Monday, July 6, 2009

Back from a Basket Vacation Retreat!

Well, just home from my annual trip to PA – my wild basket retreat each year. It is a family-owned farm, and my goal is to make baskets with what I find there. Yes, I bring a little other “stuff” just to make sure I have weaving material, but most of the time I weave whatever I can find in the woods.

Here I am the first day, collecting. This is just honeysuckle. By now, I have scoped out most of the open areas, but there is still woodland and a lot of tangled briars that I need to bushwhack through to say I really know what is there. That multiflora rose, mixed with black raspberries and smilax is a tough combination! Hence my surplus US Marine camophlage pants…they can take it pretty well. This is a pretty dramatic contrast to the dresses and skirts i wear at home every day. I wear pants so infrequently, the dogs get excited when they see me wearing them - they know it means i am going collecting!

And here are some honeysuckle baskets that I made throughout the week. Since I am working the honeysuckle green, it has a lot of shedding bark, and is somewhat brittle. But it makes a lovely little rustic basket.
Traditionally, honeysuckle is dried, then boiled and “skinned” to make it very white and flexible. No time for that, though.

I generally average about a basket a day. This year, I gave one small one away, not shown here. Otherwise, this is my yield for the week. Some are started with cordage made from honeysuckle bark and grasses. (Actually, the big one is back is Autumn Olive, but I will tell you about that in another post!)

In this last pic you can see the pond below the farmhouse and the swing...what a lovely, peaceful place! Come back to read more about my vacation later!


StudioCherie said...

Sounds like a wonderful vacation!

3rdEyeMuse said...

what a gorgeous place for collecting! ... and it seems you yeilded quite a lot. :)

Jaci said...

What a lovely, productive vacation!
Love the getaways where all you do is work on your craft :)

springcolors said...

looks so peaceful

Midnightcoiler said...

Beautiful baskets and what a great setting for your own personal basket retreat! Hope to see those baskets in person soon. Great blog post.

Eileen said...

what a peaceful looking place to weave.

Sue said...

The location of your retreat is beautiful - looks so condusive to creating. And create you did - the baskets are wonderful!!

Susi Nuss ~ Basketmaker said...

Wish I had know you were coming to PA. It looks like you had a blast.