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,


You may find my YouTube Videos Here.

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

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year

Photo Courtesy of Varda Chocolatier

Happy New Year!

Happy 2010 Everyone!

Dear Friends,

We are into a new year today. I've been reading about some wonderful blog posts about starting fresh and starting over and bettering oneself through resolutions, goals and commitments. Some of the posts have been really beautiful and inspiring. It is so easy for me to say, "I want to do that resolution too!" As much as I want to make myself an all around better person, I'm sticking with the two resolutions I told you about. I am going to menu plan faithfully throughout 2010 and hopefully it will become a habit to carry me on throughout life. I've been thinking about menu planning seriously for a couple of months now and I'm so hopeful to be consistently successful at it. I've written about menu planning HERE, HERE, and HERE. I'm also going to listen to the Daily Audio Bible that I mentioned HERE a few days ago.

Hopefully by keeping my list short and sweet I will be successful with these two things. One other thing to mention about resolutions that I read about is to focus on something you are really passionate about and that will help you be more successful in keeping your resolutions.

I've also read something several years ago that stuck with me. It was an article about starting over with making good decisions in life, for instance healthy eating. It said that there are 31, 556,926 seconds in a year. You can start over or start fresh during any one of those seconds. If you eat junk food and have sworn off junk food, you can start over right this very second. You don't need to wait until tomorrow, or wait until Monday or wait until January 1st. You can start over right now, this second. That is just a statement that really struck a chord with me and I've always tried to remember it.

So I'm sending all of you wishes for good health, peace and joy for 2010.

With love and blessings,


40 Tips for a Better Life in 2010

This was passed on to me and I thought it was wonderful and wanted to share.

Author unknown.
40 Tips for a Better Life in 2010
1. Take a 10-30 minute walk every day. And while you walk, smile. It is the ultimate anti-depressant.
2. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.
3. Buy a DVR and tape your late-night shows and get more sleep.
4. When you wake up in the morning complete the following statement, 'My purpose is to __________ today.'
5. Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm, and Empathy.
6. Play more games and read more books than you did in 2008.
7. Make time to practice meditation and prayer. They provide us with daily fuel for our busy lives.
8. Spend time with people over the age of 70 and under the age of 6.
9. Dream more while you are awake.
10. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured IN plants.
11. Drink green tea and plenty of water. Eat blueberries, wild Alaskan salmon, broccoli, almonds, & walnuts.
12. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
13. Clear clutter from your house, your car, your desk, and let new and flowing energy into your life.
14. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip, OR issues of the past, negative thoughts, or things you cannot control. Instead, invest your energy in the positive present moment.
15. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class, but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
16. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out charge card.
17. Smile and laugh more. It will keep the NEGATIVE BLUES away.
18. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
20. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
21. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
22. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.
23. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
24. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
25. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: 'In five years, will this matter?'
26. Forgive everyone for everything.
27. What other people think of you is none of your business.
28. REMEMBER, GOD heals everything.
29. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
30. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.
31. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful, or joyful.
32. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
33. The best is yet to come.
34. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, and show up.
35. Do the right thing!
36. Call your family often. (Or e-mail them to death!)
37. Each night before you go to bed, complete the following statements: I am thankful for __________.Today I accomplished _________.
38. Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.
39. Enjoy the ride. Remember this is not Disney World and you certainly don't want a fast pass. You only have one ride through life, so make the most of it and enjoy the ride.
40. Share this with those you care about. I just did. May your troubles be less, May your blessings be more, May nothing but happiness come through your door!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Importance of Signing Your Basket

Dear Friends,
While we are busy with company I am sharing with you another favorite blast from the past. Enjoy!

When you weave a basket, you are an artist. You are its creator. Be proud of what you have made and let others know it was you who wove this basket.

Sign your basket.

I sign most of my baskets on the base on a spoke or a stake. If it is has a base made from twining, sign it on either the underside of the handle or on the inside of the rim. Be sure to use an archival pen that will not fade. I use a fine point Sharpie style marker. You may find that if your basket is just very slightly damp that the marker will not bleed into the reed. You may also wish to include the date that you wove it as well as what number of basket it is. Is it your first basket? Second? So forth. Early on I numbered my baskets until I reached 100 and then it just became difficult to remember.

Is your basket a gift for someone? If so, you may want to write a brief message on the bottom as well such as "Happy 16th Birthday Katie, Love Mom". This will help all know the occasion for which this basket was created.

Beyond a long-lasting signature, some artists like to further establish the link between generations of creators and collectors by keeping journals writing why they created a specific piece of work, significant life experiences, relationships involving the work, and living locations. If your baskets are showcased, It’s also a good idea to track the dates and location of exhibitions, and any accompanying press coverage from those events. Keep a list of customers that purchase your baskets—complete with their name, date, location, and where the basket resides—is also a good step toward providing the chronology of a particular piece.

You never know what future life circumstances will bring to you and honestly, you may become quite famous and your baskets may be as sought after as some paintings or sculptures. There are artists today who will even microchip their artwork. (ok, I'm not going to that extreme, but I wanted you to know some people do that)

Sign your basket.
Your great-great grandchildren will treasure it even more knowing it was you who wove it.

Baskets of Blessings,


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Blogger: Basketmaster's Weavings - Technique/Tip Tuesday-- Making Basket Curls

Hi Friends Here is another blast from the past.

Blogger: Basketmaster's Weavings - Edit Post "Technique/Tip Tuesday--Making Basket Curls": "Technique/Tip Tuesday--Making Basket Curls
The above picture is the January kit of the month. I've had people ask, 'How did you make those curls?' 'Are those curlie Q's made from reed?'
Yes, those curls are made from reed. I used 11/64' flat reed and rolled it around a 1/4' dowel rod. Soak the read well first, 15 minutes at least. Then secure the end of the reed to the dowel with a clothespin and just keep wrapping. Secure the other end with a clothespin as well. Let the reed dry completely before removing it from the dowel. You can then pull on the coils slightly to give them a springy look.
You can do the same thing using round reed as well for a pretty look. Once the reed is removed from the dowel rod, cut it into desired lengths and wire to your basket. Try using several colors or a color with natural for a pretty basket embellishment.
Happy Basket Weaving,

Monday, December 28, 2009

Daily Audio Bible

Good Morning Friends!
It has been so cold here this past week. As I type this it is only 18 degrees outside! Poor puppy hardly wants to step foot through the doggie door and now she is sitting in a comfy chair beside me all nested in a flannel blanket. The rest of the family is still asleep and I've got my hot cup of coffee to keep me warm.
Several weeks ago I said that my only New Year's resolution was to menu plan. I've decided to add another to my list. I know, I don't want to put more on my plate than I can handle but I've decided to do this as well. I ran across this website of a 1 Year Daily Audio Bible and I've listened to a couple of episodes. It has been very pleasant to listen to, not dry at all. Each daily episode is around 30 minutes and I can listen to it on my iPod at my convenience. I can listen to it when I cook, clean, craft or weave. I've never made it completely through the Bible as I have a real tendency to pick it up and just read the New Testament, so I'm excited to go through the Bible from start to finish. It doesn't go exactly start to finish as there is a reading from the Old Testament, then the New Testament and then a bit from Psalms and Proverbs. I'm guessing that in 2010 they will follow the same format as in 2009.
So, if you'd like to listen along with me this year here are the links: First is to the Daily Audio Bible website HERE. Second is to the link HERE where you can subscribe to it through your podcatcher of choice. I just use iTunes and it puts up a new episode each day as I sync my iPod.
Do you have any New Year's Resolutions? Will you be listening to the Daily Audio Bible with Me? We can start together in just a few days!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Share a Basket Sunday

Here is a Christmas basket I made for my Mother-in-law. I really like the wavy rim as I think it looks very feminine.
Have a blessed Sunday.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Feature a Friend - Steve

I received a very kind e-mail from Steve who shared this photo with me. He was out shopping with friends when they saw a basket similar to this one. He decided to recreate what he saw and came up with this fabulous tiered basket.
The basket is a beauty Steve. Thanks for inspiring us and thanks letting me share it with everyone here.
Do you have a basket I could share on my blog? Just send me an e-mail. I'd love to showcase your work.
Happy Weaving to you all.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Handbook for Life

This is something that has been going around the internet. I'm sorry I don't know who the original author was. I think it is so well written and it's how I try to live my life.



Drink plenty of water.
Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.
Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured.
Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm, and Empathy.
Make time to practice meditation, yoga, and prayer.
Play more games.
Read more books than you did in last year.
Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.
Sleep for 7 hours.
Take a 10-30 minutes walk every day. And while you walk, smile.

Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
Don't have negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
Don't over do. Keep your limits.
Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
Don't waste your precious energy on gossip.
Dream more while you are awake.
Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
Forget issues of the past. Don't remind your partner with his/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness.
Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don't hate others.
Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.
No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
Smile and laugh more.
You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

Call your family often.
Each day give something good to others.
Forgive everyone for everything.
Spend time with people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6.
Try to make at least three people smile each day.
What other people think of you is none of your business.
Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

Do the right thing!
Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
GOD heals everything.
However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
The best is yet to come.
When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it.
Your Inner most is always happy. So, be happy.

Merry Christmas from My House to Yours

Thursday, December 24, 2009

For a glimpse into what I've been working on, click HERE. It is far from finished and not all the links work but it is my current work in progress and my big project for 2010. It is a greater learning curve than I ever imagined.

Poinsettia Basket

Merry Christmas Eve.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

"Technique/Tip Tuesday - Basket Weaving Tips"

Another Blast from the Past.
Blogger: Basketmaster's Weavings - "Technique/Tip Tuesday - Basket Weaving Tips": "There are times when round reed needs to be bent and it can be very frustrating to have a piece of round reed snap in half. A simple solution to keep this from happening is to have in your tool kit a needle nose pliers. When needing a crisp bend in the round reed, pinch it with the pliers first and then bend the reed. This virtually eliminates the risk of the reed breaking. Of course it goes without saying, make sure your reed is plenty wet.

Baskets of Blessings,"

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

On the Christmas Tree

Monday, December 21, 2009

"Technique/Tip Tuesday--A Professional Finish"

Blogger: Basketmaster's Weavings - "Technique/Tip Tuesday--A Professional Finish": "Technique/Tip Tuesday--A Professional Finish Another blast from the past today.

Before cutting and tucking your spokes, fold down the spokes that are to go to the inside of the basket. Measure those spokes so that when you cut them, the end will be hidden behind one of your weavers. The goal is not to have any rough ends showing to give you a professional look. This way, when someone is looking at your basket, they do not know where pieces of reed have started and where they have ended.
When tucking your spokes in, try to go under the very top weaver. Again, this gives a more professional look to your basket.
Take a look at the finished product. You don't see the spoke hidden behind the weaver. I always say, this is a big difference between our beautiful handwoven baskets and those that we purchase at the store.
Happy Weaving,

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Share a Basket Sunday - Woven Gift Bag Basket

Hi Friends,
Over the years I've woven a dozen or so of these cuties. I originally found the pattern back in the 1990's in "Just Patterns," a basket weaving magazine. I'm sorry, but I'm not sure who the original author of the pattern is. Now I just weave the bag basket in whatever size I need.
The handle for the gift basket is seagrass that is incorporated into the rim. The printed design is a printed paper ribbon that I wove into the basket. The design that says "Merry Christmas" on the front of the bag is a Christmas ornament. The entire thing is sprayed with gold glitter.
What a fun way to give a gift.
Have a blessed Sunday.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Lets Put Christ back in Christmas Part 3 - Planning

As Christmas approaches we have been doing so much planning. I know I've been making many lists and more lists. I've been planning everything from gifts, to sending cards to decorating to menu planning to our activities and on and on and on.
This brings to mind two questions....First, with all I am doing for the Christmas season, am I following God's plan? Second, what is my plan for after the holidays to continue to keep Christ first and foremost in our lives?
I plan to keep those two questions on my mind as Christmas approaches.
Love and Blessings,

Friday, December 18, 2009

Basket Weaving Tips and Techniques

Dear Friends,
Over the next couple of weeks there will be days in which I'm going to be pulling some blog posts from the past. The content is still as valuable today as it was when I first wrote it. I hope you are enjoying the holidays and spending time with family and friends.

Love and Blessings,

Basketmaster's Weavings: Technique/Tip Tuesday--Spoke Weight: "have a couple of favorite basket weaving tools, but today I'm going to talk about my #1 tool, the Spoke Weight.

When I first learned how to weave we would put our dishpans full of water on the table to hold our reed in place. While this worked, it was very space consuming. The spoke weight is a heavy metal weight that also is a ruler. It is perfect for holding reed in place and measuring to get the exact length of reed or space between reeds. This is a must have tool for basket weavers.

Here is my tip. What if you don't have a spoke weight and don't want to put the dishpan on the table? What if you do have a spoke weight yet your basket is large and you need more than one. Here's what you do. Go to your pantry and get out a bag of dried beans and use that as a weight. Dried beans are inexpensive, the plastic bag keeps the beans dry, and they don't take up hardly any additional table space. Use 2, 3, or 4 bags if needed. It is a handy homemade kitchen tool to make your basket weaving just that much easier!"

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Chocolate Turtle Recipe - Super Easy and Oh So Good

The kids and I have been doing some Christmas crafting and cooking. These Chocolate Turtles are a great knock off of the expensive ones you buy in the store. I can't keep my family out of them!
Chocolate Turtles
Pecan Halves
Bag of Pretzels
Bag of Rolos (I used 2 bags)
Toast your pecans in the oven at 350 degrees for 5 to 7 minutes.
Remove pecans from the oven.
Lower your oven temperature to 250.
Place the Rolos one on a pretzel.
Bake at 250 for 5 minutes until the Rolos soften.
Press a pecan half onto each Rolo.
Let the chocolate harden.
I have to make some more now!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Lets Put Christ back in Christmas Part 2 - Listening

It says in the Bible that God speaks to us in small quite ways.
With the busyness of this season, are you taking time to listen to God as he speaks in our hearts.
Is he asking you to slow down and just share his love and spirit with others or are you feeling rushed to buy the perfect present and in a panic to get your cards written and sent?
Is your home one of peace and gentleness or is it in a state of chaos with a half decorated tree and gift wrap strung about?
Sit down and spend TIME with your family and more importantly, spend time with God. What is God really saying to you? Now, implement what he says in your life and that of your family. That is putting Christ back into Christmas.
Love and Blessings,

Monday, December 14, 2009

Best Recipe for Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments

It's beginning to smell a lot like Christmas! At least it is here in the Jacobs' house!

Every year I have to make a batch of Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments so when I tell you I'm giving you the best recipe, I'm truly giving you the best recipe I've ever run across for these little Christmastime nuggets.

Now don't limit these to just ornaments. Put a couple of these into a small basket in your bathroom for a great air freshener. Hang one in your closet to get rid of musty smells or shoe odor. Place one under the seat of your car to help get rid of any fast food smells it might have. Please remember not to let the children or anyone eat these. They do smell yummy.

BTW...Did you notice the one on the right shaped like a basket? Too cute!



Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments

1 cup cinnamon--Get it at Sam's Club or Costco for best prices

2/3 cup applesauce

3 Tablespoons white school glue--Remember to stock up on this during back to school sales

Mix all ingredients well in a large bowl.
Wrap the thick dough in plastic wrap and let it set for about 1 hour.

Take some dough and roll out between two sheets of wax paper. I find it best to work with about 1/2 of the mixture at a time.

Roll the dough to about 1/4" thick.

Cut with cookie cutters


Shape into circles and press with your rubber stamps


Press dough into ceramic cookie molds
Be sure to create a hole for hanging before dough dries. I used a small straw.

Press a straightened paper clip into the back of the shape to act as a hanger.

Let ornaments dry for several days turning them from time to time to keep them from curling.

An Update on The Basket Book

Do you all remember when I reviewed "The Basket Book" by Lyn Syler? You can read my full review HERE. It is one of those books for the beginner to advanced basket weaver that you can and WILL go back to time and time again for inspiration and instruction.

The illustrator of the book, Carolyn Kemp, sent me a lovely e-mail and had let me know that this book is now available for instant download.

Carolyn and Lyn have two other books for instant download as well. They are "A Basketmaker's Odyssey: Over Under Around and Through" and "Basketmaker's Baskets".

Be sure to visit their website Word Weavers Ink and have a look around their site and at their amazing gallery. For those of you who are in the intermediate or advanced level of weaving be sure to check out their basket weaving kits. They are stunning.
Happy Weaving,

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Free Basket Weaving Pattern

Don't forget to visit Baskets of Joy this month and pick up your free basket pattern HERE. This month the pattern is a Christmas Tree Door Basket. The red balls on the tree are beads! Very sweet.
Happy Weaving and have a blessed Sunday,

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Around the House Saturday - Blokus

It's not often that I make an impulse purchase of a board game. My impulse purchases are usually the bag of M&M's at the check out counter. I was at Walmart the other day and on an endcap was a stack of Blokus games. I had never seen this game before. It was an impulse purchase.
We like to play family games and generally speaking, I like games of strategy rather than a game revolving around the luck of a spinner or roll of the dice. Blokus is a game of strategy. You can visit their website HERE if you'd like specific rules, but the object of the game is to get the most of your colored tiles on the board and prevent your opponents from getting theirs on the board. It is for 1 to 4 players.
So yesterday being Friday was Friday Family Fun Night as we call it which involves either family games or a family movie. I pulled out this new game and we proceeded to play. Everyone in our household has a competitive streak to them and this game is competitive. Something else I liked is that it plays quickly. The games took about 30 minutes each. To learn to play the game was very quick, perhaps only 5 minutes or less. It was a hit with hubby and the kids.
If you're looking for a board game for this Christmas season, I will say this was a fun one. FYI some of the other games we like are Apples to Apples, Mexican Dominoes and doing Jigsaw puzzles. Ok, the last really isn't a game, but it is something we enjoy doing as a family. What are your favorite board games or favorite family activities?

Friday, December 11, 2009

Lets Put Christ back in Christmas Part 1 - Welcoming Him

Dear Friends,

As we approach the day of Jesus birth it is time to remember the real reason for the season. On December 25th we will be welcoming Jesus as we celebrate his birth.

My challenge for you throughout the remaining days of advent is to welcome Jesus now, each morning with prayer and praise. Ask Him to help us be more like Him.

May your basket be overflowed with His blessings,


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Menu Planning - Part 3 - Refrigerator and Freezer Organization

Julie from Deen Homestead Basketry sent me a couple of pictures to share with you. The top photo shows her refrigerator freezer. She uses plastic baskets to help organize her food.

In the bottom photo you are looking at a chest freezer. Julie uses the reusable grocery bags in here to keep her items separated. One bag holds chicken, another pork another green beans etc. She finds it much easier to lift the bags out of the freezer with the handles. I think it is very clever. I also know my mother would be pleased with this. You are adding an extra layer of protection to prevent freezer burn.
Julie has also shared with me a website; Cooking by Numbers. You enter the food you have on hand in your pantry or freezer and the website comes up with a recipe for you. How clever!
An organized freezer, refrigerator and pantry all aid in menu planning. Thanks Julie for the photos.
What are some other food organizational tips that you have? I'd love to hear and share them.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Just a Note

Dear Blog Friends,
I've just got something going on in my head I want to get out.

I've always thought of my blog as a place to share knowledge and I've never taken a single penny or made any money for my blog or what I have posted. I've received so much in friendship, knowledge, smiles and laughs from reading all of your blogs including wonderful inspiration and some fantastic recipes as well that I feel my giving and sharing on my blog is the least I can do in return. From time to time I've received gifts from you and they have been deeply appreciated. Thank you.

What I have been working on lately though is teaching myself website development. With any luck, I hope to have my own website up and running some time in January. I've been quite proud of myself in what I've learned thus far. Every small step I make with it seems like climbing a mountain.

Although my website is in the very early stages I just wanted to let you know that there will be some items on it in which will 'hopefully' bring me a little income. I plan to have some of my own things for sale as well as possibly advertisers or promote others items in return for compensation.

The reason I'm telling you all this is because though my development of the website I've learned that this past week there has been a huge launch of a program regarding making money fast with blogs. It could possibly be legitimate, but it has a great potential for unethical activity. I anticipate we will see a large increase in websites and blogs in the next few weeks or couple of months that will look good on the outside but could be a scam. Perhaps scam isn't the right word, it would be that people could/would be taken advantage of.

The planned timing of launching my website stinks now with what I've been hearing. I wouldn't want anyone thinking that I'm involved with this company. For those of you who know me personally you can testify that developing a website is something I've been planning for some time. I just want all of you to know that anything I promote on my website would be something I'd promote to my own family. Anything I create and have for sale will be of the best quality that I can make it and I will be completely honest on my website in every way.

I purposefully have not given out the name of the company because from what I read, an honest person could use the program legitimately (I'm honest, but I'm not going there). There are just going to be too many people out there wanting to make a quick buck. My best warning will be to stick with dealing with websites that you know have been in business for a while (unlike mine, sigh) or with people you know can trust.

Anyway, I'll keep you up-to-date with the upcoming launch. It is an exciting time for me. BTW...Don't expect too much. I'm just starting small. Very small.
Baskets of blessings to you all,

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Printable Recipe Cards

Dear Friends,
These are some of the sweetest Christmas recipe cards I've seen on the www. They are from Shabby Princess. You can download them now just in time for your cookie exchanges and recipe sharing. Best of all, they are FREE! Link to download is HERE. Be sure to look around the site for other great digital scrapbooking fun. How cute would these recipe cards be in a handwoven basket along with some homemade yummies from your kitchen!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Homemade Christmas Gift Guide

Goodness, between FaveCrafts and Recipe Lion, they are putting out the free e-books like crazy. Here is another you crafters will enjoy. It is full of hand crafted items that make wonderful Christmas gifts.

Gifts in a Jar recipes - free e-book

Here is another free e-book that has many gifts in a jar. It uses those mason canning jars for many of the projects. Super cute and so easy.

Christmas Cookie Recipes - Free e-book

Dear Friends,
A free downloadabe 99 page e-book that contains 50 yummy cookie recipes.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Share a Basket Sunday - Basket Weaving - Pattern Testing

Dear Friends,
I recently tested a basket pattern for Cheri Parker. I wove her "Bell Bottom Basket" pattern. This is a sweet pattern with a double base. A surprise inside the base is that it contains jingle bells! I chose not to include the handle on my basket but the pattern has a beautiful decorative handle design. Right now I'm using this basket in my kitchen to hold my utensils like spatulas and wooden spoons. It is the perfect size for those items and sits near my stove (but not too near). This and another pattern she has written titled a "PS3 Game Basket" are now available through Basketpatterns. Please be sure to visit and view her beautiful work. The "Bell Bottom Basket" is an intermediate level.
Have a blessed Sunday.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

What We're Working on and McKlinky

I am surely a day off. I went to bed last night thinking that tomorrow (today) was Wednesday. I don't know how I got so confused. Anyway, we are doing What We're Working On Wednesday today! Have I confused all of you now?
Post your links to your sites about what you've been working on this week. Remember to link directly to your post and not to your site's home page so we can find your project easily.
Also remember this is a family friendly site and I don't want to have to delete anything inappropriate.
What are you working on? I can't wait to see!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Preparation for Menu Planning - Part 2

Over the past few weeks as I've been thinking about menu planning, I've done a bit of preparation for my resolution as well as the upcoming Christmas holiday. I might as well start menu planning now with company coming soon.

I've been:
  1. Cleaning out the refrigerator, freezer and pantry.

  2. Going through cookbooks.

  3. Purchasing a small spiral book to take notes in.
The notebook is a weekly school agenda book that is divided into sections. It is going to be my right hand when it comes to my menu planning. I'll share with you the notebook in a future post.
Are any of you interested in menu planning with me? I'm not trying to twist anyone's arm here, but if any of you have some interesting web sites, tips and tricks with menu planning, I hope you send them my way.

For now, how about a fun photo. Can you all say ratatouille?
The rat's name is Cinnamon and she belongs to my nieces who we saw over Thanksgiving. I don't know if you can tell by my expression, but I was saying through my smile, "GET IT OFF, GET IT OFF ME!!!" So what does my 12 year old son do? Tim takes the rat and drops it down my shirt! I was frozen. Do you know what little tiny rat claws feel like on your stomach? I was doing a little menu planning for some rat soup... I was!
Everyone had a great laugh.....except the mama.
Love and blessings,

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Benefits of Menu Planning - Part 1

I've been giving serious thought to a New Year's Resolution this year. As a child growing up, I always made a list of resolutions I wanted to accomplish. Usually I had broken at least several of those resolutions in the first week and most in the first month. About 15 years ago or so, there seemed to be a push 'against' making resolutions due to their very low rate of success. It seemed that the magazines stressed just make a list of goals or things you want to attempt. (well, that is sort of like a resolution) Then for about the past 4 years people have focused on one word or phrase to think about throughout the year. I did the word and phrase the past three years. Year one being the word "enough", year two "simple" and year three the phrase "keep ahead of the game".
This year I've decided to return to the good ol' New Year's Resolution. Difference being, instead of a list of resolutions, I have one resolution in mind. One resolution I intend to do for the year. One resolution to be successful with. That resolution is to "Menu Plan."

The way I look at it, Menu Planning gives several great results.
  1. I eat healthier.
  2. I feed my family better.
  3. We save money.
  4. I can possibly lose those stubborn 10 to 15 pounds. (It's 15 pounds now since Thanksgiving.)
  5. Having a meal plan will aid in my organization.
  6. Having a meal plan will save time in both cooking and fewer trips to the grocery store.
Now I have menu planned in the past. I've done planning for 1 week at a time as well as 1 month at a time. The trouble is that I don't do it consistently. That is where my resolution comes in. I intend to menu plan consistently. This is something that has been on my mind the past month. I CAN do this! If I can blog NaBloPoMo for a month, then I can menu plan for a year.

In up-coming posts I will show you some of the steps I'm currently taking in order for my New Year's resolution to be achieved.


Monday, November 30, 2009

NaBloPoMo End of the month results

I did it! I actually did 37 posts this month. It was a challenge yet so much fun. Count me in to do this again.
Happy Blogging Everyone,

Basket Weaving, Basket Making Video - Mini Muffin Basket - Weaving the Braided Rim Part 5

We finish our basket! Today we do the final step to our braided rim and we put the bow on the front. Enjoy your basket! If you've made this basket I'd love to see a picture of it.

As always, this and all my videos are on my youtube channel HERE.

Happy Weaving,

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Basket Weaving, Basket Making Video - Mini Muffin Basket - Weaving the braided rim part 4

The next step here in our braided rim.

Happy Weaving,


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Living a DIY Lifestyle - My Life

Dear Friends,
One of my husband's favorite quotes throughout our 21 years of marriage has been, "It's not brain surgery." He would say this to anyone feeling self doubt about whether or not they could perform a specific task. He would encourage anyone to learn and figure out how to accomplish their project. "You can do it, it's not brain surgery or it's not rocket science."
This has saved us literally thousands of $$$ over the years. We've done all our own home and vehicle maintenance projects. We've built many things in our home and have done our own major remodeling projects. If we can avoid hiring out the project, we do so. Mike and I married at the early ages of 21 and 23. He knew and was never afraid of taking things apart to find out why it was broken and then to replace the broken part.
Bring this down to a more domestic level and I cook for my family and have done much sewing in the past although now it is more cost effective to purchase some ready made clothing for a couple of dollars than it is to buy fabric and a pattern along with zippers, buttons and other notions. I still sew most all the curtains in the house as well as other home decorator items and an apron as you saw HERE. As you all know, I enjoy basket weaving (of course) and scrapbooking as well as all forms of crafting.
I enjoy gardening and do what I can in my small space. (We live on just under 1/4 acre).
There are times when we know our limits and must hire out some work or the amount of time involved is just to great. Sometimes we don't have the proper tools to do a project.
Doing it yourself gives a great sense of accomplishment.
It is satisfying to say, "I did this."

Friday, November 27, 2009

Creative Ideas for the Holiday Home

You all know how much I truly enjoy FaveCrafts. Let me tell you. I like them so much because their projects are crafty, not artsy. It is crafts I can do in an evening. It is crafts that are beautiful and many times I have the supplies already at home to make them. The finished projects are simply sweet. Well, they've come out with another free e-book for the holidays starting with Halloween and going through Christmas. The projects are for decorating your home as well s gifts.

FaveCrafts Creative Ideas for the Holiday Home can be downloaded HERE. It has some charming projects in it. I hope you enjoy!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Cornucopia with rewoven border. The spokes in this basket become the beautiful rim.
Dear Friends,
As with every year on this day it is a chance to really reflect on what we have to be thankful for. I try to always remember to give God thanks each and every day for my blessings. It is easy to be generically thankful. Lord I'm thankful for all my blessings.
I've been thinking of the specific things I'm thankful for. Yes, some are material things, but I'm still thankful for those material things because some make my life easier, some are fun, and some are just pleasing to look at.
Below is my list. What are you thankful for?
With love and blessings on this special day.
My list of blessings I'm so thankful for.

  1. That Jesus died on the cross to erase our sins and give us everlasting life.
  2. My dear sweet husband Mike.
  3. My three beautiful children.
  4. My extended family.
  5. My friends.
  6. My internet and blogging friends. (That's YOU!)
  7. That Mike has a good job.
  8. Our home.
  9. My backyardand garden. (I love spending time outdoors)
  10. My health.
  11. Our vehicles.
  12. Our church and church family.
  13. My computer and the internet (I learn so much here)
  14. Our library.
  15. That I know how to cook.
  16. That all my shopping and errands are only 10 minutes from home.
  17. My neighbors.
  18. Food to eat.
  19. Farmers.
  20. That we have medicine for many of our ailments.
  21. Comfortable and warm clothing.
  22. Our onery yet very loving beagle Cindy.
  23. Online schooling for my children so they can be home with me.
  24. Pretty flowers
  25. Butterflies
  26. Airplanes and Amtrak
  27. Duct tape
  28. My list keeps going on but I figure after saying duct tape that you will think I'm just being silly. I really am thankful for all the small things in life, even duct tape. I'm thankful for the person who invented it. One time I was able to hold my car together and drive it home just because of it!
Point being, remember to be thankful even for all the small things in our lives.
Have a blessed Thanksgiving,

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

What's on Your Thanksgiving Table?

I've been a busy cook these last few days.
Here is our Thanksgiving menu for tomorrow:

  • Turkey

  • Dressing

  • Gravy

  • Cranberry Salad

  • Texas Potatoes

  • Green Beans

  • Rolls

  • Pecan Pie
  • Pumpkin Pie
  • Chocolate covered pretzels and nuts
What will you be on your table?
Love and blessings,
Thank you God for this food and for the family we have to share it with. Amen

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Copycat Recipes

FaveCrafts has partnered up with Recipe Lion to create this free e-book of copycat recipes. Below is the link to download the recipes. The recipes are listed below.
Hard Rock Cafe Twisted Mac 'N Cheese
Applebee's Bourbon Steak
Chili's Boneless Buffalo Wings
KFC's Coleslaw
Pizza Hut Original Pan Pizza Crust
Boston Market-Style Squash Casserole
Wendy's Frosty
Cheesecake Factory Cajun Jambalaya Pasta
Melting Pot Green Goddess Dip
Red Robin-Style Bonzai Hamburger
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Hash Browns
T.G.I. Friday's Hot Artichoke and Spinach Dip
Panera Tomato Mozzarella Salad
Pizza Hut Dessert Pizza
Chicken Fried Rice Benihana Style
Cinnabon's Cinnamon Rolls
McDonald's Big Mac Sauce
Panda Express-Style Orange Chicken
Ruby Tuesday Chicken Quesadilla
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Fried Apples
Pizza Hut Thin Crust Pizza Dough

Monday, November 23, 2009

Candy Bar Box - Stocking Stuffer - Craft Video

This is a fun, easy, quick and frugal craft. It is making a candy bar box. What a great stocking stuffer this would make. Make several of these and put them in a basket as a gift. Write peoples names on them and use them as place cards at your holiday dinner. They could be made for any holiday. I hope you enjoy.

Below is a picture of the template for cutting and scoring to make this box. I've made about 20 of these little boxes now. You can easily make one box in about 2 minutes.



Sunday, November 22, 2009

Share a Basket Sunday - Basket Making - Doorknob Basket

Dear Friends,
This is the fifth basket I first made about 15 years ago. I've come a long way. (Look at that hole in the twining!) The French randing was fun and is still fun to do. I painted the little flowers on the large strip near the top.
I no longer have this basket, but it was fun to find a photo of it.
Have a blessed Sunday!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Basket Weaving Video - Basket Making - Mini Muffin Basket - Weaving the braided rim part 3

We are continuing on with our braided rim in this video.

Happy Weaving,

Friday, November 20, 2009

Where I've Been On the www. this Week


Dear Friends,

I wanted to share with you where you can find me on the web this past week.
The first is on the live Facebook chat with Inspired at Home.
In case you missed the chat of inspiring crafters, you may listen to it archived HERE.
I'm about 1 hour into the chat.

Second, I've been featured on One Pretty Thing. The Round-up I'm in is HERE. Have you been to this site? It is amazing. It's like the perfect magazine that comes to you daily, but it's free and it doesn't create clutter! I subscribe to it through my google reader. Rachel, who runs this site follows over 4,000 blogs. Yep, you heard me right, over 4,000. She brings to us the best of the best in the world of crafting and home decor. (Does that mean I'm one of the best?) Rachel has round-ups of all things crafty where she lists 8 to 20 items in each round-up. Not only that, she puts up several round-ups a day! Let me just list off a few....Christmas Round-up, Twilight Round-up, Daily DIY Round-up, Crafty Reading Round-up, Holiday Prep Round-up, Kids Craft Round-up, Jewelry Making Round-up, Hand Made Gift Guide Round-up and on and on. What a thrill to find I was on her Daily DIY Round-up.

This is so cool. I feel like I, my blog, is moving up in the world and getting noticed. Thank you to all of you!!! Now, if only Martha Stewart would contact me. I would so ♥love♥ to be on her show with her or even featured in her magazine. DO YOU HEAR THAT MARTHA STEWART TV PRODUCERS AND MARTHA STEWART MAGAZINE EDITORS!!!! Maybe if I say Martha Stewart a few more times it will move me up to the top of the Martha Stewart search engines where they can find me. ;-) Martha Stewart, Martha Stewart, Martha Stewart....

With hugs and blessings to you all,

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Pink Pot of Hope - Guest Blogger - Basket Weaving - Basketry - Basket Making

Dear Friends,
A couple of days ago I came across this post by my fellow blogger and friend Juliana Deen. It was so touching to me because every older woman on both sides of my family has either passed away from breast cancer or is a survivor. My own mother is a survivor. I have even spoken to an oncologist about caring for myself because of this strong family history. The oncologist was very encouraging and said to me that awareness, monthly self exams and yearly mammograms are the best for early detection.
Please read through this post and I encourage you to get your pattern of Pink Pot of Hope through The author of this pattern is Jennifer Rhodes.
I have spoken, through written word, to both Juliana and Jennifer. Juliana has agreed to let me use her post and Jennifer is very happy for us to get the word out about her basket pattern.
I've ordered my pattern and am anxious to weave the basket.
Thank you Julie for the use of your post and thank you Jenn for creating a basket pattern that is helping such a worthy cause.
With love and blessings,

Nancy's added note: If you order just a pattern from, their computer doesn't distinguish patterns only when it comes to s/h. You are initially charged $5, but they refunded me $3.

Pink Pot of Hope - by Juliana Deen - Deen Homestead Basketry

Last week I discovered three basket weaving groups on Facebook after becoming friends with Claudia Hopkins .

One of them, called "Addicted to Basket Weaving", is moderated by Jennifer Rhodes, of Basket Weaving Supplies.

It was there that I first saw her basket design called The Pink Pot of Hope.

It was not just the beauty of this basket that drew me in, but also the reason why Jennifer created this basket in the first place.

A client of hers who had been diagnosed and treated for breast cancer, asked Jennifer to design something that she could give as a gift to thank all of those who had helped her through that difficult time.

What I find so very touching is that this woman, who had gone through a terrible ordeal, was still thinking about others, and that she chose a BASKET as the gift of choice!

I am sure that Jennifer felt very honored by the request, and the pattern she came up with was surely a labor of love.

What is even MORE special is that you can purchase this pattern, and for every one sold, Jennifer will donate $1 to the Susan G. Komen Fund.

I'm sure that most of us know someone who has had breast cancer. As you know, our family recently lost a beautiful woman to this disease, and not too long ago, a high school classmate lost her battle with it at the age of 47. It seems that everyone you talk to has had their life touched in some way by breast cancer.

Jennifer's pattern has inspired me to want to do MY part in helping to defeat breast cancer.
I ordered my pattern this weekend, and am planning to make and sell these gorgeous baskets and donate a portion of my profit to breast cancer research.

Jennifer notes:

" The “honey pot” shape is significant because it seemed like a good place to store good things: thoughts, hopes, prayers, dreams, thanks, etc. "

I would like to encourage everyone to go over to and purchase your pattern today.

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

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