Monday, September 10, 2018

What I am making

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Make some basket tags this weekend using a custom Archival Distress Vintage Photo ink pad and my MISTI. I found these cute little craft paper tags on my trip to the John C. Campbell Folk School this summer. We stopped for the night in Nashville so we could go to the huge Nashville flea market. Of course now I wish I would have bought more, but isn't that the way it always goes?

Friday, August 31, 2018

My new light setup

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Here's my new light setup. I purchased this continuous light kit over a year ago and am just now finally setting up.

I decided to change out the white umbrellas that came with the kit for a black with reflective lining version. I purchased both the light kits and the black umbrellas on Amazon and while the bulbs seems to be full-spectrum, they aren't very bright at all. The original white umbrellas didn't reflect nearly enough of the already dim light, which necessitated the black/reflective set.

The lights setup to reflect off of the background I made myself and the instructions can be found here.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

All Wrapped Up

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Figured out how to make a four-strand braided leather bracelet. Why buy a bracelet for $25 when you can spend $75 on books and supplies?

Actually these weren't that expensive, but of course as any good crafter you can't just buy supplies for one, you have to buy enough to make an army of bracelets. It was cheaper to buy a spool of 50' of leather, but it only took 12 feet to make the triple-wrap, so I have enough left over to make at least 4 more.

As one of my friends said once, "you are going to save yourself right into the poor house."

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Throw Back Thursday

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I can’t believe it was already 4 weeks ago that I was packing up my car to head to the John C. Campbell Folk School to teach my ribbed basket class. I also can’t believe all the crap I had crammed into my car.

That little empty spot you see there in the corner? That was eventually filled with a bag of shoes. A friend traveled with me to take a cooking class at the Folk School and I joked that he might have to run along side holding onto the door handle. I was afraid that was going to be true as I carried more and more out to the car. There are a few things that I took with me that I either ended up not needing or shouldn't have even brought to begin with. Even so, I don't think those few things would have made all that much difference in the bigger picture.

2018 JoAnn Kelly Catsos Workshop

Thursday-Sunday, October 18-21, 2018
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Shaker Kittenhead Trio
1" diameter to 4" diameter
Shaped like the larger Shaker cathead baskets, these smaller versions are called kittenheads and feature the same pointed feet or cat ears. The three baskets in this set graduate in size from approximately one inch to four inches in diameter and nest inside each other. Featuring high arched handles, when tied together they create the perfect display.

Cracker Basket
12" long x 5" wide x 2 1/2" deep
This useful basket is a contemporary cousin to the Shaker Fancy Tray we made in our very first workshop with JoAnn. It has darker heartwood stakes and whiter sapwood weavers. The corner stakes are split to allow for the graceful curve of the corners. The cherry rims are single lashed.

Workshop fee for Shaker Kittenhead Trio and Cracker Basket

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

Level: Intermediate/Advanced
These baskets aren't terribly difficult, but the tiny 1" kittenhead will take patience.

Instructor: JoAnn Kelly Catsos

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

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Yet another of my studio shots

Appalachian-style ribbed egg basket
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Yet another of my studio shots. This is one of my sample for the class I recently taught a the John C. Campbell Folk School. It is a 10" traditional Appalachian-style egg basket made using commercially available oak hoops and reed. The class dealt with the fundamentals of ribbed basket construction, with a focus on achieving a desirable shape.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Cottage Garden(er) Set

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Another recent shot of a set of baskets I completed this spring. These are the Cottage Garden(er) series from Eric Taylor. They are woven of black ash with cherry rims, handle and runners.

I can never remember is Eric calls these Garden or Gardener baskets. I think I have used the terms interchangeably over the years and now I can't remember which is the correct name. Either way they are sweet baskets.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Triple Diamond Wine Totes

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Finally unboxed the studio light kit I bought over a year ago. I need to play around some more with my camera and light position, but for the first try I am pretty happy. Here are my Triple Diamond Wine Totes, regular and junior version. Both made in classes with Eric Taylor.

The full-sized version was the first basket I think I wove with Eric. Like all of Eric's designs, it is woven of black ash staves and weavers, but this one features an oak base, handle and rim. The new(ish) Junior version features Eric's usual cherry base, handle and rim.

These two baskets give a good example of how the black ash ages over time. The full-size basket is starting to get a nice warm patina to the splint. At the time it was woven it was just as light as the smaller Junior version.

Monday, July 23, 2018

How do you sign your baskets?

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How do you sign your baskets or do you even sign them? I must admit I have not always been the best at doing it myself. The signing isn't as big of a deal as dating them. I have so many early baskets that at the time I just knew I would always know when they were made. Well, flash forward 25-30 years and I don't have a clue. I can usually come up with a date if I look through old photos or files I have from basket workshops or trips, but it would just be so much easier if I had just signed and dated them in the first place.

For my reed baskets I typically use a wood burner and scribe my initials and the dates somewhere around the handle or in the case of a ribbed basket, on the "ear". For Nantucket-style baskets I usually sign them on the base using a gold paint pen which works pretty well and shows up on cherry bases nicely. For my pounded ash baskets I usually sign them with a Micro Pen, either in black or ideally brown. Some of these baskets are miniatures or use really fine splint, so I need something fairly fine to be able to sign them. Typically these I sign and date on the bottom in the center of the woven base.

Do you have a special way you like to use?

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Throw Back Thursday to My Happy Place

John C. Campbell Folk School
The woodworking and basketry studio at the John C. Campbell Folk School
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The picture is from this past February when I was at the John C. Campbell Folk School taking my annual class from JoAnn Kelly Catsos.

In a little over a week I will be back there myself to teach my own class on Appalachian-style ribbed baskets. To say I am excite and nervous would be an understatement.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Pile O' Baskets

Appalachian ribbed egg basket
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Finished weaving another 10” Appalachian-style ribbed egg/butt/buttocks/gizzard basket. It’s looking a bit pale in comparison to the other samples. I’m trying to decide how I want to stain/dye it.

I'm trying to get a number of sample baskets woven to take to my class at the John C. Campbell Folk School at the end of the month. I want the students to see how you can take the same set of hoops and make different looking baskets with just a few changes in: rib size (this baskets uses a combination of #6 round and 1/4" oval oval); rib count; ear style; color accents; stain color; etc.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Pie or Herb Basket

Appalachian pie or herb basket
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Finished my another class sample for my workshop this July at the John C. Campbell Folk School. This will be the fourth basket in the class, a 10” Appalachian-style pie or herb basket. In class we won’t use a pair of hoops for the rim though. I didn’t have a single wide hoop so thought I would try something different. Weaving the double rim was much more difficult than I expected.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Final Day, Final Basket

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Final basket of class of the Eric Taylor Basketry Workshop, the Cottage Tool Tote Jr. Like the other baskets we made over the four days, this basket is woven of brown/black ash with cherry wood base, rims and handle.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Third Day, Third Basket

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Third day of class and third basket, a Triple Diamond Wine Tote Jr. The basket is woven of brown/black ash with cherry wood base, handle and rims.

Monday, May 21, 2018

First Day, Final Basket of the Series

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Finished off my nest of three Cottage Garden Baskets with the baby of the set. We started this set a few years ago with the largest of the three. Like all of Eric Taylor's baskets these are woven out of brown/black ash with cherry wood rims and handles. Unlike many of Eric's designs, these feature a woven bottom with cherry wood runners, instead of a solid slotted base.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Bird Brain

baltimore oriole
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My mom is so excited that they have at least 5 male orioles visiting right now. She’s seen a few females as well, so hopefully a couple of pairs will nest and stick around.

Photo credit: @annstubblefield

UPDATE: As of right before Mother's Day all of the orioles seemed to have moved on, or at least Mom hadn't seem them in the past few days leading up to the weekend. When I was home I did get to see a couple of indigo buntings.

Friday, April 27, 2018

I'm a Winner!

Hannie Goldgewicht pine needle coiled basket
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Finally had a chance to photograph the great coiled pine needle and ceramic pot by Hannie Goldgewicht I received in the mail the other day. I entered an Instgram contest she was having and I ended up being the lucky name drawn!

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Throw back Thursday

Eric Taylor black ash baskets
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Throw Back Thursday, this time all the way to the first class I hosted for Eric Taylor in 2011.

Our workshop next month is almost full, there’s only one spot left in each class. If you are on the fence, get your registration in today!

Monday, April 23, 2018

Antiquing Find

white oak basket
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One of the nice white oak baskets I saw on my trip this past weekend and had to bring home. I was drawn to the proportions of this smallish basket, along with the nice heavy rims and superior patina.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Baskets, baskets, baskets

White oak baskets
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Some nice antique baskets I saw on my drive yesterday home from Stateline Friends Weaving Retreat. All were priced reasonably, but when you have as many baskets as I have, then they need to be either really cheap or really good before I am tempted. I was kind of temped by the ribbed basket pictured here...

Friday, April 20, 2018

Weaving While Watching

Black Ash Basket
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How could I not work on a basket when I was surrounded by all of these weavers? Working on a black ash quadrafoil while vending at Stateline Friends Weaving Retreat.

I was asked how I could work on such a complicated pattern while vending? Fortunately the quadrafoil pattern is one of those that I just "see". I usually need to look at a completed basket or a photo of one to remind me how to start the first over or under then I am good to go for the rest of the basket.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Let the fun begin. Stateline Friends Weaving Retreat

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All setup and ready to go at the Stateline Friends Weaving Retreat. This is the first time I will be featuring my new full line of basket stamps. I am excited!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Well Crap

Well fallout form the Facebook snafu with the Cambridge Analytica leak has bled over into Instagram. New rules have been instituted such that information you used to be able to access about your Instagram feed are now locked down. That is great in theory, but boy does it screw up some of the easy things I used to do, like track who is commenting and who is following/unfollowing me. It also appears to have screwed up the photos I used to repurpose here on my blog very easily by adding a hashtag of #blog to any photo I wanted to share here. It seems that most of my blog posts now feature broken links.

I guess I am going to have go back and relink up all of my images. I barely have time to blog as it is without having to fix a couple years worth of old post. I guess it's something to add to my to-do list.


Thursday, March 8, 2018

2018 Eric Taylor Workshop

Eric Taylor will be back in St. Louis again this May to teach three great classes over four days. 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 twenty-five years.

Saturday - Sunday, May 19-20, 2018
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
#1 Cottage Garden Basket
Eric Taylor Cottage Garden Baskets
7.5" L x 4.5" W  x 5.5" H

This is the third basket in the Cottage Garden set. Nest this little guy inside the #3 and #2 baskets we made in 2014 and 2016. Woven of black ash with cherry rims and handle, and cherry skates that act to lift the basket and give it a firm stature.


Eye Glass Holder
Eric Taylor Eye Glass Holder Basket
4.5" L x 3" W x 8" H

This is one of Eric's newest designs. Keep your glasses safe and in style in this beautiful basket. Woven of black ash with cherry rims and handle, and featuring a fleece liner and a cherry base.

$280 (includes both baskets)

Monday, May 21, 2018
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Triple Diamond Wine Tote Jr.Eric Taylor Triple Diamond Twill Jr Basket
7.5" L x 4" W x 8.5" H

This is the little brother to the Triple Diamond Wine Tote we made in 2015. Woven of brown ash, this distinctive basket features a decorative repeating twilled diamond pattern, and cherry handle, rims and base.


Tuesday, May 22, 2018
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Cottage Tool Tote Jr.
Eric Taylor Cottage Tool Tote Jr
12.5" L  x 5" W x 8" H

This is the little brother to the full-sized Tool Tote we wove in 2011. Like its big brother, the basket is woven of brown ash and features cherry dividers and a sturdy handle to carry all of your tools.


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

Throwback Thursday

Shaker Baskets
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This goes to 2011 when I had a showing of my baskets in my hometown. Here is a selection of black ash Shaker-style baskets from the gallery. These baskets were made over quite a span. The more recent baskets on the right were some of the first ones I wove where I made my own molds based on measurements from historic baskets.

My dad let me use pieces of his handmade furniture for the display. I couldn't have asked for a better backdrop.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

What's on my work bench

basket weavign stands

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I've been busy down in my wood shop this past week. I now have six basket weaving stand heads branded and ready to be oiled. Next they will get mounted and then two will be shipped out this week.

I let myself completely run out of these over the holidays. Normally I have pieces in some state of assembly, so I only have a portion of the process to complete to finish off a batch. This time I was down to nothing at all. After these six are assembled I will still have 18 others about 3/4ths of the way through all of the steps. That should put me in pretty good shape for awhile.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

A base, but not basic

Basket tree display Nantucket basket base
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I had a request to see a detail shot of the base of my basket tree. After years of just having a wire stand I finally made a basket to use as a base. It was a bit tipsy and when I made the tree itself taller I resorted to adding a base to the base. Even so, bad kitties have still managed to tip the whole thing over.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Happy Mail!

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Be sure to pick up a copy of the new John C. Campbell Folk School catalog. It features not only an incredible assortment of workshops, from cooking and story telling, to blacksmithing and wood turning, but also an Appalachian ribbed basket class I will be teaching July 29-August 4, 2018! I'm very exciting and honored that they have asked me to teach. I am really looking forward to the great baskets we will be weaving. Hope you can join me.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Bad kitty!

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Someone has been climbing behind the basket shelf again. 😼

The only upside was that they didn't completely fall to the floor. He usually pushes at least one completely off. These are two black ash Shaker-inspired sewing baskets I wove with JoAnn Kelly Catsos.

Fortunately he doesn't knock off the nesting set of Stephen Zeh swing-handled baskets in the corner.

Monday, January 1, 2018

2017 Smash Book

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Wow! 2017 Smash Book completed and it is only the first. Last year I didn’t finish until April. Now it’s time to start making 2018 memories.