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,


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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

(Part 2) How I Began Basket Weaving and then some...

I had ended my story at my first class thinking that I would never get involved in basket weaving. You can read about it HERE.

Well, at the end of class, I had a basket. My first basket. I was so proud. It was far from perfect but it wasn't half bad. I took it to work the next morning and I showed the other nurses and workers. They were impressed and surprised that I could make that in one evening. Then....after my very first of the girls said to me...."Could you teach me how to make one?" I said, "sure I could teach you how to make one, but I don't have any supplies and I really wasn't planning on getting any supplies." I didn't have room in my home for a huge mess of reed like I saw in class. By the end of class three in that first series I had signed up for the second series of classes which was 4 weeks of making square baskets. Before that second series of classes had ended I had placed my first order for reed. I had also checked books out at the library on basket weaving and was learning on my own better techniques to improve the looks of my baskets. Before Christmas that year I had taught my very first class to the girls at work and I hadn't even woven 8 baskets yet! Look out though, when my reed arrived you couldn't stop me. I was fascinated with dying reed and loved to watch the color deepen during the dying process. I LOVED working with dyed reed and various color combinations within a basket. I loved cutting stakes and spokes to different sizes and just weaving away trying different things just to see what I could come up with. You would have thought each of my creations was a masterpiece the way I set it on the counter for display or presented it as a gift to someone. I had to weave a basket in green. Then I had to weave the same basket in blue and red and peach color and so forth. It was a bit overboard I realize now, but it was just downright fun.

Soon we moved to Wichita, Kansas. I knew we would be having our 3rd child so I wasn't to interested in going back to work doing eight or twelve hour shifts that are required of nurses. I'm an ASPO certified Lamaze instructor so I continued teaching childbirth classes just in the evening when Mike was home to take care of the babies and I was now home during the day. I continued reading and learning more about basket weaving and took some of my baskets to the local parks and recs in town. They were happy with what they saw and hired me to teach basket weaving for them. This was now fall 1996. My classes were full, over full. I said I would take 12 students, but the old students kept signing up for more and more classes so to give new students a chance sometimes my classes were as many as 18. The older students knew how to read my patterns and it was a chance for them to socialize in the evenings so really the large classes were not a problem. I was now teaching basket weaving one or two evenings a week, a Lamaze class once a week, and sometimes a specialty basket class on the weekends. A very dear friend of mine, Connie who took all my classes and was also an employee of the Parks and Recs. said to me that we should form a guild. So we did. The two of us formed Basket Weavers on the Prairie in Wichita, KS. I don't know if this guild is still in existance, but it was quite active for a number of years. Perhaps one of you reading this knows and could let me know. Thanks.

In 1998 we moved to Germany for Mike's job. It was only scheduled for us to live there 18 months. Well his project got extended again and again and we were there almost 4 years. As a family of five, we lived in a small 1500 sq ft duplex. (it was actually measured in meters over there) I knew our living quarters would be small (my kitchen refrigerator fit under the kitchen cabinet) so I didn't take my weaving supplies with me. Before moving I had become involved in scrapbooking so I really wanted to focus on scrapbooking our time overseas and had decided that would be the only craft I'd be involved in.

Upon our return to the states in 2002 we moved quite a bit, Kansas, Arizona, Florida, New Mexico. I'd teach a basket class here and there but we were never in one place to really get classes up and truly running. Another thing that had changed since I first began weaving is the look of home decor. When I started weaving the Country Clutter Cute look was in style with dusty rose and dusty blue being the colors of choice. Now people were interested in clean lines, leather furniture and so forth. I do feel that played a role in why I struggled with getting classes up and running as well at this point. There just has been a decreasing interest and the look of baskets did not mesh with the style of home decor as well.

Somewhere along the way in the last four years or so I discovered blogging. At first I thought, I could never do that. As I read more and more I thought, why not give it a try. Other than sending e-mails and simple word processing, I knew nothing about computers. I used my very first computer at the university to type a paper. It was on a floppy disk. What I'm getting at is that I didn't grow up with computers. Now I'm going to back up just a tad here. When I first began weaving and I'd show Mike what I made I'd say, "Look at this! Look at this new technique I learned." He would say, "Well you are the Basketmaster." When he very first set me up with e-mail he didn't consult me as to the name of my e-mail instead he just set it up as and I've had it ever since. This is where the name Basketmster came from. It was from Mike. When I decided to give blogging a try I thought about what I'd be writing. Basket weaving has been one of my favorite things I've ever done and still enjoy so I knew that had to be included. I also wanted it to include some of my other interests as well as a bit about the family from time to time. Hence, Basketmaster Weavings was born about a year and a half ago.

Part three of my story will continue tomorrow. Yep, it's not over yet but tomorrow is the final chapter.

May you have baskets of happiness today,



Juliana said...

I'm enjoying reading your "history"!
I love that your husband came up with "Basketmaster"! Much better than the hypothetical name my husband blurted out for me early on..."Armpit Baskets". He wasn't serious, but I was hurt at the I just think it's funny.

J.R. said...

I'm also enjoying your basket autobiography. About baskets being considered an unfasionable Country style: there are some places in the U.S. where the Home and Country style is still alive and considered fasionable. Arkansas is one of them. I don't have any trouble selling baskets here, even in the inner cities Now, I'm not talking about a huge metropolis, but Little Rock is the largest city in Arkansas and I have no difficulty selling baskets here.

With that aside, I think that baskets, no matter the designed interior, function as organizational items, as well as aesthetic interest. Before I returned to graduate school, I was a certified interior designer. My teacher was a huge admirer of baskets and what they can do for a space. How else are you going to keep those contemporary ( as in modern) lines so clean? I don't care what style one designs in, clutter in any space is completely unfashionable. I try to stress this in my own basket selling. Baskets come in all different designs, and not just country interiors. There are some baskets that can work in the most modern or even futuristic interiors.

Flea said...

What a very cool basket weaving story! I love it! I love that you taught for parks and rec. And that you're generally crafty!

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