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

Self-Sustaining Skills – Knitting

I am working my way through the Transition Town Skills List as I develop a more self-sustaining way of living.  The first skill listed under the category of clothing is to knit.  I remember learning to knit on a long car trip with my family.  I was using red yarn on gold single-pointed needles, probably about a size 7.  I kept knitting higher and higher and dropping stitches until what was supposed to be a square pot holder turned into a trapezoid.  I know many trapezoids until I learned how to control the yarn and to relax my hold on it.

I am now working on a series of ideas which will make it easy for people who want to learn to knit as a self-sustaining skill to make clothing.  My first project was a coat.

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I knit strips which were 10 stitches wide and the length from wrist to wrist on me.  I sewed the strips together horizontally, not vertically, the way the eye wants to see it.  The wrist to wrist lengths wrap around me to meet at the front of the coat.  The sleeves extend across the shoulders and are wrist-length.  I lined the coat so it would not stretch. I trimmed it by crocheting a textured yarn around the edges.  It is sill the warmest garment I own.

I am looking forward to sharing more ideas as I try them out.  It will be fun, I think.

© 2018 Kathryn Hardage

2017-7-23 New Weaving Project Using the 6th Draft

I am working my way through the projects which were introduced at my first weaving retreat in September of 2017.  This is the 6th draft and it is the first one I have been able to figure out on my own.  It is so wonderful when the new terminology, notation, materials and technology all finally make sense.

My tangled warp.




I am saved by the sections which were tied before it came off the warping board.


The warp divided into ten-thread sections.



Starting from the middle section.




The draft for “Feathers and Wings”, a type of “huck” weaving pattern.

The order for threading the heddles.  This is a ten-thread pattern and is why I divided the warp into ten-thread sections.

Next, thread the heddles, thread through the dent, tie on at the front of the loom, then begin weaving following the treading the pattern (photo when I get to that process).

© 2017 Kathryn Hardage

Canning Corn

Hurray!  I did it!

My husband cooked a bunch of corn right away to eat, but we still had plenty to can!

It takes three cobs per pint and I canned eighteen pints.

Two batches of eight pints, plus two which will become part of a canned stew.

First, my husband shucked all the corn and put it in a large box to carry out to the compost pile.






Then I cut the corn off the cobs using a new madoline.

We sterilized the lids, heated the pressure canner, packed the corn into pint jars and placed them in the canner.




Thirty minutes at pressure later, we had our finished pint jars of corn.




© 2017 Kathryn Hardage


Four in a Row Plus More

I enjoy my fiber and sewing activities with my groups so very much.

This week was such a treat.

On Tuesday, I went to Stitch Night with my knitting friends.  My husband made a chocolate cake with maraschino cherries for us to enjoy.

On Thursday night, I went to Sewing Sisters at Heavenly Notions in Granby and worked on my challenge quilt for the Newtonia Quilt Guild.

On Friday night, I completed my challenge quilt at Heavenly Notions, during part of my regular get-together at the quilt shop.

On Saturday, I met with my occasional sewing group to celebrate a member’s birthday, and I worked on my hand-quilting project.


On Sunday, I went to my Fiber Folks meeting in Joplin, for a program teaching members to knit and crochet.







This week, my husband is helping me do canning, cherries and sweet corn, separately, that is.





I am enjoying my new life practicing homesteading skills.

© 2017 Kathryn Hardage