When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Sewing

When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Sewing via cottagemagpie.com

When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Sewing via cottagemagpie.com

You can always tell when I am coping with a large amount of stress in my life because my sewing output, like, quadruples or something. It’s not that I spend particularly more or less time sewing, it’s just that when I am sewing I am in Full Production Mode. You know what I mean? I’m all about getting things D. O. N. E. Done.

I don’t know why I find that so helpful in stressful times. Maybe because it helps me to feel like in some small measure I am still in control in the midst of the chaos around me. I was in the same mode when I finished the patchwork on The Happy Quilt last summer. At any rate, it is what it is, and as anyone who walks through my front door can tell, now is one of those times. [Read more...]


A Pillow Cover for Fall

A Pillow Cover for Fall via cottagemagpie.com

A Pillow Cover for Fall via cottagemagpie.com

While spending the summer going through someone else’s things isn’t exactly what I’d call the funnest summer ever, there are sometimes perks. For example, my Dad had bought each of us kids a $100 US Treasury Bond back in the 70’s. I had forgotten all about them, but we found them in the bottom of a box, and voila! Some fun money.

I was going to use it responsibly, to pay bills or something, but Mr. Magpie said not to. He said I should take it and buy something special, as a reward for all the hard work I’m doing this summer. It didn’t take long for him to convince me. So I promptly ordered some bedding for my bed and then got myself to the local quilt shop to see what I could find. [Read more...]


Somehow, It Blooms Anyway

Somehow, It Blooms Anyway via cottagemagpie.com

Somehow, It Blooms Anyway via cottagemagpie.com

So, I may have mentioned this already, but most of my time this summer has been consumed by helping my Mom move to a fantastic retirement community, clearing out her old house and putting it on the market. It’s a huge, mammoth, gargantuan job as you can probably imagine, and it’s taken all summer so far and there’s still miles to go.

My house? Nothing is happening at my house except the accumulation of unfinished chores. Inside, the only thing changing is the growing piles of stuff. In the garden, any progress that had been made has completely been overtaken by the six-foot weeds and healthy crop of dandelions. I’m sure the neighbors are wondering if I’ve taken up dandelion farming. [Read more...]


A Year is Closing: the Happy Quilt is Done

A Year is Closing: the Happy Quilt is Done via cottagemagpie.com

A Year is Closing: the Happy Quilt is Done via cottagemagpie.com

I often say that quilting is my therapy. It’s a common sentiment, people will say, their hobby or craft is their therapy. But even though I say that all the time, I didn’t really mean it. I mean, sure, I know that sewing helps me relax, but therapy? Nah. I’m not sewing with reverence or seriousness. I’m not excavating my inner world, I’m just sewing cute fabric together. I mean, you know? There’s nothing deep going on here. It’s fabric. It’s pretty. I like it. I sew it together. That’s it. Nothing to see, just move right along.

And yet.

I have this quilt. You’ve seen it before [Read more...]


Finding Myself: When I Grow Up?

Finding Myself: When I Grow Up? via cottagemagpie.com

Finding Myself: When I Grow Up? via cottagemagpie.com

I‘ve been sick for the last week or so, so I’ve had lots of time to lay on the couch and ponder my life. Admittedly, when you are sick and miserable and can’t do anything about anything, pondering your life is probably not the best idea. However, ponder I did.

I have been feeling like my life is too complicated, too frantic, too messy, too much. I have been talking about this for awhile, reading amazing books like “Simplicity Parenting” and “The Joy of Less” but I’m still struggling with how to make real change. My problem is that the things I *want* to get rid of, I can’t, and the things I *can* get rid of, I don’t want to. So, I’m stuck, and around and around I go. [Read more...]


All Cleared Out, Where Do We Go?

All Cleared Out, Where Do We Go? via cottagemagpie.com

All Cleared Out, Where Do We Go? via cottagemagpie.com

When I declared so boldly that I was going to finish my living-room-slash-sewing-space once and for all, I forgot I was going to have to pack the whole room up and clear it out. Ugh!! Isn’t that just the hardest part ever? Having to figure out where to put all that stuff so that it doesn’t (a) swamp the rest of the house, yet (b) is still accessible is just hard. Haaaaard!!!

Okay, it wasn’t that bad, it just took FOR EVER. But I’m happy to say that not only am I don’t clearing the room but we’ve actually done the first teeny, tiny bit of work! Yay! So, given our current rate of progress, we should be done in, oh, say, 37 years! Woo hoo!!

Kidding. I’m sure we’ll [Read more...]


Garden in Bloom: June 2014

Garden in Bloom: June 2014 via cottagemagpie.com

Garden in Bloom: June 2014 via cottagemagpie.com

Aside from my birthday month of April, I think June is one of my favorite months. The whole garden bursts into bloom and it’s such a joy to watch it unfolding every day. This garden needs a little attention. Some things have died off and others taken over. Some of the perennials need dividing. So it’s not in as full of glory as it was a couple of years ago. But it’s okay. It’s still a cheerful burst of color to enjoy.

The weather this year has been unusual to me. It’s been warmer and wetter than I remember from previous years. Muggy and overcast isn’t the most common condition where I live. Overcast, sure, but then rainy and [Read more...]


Our Family Adventure: Moving a Piano

Our Family Adventure: Moving a Piano via cottagemagpie.com

Our Family Adventure: Moving a Piano via cottagemagpie.com

You’ll never guess what we did last weekend. We bought a piano. I know. We already had one. Still have it, in fact, until we can find a buyer for it. But that piano never belonged here. We bought it from an antiques store, and it seemed great when we found it, but it was during the crash and money was so tight that we had to buy it on layaway. When it was finally delivered to our house, both Mr. Magpie and I were shocked. This wasn’t the piano we had purchased, was it???

I still don’t know for sure what happened. It was similar to the piano we had chosen, but it wasn’t at all like we remembered. It was massive, for one thing, and [Read more...]


Living Room, Before

Living Room, Before via cottagemagpie.com

Living Room, Before via cottagemagpie.com

I just realized that I never actually did a full “before” post of my Living Room here at Pear Tree Cottage. It was included in the very first post for the house, (“Welcome to Pear Tree Cottage“) that I did back in (gasp) 2007, but I never looped back around to show you the nitty gritty. So, since I’ve decided to get this room done, done, finally done, I thought I might go ahead and give you the goods on what this room looked like when we bought the house.

It’s been through many, many iterations since then, and I’ll share a little summary of those next week, but for now, here’s a little look back to 2007, featuring my [Read more...]


You May Have Missed: Spring Gardening Posts

You May Have Missed: Spring Gardening Posts via cottagemagpie.com

You May Have Missed: Spring Gardening Posts via cottagemagpie.com

So, you may or may not remember this, but about a year ago January I decided that I was going to go back and fill in all the history from my adventures when I had time. I have taken all these pictures, and for one reason or another, not all of that made it onto the blog. And that’s okay, you know, life happens. But the blog has really become my own historical documentation as much as it is a way to share, and I wish it were more complete for that reason. So, I decided that I would just go ahead and put posts up at the date those things would have happened and let them life in the history. At least they’re there for me to reference that way! :-)

I thought that every once in awhile I might let you know that those were there, in case anyone felt inspired to check them out. So from time to time you’ll see a “You May Have Missed” post, and [Read more...]