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, October 29, 2013

Autumn beauty!

Because I got nuttin'
on the stitchin' front...

I'm sending you off
to Pat's blog
so you can follow the link there
to see the most spectacular 
fall pictures.

Go HERE
and be prepared to be 
awed by what God can do!
(be sure you click the link on Pat's blog
and then, once you get there, be sure to
scroll down to see them all!)


Monday, October 28, 2013

Pumpkin soup?

Remember those pumpkins I showed you the other day?  Well, this is what the resident cook (DH) did with some of them.  First he put them in the oven, whole, and roasted them for awhile.  It's SO much easier to remove the skins after they've been baked!


After he finished peeling and seeding them, he used some to make this...


And, for those who might be interested, here's the recipe he used...

PUMPKIN FENNEL SOUP

3 lb. pumpkin, peeled, seeded & cubed
2. c. fennel, sliced
1 T. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. each of coriander, cumin & paprika
1/4 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 1/2 c. vegetable stock
1-2 c. apple juice or cider
s&p to taste

Saute onion in oil until soft.  Add garlic and saute for another minute or two.  Add spices and continue to saute for another minute.  Add pumpkin, fennel, vegetable stock, and 1 c. of the apple juice.  Add the bay leaf.  Bring to boil, cover and simmer 25 minutes or til pumpkin is tender.  Remove bay leaf.  Puree pumpkin mixture and return to saucepan.  Add s&p to taste.  If soup is too thick, thin with more apple juice.

Very little done on the stitching front....


Thursday, October 24, 2013

On committees, kettles and carcasses (plus some stuff)

Just before supper last night I happened to look
out my studio window to see this...


I dashed out with my camera to try to get some
pictures.  These are turkey vultures and this
was only a very small portion of the numbers
that were flying lazily over and around the
river.  

Did you know....that a group of vultures is called either a committee, a venu or a volt?  In flight they are called a kettle, and when feeding together they are a carcass?  I didn't either....until I looked it up.  It was a very impressive sight anyway!
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + +

There is a wonderful post about studio organization
on Sew Many Ways today.  Her studio is a
lesson in how to get the most out of a space 
and there are absolutely dozens of great ideas
you can adapt to your own area.
Go HERE 

+ + + + + + + + + + + + +

Finally, here is the section of the crazy quilt purse
that I finished working on today...


And here is a closeup....


Today I did the seams surrounding the leopard.
The seam to the left of the cat and the pink one to the
right are both designs from Pam Kellogg's books.
The blue seam at the top(ish) is just alternating 
blanket stitches and the seam below is two rows of 
cretan stitch highlighted with some beads.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Fantastic mail, further seaming and signs of the season


Today was a really special mail day
when I received all this unexpected loveliness from
Jan!!!!!


These, I believe are sari fabrics and each one is SO
pretty.  I don't think the picture shows the
wonderful sparkle and sheen these pieces have.
Thank you SO much Jan!!
You know these will be put to good use,
AFTER I've finished fondling them!!

There even was a little bit of stitching done today...

 

I added the little rusty coloured leaves in the mid-top,
the seam below that (with the tiny pink flowers)
and the brighter pink 'bit' alongside the leopard.
The leaves and seam treatment are all
designs by my friend Pam Kellogg.

And, last but not least,
our tummies are going to really enjoy
these pumpkins that our niece brought us
this morning...


I foresee some pies and some pumpkin soup!


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A teeny little bit of stitching

Not much on the stitching front done around here the past few days, but I did finish these two little bits..



Above is one of the seam treatments from Pam Kellogg's book, along with a heart which was originally on a necklace found at the thrift store.

On the right is what seems to be a wooden button, but is made from a coconut shell.  The leopard is/was another piece of thrifted jewelry.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Outside my window and an amazing tour

This was the view outside my window
earlier this evening...


The light was amazing.  We face east, so we don't get
really good sunset pictures as a rule.



+++++++

AND - I want to send you over to visit Allie Aller's blog today to see her post about how they make those wonderful DMC threads we all like to play with.  Go HERE.


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Taking time for exercise....and stitching....


Now THAT is the kind of exercise I can
get behind!!

Here's today's small effort at stitching...


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Weekend and stitches

On the weekend (Thanksgiving here in Canada) we went on a trip up north to visit one of the cranberry marshes.  I have never seen how they actually grow, so it was definitely interesting.  We also purchased these....


Those are LARGE bags AND they're very large cranberries too!  
Yum!!

Here's a photo of the cranberry marsh
(unfortunately the berries had already been harvested)..


The plants you see in the foreground are the cranberry bushes.

The leaves were quite spectacular and around every
corner there were yet more beautiful colours.





I got a little bit of stitching done today...


The flat beads in the section above were 
another gleaning from a thrift store
piece of jewelry. 
 

The funny-looking fabric at the top of the photo below
is very much like velvet, but I think it's a
synthetic.

 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Beginnings and a seam, and another giggle

One of the things I showed the ladies at the embroidery workshop was a knot-less way to begin your thread and I thought perhaps some of you might find it interesting as well.  Go HERE for the simple instructions.

Today I didn't have too much time to do any stitching but I did manage this...




Just realized that it looks a little lo-sided in the picture, but it isn't in real life!   The stitch is a laced double pekinese and the instructions for it can be found on Sharon Boggon's site HERE.  Look for it in her stitch dictionary.

And, lastly, here's another giggle I found for you. 

This is what happens when somebody cuts down all the trees!


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Thank you, giggle and seam

First, I really want to thank you all for your support and wishing me well with teaching the workshop.  I'm sure it was all your good thoughts that got me through it!  So thanks for thinking of me.

I stumbled across this little 'funny' the other day and it pretty much sums up my life....


I think we could all aspire to that, couldn't we?

Today I didn't get much accomplished on my stitching....just one lonely seam.  This one is also done using waste canvas and I can't give credit to anyone for the design because it simply evolved as I went along.  


Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Survived - despite the odds....and TUSAL

Well, to my great surprise, I seem to have survived the great embroidery teaching venture.  And, it seems, so did the ladies who thought they might learn something from me.  Wonder of wonders!!

To be truthful, once I get over my nerves and actually get into it it's not so bad.  Just wish my jitters beforehand would go away so that it would ALL be a fun experience.  Hopefully I taught them a few little secrets and that they went home feeling as though they got at least some of their money's worth.

I'm late....I'm late.....(but what else is new?).....but here's my TUSAL  pile for last month (shown alongside a skein of embroidery floss for perspective)....


Guess this proves I actually did some stitching!

For those of you who don't have a clue what I'm babbling about....TUSAL is the 'Totally Useless Stitch A Long' guided along by Daffycat.  Once a month the particpants post a picture of their ORT's (old recycled threads)...or, in this case, the leftover bits from our stitching efforts.  Yep, it really IS a totally useless venture, but it's a lot of fun.  This little pile of threads has now been added to my jar and in December I will show you the end results. 

Monday, October 07, 2013

Weekend stitching....and terror

Yep, I bet THAT title got you thinking didn't it?!!

Here's the stitching part....


Above is a little motif created using beads pirated from a thrift store necklace
and leaves from the scrapbooking department at the dollar store.

Below is a seam treatment where I used the
lovely stencils from Sharon Boggon to create the curved lines.



Above is another seam treatment based on Sharon's
stencils.
Below is a catherine wheel.


Below is another seam treatment using Sharon's stencils
for the basic form.


As for the 'terror' part of this post....

Tomorrow I teach (or at least try to)
embroidery to a group of about a dozen ladies from
the local quilt guild.

That, in itself, shouldn't be a 'walk the plank' 
moment, so why do I feel as if I'm poised 
on the edge??

AND EVERYBODY KNOWS I CAN'T SWIM!!!!!!!

 


Thursday, October 03, 2013

dismal amount of progress

Today was another of those days that I spent more time out than in, so therefore not much stitching was accomplished.  Actually I did more than I have to show you here, but tore it out because it looked awful.  So, two steps forward and one back....at least I'm going in the right direction!


This was created using a pretty button and parts of
a thrifted necklace. 

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Some stitching

I didn't have much time to stitch again today, but I did manage do these two little motifs on the latest purse...


The cross stitch (done on waste canvas) below is another one of the lovely motifs in Pam Kellogg's 'Elegant Cross Stitch Sentiments For Crazy Quilting' book.  Using waste canvas is one of my favourite techniques.  I changed Pam's design slightly to suit the design I'm working with.


Tuesday, October 01, 2013

more progress

I'm afraid I didn't have much time to stitch today, so only got this little motif done...






This pretty little rose came from Pam Kellogg's 'Elegant Cross Stitch Sentiments For Crazy Quilting' book, available through her blog site HERE