Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Saturday, March 20, 2010
The following poem was written by my 14-year-old daughter.
The inspiration came from the night sky on an early spring evening at dusk.
I snapped some photos to share with you what she saw.
I hope you enjoy it!
A Landscape Silhouette
by Alyssa Deen
The sun descends, the moon rises
The light is not fully gone yet
The mountains outline the horizon
Into a landscape silhouette.
The animals of the night
Come out to start their day
They've work to do, just like us
And the young go out to play.
Upon us falls a new kind of darkness
A dark of peaceful bliss
Sit back, relax, it's time to sleep
Nothing compares to this.
Eyes are closing slowly now
Dreams seep into your resting mind
Subconscious imagination takes over
Day's worries are left behind
Light slowly breaks through again
The sun & moon perform a pirouette
I see now the outlined horizon
And the landscape's silhouette.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
That's right! You read that correctly.
I've invented a trendy new basket, and I call it
"The Back-Scratcher Basket"!!!
Despite the fact that it looks like an innocuous, ordinary, run-of-the-mill basket, it's OH so much more!
Here's how to use it:
Step 1: Get inside the basket!
Step 2: Now roll around on your back....
And around some more....
Ah yes....that's the ticket!
And, well....if you aren't a furry, half bald ferret with dry, itchy skin, you can always do what my kids did (when they were little) with every basket I made....
Wear it as a hat!
(That's not me....is it???)
P.S. This was my 100th post!!!!
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
The sun is back (finally), which makes a WORLD of difference in how much I actually get accomplished in a day, so I wanted to take a minute between baking sourdough bread and photographing a basket in progress to point out the new "tabs" that are up at the top of the page right under my header.
Blogger has enabled us to add what they call "pages" to our blogs...they are permanent, stand-alone pages that can be used any way my heart desires....and I love it!
The first page is "Home".
That's just where you'll always find my latest post. Nothing new there, really.
The next page is "Tutorials".
This is where I put all the (what else?) tutorials I have done so far, including the basket-weave bulletin board and Christmas Basket Ornament. They aren't so much printable patterns as they are how-to's in picture form!
Then you'll see my "Free Basket Patterns" page.
That's where I've put all the free patterns I've offered so far, and I will add to that from time to time. I figure it's much easier for you all to find them this way!
Then you'll see the "Basket Care and Cleaning Tips" page.
This is info I gathered and made into a brochure for my basket customers, and thought I'd share it here, too.
Next is the "Tips and Techniques" page.
Now that I'm teaching basket-weaving, I thought it would be nice to have a place for my students to go for a "refresher" on the basic steps in building a basket. I'll be adding to that as I have time! (It's been a slow process, but I'm trying!)
And finally, I have a page titled "Basket Kits".
I made this page because a lot of my students were interested in making more baskets, but didn't want the hassle of buying ten different kinds of reed and having tons left over, so I'm offering a variety of basket styles for them to choose from that I am confident they can handle after the Market Basket class! The picture above shows one of the kits I offer.
(Sorry, these kits are only available locally and to those who have taken a class taught by me!)
There you have it!
Oh, and I added a "search this site" box, to make it easier to find out if I have any info on what you're looking for!
The sourdough bread....
That was my first attempt at sourdugh, and I think it turned out pretty well!
Some days, I just should not be left alone with food like that in the house.
Enjoy the sunshine!
Friday, March 12, 2010
One year ago today, I began this blog I call "A Hand-Woven Life"....I can't believe that much time has passed already! (Nevermind that I can't believe I'm still doing it!)
So to celebrate, I am offering my readers a
FREE EASTER BASKET PATTERN!
(Please note: this pattern is intended for those who have a good basic knowledge of weaving...an experienced beginner, you might say!)
I also decided that this was the year I was FINALLY going to make each of my three kids a REAL Easter Basket.
Now before you go "WHAT? You're a basket-weaver and your kids don't have an Easter basket?",
I need to say....YES....they do have Easter baskets.
But I don't like them.
They are baskets I made when I was a beginner(way back when?) and they are each different sizes and, well, I just wanted them to have something a lot nicer!
And my oldest daughter will soon be graduating from College and she has a fiance and I just can't send them off into the real world without a proper Easter Basket!
So I am going to make them all (future son-in-law included) a basket like the one in the photo above, but with different colors.
Now if you'll notice, right under my Blog Header are some "tabs"....and one of them says "Free Basket Patterns".
That's where you can find the pattern for this basket!
I hope you enjoy it, and as always, if you have any questions at all, feel free to email me at email@example.com
Go for it!
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Yesterday was the "Fiber and Needle Cottage" group Market Basket Class, and I wanted to share some photos with you!
Here is my lovely group of ladies hard at work!
Looks like I didn't get one of them, on the far left, in the picture.
Well there she is, finishing up her basket.
And another class mate showing off her finished creation!
I gave them free reign with the colors, and boy did they come up with some beautiful combinations!
I'm just so proud of them...they did a fantastic job and should all be very proud of themselves!
I am truly impressed.
And we never did use those plastic lashing/tucking thingies!
GOOD JOB, EVERYONE!
Thanks for coming!
Friday, March 5, 2010
Yep, that's right...it's just me, myself, and these two pies...all home alone together.
One Shoofly Pie for me,
One Coconut Cream Pie for me.
I LOVE MY GRANDMA'S
for teaching me this most excellent skill!
It's my most favorite dessert in all the world.
Any kind of pie.
All kinds of pies.
But especially those two right up there.
Oh yes, I do believe the Pies have it!
And in a second, so will I!!
Thursday, March 4, 2010
There's nothing like a new month, sunshine, and a basket-weaving class to get me motivated to write a blog post!
Today was the first of six weaving classes I'll be teaching for a group of Christian Home-schoolers, and Saturday I'll be teaching a group of ladies to weave.
So needless to say, I've been a little busy and preoccupied getting ready for those classes, as well as getting over the winter doldrums and a nasty cold.
But spring is well on it's way....the birds trying to nest in our garage and the potholes popping up everywhere are evidence enough for me!
As I was getting tools gathered up for the class, I really wished that I had enough lash buddy's for my students to use.
For those who don't know, a lash buddy is a nifty little gadget that weavers use to help get the lashing material into the tiny spaces between spokes, and it helps to keep the lasher from fraying as you go along.
Now I had never owned one myself until a few months ago.
I got along fine without it....I just used my awl to open up the space.
But one day I broke down and bought one to see if it would really make my life easier.
And it did.
But at $6 a pop, I couldn't afford to buy 8-10 of them so my students would each have one to use. and sharing one among them all would be pretty unrealistic.
I was trying to come up with some clever, easy, and cheap thing to use as a substitute, but to no avail.
Now in my preparation for the class, I was also browsing through one of my basketry books for beginners (The Weekend Crafter: Basketry, by BJ Crawford), to make sure I wasn't forgetting anything important for beginners to know. (Once you've been weaving forever , it's easy to forget that they don't know what you know...yet!)
And lo and behold, the book had a clever (and FREE) suggestion for an alternative to a lash buddy, and the same thing is also used as a helpful trick for tucking spokes! (Two of my LEAST favorite steps in basket weaving, especially when I was just a beginner!)
What you see there is a cut up vinegar jug (though the book suggested using a plastic milk jug, but I had just emptied the vinegar jug while cleaning my coffee maker, so....)
I just cut off the top and bottom of the jug with that sharp utility knife. (Scissors would work as well!)
I cut strips from the plastic jug that were about 3/8" wide and 6" long.
I folded that piece of plastic in half and tapered the folded end at an angle, making the width at that end just under 1/4" wide. (You may have to make the whole strip narrower for smaller baskets with smaller spaces between spokes)
To use this for tucking, simply slide the plastic, folded end first, behind the weavers that you want to tuck the spokes behind. Then slip the spoke down between the two layers of plastic and when you've gotten the spoke tucked, simply pull the plastic down and out from behind the weavers!
And when you want to use it as a lash buddy, you insert the folded end in the space between two spokes, insert the end of the lasher between the two layers of plastic and pull them all through!
Granted, it's not as rigid and it probably won't last a long, long time like the metal lash buddy, but I think it'll get me through a class or two and make tucking and lashing a whole lot easier for my students!