Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Monster Stars

Thanks to Danica Duensing, who sent photos of how she used my aluminum beverage can star pattern, which she purchased on Etsy.

Danica wanted to make MONSTER stars for her niece for Christmas. Well, I don't know anyone who drinks that highly charged stuff, and I am NOT going to buy the drink and pour out the liquid to get the cans. After all, this IS about recycling, and that would be just wasteful....So the only way she was going to get them was to make them herself. But she rose to the challenge!

Don't they look amazing????? Danica added her own touch with twisted cool wire hangers , instead of the little gold strings I use on mine.

Danica says: "Here's a picture of the 3 Monster stars I made using your pattern. The
smallest is your medium star, the middle size one is your large star
and we enlarged your pattern to make the biggest one, which we gave to
our niece for Christmas and she loved it!

Thanks again for writing out this tutorial, I really appreciate it!"'

Wow, I really appreciate your sharing your success with me, Danica! The stars look GREAT!

If you want to make your own brand of stars, you can! My pattern is available for purchase here: http://www.etsy.com/listing/86641790/pdf-pattern-aluminum-can-stars-upcycled

If you have made your own stars using my pattern, you can share them here, or on YouCanMakeThis.com , if you purchased your pattern there!

P.S. Thanks very much to Carol Miller, who sent me some Monster cans (already flattened!) So now Monster drink stars are available in my shop. What a friend!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas to All

Merry Christmas, everyone!

I had to share a new addition to my Christmas tree, coiled pine needle teneriffe creation by Helen Cahill, Touch of Pine of Guffey, CO. Exquisite! Thanks, Mom!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Up On The Housetop

...Reindeer pause.

Well, they are pausing in my living room....

on my piano.... (handmade books by Wee Bindery)

all over the tree...

These little cuties are woven of vintage super fine high-quality cane, donated by a friend who decided NOT to weave a chair seat of it, since it had been sitting in his attic for 20 years....thanks, Alan! This vintage cane has a fabulous aged patina, and has not been treated with anything, just naturally beautiful golden honey...

I am loving them! Find them in my etsy shop!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Starry, Starry Christmas

No baskets for me this Christmas! I am busy making stars!

Make your own stars from Coke cans, here is a link to my pattern and easy to follow directions.

Some people are passionate about their chosen beverage, have you noticed? Diet Coke. Coke. Mountain Dew. Budweiser. Heineken. ( and then there are those who just love BeEr! ) For that fanatic, here they are...
Starry, starry ornaments! NOT just for Christmas, tho they do look great on a tree! They also hang from rearview mirrors and anywhere else just for fun...

I do love repurposing projects (commonly called recycling, more recently termed upcycling.) So how can i resist making shiny stars out of aluminum beverage cans?

The technique is easy, and when i could not find a template i liked, i made my own. The resultant project is simple and takes only a few minutes to render - generally two stars per can, depending on how you want the logos placed, etc. No special tools are required. The average person can find everything they need in their kitchen drawer (basketmakers will reach for their tool kit, of course!)

The stars are dimensional and reflect the light; they are lightweight and oh so eye-catching! Especially when that dedicated Mountain Dew drinker realizes what s/he is seeing------OH! They are a great tie-on package decoration...or basket tie on (just can't get away from those baskets!)

After making a buncha ornaments, i started making smaller stars into garlands! What fun.

Love the Earth. Love at Christmas. Deck the Halls! Hey, Coke loved them, my Diet Coke Garland was featured by Diet Coke Instagram on Christmas Eve http://instagr.am/p/bNEiz/

Have a fabulous holiday!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Adding to a Collection

Do you have a collection? Most people do. Here is a basket for an owl collector!People's collections give us great ideas for appreciated gifts. am having alot of fun looking at these great new baskets by Geraldine Kiser. This is the third day I have featured one of her new creations. Geraldine has made alot of gifts for her family and friends this year, using basket bases from my MakeABasket.etsy.com shop.

Geraldine's daughter, Karyn, collects owls, but holds out for the more unusual representations. She evidently spent a semester studying in Greece, and the owl represents the Greek goddess Athena. Geraldine thought this was the perfect representation she needed to make a great gift for her daughter! I must say, it turned out fabulous!

Today is "cyber monday," the day they say people are shopping online (like a virtual black friday.) If you are still in the mood to shop, now is your chance to get free shipping on anything in any of my etsy shops. Free shipping is a very good savings, many times, it represents a better savings than a 20% off coupon. So check it out! to get your free shipping, THIS COUPON CODE MUST BE ENTERED AT CHECKOUT: FBSHIP This is the last day! My etsy shops are all linked through the side bar of this blog ----------------------->

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Handmade Basket Makes a Treasured Gift

Handmade baskets are great gifts. People use them. But they also love that you made them with your own hands. And they particularly love them when they know something like pine needles, something picked up off the ground, has been transformed into a functional and graceful memento.

Geraldine Kiser has been busy making such transformations. Here is another one of her fabulous basket creations:

She says: "Steve is a friend who was recently promoted to Captain in the Medical Service Corps of the US Navy, which is a pretty big deal. Steve is a Medical Planner called a POMI in Navy acronyms. We were fortunate to be in DC for the promotion to personally give him this basket."

I love how she turned one side of this basket back, and couched a coil around the side, almost like an anchor chain...

Geraldine is careful to sign and date her baskets, which is great! It is easy to sign on the back of a ceramic base with a Sharpie marker.

The base is an anchor she purchased from my MakeABasket.etsy.com shop. *(where cyber monday sale is still on: use coupon code FBSHIP for free shipping! In fact, that coupon works in ALL my etsy shops, see side bar for links to them ---------------> )

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Baskets for the Holidays

"Are you ready for the holidays?" People ask all the time. Part of being "ready" is having the gifts you want to give all lined up. For the basketmaker, that often means weaving some gift baskets.

Geraldine Kiser has woven some wonderful gift baskets this year, using her own vision and bases from my MakeABasket.etsy.com shop.

This graceful Chickadee on a pine tree basket will go to her son-in-law's dad in Sweden. I love the eye-like opening, the beautiful way the collapsed oval frames the little woodland scene.

If you have not yet stocked up on supplies to make your gift baskets, now is your chance for a great deal! I am offering free shipping in all my etsy shops through the weekend. Just use coupon code FBSHIP at checkout for free shipping!

You can find all my etsy shops in the side bar of the blog ------------>

Friday, November 25, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Here's hoping everyone had a fabulous Thanksgiving!

Black Friday and Cyber Monday specials in all my etsy shops! Use coupon code FBSHIP at checkout for free shipping! I have great gifts for the basketmakers in your life!

You can find all my etsy shops in the side bar of the blog ------------>

thanks for reading my blog!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Christmas Baskets

It's holiday time! If you are a basketmaker, that almost certainly means weaving a basket...as a gift...as a decoration...just because it is a lovely thing to do!

Here is one using a holly base from my MakeABasket shop by LaWho Design. Love this, Vicki! The bands of color in the floating coils really make it striking. This would be a great gift for any hostess, and look fabulous hanging on the wall!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Emily Harrell: Still Weaving at 102

Last year I met Emily Harrell at Albemarle Craftsmans Fair. She makes knotted Armenian needle lace. I meant to make a blog post about her then, but...it just got away from me. This is us, last year (2010.)

Emily Harrell was, at the time, 101 years old. She and her daughter and grandchildren and great grandchildren, and great great grandchildren were at this craft fair. Just about everyone who was capable of holding a needle in her family had learned her craft. Needle lace is sort of like looping, but there is a "hard knot" involved.

Emily took the time to show anyone and everyone who wanted to learn how-to...right there. I knelt by her chair for an hour, i'll bet. I did not put my hands on the lace, but she must have thought i was getting it, because she kept showing me variations on the stitches.

Her finished pieces were doilies and collar trims, for the most part. Also hankie trims, napkins, etc. She was still using a fine cotton thread, though one older piece of weaving that she brought out was as fine and soft as a spider's web, it was woven in such thin thread! She said she could no longer do it with the very fine thread. At 101, i was impressed she could still do it at all, it requires good vision and dexterous fingers.

While I knelt by her seat, a woman who she had taught last year brought a little piece of lace she had been practicing on, on the edge of a piece of linen, for feedback. Emily was encouraging and delighted to see the practice work her disciple had dutifully brought for her.

In the car, on the way home, i started trying it. (someone else was driving...thanks, Ellie!) By the time i had gotten home, i knew what i wanted to do with my new skill...and thus my little angels were born.

These are twined waxed linen over little hardwood bobs. After the twining, i add wings and skirts of needle lace. Not quite what Emily was doing, but okay.

So this year, i just had to go back. Emily was still there, of course now she is 102. (or "Almost 103," as she says...sort of like when you were a kid and always had to get in your 1/2 year. Of course she does, what an remarkable thing it is, to have lived that long!)

Of course i brought her a little angel, and she was happy to wear it. A guardian angel, i hope. Her great granddaughters, twins, took turns taking pictures of us. (They call her GG.) Cute!

I hear tell that Emily has work in the Smithsonian. I am glad she has made her mark. I am so glad to have met her!

More Great Bakets from the Family Fusion Blog

If you read my blog, you probably have been to the Phillips Family Fusion blog, too. As I write this, i notice there are no fewer than 82 posts tagged "basket." So much more, too!

But I admit, it is the baskets that keep bringing me back!

Some of them are made with pottery bases from my MakeABasket.etsy.com shop...like these butterflies, and red autumn leaves.

So fun! I love the beads treatment on the butterfly one.

Great job, Vicki!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Art & Art Deadlines.com Blog Feature

Have you found this yet? A MUST for artists online: the Art & Art Deadlines.com blog!

R.L. Gibson has a finger on the pulse of the juried art show, and keeps us apprised of new developments in very regular fashion...and with taste! You might wonder about the eggs. Believe it or not, this is a food blog! Wow. Fun reading, even when it is not about me. - Yes- me. I am celebrating this week, to have been chosen to be a "Featured Artist" by Gibson!

In addition to finding great show opportunities, it is an honor to be "exposed" here.
You could be featured, too! Visit the blog and leave a comment, then check out the $2 Art Contest.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Vine Time

It's Vine Time! Are you collecting?

Autumn is the time when vines are "ripe." They are finished with their summer burst of growth. Harvesting vines in the summer means they are full of moisture. It pays to let them dry a few days before weaving, because otherwise there is so much shrinkage. But this time of year, it is cut and weave, the vines are beginning to shut down for winter.

Hurricane Irene brought down a number of trees in the woods near my home, and almost all of them have a variety of vines clinging to them. Here i am carrying one of three bundles of vines i collected off a single downed tree. There was grapevine, wisteria, Carolina jasmine, porcelain vine, and Virginia creeper, all in one big tangle.

...and then i made baskets! Cornucopias are first and foremost now, since Thanksgiving is coming up! Check out my etsy shop Bazketmakr for what else i have been weaving!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Another Lovely Basket by Ruth Anne Danger

From a very prolific coiler, here is a selection of new baskets...

Remember you can click on the image and see it closer! They are all so beautiful!

For your closer examination, here is another beautiful basket by Ruth Anne Danger! This one features a flamingo ceramic base, and vibrantly colored pine needles! Ruth Anne, this is another blue ribbon winner, your coiling is so beautiful!

All of the graceful baskets in the first photo are also by Ruth Anne. Thanks for sharing them with us.

To coil a flamingo basket of your own, check out the flamingo bases in my MakeABasket.etsy.com shop, they come in several different colors, and you can put your own spin on a decidedly tropical weaving!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Running Free by Ruth Anne Danger

More new baskets from Ruth Anne Danger!
She wins so many awards with her beautiful baskets. These are fabulous, Ruth! She calls these her "Running Free" baskets.

Horse bases are available in my MakeABasket.etsy.com shop, you can put your own spin on them, for your own award-winning baskets!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Horsehair Wave Basket by Carol Miller

Here is the first horsehair wave basket sent in by a reader of this blog!

It was coiled by Carol Miller as a birthday gift for her friend, Valerie.

Valerie reportedly said, "What can I say, the horsehair wave basket is just to die for!"

What can I say, but: I agree!

Way to go, Carol!

You, too, can make a wave basket!
Wave bases are available in my etsy shop at MakeABasket.etsy.com
If you need guidance in working with horsehair and/or making a wave basket, you might want to try one of my patterns or kits specifically for horsehair.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

National Basketry Organization Exhibition: All Things Considered

All Things Considered VI: National Basketry Organization Juried Exhibition
Opened July 30, 2011 runs through December 12, 2011

I am honored to be included in the NBO's biennial exhibition at the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, MA.

Fuller Craft Museum
455 Oak Street
Brockton, MA 02301
t 508-588-6000

Fuller Craft Museum and Shop Hours
Tues—Sun 10am-5pm
Wednesdays 10am-9pm
Closed Mondays

For more information, see my facebook event page.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Etsy Feature

Today my "Lifepath" basket is featured in the BEST etsy shops blog! What a fabulous complement. I love the idea of having a $1000 virtual budget and shopping it away each week. Anyone care to take a turn?

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Return from BlogBreak: Great Baskets to Get You Back Into It!

Well, I have taken a little break from this blog, it has been almost 2 whole months since I posted! Sorry to keep you hanging.

Fortunately, others have been hard at work, to fill the gap. If you are looking for an active, interesting blog with some basket content to follow, I highly recommend Vicki Phillips blog, Phillips Family Fusion. Fed daily by Vicki and her daughter, it is a wonderful amalgam of their lives, including not only Vicki's wonderful pine needle creations, but nature, gardening, animals, touring, home...there is something for everyone!

Here are images of just a few of the wonderful basketry creations Vicki has blogged about

Some of Vicki's baskets feature pottery bases from my MakeABasket shop on etsy. I am flattered.

She really does a great job, complementing the glazes, and bringing the colors together in her weaving. But what i really love are all the stories she tells about her baskets. These are the kinds of things i think about when weaving my own baskets. In addition, Vicki has a great hand with the photography aspect of blogging, taking a great styled shot of each basket in a different setting. I love it!

Clicking on the photos of each single basket in my blog will take you to Vicki's blogpost about it.

the depth of field on this next image is wonderful, Vicki!

This last one is my favorite, i love the colors and the way it just all works! Very lovely.

Vicki sent me the shots of all her baskets together, in preparation for a show she has coming up. Also, some of the baskets are for sale at the Gig Harbor History
during their Woven Stories: Native American Basketry of the
Pacific Northwest and Alaska exhibit July 9 - October 16.

Best of luck to Vicki on her basket sales!
I would love to see what the rest of you are weaving!