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Preview: Everyday Revelations

Everyday Revelations

Updated: 2018-04-08T12:45:46.566-04:00


Adding Beads


Added some seed beads to the Fargo flowers.

Beaded Dragonfly


Different beads were used to create this cute dragonfly. It might be easiest to start with the body, but I sewed the wings on first. I may have to redo the wings because one of the wing beads is a different shade.

Beads on the Stocking


I can't say with certainty that I'm done with fibers, but I've moved on to adding beads to the stocking.



A bit of sparkly ribbon really stands out on this stocking. I'm not sure if it's too much. I'll wait until I've added beads and sparkly threads to the rest of the stocking and then decide.

Butterflies on the Stocking


These were inspired by the waved chain butterflies. There are a few examples in the flickr group, but this is the one that I remember being inspired by. Mine are a bit different. I made the first chain stitch in the center, with the second to the top. Instead of continuing with the third chain, I tacked down the second. Then, I brought my needle up just inside the bottom of the first chain and made the third chain in the other direction, for the lower part of the wing. I used a bullion stitch and French knot for the body and head and added detached chains inside each section of the wings to fill them in a bit. The top two sections of each wing also got a straight stitch for extra filling and color variation.

Fargo Flowers on the Stocking


I've added Fargo flowers to the wave chain. I must have done these before, but I really like them. I get quite a lot of interesting detail from a bit of silk ribbon and an easy stitch. This ribbon is one that I dyed myself. The Fargo flowers make great use of the color variations in the ribbon.

TAST II on the Stocking


I'm making progress on the stocking. Having my supplies more organized and conveniently located makes it much easier to indulge the creative urges. It also helps that my little one is a bit older. She likes to look at all the pretty projects. Not too long ago, I couldn't keep her from touching everything. Now, she lets me show her and will color while I stitch. Maybe in another year or two she'll want to learn to stitch.

Here, I've added slipped detached chain stitch, from TAST II, week 21. It took me a minute to figure this one out. At first, I tried to do the chain part backwards. Once I looked over the directions again and realized I needed to start the stitch at the top, then it was much easier.

Work In Progress - Stocking


I started the stocking project ten years ago. At the time, there were four of us, myself, nine year old son, seven year old daughter, and my fiance. My son was a happy, intelligent boy who liked dragons, magic, and games. My daughter was a smart, adorable girl who liked cats and frogs. My fiance was  a wonderful young artist who loved me and my children. He was only twenty-four, then. Wow. So much has changed. Their stockings reflect my perceptions of them at that time. I had every intention of finishing the stockings for Christmas that year, and each of the following years. I got stuck with mine. The top patch of each stocking has a name. Each stocking is filled with images and charms relating to the person it was made for, with a larger patch in the middle having a special symbolic something. My daughter's stocking has a cat patch that she picked out. My son's has an elaborate embroidered dragon. My husband's took a bit long to decide on. I was originally thinking of a design to represent his artist side, but eventually I embroidered and beaded a cross.Each year, I'd pull out the stockings in the fall and add to them, all the while trying to think of something to represent myself. I also couldn't decide what name to use on mine. We call my son by his full name, Christopher, but it was shortened to "Chris" on the stocking, for the sake of space and design. Everyone else calls him Chris, so it wasn't too much of a stretch. My husband's has his name. It's what I call him, and what my children call him. On mine, do I put my full name? When I was a child I was always told I was Katharine, not Kathy, but when my uncle Jay and I were in the same preschool class, we were called Jay and Kay. In 1st grade, when I wrote slowly and never finished my class work, my family suggested I write Kay on my papers because it would take less time. I remember the teacher calling me to her desk and asking if I wanted to be called Kay. I told her no, because I was always told my name was Katharine. I've never gone by Kay since.When you have a long name, everyone you meet wants to shorten it. I got through most of school as Katharine, but when you start telling your teenage peers this or that nickname is not acceptable, that's what they call you. They were my friends and it was a phase we went through. When I started work, I finally had enough. I'd been told my whole life that my name was not Kathy, but I was meeting more people and tired of having to correct them all. I started going by Kate. My first husband called me Keili (it sounds like Kaylee). That was my screen name back when the internet was new. We used comodore64, connected at the speed of a snail, and were limited to local bulletin boards. It sounded childish when he said it out loud, so his mother called me Katie. He had a five year old cousin that called me Cousin Katie. That was weird. I haven't heard those names in quite a while.Then, there were my kids. They called me Mommy. I'm still Katharine to anyone that knew me as a child, Kate to everyone else, and Mom to my kids. Of course, now I have a third child. Her stocking is full of flowers and butterflies. If the choice of names to use on my stocking was not confusing enough, there was the symbolic representation of self to decide on. Who was I? I have a better idea now, but any ideas for the stocking seemed pretentious. Even the rest of the stocking was more a jumble of appealing colors and stitch experiments than anything symbolic of me or my interests. Last year, I finally added a mirror. I'll add more stitching and charms around the mirror, but that's as close as I can get to a representation of self. I am a reflection of whoever I need to be at different times, in different circumstances. I haven't done much stitching the last few years, except for my third child's stocking. I was busy with a newborn, two moves (one to another apa[...]

Current Project


Over at Knitting on Impulse, Ruth is knitting an Olympic tribute sweater to wear during the winter games, which are hosted in her town this year. How exciting that must be. She isn't publishing a pattern, rather sharing her design process. I'm really excited by this. I have been needing a new sweater, or a few. I have two old favorites that get the most wear, and it shows. They are well worn and unraveling in places. I've had them for years. I still wear them around the house and garden because they are comfortable, warm but not too hot, and I haven't found anything to replace them with.I've looked. I've tried on sweaters and come home with nothing. I have a few newer sweaters, but they'll never get the same wear. I'm picky. The last sweater I bought was very pretty and fluffy, but it makes me itch and isn't as flattering as I once thought. I am attracted to the pretty and feminine sweaters in the store, but I don't like wearing them. My favorite sweaters are roomy, cotton pullovers with good weight and drape.My figure is not at all standard, so finding clothes to flatter and enhance is a challenge, especially bulky sweaters. Realistically, the size I need is large for the shoulders and waist, 2XL for the chest, and only medium for the hips. So, I need something soft in the shoulders, extra roomy around the bust, narrowing to the waist, and with a bit of flare at the hips. I think that would be the most flattering, maybe. I"m also short waisted, but prefer longer tops to avoid calling attention to this. They just have to be fitted in the right area. Oh, let's not forget I'm a fiber snob with allergies and prefer comfort over high fashion, but still want something flattering. I've never even found a pattern that looked worth the time and investment. I am a very slow knitter.I've admired Ruth's hand-dyed yarn and her amazing knits for some time, now. I'm thrilled that she is blogging her design process for a project that I believe I can customize to look good on me. I bought the yarn and started knitting Sunday. If you look at the inspiration and then mine, you'll see that I've already made some adjustments. My neck is much shorter. I don't wear turtlenecks and am uncomfortable with anything tight around my neck. In addition to being shorter, I knit the neck ribbing on larger needles. Usually, ribbing is done with smaller needles, so my ribbing is extra loose. The tubular cast-on was new to me and turned out very nice. I'll be using that again.My waves are also more random instead of evenly spaced. It's a bit wonky, but it suits me. Since my sweater isn't meant as an Olympic tribute, my thought is to continue the waves further down the sweater, possibly throughout. The horizontal braid might work further down the sweater for me, but I don't want to call extra attention to the bust area. For now, I have a few more rows I can continue with, but then I'll wait and see how the stitches are divided for the front, back, and sleeves. I'm considering short rows to add ease to the bust, sort of mimicking the side darts in some fitted tops. I'm familiar with the technique, in theory, but have never tried it. I'll have to see how the sweater shapes up and be prepared to frog if I don't like it.Anyway, this is what I'm working on. When I was taking the photo, I found a few other things that I've made the last few months. I'll share photos as soon as they're ready. Mostly, I've been working on fun and functional knit items, but I did get a bit more done on my Christmas stockings. I've also begun blogging about my new passion and creative outlet at Evolution of a Gardener.[...]

Long Time No Blog


(image) I didn't realize how long it's been since I blogged. Several things have kept me away. I haven't done a whole lot of crafty things worth blogging about. I had a case of the winter blahs. My focus has been on taking care of the family and getting more organized since the move last year. The basement craft room got a bit chilly. It was dark and dreary and the light just wasn't good for picture taking. My current obsession is gardening, which I'm thinking about starting a separate blog for.

Spring is well under way. The sun is shining. Things are looking up on the crafty front. My oldest moved into the basement, so his bright and sunny, yellow room with a south facing window is becoming my craft room. Well, mostly a craft room? I'll be sharing it with kirk. It will double as his hobby room and library. He has a design for shelves he wants to build that will look great around the window. I suggested that he add a window seat with storage under. We'll see what happens. I think he liked the idea, but needs to figure out the best way to incorporate it into his design.

The wreath is my newest project done at my weekly craft group. It's not my usual style, which is much more asymmetrical and bold. Kirk helped pick out the flowers. He's planning to paint the door red and I wanted to make something that would look good with the red also. Without keeping that in mind, I probably would have gone with fuschia and vivid orange, not the best colors to put against red. The design is a result of laziness. The flowers I used were from a garland, not the usual bunches or stems. I lay the garland around the wreath, then decided to wire it on as it was instead of removing all the flowers and leaves and gluing them. I'm not sure if a bow will help, or maybe a little welcome plaque across the center. More likely than not, it'll stay the way it is.

Pink Quilt


(image) I made this quilt for my niece a couple of years ago. In my haste, I forgot to get a picture before our visit. I visited for a weekend during the holidays and was finally able to get a picture. I know my stepmother emailed one, but it was lost to the cyber demons. I'm happy to have a picture for my journal. This was the second quilt that I've completed. I have several more in various stages of progress, but it's nice to see evidence of accomplishment.

The basic design is a rail fence pattern. I used five different pink fabrics and strip pieced them. When I had all the blocks of three strips done, I laid them all out in the rail fence configuration. Then I moved the blocks around until I was happy with the randomness of the where the different fabrics came together. The quilting is a simple zigzag through the outer strips in each block. If the closeup, the stitching shows up just a bit in the lighter patches. The binding is just a narrow strip. I used a bright pink, patterned flannel for the back.

Winter Wreath


(image) Making wreaths is a popular craft at the group I attend. This is my most recent one from just before Christmas. I've had the flowers in a box since my move and this was a good way to use them up and display them. I like it just the way it is, without a bow, but I could see a winter sprite hanging from the top.

Stocking Bit 12


(image) I really don't know how I like this button cluster. Many crazy quilters use button clusters, but this is my first attempt. At least, I'm pretty sure it is. I've used a stray button here or there, but not clumped together like this. If nothing else, it adds balance to the heel motif and central area with all the beads and charms.

Stocking Bit 11


(image) A simple thing, these seed beads. I searched through my stash many times and couldn't find a color that was right for this spot. I, finally, just went to the craft store and bought more beads. It's difficult to believe there was nothing suitable in my stash, but there wasn't.

I sewed the little heart charm on with thread that I hope will blend in when you look at it from a distance. If it works, you will only notice the heart.

The fine gold web is also new here. The 'thread' is more like a tinsel type fiber. It's small, but fits the spot just right. I haven't decided if I will add a spider or not. Maybe a tiny one with a dark purple sewing thread?

Stocking Bit 10


(image) Here's the second pink elephant and a sparkly pink butterfly.

Stocking Bit 9


(image) A variety of heart charms hang below the flowers on this seem. The lace heart felt a bit flat and I knew I wanted to add something, but didn't know what. I really don't know how the little angel ended up there. I had considered it, but thought the angel was headed for another patch. It seems, when I finally had her in hand with needle and thread, she had a will of her own.

Stocking Bit 8



Embroidery with gold thread dresses up the beaded face. Working around the face, a fly stitch was tacked down with a detached chain. French knots add a bit of dimension within the fly stitches. Little glass butterflies finish the motif.

There is also a dragonfly tucked resting in the corner of two seems.

Stocking Bit 7


(image) These little flower beads were just the thing to finish off this seem.

Stocking Bit 6 - Pink Elephant Story


(image) I've added a few charms to the heel motif. The one in the upper left corner of the photo insists on lying upside down. It's a pink elephant. There are two of them peeking out of bits of trim like this. They may seem like just a pink girly thing, but they have a special story. I don't know why pink elephants are as easy to find as they are, but I'm happy about it.

When I was a young girl, my mother collected pink elephants as gifts for my Granddad. She considered it a special thing between the two of them. I should get the full story from her for the sake of posterity, but I think it had something to do with seeing Dumbo together when it was new. Pink elephants always remind me of my Granddad. He passed away several months after my older daughter was born. She's only a few short weeks from 16, just after the new year. Babies were a yearly event for a while there, between nieces & nephews, cousins, a brother, a sister, and my own two. My Haley was the last while Granddad was still with us. Miranda, who this stocking is for, never met him. She likes to look at her stocking and touch all the little bits. At only just two, she nods her head sagely and states, "This is my stockin'. It's a very special stockin'." She's a precocious child and wise beyond her years. Someday, I'll show her pictures of her Great Granddad and tell her about the pink elephants and why they are special.

As I'm about to post this, I see the date is my mother's birthday. It seems somehow appropriate.

Stocking Bit 5


(image) If memory servers, my mother in law and sister in law gave me a package of these bows when I started the stockings several years ago. There were red, green, and gold. Interestingly, at least one of those matches the color scheme of each stocking. There aren't many unifying features of the stockings as a group, so it's nice they all have this little bow in common. I've also added the bugle beads along the curved seam. They add weight and sparkle to the area.

I think when I worked on the stocking last year, I was undecided about whether to add gold. The early embellishments leaned more towards iridescent as the accent color. More and more, gold has found it's way into the project and I'm liking it.

Stocking Bit 4


(image) Added a few beads to a seam with up and down buttonhole.

Stocking Bit 3


(image) Bead dangles - string 5 seed beads, one large bead, one seed bead, back through the large bead and 5 seed beads

Stocking Bit 2


(image) I made a couple of these polymer clay faces to audition as the main motif on my black stocking, but hadn't sewn them on yet. On a whim I tucked one into the blankie on Miranda's stocking. I didn't like it, or the blankie, and eventually removed them both. Miranda saw it, though, and loved the sleeping baby, as she called it. So, I sewed it back onto her stocking without the blankie and then surrounded it with two rows of beads.

I am behind schedule on these stockings. I really wanted them done by the 1st of December. However, they are very close to finished now. I am into crunch time and I do get more done that way. I have a few pictures of newer additions to the stockings and will add them to the blog with a short blurb as I get time. I thought I might be able to finish them this weekend, but Miranda and I are sick, so it's unlikely. Soon, though.

Nativity Rug


(image) The advent candles at church sometimes drip wax on the floor. It must be a nuisance to get out of the carpet. There was talk of buying a rug to go under the candelabra and protect the rug, but what type of rug? Before I knew it, I had volunteered to make one. I used painting canvas and dyed it as close to the color of the carpet as I could. We didn't want it to stand out. To give it a bit of interest, I asked Kirk to draw me some nativity figures and then painted them on as silhouettes. The stars add a bit of atmosphere so it's not just a rug with some figures painted on. I sewed it like a mini quilt with a thin batting and backing fabric dyed the same color. I wasn't paying enough attention and ended up slashing the top to turn it through instead of the bottom. Oops. I added the circle on top to cover the slash. It looks a bit funny in the picture, but it is covered by the base of the candelabra. I finished it off with two generous coats of a water based sealer, which I'm hoping will let us just pop off any wax that drips.

Knit socks?


I'm learning to knit socks. Well, there's not much learning. It's just following a pattern. I have no idea why I'm knitting socks. I have the yarn. It takes up very little space. It can be done while the baby plays. Lots of my other hobbies require more space and have sparkly bits the baby likes to get into. This is easier.