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.



Sunday, February 28, 2010

Paper Crafting Easter Tree Ornaments

Good Morning Friends,
I've been having fun using my Cricut machine to make some ornaments for my little Easter tree.
You could use any die cutting machine or cut some out by hand. The key is that they need to be basically symmetrical images on the left and right sides.

Cut out five of each shape from double sided cardstock and stitch all five images together with some heavy thread. Then fold the top two pieces toward you and the bottom two pieces fold away from you to make a 3-D ornament. I then added a few beads to the top and bottom on the string for embellishment.

Here is my finished Easter tree that I put together just using six branches with tiny flowers that I got at Hobby Lobby. For the hanging eggs, I drilled holes in the tops of plastic eggs and threaded a ribbon into the eggs for a hanger.
Have a Blessed Sunday,
Nancy


This post links to:


DIY Day @ ASPTL

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Bird Crafts Party

Read more: http://birdcrafts.blogspot.com/2010/03/easter-link-party.html#ixzz0iv0eUNXi

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Around the House Saturday - a special day



Dear Friends,
I'd like to introduce you to two very special people in my life, my mom and dad. Yesterday was a very special day. It was my parents 54th wedding anniversary. They live in Kansas and I'm hoping to visit them in a few weeks. I am so blessed to have them as parents and in my life and I wish we lived closer where we could see them more. We love you mom and dad.

Have a wonderful weekend everybody.
Nancy

Friday, February 26, 2010

Feature a Friend Friday - Pam Kurkowski




Dear Friends,
I'd like to introduce you to Pam Kurkowski who blogs over at Baskets N Prims and Primitive Basketcase. Pam does some beautiful weaving and on this coming Tuesday, watch my blog for a technique that Pam uses to make a fun primitive basket handle.
I'm a self taught basket weaver & made my first basket in 1989 from a kit that I bought. I have made well over 3000 baskets and used to do shows but stopped about 10 yrs. ago when the economy started getting bad here in Mi. My favorite baskets to make are plaited but do make the occasional ribbed basket. I love the primitive style so I make alot of shaker style baskets & one of my
best sellers are the shaker cheese basket & I offer them in 4 sizes. I make my own walnut stain from walnuts that I collect each fall which are abundant in our area. When I make painted baskets I use milk paints which I buy online then I prim them up with a method I experimented with a couple of years ago. I have numerous patterns that I bought years ago but seldom use them now. I also have several books that I have bought and I love to do research on antique baskets. Over the years I have also really gotten back into cross stitch and sewing as I wanted to fill our home with primitives. I've recently started needlepunch and making blackened beeswax candles and ornaments. There are just so many things that I enjoy & there never seems to be enough time. If any of you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at basketpam@gmail.com I am happily married with 3 grown children and 2 adorable grandsons. My family is my number one priority and I am so fortunate that I am able to be "keeper of the home."
Pam sells her work over at Early Work Mercantile where you can see some of her beautiful Shaker cheese baskets among other works. I hope you'll take a few moments and visit her sites and enjoy her baskets and prim creations.
Baskets of blessings,
Nancy

Thursday, February 25, 2010

(Part 3) How I began Basket Weaving and then some....

Today I finish my story about how I began basket weaving. You can read part one HERE and part two HERE. I'm also going to mention where I think basket weaving is going to go in the future.


Just before this last Christmas I started developing my own website, http://www.basketmasterweavings.com/ . I have some ideas on where I want to take the website but I'm having trouble actually implementing them. Quite frankly the website has been stagnant and I'm not happy about that. I genuinely feel that God is calling me to reach out to others with His word. Over quite some time but the past year in particular, I've been so saddened with things I see, lack of human respect, the divorce rate, child abuse, the list goes on. It is nothing new, but these are things that have touched me greatly lately. (Perhaps I'm thinking more of these things as my own children are getting older. I pray my kiddos find good spouses and then I pray for the welfare of my future grandchildren.) I know my marriage and home life are far from perfect, but it is good and it is stable. I'm feeling a tugging that's hard to explain in that God wants me to use what I know to teach others. I know there are a lot of women (and men) out there who are just clueless about some of the important aspects of life. Back when I was working in the hospital I helped two 12 year old girls give birth to babies, yes 12 year olds. I had a handful of 13 and 14 year olds and more 15, 16, and 17 year old patients than I can count. Many of these girls were addicted to drugs, cocaine, methadone, heroin, etc. and then I had to take care of drug addicted babies. You can only imagine what their family situation was like. I'm a believer that things can change.

Like I said, I know my household is not perfect but I'm feeling that in some small way God is calling me to reach out to others and teach them. I don't know that my website is the way to do it, but it will be a start. I don't know how others will even find me and if they do will they be interested in what I have to write and say? I want to include my baskets and my crafting and homemaking skills on it as well. I'm just having trouble visualizing how I really want the website to turn out. It's a process. Then there is the question of if I should have a website AND a blog or just move everything over to the website? I guess time will tell with that.


I'd also like to sell some of my work on my website as well as some of my patterns. I've just been so timid to take the plunge. When I teach and had taught all those basket classes, I would write all my own patterns so I've got a notebook full of about 75 or so. I'd like to learn the process of running my own business. I'd like to sell other things I create besides basket related items. I'd like to try my hand at an Etsy shop. I'd like...I'd like....I'd like.... Every time I think I'm ready to take the plunge I present myself with all kinds of objections. And then I wonder how can I incorporate what I feel God calling me to do with my crafts?

So where do I think basket weaving is going to go in the future? I'm glad you asked. In the last 365 days I've seen a considerable leap forward in the handmade industry. I think handmade and homemade has been growing over the last 4 years or so, but in this past year the bell curve has skyrocketed upward. I see people more interested in crafting now than ever. I see people more interested in cooking at home. People want to make it themselves. They want to grow it themselves. I'm here to teach them what I can.

As one added side, people want to be green. They want to use what they have on hand or have access to. Every week for the past several months I've had questions asked to me about working with willow, grapevine, grasses and other locally grown materials. I know a few of you out there use these materials and I have you listed on my blog sidebar. I always direct the readers with these questions to your websites as it is an area that I have no expertise in at all. The sheer number of these questions leads me to believe that this style of weaving will be increasing immensely. I'll leave that teaching up to you.

So, if you've continued reading this far over these last three days you now know my story. If you get a chance on your blog, perhaps you will write your story. I'd love to read yours. Let me know with a comment you are out there and what you are up to and creating these days.

Please know that I pray for my readers every day. I am thankful for each and every one of you that you are a part of my life.
With love and blessings,
Nancy

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 basket....one 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 basketmaster_nancy@yahoo.com 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,

Nancy

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

How I Began Basket Weaving and then some... (Part 1)

I first learned to weave baskets back in October 1994. I was pregnant with Emily at the time. My story begins much earlier than that though.

I was born August 26, 1964 in Hutchinson, Kansas and I have one younger brother. (I told you my story started long ago.) I've always been involved in craft projects of one form or another. When I was a young child, about kindergarten so age 5, my mother taught me to embroidery a simple chain stitch on tea towels. After that I remember my mother coming up with a craft for me to do each summer. One of the first summers it was making Plaster of Paris molds and painting them. The molds had flowers and Strawberry Shortcake designs. Many of you are too young to remember, but McDonalds plastic lids for their drinks used to have embossed images of Ronald McDonald, the Hamburgler, Mayor MacCheese etc. I would pour Plaster of Paris into those lids and then paint the characters after the plaster dried. One summer it was decoupage, another summer I learned to wheat weave and the next year it was needle point and more embroidery and crewel work. I used to think this was great fun. Looking back as a mother now, I realize mom was a smart cookie for coming up with things for me to do to keep me out of her hair during those long summer months of no school to keep me busy. I would make hundreds of creative creations every summer. Around age 10 I learned to use the sewing machine and away I went with fabric.

Mike and I married while in college. At that time, my creativity consisted of painting t-shirts and actually selling them in some local boutiques. One year for my birthday, we lived near a stained glass shop that had classes, Mike got me a series of stained glass classes and the equipment needed to do stained glass. Only trouble with that class is I was pregnant with Katie at the time and the smell of the flux used in stained glass triggered horrible morning sickness during class.

While working as a registered nurse, I saw in the Parks and Recs brochure, a class for basket weaving. It was just before Christmas and the brochure promoted making a basket as a Christmas gift. I thought, well, I've never done that before why not give it a try.

It was a 4 week series of classes on just round baskets where we made one a week. Looking back, I realize that the instructor herself was rather new at making baskets and I really wasn't taught proper technique at that time. Anyway, for the first class the instructor brings in two of those huge black trash bags that you rake your leaves into FULL of reed. They're huge. She dumps them out onto the floor. It was a major mess. She shows us what we are to make and then lets us pick out the reed from this mess of stuff on the floor. I was lucky to find a piece of round reed longer than 3 feet. I truly remember thinking, ok this is interesting, but I'll never get really involved in making baskets.

As I continued writing, it was easy to see that this post was too long so you will have to wait until tomorrow to read my continuing story.

Baskets of Blessings,
Nancy

Monday, February 22, 2010

Using a Blog Calendar

Dear Friends,
Do you use a blog calendar? I wanted to share mine with you as it is something that just helps me keep my thoughts straight when planning future posts.

I begin by downloading a free printable calendar. I got mine HERE. My preference is the one month on one page format. What I like about this one is that there is room for notes on the same page below the calendar.

I insert holidays and important family days on the calendar. Then I fill in the empty spots with blogging ideas as they come up. If I feature a friend that is typically on Fridays so I would write that information in on whatever Friday I want to schedule someone for.

I don't only think of holidays, I try to think ahead about the season or other events. For instance May is the end of school so I will want to write about end of the school year teacher gifts at that time.

Sometimes I run across information on the internet that I feel worthy of sharing. I can just schedule it for an empty day.

What do you do to help you schedule your posts?

Baskets of Happiness,
Nancy
This post links at:

The Girl CreativeSumo Sweet StuffBWS tips buttonDIY Day @ ASPTL

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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Share a basket Sunday - Bread Basket

I dug up this old photo of a basket I wove ages ago. In fact, it was one of the first 20 baskets I ever wove before I knew how to lash a rim on properly. I painted on the little flowers and leaves on the 1" strip of reed and on the handles.
What I want to point out is look closely at the handles. They are reed that has been overlapped on itself. They are actually the ends of the long horizontal stakes in this basket.
If you ever need a handle and don't have wooden ones handy, using reed like this makes for a quick and easy substitution especially if you are using the basket that won't contain anything too heavy such as a loaf of bread.
Have a blessed Sunday,
Nancy
p.s. Emily went ice skating again last night after church! That is three times this week. She is still asleep and I won't wake her but I'm anxious to see how she is feeling today. The doctors say that exercise is good for fibromyalgia. I'll take that little girl ice skating every day if it helps.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Around the House Saturday

Hi Friends,
Just having some enjoyable family time these past few days and I haven't had much to write about. I guess we all need the occasional blogging break. Emily has had a few good days which is a blessing and has asked to go ice skating. I've taken her twice this week. I'm so glad to see her doing more.
The weather has been pretty and temperatures up to 57 so we've been spending time outside (except for the ice skating).
I'm still struggling with getting my document from Microsoft Word to post in a decent fashion. I appreciate all the suggestions I've received thus far but I haven't been successful as of yet.
The biggest time sucker we've been involved in is watching the TV series "Lost". We've never watched that series but got started on it watching season 1. It is SOOOOOO addicting! Of course if you watch it you know most every episode is a cliff hanger.
So I'm waving to you all from New Mexico and wishing you a wonderful weekend.
Baskets of Happiness,
Nancy

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Would you be so kind to explain something to me....

Hi Friends,
I'm trying to create a blog post of my task/cleaning schedule that I wrote about a few days ago. I have it typed out in 3 columns in Microsoft word. When I try and place it in the post here, it just makes it one long list that looks like a mess. So....I tried saving it as a PDF file because I've seen bloggers have tutorials and things in a PDF format. I still cannot get it to post here or I should say, I cannot copy and paste it in its PDF format.

Would one or more of you kind, KIND readers explain to me how to get something I've written in Microsoft Word to appear on my blog post without it distorting my columns. It doesn't have to be a PDF file, just whatever will work to get it posted.

Please tell me this made sense what I'm asking. I sure hope someone can help me. Anybody???
With warm blessings,
Nancy

Free Crochet and Knit E-Book

FaveCrafts has done it again. This time they've teamed up with Red Heart and have put together this great e-book for crocheting and knitting. I'll have to show you some of my crochet work that I've been doing lately. I just need to get busy and photograph it. Anyway, be sure to download your free e-book HERE. This e-book has 21 crochet afghan patterns and 4 knit afghan patterns.
Enjoy your day today. May you find a little time to do some weaving or crafting.
Nancy

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Altered Composition Notebook



Good Morning Everyone!
I wanted to take just a quick moment to share with you my gardening journal that I have been using. I take short notes as to what I plant and when. I also include where in the garden the plants are located and how well they produced. Coming up this will be my third year for it and I've already written that I started my tomato and pepper seeds. It was just a simple composition notebook that I covered with patterned paper and then added 3D embellishments. I made the yo-yo flowers as well as I crocheted the butterflies. I've added pebbles, beads, rick-rack and chipboard. Surprisingly everything has stayed attached very well over three years now. It is a notebook that makes me smile.
Baskets of Happiness,
Nancy
I'll be linking this post at:

Sumo's Sweet StuffMaking DIY Day @ ASPTLPhotobucket
BCD Show and tellMaking your home sing Mondays

My Lenten Resolution

Dear Friends,
Today is Ash Wednesday. It is an important day on the Christian calendar as it is the beginning of Lent. It is a time of preparation for Easter the highest of Holy Days. It is a time of repentance and prayer. Many people use this season to give up something as a sacrifice and to offer that sacrifice up to God. I teach religion, this year to first graders, and I speak to them about Lent and having a Lenten resolution. Those children can come up with some thoughtful answers. "I'm going to share my toys every day." "I'm going to help my mother every day with chores." "I'm going to pray every day." Some I'm sure have heard their parents speak about what they are doing for lent and will say, "I'm not going to watch TV," "I'm not going to eat candy," and so on. I really stress to them, and to my own children that this is a time not just of sacrifice, but a time to keep Christ first and foremost in our thoughts and in our actions. It is a time to work on becoming closer to Christ and becoming a better person.

I've given quite a bit of thought this past week as to what my Lenten resolution would be this year. For myself I've decided to truly be obedient to my husband and to put him first above myself. It is easy to say, "sure Honey I'll get to that," and it gets pushed to the bottom of the pile or is the task completed at the end of the day. I have decided that when he asks me to do something I will put it first, if at all possible, and do it right away or at least at my first opportunity. I will also do it with a glad attitude and happy heart. So when he asks me to help him with the taxes, ugh that's going to be the tough one for me, I'll smile and say "sure". It will be hard to have a happy heart for that task.

One thing I must confess is so far this year he hasn't asked me what my Lenten resolution will be and I haven't volunteered it either ;-) Not that he'd take advantage of my kind gestures, but I can see the potential where he might think he could have some fun with this. As long as none of you blab to him about my resolution I'll be in good shape. He doesn't read my blog unless I have something specific to show him so no worries about writing it here. Now if he asks me what I'm doing for Lent I will tell him, but otherwise I'm keeping my lip zipped.

My desire through this resolution this year is that I want to become a more Godly woman and I want my God light to shine.

Have you made a Lenten resolution? I'd love to hear what you chose this year.

with Love and God's Blessings,

Nancy
Making your home sing Mondays

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Think Pink Reminder - Thermogram

Dear Friends,

This was on the news and I find it absolutely amazing how medical science is progressing with early detection regarding breast cancer.
There is a 10 second commercial before it goes into the information regarding Thermograms. It is only a little over 2 minutes long and it is a procedure that could save your life.





I will be sending out reminders about once a month to remind everyone about Think Pink raffle for the Susan G. Komen Foundation. You can read more about it HERE. I wanted to take time to show everyone the latest donation for the raffle prize. A huge thank you to CJ from Tea and Stitches. CJ has donated this set of amazing Pink Stampin'-Up products. Just take a look: a coordinating pack of Card stock, polka dot ribbon, stamp pad, refill ink and marker all in melon mombo color. Thank you CJ!!!
What great pink crafting fun here.

Remember the theme is Think Pink and I need your help to make it a success for the raffle later this year during October, Breast Cancer Awareness month. For donations, please e-mail me at basketmaster_nancy@yahoo.com Remember more prizes mean more money for the foundation.

Please everyone take a moment and visit CJ at Tea and Stitches. Her handiwork with basket weaving, card making and stitchery is amazing.


Happy Valentine's Day!
Baskets of Blessings and Thank you All,
Nancy
Sumo Sweet Stuff

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