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.

Friday, December 15, 2017

And....another one....



This is another of the postcards.

Remember the other day when I showed you a picture of our 'Kibbles 'N Bits' (aka Nuts and Bolts)?  I've had a couple of people wonder why/how here at Chez Magpie they have earned that name.  It came from a tv ad for dog food by the same name.  We absolutely loved the ad and for some reason the name seemed to work for the recipe.  I found the ad and if you'd like to see it, have a look....https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Ml16YWlMNQ   If you watch it closely you can see the dog food.  See the resemblance??? 

- THIS is an amazing tea cozy pattern (you'll need to use the 'translate' feature).

- THIS is one of those things that you probably wouldn't be able to make in time for Christmas, but it's something that makes you say 'awwwww' right out loud.

- There are fun possibilities in THIS gift idea - and the recipes are there too!  You could add one of THESE to this gift.

- If you're searching for a really nice table centerpiece for the Christmas season, there's an easy how-to HERE.  

- For those of us with an over-abundance of buttons in our stash, perhaps making a few of THESE would be just the thing.

- Or maybe THIS would be a cute little gift for a knitter.

- Although you would have to buy a couple of the supplies for THIS - it's something your kids would get an amazing amount of fun from, particularly when they're at loose ends over the Christmas holiday.  

- Personally, lavender makes me sneeze so I can't be around it (despite loving the scent), but perhaps you might find some of the gift ideas HERE of interest.

Instead of a quote today, I thought I'd share this...



Thursday, December 14, 2017

And....another one.......

This is another of the postcards that are now in the hands of the recipients...



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In yesterday's comments, Sarah asked how I do my images for my crazy quilts, so I thought I'd answer here so everyone can know.  The images I use come from the internet - just search 'Christmas images - free' (or whatever criteria you like).  Then I save them to my word processing program on the computer and re-size them to suit whatever I'm creating.  You can usually get several images on one page.  

I then choose either a white or off-white fabric with a fine weave (good quality cotton is my preference).  Press it really well to be sure there are absolutely no wrinkles.  Cut a piece of freezer paper (the stuff that butcher's use to wrap meat - waxed on one side) to approx. 10 x 13" and press it onto the fabric.  Re-cut to measure 8 1/2" x 11" and then carefully re-press the edges to be sure they are adhered thoroughly.  Make sure there are no loose threads anywhere.  (Note: you CAN cut your freezer paper to 8 1/2x11" to begin with but in my experience the edges never seem to adhere properly and often catch in the printer).  

At this point I run a 'test' piece of paper through my printer so that I know which way up to place my fabric.  If you're satisfied, load your fabric/freezer paper sandwich and print.  Press really well once again to 'set' the colours as much as possible.  Remove freezer paper and use in your projects.  NOTE:  This process is NOT water proof, so don't use it in anything that you plan to wash.


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- If you crochet and you have a pianist in your life, perhaps they'd appreciate THIS

- THIS is a quick-to-make gift for a tea lover you know.

- Three different versions of chocolate bark HERE

- THIS might take a wee bit of time (and some tools - or a handy hubby!) to make, but I love the look and it would be useful too, particularly if it were gifted with a cookbook.

- THIS is one of those things I'm sure we've all done at some point, but perhaps a wee reminder might be in order.  It's a perfect gift for a teacher, a shut-in, a neighbour...or....??  AND, how about THIS packaging idea for cookies??

- I love this packaging idea for a pair of slippers.  And how about THIS way to give the gift of cash....so much more fun that simply putting it in an envelope!

- I like THIS idea to gift a knitter or crocheter with a ball of yarn and some small knitting tools.  Or a fisherman with some lures (use twine instead of yarn)....or......??

Today your quote is from Francis of Assisi...."For it is in giving that we receive"





Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Another postcard

Here is another of the postcards that winged its way around the world to an unsuspecting recipient...



And, here is another of the things that was created in our kitchen for Christmas giving...


There were three aluminum turkey roasting pans filled with what we call 'Kibbles 'N Bits' (probably better known as Nuts & Bolts).  Our recipe calls for more 'bits' than the traditional one...hence the massive amount it makes!  

This morning when we woke up we were greeted with this...


There was one on either side of the sun (they're called 'sun dogs' - not sure why).  What an amazing framework for the sun! Of course they were much more brilliant in real life. Don't know if you can see the snow piled on the tree branches....we were rather dumped on over the past 24 hours.

- I don't often mumble about something where you need to buy the pattern, but THESE are so cute (and not expensive) so thought I'd share.  

- If there's a Lego fan in your midst and you're searching for something to keep them busy as they anticipate the arrival of Santa, perhaps they might like to create THESE.  

- And HERE's another thing that can entertain both youngsters and adults alike.  

- THESE are rather cute - would look nice hanging on a tree - or used as a topping on parcels.  And if your kids like those Kinder Surprise Eggs, perhaps making some of THESE would be a fun surprise for them (you'll have to use the 'translate' feature).

Today your quote is from Henry David Thoreau...."The way you spend Christmas is far more important than how much"





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!

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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"






Saturday, November 25, 2017

And......drumroll......the winner is......

..............
 After putting all the names in the
tin can (that doubles as a 'hat'), 
shaking them up well, 
and asking DH to draw a name....

JUDY COOPER!!

Judy wins this crazy quilted postcard
created by moi....



Judy's favourite recipe is her mother's dark fruit cake, so hopefully she is willing to share the recipe with the rest of us.  And, please contact me with your snail mail addy Judy and I will pop your card in the mail the first of the week (email me at....marmic1954 AT hotmail DOT com).  

Thank you to all who were kind enough to want to play along with my little giveaway!

The quote of the day is one I found about winning, author unknown...."If you have the will to win, you have achieved half your success;  if you don't, you have achieved half your failure"




Thursday, November 23, 2017

Accolades and mumblings

Just a reminder - don't forget to enter my giveaway (see my previous post for further information and to enter)!!!  So far not too many people have entered so the chances are good that you might win.
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I don't often do any sort of company review here, but after having received some exemplary assistance from one such company I thought it would be nice to share so those of us who live in Canada are aware that there are good ones out there.  I recently placed an order for some yarn from 'Yarn Canada' and was impressed with their prompt service.  I started knitting the sweater I had planned and quickly realized that it was going to be too small and I would need to frog it and make a larger size.  Of course that meant that I would run out of yarn before I ran out of pattern.  I emailed the company and asked if there was ANY chance they could check their supply to see if they would happen to have any left of the same dye lot.  I didn't hold out a lot of hope, but a lovely person named 'Gina' promptly emailed me and said she would see what they could do.  A further email from her (within 24 hrs) let me know that indeed they did have that dye lot and told me what to do in order to be sure it was the one they shipped.  These days good customer service isn't always forthcoming and so I thought it was fitting to give them a shout out here and let folks know that they're a great company! 
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- HERE's another really cute project tutorial that might make nice gifts.

- I'm not a tatter, but THIS might be something of interest to those of you who do.

- Kathy Shaw has announced a Quiltathon for her 'Celtic Candy Stripe' pattern  and you can find more info HERE.

- Pam Kellogg now has greeting cards and journals featuring her crazy quilts available and you can find out more by going HERE.

- Many of us have old books on our shelves that we really don't know what to do with.  Well, have a look at what Suzy has created HERE!!!  While you're there, take a little time and explore her blog (and prepare to be blown away!!).

- For those of you who have Barbies in your family, perhaps there might be some patterns HERE that you might like to create.

- For the sewers out there, how about creating THIS for a loved one?

- HERE is a really nice (and different) Christmas table runner pattern.  I really like this one and might just make one if I can find the fabrics to do so.

- Hee hee - I dare you to make one of THESE and post pictures afterwards!
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I'd like to wish a very happy Thanksgiving to my friends in the US - they are celebrating today whereas here in Canada ours was in October.  
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And finally, your quote of the day comes from Zig Ziglar...."The greatest source of happiness is the ability to be grateful at all times"




Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Reminders, giving and mumblings

First of all, I would like to remind everyone that the 'Swap Your Mini's - Artist Trading Cards CQ Style' swap is still open!  The staff of 'Crazy Quilt Quarterly' is hoping for lots of people to take part so it will be fun for all.  It's a one-for-one swap of Artist Trading Cards (measuring 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches) created in the crazy quilt style.  Deadline is Jan. 31.  More information can be found HERE in Pam Kellogg's post or HERE in my original post.  You may contact either Pam or myself for further info.  Please join in the fun!
********
Now we will have our usual dose of mumblings before I do the giving part of this post....

- THESE would make amazing gifts (and stash bust too!).

- Another of those things that are just too cute not to share HERE.

- One of THESE would be SO pretty all lit up for a festive decoration (or any time of the year).

- HERE's a really cute crocheted hat pattern for kids.

- There's a pretty Christmas placemat tutorial HERE.

- There's another printable 2018 calendar HERE (so pretty!).

- THIS gives a whole different twist on yarn bombing (and made me laugh too).
*********
And now, for the giving....it's been awhile since I've done any sort of giveaway so I thought, in this season of giving it might be fun to give away one of my crazy quilted postcards to one of the readers of my blog.  The rules are pretty simple....

1. Leave a comment on this post telling me what your favourite Christmas dessert or treat is.  You must be a follower of my blog to enter and only one entry per person please.  I will leave the giveaway open until Friday at midnight.  

2.  Be prepared, should you win, to share the recipe for your favourite so we can all give it a try!

Simple, right???  

And here is what you could win
(once I finish it, that is!).


Today your quote is... "In my life, I've lived, I've loved, I've lost, I've missed, I've hurt, I've trusted, I've made mistakes, but most of all, I've learned"




Thursday, November 16, 2017

And now - for something different...

How about a recipe?  I haven't shared one for awhile and we found this one really tasty, and even better?  It's made in the slow cooker so it's easy.  Win/win!!

KIELBASA STEW
(SLOW COOKER)

12 oz. kielbasa, cut in half lengthwise & then into slices
4 EACH of carrots and parsnips, cut into 1" pieces
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 large onion, diced
2 c. shredded cabbage
3 c. beef stock
Halved baby potatoes (approx. 3 c.)
1 T. paprika
1 1/2 tsp. marjoram
1/4 tsp. pepper
     Combine all the above in slow cooker.  Cover & cook
on low for 6-8 hours (veg's should be tender, if not cook a little 
longer).  Combine 2 T. butter (or margarine) and 3 T. flour and drop into stew.  Stir and then cover & cook for 15 mins. longer.  

######

- HERE is a rather cute cross stitch bee pattern.


- Red Heart has a 12 Weeks of Christmas on right now - 12 fun patterns for free and you can access the ones they have published already HERE

- If you have a baby to make gifts for, perhaps one of THESE might be welcome.

- If you're looking for a really cute advent calendar idea, how about THIS one?  And further in the Christmas decorating theme, how about a fabric village found HERE

- THIS would be a nice gift for either a man or a woman, depending on the fabrics you choose.

- If you are trying to sew with larger cones of thread and are having difficulty with them feeding properly through your machine, maybe you'd find THIS hint useful.  I know I'm going to try it!

- If you are interested in amigurmi patterns, have a look at THIS site.  There's tons of free patterns!

Today your quote is from an unknown source..."If you like someone, tell them.  If you miss someone, tell them.  If you love someone, show them.  Life is too short to keep your feelings inside"




Wednesday, November 15, 2017

More additions for the Christmas box



I've added a couple more things to the ever-growing Christmas box...

The first is a set - hat and cowl.
And the second is a hat...


Both hats can be worn either as a slouch or with
the rim rolled up for extra warmth.
Both can also be worn with the brooches
attached or not, as desired.
The brooches were ones my mother wore and hopefully my daughters-in-love will enjoy having them on their hats, or to wear on their coats.  Here's a closeup of the brooches...



The hats were both made using the 'Sandoval Hat' pattern from SheMakesHats and the pattern can be found HERE.  This is the absolute best hat pattern I have ever found - for both women and men.  Very stretchy and fits a multitude of head sizes.  The cowl was made using the same hat pattern and just knitted until I thought it was done (or you run out of yarn, whichever comes first!).  

- Pour yourself a cuppa and head on over HERE and scroll through all the free projects available.  There are several pages of them!

- I'm certain I would never attempt anything like THIS, but isn't it amazing?

- If there's someone in your life who wears a baseball cap year 'round and complains of having cold ears, perhaps one of THESE might be a fun gift.  I think THIS one could easily be used in the same way.

- THESE would make absolutely lovely package toppers - or ornaments for the tree.  Perhaps with the addition of some artificial greenery?

- THIS little guy would be cute to make for a little one.

- If you happen to have some upholstery samples in your stash, perhaps you'd like to have a look at THIS tutorial.  You could also use denim or any heavier weight fabric.

- I absolutely love THIS idea for Christmas decorating, especially if you were to use an old set of those encyclopedia's that no body has any use for!  Or the Reader's Digest Condensed books that we all seem to have an abundance of!

- If someone you know loves Lego (not that any of US would ever admit to it....ahem), have a look HERE to see some absolutely amazing creations.  

Today your quote is from an unknown source..."Don't change so people will like you.  Be yourself and the right people will love the real you"


Friday, November 10, 2017

Something else for the box


Last night I completed three more things for the Christmas box which I'll show you over the next couple of days.  This time I'll show you what our grandson will be receiving...

and here's a closeup of the pattern

The pattern is the 'Seamless Baby Hoodie'
by Jeannette Murphy and can be 
found HERE

Yarn is Heartland by Lion Brand.

I chose to add a button band with buttons rather than using the zipper as called for, mainly because our grandson is very (!!) tall and I needed to add extra length.   

- HERE's a really cute little project that would be wonderful little gifts.  And HERE is another one.

- And HERE's another fun thing to make for gifts or for yourself.

- THIS is a nice bag pattern that could be useful for so many occasions.

- And THIS falls under the awwwww category.  And if you go to THIS link at her site there are lots of free patterns.

Today your quote is about that awful white stuff (only because we woke up to it this morning) and comes from Carl Reiner..."A lot of people like snow.  I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water"    (My sentiments exactly!!!)

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

The big reveal!!!


Today is reveal day for the 11th Tea Cup and Mug Exchange ever so capably held by Stephanie of 'The Enchanting Rose'.  Welcome to all who are visiting from that!  



Back in September she opened registrations to sign up to swap either a mug or a cup and saucer and she organized over two hundred participants and matched us all up with partners.  Excitement was in the air as everyone chose special gifts for their partners and then the anticipation as we waited for something to arrive in our mailboxes.  

My swap partner was the lovely Judith  who spoiled me absolutely rotten!  Just look at the treasures she sent for me to enjoy... 



There was a lovely mug with a matching spoon, accompanied by a lovely wooden coaster/holder - some tea (including some special Canada 150th birthday tea) and some hot chocolate.  A beautiful floral apron in my favourite colour; a super pretty rose-themed journal book; and a 'Time For Tea' coloring book filled with not only pictures to color but also great ideas for embroidery patterns.  There was a beautiful handmade card and a lovely letter too....along with a little Canadian flag pin.  I was absolutely in love with everything and have taste-tested all the tea already.  The hot chocolate is being saved for the first snow - because I need a little treat to console myself over the beginning of winter...hee hee.  Judith, you made my day, my month, and my whole entire year so special!  Thank you soooooo much!!!

My swap went to a lovely lady named Heidi and these are the things I included for her...


Her favourite colours are brown and green and she has kitties, so I simply HAD to give her the mug with the cat on it!  She also likes to crochet and of course likes tea, so I included a doily, a coaster, and the rose candle holder; along with a pincushion and a scissor holder.  Of course there was tea in the parcel too.    I had great fun choosing and making special things for her!

Because today is the big reveal day, please visit Stephanie HERE and see some of the lovely things that were exchanged...and....if you go to the bottom of her post there will be lots of links to visit many of the bloggers that took part.

I thank Stephanie for all her work arranging the swap and for matching us up so well.  I know it has to be a huge amount of time she invests into this amazing swap  -  she is obviously a very special person!  

Now, on to the mumblings for the day...

- There's a wonderful tutorial from Ann Wood HERE to make one of her  paper boat designs.

- For those who might want to make some clothes for a Barbie doll  have a look HERE (there are several pages of patterns), and HERE,

- Karen Ruane (embroiderer extraordinaire!) has a new online class about to begin and you can find more information HERE (class began Oct. 30 but you can register any time).  She is also doing another workshop in London (England) and you can read about that in her post found HERE (how I wish I could go!!). 

- THIS is another one of those things that just makes you say 'awwwww'  (scroll down to see the picture with the real baby!).  

Today your quote is from Job Lazarus Okello...."This is your life, and you've got to fight for it.  Fight for what's right.  Fight for what you believe in.  Fight for what's important to you - what adds value to your life, what makes you a better person.  Fight for the people you love, and never forget to tell them how much they mean to you.  Realize that right now you're lucky because you still have a chance.  So stop for a moment and think.  Whatever you still need to do, start doing it today; don't procrastinate.  There are only so many tomorrows.  Every moment that passes you will never get back.  Therefore make the best use of it."

Friday, November 03, 2017

A lesson


Okay, children.....file in and take your seats.  No talking in the back!!  Today we will be having a lesson in how not to.  

Please note that today's lesson is as a result of a life lesson that needs to be learned by all who aspire to stitch....all those who believe that the use of an iron is advantageous to same.

We begin with a stitcher - holed up in her sewing room, by herself, with no one to take her by the hand and guide her in the facts of life.  Said stitcher is facing time constraints with the creation of items seemingly necessary for a 'certain' date that is just around the corner (and yes, children, sometimes Santa DOES need a helping hand).  

Said stitcher has plans.  Plans to create a number of crazy quilted postcards that require some sort of little Christmas-y picture on same.  Said stitcher decided that a much easier (and thus faster) method to print said pictures was to simply use paper.  Said stitcher, having screwed the dimmest of her light bulbs into her brain, did that very thing and then coated same with Mod Podge on front and back to (at least in her brain) render the paper tear-proof.  So far, so good. Stitcher then carefully, and lightly, glued coated pictures onto fabric.  Twelve of them.  

Now children - can you guess what happened next?  First we will have our recess, peruse some mumblings, and then I will tell you the rest of the story.

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Before the mumblings of the day begin, I have a question for any of you who use invisible thread in your work.  I'm looking for recommendations as to which brand is the best and would welcome input.  Thank you in advance!

- THIS little fellow certainly fits under the 'awwwww' category!

- There are two great ideas HERE for decorating your door (and your refrigerator!) for Christmas.  And THIS decorating idea made me smile - alas there are no banisters here for me to try it out.

- Have a look at the textile art of THIS artist (there are two galleries you can click on to see her amazing work).  

- How about checking out the many links HERE to make your own Christmas-themed table runners and placemats.  There are also links there to lists of stockings and other Christmas things.  

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Okay boys and girls, take your seats and we will continue the story.  Did any of you guess what happened next?

Stitcher began to stitch the fabrics around the lovely Podged pictures and, as is usual with such an endeavour, needed to press the seams in place so they were nice and crisp.

What to her wondering eyes did appear but something closely akin to slime.  Why was that you ask?  Well it seems that heat from an iron applied to  Mod Podge is a recipe for disaster and the Mod Podge simply melts and adheres all over the fabric AND the iron.  

The moral in this story, children, is that a stitcher should learn never to cut corners and be smart enough to rely on the tried and true method of printing onto freezer paper'd fabric.

The end.

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Today the quote is from Stephen Colbert...."Contrary to what people may say, there's no upper limit on stupidity"