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.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Have I mentioned how much......

I dislike winter???






This is what greeted my eyes when I opened the curtains
this morning.  

And it's still snowing.....

Monday, November 25, 2013

and more...


This is another small section of a piece of my new wrapping cloth.  Cross stitching on waste canvas is one of my favourite techniques.  Hopefully you can tell from the photo that I have used three different shades of purple to stitch the letters.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Further...

Please excuse the colour in this photo - it's a dull day here today which doesn't help AND I compounded the issue by purchasing new light bulbs - and got the wrong ones.  Trust me...it IS mostly white!


As I mentioned before, the inspiration for this part of my wrapping cloth originated with the work of Ernst Haeckel.  


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Doo, doo, doodle.....oooh.....

Today, for a complete about face, I thought I'd share with you what I've been making (knitting, actually) lately.  These are simply called doo-dads.






They are actually a type of pincushion, and don't
really look all that exciting when you first see one.
However...
I am totally in absolute like with mine and
I use it every single day.
It sits beside my chair in the living room and is a depository for my small pair of scissors, a crochet hook (for when I, inevitably, drop stitches with my knitting, a large eyed needle for weaving in ends, and various and assorted other little 'necessaries' that tend to migrate south into the chair cushions if I don't anchor them down somewhere. I know it's perhaps hard to see from the photo, but the areas between where the yarn colour changes are actually open so leave room to store larger things (like an additional pair of scissors).  I've made a few for friends and they too are seemingly delighted with their uses.  Simple, quick to make and an invaluable tool.

The free pattern can be found HERE.    The only change I have made with mine is to hie myself out to the hardware store and invest in some large metal washers (in the case of these approx. 2 1/2" across).  I loosely stitch one to the bottom of each doo-dad and then cover them with a layer of felt.  The washers, although not necessary, add weight which helps to keep them from toppling over easily. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

And now, for a change of pace....

I have signed on to take Karen Ruane's latest on-line class 'Simply Stitch 3' and already am sadly behind (because I really needed to finish that crazy quilted purse).  Now it's full throttle ahead on the class!

My first section is a nod to the work of Ernst Haeckel.  I admire his drawings so much and I just know many of them could be perfect inspiration for stitch work.  The first photo I'm showing today is some ledger work I did trying (and the key word there is 'trying'!!) to draw out some designs using his work as inspiration.


As you can see, my drawing abilities are definitely lacking, but what I was aiming for is the basic design.








Next is a picture of the beginnings of  a piece of stitching. 

The tri-shape on the left is a copy of
Ernst's work from his book and
is what I'm hoping to reproduce (somewhat)
in my stitching. 

If you are interested in seeing more of his incredible
work, just google his name and be
ready to be inspired!


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Done, done, and......done!



Pattern is THE GADABOUT
by Studio Kat Designs
and can be found HERE.



Monday, November 18, 2013

New issue...

The latest issue of
'Crazy Quilt Gatherings'
magazine is available!



Go HERE for more information and to
get your copy!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Today, for your cooking pleasure....

Because of  the ongoing attempt to get our wayward recipe collection into some semblance of order, I thought I'd share a few with you.  The first one is what we had for supper tonight and I must say it's a keeper!

VEGETABLE SOUP
1 head cabbage, cut into 1" wedges
2 carrots, peeled & sliced
3 small turnips (or one larger), cubed
2 ribs celery, sliced
8 c. beef stock 6 oz. can tomato paste
1 tsp. salt
3 T. veg. oil
2 large onions, cut into 1/4" slices
1 - 2 garlic cloves, fine chopped
1 large potato, cubed
Combine 6 c. of stock, cabbage, celery, carrots & turnips.  Bring to simmer and add tomato paste, salt, & some pepper to taste.  Simmer uncovered 1 1/2 hours.  In the meantime saute onions until soft, about 3-4 minutes.  Add garlic and saute for a further minute.  Set aside.  Add onion mixture & potatoes to the simmered veggies.  Add remaining stock.  Add enough water to cover.  Simmer for another 30 mins.  Serve topped with sour cream and a sprinkle of chopped dill.


SLOW COOKER CRANBERRY CHICKEN
 4 - 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 can whole berry cranberry sauce
8 oz. of either Catalina or Russian dressing
1 pkg. dry onion soup mix
Arrange chicken in crockpot.  Combine remaining ingredients and pour over chicken.  Cook on low for 4-6 hours until chicken is well done.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Final piece, and yes, Karen, there IS white!

Here is the final piece for the purse...





And, here's the first piece of my next
white cloth...just for Karen...


The pink striped 'bit' is from a new tea towel 
that, I think, belonged to my grandmother.
The embroidered flowers mid-bottom
were done by my maternal grandmother.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

One more...

....section on the purse....

This time I did a little butterfly, using the waste
canvas technique.  The the seam treatment to the
right of it is just double fly stitches.












AND....for a change of pace (and because I didn't get much time to stitch today)....here's a recipe that you
might like to try on a cold winter night....

CROCKPOT POTATOES

4 lb. red potatoes (but any potato would do)
1 c. chopped onion
1 1/4 c. chicken stock
1 can cream of chicken soup
2/3 c. cream cheese, cubed & softened
1/2 c. bacon, cooked & crumbled (or use bacon bits)
3 tsp. chives, chopped (optional)
3 tsp. grated parmesan

Combine potatoes, onions, stock & soup in
crockpot.  Cover & cook on low approx. 4 hours.
Add cream cheese & blend.  Top with bacon,
parmesan & chives before serving.

I might be putting a few more recipes on my blog over the next while because I have undertaken to type up all our loose recipes onto 4xz6" cards and put them into a photo album for the use of the resident cook.  Not at all sure but I might regret having volunteered for the job!!


Monday, November 11, 2013

Beavering away.....

Yes, I'm still working on the crazy quilt purse, but I'm getting almost to the end of the embellishments...

 The embroidered pattern to the left here is a design from 'Embroidered Memories' by Brian Haggard.  The pink 'flower' on the right came out of my imagination...simply split stitch for the stems, lazy daisy leaves, spider's web for the flower, with some additional French knots. 

Below is (out of focus a bit...sorry!) a couple of pre-made flowers and leaves, with the addition of a button and some beads & French knots.  To the right of that is a seam treatment....just cross stitches...simple!

The seam treatment to the right was done using the
wonderful stencils created by Sharon Boggon...chain stitch, lazy daisy stitches, and my favourite French knots.



It has occurred to me that some of you
might not know what a real Magpie looks like...


Saturday, November 09, 2013

Third section done...and covet-ite-is!

I know I don't normally post on the weekends,
but thought you might like to see the
third section for the purse done...



AND...

I know that it's not right to covet things,
but I do covet one of these....


I love all things wood and this
tool holder makes me happy just
to look at it.
It's made by JRCRAFTER
and I found the link
through Mary Corbett. 
Go HERE to find out more
(and to see more drool-worthy
pictures!)


Thursday, November 07, 2013

Crazy Quilt (section) and TUSAL

Today I finished working on this
section of the crazy quilt purse.
It can be embiggened if you
click on the picture.

I'm late with my TUSAL post,
but it's better late than never...


Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Oh wow!!!!!!!!!!!!

I wasn't going to do a post today because I haven't done anything that's post-worthy.

BUT THEN.......

I saw THIS on Cyra's blog.

Words fail me,
beyond saying that
I'm in awe!!!!!!!!


Monday, November 04, 2013

CQ progress, giftie, and freebie

Last week we had our monthly CQTeers meeting and, because it was Sue's birthday, I made her a little giftie.  Sue is a collector (and creator with) of paper, so this little 'piggy' bank seemed fitting somehow...


The image I used was one I found in a
bunch of old photographs - unfortunately
there was no name or date noted on it,
so I have no clue who it was. 
I have included the image below...
please feel free to use it for
your creations!



And, I did manage to get some more
stitching done on the crazy quilt purse
I'm working on....


This is just a simple little embroidery/button section.

Here I have added the pink
seam on the upper left...buttonhole
stitch and straight stitch. 
Also the section in the middle which
combines beads with some simple
stitches.  On the lower right
is another simple treatment but
I've used 'sparkly' thread in the
cross-hatch.