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.

Monday, August 31, 2009

How to Weave a Bacon Bowl - It's Edible!

Valerie over at Frugal Family Fun Blog gave me permission to use her instructions and photos for this fantastic bacon basket. It combines two of my favorite things in life, weaving and food! I hope you give it a try and be sure to visit her blog. Valerie has some great tips, recipes and wonderful ideas on activities to do with children. Tell her Nancy sent you.

To make your own bacon bowls, you will need a package of bacon, and small microwave safe dish, kitchen scissors, and a glass baby food jar.
Clean the baby food jar very thoroughly and be sure to remove all adhesive from the label. Place the baby food jar upside down on the microwave safe dish.

Lay two pieces of bacon to make an "X" over the bottom of the baby food jar as shown. Use kitchen scissors to trim the ends.

Next, weave slices of bacon around the ends. Are you getting hungry yet??

Cover the entire thing with a wet paper towel, and place in the microwave for about 4 minutes and 30 seconds total, checking after every minute. Microwave times vary, and ours is DIEING a slow and painful death, so yours may cook up much faster.

Set aside and allow to cool. Carefully pull the bacon bowl from the baby food jar, and fill with salad or eggs.

Here are some ideas for bacon bowls:
Fill with lettuce, tomato, and ranch dressing. The lettuce and tomato make this a healthy snack.

Or fill with scrambled eggs for breakfast! Wouldn't this be a unique appetizer for a brunch?

Who says weaving has to be limited to traditional basket making supplies. Have some yummy fun with this culinary craft.

Hugs and Blessings,


Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Basket For Charity - Share a Basket Sunday

When I was teaching for the parks and recs. in Wichita, Kansas they held a charity auction in which they asked for all artists and crafters who taught for them to do a project. The project had to fit into this 5 x 7 frame. So all the instructors, be it wood carvers, mosaic creators, painters, seamstresses, whatever the technique they taught did a piece to fit in a frame just like this one. Mine brought in $35 which I thought was great.
Have a Blessed Sunday,

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Upcoming Basket Class

Heads-up for those of you in the Albuquerque area, I will be teaching at the Loma Colorado public library in Rio Rancho coming up on October 24th from 12 to 3 pm so be sure to save the date! Space will be limited and best of all it is a free class for you! As soon as they post the information on their website I'll get it to you. The class will be a beautiful napkin basket perfect to give as a gift or for your holiday entertaining. Photos will come soon.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Cooks Illustrated The New Best Recipe Cookbook

I'm probably your typical mom cook. Maybe I'm not typical, I don't know, but I'm an average cook. I can read and follow a recipe, but I have a large handful of memorized concoctions that I fall back on many times.

Well, if you saw Julie and Julia didn't it just make you want to be a better cook? It did me. Now it didn't make me want to be a french cook, just a better 'mom' cook especially in the area of meats. I'm a copy cat and have decided to do something similar. I really like publications from Cooks Illustrated because they test, test, and retest all their recipes to find the best method for cooking. For instance, pigs are being bred for lower fat content which is why pork chops are often dry. I have a terrible time with dry pork chops, but did you know that if you start cooking your pork chops on a cold pan that you can keep them juicer? I didn't know that and yes it worked! I made pork chops a few nights ago and was pleased with the results for a change. I've also learned the best red wine to buy for cooking when using it in sauces. I used to be clueless about that.

So, I've decided to work my way through the Cooks Illustrated New Best Recipe Book. Now, I'm not going to do it in a year, but I hope to make an average of 4 recipes a week from it. My family still likes my spaghetti, and casseroles for me are quick to throw together on a busy night so I better keep my old favorites on hand.

I wish I'd have taken a picture of this, but last night, I did make the Chicken-Fried Steak with gravy page 401 yummmm, the Mashed Potatoes page 187 also a yum, and the Coleslaw with Buttermilk Dressing, nothing wrong with the recipe, we just don't care for buttermilk and didn't like it. That's our taste buds though. I prefer a sweet coleslaw.

So through this I hope to become a better cook, not just an average cook. We'll see what happens. Do you have this cookbook? What are your favorite recipes from it. I'd love to hear.


Thursday, August 27, 2009

A few memories of yesterday

Before I start, I want to say a huge thank you to all of you who have sent me birthday wishes over the last couple of days. Every wonderful wish has made me smile so THANK YOU!! Birthdays are always a big deal in our home. Emily, my little cake decorator, baked and decorated this beautiful cake for me. She also made the sunflower you see. It is a pencil holder and the sunflower is a pen she decorated. Katie and Tim gave me gift cards to Kohls. I can always find something I like there. The paper I'm holding is my gift from Mike. It is a 4 day trip to LasVegas that we will take in a few weeks. It's been about 10 years since we've been to LasVegas so this will be fun! It even says on the paper we will be flying FIRST CLASS on Southwest Airlines. (Ok, for those of you who are familiar with the airlines, Southwest doesn't have a first class section. It is entirely coach! hahaha) I can't wait to go. Mike has even planned for his parents to come and watch the children. Oh I need a vacation! Yes, I really do need a vacation.
Thank you everyone for the wonderful gifts. You are the best family and I love you all!
All the kiddos helped light the candles. 45 candles was a lot to light, so many I'm surprised the fondant on the cake didn't go up in flames! Thankfully after a quick wish I was windy and blew them out with one breath. As for the rest of the day, it was exceptionally busy with visits to the dentist, boy scouts and other scheduled errands. It was so unusually busy with all of us going in different directions that my birthday dinner consisted of McDonalds! Yikes, that doesn't happen often, but it did today of all days.
Thanks for letting me share my day with you.
Hugs and Blessings,

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

It's My Birthday and If You Were A Girl in the 70's - Gift Basket

First my Blogoversary and now, today is my birthday! I'll admit it, I'm 45. Wow! Where does the time go? I wonder what will be in store for me today. I'll let you know tomorrow!

Enjoy the gift box basket. As you can see it is two baskets just one on top of the other with the lid basket being a bit larger. The natural stakes are 1/2" flat. Look closely on the lid. There is an additional 1/4" flat stake on each of the 4 sides to give it just that bit of increase in size that it needs.
Hugs and Blessings to you all,
This was in an e-mail that came to me. I could relate so much to it because I was a girl in the 70's. As I read it, it sounded like they were talking about me. Oh the memories. I hope you have as much fun reading it as I did.

You wore a rainbow shirt that was half-sleeves, and the rainbow went up one sleeve, across your chest, and down the other.
You made baby chocolate cakes in your Easy Bake Oven and washed them down with snow cones from your Snoopy Snow Cone Machine.
You had that Fisher Price Doctor's Kit with a stethoscope that actually worked.
You owned a bicycle with a banana seat and a plastic basket with flowers on it.
You learned to skate with actual skates (not roller blades) that had metal wheels.
You thought Gopher from Love Boat was cute (admit it!)
You had nightmares after watching Fantasy Island.
You had rubber boots for rainy days and Moon boots for snowy days.
You had either a "bowl cut" or! "pixie," not to mention the "Dorothy Hamil" because your Mom was sick of braiding your hair. People sometimes thought you were a boy.
Your Holly Hobbie sleeping bag was your most prized possession.
You wore a poncho, gauchos, and knickers.
You begged Santa for the electronic game, Simon.
You had the Donnie and Marie dolls with those pink and purple satiny shredded outfits.
You spent hours in your backyard on your metal swing set with the trapeze. The swing set tipped over at least once.
You had homemade ribbon barrettes in every imaginable color.
You had a pair of Doctor Scholl's sandals (the ones with hard sole & the buckle). You also had a pair of salt-water sandals.
You wanted to be Laura Ingalls Wilder really bad; you wore that Little House on the Prairie-inspired plaid, ruffle shirt with the high neck in at least one school picture; and you despised Nellie Olson!
You wanted your first kiss to be at a roller rink.
Your hairstyle was described as having "wings" or "feathers" and you kept it "pretty" with the comb you kept in your back pocket.
You know who Strawberry Shortcake is, as well as her friends, Blueberry Muffin and Huckleberry Pie.
You carried a Muppets lunch box to school and it was metal, not plastic. You and your girlfriends would fight over which of the Dukes of Hazzard was your boyfriend.
Every now and then "It's a Hard Knock Life" from the movie, "Annie" will pop into your brain and you can't stop singing it the whole day.
YOU had Star Wars action figures, too!
It was ! a big event in your household each year when the "Wizard of Oz" would come on TV. Your mom would break out the popcorn and sleeping bags!
You often asked your Magic-8 ball the question: "Who will I marry. Shaun Cassidy, Leif Garrett, or Rick Springfield?"
You completely wore out your Grease, Saturday Night Fever, and Fame soundtrack record album.
You tried to do lots of arts and crafts, like yarn and Popsicle-stick God's eyes, decoupage, or those weird potholders made on a plastic loom. Pot holders - I believe they were called "loom loopers"
You made Shrinky-Dinks and put iron-on kittens on your t-shirts!
You used to tape record songs off the radio by holding your portable tape player up to the speaker.
You couldn't wait to get the free animal poster that came when you ordered books from the Weekly Reader book club. Double score if it was a teddy bear dressed in clothing.
You learned everything you needed to know about girl issues from Judy Blume books
You thought Olivia Newton John's song "Physical" was about aerobics
You wore friendship pins on your tennis shoes, or shoelaces with heart or rainbow designs.
You wanted to be a Solid Gold dancer.
You had a Big Wheel with a brake on the side, and a Sit-n-Spin.
You had subscriptions to Dynamite and Tiger Beat.
You spent all your allowance on smurfs and stickers for your sticker album!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Finding my Passion and My Blogoversary is Today!

Happy Blogoversary to Me! It has been 1 year and 207 posts and 7,800 visitors and 28 followers, and 8,683 of you have viewed my YouTube videos!!!

Thank you Thank you Thank you!!!!!! If you've seen the movie "Julie and Julia" you know how Julie's blog readers kept her going and I feel that way about you. Thank you for all the wonderful comments you have sent over this past year. You are all so kind.

I started this blog just before my birthday last year so my birthday and blogoversary coincide very close to the same time. It is always this time of year, around my birthday which BTW is Wed. when I spend some time looking back over my life and reflecting on it, thinking which direction I want it to go. Where is my passion leading me these days.

Have people told you to 'find your passion'? Have they said you need to discover what you truly love to do and do it, make it your career or go after your dreams? Then comes the question, what is your passion? What is my passion?

You may be thinking that basket weaving is my passion. In some ways it is as I truly do enjoy it. But lately I've come to the conclusion, that we as people don't have to have a life long passion in the sense that people and books refer to with regards to 'what am I going to do with my life'. We don't all have to fit the "you must have a passion mold." Now first let me say, as many of you know, I've been married over 21 years to the same wonderful man and will stay with him and be a loving mother to our three beautiful children until the day I die. I also believe in God and strive to follow his word and will do that until I die, so these may be considered life passions. What I'm speaking of is the 'what do I enjoy doing with my life' passion, the 'what makes me happy' passion that is mentioned in books, magazines and on the internet.

Seriously after thinking off and on for years about this but always more so around my birthday. I've decided my passions can change, just like the seasons in my life change. I don't have to have a life long passion and that is ok. It is even ok for my passions to change day to day. You may be thinking then that it is not a true passion if it changes so quickly, but I think passion is what you are interested in and concerned about doing and living for at the moment. In the springtime I am passionate about gardening. When fall arrives and I have to clean out the garden, I'm not so passionate about that. I used to teach one or two basket weaving classes a week and started a basket weaving guild. I thought about weaving much of the day and what I would be teaching next. Now that my classes have greatly slowed down, I've developed many more activities that I enjoy doing. That doesn't mean I enjoy basket weaving any less, it just means I have a full plate of exciting things going on. I have so many interests in life and so many things I enjoy doing that I honestly don't have one passion that just consumes me and makes me want to jump out of bed and get busy with it. I have MANY things I WANT to do each day.

I've kept a journal for some time now. Each morning when I woke up, I would think, what do I want to do with my life today? My answers would change daily depending on the needs of the day. I did find one underlying thread throughout all my answers. I wanted to create a beautiful day for myself and my family. I wanted peace in my home. I wanted laughter and smiles. Does that sound too Pollyannaish? Maybe, but that's what I truly wanted. Slowly over time I began thinking, is that my passion, to create a beautiful day? Can that even be considered a passion? Well, I decided that in a broad sense, for me it can be my passion.

I've decided to give my blog a new look coming up very soon, and thanks to Anne I've got a new tag line "Weaving a Bit of Joy into Every Day." My blog will still continue to have baskets and I plan to continue making videos, and teach the occasional class, but I'm going to include more of the things that bring joy to me and my family. I hope you will continue to read and enjoy my blog and many thanks for being with me through this year.



Sunday, August 23, 2009

Garden Basket -- Share a basket Sunday

I have made this basket numerous times as I've given many away for house warming gifts especially to friends who like to garden. This is my own creation and it is a basket woven on a "double bottom pegged D" handle. There is a slotted bottom base, just above the pegs that the stakes are slid through at the bottom of the basket. It is a tad bit awkward to weave with the pegged portion below the base, but you can put the pegged portion between your legs and weave the base on you lap. I bought the gardening tools in a pack of 3 at Big Lots and then used acrylic paint for the handles as well as the maple strip. If you look closely, you will see the maple strip is inset on top of the weaving. To finish it off, I tied raffia to the handles of the tools and I also tied some pink ribbon to match the dyed reed that I looped through the tools. This way they could hang on the pegs. The basket is a nice size to hold seed packets. What a pretty addition to your garden shed! I love to garden, but for those of you who don't, this might just make gardening fun!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Share a Basket Sunday

This is another of my favorite "ribbon baskets" where I take one row of weaving out and replace it with a ribbon. The handle is a stake from reed and wrapped to give it extra strength.
Have a blessed Sunday.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Around the House Saturday

Whew! Our summer is coming to an end even though it is only mid August. Emily started school last Thursday. Tim started on Friday and Katie will start this Monday. Emily and Tim are homeschooling/hybrid schooling. It is public schooling online that for the most part they do at home. They go into a classroom for a few hours two days a week but the majority of their work is done at home. We did this with Emily last year and it was such a success that Tim wanted to do it this year. Honestly it is a blessing in more ways than I can describe. In a couple of weeks I'll have to post more about their schooling and how it works. I find it fascinating. Katie goes to the public high school and is a junior this year.

I wanted to hit a few highlights of the summer that I hadn't covered in my blog yet because as you can tell, blogging (and basket weaving) have been on the side burner for the summer.

Mike, Katie and Tim went to Emerald Bay in California for a week with 16 scouts. Katie is an active venture scout and Mike is an assistant scout master. For a week they got to swim in the ocean, snorkel, scuba dive, canoe, hike and learn about aquatic marine life. While they did that, Emily and I took a trip on Amtrak to visit my family in Kansas.

This past week Tim became a First Class Scout. Here we are after he has presented me with my Mother's pin. We are so proud of him!

Emily and Tim's birthday parties got postponed until these past couple of weeks just due to our schedule. I took Emily and her friends to Cliff's Amusement park. It is a small local park with a rides that are similar to a state fair. For Tim's birthday party he wanted to go paint balling. Something we have never done. It is dangerous. I was standing in the doorway taking some pictures and got hit in the neck with one. Thankfully I had the face protection on, but nothing to protect my neck. Those little boogers really hurt!

The garden is at its peak and is starting to taper off due to the heat. What grapes are left are turning into raisins. The tomatoes, zucchini and cucumbers have been flavorful and the pumpkin vines are dying off now. I don't know if the pumpkins will make it until the end of October.
So, now that school is starting, I'm hoping things will get back into a routine a bit more. I'm anxious to do more weaving and to make some more videos. Are your children going back to school this week? Have you all had a wonderful summer? I'd love to hear what you've been up to during these warm/hot months.
Love and Blessings,

Friday, August 14, 2009

Free Crochet e-book from FaveCrafts

You all know how I have been enjoying crocheting this past year. You also know how much I like FaveCrafts. Well, FaveCrafts has a free e-book to download full of crocheting. You can link to it HERE.



Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Farmers' Wives Basketry and Gives Me Hope Website

Thank you Julie for sending me the link to the Farmers' Wives whom I mentioned August 9. I really appreciate it!!!

Friends, you can link to the Farmers' Wives HERE and see all their beautiful baskets and patterns that they have to offer. I love their style.

I also wanted to share a link to a new website I ran across. It is called Gives Me Hope. This website is full, FULL of beautiful news that is sent in by readers.

In today's world, I can hardly watch the news or read the paper any longer. The doom and gloom that reporters seem to thrive on just gets to be too much. There are horrible websites out there where people write in all the gloom they are experiencing in their daily lives. How awful to dwell on the negative aspects of our lives. I mean, none of us live a perfect life and never will until we go to live with our creator. To sit and dwell on what is wrong is our lives just brings everyone down. Even in the worst of circumstances God still loves us and there are areas in our lives that shine. We just need to learn to look for those shining areas. I know for some of you that may be easier said than done and it may take lots and lots of practice. Gives Me Hope is a website that was developed to counteract some of the negative websites that are out there focusing on how awful everyone's life is. Pop over there any time you need a pick-me-up. There is so much good going on in this world it is wonderful to see some of it and it may help us to be more observant to it in our own lives.



Monday, August 10, 2009

Crafty Goodness - Crochet Projects

I'm just showing off a drink coaster, top photo, and a kitchen scrubbie, bottom photo, that I made. The spiral scrubbie is a pattern by Judith Prindle and her free pattern can be located HERE. The top photo of the drink coaster is just something I created on my own.
What are you weaving or crafting and creating these days?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Share a Basket Sunday - Candle Basket

This sweet little basket is made on a wooden base in which #3 round reed is inserted from the bottom up. It is just the right size to hold a Yankee candle. The four ball feet are glued onto the bottom of the base. I had bought the base and ball feet many years ago from The Farmer's Wives. They included this candle patten in with the wooden pieces. The Farmer's Wives used to put out a catalog with their patterns, kits and and some of their specialty pieces for baskets. I have found through the internet that they are still weaving, but I don't know if they sell supplies any longer. Does anyone here know or have a link to them?
Have a blessed Sunday,

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Profits from Basket Weaving

I was listening to Zig Ziglar's podcast, Inspiring Words of Encouragement. (you can download this podcast series for free from iTunes) Anyway, he was speaking today about how what we do will benefit, and is profit for ourselves and others. It got me to thinking about how I profit as a person through my basket weaving.

There are people weaving baskets for $$$. Some of them are selling through galleries and others through small shops. There are teachers, such as myself, who make money through teaching basket weaving. Some people sell their patterns they design, and there are other who are selling weaving supplies. Some people are doing quite well and others are making just a bit of spending money. Either way, what a wonderful thing to make at least a little money doing something you truly enjoy.

Do you know though that there are other profits, or benefits, made from basket weaving? I think there are some really terrific profits such as the profit of increase in your self-esteem. How great it is to feel good about yourself in learning a new skill or technique.

The profit of self-satisfaction is another. One of my favorite things about basket weaving is the short time frame required to complete a basket. I run my classes 3 1/2 hours each. I used to have them 3 hours, but there was always one or two students who needed a bit more time and I didn't want anyone to feel rushed. In that three hour time block you will have a started and completed a project ready for use. Most crafts take much longer and some can even take months to complete. What a great satisfaction you receive when completing a basket in just an evening's time.

There is the profit of leaving a legacy. If baskets are properly cared for they will last several hundred years. How wonderful to have your baskets passed down from generation to generation and to have your great-great-great-great grandchild think of you weaving this basket. They will wonder what you used this basket for. It will be treasured. This leads to the importance of documentation, the signing and dating of our baskets

The profit of gratitude that you receive from others by giving baskets as a gift. I don't know anyone who wouldn't appreciate a handwoven basket. Not only are they beautiful, but they are functional as well. Everyone can use baskets to help with organization and who doesn't need a bit more organization in their life. I know with baskets I've given others, I've been thanked many times over for them. To receive a word of thanks is so uplifting.

These are just some of the ways I thought of that I have and will profit from my basket weaving. How do you feel you profit from basket weaving or other art/craft skill that you have?



Thursday, August 6, 2009

Free Online Basket Weaving Patterns

Remember Baskets of Joy has a free online pattern every month. Be sure to stop by and download your pattern because if you wait until September, this month's pattern will be gone. The August pattern is the beautiful Summer Garden basket pictured above. You can get the link for it HERE. Baskets of Joy makes it simple because if you want, you can just order the kit for the basket which comes with all the supplies. It is $24.95.
Enjoy and Happy Weaving,

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Share a Basket Sunday

This is a large basket. I use it to hold extra office/school supplies. When the kiddos need extra spiral notebooks, pencils, erasers, glue etc. they know where to find it. (If you are like me, you stock up now at Staples with their penny and nickle sales.) As it is woven up to the top, it is intentional that the shape is pulled in starting with the 1/4" rows of colored weaving. It uses a 10" wide x 14" high D handle.
Have a blessed Sunday,

Saturday, August 1, 2009

August 2009 Calendar Page

Be sure to stop by Susi Nuss's blog, BasketMakers, to download your free printable August 2009 calendar page with a beautiful photo of baskets, not the picture above but Susi's own photography. While you are there, spend some time around her website which is a wealth of basket weaving information.



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

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