Friday, October 10, 2008

Autumn Inspiration

Here is the outcome of the inspiration created by the fall colors and temperatures. This is a basket designed by a wonderful woman named Venie Hinson. She lives in eastern Ohio and I had the chance to take a class with her in April. She designs wonderful baskets using hard woods like black walnut, cherry and maple as accents. This particular basket is woven with black walnut and maple as well as rattan reed. It is called Black Walnut Special and was a real pleasure to weave. I wove this basket while camping in Bennizet last weekend with my family, surrounded by bugeling elk. One of which almost joined us at the picnic table while we were eating dinner!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Fall Harvest

Hello again...

With fall here I spent the afternoon and evening with the kids, gathering what I can to be used in my baskets. We picked up more than enough black walnuts to start a dye bath brewing in the barn for the winter. Then the kids and I vented our frustrations and maybe caused some more as we pulled and pulled on wild grapevines. There was one huge one growing up a black walnut tree in our hedgerow that I was after in the worst way. I had cut the stem, down by the root. See I want the thickest part for a ribbed basket handle, the middle for the rim hoop and the smaller, thinner pieces for the ribs of the basket. We eventually gave up, as it was firmly attached to this walnut tree, and enlisted the help of my husband. Although he was happy about us picking up all the walnuts (they become deadly when run over with a lawn mower and take flight), he was less than excited about my efforts with the grapevine, especially now that it is draped out all over the lawn as I begin to untangle the mess and remove all the little twigs that came down in it's grasp. But we won and the vine is mine!!!

Thanks Mother Nature for the wonderful gifts!!!