Category Archives: Needlework

a Japanese Journal…

my handmade journal has been finished since early last month but time moves so quickly I haven’t had a chance to share it with you until now…

a couple of years ago Carole of Madness and Mess offered a wonderful online journal making class…

 my Gypsy Journal was the first that I completed and I was very pleased with it…

(see my sweet cup pin cushion that I won in Nathalie’s giveaway in September and my ‘Born to be Wild’ traveling sewing kit)

this journal has been in the works for a couple of years now (oh my!) with my stained watercolor paper pages torn and ready to decorate and stitch …

a friend gave me the perfect piece of blue indigo for the cover that I accented with french knots

and another local friend Linda Yeatman gave me the perfect red bead for the cover

Jenxo in Australia had shared some beautiful pieces of old sari fabric with me last year which I knew I wanted to add to the pages of my journal…

(I have a serious correction to my description above…those gorgeous fabric pieces from Jen are KIMONO fabrics = doh!)

 I used various images and papers from my Asian collection along with a few rubber stamped highlights here and there…

my centerfold pages fold out on each side…

the pretty Japanese coin on the left is from my friend Susan and the coaster on the right was from my friend Margaret when we were visiting various Brocki’s (Swiss for thrift stores)  in Zurich last spring…

the image on the right is a favorite of a lady standing in a tea field from my now far away art friend Cheryl Novey…

this journal is an example of needing to make something with no real plans for what I’ll actually do with it…

(heart rocks from my Mr Magpie)

it also represents to me the thoughtful generosity of so many art friends some that I have never even met in person which makes this journal extra special to me…

for newcomers to my Magpie’s Nest you will notice there are underlined words throughout my post…

those are links for you to click if you’re interested in more details or photographs of things I have mentioned here…

they may also take you to some wonderful blogs … just sayin’

“Moonlight and Laughter” friends…fibers and more

all thanks to Susan of Rosie Inspirations for getting me back into needle felting AND to my friend, Marilla, who has an online shop where she sells the most gorgeous hand dyed fibers and yarn…

I was really intrigued by her Hand Dyed Milk Fibers (top left)…

here is what she says about them in her Moonlight and Laughter etsy shop :

“Milk fiber is made from casein, which is a milk protein. It is extremely soft and silky. It also has wicking properties similar to wool, so is great for socks and summer garments.”

SO soft and silky I just had to use some on my latest felted journal cover

and on some ATCs

with another chance to use some of the wire bird nests I made so many of a while ago…

Marilla’s Angelina Fibers help add that certain something…

some of you may know that I resisted joining Facebook for a long long time…

finally at the end of last year I caved and signed up…

one of the brilliant outcomes of that was reconnecting with my dear friend Marilla…

we met many many years ago and formed a deep bond…

my long lost special BFF was found again…

here’s to old friends and new friends…

creativity and sharing

…life is sweet…

Needle Felting Fun…

our local Mixed Media Collaborative group played with wool on Wednesday and what a fabulous time it was…

many thanks to the talented and generous Susan for sharing

her passion for creating and helping us to take wool, fibers, ribbons and more to great new heights…

..my first finished journal above thanks to Susan…

I can hardly wait to put the finishing touches on these pieces…

some will be journals and

some will turn into needle keepers

it is such a great feeling to start something new and not want to stop…

a good reminder to go for it…

“Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.” ~Mary Lou Cook


just a peek …

here is a sneak peek at a little something I made out of wool using some of the fabrics I dyed recently…

with BIG thanks to Fran and Leiann in our local altered arts group for bringing in their die cutting machines and some of their fab die collection to share with the group…

almost makes me think I NEED one of those machines but I am trying to resist temptation…

wish now that I had cut out more pieces…

when all of the ornaments reach the Queen Bees I can show you more…

before November leaves us…I also wanted to share this month’s quote from my “Angel Spirits” The Art of Sulamith Wulfing 2011 Calendar:

“The world and its peoples are blessed with infinite diversity, infinite manifestations of wisdom and spirit.  Open to my teachings, expand your vision and your comprehension of the sacred.  When you keep an open heart and mind, there is no limit to your understanding.” ~Angel of Understanding, November 2011

~* Happy Weekend All *~


türkis*turquesa*turchese*turkus*turkoois*turkos*turkis

however you say it…

for some time now I have been drawn to turquoise

the color and the stone…

back in my hooker days…

RUG hooking that is…

my Mom and I collected loads of good quality second hand wool skirts…

I ripped them apart and dyed the wool for hooking …

I hooked this pumpkin mat some years ago and have also used lots of my wool in various applique projects…

in the process I amassed quite a nice dye selection which has been waiting patiently in a box while my creativity has taken me in lots of other directions

most of the dye packets are in alphabetical order…

that was back in my more organized days when life seemed a little simpler…

when I came upon some little white trees on sale recently it struck me “wouldn’t these be great in turquoise...

last year this twinkly turquoise tinsel tree (try saying that five times quickly)…

jumped into my shopping cart and quickly became my favorite holiday deco…

our son was greatly amused each time he came into the kitchen which is fairly often for a young strapping fellow …

there I was throwing another piece of white doily or

linen into the tofu bucket…

I found that pure white fibers with the turquoise dye gave a better color than with off white or natural fabrics

note the unbleached muslin pieces on the bottom two rows of the drying rack…

white silk ribbon that I’ve had for some time now was beautifully transformed…

I used up every last drop of that dye batch…

another batch would surely be a little different since I got excited and didn’t measure anything…

amazing what starting out playing with some white trees led to…

Love my Turquoise forest even without the added touches I still have in mind…

don’t hold still too long or I may think you’d look good in turquoise too  oxo

Happy World Philosophy Day

box of delights tea…

Judy Domec really outdid herself in decorating the box full of goodies that I won in her round robin traveling tea cup event

she said it was her first art mail attempt…very well done Judy…I know your box delighted lots of people all along its journey…

I truly did not want to open it right away as there was lots to read and enjoy…but

finally I did open it while sipping some delicious Chocolate Pu-erh and munching on a Madeleinea container of those jumped into the grocery cart the other day which hardly ever happens…

here is the lovely line up of treats that I won from all around the country…

thank you Dawn

thank you Lori

thank you Amy

thank you Jill

thank you Halle

thank you Pat

thank you Kimmie

thank you Judy

how did I get SO lucky…

wishing you all a very happy T Tuesday from rainy Virginia…

you can visit Kimmie at her Art in Red Wagons for links to lots of these talented artists along with other fun people to visit too…

guerilla knitting…

my first in person encounter with guerilla knitting

also called yarn bombing or graffiti knitting…

was on a trip last October to Santa Rosa, California …

I was totally charmed by the lamp posts and bike racks covered in knit goodness…

last month there was an article in the Washington Post about a knit in at Jimmy Valentine’s Lonely Hearts Club in NE Washington DC…

they called it a “yarn bombing with heart”…

101 hearts…

it was fun to see in person…

something I enjoy again and again in the blogosphere…

especially in the special mixed media corner that I get to visit and enjoy so often…

is CONNECTION

if you haven’t already…

you will want to see what Hermine in The Netherlands did to the downspout of her home…what a great conversation starter and wouldn’t that be fabulous to see in person too…

she also makes THE most incredible felted wool purses…amazing hearts and more…

even though I am not a knitter…I still drool over yarn and needles and appreciate the magic and creativity of it all…

making things is powerful medicine the world over…

footnote: and another great connection with Jill Zaheer of Jazworks you’ll want to check out too…notice the date this was done…Love it!

what do you see…hoop la la

Carole sent lovely fabric bits and a wooden hoop for her Queen Bee “what do you see” challenge…

eventho I am very fond of playing with fabric…

these ingredients had me wondering where to begin…

bravely cutting into that lovely small crocheted round that Carole sent…I decided to stamp on the twill tape and added an embroidered hankie that I tea dyed along with some green buttons from my stash…

the green doily is from my Mom’s house…I stretched it in the hoop cutting around the edges…sealing the ravely bits with a clear fabric glue…

a golden key…Eiffel Tower charm and wooden Fleur-de-Lis from my stash were the finishing touches to Carole’s almost 7.5 inch (19.05 cm) finished hoop…really fun…

now I’ve shown you all of the swap pieces I’ve created for NathalieLinda and Margaret

the last two of my kipper tins are on their way home…I will share a look at them soon…

it’s Friday and Ana has another exciting Friday Archive Dive...stop by…you won’t be sorry…you are welcome to join in the fun too!



what do you see…just a peek for now

our latest Queen Bee swap was quite a challenge…

early in the year each of us gathered approximately a dozen or so items along with a substrate…all going in completely different directions with our ideas…

we sent the same surprise package of bits to each player so they could create something and return it to each of us…

I was inspired by kippers for my substrate…

Yes…Fish…a good source of calcium and iron…

funny…when I was a young girl I would run in the other direction when my parents ate sardines and such…

Love the long shape of the tins (about 6.25″ . ..16.87cm long)…way too good to throw away…

I grilled them and smashed them with a wooden mallet…punched a hole in one end so they can all be put on a metal ring when they are returned to me here in Virginia…

these are the items I sent to everyone…some of the gals said I sent strange items…hmmmm…

here is a peek at one side of my kipper tin that I made for myself using some of the same bits that I mailed out to everyone…

our mission was to try and use at least half … if not more of the items sent to us…

adding a few bits from our own stash…

this post is a small peek at what I created for everyone…

first was Linda’s house from Texas…

next … Nathalie’s Asian coaster from Missouri…it says one…two…three in Japanese … created before the recent tragic events…

Margaret’s bingo card from Switzerland…

and Carole’s wooden hoop from New Zealand…

this swap proved good therapy for all as we coped with death and earthquakes and more in our group…for me it felt good to know I still had some creativity that I could tap into…

thank you to all that inspire me on a daily basis

the next step is to get these packaged up and in the mail to everyone…

when they arrive at their destinations we’ll be doing a full reveal on each of our blogs

Ana’s Friday Archive Dive: Inspired

another fun Friday over at Ana’s I Made it So … I searched my Posts for this week’s theme of INSPIRED...


and decided on this post…too good to miss and such fun to revisit…for the whole story you can visit here

why not join in Ana’s fun Friday Archive Dive here…the button for that is on my sidebar…

wanted to share my March 2011 calendar quote with you…we all have trials and things to get through…so here you are dear ones:

“Though the way may seem fraught with dangers, remember that within you lives a dauntless spirit of courage.  You were born with this courage, as a baby is born with the desire to stand and to walk.  Walk forward bravely, my child, and I will catch you if you fall.” ~from Angel Spirits, Sulamith Wulfing 2011 Calendar

Woolly Blooming Heart

Ana’s Friday Archive Dive theme of Woolly this week is the perfect time to show you the gorgeous heart that the sweet and talented Hermine sent to me as a surprise gift…

pictures do not do it justice…the heart itself is about 4.5 inches (11.43 cm)…

when I saw Hermine’s blog post here…I had no idea she was actually sending me the heart…

imagine my delight in opening this surprise all the way from The Netherlands…it is SO amazing and beautiful…


the colors of the wool along with the textures…tiny seed beads each stitched on by hand…


the attention to detail…on both sides is splendid…it is not flat…it blooms on both sides…with the little wool heart hanging freely in the opening…

Hermine was kind enough to share her wool heart tutorial…in Dutch AND English…her creativity is not limited to wool felting…she does SO many kinds of artwork so brilliantly…she’s even a cover girl on a magazine here...

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please accept my thanks for all of the precious cards…gifts and kind wishes…

blogging used to go pretty smoothly for me…

now I am finding it challenging…

I miss getting around to visit everyone…

I look forward to returning to that “happy” place…

oxoxo

” If your heart is broken, let it be broken open.” ~Alan Cohen

Queen Bee Stitchery Round Robin Reveal

it is finally time for more than a sneak peek at the stitcheries that have been popping up the last several months…

back in May some of my talented friends … the Queen Bees (QB5) … started a stitchery round robin … each of us did a bit on our own piece … me … not so much …

my TAP transfer lady … a favorite postcard image of mine … had humble beginnings on a scalloped and stained linen dinner napkin…with a an old doily behind her … a bit of hat netting along with a vintage flower  …

seems I stitched her on a bit cockeyed … more about that later …

time to send her off to her first destination … a visit with Nathalie in Missouri

just look at the delightful corner Nathalie filled with stitched goodness in gorgeous threads  … a sweet birdie singing “Tra la la” … “I SO needed to stitch today”… along with pretty tatted pieces too…

next stop with Linda in Texas … she stitched the lovely “breathe” … a swan … YES a swan … the pretty tea cup… “Tuesday Tea”and the plumed birdie on its lace perch … just found out Linda added the pearls around the center piece doily too… just perfect…

on to visit with Margaret in Switzerland…a precious pink seed bead and button heart stitched with “my heart’s desire” along with beautiful bits of lace and buttons and more lovely beads and special bits on the right side too…

last stop with Carole in New Zealand…who is celebrating her birthday this weekend … as she said … she crowned it with “lots of yoyo Love”… wee little yoyo’s made out of pretty flowered fabric … along with other special bits and layered goodness…

I am totally charmed and in awe of what was returned to me … beyond my wildest dreams…so worth waiting for these five months…

I got so excited when my stitchery arrived … I was inspired to stitch … to do something…

I decided to remove my lady transfer and add a piece of old pink hat netting behind her … giving me a chance to straighten her out a bit … funny enough … she is still not completely straight … she obviously has a mind of her own … which seems just perfect to me … I added a few other bits here and there including one of my wire birds nests …

found a bee bead while cleaning out a drawer … I had picked it up two years ago at a bead shoppe in Sebastopol and tucked it away … the perfect final touch…

after months of making her way around the globe … my lonely lady returned to me surrounded by Love … beauty …  kindness and thoughtful creativity … an absolute treasure!

Nathalie’s Stitchery

the last round is already here in our Queen Bees stitchery round robin (RR) … Nathalie’s playful stitchery arrived from Carole in New Zealand and looked pretty much complete … leaving me wondering what in the world I might add …

after a little while … I did find a few places for a bit of this and that … here is a peek until our reveal sometime in the next month or so when all of the stitcheries are back where they began their journey’s around the world

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I also wanted to mention another really interesting interview by Lesley Riley on Art and Soul Radio with Stephanie Lee … it is inspiring and reveals a lot of what women artists experience trying to balance family and creating art … well worth the listen!