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.

Friday, August 26, 2016

M & M's

The first 'M' is for mail - and two special things have arrived in my mailbox.  First of all, 'Boud' send me a wonderful postcard with an image of a painting by Alfred Sisley called 'Snow at Louveciennes, originally painted in 1878.  

Thank you Liz!!

And I received this lovely from Patty...

The card fits inside the pouch.  I forgot to take a picture of the mailing envelope she sent it in too - so cool!  Thank you Patty!

And, of course you know that the other 'M' just has to refer to mumblings!!

- Just because this made me laugh, how about checking this out (definitely a paper doll with a difference!!).  Be sure you have a peek at the costumes too.

- for those of you who like calligraphy and perhaps, like me, don't know how to create those lovely letters, there's a great tutorial to do a faux version HERE.

- Kathy Shaw is doing something quite interesting with hexagons and you can read more about that HERE  and she has several patterns available in her Etsy shop HERE.  

- There's a really cute scrappy pincushion tutorial available HERE

- I don't suppose many of us would be anxious to try embroidering on a winter coat, but just look at the results!   

- for the quilters, HERE's a great idea for making sorting pieces for scrappy quilts.  Looks rather brilliant! 

Today your quote is from an unknown source...."Our lives are like quilts - bits and pieces, joy and sorrow, stitched with love"

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Second childhood - or - dotage? Take your pick!

Sorry about being somewhat absent over the past week.  There hasn't been much in the way of stitching being accomplished around here, plus there's been an issue with my camera talking to my computer with any degree of success.  Finally resorted to re-installing the program and eureka!!  Would have been helpful had I thought of that in the first place.

I've been busy though, although there are some that might suggest that I've taken leave of what's left of my mind.  I'm sure those of you with grown children have dealt with the dilemma of them moving away and leaving their 'stuff' in semi-permanent storage with you.  Our boys were pretty good (especially when faced with the threat of what they don't take before we moved to this apartment would get a one-way trip to the dump...funny how that gave them incentive!!).  Anyway, the point of all this (and I do have one, believe it or not) is that one of the few things we kept was a giant tote filled with their Lego.  Our upcoming road trip to visit our #2 son gives us a perfect opportunity to get rid of some of it.  So....good ol' mom (who is actually a closet Lego-lover) hauled the lot out and with DH's help sorted it out.  Then I started to build the kits - or at least as many as I could.  Of course a lot of the pieces were lost over the years (most likely gobbled up by the vacuum).  


This was only one (the biggest) of the kits
I managed to pretty much put together.

Now that tote, and its contents will be outta here!

While I was doing all that (it *only* took me four days!!), DH was pottering about in the kitchen creating these...

These are our trail mix cookies which will be taken on our trip and serve as breakfast food.  For those of you who might be interested in a healthy cookie, here's the recipe...

(this makes a LOT!!)

4 c. all purpose flour
2 tsp. EACH baking powder & baking soda
1 tsp. salt
4 c. large flake rolled oats
4 c. Trail Mix (see below)
2 c. margarine
1 c. EACH white & brown sugar
(Note: we only use 3/4 c. of each sugar)
4 eggs, beaten
4 T. water
4 tsp. vanilla
Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda & salt.  Cream together margarine & sugars.  Add liquids to dry ingredients.  Drop by heaping tablespoons onto cookie sheet.  Flatten with spatula.  Bake at 375 degrees for 15 mins.

(note: you can buy trail mix if you prefer)

1/2 c. sunflower seeds
1 c. chopped or slivered almonds
1 c. dried cranberries or raisins (or combination)
1/2 c. coconut (small flake)
1 c. chopped peanuts

Because I can't leave you without ANY mumblings (I know - most of you would say that all of the above fits under that umbrella...ahem....), how about checking out the myriad of patterns available at THIS site. 

Your quote for today, and one I plan to adopt, is from C.S. Lewis..."It's never too late to have a second childhood" 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Blessings - some good, some not so

Today has been an 'interesting' day on several different fronts - and none of them involved stitching done by my hands.  The first order of business today was for DH to trundle our car out to the mechanic for a good once-over prior to us leaving on our 'big road trip'.  Alas, the once-over culminated in the necessity to replace ALL four tires!!  Not an expense we were anticipating right now, thank you very much.  However, the thought of attempting to drive through the Canadian Rocky Mountains with tires that were iffy made the replacement of same a no-brainer.  

This morning a friend was here for coffee and came bearing gifts for our soon-to-be-born grandson and this afternoon I had lunch with another friend who has made the most amazing quilt for him.  Alas I don't have a picture of any of the above to share, but they are all beautiful and so very thoughtful of my friends to share in the birth of our wee one.  I am blessed to have such good friends in my life.

Sometimes, in these days of  doom and gloom on the news every day, it's nice to read a heartwarming story and THIS one certainly is just that.  What a wonderful man!

- Kathy Shaw has released a fun hexagon quilt pattern that you can see HERE   

- if you're a tatter, you might like the free pattern HERE for angel's wings.

- Sharon Boggon has a free floral embroidery pattern for downloading HERE.  

- there are lots of ideas HERE for fabric manipulation techniques.

- there are some really cute free patterns available here (be sure to check out the teddy in the altoid tin!)  

- for the awwww factor, how about THIS little fellow!!  

Today your quote is from an anonymous source....

 Twelve things to always remember:

The past cannot be changed
Opinions don't define your reality
Everyone's journey is different
Things always get better with time
Judgements are a confession of character
Overthinking will lead to sadness
Happiness is found within
Positive thoughts creative positive things
Smiles are contagious
Kindness is free
You only fail if you quit
What goes around comes around

Monday, August 15, 2016

A play date

Yesterday we were happy to have a play date with our grandson and his new puppy, along with a lovely visit with our son and daughter-in-love.  

Meet our new grand-dog...

Her name is Riley and she's a 
black lab/boxer/border collie mix.

And, here's the reason they got her...

What's better than a little boy and a dog?

- There's a nice pattern HERE for a crocheted butterfly mobile (but the butterflies could be used for many other things too simply by varying the weight of the yarn/thread used!).  

- THIS is a great way to store your crafting supplies if you're traveling or even if you want to keep the fodder for the current project you happen to be working on.  Thanks to Donna from Brynwood Needleworks for the link for this one.

- There's a really cute knitted sweater pattern HERE.  

- and for more of the awwwww factor, check out the bears HERE and HERE and another one HERE.  There is more bear cuteness in THIS blog.

Today your quote, fittingly, is from Erma Bombeck...."Every puppy should have a boy"

Friday, August 12, 2016


It seems the promised rain has gone all around us and there will be none here, unless there happens to be a major miracle.  The heat and humidity continues.....

Not much being accomplished on the stitching front although I am managing to get a little bit done on the next 'secret' project for the magazine (which also happens to be for a Christmas present).  

So...as there are no pictures forthcoming from Chez Magpie, how about yet more mumblings....

1. Today I have three things from my friend Pam Kellogg that you might find of interest.  First, she has put out a call for submissions for the Spring 2017 issue of 'Crazy Quilt Quarterly' and, rather than me re-writing her words, here's what she said... 

" Attention Crazy Quilters!!! I will be starting work on the Spring 2017 issue of Crazy Quilt Quarterly magazine around October 1st. The theme for this issue will be BIRDS! Please consider submitting photos, tutorials or articles to me for that issue."

You can  contact Pam through her blog HERE.

2.  Pam has also re-released one of her very popular cross stitch patterns for another set of biscornu's.  This time she features birds (robins, cardinals, goldfinches and blue jays) and you can find out more by going HERE.  She has also released a sweet little *free* companion piece and you can find that HERE.

3.  THESE fall under the best definition of 'awwww'.  No pattern, but definitely drool-worthy anyway.

4.  HERE's a cute pincushion pattern - these would make great gifts.

5.  I found another of the 100+ free pattern links - this one is for zippered pouches.  Some great ideas!

Today your quote is from Walter Winchell - "It's a sure sign of summer if the chair gets up when you do"

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

No salsa 'round here!

No rumba, no salsa, not even any sedate waltzing.  Too hot for anything beyond languidly reclining, iced tea to hand, and the consumption of the occasional bon bon to keep the strength up.  

And if you believe that I even know how to dance?  Hah! Nope, never learned.  Even the bon bons are few and far between.

So....(and you know what I'm going to say already, don't you!!)...how about some more mumblings?

- I was putzing about on my blog last night and going through some old posts and reminded myself that I really have wanted to make one of THESE - obviously ever since 2010 when I initially posted about it!!  Perhaps you might like to make one too.

- Many of you know that I used to make a lot of creations using recycled denim and I still have a fascination for it.  Imagine how excited I was when I found THIS site.  The denim creations there are beyond incredible!!!  Be sure to spend some time exploring his site to see the treasures he has created.  

- Fall is coming, so perhaps you'd like to make one (or more) of these fun mug rugs.

- THIS wee crochet pattern is one that fits all the criteria for 'awwwww'

- if you have some fat quarters in your stash, perhaps you might find something HERE that might be of interest.

- and, because it's hot here and I want to think cooler thoughts (despite not being a fan of winter!), perhaps you might find some ideas for Christmas creations HERE.  

- HERE's a cute robot quilt tutorial for young people (or the young-at-heart!)

Today your quote is from Carl Bard...."Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending"

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

No picture from moi - BUT.....

I'm sorry to say that I have nothing to show you today, at least that has been made by my nimble, but arthritic, little fingers.  However, I'm pretty sure I will be forgiven if you go and feast your eyes on something spectacular HERE.  Be sure you click on the pictures to embiggen so you can see the details!

In my continual quest to organize my life (hah - and if you believe THAT you're sillier than I thought!), I came across a fantastic idea to sort out my bin of interface scraps.  I need to do this!!

If you have a Star Wars fan in your family, perhaps you might find something HERE that you could make for them.

For the awww factor, and a cute little sewing project that would make a really sweet pincushion, how about THIS.  

And, because I can't leave you without at least one picture.....

Boy, I wish my dentist had one of these!!

Because of the picture, how about a quote about dogs? This one is from Caroline Knapp.   "The dog's agenda is simple, fathomable, overt:  I want.  "I want to go out, come in, eat something lie here, play with that, kiss you."  There are no ulterior motives with a dog, no mind games, no second-guessing, no complicated negotiations or bargains, and no guilt trips or grudges if a request is denied"