May Your Life Be Like A Basket...Useful...Bountiful...Beautiful...

Basketmaster's Weavings is about my passions, much of which revolves around basket weaving. I weave with reed and I love teaching others to weave. Many of the patterns and styles that I show in the blog are geared to the beginning weaver, or even the brand new weaver. If you have been thinking about wanting to learn to weave, then this blog is for you. Throughout the blog and videos I take you step by step through each and every process of weaving. I want you to be successful in weaving the very first time you try. For the intermediate and advanced weaver, my wish is that you take ideas that I show, mix them up a bit, and incorporate them into your own beautiful creations.

Happy Weaving and Baskets of Blessings to all my visitors,

Nancy

You may find my YouTube Videos Here.

Listen to Basketmaster's Making our Home a Haven Podcast.



Thursday, September 25, 2008

My Fun Kitchen Basket

I like the look of slanted baskets and find them fun to make. The little bunny is actually wired onto the side of the basket for decoration. It is just the right size for holding a loaf of bread!
Love,
Nancy

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Marketing Class

This evening I took my second class through the New Mexico Small Business Administration. It was on marketing. I found the class to be interesting. The instructor covered our customers, products and services and went over a marketing plan structure in detail. Again, it was quite a diverse group of people in attendance. There were seven of us. I think for me, the right track will be to display at the church craft fair and try to get some classes lined up. As our instructor said though, the real trick with marketing is knowing what marketing techniques are NOT working for us and stop or change those so we can look for techniques that will work.
Love,
Nancy

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Technique/Tip Tuesday--Dying Reed


Today I would like to post my directions on how I dye my reed. There are several dyes on the market, but I use good old Rit dye and this is my recipe.

I use a large enamel pot and work outside on an outdoor propane burner. I fill the pot about 1/2 full of water which in my case is about 2 1/2 gallons of water. I get the water up to a boil and add one box of powdered Rit die, 1 cup table salt and 1 cup white vinegar. I use powdered Rit only because it cost less than the liquid, but liquid is fine. I use the salt and vinegar to help get the color to really set well. Yes, it will fade if placed in direct sunlight, most dyes will but the salt and vinegar just seem to help keep it from having any natural fading. Using my recipe gives me really rich colors. Once the water is boiling, I turn off the heat and add my reed. I will add 2 1/2 pounds of reed to this mixture. Any more than that, it just doesn't get the intensity of color that I like. Usually I will dye 1 pound of 3/8" flat and 1 pound of 1/4" flat. Then I use 1/2 pound of another size of my choice. This just seems to be what works for me. I open up my pounds of reed and submerge them into the pot of dye doing one pound at a time. I have a big set of barbecue tongs to help push the reed down into the water. Sometimes it wants to float and most times I have to turn it to be sure it gets complete coverage. I have plenty of newspaper on the ground to catch drips and to also lay the reed on to dry once it has achieved it's color. Getting the color usually only takes a few minutes, but I have been known to let the reed soak for up to an hour. Dying reed is a simple process and very fun to watch the colors appear. I don't wear gloves, but I do wear old clothes. Please don't dye it in your kitchen. Accidents can happen too easy and oh what a mess! Also, be sure to visit http://www.ritdye.com/ for color charts, techniques and ideas.
Love,
Nancy

Writing a Business Plan


Yesterday was my first class through the New Mexico Small Business Administration. It was on writing a business plan. There were 7 of us in the class and we all had quite diverse interests. The instructor, David Naquin pushed and probed to get us to really think about some of the questions and topics he presented. A business plan is the declaration and demonstration of your expertise. We looked at; What is the need or opportunity? Demonstrate your knowledge of your market. Describe your company. Describe your products/services. Use projected financials to show you understand how to make a profit. Show you understand cash flow and your actual funding needs.

It made me really think and I will be writing up a business plan this week. I'm sure I will revise it from time to time, but I think it will help keep me on the right track.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Another Blue Ribbon

What I didn't tell you yesterday is that I actually got 3 blue ribbons. I entered this scrapbook page into the fair as well and it received a blue. 3 for 3!!!! This really was a fun experience. Even the kid enjoyed seeing their mother's items on display. They want to enter things next year, and they should! I think we are going to make this a yearly family event.
Love,
Nancy

Saturday, September 20, 2008

My 2 Blue Ribbons




You all know that this was my first year to enter some of my baskets into the fair. Well, I entered in two categories and I got 2 blue ribbons!!!! How cool is that! My sweet friend Naomi took these pictures at the New Mexico State Fair from her cell phone and e-mailed them to me. Thanks Naomi! You're the greatest! I must say, I'm pretty excited about this.
Love,
Nancy

Friday, September 19, 2008

My Mistake and How God Spoke to Me


Dear Friends,
As you know I've prayed about my passion and about starting up my basket weaving teaching business. As you also know I've got a problem with time management. Well, God spoke to me through a stranger named Lorrie from "Teach Magazine" http://www.teachmagazine.net/home.php and a stranger named JoJo at "Grace Talk Soup."http://www.talkshoe.com/talkshoe/web/talkCast.jsp?masterId=19736
JoJo was interviewing Lorrie on her podcast and Lorrie was speaking about the importance of spending time with God EVERY day. She says this is #1 priority for a wise woman. Yes, I've heard this many times before, but there was something about the way that Lorrie phrased it that struck a chord. Yes I do go to church every Sunday and yes I do teach religion to 6th graders every Tuesday and yes I do listen to Joyce Meyer's podcast http://www.joycemeyer.org/ once a week but I've not really been spending time with God through prayer and the Bible. This is what should be my #1 task to do on my list for time management. I know in my heart that all things are possible through God. So, right here, right now I vow to spend quality time with God in the Bible and in prayer EVERY day. I know that through him my problems with time management will lessen and I can't wait to share with you in the future how I do with my time management skills and I also can't wait to share how other areas in my life will improve. Because I just know they will!
Love and blessings,
Nancy

Thursday, September 18, 2008

My Dream and Little Drum Basket


Don't you like it when you want something so much you start dreaming about it? Then you know in your heart you must really want it. I was dreaming about a basket to weave. It was huge and unique and used sheepskin. Ok, I know this sounds kind of crazy, but I have it pictured in my mind and one of these days I'm going to weave it! I'll post a picture of it when it's done. In my dream my basket was in an art gallery and had a price tag of hundreds of dollars and people loved it! I like it when I wake up and actually remember what I dreamed about. I can still see that basket so vividly in my mind.
The above basket is a drum. I know someone has a pattern for one of these. I just saw this picture in a magazine and I came up with my own pattern. The red and white stripes are 1/4" flat. The blue is 1/2" flat and flat/oval as well as #3 round. I used a 5" x 7" D handle. What a fun basket!

Love,

Nancy

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Time Management, Habits and Organization


I am struggling with time management, some habits, and some areas of organization in my life. I have come to the realization that these things are not going to improve themselves overnight. I'm 44 years old and I have struggled with them all my life. Let me back up by first saying that I HATE cleaning. I mean, I really hate housework. I've never had a housekeeper and most likely never will have one so this is a task that falls onto me. Now with that said, I do keep up with the minimum amount, but then it starts to pile up. Then it starts to snowball. Then my whole house needs vacuumed, dusted, toilets cleaned, and so forth. Ugh! I have the understanding that if I would just manage to do a little each day then my life would be much more pleasant and less stressful. It is very important for me to get my basket business up and running. I have continued to work on this, but certainly not as much as I would like. I guess I think it's pretty pathetic that I'm a SAHM and all my kids are in school and yet I feel I don't have the time to do this! What's wrong with me? Well, I guess it boils down to time management, my habits (the bad ones anyway) and organization or lack there of. Over the course of my life I have ups and downs in these areas where I will go for spells doing a great job of keeping up with the house, children, finances etc. It is at these times that I am really pumped up to get my own business going. Then there are other times that I feel like I'm drowning in little mundane meaningless tasks that just take up my time. I don't watch much TV but was watching a favorite program, "The Biggest Loser". These people have let this one area in their lives slip horribly and are getting on the right track to a better life. I have let my life slip with regards mainly in the time management area. It is right now that I vow to work on this. I know I can do it by creating one good habit and establishing it and then another and another and maintaining my previous good habits that I develop. Part of me honestly doesn't know where to begin. I am picking a place right now. I am going to maintain my incoming mail and the paper that it brings into the house. I'm going to get it organized, shredded, bills paid, filed, etc. Anything that has to deal with the mail is what I'm going to work on this week on a DAILY basis. If any of you have any great time management resources, please post them or links to them on my comments.
Thanks and Love,
Nancy

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Pencil Basket




Sunday, September 14, 2008

Home From Scout Camping and Woven Baskets #10 & #11


What a fun weekend we had at El Vado State Park in New Mexico. We were at a group campsite right at the lake and the weather was absolutely perfect with the exception of being a bit cold the first night. Thank goodness we had a portable space heater in our pop-up camper. This was the family campout with the scouts and there were 7 families who went. Since it was the family campout we didn't have to sleep in tents. I am so spoiled with having a pop-up. The water was wonderful and the kids spent a great deal of time swimming. A couple of the families brought boats so the boys worked on their boating merit badge and all the kids got a ride in the boat. I got to weave a couple of baskets. I opened it up to anyone who wanted to learn and two of the ladies stayed in the picnic area yesterday afternoon and wove a small round basket. It was nice to get to teach again. Everyone saw my baskets and got to know that I'm a basket weaver so I feel if they want to learn they will give me a call and this was just one way to get my name out there as a basket weaver. The boys however were not interested in weaving. It was just too much fun for them to swim and boat all day. That's ok though. One of the leaders suggested that after church when the cub scouts are doing their burrito baskets that I could work on the basketry merit badge with boys who want to learn. I think that is a really good idea. We as scouts already have the church hall reserved on those Sundays so I could incorporate the weaving with the burrito breakfast. Plus, anyone eating breakfast could come over and take a look at what we are doing. Again, another way for me to get my name out there. I've got to get some business cards made up.

So, that's all for today. I'm busy doing laundry and getting everything put away. So, till tomorrow,

Love,

Nancy

Friday, September 12, 2008

Woven Balls


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Sloped Gathering Basket


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Egg Basket

This egg basket uses embroidery hoops for the frame. Try to remove the metal or plastic tightening mechanism. If that is not possible, try to flatten the mechanism out and hide it behind the God's eye.
Love,
Nancy

Monday, September 8, 2008

Woven Basket #9

I'm on a roll now having woven 9 baskets in 2008 considering I just started a couple weeks ago. Today I did a small wall basket made of oak. I used #3 round reed looped around itself to form the handle. I think it turned out very cute. Tomorrow I will try to get more pictures taken.
Love,
Nancy

A Quiet Day


Today I've been doing a bit of paper crafting in preparation for the church craft show where I plan to sell my baskets and hopefully get some classes lined up. I've been using my Cricut and using the markers to outline and then cut different shapes. I've made some charms that I can thread onto a lollipop stick. I felt like I was in need of some lesser expensive items aka cheap. I plan to sell these for only .25 but hey it all adds up. I've also been planning my craft space. I need to plan to use vertical space as my horizontal space is limited. I plan to get milk crates, place them on their sides and then have a board going across between two of them. This will give me a shelf. I can stack these two high for additional space. I'll paint the boards a pretty color, I'm thinking red. Right now my plan is to decorate the booth with fresh red and white to attract the buyers and future students.

Love,

Nancy

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Scrapbook Sharing


Saturday, September 6, 2008

Scrapbook Sharing


Friday, September 5, 2008

www.smallbusiness.officelive.com


Today I heard about http://www.smallbusiness.officelive.com/ . It is a website run by Microsoft that is geared specifically for the ultra small business so it sounds perfect for those of us just starting out. I was told it is very easy to design my own web page and it will grow with me as my business grows. I am going to have to spend much more time researching this, but it sounds perfect for me. I can start out with just e-mail and blogging and can move on up to where I can sell things directly from the site. I heard about it from the podcast "Lets Talk Success With the Marketing Lady." This has been a very helpful and interesting podcast and I've enjoyed downloading all the shows and listening to them. Not having any knowledge of marketing, I've gained insight with every show I listen to.

Today I also finished lashing on the rim of the basket that I started yesterday and I got it stained. It turned out to be a very pretty basket.

I've been letting some of the housework go so when I post this blog, I've got to get busy and take care of my wifely/motherly duties which really should come first.

Happy Friday everyone,

Love,

Nancy

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Woven Basket #8


Today I've been weaving a basket on a slotted wooden base. I don't know what I was thinking. I thought that without having to weave the base it would save me time. Nope. It has so much more weaving than a regular basket of the same size. I also forgot how tricky those first two rows can be to keep all the stakes in place. I just need to put the rim on it and it will be done.

Love,

Nancy

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Basket Weaving, Basket Making

I wove two very simple round baskets this morning. They are for the scout camp out. One is slightly smaller and simpler that the boys can weave and the other just a little larger with a double lashed rim for the parents to weave. I'll get pictures up this weekend of them. I sure hope some of the boys and their moms or dads want to weave a basket. With a little luck, I hope to gain one basket class to teach from this trip.

Wall Basket


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Basket Weaving, Basket Making, Candle Holder

Today was a good day. I am trying to put weaving as a priority on my schedule and I did get a basket woven! It is a cute little market basket with a swing handle. I made it out of some space died pastel reed and some pink stakes. It was nice to complete a basket from start to finish. I'll swap out this picture for it when I get a picture taken of it. I sent my check of $30.00 for the Church craft bazaar so I will have a craft space. I plan to sell my baskets as well as get some classes lined up to teach. I've never done a craft show before so I have hopes of making $200 and scheduling 5 classes to teach. I wonder if I've set my goal too high or too low. Well, if I achieve the $200 and the 5 classes I'll be super excited. If I don't I'll be disappointed. I've already been having feelings regarding fear of failure. Fear of failure has stopped me countless times for starting my own business. I have to be in charge and not let fear stop me this time!
Love,
Nancy

Monday, September 1, 2008

Kitchen Utensil Basket





Grab a cup of coffee and take time to enjoy some posts from the past