Practical Sewing – Tool Belts

It is fun to take a simple sewing idea and enhance it with your own creativity.

I chose a nail apron from Lowe’s Hardware for inspiration for my tool belts.

I used fabric designs with mathematical measurements and angles and formulas plus wood grain patterns for pockets over a heavy canvas back.




A friend suggested I add a loop for a hammer at the side. 

Some are on the right and some are on the left.

I had fun playing with the different fabric combinations to create pockets, pencil holders and loops.

The heavy canvas is from a bolt which my husband bought at an auction.



I wash each section as I am ready to use it.  That is what gives it the frayed look.



The straps are folded over twice and stitched twice with a zigzag stitch.

I chose mesh for a contrast in texture for one tool belt, along with a celebration of the Texas origins of one of the recipients.

I had a lot of fun playing with the various fabrics and creating new sets of pockets where I could.

© 2018 Kathryn Hardage


More Canning

The first canning of the season was blueberries, followed by blackberries.

Next was peaches.

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Today, we picked up strawberries, more blueberries, mangoes and assorted fruits and vegetables.

The mangoes need to ripen.

The additional blueberries are cooking with honey and cinnamon.

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Mostly, I don’t add sweeteners, because once you give up sugar, you can taste the flavors of each food more distinctly.

A composite fruit mixture consisting of pineapple, papaya, kiwi, and plum will be canned when there is room on the stove.

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The vegetables will be combined into a chicken soup.  

They include carrots, celery, and yellow squash.

There were no onions in this collection, so I will get some for the soup.

I am thawing chicken broth while I wait for more room on the stove.

Potatoes are baking.  Some will go in the soup along with a jalapeño pepper.

One adds just the right amount of heat.

I love the feeling of abundance and its accompanying freedom.

Yes, I know, it is possible to buy one meal at a time or a week’s worth of groceries to cook.

I prefer the feeling of overflowing goodness and its accompanying happiness.

© 2018 Kathryn Hardage

Regenerative Organic Certification

There are three main components of Regenerative Organic Certification.

It starts with soil welfare, to farm in a way which continuously build up the soil.  Organic matter is used to sequester carbon.

Creating biodiversity protects from mono-cropping, where one crop depletes the soil.  Biodiversity adds components from many different plant sources and insures that much of the crop will be able to withstand multiple challenges.

Animal welfare is ensured through humane treatment, which includes placing animals in appropriate outdoor environments, i.e. pasture grazing, in order to receive the nutrients they need and to deposit their own manures to help build enriched soil.  They are kept free of distress along with disease.

Worker and farmer fairness are achieved by paying living wages, and improving the social and economic position of all agricultural employees.

There are many steps to achieving a thoroughly integrated practice so that the work of growing food is healthy for all those involved.

© 2018 Kathryn Hardage

Potatoes the Next Year

I planted potatoes late in the season and watched the leafy tops appear over a period of several weeks.

Then I realized they had disappeared…

As it was very late in the season by them, and I felt timid about disturbing the soil, I left the area alone.

The next year, those leafy tops regrew.

After they turned yellow and fell over, I trimmed them and dug into the straw I had planted them in.

Sure enough, there were potatoes!

I have left just a couple of potatoes in the ground.

Perhaps they will grow again next year.

© 2018 Kathryn Hardage

Creative Inspiration

I wanted to create something fun and meaningful for a birthday celebration.

This is what I made.

I painted the watercolor squares and rectangles on the cover of the note.

Then I wrote and drew the inspirational message.

I went through my fabric stash and found this perfect match to my painted rectangles.

Serendipity…unplanned gift from the Universe.

I sewed the fabric to pressboard/chipboard using the size 14 Universal needle recommended by the sewing machine repairman (!) and then sewed the pieces together with a zigzag stitch.

I was so happy to present this and it was well-received.

© 2018 Kathryn Hardage

Celebrating Inspiration

The new issue of Cloth Paper Scissors magazine has arrived!  (May/June 2018)  I am so grateful.  I have missed several issues of my subscription for last year and this year, so I talked with the local Postmaster and my husband called the magazine.

I am happy to be able to say I have received it this time.

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Cloth Paper Scissors is perhaps my favorite artistic resource magazine.  The projects are many and varied.  The featured artists use an array of media.  Each artist has a strong conviction and presentation of her art.

I usually have to take a break from looking at it because the ideas are so powerful they become overwhelming for me.

Today, on the inside cover, I exclaimed “Woo!” so fast that my husband laughed at me.  (I found an idea that will work well in my Meditation Drawings.)  My husband knows how much I enjoy the magazine and the aesthetic it presents.  Artists are important!  Beauty and creativity are important.  Celebration and acknowledgement, and the processing of heaviness and loss, are important.  Art provides that medium.

Today, I began studying one of the articles near the beginning of the magazine.  I enjoyed comparing different types of media and how they look on different types of paper.

Then I thumbed through and started at the back of the magazine.  I got overwhelmed at the portrayal of a recipe using burlap for the chocolate chip cookies.  I love texture so much, and even this simple representation was so charming that I just lost it.

I went in and hugged my husband as I wiped tears out of my eyes and declared that I needed to take a break.  Fortunately, he was just taking a recipe involving baked knots of bacon covered with cheese out of the oven.  It was a delicious break.

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I really am so glad to know how art, simple or complex, moves me.  I am so grateful to the artists who honor their desire to make and express art.  It enriches my life so much.

Celebrating how art moves me has allowed me to explore my own creative side, (actually, about ninety-five percent of my being), and it now makes sense to me to be moved so deeply by so many different ways artists express their ideas.

© 2018 Kathryn Hardage

Purple Sweatshirt Jacket Design

I always enjoy combining different fabrics to create exciting combinations.

This time, I chose purple fabrics to decorate and embellish a lavender sweatshirt jacket.

Because the sweatshirt bunched when I sewed the fabrics to it on the sewing machine, I hand-stitched all the patches.

I used a variety of decorative threads with a basting stitch.

After I completed the surface of the sweatshirt, I sewed patches of the purple fabrics together to create the edges of the jacket opening.


I made loops out of purple fabrics for button closures.

I sewed on mulberry buttons my husband made from a branch from a mulberry tree.

I sewed the loop closures in a “frog” style.

The finished jacket is light and comfortable to wear.

It is one of those things I keep on thinking about with more design ideas.

Maybe someday I will add more to it.

I am enjoying wearing now very much.

© 2018 Kathryn Hardage