson as he's testing out lots of new words!  Thank you Shawn and Winnie 💕

Because precious little has been happening on the stitching front, I thought I'd do as someone asked and post a few more pictures of my small cup & saucer collection.  I don't ever use them, preferring to have my tea and coffee in a mug, but I like to see them sitting in my china cabinet anyway!

This one belonged to my maternal grandmother 
and is labeled on the back with
'Castle - Hand Painted - Japan'.
The inside of the cup is mother-of-pearl.

This one also belonged to my grandmother.
She had a set of dishes in this pattern and
all that remains (that I'm aware of) is this
cup and saucer and one small
tea plate. 
The pattern is called 'Bridal Rose'
and was made in Western Germany

This one, also from my grandmother, 
is also lined with mother-of-pearl
and is labeled 'Castle - Hand Painted - Japan'

- You have to go and look at THIS!!!!!  Kim does the most amazing things with previously unloved pieces of embroidery and this is her latest creation.  This belongs in an art gallery!!!  Be sure to scroll down to see all the photos.

- There's a tutorial HERE to make a very sweet little apron from vintage linens.

- Go HERE if you'd like to make a really cute child's apron!

- For those of you who use clear stamps for your projects, perhaps THIS idea for storage might be something you'd like to do.

- For those of you who garden, perhaps you might find some interesting ideas HERE to beautify your own space.  If you click on each of the pictures it should take you to further information for each.

Another quote from 'Anonymous'..."Make a list of things that make you happy.  Make a list of things you do every day.  Compare the lists.  Adjust accordingly"

Friday, May 11, 2018

Something precious

Yesterday the subject of cups and saucers came up and I thought I might share one of my favourites from my collection...

This one belonged to my maternal grandmother who once had a very extensive collection of cups and saucers of various patterns.  I was lucky enough to inherit a precious few.  This one is hand painted and the china is very thin - it appears that it was hand painted in Japan but that's all I know about it.  

There has been no stitching happening here at Chez Magpie over the past several days - too much of being a social butterfly (and errand runner) to have time to play in my sewing room.  Hopefully over the weekend I will get to sit and pick up my stitching.

- Have a look at the fibre art in the galleries HERE.  

- THESE fall under the 'oh wow' category!  I'd love one (or several!) of these.

- There's a pattern HERE for really cute owls - perfect pincushions perhaps?

- There is a free online quilt magazine available HERE.  It's actually quite interesting so well worth checking out.  If you scroll down there are links to other free issues as well.

- And HERE is another free quilt magazine - you will have to register to get it, but there's always good content so it's worth doing.  You can also purchase an expanded version with more content, but I find the free version to be interesting on its own. 

- THIS is a rather cute knitted sweater pattern for a little girl.

Instead of a quote today, I would like to wish all mothers a very happy Mother's Day!

Monday, May 07, 2018

Another beginning - and from the kitchen

Over the weekend I started working on another barn landscape.  It doesn't look like much as yet, but thought I'd show you anyway.

DH puttered about in the kitchen and this is what he created...

Here's the recipe - just in case you'd like to make some too!

10 medium cucumbers, thinly sliced*
3 medium onions, thinly sliced
1 large green pepper, chopped
3 Tablespoons salt
2 cups white sugar
1 cup white vinegar
1 Tablespoon celery seed
Combine cucumbers, onions, green pepper & 2 T. salt.   Cover with crushed ice and mix well.  Refrigerate for 8 hours.  Drain, rinse and drain again.
In large saucepan, combine sugar, vinegar, celery seed and remaining salt.  Bring to a boil & cook and stir for one minute.  Spoon over cucumbers.  Pour into jars, leaving 1/2" headspace.  Cool.  Top with lids and freeze for up to 6 weeks. *NOTE:  DH uses English cucumbers.

- There's a link HERE to a really sweet crocheted baby dress.

- And if you happen to like teddy bears, how about a pattern for THIS cutie?

- Scroll down when you go to THIS link to see some really sweet ideas for making mini gardens in teacups.

- Have a look at the gallery of wonderful quilts HERE.

- THIS is a great way to use a lot of buttons!  I wonder if, instead of inserting glass, you could pour resin over them.....hmmm.   And HERE are a number of other ideas to use buttons (be sure to have a good look at the last one!).

Another anonymous quote..."Be thankful for all the troubles that you don't have"

Thursday, May 03, 2018

Ooops - error correction from yesterday (blame mental-pause for this one!) - I told you that the new issue of "Crazy Quilt Quarterly' contained my how to for making a crazy quilted window valance.  That was in the PREVIOUS issue!!  The new issue has my crazy quilted butterfly project.  As I said - oops.  

I told you yesterday that I had a post planned but the weather was dull and pictures wouldn't be great.  Well - it's still dull (warm though!) so I decided to do it anyway.  A friend and I were into a discussion recently about crafting supply storage solutions for small spaces.  Many of you know that we live in an apartment and my sewing space is the second (and small!) bedroom, which also serves as a guest room when needed as well as housing my computer desk.  I have managed, through trial and error, to stuff a large amount of stash into this room so I thought I'd share what I did with the closet.  It's your typical closet - with double sliding doors, one shelf and a rod.  I removed the rod and left the shelf in place.  

I've taken four pictures to show you the four (more or less) sections of my closet....

This is the upper right side.  The red circled area contains plastic (dollar store) shoe boxes filled with all sorts of crafting supplies.....threads, ribbons, assorted embellishments for crazy quilting.  Below that I have stacked a three-drawer plastic unit (on the left) and two more, smaller in depth, three-drawer plastic units on the right.  The green circled drawers hold various types of fabric trims and my hankie/doily collection.  On the right are more sewing supplies, along with some of the papers I use for various things.  There's a plastic 'box' on the right that holds my paper ephemera.

This is the lower right side made up of two five-drawer plastic units.  The red circled area are my fabrics for crazy quilting (along with the pink red drawer in the first picture)...sorted into colour families.  The top two drawers - one holds my containers of embroidery flosses, sorted according to colour families and, on the other side, my knitting needles, crochet hooks & paint brushes.  The Misc. drawer on the bottom holds a lot of 'stuff' that doesn't fit anywhere else.

This is on the upper left side.  The blue circled bag holds my crochet cottons (using one of those zippered plastic bags that sheets often come in)....the red circled bag holds some misc. fabrics;  and the purple circled area is a bag of stuffing for toy making.  Three plastic bins hold my interfacing, denim and felt.  Below that there's another small three-drawer plastic unit that holds my paper punches and metallic threads for sewing.  

And here is the lower left side.  The red circled area is primarily things that fall under the 'office supplies' heading.  The yellow circle highlights another plastic drawer unit that has my folk art/water colour paints (top) and beneath that is a drawer that I call my 'component' drawer.  It holds all sorts of 'stuff' that can (maybe) be used for crafting.  It includes some techniques and things that I've tried and not liked, but have kept in case they can be re-worked at some point.    The green circled area holds two larger plastic 'suitcases' - the bottom one holds assorted cotton fabrics that fall under the 'yardage' category and the top one holds my lace fabrics.  The 'blob' of stuff above that is just some miscellaneous 'stuff' that doesn't fit anywhere else.  Someday I'll pick up another suitcase to hold those.   The purple circled section holds a quilt bat and the yellow/green box you can see holds a selection of greeting cards.  

Well, there you have it.  Storage.....According to Magpie.  This system works for me and I have a LOT of stuff stashed into what basically isn't a very large closet.  Of course I have other crafting supplies in other units elsewhere in my room, but this is the basic 'guts' of my storage.

- There's an interesting article HERE about natural dyeing using things from your supermarket.  And if you have a look HERE there are some comparisons with using leaves.  And if you'd like to try dyeing with Kool-Aid, there's a tutorial HERE.  

I'll leave you with just those mumblings for today because this post is quite long enough.  For the quote, it's another anonymous one..."Just because some people are fueled by drama doesn't mean you have to attend the performance"