Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Basket Making Progress

I thought I'd give you a quick update on my
basket making progress.

It's taken me a few weeks to get to this point.
Of course, I've been working on other (many other) projects
at the same time.

Last night I decided to time myself and see how long it takes me to do one row.
Now, this basket is quite large, so each row seems to take longer
and longer to complete.

And if you look closely you will see the design I decided to
incorporate by using a different stitch.

Well, one row took over an hour of uninterrupted work!

I want to make this basket at least another inch or two larger, so estimate
about another 20 hours of work.

The application to enter it in the State Fair is printed and
will be filled out and mailed this weekend.

I'll keep you posted:-)


Thursday, November 15, 2012

When Old Becomes New Again

My precious grand-babies were both baptized this past Sunday.

This is Sarah. 

Isn't she adorable!

I especially love this little Christening gown she is wearing 
because 35 years ago it was part of my wedding gown.

The gown sat in my closet for 30 years.  
My daughter thought she would wear it at her wedding, but it really wasn't her style.  
A 1970's wedding gown is very different from those worn today.  

So what to do with this keepsake now?


let's recycle it.

 Let's take it all apart and put it back together, right down to the Chantilly lace trim, 
satin buttons down the back
and even the ribbon bow.

I can't take the credit for making this lovely creation, but I can take credit for the idea.

I love that something old can become something new again.
That nothing is wasted.
That life continues, even for an old wedding gown.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Basket Making Season

In the fall when pine needles begin to fall I get the itch to stitch....baskets. 

I want to make a large basket to enter in the Florida State Fair and thought I'd share the process.  
This is how it begins.

I am lucky enough to have access to a private site full of mature, long leaf pine needles. 
The smell is delightful!  I pick the needles one at a time, making sure they aren't twisted, and put them in bunches. Then I take them home and sit out on the screen porch and begin.

 The needles have to be trimmed before they can be used.

 I carefully cut the ends off at an angle
and again check to be sure each needle is straight.

These are my piles of trimmed and untrimmed needles.

You can see below that the top needle looks straight and the bottom one looks twisted.
Twisted needles don't look good in a finished basket.

When I have enough needles sorted and trimmed I can begin stitching.
This large agate slice was set in acrylic and then holes were drilled
at 1/4 inch spacing.  This is called the basket center. Sometimes I'll use 
a sliced walnut, or often a cabochon which is glued to faux leather.

I use waxed thread to then sew coils of pine needles through the holes
and around the center.

It takes a little practice.

The size and design is only limited by time an imagination.
 This is going to be a pretty large basket, so hang with me and I'll show you my progress.