March 2009 Newsletter, Issue 5
Greetings and happy basket weaving. I have so much to tell you in this letter that I am going to get right to business and let you know that I will be teaching two different baskets this month. They are a beginner basket and an intermediate basket. Let me get right to it by showing you the pictures of what we will be making.
Friday March 20, 2009 6:00 - 10:00 pm
The Easter basket is a beginning to intermediate level basket and is made with a wooden 8' x 12" 'D' handle. We will be using maple strips and complete it with a beautiful braided handle. Please note the longer class time for this basket. The cost of this class is $30 and additional kits are $15. A variety of spring colors will be available. The size of this basket is: 8" wide by 5 1/2" high not including the handle height. It is 12" high if you include the handle. (It will hold a lot of eggs. There are 14 eggs in my basket sitting on Easter grass when I took the picture).
Please note: Sign-ups for this Easter Basket class will be taken only from now through March 9th. The specialty handle needs to be ordered and this will give it time to arrive. Be sure to order any kits by March 9th as well.
A second note: It is best to have experience in weaving at least one basket before working on your Easter basket. I always want students to try new things, but I never want a brand new student to feel overwhelmed. If this is your first basket, I would strongly encourage you to sign up for the Springtime basket class the week before and do it first. It will introduce all the basic concepts of weaving and shaping a basket.
On a personal note, we’ve been enjoying a foreign exchange student from Germany at our home and she will be with us for another week. Katie’s German class hosted several exchange students here during the end of February through the first week of March. It’s been nice because they have had an agenda of things to do with her here in the area. What that means is that I’ve been getting to take her as well as my own family on some fun local outings. These are places I’ve wanted to visit but haven’t found the time for. Now I must make the time and I’m so glad we’ve gotten to explore ‘home’ a little more. What some of you may not know is when our children were little; we lived in Germany for almost four years, just south of Munich. This was for Mike’s job. Having the exchange student here in our home means I’ve gotten to practice my German speaking skills. Basket classes will start up this month after Jasmin, our German student, moves on to her next destination. Her group is off to Washington DC and then Disney World. I wish we could go with her.
Again, I provide all the weaving material. What you need to bring are the following:
Dish pan or large bucket to hold water
Old kitchen scissors
Old bath towel
A dozen or so spring type clothespins
A small flat blade screw driver
A great attitude and a smile on your face ;- )
Please wear old clothing to class
Class size is limited. Please call or e-mail me early so I may reserve your spot. Reservations are taken on a first come first serve basis. I will form a waiting list as needed. At this time, all classes are held in my home in Cabezon, 5 minutes west of St. Thomas Aquinas church. I will send all students specific directions.
Question of the month:
Nancy, Do you use any special tools to weave a basket? Answer: I can weave a basket with just the things mentioned on my list above along with my weaving material. As far as tools go, there are a couple of tools that I personally like to use that make weaving a little easier and faster for me. The first tool is called a spoke weight. It is a heavy metal ruler and I use it when laying out the base of a basket. It is like another hand and the weight of it helps keep everything in place. The ruler helps me keep everything centered and squared up. For someone starting, if you need another hand to help you hold things in place, just get a bag of dried beans out of your pantry. That will keep the spokes in place when you start weaving your basket. The second tool I really like is called a lashing tool. Some places sell it as a “lash buddy” or “lash saver”. My dear friend Anne calls it a basket weaving shoe horn because that is what it looks like only much smaller. It helps create a space for you to insert your lasher as you are weaving the rim of the basket. A flat blade screw driver does the same thing, but the lashing tool is just one step better in making weaving simpler.
Speaking of Anne, I’ve got to tell you just a bit about her because she really is special to me. Anne runs the Kumon Center here in Rio Rancho over on Southern. This is how I met her as all three of my children have excelled in math by learning the Kumon method. (Kumon teaches reading as well) Anne has taken some of my basket classes and she sent an e-mail to me after taking her first basket class and she gave me permission to share it with you.
During my short drive home on Friday night, I realized that was as relaxed and satisfied as I feel after a 1-hour massage. That, and I had a beautiful basket that I will be able to appreciate for much longer than the the benefits of a massage!
I was so proud and excited to show my basket to the Kumon moms today. They loved both the basket and the idea of spending a few hours with some new friends AND going home with a COMPLETED project! You absolutely have to put some brochures in the Center.
I can't wait until next month's class. Thanks so much for offering me the opportunity to learn a new craft... And most importantly, share some time with some amazing women!
~~~AnneAnne Kimiko Parham Executive Director Kumon Math & Reading Center of Rio Rancho 3751 Southerrn Blvd. SE, Suite D Rio Rancho, New Mexico 87124 USA Phone: 505-994-4466
Bonus Fun Instructions:
Did you see those sweet glittery eggs in the Easter basket? They are so simple to make. Just purchase some plastic eggs and using a foam sponge, coat them with clear drying glue. Any inexpensive clear drying glue will work. Then sprinkle on some extra fine glitter in your choice of colors and let dry. They are so sweet and so easy!
Please always remember, that if I’ve failed to mention something in this newsletter that you have a question about, just call or send me an e-mail and I’ll get right back to you with an answer. As I told you last month, I love weaving and I look forward to sharing my joy and enthusiasm of it with you. Here is my contact information:
Happy Basket Weaving and
Baskets of Blessings!