Monday, November 2, 2020


Friday, October 30, 2020

From Trash to Treasure

 Hi Friends!

Well, I'm back.  After spending the past six months doing nothing but Covid-19 plans for our county school system (which worked remarkably well :-) and having all of my travel plans cancelled, I came to realize how important my craft projects were to the state of my mental health.  Knitting, crochet, basket making... all wonderful ways to incorporate a form of meditation into an unexpectedly chaotic life.  

So this is what I've been up to....

In prior thrift shop travels I found a bag of broken jewelry.  I had no clue what I would do with it but the bag was a shiny object I couldn't pass up.  During the Covid quarantine I came across the jewelry and finally had an idea for a possible use..... recycling it into pine needle jewelry.

Such fun turning trash to treasure

and something a little different from making a basket.

If you've never tried working with pine needles to create a basket, I recommend it.  This craft is by far very inexpensive to get started with and relatively easy to least the basic stitches.  Pine needles are free.  I live in the south and the Southern Long Leaf Pine tree is my needle of choice but there are many other varieties. Just look for flexible, long needles that are clean and straight and you are on your way. 

Being a learner that likes to read and follow printed instructions, this is one of the first books I used to get started.  Lots of good information and step by step photos make the instruction easy to follow.  And as you advance, there are other stitches to learn.

I also discovered Nadine Spier who created this wonderful DVD of precise instruction of how to create the most beautiful spiral stitch and makes it so very easy!  Check out Nadine's website.  She holds workshops which I would love to attend except they are held in the northwest and I'm in Florida. 

I've found that most pine needle basket supplies are available on Amazon, including the artificial sinew used for stitching your coils. There are many colors available but I tend to use a neutral color in most instances.  Neutral is good for a beginner and then as the use of various stitches increases, so does will the desire for different color threads.

And large eye needles are a must when using thick threads.  Sinew can be split into multiple threads, and since it's also waxed, a long, large eye needle makes the stitching so much easier. 

I have begun adding links for reader convenience.  Not all, but some are links to Amazon products. I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to As an Amazon Associate I may earn a small amount from qualifying Amazon purchases, however there is no additional cost to you.

I hope I've enticed you to at least think about trying this new craft.  Who knows... you might just get hooked!  I'll be back soon to share more of what I've been up to, including some new basket stitches I've been learning and an update on my other stitching passion....knitting!  
Until then, happy crafting!


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

A Blue Basket

Another basket finally finished.
I found a beautiful deep blue cabochon at a flea market months ago
and thought it would be the perfect center for a basket.

Once glued to the backing I decided to use a natural sinew and only
emphasize the blue stone and blue stitches. I just happened to have the perfect
shade of blue sinew, which doesn't happen all the time.
Baskets often have a mind of their own in determining the size and shape. 
This one was no exception.  I had envisioned a round basket with straight sides,
but as you can see, the sides slightly angled out. 

The act of making a basket is my Zen.  I love the repetitive motions with enough
change to keep my interest.  I sit on my screen porch and am in my happy place.
Here's hoping everyone finds and enjoys their happy place this summer!
                                           Until next time ~

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Texas Bluebonnets!

I have been wanting to see bluebonnets forever!
But our normal trips to visit relatives in Texas
usually happen in the summer
when the bluebonnets are long gone.
Well this year we had a change of plans
and went in April.

Our cousins knew I wanted to see
the bluebonnets, but most had already come and gone
and they weren't too hopeful.

But while driving past a shopping center
we turned to check out a previous bluebonnet "sighting"
and this is what we found!

A wonderful display!


Not only bluebonnets, but Indian Paintbrush...
all in full bloom.
An unexpected treat of nature's beauty...

and a long awaited wish come true!

Until next time ~


Monday, March 21, 2016

Sarah's Birthday Dress

Finally finished!!!

What started out as a
potential Christmas gift
got pushed back in the WIP pile
due to my holiday hat making frenzy. 

But a fourth birthday was
quickly approaching

which meant I had better
get busy and finish this little dress.

Couldn't resist adding just a bit
of fair isle.

My knitting pattern reading skills are limited
so much of what you see from
the arms up was improvised.


I am pretty happy
and hopefully the little princess will
love it too!

And a special thank you to my friend
Vicki at 2 Bags Full
for sharing the source of this pattern.

Until next time~

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Coiling With Friends

Every year around Valentine's Day
we head south to Zephyrhills
to visit our friends and make a trek to
the Webster flea market.
This phenomenal flea market covers what seems like
hundreds of acres with tons of vendors
selling all sorts of treasures.
I am always on the lookout for knitting and crafting stuff. 
Last year I came across someone selling agate slices.  I purchased a few
and sent them off to be encased in acrylic so they could be used
as a base for a pine needle basket.
It just so happens that the friends we visit
(well, the wife at least)
is who taught me the craft of
making a pine needle basket.
So when we get together, we coil...
sharing ideas
and new methods
to use in basket making.

She is very talented and encourages me
to look beyond what is
usually done.
The agate in acrylic was just such an adventure.
I love how the clear acrylic allows
whatever color come through.

My latest creation, now in my Etsy Shop

Thanks for stopping by!
Until next time...

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

A New Basket

When not working... or traveling... or knitting...
I make pine needle baskets.
This is my latest creation.

The friend who taught me how to make
coiled strands of pine needles into a beautiful basket
is always sharing new ideas of things to use for centers. 

This one is made from polymer clay.
Several colors can be gently blended
to get the unique swirl design.
The center determines what the basket will look like.
A round center will produce a round basket.

The light brown rows are made of sweet grass.
A few coils of sweet grass make a lovely accent.

This, along with other designs, are
currently in my Etsy shop Pine Designs.
Thanks for stopping by!
Until next time~~

Thursday, January 7, 2016

In Love With Fair Isle

I am in love!
Just before the holidays I (unwisely) decided to
sign up for a class to learn
Fair Isle knitting.
Little did I realize how addictive this new skill would become.

Our project was a Baa-ble Hat
(Thanks Quinn :-)

See the cute little sheep!
My oldest grandchild liked it but asked if
I could make one with hearts.
Well....I don't know...I told her.  But I'll try.
Not having done this before and not knowing I could
go to Pintrest or Ravelry for charts,
I downloaded some graph paper
and came up with a design...
that worked!!!
After the first success I decided each of my
precious grandchildren
needed one for Christmas.
But Jack needed different colors...and he needed sheep.
Think I drove everyone crazy knitting in every spare moment.

The outcome was worth it!
Then my beautiful daughter-in-law asked if
she could have one.

I was thrilled to oblige.

Of course this was the warmest Christmas on record
so hats didn't get worn...
...until now - 39 degrees this morning :-)
Until next time ~