MAGPIE'S MUMBLINGS

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.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Little crazy quilts

Some of you will remember my moan awhile ago about how I managed to spill my glass of water onto some crazy-quilted postcards I was working on and how the ink ran on the images.  The surviving ones were completed and mailed out and I think they have all been received now, so I can show you. 



I'll share the rest with you over the next few posts.

- I stumbled across THIS recipe and it's going in my 'idea' file for next Christmas (if I can wait that long!!!).  And if you want even more great-sounding (and looking!) Christmas recipes have a look at some of THESE!  

- For those of us who might like a check list to help us declutter after the holidays, how about THESE monthly charts?  Or how about THIS list??

- THIS tutorial calls for using wool sweaters, but I don't see why acrylic ones wouldn't work just as well.  HERE is another use for old sweaters  and another version HERE   and HERE.  I have a pair and they are the toastiest mittens I've ever owned.  

- Kathy Shaw has posted her list of upcoming *Free* 2018 online classes for crazy quilting (and will be updating that list to include 'sane' quilting classes as well.  Go HERE for further info.

- HERE is a cute tutorial for making a matching dress for a little girl and her doll.

Today your quote is from Norman Wesley Brooks..."Christmas is forever, not just for one day.  It's for loving, for sharing, for giving....not to be put away likes bells and lights and tinsel.  The good you do for others is the good you do for yourself."






Monday, December 11, 2017

Stir, stir, bake....awwwww......


Over the weekend DH made these...
Recipe is found HERE

AND...
this appeared in my sewing room...


Do you suppose this means that after 
38 years he still loves me?

- For your listening pleasure, have a look at THIS (have your sound on!)

- THESE ornaments are SO cute!!  Not necessary to put them on the tree either - they'd be perfect all year 'round.  HERE's another cute ornament idea.

- THIS is a beautiful crocheted snowflake and there are links to a lot more HERE.

- Or how about some really cute little snowmen found HERE.  Or maybe a really sweet little Chris Mouse (found HERE).

- I'm a huge fan of the Grinch (the original cartoon version) so of course I like THIS!

- I have often wondered why someone didn't come up with a small circular knitting needle to make socks and it seems that someone has!!  Have a look at THIS (and now I want a set so I can try it....SO much easier than fumbling with DPN's!!). 

- HERE are some free Christmas-themed cross stitch charts.

- THESE are some very sweet pincushions - a great gift for any time of the year!

- If you are searching for an easy, but really pretty, idea for packaging your gifts, how about THIS?

Your quote today is another one from an anonymous source..."When a child gives you a gift, even if it is a rock they just picked up, exude gratitude.  It might be the only thing they have to give, and they have chosen to give it to you"







Thursday, December 07, 2017

More for 'the box'...



I've been toying with the thought of making soap for several years and this became the year.  The picture isn't very clear (sorry!) but I was trying to show how I packaged them.  Melt & Pour soap (purchased from HERE), some done in a feminine scent and some in a masculine....wrapped in light-weight brown paper....added a colored band made from scrapbook paper....a label (from Avery, printed on my computer) and the whole thing encased in little cellophane bags.  They smell so nice!!  


- The amazing Stephanie of 'The Enchanting Rose' has a lovely little series happening on her blog involving making yo-yo's and some wonderful things you can do with them.  The first post is making a really pretty garland and you can find that HERE.  She is doing 6 different projects and if you continue to check back you will see what else she creates.

- HERE is a really pretty way to combine fabric and crochet to make a quilt.  The pattern isn't available, but she does give links to find how to make it yourself.  There's another version (with tutorial) HERE.  I love the Victorian look as shown, but also wonder what it would be like done with denim?

- THIS is a great way to keep your yarns from tangling.  There are more great ideas HERE.

- One (or several) of these would make a really nice gift.

- THIS is one of those really cute things that would be fun to make - and not a calorie to it either!

- THESE would make great little stocking stuffers.

Today I have another quote from an anonymous source...."A friend is someone we turn to when our spirits need a lift.  A friend is someone we treasure, for friendship is a gift.  A friend is someone who fills our lives with beauty, joy and grace.  A friend makes the world we live in a better and happier place."





Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Another thing for the Christmas box




This is a sweater for our oldest grandson.  Pattern is 'Flax' by Tin Can Knits and can be found in sizes from 0-6 mos. up to 4XL HERE.  I used Vanna's Choice yarn and it worked up beautifully.  An easy pattern with just enough interest to make it not at all boring to knit.  I will be making this one again.

- THIS is another one of those patterns that's just too cute not to share.  And THIS is another one of those things (the pattern is there - you'll have to use the 'translate' feature)

- HERE's a really nice cross-stitched Christmas card pattern (or would make a nice ornament too).

- HERE's a nice hat pattern that might be a good gift.  THIS one too.  And THIS one.  And ANOTHER one.  Or how about THIS one.

- For those of you who are Harry Potter fans (or if you know someone who is) perhaps THIS might make a great gift.

- HERE is a lovely crocheted basket that would be a perfect gift.

- THESE would be so cute on a Christmas tree - or - as a little garland - or.....??  Or, if you want something just a tad more complicated, how about some of THESE?

- I found THIS which 'says' it's a potholder but to my mind it would make a beautiful piece of Christmas decor - or perhaps tucked into the Christmas tree.

- There are some interesting Christmas decor ideas HERE.  (Scroll down)

- and just to make you feel good, how about spending a few minutes watching THIS? I love the horses!!!  It seems the company has decided not to use the wonderful horses in their recent commercials and I think it's their loss.  

Instead of a quote today, I found this....


Friday, December 01, 2017

Bubble, bubble....


Here at Chez Magpie, you never quite know what will be happening on the creative front.  Yesterday it was time to start making some of the gifts that will be coming from the kitchen and this was one of them...


Red Onion Pickles!

The recipe can be found HERE.  

Whilst in the mode (and mess!) of canning, there was also a batch of Cranberry Relish and some Praline Sauce created.

- THIS is a nice Christmas printable - with many different ideas for application.  I think it would be nice printed onto card stock, glued onto a piece of very thin wood, and then painted to give it the hand-made look.

- For those of you who don't have a chimney suitable for Santa's entrance, perhaps creating one of THESE might be just what you need!  So cute.

- If you plan to give a monetary gift at Christmas and happen to be looking for a fun method of presentation, how about THIS one?

- THIS is one of those things that makes you say 'awwwww' right out loud. And while you're busy 'aww-ing' over that one, how about having a peek at THIS board on Pinterest for some more.  Scroll down and be prepared for cuteness overload!!

- HERE is a needle felted ornament you might like to try making.

- HERE's another quickly-made gift that might suit someone on your list.

Another quote today that comes from an anonymous source:  "Some things are just wonderful, like friendship and chocolate cake"




Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Another thing for 'the box'

It's really hard to get a decent photo of this, but it's another gift that's going in the Christmas box. ..


It's a crocheted shawl - in the very lovely (and sparkly!) yarn called 'Shawl In A Ball' from Lion Brand.  Pretty easy to make  - it's just rows of double crochet, chain one.  Took about 2 balls of the yarn because I wanted to make it a little wider than perhaps the norm.  

- There are lots of free quilt patterns available HERE!!

- For those that have a four-legged family member of the feline sort, perhaps they would like one of THESE for Christmas (you'll have to scroll down to find the pattern).   Or maybe your kitty might like THIS!

- THIS is a very pretty fabric Christmas tree.  And HERE is a crocheted version.

- You might like to keep your eye on THIS site where they are starting a '30(ish) Days of Christmas Knitting' series.  I like the first pattern so will definitely watch to see what else comes up.

- THIS is a cute little fellow to knit for Christmas - he'd look really cute on a tree.

- For those of us who enjoy knitting socks but have a phobia about the dreaded Kitchener Stitch - have a look at the tutorial HERE for an alternate method.  

- If you have young ones on your Christmas list, perhaps they'd love a new fleece bathrobe to wear on Christmas morning?  You can find a free pattern HERE.  

- For Lego lovers in the world, how about creating a REALLY fun advent calendar/activity for your child?  (or an adult, like me, that would like to play too!).  Go HERE to read all about it and see some fantastic ideas of what to include!  

Today your quote is from Winston Churchill..."We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give"

Monday, November 27, 2017

A recipe...from the postcard winner!

Judy won my postcard giveaway and was kind enough to share her favourite Christmas recipe with all of us.  She says it was her Mom's recipe and 'is the best'.  Enjoy!

***********
Mom’s Boiled Dark Fruitcake                         3 hours                 oven 275

Step 1

Put the following ingredients into a saucepan & simmer about 15 minutes:
1 cup brown sugar                                           1 tsp. Allspice
1 lb. Raisins                                                         1 tsp. Cloves
1 lb. Currants                                                     1 tsp. Cinnamon
½ lb. Dates (chop up)                                     3 cups boiling water
½ cup molasses
After above has simmered, add ¾ cup butter/margarine (I use margarine) & a jigger of dark rum or whiskey to the mixture. Dark rum is best!
Cool completely. (I usually do this one day & the rest the next day)

Step 2

Add 3 eggs after mixture is cold. Put in a large bowl to complete the following steps:

Step 3

Add the following to the cold mixture:
2 tbl. Marmalade
2 tbl. Jam or applesauce (I use jam)
¼ lb. Walnuts (if omitting nuts, add extra mixed fruit)
1 pk. Cherries – 8 oz
1 pk. Mixed fruit – 8 oz

Step 4

Combine the following dry ingredients:
3 ½ cups flour
1 tbl. Cocoa
1 tbl. Instant coffee
1 tsp. Baking powder
1 tsp. Baking soda

Step 5

Mix everything together & bake.

I use a tube pan, lined with wax paper. It’s important to bake at 275 & no higher. Test for baked cake by inserting a wooden skewer into cake – if a bit sticky add another 5 minutes to the time. Put a small pan/bowl of water in the oven when baking cake – adds moisture. Let rest in pan no longer than 5 minutes, turn out on cooler. Cool completely. Cakes freezes well. Wrap in plastic wrap, then in foil wrap.


*****************

Thank you Judy!
EDITED TO ADD: You can see a picture of Judy's 
wonderful cake HERE.  

****************
And just to prove that things are not
slacking off here at Chez Magpie...


Butter tarts - lots of them!
Ready to go in tins for Christmas giving.


Today your quote is from another anonymous source..."Some things are just wonderful, like friendship and chocolate cake"