Wednesday, December 31, 2008

An FO!

Finally! A finished object! I completed this pillow for my mother on Monday in preparation for her visit yesterday. I was pleased with how it turned out. Many thanks to Mary Corbet for providing the patterns for this wonderful alphabet!

Tomorrow being New Year's Day, I'm going to spend as much time as possible on creative pursuits. You know what they say...what you spend your time doing on New Year's Day is what you will be doing all year long.

Have a wonderful 2009!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas!

There has been very little online activity here at chez Kathryn Estelle. There has also been very little crafting. I  feel the stirrings of an FO frenzy coming on as I prepare to undertake a new project in January, so hopefully, there will be some items to post in the coming days. In the meantime, Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Winner of the Redwork Giveaway is...


Appropriately enough, she has a redwork blog banner!

Congratulations, Steph! Please email me your mailing address so I can send you your goodies.

Thank you to everyone who left a comment!

Friday, December 5, 2008

My First Giveaway!

I have been the recipient of a couple of giveaways recently, so I thought I would share the love and have one myself. I am giving away PatternBee's Redwork Christmas iron-on embroidery pattern set, a red and white kitchen towel ready for stitching, a white fabric bookmark, and three shades of red DMC embroidery floss. (Click on the link to see all of the images included in Redwork Christmas.)

To enter, simply leave a comment on this post. I will close comments and select a winner at random on Monday morning at 11:00 a.m. EST.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

November Report

November 2008 Mosaic
Originally uploaded by Kathryn Estelle
Hello, my name is Katy, and I am addicted to the Internet.

I had no real struggle avoiding blogging or uploading photos to Flickr during my "month off," but I couldn't stay away from reading my favorite blogs and looking at photos in my favorite Flickr groups. I've thought a lot about the possible reasons for this, and I think it is because these sources are where I get so much of my inspiration. I have only a few artsy friends, and I'm not able to spend much time with them, so I get this particular need I have met online.

I wasn't as productive as I'd hoped to be. I finished the chicken embroidery for a pillow top, and when I completed it, I resumed working on my Birkenstocks design. The quilted table runner didn't get finished as I'd hoped. However, I did resume doing some drawing and art journaling (I have not posted ALL of my efforts!), which I didn't necessarily plan to do, but I'm glad that I did. Also, I made a little progress on my knitting and crochet projects. The last week of the month, the kids were out of school AND we got a new puppy, so anything I intended to accomplish THAT week, didn't happen!

Anyway, I'm glad to be back, posting as I'm inspired to, and interacting more often with my online friends who motivate me so much!

Edited to add: You can click on the mosiac to see larger photos, or you can go to my Flickr set here.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Her Name is Biscuit

I'm here, and I want to blog about my "month off," but I'm a little under the weather with a cold or something right now, so I just don't have the energy. I'll try to get something posted in the next day or two.

In the meantime, we named the puppy Biscuit—the one name everyone in the family could agree on. In the South, a biscuit is an unsweetened baking powder roll, not what we call a "cookie." My son is especially fond of them.

Now, off to bed.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Is November Over Yet?

I haven't been very good about staying away from other people's blogs and from Flickr. And I couldn't resist showing you the newest member of our family. We still need a name, however.

Edited to add: Thanks for the reminder! It's a girl!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

November Break

My current embroidery WIP is my own design:

I'm also knitting and crocheting and working on an art journal and doing calligraphy! Needless to say, I'm feeling a little overwhelmed.

I've been thinking about taking an online break for some time now, and I think the time has arrived. No blogging or Flickring from now through the month of November. Thank you to everyone for your comments and encouragement! I will try to check my gmail account at least once a day, but otherwise I will try to keep my backside out of this seat as much as possible! Online Christmas shopping, alas, cannot be avoided!


Monday, October 13, 2008

Happiness is...

Seventy dollars worth of size 5 perle cotton for $20 (shipping included!) via EBay.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Birthday Crown Mystery

Last week, my baby, affectionately referred to by me as "Roo," turned five. I was determined to make a birthday crown for her, and I did. I was able to successfully attach the trim using the sewing machine, but when it came time to sew the front and back together, I experienced the one hiccup in my new found sewing success. I had contemplated blanket stitching around the edge anyway, so I decided to go ahead with it—despite the fact that the only blanket stitching I had done was on my beginning embroidery sampler.

The blanket stitching left a lot to be desired, but I knew the recipient had not inherited her mother's tendency towards perfectionism, so I overcame my misgivings about the final product and gave it to her on the afternoon of her birthday. She loved it! And she wore it that day and the next day as well. When it came time to have our family party a few days later with my parents who came from out of town, the birthday crown was no where to be found. We searched everywhere, and it still hasn't turned up! Needless to say, I am very disappointed. Thankfully, I had the presence of mind to take a photo immediately after I presented Roo with the crown!

On a happier note, I have perfected the cupcake. I use a Duncan Hines yellow cake mix, which makes 24 cupcakes. (I know, I know, but I tried baking them from scratch, and they just aren't as good!) The frositng IS made from scratch using the Easy Buttercream recipe from the King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion. Finally, I sprinkle a little decorative sugar on top in colors that will please the honoree. These cupcakes have gotten rave reviews from everyone who has tried them.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Just Because

I bought these teacups last weekend just because I love them. Eight for $6.50. I feel like I've already gotten my money's worth.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Making Peace with the Machine

One of the reasons I resumed this blog was that I was inspired to begin sewing. However, my first efforts were less than satisfactory, so I allowed myself to shift my focus to drawing and later to embroidery. BUT last week, I was determined to make my daughter a simple doll quilt for her birthday, and I was successful! I used the instructions for the Easy Baby Quilt in Last Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts. My mods were to make it smaller and to use regular ties since there is no risk of a baby eating the ties. I would have preferred a different fabric for the top, but if you know a five-year old girl...

My success with the quilt led me to make a pillow out of an embroidery project I was working on for my very wise friend Michelyn's birthday. I had already done most, if not all, of the stitching (I can't remember!), but I couldn't decide if I should frame it, mount it, or what. Once I felt comfortable with the sewing machine, I decided to make a small pillow, and I was thrilled with the result. The taupe linen I used is from a size 4X shirt I bought at the thrift store for $3! (I only used a piece of a sleeve for this project!) For the back, I used a dark red and taupe gingham, and I added a dark red grosgrain ribbon for hanging. The embroidery was done with my new favorite, #5 perle cotton, in dark brown (DMC #938). I made up the design myself using a vintage owl pattern I found here.

My sewing machine success inspired me to lay out a new table runner design using the "Fabulous Fall" Moda Charm Pack I bought during our trip to NC. I love the colors! I've never done any patchwork before, and I am shooting from the hip here (no pattern), so this could be an adventure.

Update 7-22-11: Looking at those beautiful fabrics makes me sad to have to say it, but I recently gave away most all of my sewing and quilting stash to someone who will make good use of it. Sigh...

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Two More Reasons to Love Embroidery

1. It's really fast! I completed this project in a few hours.

2. My kids can do it too! They are not ready to knit or crochet yet, but they have had no problem learning to embroider!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Why I Love Embroidery

I can't remember exactly what inspired me, but a few weeks ago, the embroidery bug bit me, and I am hooked. I have been crocheting for more than three years and knitting for more than two, so maybe it's just time for me to try something new, but I think it was a natural progression for a crafty type like me. I haven't had the time to do nearly as much embroidery as I would like, but I have been thinking a lot about what has attracted me to this medium. In no particular order...
  • After teaching myself to crochet and to knit, learning to do embroidery was extremely easy.
  • It is easy to pick up and put down and to transport.
  • You can do a lot with a few basic stitches.
  • There are a limited number of inexpensive supplies required for the craft.
  • The color and design possibilities are endless.
  • There are hundreds of free patterns available. Here are a few of my favorite sources: 1. Needle'n Thread and 2., and 3. the Hoop Love Vintage Transfers Flickr group.
  • Simple line drawings can be traced and used for patterns. This is what I did for my first project. I Googled "fleur de lis," printed a clip art image, sized it using image editing software, printed it, and traced it onto my fabric using a water soluable pen.

  • The supplies are generally readily available. I say generally because in the town where I live, I CANNOT PURCHASE EMBROIDERY FLOSS. Yes, you understood me correctly, and I am not mistaken. I live at least an hour-and-a-half from the nearest craft store! However, as you probably guessed, there is a Wal Mart in town, and it still sells fabric, so for that I am thankful. I got a really nice muslin there this week.
  • Because I do a little drawing and lettering, I am inspired to create my own original designs, and I already have several in mind.
  • Embroidery can be combined with quilting and sewing and other types of mixed media such as artist trading cards and art post cards to create wonderful, interesting artwork. Take a look at this!
  • There is a great Flickr group with lots of inspiration.
I'm sure I will come up with more reasons to love embroidery. If you embrodier, WHY DO YOU LOVE IT?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

FO: Anne Scarf

Here is my latest FO—a crocheted scarf I made for my friend, Angela, for her birthday. It's the Anne pattern. Raveled here.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Sneak Peek

Just a quick look at what I've been working on...

My first efforts at embroidery!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Crocheted FO!

I haven't knitted a thing since I finished the feather and fan scarf, but I have steadily been crocheting this blanket for a new baby, primarily while watching our Friday night DVDs. I used Lion Brand Cotton-Ease in Blossom and a J hook. It's half-double crochet with a basic ruffled border. Great yarn. I think it will be my standard baby blanket yarn from now on. Now I'm itching to knit something, but I have some more small crochet projects I need to complete first. Details forthcoming!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Recipe: Banana Bread

I have loved Banana Nut Bread for as long as I can remember, and I have tried many variations of the recipe, but this one is still my favorite. It is an adaptation of a family recipe that I have modified enough that I am comfortable calling it my own. I have often substituted pecans for walnuts, but I prefer the walnuts. I give this to people for gifts, and they always rave over it. I often bake two loaves at a time. Enjoy!

Kathryn Estelle's Banana Bread

¾ cup whole wheat flour
¾ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 ripe bananas
1 cup sugar
¼ cup canola oil
2 eggs
1 cup chopped walnuts

Peel bananas, break into pieces, and place in bowl of an electric stand mixer. Use mixer on low speed to mash bananas. To bananas, add sugar, canola oil, and eggs, and mix well. In a separate bowl, mix the flours, salt, and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low until just combined. Add the walnuts to the batter, and fold them in gently by hand. Do not over mix the batter. Pour batter into a greased (I use canola oil spray.) 9 x 5 inch metal baking pan, and bake at 350 degrees for one hour. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes before turning out bread onto a wire rack to finish cooling.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Fiber Update

Since I finished knitting the feather-and-fan scarf, I haven't been able to motivate myself to knit anything, but I have several projects in mind. One is a Baby Surprise Jacket for my cousin's baby expected in October. Are you game, Happy Hands? I'm going to use the Cherry Tree Hill DK, I think.

I have been doing some crocheting. I made a washcloth for a friend's birthday gift, and I am working on a simple baby blanket. It is very basic, but I'm thinking of making the pattern available when I'm finished. It's the type of thing I was looking for when I was a beginning crocheter, and its the kind of mindless project I need for DVD viewing.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Knitting FO

I finally finished the feather and fan scarf that I have been working on for months. It is Wendy's pattern (No purling!) and the yarn is Brooks Farm Four Play. I'm really pleased with how it turned out, and the recipient seemed to love it as well. Raveled here.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Hiatus FOs

I took a break from blogging for a while because once I got onto Ravelry, the intended purpose of this blog had been met through that wonderful medium. However, I eventually returned here so that I could document some new found creative interests. During my time off, I completed several knitting and crochet projects, as you can see in the photos above. For more info on these projects, visit my Ravelry page.

Post edited for clarity 7-22-11.