New Batch of Pendants & Felt Ornaments!

Before showing you my newest creations, I’m excited to say that my Artichoke and Roasted Garlic Bread won in the bread category of the Virtual Vegan Potluck! Thank  you all for your votes and congratulations to the other winners!

I recently made up a new batch of pendants and wanted to share some new photos with you. If you’re looking for a unique gift for the holidays, a handmade pendant, a pair or earrings, or a bracelet might be the perfect thing!

KMDisplay

Though I have quite a few pendants made up, my inventory varies as they are sold since each pendant is one of a kind. It’s hard to keep up with photographing each and every pendant separately, but if you see one that you like in these photos, let me know and I’d be happy to send you more photos of that particular pendant.

KMPendants

Many of the pendants can be paired with matching earrings or a bracelet, which makes a nice gift set! I also have others listed on Etsy in my shop, The Creative Kat.

KM6PenantEarrings

Each pendant, bracelet, or pair of earrings comes in a cotton lined jewelry box. The pendants come on your choice of a chain, cord, or ribbon necklace. Pendants are $20, earrings are $15, and bracelets are $30. If you buy a pendant and earrings together, it’s only $30 for the set, and if you buy a bracelet and earrings together, it’s only $40 for the set.

KMBracelets

In addition to the fused glass jewelry, I also have adorable hand sewn felt ornaments for sale!

KMFelt

They are each $15, however if you are buying multiples I can give you a bit of a discount. If you are interested in purchasing an ornament, let me know which style you would like and if you have color preferences – raccoon, fox, owl, elephant, fish, flower, squirrel, ladybug, cat, gnome, or Santa Claus. Certain ornaments pictured are already sold or are for custom orders, but I can make more of these designs upon request.

If you’re interesting in purchasing anything or have any questions you can leave me a comment on this post or email me at madebykathryn@gmail.com. Thanks for looking! I hope you are all enjoying the holiday season!

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Experiments with Color and Shibori

I’ve been posting about hand dyed fabrics quite a bit recently. Hopefully you are all enjoying that in addition to the recipes. I’m enjoying sharing my food and crafting adventures with you! Hand dyeing is my newest crafting love. It’s just so fun creating your own fabric, and I love the surprise of seeing how it turns out!

I just finished my latest batch which was mostly an experiment with mixing color. I recently ordered some charcoal gray, a bright fire red, and a navy blue. The pure dyes (and some of the mixed ones) tend to be fairly bright, so I wanted to trying toning them down a bit. I accomplished this by mixing pure colors together and also mixing them with charcoal gray.

Cool Tones

We’ll start with the cooler tones. In the photo above, the fabric all the way to the left is charcoal gray by itself. The second from the left is an olive green, which was a mix of blue, yellow, and tiny bit of red. Oddly enough, when I was rinsing this one out the water ran a deep purple. The fabric must have absorbed most of the yellow and left more blue and red behind. The third from the left I honestly can’t remember what I mixed together to create that color, but I bet it was a mix of yellow, blue, and charcoal gray (I need to keep better notes!) The one all the way to the right is a chartreuse green created by mixing yellow with a tiny bit of turquoise.

Warm Tones

And now on to the warmer tones. The fabric all the way to the left is fire red by itself. It turned out very bright, but a truer red than the fuschia red I used last time. The second from the left is fire red with charcoal gray. The third from the left is orange with a little yellow and charcoal gray. The one all the way to the right is mostly yellow with a little orange and a little charcoal gray. One thing that I noticed about a lot of the fabrics was that they have little speckles of other colors. I haven’t had this happen with other batches. This could be caused by the dye not being mixed up enough, or it’s possible that a little bit of the red dye got into some of the other dye baths. It’s not a bad effect necessarily and I’m sure it could be the perfect texture for certain things, but it’s not what I intended.

Shibori Circles

Last, but not least, I also experimented with shibori. Shibori refers to a variety of Japanese techniques including folding, wrapping, binding, stitching, and other ways of manipulating fabric to create patterns when dyeing.

Stitched Circles

I specifically tried the technique of stitching fabric using a running stitch and then cinching it up tightly. I just free form stitched circles following staggered spacing in rows. I cinched up each circle and tied off the thread before dyeing the fabric in navy blue. The photo above shows what it looked like after I stitched the circles. The photo below shows what it looked like after cinching the circles.

Cinched Circles

I’m really happy with the results of the concentric circle fabric! This was somewhat time consuming and a little challenging (of course that means I loved it!) The toughest part was cutting the stitches out after the fabric was dyed and dried. They’re cinched so tight it’s a challenge to snip the threads without cutting the fabric by accident.

Shibori Circles

The other didn’t turn out quite as well. I think I made the stitched design too intricate. You can see that the patterning did not show up in the center medallion except for the zig zag circle. The other mistake I made was using the wrong thread. I tried using cotton quilting thread, which is not strong enough to be cinched up without snapping frequently. Once I switched to a thick thread for sewing denim it went a lot smoother.

Shibori Zigzag

The circles around the outside were created by bunching up a little bit of fabric and wrapping thread tightly around it. I like the way these turned out. I will definitely be trying out more stitched shibori, and I look forward to using these fabrics to make quilts, pillows, and lots of other crafty things!

Hand Dyed Fabrics – The Results!

My first round of hand dyed fabrics are finally ready! It’s fun to see how they all turned out with lots of surprises along the way. For the first batch, I decided to just use the colors as they came without mixing any of the dye powders together. I wanted to get a sense of what they look like on their own. They turned out pretty bright. Some of them are probably brighter than I would actually use in a quilt. It’s good to see how the pure colors look, and next time I will try mixing some to see what new colors I can get.

I can tone some of them down by over-dyeing. I will also use some of them to try out wax resist and then over-dyeing. What you’re seeing here is a middle step of the process. Most of the fabrics will look different in their finished state, but there are a few that I’ll leave the way they are now. I made little notes on each photo, so if you scroll through the gallery you can get more info about each fabric.

The blues took a really long time to wash out. They’ve been soaking for a couple days now and have been through multiple washes. The other colors washed out a bit easier. What this means is that I probably used a bit too much dye for the amount of liquid, although I was relatively conservative with the dye (so I thought!). Next time I know I can probably get away with a little less dye.

This is an experimental process, so there will be a lot of trial and error in figuring out colors and patterns. There’s only so much you can do to control the process, but that makes it fun. You never know what you’ll get when you unwrap your bundle of fabric, and you can always keep changing it until you’re happy with the result!

 

Spring Planting – Potted Herbs and Hanging Baskets

I finished up what I think will be the last of my spring planting, but at the rate I’ve been acquiring plants I can never be sure! For Mother’s Day I potted up a little herb garden for my mom. It was so cute, I decided to make one for myself too. I don’t have a good picture of my mom’s pot of herbs, but I chose the same pot (the green one in the top picture) and similar herbs to use for mine. I had too many herbs to fit in one pot, so I filled up two.

Herbs

Herbs

It’s expensive to buy fresh herbs at the grocery store, and buying a little herb plant costs about the same as one bunch of herbs. It seemed to make sense to just plant herbs that I use often to keep on hand. There’s a flower market every year about two blocks from where we live, and they had a big selection of herbs. I ended up getting Silver Edge thyme, creeping Prostrate rosemary, dwarf sage, apple mint, dill, sweet basil, and Mini Purple basil.

Dill

I’m not convinced that the dill and Mini Purple basil are going to make it, but the rest look pretty hardy. The mini purple basil just doesn’t seem to be thriving as much as it was when I first bought it, and the dill promptly threw itself over sideways as soon as I planted it. We’ll see if it rights itself again.

Dill

The neighbor’s very friendly cat also came over for a snuggle, which he does just about every day.

Neighbor's Cat

He also rolled around in the potting soil getting himself all dirty. Sometimes I think he’s trying to move in with us because he hangs out at the back door quite often. The neighbors have dogs and I think he knows we’re an all cat household and wants in on that. He’s a real sweetheart.

Neighbor's Cat

And last but not least, I potted up some hanging baskets for the front porch. I got the hanging pots at Joann Fabrics for a good price. They were $19.99 to start, but were 50% off, and then I had an additional 20% off coupon so they were only about $8 each. Then, of course, add in the plants which were about $40 total, so it ended up being about $28 per hanging basket. Pre-potted ones in that type of basket can run a bit more than that at most garden centers, usually $30-$40 around here, so we saved a little bit by doing it ourselves. We filled the hanging baskets with Calibrachoa (Callie’s Peach), Dichondra (Silver Falls), and Amstel Begonias (Dark Britt).

Hanging Baskets

So that’s just about it for our spring planting. Are any of you planting up any herbs or flowers? What’s in your garden this year?

 

New Spring Garden Additions

This past weekend I feel like I visited every garden center within a 20 mile radius. Okay, it certainly wasn’t every one, but we went to at least 7. I wouldn’t say I have a green thumb. I’m actually not that great at keeping plants alive, which is maybe why I’ve come to adore succulents and cacti so much. They don’t die as easily. I’ve been trying to learn more about gardening in hopes of keeping our new landscaping efforts alive and well. We’ve been doing tons of yard work, and have made some pretty big changes.

I could kick myself for not taking a before picture to show how big the change has been, but let me set the scene. The front of the house used to have 8 Emerald Green Arborvitae. Three were behind the bushes you see in the photo. Two of those bushes used to be near the tree and we moved them back to be in a row of four. There was also a large unidentified bush in the back on the right. The other 5 arborvitae were in a row right behind the tree. Basically there were so many bushes you could barely see the house. We dug up and moved all of the arborvitae to the back yard. The large unidentifiable bush wasn’t in great shape, so we cut it down and dug out the root ball.

Update! I did find an old picture after posting this! Here it is:

Picture 2

As you can see in the photo, all that work left us with a blank slate this past weekend, hence the many garden center trips.

Starting with a Blank Slate

We put in a lot of new small plants around the tree including Elijah Blue Fescue, Silvermound Artemesia, marigolds, coleus, and candytuft.

New Flowers

Blue Fescue, Marigolds, Silvermound Artemesia, Candytuft, Coleus

We also potted a few plants for the steps and the porch including Gerbera daisies, ranunculus, and some more coleus and Candytuft.

Gerbera Daisies

Red Ranunculus

Yellow Ranunculus

I couldn’t resist adding a few new little succulents to my growing window garden. I’ve been eying up various types of stonecrop, and had to buy this cute little light green one when I saw it. I got a couple other little succulents to add to the pot.

Succulents

I also fell for this tiny little fern. It’s hard to get the scale from this photo, but the fern is only about 3 inches tall and I potted it in a little bonsai pot.

Fern

And here’s another shot of the whole window succulent garden.

SucculentWindowGarden

It got really cold out the past couple nights, so I’m hoping that the outdoor plants survive. They seem to be doing okay so far. Hopefully we are past the point of frost! Anyway, all of this gardening has kept me from cooking as much, but I do have a few new recipes in the works for upcoming posts. I just wanted to share what I’ve been up to these past couple weeks. I’m glad to have most of the gardening finished. Turns out it’s also a good way to meet neighbors! Everyone who walked by said hi and commented on the gardening. It helped keep up the momentum to continue working even though it was pretty exhausting at times. I have to say, despite the hard work, it was also fun and I’m happy with the results of my first time landscaping efforts!