Sunday, December 24, 2017

2017 Alice Ogden Christmas Ornament

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2017 Christmas ornament basket from the very talented Alice Ogden. Merry Christmas, happy holidays and here’s to a wonderful 2018!

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Christmas Card 2017

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I present this year's Christmas card. Often my cards are inspired by other stampers. I found this plaid background stamp set from Concord and 9th and then searched for cards people had used it on. That led me to the Tim Holtz Stampers Anonymous "Great Outdoors" set of images. I did a little picking and choosing of parts that I liked from the samples I found, and fit those into the papers, inks and embellishments I had on hand.

This isn't the most "Christmassy" card, but I do like the snuggle by the fire vibe it gives off. I just mailed these out this morning, so everyone should get them at least before Christmas. Every year I say I am going to get started early and I don't think I really procrastinated, but I still was cutting it close.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Best of 2017

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My Best Nine of 2017 as seen on Instagram. As a basketmaker myself it is a tad disappointing that seven out of my nine are baskets made by other people. But I have to admit that my followers have good taste, as these baskets are incredible. I’m especially glad to see that JoAnn Kelly Catsos' pair of miniature fishing creel and backpack was my most popular post of the year.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

I Spy with my Little Eye

Bushwhacker basket
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Saw this small (maybe 5” dia.) black ash Bushwhacker basket at the Forever Vintage Market in Belleville, IL this past weekend. It was in perfect condition with great color and a really cute size. I really wanted it, but unfortunately they were asking $495! I passed...

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

New Addition to My Collection

Joanne Russo basket
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I just acquired a beautiful JoAnne Russo basket. It is made of twilled natural and dyed hand-pounded ash with pine needle and waxed linen rim (dated - 1997).

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Another one from my photo album

Ribbed egg basket
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Yet another ribbed Appalachian egg or buttocks basket from my old photo album. I was really happy with the shape of this basket, but the reed was really crappy quality. There was a period in the mid/late 80s where th quality of reed really dropped. Of course this was the days of a pound of Reed was only $5-$7. 

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Basket Weaving Circa 1985

Ribbed basket
After my recent class at the John C. Campbell Folk School I got out my old basket photo album. I have a fair number of photos from when I first started weaving. This basket I made back in 1985. It is woven of reed on a 8”x12” rectangular frame. I am pretty sure I wove this sitting on my dorm room floor.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

A fun evening of crafting

upcycled note pads
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Perennial, my go-to place for taking fun classes using upcycled/recycled materials, hosts periodic classes at area shops. This month's make-and-take was at Larder & Cupboard in Maplewood, MO. We made upcycled notepads out of salvaged boards, discarded adding machine spools, leather, twine, wire and screws. We also make place holders out of forks (depending on the metal the utensils are made of, bending the tines can be a b*tch). And finally we made gift bags from maps, magazines pages and picture books.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Sweet little white oak ribbed basket

Miniature Appalachian white oak ribbed basket
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My dad recently found this basket, plus its slightly larger brother (or sister. Are baskets male or female?). He had sent me a couple pics from his phone when he first found them, but without a food size reference I didn't realize how small they both actually were. This is definitely one of the nicest baskets I have seen in awhile.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

4" Quadrafoil

Shaker black ash basket
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Finished up my 4” Shaker quadrafoil tub on Sunday. It is woven out of pounded black ash with little black ash handles and maple rims. I have had this mold and kit forever, but had never gotten around to weaving it. I love weaving the quadrafoil pattern, but these tubs are tricky in that you flip over the base when you pin it to the mold and start weaving up the sides. This doesn't sound like it would be hard, but you are now weaving "left handed" around the sides. This gives me respect for left hand weavers who are forced to weave to the right.

Now to add it to my set of 11”, 9”, 6” and 2”.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Side Handles

Shaker Basket Handle
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Handles notched and ready to go back into the 4" quadrafoil basket I've been working on. These were carved and bent out of a single thick black ash growth ring.

4" Quadrafoil Basket

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Made rims and handles for this little 4” quadrafoil tub yesterday. Now to notch the handles and lash. I have had the materials for this basket for years, but am just now getting to work on it. I wove the body of this basket when I was in North Carolina for a basket class at the John C. Campbell Folk School. It is woven of hand pounded black ash with black ash handles and maple rims.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Miniature Nantucket Basket

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I used a scrap weaver from my white oak basket class for the staves and cut the cane weaver in half (not always consistently though) to make this little one inch Nantucket basket. With miniatures every little thing shows up magnified. Cutting 1.5mm cane down to .75mm is tricky and any inconsistency really shows up once the basket is woven. I should have cut out the narrower section, but I was too impatient and the thought of splicing the tiny weaver made my head hurt. Of course now, the variation in weaver width makes my head hurt. You would think after all this time I would know that this was going to bug me.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Baby basket weaver!

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Here's a Throw Back Thursday for you, from a mere 32 years ago. I had only been weaving for a couple years at this point, had already made dozens and dozens of baskets, and had come back recently from a white oak ribbed basket class with Gertie and Estel Youngblood (you can see a bundle of white oak splint leaning against the window behind me.

This photo was from an article that was going in a newly formed area newspaper/periodical. The editor wanted to do an article about basketry each issue and was going to ghost write it under my input. Unfortunately I think only three issues were every printed. I have copies somewhere in a scrapbook. I will have to dig them out.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween!

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I love vintage paper maché jack-o-lanterns, but they are crazy expensive. I found this reproduction one the other day and it looked so good I had to snatch it up. I do have one actual vintage pumpkin that I got from my parents, but that one goes under glass for display.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

What I have been up to lately

Denim Catherdral Window Throw/Quilt
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Faux cathedral window throw made from upcycled jeans and dress shirts ran through the wash twice. It has frayed nicely. I’ll be trimming long stings for awhile, but I am super happy with how it turned out. This was a class that I took at Perennial if anyone is interested in learning how to make one themselves.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

More Work in Progress

Denim Cathedral Window Throw/Quilt
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After waiting for a walking foot to come in for my sewing machine, I finally have all the stitching done on my faux cathedral window throw made from upcycled jeans and dress shirts. It’s in the washing machine right now to fray the scalloped edges.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Work in Progress

Denim cathedral window quilt/throw
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I’ve been super busy lately working on the faux cathedral window throw out of upcycled jeans and dress shirts.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Throw Back Thursday

Filling-in technique for Appalachian ribbed baskets. 
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Throw back to 2000 when I photographed and wrote instructions for "filling-in" for ribbed baskets. I've got to look through old Zip discs to see if I can find the original images. All I can find are the low-res .JPGs I posted to my online instructions at

I was able to locate the old photos! Now to recreate the set of instructions in a version that is print quality.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

A Nest of Three

Martha Wetherbee Shaker Baskets
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I purchased this nesting set of three Martha Wetherbee black ash Shaker baskets a year or so ago. They are signed and date 1985. This is about the time that I became aware of Martha and Nathan's work. It was a few more years before I was finally able to take a class with them. 

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Cutting Boards

Cutting Board

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Finished the last of the cutting boards I made during my visits to Perennial on Community Workshop nights. Back last fall I took the cutting board class and now have made a bunch of gifts on my own. These are made from scrap wood, either salvage from the cabinet maker in my home town or scraps too short for my dad to use in his furniture. They are a mix of cherry, oak, walnut, mahogany, maple and alder. They will go down in my stash of handmade items for when I need a gift for someone.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

My basket tree is getting full

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If you have ever taken one of the classes that I host at my house you have seen my loaded basket tree I keep up all year round in my basket/craft room. I have already added a tier to the tree, so it is as tall as it can be and I double up on branches if there is room. I am planning on making a covered display case for my mini minis, so I might move some of the smaller baskets to that so might be able to free up some space.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Baskets in the morning sun

Quartet of black ash Shaker-style baskets
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The weather finally broke here the this weekend and I was excited to be able to have the front door open to let some natural light in (my house has awnings so is relatively dark most of the time). I made this quartet of black ash Shaker-style baskets on my last trip to the John C. Campbell Folk School. The large 19" oval Nantucket basket in the back I made in the early 2000s during one of my trips to New Hampshire.

Thursday, July 20, 2017


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How interesting, both of the Hello Fresh peppers in tonight's Sizzling Southwestern Chicken had babies!

Friday, June 30, 2017

Miniature Baskets

Miniature black ash shaker basket
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I recently acquired a large collection of miniature baskets from well-known contemporary basket makers. Here are a pair of black ash Shaker-style baskets by June Patterson, one of Martha Wetherbee's first apprentices. The baskets are mini versions of the Mount Lebanon puzzle-cathead and carrier.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Baskets, baskets, baskets...

Antique baskets
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My parent's are in the process of finishing up a major remodel in their house, so basically everything was displaced at some point. Furniture went back into their spots, glassware and china went back into their cabinets, but baskets, which basically festooned the house lost some of their homes. So, I got to be the primary decision maker on what should stay and what should go back where. I meant to count how many baskets we ended up culling, but it was a pretty hefty pile. If you are interested in purchasing any nice antique white oak and black ash baskets be sure to visit my Dad's antique shop, Coal St. Antiques in Mexico, MO.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Mold Weaving Woes

Nantucket and Shaker basket weaving stand
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I don't know how people weave on a mold in their lap. I always use an adjustable weaving stand when making a Nantucket basket or any other mold woven basket. Originally I just used a table top version that would clamp to the end of a table. At a basket weaving workshop in North Carolina I was introduced to a floor stand version and immediately fell in love. I used that stand for years and referred many people to the man that made them. One day though the gentleman fell off the face of the earth never to be heard from again. For years after that people always asked me about my stand and where they could get one. Finally I decided I need to make my own version to sell and a small cottage industry was born. I have made, sold and shipped hundreds of these crazy things over the intervening years. I never go to a workshop without mine, it is indispensable. Because it adjusts to any height I can even stand while I weave if I need to give my back a stretch.

Friday, June 9, 2017

More stamping around

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Playing with some ink and another one of my basket stamps. I was trying to see what I could do with just a single layer of overlapping images. I used Tim Holtz's new Distress Oxide ink for the basket image. I love the detail you can get with it. If you are a stamper and haven't tried the oxide inks you really need to give them a shot. I still love the original Ranger Distress Ink line, but for highly detailed images it is a bit too "soft". I used it for the overall background stamp on this card and the resulting image is wonderfully vintage looking, but for the basket I wanted it to be nice and sharp.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Designing Cards

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Playing with some ink and one of my basket stamps. Distress Blueprint Sketch really does look like an old school architectural print. Love how the water spots turned out.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Don't mind the mess...

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...I'm actually working in my craft room! I always have the best intentions. As I am leaving work and walking to my car, all I can think about is what project I want to work on. Then I get home and the couch looks so comfy, and that is all she wrote...

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Flea Market Find

Appalachian white oak ribbed buttocks basket
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Picked up this sweet antique white oak ribbed basket the other day at the Gypsy Caravan. I shared this pic with some friends and one of them asked me if I knew who the maker was. Unfortunately, except in rare cases, is it possible to identify the maker of a basket. You can often tell the region of the country that a basket was made, either by the materials or style of construction. Since this basket is white oak and a rib construction I would say it came from the Appalachia region of the US. Of course that covers a pretty big area of the US. The thing is, most basket makers made their baskets exactly the way they had been taught without really putting their own spin on them. So, this resulted in all the baskets from a local area being pretty similar. The thing you really have to remember is that these were utilitarian objects like a screwdriver or a ladder. For the same reason they also didn't sign their baskets. When you do find a name written on a baskets or screwdriver or ladder, it was the owner's name, not the maker. Just like you write your name on a Tupperware bowl when you go to a picnic, so would they write their name on a basket. Today we think of baskets as art objects, but not back then when this basket was made, it was just a tool like any other.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Peas in a Pod

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My first pea pod! Funny how the little things can make you excited.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Card Games

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Playing around with my stamps and some ink.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Little Helper

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Grayson wants to help me make cards. We have a different definition of helping I think. But just look at that face, how could I scold him.

The bad thing was that I was inspired to craft, which hasn't seemed to happen much lately. I finally did get back to work when he became bored with me. I was working on a set of cards, but only got partially done with them before it was time to wind down for bed. Hopefully inspiration will strike again and I will get these finished up soon.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

2016 Smash Book finally completed

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So I don't know if I can really count this as "getting caught up". I am just now finishing up my 2016 Smash Book. I started 5 years ago doing one of these and have continued to fill a book a year. I guess now I better get busy on 2017...

Friday, April 14, 2017

Do the Dew

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Actually this isn't dew. I was just watering my new plantings last night and thought the water droplets were so pretty in the late day sun. This year I am pledging to water my plants. I just spent almost $200 on 5 plants and one pot. I do NOT want to let them die because I was lazy.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Throw Back Thursday

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Anyone remember having one of these? I still have the body from the inch worm, but at some point unfortunately the head went missing. My love of labeling anything and everything started at an early age.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Standing the Test of Time Educational Displays

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Part of the educational displays at the Standing the Test of Time. If you haven't seen the exhibit yet you have until this Saturday, April 8, 2017, at 4pm. If it is at all possible I would play your weekend around this. The yard work can always wait.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Another beautiful white oak basket by Leona Waddell

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Another beautiful white oak basket by Leona Waddell at the Standing the Test of Time Exhibit. I am not even sure what I would call this shape. I guess I would classify it as a modified potato basket. I am sure she didn't make it with any intended use, it is just a "wonder what it would look like it I did this," type of thing.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Shaker Basket at the Standing the Test of Time Exhibit

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This is an interesting basket. When you think of Shakers, most people think of New England and black ash baskets, but the Shakers actually had communities across the US. This South Union, KY basket is classic Shaker in form. There are a few things that are atypical, but overall it screams "Shaker," from the proportions of the weavers to uprights, to sharply bent corners on the half round rims, to the profile of the handle it is Shaker. The thing that stands out sharply to its New England cousins is that instead of exclusively being woven of black ash, this is woven of white oak. This shouldn't be surprising, since white oak is THE basket tree of the Kentucky/Tennessee region whereas black ash is not to be found.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Mini White Oak Basket

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Another beautiful white oak basket by Leona Waddell at the Standing the Test of Time Exhibit. This one was probably 3-4" in diameter, if my memory serves.

Friday, March 31, 2017

More from the Standing the Test of Time Exhibit

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Standing the Test of Time Exhibit also include a selection of contemporary white oak baskets. This incredible white oak basket is by Scott Gilbert of Scottsville, Kentucky. Scott is not only an expert basket maker, he and his wife Beth Hester also own a successful basket making supply business, The Basket Maker's Catalog. They also offer classes and host workshops with other nationally renown instructors, like Alice Ogden.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Standing the Test of Time Exhibit

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A beautiful white oak basket by Leona Waddell at the Standing the Test of Time exhibit. I was able to see this incredible display of baskets on my way to John C. Campbell Folk School this February.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Hoarder vs. Mad Genius

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Some call me a hoarder or a pack rat, but I call it genius. I used the scraps of leather I couldn't bring myself to throw away to make washers for a waxed canvas tote.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Waxed Canvas Tote

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Yet another great class at Perennial making a waxed canvas tote. Super fun and surprisingly easy to make. I have had the stripped fabric for over 10 years, it was the cutoffs from the Ikea curtains I have in my basement. I knew that one day I would find a use for them. The strap is from an old belt and I ended up attaching it with rivets I had in my stash and leather washers I cut out of scrap leather.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Shaker Baskets

Shaker black ash cathead baskets
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A pair of captured lid cat head black ash baskets. I think I wove these about 15 years apart. Both feature the quadrafoil pattern in the lid. The larger basket I made during an apprenticeship with Martha Wetherbee ages ago up in New Hampshire. The smaller one I made during one of JoAnn Kelly Catsos' workshops at my house.
The larger is approximately 9.5" in diameter and the smaller version approximately 6" in diameter.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

What I am working on

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I've got a batch of basket weaving stands in the works. I always tell myself that I won't let myself run out of them, but...

I just need to sand the sharp edges a bit, oil them and then mount them to their folding metal bases. Two of these are to be shipped out to weavers who have been patiently waiting on their orders. Next stop, UPS.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Mini Shaker Apple Baskets

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These are the mini Shaker apple baskets I made when I was taking my workshop with JoAnn Kelly Catsos at the John C. Campbell Folk School. They are 6", 5" and 4" in diameter. I designed and made the molds, handles and rims for these, and JoAnn and her husband Steve made the black ash splint to my specifications. You can't see in this photo, but each features runners that re-enforce the bottoms of the baskets.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Throw Back Thursday

Black ash lidded Shaker basket
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This is a little 4" button basket I made when I was taking my workshop with JoAnn Kelly Catsos at the John C. Campbell Folk School. The base is a traditional cathead shape, but the lid features a quadrafoil pattern. The lid also fits on super tight, JoAnn calls this a "Tupperware fit." While I don't think it would keep leftovers very fresh, the lid does just about snap on.