Saturday, December 31, 2016

Best Nine of 2016

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It is always interesting to see what are my most popular posts on Instagram. You just never know what is going to resonate with people.

Hope everyone had a great 2016 and hears to an even better 2017.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

2016 Alice Ogden Christmas Ornament

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"From My Tree to Yours" - Shaker Flying Geese. This is the latest in Alice's series of black ash Christmas ornaments. The basket is about 3" x 2.5".

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Crafting with the cousins

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So I started doing these little craft projects with my cousin Carol and her daughter, Sofia, when they would come out to my parents' house for Christmas. Well, now Sofia is 16, so the pony bead projects are a little meh. I was stumped as to what to do this year, but stumbled across these cool cord or headphone keepers. I will definitely be making these for stocking stuffers in the future or as a crafts and drinks with friends.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Friday, December 23, 2016

Season's Greetings

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I present my 2016 Christmas card. This design was inspired by a card I saw on the Stampers Anonymous site.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Some of my favorite things

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Bottle brush trees, vintage Santas and glitter houses.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Throwback Thursday

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I can't believe it is already 5 years ago that I had an exhibit of my baskets in my hometown.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Nantucket Angel Tree Topper

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I have had the materials to make this Nantucket basket-style angel for years, but was intimidated I think to start it as the materials were rather expensive. This is my prototype and I hope to take what I learned on this one to make another. The wings were always a sticking point on making these and they proved to be as challenging as I expected. The color of the wings looked like it was going to match the face perfectly, but ended up being much lighter than I planned. I will definitely have to adjust the color next time.

The wings look really crooked in this photo. I don't think they are that bad in real life and on the top of a tree you would never even notice. As I said, the wings were the biggest challenge. If I ever do get around to making another one I will tweak them a bit.

I guess the final thing to do is to get a Christmas tree up!

Monday, December 12, 2016


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Hello Fresh protein-packed rice bowl. Sorry for all of the food posts lately, but these meals have had such a pretty presentation I couldn't help but photograph them.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Comfort Food

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Hello Fresh style comfort food, Easy as (Shepherd's) Pie. I give mad props to people who can photograph food well. It is really hard! I guess I need a nice sun drenched kitchen.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Finished Lidded Basket

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All finished. It actually photographed better than it looks in person. The rims gave me fits, so the weaving is not as tight on the lid as I would have liked. All of the other lidded baskets I have made in the past had rims that were straight up and down, like the rims on the basket body. This basket has flat rims, so the lid actually hangs over the edge of the basket body.

Working on a lidded basket

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I haven't made a basket with this type of lid before. Typically all of the starts on bases and lids for the baskets I make are a plaited square. This basket is more of New England or Native American style basket than my normal Shaker inspired baskets.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Christmas Memories

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My parents put up two Christmas trees, one huge 12" tree in the living room, then a smaller tree in the basement. I always help put up the big tree and decorate the house, but Mom and Dad do the basement tree. Usually Christmas is such a whirlwind event that I don't really get to spend much time looking at all of the ornaments on the little tree.

Well this year my parents are working on a big remodeling project so decided not to put up the huge upstairs tree so they will be ready to start construction at a moment's notice. So, I ended up hanging all of the ornaments on the basement tree. That tree includes lots of handmade ornaments, including this little gem from 1973 painted by yours truly.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Waxing Poetic

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OK, I think I need to lay off the word play...

After checking out the cutting boards last night I realized I had done a better sanding job than I realized. All I did was burnish them with a Scotch Brite pad and apply a coat of Perennial wood wax. The colors really pop now and the cherry should darken with age.

I am very pleased with out these turned out, but the being the perfectionist that I am there are a few spots where the grain of the wood tore out and a few bug holes in a couple of the walnut strips. These will drive me nuts for a while, but eventually I will start looking at the entire board, not just the imperfections in the natural wood.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Plain Cutting Boards

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Well not that kind of plain, plane–as in I needed to smooth the surfaces of my laminated boards.

I spent a few hours at Perennial this afternoon planing and sanding my cutting boards. Also cooked up some of their custom wood wax while I was there. I'll probably give them another once over with a scotchbrite pad then wax them tomorrow. I'm so excited to see the colors come out.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Second Hello Fresh Meal

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Again it was delicious, tri tip steak, couscous, red bell pepper, spinach with chimichurri. So far so good from Hello Fresh.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

First Hello Fresh Meal

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Have to say it was delicious, porkchop with balsamic cherry glaze, with roasted potatoes and broccoli. Great first meal from Hello Fresh.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Cutting Board Crazy

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I'm on a roll. Glued up three of the four cutting boards I laid out last night. I would have done the fourth, but I ran out of glue. Once I get the fourth one done, then I will head back to Perennial on a community workshop day to plane then.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Cutting Board Worshop


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Day one of my cutting board class at Perennial here in St. Louis. Wood strips glued up and clamped (I did eventually clean up as much of the squeeze-out) until next week's final class. I am very excited to see how the different colors of wood–ash, oak, walnut and osage (where hedge apples come from) come out after oiling/waxing.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Friday, October 28, 2016

I'm hungry

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Thinking back on my BL (no T) I had the other night with JoAnn Kelly Catsos at Crown Candy Kitchen. This was the last night of another fantastic four day workshop here in St. Louis that I hosted for JoAnn. We had 14 students take the classes and over 40 baskets and woven pieces were made. I promise to post more pictures from the workshop soon.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Take a look quick

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This doesn't happen often, my craft/basket room is clean! When I host classes at my house this is where we have lunch and a table full of stamping and paper supplies is not a very functional lunch room. Now let's see how long it lasts...

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Book Binding

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I took another class at Perennial last night, this time a leather bound book. It was my first time doing any book binding and it was really fun and surprisingly easier than expected. Like all Perennial classes we used all reclaimed/recycled materials. The leather was from old jackets, pants or scraps and the pages was letterhead that was headed to the landfill.

I just need to figure out how I want to fashion a closure for my book. The leather I had left over from my scrap wasn't long enough to make a simple tie closure, so I wanted to take some time and look at some examples of different methods before I just threw something on there. I will post a follow up picture when I get it added.

Thanks Perennial for another fun class!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Stampin' Some Halloween Cards

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Earliest I ever gotten my Halloween cards finished. Now I just need to write a message inside and get them mailed. I've got weeks, right?

Being a perfectionist and a procrastinator can be a really bad combination.

Friday, September 30, 2016


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Playing with my new watercolor app. It kind of makes me mad as I've always wanted to be able to paint like this, but I have never been able to work this loosely. Damn computer program...

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Throw Back Thursday

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Throw back Thursday to 2006 and one of my trips to the John C. Campbell Folk School and a tree to basket workshop with Steve and JoAnn Kelly Catsos. Steve split a black ash log into billets and we pounded and pounded and pounded some more to make splints to weave into our baskets. It was a lot of work, but definitely worth the experience.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Throw Back Thursday - Kwikies

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These are the "corn dogs" I grew up eating. I had no idea those horrible cornmeal caked things with mustard were what the world called a corn dog. These are Kwikies. They were originally from a place called Dairy Pride in Mexico, MO. I guess they might have been cornmeal based, but the coating was a thin layer of deep fried batter that was then dipped in sweet and spicy BBQ sauce. They also always came in one of those little red-plaid paper boats (I don't know what this paper towel tomfoolery is about). This was one of those places your dad would take you to eat.

Apparently you can get them again at the miniature golf course in town, but I have yet to remember to stop by to try them (the paper towel is still throwing me off).

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Estate Sale Finds

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My estate sale finds from today, all at one stop. Unfortunately a fellow basket maker had passed away and his wife was moving to assisted living. I'm excited by what I found, because you know, I need more stuff...

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Throw Back Thursday

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This was from way back in 2007 when I made my reproduction black ash lidded Shaker knife basket. This was the first time I tried to recreate a historical basket, from making the mold to determining the widths and weights of materials. If I did it over today I would change a bunch of things, but I've learned a lot in the last 9 years.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Handle Attached

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Handle attached to my Nantucket basket. It is perfectly centered thanks to using my Handle Minder to mark the center of the rim. The handle is a tad bit longer than I would like, but it came predrilled. I would have had to wove the basket deeper, but I didn't realize the handle was to swing so far down the side of basket until the rim was already attached.

While this may not seem like a big accomplishment, I can't believe I got a basket finished that I wove while vending at the Missouri Basketweavers Guild Annual Convention. Normally I weave the bodies while demonstrating how to use my weaving stands and then the end up in a pile back home on my work table. I actually completely finished three baskets during the convention (I did still need to apply the polyurethane and wax, but I even got that done too.)

Friday, August 19, 2016

Flash Back Friday

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A little flash back Friday to me actually finishing one of the baskets I started at the Missouri Basketweavers Annual Convention. Basket body woven and rimmed, now to mark where the handle will go with my handy Handle Minder. Because I had first used the Handle Minder to mark the base for the position of the first two staves, it was easy to line back up the two perfectly opposite staves and mark the rim for the handle holes.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Upcycled Napin Rings

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Another fun class with Perennial tonight at Larder & Cupboard. Made some sweet upcycled napkin rings out of discarded belts (also made a cute little notebook).

Unfortunately when I got home I discovered I actually don't have any napkins! Guess I will have to get some this weekend. LOL

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Working on a Nantucket basket while working

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Whenever I vend at a basket convention I always demonstrate using my basket weaving stands. I made a promise to myself this year at the Missouri Basketweavers Guild Annual Convention that I would actually finish the baskets that I started. So far so good. I wove three and finished weaving and rimming the baskets at the convention, and I am just wrapping up applying the finish to them.

More progress photos to follow.

Monday, August 15, 2016

2016 JoAnn Kelly Catsos Workshop

Saturday-Sunday, October 22-23, 2016
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Cheese Bottom Tub
6" diameter
The delicate hexagonal weave, a.k.a. the cheese basket weave, in the bottom of this tub basket transitions to a plain weave on the sides. The basket is woven of finely prepared black ash splint over a wooden tub mold, and the maple rims are double lashed.

Due to the small size of the splint, prior black ash and hex weave experience is required.

 Cheese Bottom Tub 
Monday-Tuesday, October 24-25, 2016
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Shaker Mending Set
8" long x 5" wide x 4" tall
The Shaker Mending Set includes the beautiful Sheffield Mending Basket–based upon an antique Shaker basket in JoAnn’s private collection, a kittenhead pincushion–which sports a sawtooth rim treatment, and a needlebook–inspired by the poplarware needlebooks made at the Shaker community in Canterbury, NH.

Kittenhead Pincushion
2.75" diameter
(choice of pincushion color)
3.25" x 3.25"
(choice of inside covers and ribbon color)

Scissor Case*
3” tall
*This is not included in the workshop price, you may purchase this kit from JoAnn as a take-home project to add to your set.

Shaker Mending Set

Class fees includes all materials, handouts and use of mold, weaving stand and tools.

Level: Advanced

Instructor: JoAnn Kelly Catsos

Contact: Tony Stubblefield
if you would like to receive registration information

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Throw Back Thursday

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Pineneedle Coiled Basket 
10 " dia. x 7" h 

This is a coiled pine needle basket stitched with silk loom weaving yarn. I left the tips on the pine needles and let them fall in a random pattern up the sides of the basket. I made this back in college, so nearly 30 years ago. How is that even possible?

Saturday, July 23, 2016


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I have a million things I need to do, but I procrastinated by making a wooden whale cutout.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Baskets baskets everywhere

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So needless to say, but I have a lot of baskets around my house ...

Also, probably needless to say, I am a tad anal retentive ...

So I typically like to display and arrange things in a very logical and organized fashion. That doesn't mean I have to line things up in a perfectly straight line, but items are definitely placed with thought behind them, even in groupings. Anyway after visiting another basket maker who puts my collection to shame, I decided to get out of my comfort zone and to try arranging things more organically. Here's my attempt. Probably still more thought out than most, but a big step for me.


Thursday, July 14, 2016

Mt. Lebanon Carrier

10"h x 15"l x 8.5"w - black ash and cherry

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I wove this basket during my first apprenticeship with Martha Wetherbee and it is still one of my favorites. The basket features small "feet" on each corner to protect the bottom of the basket from damage, sturdy rims and a cherry bonnet handle.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Summer pasta primavera. Yum!

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Delicious pasta primavera with summer vegetables, chicken and fresh basil and thyme from my little herb garden.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Underwater Basket Weaving Merit Badge

So have you heard the one about the college course in underwater basket weaving? Yeah, it is an old wife's tale, folk lore, urban legend, or whatever you want to call it. As a basket maker I have had people ask me about it with a wink and a smile, though I think the ask-er actually thinks it is a real thing. Anyway, like the Shakers, Quakers or Bushwhackers, I am taking back the derogatory moniker. I am now going to proudly display my Boy Scout's merit badge in underwater basket weaving. I think after all of the baskets I have made that I have earned it.
By the way, if you didn't already know, this is a joke. It is a real patch, it just isn't one that the real Boy Scouts will be awarding anyone. I will be sewing it onto the apron I wear when I do conventions. I am sure it will be a conversation starter.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

2016 Eric Taylor Workshop

Eric Taylor will be back in St. Louis again this May to teach two great classes. Eric Taylor has been making traditional baskets and Shaker boxes since 1983. His love for working with wood and the black ash trees inspired him to experiment further in the art which lead to creating his own contemporary designs that combined the elements of the Shaker and Nantucket baskets. Eric has taught the art of basketry, nationally, for over twenty years.

Saturday - Sunday, May 14-15, 2016
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Boxcar #4
Eric Taylor Boxcar #4 Basket
10" L x 7.5" w x 10" H

The Boxcar #4, like the train car this design is named after, is suitable for moving a heavy load. The tall straight sides, and sturdy cherry rims and handle are matched with skates that lift the basket and reinforce the woven black ash base.


Birds Nest
Eric Taylor Birds Nest Basket
4" Dia. x 3" H

Two rows of curls separated by a wide band add a new twist to one of Eric’s unique baskets. Woven of hand pounded black ash, this little basket is accented with a cherry base, rims and flared side handles.

$305 (includes both baskets)

Monday, May 16, 2016
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Cottage Garden #2
Eric Taylor Cottage Garden #2 Basket
12" L x 7.5" W x 7.5" H

This is the second basket in the Cottage Garden set. Nest this gem inside the Cottage Garden #3 we made in 2014. Woven of black ash with cherry rims and handle, and cherry skates that act to lift the basket and give it a firm stature.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Cottage Bun
Eric Taylor Cottage Bun Basket
15" L x 5" W x 4" H

A new basket for 2016, the Cottage Bun is the little cousin of Eric’s Cottage French Bread. Woven of hand pounded black ash, it features a cherry base, flared side handles and rims that curve into a graceful oval.

Class fee includes all materials, handouts and use of mold, weaving stand and
basic tools (if you have particular tools you like, please feel free to bring them).

Level: Intermediate
Contact: Tony Stubblefield
if you would like to receive registration information