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 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 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 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 a 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, 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 these butterflies, and red autumn leaves.

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

Great job, Vicki!