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 23, 2010

Merry Christmas and a little about 2011

Dear Friends,
A very Merry and Blessed Christmas to each of you.
It is my hopes and prayers that 2011 treats all of you with good health and many joyous days.

You've noticed, I'm sure, that this blog has quieted down.  It is my fault as both my time and interests have been pulled in other directions.  I hope you understand.

I'll be taking a hiatus from this blog for a while posting only when I find something pressing or worth your time to read.

This blog will remain open and I do read each and every comment.  You can always e-mail me anytime.

Like I said, I'll post from time to time so I hope you do pop in once in a while to see what is going on and to say hello.

Thank you for all the wonderful e-mails you have sent me and for those of you who have sent pictures of your baskets, thank you as I have loved seeing your work.  You can e-mail me a picture any time and know that I'm cheering you on.

My life at this time is full, blessed and busy.  It is good.  I'm keeping the household running as smoothly as possible.  Please continue to keep our sweet Emily in your prayers.  If your church has a prayer chain, I would truly appreciate it if you would add her name to your list.  She is a good kiddo and manages to babysit, work a few hours a week at a concession stand and attend school with good grades.  She does this all in pain and it is very discouraging for her at times as she doesn't see an end in site.  We're pursuing with treatment through a pediatric infectious disease specialist but it is soooooo sloooowwww.  They question is it really Lyme's disease.  It puts us back at square one for a while as they do more testing, but God is great and I know he has big plans for that little girl.  I often wake up in the middle of the night and pray for hours for her and all who are suffering.  Even so, life is good and precious.  God bless you for remembering her.  Our other children are fine and busy with activities.  Mike has a good job so we have much to be thankful for.

Be sure to take some time with your family and remember the real reason for the season that Jesus our Savior came to earth to wash away our sins so that we may have life everlasting in His holy presence. 

Merry Christmas,
With love and blessings to each of you,

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Basket Weaving Tip - Balancing the Weight of your Basket

Good morning Friends,
In watching my YouTube videos you have heard me say as you weave each row, rotate your basket approximately 90 degrees when you start the next row.  This is with basic start-and-stop weaving (not continuous weaving).  The reason I say as you begin to weave the next row to give your basket a 90 degree turn is to do the starting and stopping in various areas of the basket, not all in the same area.  The location where you start-and-stop adds just a bit more weight to a basket and can add a very tiniest of bulge with the extra thickness of reed.  Your basket will sit better if the weight of the reed is distributed around all sides of the basket. 

There is one exception to the rule-of-thumb above.  When you are weaving a wall basket, you may do all you start-and-stops on the back side of the basket.  This way, the front side of your basket will be perfectly flat and pretty.  Any extra weight or even slight bulge will never be noticed on the back side of your basket.

One final note...As you do your rim, on the inside and outside of your basket, do make sure the overlap is in two different areas of your basket.  I usually place my overlap on opposite sides of the basket again to balance the weight and look.  If I know one side of my basket will be facing outward where most people will view it, I do not place the outside overlap on the viewing side of the basket.

In the photo above, where I have my arrows, is where I've overlapped the rim.  As you look at this basket head on like this, you do not notice the overlaps, as both the inside and the outside pieces of rim overlap in the direction to the BACK side of the basket.  This way, you do not see the cut end of my reed which happens to be 1/2" flat/oval.
This is just one more simple basket weaving technique to give your basket that high quality you're after vs. one that is rapidly mass produced.
One more thing.  This is my Kitchen Counter Basket and I have the free pattern for you HERE.
Happy Weaving Everyone,

Sunday, November 21, 2010

It's Beginning To Look a Lot Like Christmas!

Dear Friends,
How does the time just slip away?  I've been getting the house ready for Christmas.  I want it to be done by Thanksgiving.  That may seem early, but I want to enjoy the season and all its beauty and by having the decorating done is one less thing for me to think about!

I took my sweet Santa boot that I wove last year out of the closet a couple of days ago.  It is sitting on a table near the front door and I put big candy canes in it.  Cute!  The pattern for this is Julie Deen's.  If you haven't been to her site in a while, it's time you popped over to see some of her latest works.  She has the most beautiful egg basket and has woven it with fabric!  I love it!  Julie is so creative.
Remember last year Julie sent me this angel?  It has been on my kitchen windowsill all year.  Now it sits among some Christmas greenery and pine cones.  Super Sweet!

Anyway,  are any of you getting ready for Christmas?  Last night the kids made chocolate covered pretzels.  Yum!!!  Of course we have to have those as a snack on Thanksgiving day.

Emily has started seeing an endocrinologist for her Hashimoto's and Vitamin D deficiency.  That has meant more lab work for her.  Poor kiddo is a pin cushion these days.  After Thanksgiving she gets in with pediatric infectious disease about the chronic lyme disease.  I really believe God is shining and getting her going in the right direction.

I also started with a company called Rendi.  So now I have two small businesses, Rendi and Scentsy.  Rendi is personalized home decor and is a brand new direct sales company that just launched October 1st of this year.  It's actually a sister company of Danieleson Designs which has been around 20 years.  I feel I'm on the ground floor with it and much can be done on the internet for it so I don't anticipate it taking as much time as Scentsy (which has been keeping me pleasantly hopping).  I'm really pressing forward with getting the mortgage paid off on the house.  Hallelujah when that happens!

Have a blessed Sunday.  Hope you are all healthy, we've been getting over colds here, and hope all is going well in your part of the world.

Love and hugs,

Monday, November 8, 2010

An Emily Update - Finally Some News!

Dear Friends,
If you've been reading this blog for some time, you know my sweet Emily, age 15 1/2 was struck with fibromyalgia beginning about a year and a half ago.  There are two schools of thought with fibro.  The first is that it is its own disease.  The second is that fibro is a symptom of something else going on in the body.  I choose to believe the second because I want to believe we can "fix" her.

We have been to so many doctors and specialists.  The pediatric rheumatology/fibromyalgia specialist that she sees has tried everything in his bag of tricks.  I've tried everything that has been sent or told to me.  Nothing has worked and all lab results, exams, and testing have come back normal.  Until now...

We had been referred to a medical office that does more alternative therapies of medicine.  We first went a couple of months ago.  Emily first saw a nurse practitioner who spent about an hour and a half going over EVERYTHING regarding Emily's fibro history.  She ordered some blood tests.  I thought to myself, Emily has been tested for everything under the sun already.  The nurse practitioner said I had to go to a specific lab because this is the only lab in the city/state to run some of these specific tests.  While I wait the 6 weeks for the tests, Emily has been back to this clinic for massage, healing touch, she's started yoga, and will soon begin acupuncture.

This morning was our follow-up visit after 6 weeks.  Would you believe there were some lab abnormalities?  I was shocked.  She, the nurse practitioner, spent an hour with us again today and there were three significant findings.  The first thing she said is that Emily has Hashimoto's disease.  This is a disease of the thyroid, the antibodies that the thyroid produces, that is not treatable, but is pain causing.  (Emily's thyroid is functioning properly, just not the antibodies it is producing)  I also question if the other two issues get resolved that possibly the Hashimotos will resolve itself???  Maybe??

Another abnormality that was VERY low was a specialized Vitamin D test.  Not your standard test and Emily has started today on some medication to bring that up.  Low test results here cause pain.

The third abnormality is something that could be carried by ticks.  Not Lyme disease, but related.  It has something to do with her lymph system and according to the nurse, there is only one doctor who treats for this specific issue in the United States and that doctor is in Kansas City.  Again, this was a specialized test and Emily's results were VERY low.  She thinks these three things are all interrelated and all causing her pain.  She also thinks it will take a year once treatment begins for Emily to start feeling better.  Back to the tick thing.  Emily had been bitten by a tick. (I don't remember the nurse asking us about ticks at the first visit and I didn't even think of it at the time.)  She was bitten back when we lived in Florida.  The nurse practitioner thinks that it is possible that Emily has carried something in her body that has remained dormant.  Then when she got very sick 1 1/2 year ago, high fever and so forth at the time all this fibromyalgia started, what was dormant in her body became active starting her pain.

So what happens next...Emily is now on super high doses of Vitamin D that we've started today.  The nurse practitioner asked her to start the Paleo diet, Emily calls it a cave man diet.  I got the book and we are starting it tomorrow.  Tonight I research this doctor in Kansas City and begin the process there.  Emily continues with yoga, massage, healing touch and accupuncture.  Whew....

I have been elated today to hear news that I'm hoping and praying will take us in the right direction with her.  I've been watching the television show "Mystery Diagnosis" faithfully to see if any of their cases are similar to Emily's.  There was a case of Hashimotos on the show.  I remember thinking, well Emily doesn't have anything wrong with her thyroid as it is functioning properly so I didn't pay much attention to that episode.  I'll have to go back and watch it now.  The final thing is that the nurse practitioner wants Emily to have some counseling.  Emily is such a sweet and loving girl, but as you can imagine, being in pain every day takes a toll on her both physically and mentally.  Sometimes it is hard mentally for her mommy here to know that my child is in pain, but we take it day by day.

So with all this said, please Please keep Emily in your prayers that we are doing the right things and finally getting her the help that she needs to remove this pain from her body.  Also please pray that she has the strength to deal with the pain until we get it resolved.

With love and blessings,
(Update)  Upon further research regarding Emily's lab tests, it appears that she has Chronic Lyme Disease.  So much was given to me earlier that it is all hard to digest.  The more I read, the more I find people first being diagnosed with fibromyalgia for years only to discover that they have had chronic lyme disease.  Could it be that this has been her problem all along?  Now, what about the Viatmin D and Hashimotos?

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween! and Share a Basket Sunday

I made this witch basket years ago at a basket guild meeting. I wish I had a better photo of it but I have given this basket away. The rim is interesting as it is a "rolled border". I sewed the arms and the hat came from the doll department at a craft store.  It is not my design.  This pattern is titled "Hagetha" and the author is Wanda Grahm.

Have a Blessed Sunday and Happy Halloween,

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Free Basket Weaving Pattern

Hi Friends,
Here is a beautiful pattern called Lines Of Autumn by Jennifer Rhodes.  It is a large market basket that uses a 10 x 12 D handle and space dyed reed in "autumn" color,  This pattern is available from and you can link directly to it HERE.  They also have the kit available for purchase for $23.95.  It's not a basket for the brand new weaver yet it is a beginner level.  Once you have a few baskets under your belt, give this pretty basket a whirl.  The space dyed reed in it is stunning.
Happy Weaving!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Fun Use for Extra Wire Handles

Hi Friends,
This project came across my e-mail and I want to share it with you.  You know I like crafting of all sorts, but I thought even all of you basket weavers would enjoy something different that you can do with your supplies.

If you teach classes like me, you may have a surplus of an item.  I'm always ordering extra handles for my classes.  I want to have extra handles on hand because someone always says they would like a kit to make the same project again at home.  Soooo..... if you have some of these sweet wire handles, these are the ones that you get with the eyes and ears, also sometimes called spool handles, you can do a fun craft project with them.  These happen to be three inch handles.

Here is the link to the project that comes from Crafts 'N Things.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Thank You....Drum Roll....Winners!!!!!

Oh Dear Friends,
I am so happy and I've seriously got tears in my eyes as I type this.  The grand total is $226 that we raised for the Susan G. Komen foundation.  Every single penny that was donated is going to this worthy cause.  Mike and I have covered any PayPal fees and shipping.  I'm so happy for all your generosity.  I feel honored to call you all my friends. 

I've got to tell you a quick story that happened to me in Walmart just 2 days ago.  I was shopping and had picked up a flyer with a pink ribbon product and the flyer was sitting in my basket.  A lady near me was telling her adult daughter to get a bunch of celery.  I just commented, "Oh I'm glad you mentioned that because I need celery too and had forgotten to put it on my list.  Thanks for jogging my memory."  The daughter looked over at me and saw the flyer in my basket, mentioned it and a brief conversation ensued.  I told them that every women in my family has suffered or passed on from breast cancer.  The mother said she had just been diagnosed and tears formed in her eyes.  I wanted to say that I'm trying here to help with the fight against it.  All I could say is, "I'm so sorry and my family will keep you in our prayers."  This disease hits every family and it is heart wrenching.  I want to say to all of you, Thank you, thank you thank you all for your generosity.  Thank you to those of you who provided prizes.  Thank you to those of you who donated money and thank you to all of you who have been praying for a cure.   With all my heart I love each of you.

So without further ado....can you hear the drum roll...............................................

The second place winner of the Lia Sophia necklace and Earring set is.....................


The winner of the grand prize of the basket, Scentsy warmer and fragrance, hand woven scarf, Stampin' Up supplies, Lia Sophia necklace, crochet tote, handmade journal and pink ribbon Bible is....................

Susan Zak!!!!!

I will be contacting both of you and your prizes will be on their way this week!!!!  The check to the Susan G. Komen foundation will also be sent this week.
I'm so happy for both of you!  I'm so happy for our efforts and what we have all accomplished together!!!
The final thing I want to say is PLEASE LADIES do not neglect to do those monthly self breast examinations.  Early detection is the best prevention.
God Bless each and every one of you!
With love,

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Final Call for Think Pink Donations

Hi Friends,
Friday is the big day when I draw for the winners of our Think Pink Raffle.  If you've been saying I'll get to donating tomorrow, well, tomorrow is almost here.  Please, please let your friends know that this is it.  Shout it out to your friends.  Let it be known on Facebook, your blog, twitter or any other social network site.  The farther we spread the word, the more money that will be raised.

Be sure to take a moment and look at all the prizes shown below.  Let me tell you, because I can see them in person here, they are all stunningly beautiful! 

One lucky winner is going to get an amazing “THINK PINK” prize package!

The prize package will include:

Pink Pot of Hope basket woven by me

Matching pink set of Stampin' Up supplies from CJ at Tea n' Stitches

Pink Sentsy warmer and fragrance from Naomi at Sentsy

Handwoven scarf from Bety at Deep End of the Loom

Lia Sophia "Pink Flamingo" necklace from Faith
A Beautiful Pink Ribbon Bible, Handmade Pink Journal and Crochet Tote Bag from Julie at A Handwoven Life

A second lucky winner will receive this beautiful Lia Sophia necklace and earring set also from my friend Faith. 

Raffle entries are $1.00 per “ticket” and can be purchased through PayPal (see "Donate" button in the sidebar)  

Please be generous. This is a cause very near and dear to my heart as I've lost a grandmother and an aunt to breast cancer and my mother and other women in my family are breast cancer survivors. This disease affects many of us.

For those of you who have already donated, for those of you who have provided the prizes, and for those of you who have advertised this charity raffle, I thank you with all my heart.
God bless.


Friday, October 8, 2010

Share a Basket Sunday (make that Friday oops) - Fall Leaf Bread Basket

Is it getting cooler in your neck of the woods?  It is here.  I'm waking up to temperatures in the low 60's and it feels so good.  I love having a cup of hot coffee out on my patio with some crisp air.  It is perfect for sitting down and reading. 

With this basket you can get ready for fall! This basket is great for using your scraps. Just grab your leftover reed in autumn colors and away you go. Take a close look. The handles are made from the stakes on each end of the basket. They are looped over each other.
As I lashed on the rim, I just included a garland of fall leaves. This basket holds a loaf of bread perfectly!
Baskets of blessings,

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Make Your Own Reed Diffuser

Have you seen the reed diffusers? They are sold many places these days and some are quite costly. They're reed! Good ol' basket weaving reed! You can make your own for pennies in comparison to what they cost in the stores.

Just use #6 round reed and cut to the desired length. You can use your scraps here. Place in a narrow mouth bottle. My bottle is from a vinegar and oil set that I got at Walmart. You can also get potpourri oil at Walmart as well. Mine is a potpourri gel that I got at a home candle party that I went to. Just fill the bottle with the potpourri fragrance, insert the reed and tie on a pretty ribbon. I also hot glued a small flower embellishment to mine. I made several of these to give as gifts and they are always greatly appreciated.

A bonus craft you can see in my photo of the reed diffuser. This photo is taken in my bathroom. I got some pretty, smooth glass blue rocks and used a clear epoxy to glue them to the wall in my bathroom. The blue rocks and epoxy also came from Walmart's craft department. I like the pretty bling it adds in there.

What other ways do you use up your scrap reed?

Baskets of blessings to you all,


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

German Basket Weaving Festival Part 3

Hi Friends,
Here is the last of my scrapbooking photos from the basket weaving festival held in Lichtenfels, Germany. 

My sweet babies.
 They are now teenagers!
I want my babies back!!!
Look at that woven basket behind them.

The stage where the basket queen and king are crowned and where the music is played. 
Lots of tables for some great food and beer.

Crowded streets.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Think Pink Update

Dear Friends,
I wanted to give you an update on our Think Pink raffle for the fight against breast cancer.  We are standing at $110.00!!!  I am very excited about this and I want to thank all of you.  Donations have slowed down so I wanted to remind you that the raffle continues through October 15, 2010.  I've said before and I'll say it again that this is a cause that is near and dear to my heart and I want to do all I can to help find a cure.  Be assured that every penny you donate is going to the Susan G. Komen foundation.  My husband and I are covering any paypal fees and shipping of the wonderful prizes.  Every cent of your donation goes to the fight against breast cancer.

To see the prizes donated, please go to this post HERE.  They are beautiful!!!!!

To enter into the raffle, click on the paypal "donate" button on the right hand sidebar.  Every $1 is a "ticket" for the raffle.  Thank you so much again for your generosity. 

One more thing I ask of all of you....Please pray for all the women and their families affected with this disease.  Cancer is a difficult thing to deal with both physically and emotionally.  The women affected are both young and old, but all of them have family and loved ones and all are hurting who are going through this.  They NEED our prayers.

With Hugs and Blessings to each of you and thank you again,

Friday, September 17, 2010

Basket Weaving Festival This Weekend - Part 2

Hi Friends,
Today I have more pictures to show you from Lichtenfels, Germany at their basket weaving festival.
Their woven variation of a Bavarian pretzel.

These are woven lamps.  Very cool.

The organ grinder's hat is woven!

Let me try and describe some of the setting here with what you can't see in the pictures.  I tell you, in Germany, they can turn everything into a party and this is one of those instances.  It is like a huge party down their main street.  The band is playing, loud.  Think polka band here.  The beer is flowing, some people are dancing, and the chatter among people is contagious.  There is a huge tent in the middle of the street where you can get not only your German beer, but pretzels, shcnitzel (a fried pork patty covered in sauce), wurst (sausages) and the most amazing pastries you've ever eaten over by the kaffee (coffee) shop.  There is even a young man and women in the city that they crown the king and queen  of the festival!

More to come!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Basket Weaving Festival This Weekend - Part 1

Hi Friends,
I've been waiting until this week to share these pictures with you.  It is time to get ready for the Basket Weaving Festival at Lichtenfels, Germany.  It is known as the Korbmarkt.  Korb = Basket and Markt = Market.  It is held annually the third weekend in September.  When we lived in Germany I was fortunate to get to go three different years.  Lichtenfels was about a two hour drive from my home south of Munich.

Let me explain that in Germany, different cities or locations are known for developing and creating some of the beautiful things we see today.  For instance, cookoo-clocks come from one main city in Germany where they people go to learn and perfect their craft.  The same goes with making baskets.  In Lichtenfels, there is a basket weaving school where those wanting to study and master the art of basket weaving go to learn. 

So each year, students and professionals sell their wares at a street fair along their main street.  I hope this week you will enjoy pictures that I've taken while we were there.  I've pulled them out of my scrapbook album as I had taken these pictures before we had a digital camera.  I hope you find inspiration through them.


Friday, September 10, 2010

You are a Basket Weaving Addict If...

This has been circulating around the internet. The best I can determine is the original author is Kim Renich, weaver, basket designer and pattern writer. Enjoy this bit of basket humor.

Baskets of Blessings,


You know you're addicted to basket weaving if... by Kim Renich
(Nancy's comments are in parenthesis)
  • You have patterns you bought 2 years ago that you've never made!
  • You've bought the same pattern twice without realizing you already had it!
  • You have more than one tape measure! (and you've snipped a tape measure while cutting stakes)
  • You've snipped a "V" in the tip of your finger while cutting a stake! (I've done this! Yikes it hurt!)
  • You have half finished baskets that you know you'll never finish but can't bear to throw out!
  • You weave until you discover a problem and then go back and read the directions!
  • Your basket supplies get the biggest closet in the house!
  • Your shirts have dye splatters on them!
  • You have so many patterns that you've alphabetized them!
  • You've cut up at least one basket
  • You hope your husband doesn't ask you how much you spent in class that night! (or online at the basket shop)
  • And...You know you're addicted to baskets if every room in your house has a basket in it!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Think Pink Raffle begins Now!

Dear Friends,

You've been reading about it for months and I'm excited to say that today is the official start of my “THINK PINK” raffle! As you know, October is Breast Cancer awareness month, so all money donated will go to the Susan G. Komen Foundation for breast cancer research.

One lucky winner is going to get an amazing “THINK PINK” prize package!

The prize package will include:

Pink Pot of Hope basket woven by me

Matching pink set of Stampin' Up supplies from CJ at Tea n' Stitches

Pink Sentsy warmer and fragrance from Naomi at Sentsy

Handwoven scarf from Bety at Deep End of the Loom

Lia Sophia "Pink Flamingo" necklace from Faith
A Beautiful Pink Ribbon Bible, Handmade Pink Journal and Crochet Tote Bag from Julie at A Handwoven Life

A second lucky winner will receive this beautiful Lia Sophia necklace and earing set also from my friend Faith.  I just received this beautiful jewelry for the raffle this morning so I want to take a moment to thank my dear personal friend and fellow basket weaving buddy.  Combined the jewelry is over a $95 value.  Thank you so much Faith.  You are truly special to me.

Raffle entries are $1.00 per “ticket” and can be purchased through PayPal (see "Donate" button in the sidebar)

The drawing will take place October 15, 2010.

Please be generous. This is a cause very near and dear to my heart as I've lost a grandmother and an aunt to breast cancer and my mother and other women in my family are breast cancer survivors. This disease affects many of us.

I would also be very appreciative if you would let others know about my “THINK PINK” raffle. Please write a blog post about this charity event and link back here. How about letting your Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking friends know about this so they can share the news with their friends? The farther we can spread the word, the more money we can raise.

With all your help this can be a wonderful success.

Thank you and God bless.


Update - I just received Julie's donation of a beautiful Pink Ribbon Bible, Handmade Pink Journal and Crochet Tote Bag.  Julie made the journal and tote bag herself and her work is amazing.  What a beautiful addition to our prize package.  Thank you so much Julie!!!  Julie blogs over at A Handwoven Life and has a basket weaving website Deen Homestead Basketry

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Basket Weaving Handle Substitutions

Here is a photo of a swing handle and two small ears that go with the swing handle. The small ears get woven down into the basket and the loops of them go through the holes in the big handle. The loops are just above the basket so this enables the handle to swing back and forth. If you've broken an ear, it is possible to just buy a single "U" handle to replace it. You might have to sand the new small "U" handle to make it thinner to fit in the hole of the swing handle. If you've broken your swing handle, heaven forbid, you can use the small ears as handles themselves, as a handle on the back of a wall basket or use both at the ends of a bread basket or smaller muffin basket.
Happy Weaving,
ps.  Think Pink officially starts tomorrow!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Share a Basket sunday

Good Morning Friends,
The basket I wove here has a 9" square wooden handle as one of the spokes.  It looks rectangular in the photo, but it is square.  I used 11/64" accents in hunter green, burgundy and navy blue in the basket and used all three of them again in the braided handle.
Today is our church picnic.  The weather has been wonderful lately yet in the late afternoon, the clouds often roll in with showers.  We're hoping for no rain this afternoon.  Hope the weather is lovely wherever you are.
Baskets of Blessings,

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Think Pink Raffle - Last Call for all Prizes

Hi Friends,
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and my Think Pink Raffle is getting ready to go into full swing.  If there are any of you wanting to donate prizes, please get them to me ASAP.  I'll send you my mailing address privately.  You may contact me at  Starting in September the raffle will begin.  You can read more about the raffle HERE.
Remember all money raised will go to the Susan G. Komen Foundation for the cure against breast cancer.  Thank you to everyone who has contributed and helping to make this a success.
Blessings to you all,

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Hope you all are having a wonderful weekend.  This basket is a tiny wall basket using 3/8" stakes.  The little curls are pieces of reed that are twisted and woven in after the basket is completed.  Enjoy!
Baskets of Blessings,

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Creating Custom Colors for Dying Reed

As many of you know, I use Rit Dye to dye my reed. Have you been to Rit's website to see all the beautiful colors that are available? Did you know that you can create your own custom colors with their custom color recipes? Be sure to check out the site when you are getting ready to dye your reed so you can get just the perfect color. Rit gives very specific recipes for many custom colors. You can just follow their color recipe along with my directions for dying reed that I gave HERE on this previous post.

When you are looking for places to purchase Rit dye, you can find it in stores such as Walmart and Target in the laundry section. Also many grocery stores sell rit dye with their laundry detergent. Keep your eyes open for it at fabric stores like JoAnns and Hancock Fabrics. Finally, sometimes you can get a great deal on it at places like Tuesday Mornings or Big Lots. It's out there and it's available if you just know where to find it. Also, if you are lucky enough to get some at a garage sale, grab it. I've personally not found it to expire and the colors still come out beautiful. I do buy mine in the powder form on most occasions just because it is less expensive than the liquid.

So try a custom color sometime. When you do, be sure to send me an e-mail and post a picture of it. I'd love to see how your custom colors turn out.

Baskets of Blessings,


Saturday, August 14, 2010

Around the House Saturday and Fright Night

Hi Friends,
How has your summer been?  It has been very busy around the Jacobs' household the past three months and I must confess, I am glad school has started this past week.  Over the summer we took a trip to Kansas to visit my family.  My mother celebrated her 80th birthday in June.  We also celebrated the birthday's of all my kids and all three are now teenagers!  Mike and I had our 22nd wedding anniversary, I had my birthday and we had many visitors staying with us.  Mike and Tim were also fortunate to get to attend the National Scout Jamboree near Washington DC.  This was the 100 year of Boy Scouts.  It has been one thing after another here and I'm ready for a slow season before the holidays.

Something else that has been cool is the remaking of the movie "Fright Night" here.  For the past two weeks they have been filming in my neighborhood.  One of the girls' friends even got to be an extra.  I must confess, I'm not familiar with the actors/actresses in the movie, but still it has been exciting to see all that has been involved in a real movie production just a few blocks from my house.  They film from 7 PM to 5 AM.  They want the night time setting, but boy they sure use a lot of lights.  One thing is for sure, there is an immense amount of set up and prep work and only a little amount of "action".  You can only imagine all the set up of lights, props, filters cranes and other things and even a rain machine.  I hope the movie is a success with good ratings.  Below is a bit from the Associated Press about the movie.
RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) - A remake of the 1985 horror and comedy film "Fright Night" has begun filming in Albuquerque and Rio Rancho.
Work will continue through October. State officials say the DreamWorks production is expected to employ about 175 New Mexico residents as cast and crew.

Gov. Bill Richardson says New Mexico's film industry has shown it is versatile enough to handle any kind of production or genre - including vampire films.

"Fright Night" is the story of a teenage boy who is convinced his neighbor is a vampire.

The remake stars Colin Farrell, Toni Collette, Anton Yelchin, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse. It will be directed by Craig Gillespie and produced by Michael De Luca and Alison R. Rosenzweig.

I wish I could say that I've been weaving.  I could give you a hundred excuses such as it's been too hot, or company or this or that, but I haven't woven since June.  I had every intention of doing some more YouTube videos this summer but that didn't happen either.  Hopefully this fall will give me a boost in creativity.
My garden is looking good and we are enjoying the fruits of my labor.  There is nothing better than home grown tomatoes and roasted veges like zucchini and eggplant.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Basket Weaving - Facts about Twining

Twining--A basketry technique using two or more sets of elements in which one set encircles the other.

Did you know that the first use of 'twining' was probably to hold twigs and sticks together to construct shelter walls?

Twining has also been used in ancient times by people as they spaced out twined rows to make traps and fish nets. They spaced their twined rows closer together to make lightweight baskets.

Stiff twining materials include: reed, rattan, cane, ropes, stiff grasses and stems of plants.

Flexible materials for twining include: cords, twine, jute and yarn among others.
I use twining on most every basket. On round or oval baskets I use twining to form the base. On square or rectangular baskets I use twining to stabilize the base and this keeps the base's shape. On some baskets, I will use twining on the sides for an interesting visual element.
You can begin by crimping one piece of material on itself and twining with just that one piece. You may also twine with two pieces of similar elements. An interesting technique is to use two pieces of the same size reed but have they dyed different colors and twining with the two colors. This is very pretty.
Enjoy twining and Happy Basket Weaving,

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Share a Basket Sunday - Kitchen Utensil Basket

Hi Friends,
This is my old kitchen utensil basket.  Since this picture was taken I have since cut it off it's wooden base.  It received so much use that it finally got holes poked in the reed from the utensil handles!  The cross stitch design and the lashing on the rim are made from space dyed reed.

Remember, baskets can last many, many years with care, but when you use one as roughly as I used this, there are times to say good-bye to them.  If you have a wooden base such as on this basket, or a wooden handle, cut the reed off the base or the handle and many times the wooden parts can be used again.  It is those wooden parts that are expensive and they can be used on another basket.

Baskets of Blessings,

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Today's Hand(y) Basket Weaving Tip

My hands can get so dry and having them in reed water does not help. Here is a simple tip to help keep our basket weaving hands soft. When you put water in your bucket to soak your reed, just put a small squirt of inexpensive hair conditioner into the water and swish it around. When I say a small squirt, I mean about a marble size amount of conditioner to about 2 gallons of water. I keep a sample size bottle of hair conditioner in with my basket weaving tools at all time. This will not hurt the reed and will help keep your hands smooth.
Happy Weaving!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Share a Basket Sunday - Coffee Filter Basket

This basket makes me smile.  It is in my cabinet and holds my coffee filters and measuring spoon and I see it each and every morning.
Hope you all have a blessed Sunday.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Free Basket Weaving Pattern

Hi Friends,
I want to direct you over to W.H. Baskets to pick up their free pattern this month.  It's called a Buffet Basket and uses beautiful braided seagrass and swing handles.  I wove a basket similar to this a number of years ago.  I lined it with a Winnie the Pooh fabric and filled it with baby items as a baby gift for a friend.  It turned out darling.  I'll have to search and see if I can find an old photo of the one I wove.  The swing handles add a lot to this sweet basket.  The two wooden handles give strength to the base.  It also makes it easier to store because you can fold the handles down when needed.  W.H. Baskets keeps their free patterns up only for a month and we are almost to the end of July so get there soon and print it off.
Happy Weaving,

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Share a Basket Sunday

I love weaving small simple baskets like this one.  It uses a 4 x 6 D handle.  I'm always watching for the little floral picks to go on clearance because I think they make a perfect embellishment.

I hope all of you are enjoying your summer.  Did you know that it is just 5 months from today until Christmas?  Start thinking about your gift giving now and while it is hot outside.  Stay in the cool air conditioning and weave some gifts.  That will be one less thing to think about when we are in the holiday season.

Baskets of Blessings,

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

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