Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Moo Crew Feature

This week's featured shop is Attic Treasures Basketry. Her shop features beautiful traditional handwoven baskets.
Her one year Etsy-versary is next week so be sure to stop by her shop & wish her well!
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1) Tell us about your work & what drew you to it.

I've always loved crafts that give us a glimpse into the past. Baskets have been used throughout history for storage & transporting. I think this love for things historical is partially what drew me to basket weaving.

2) What is most enjoyable about your work?

I like my work because it gives me a chance to make something with my hands that is useful & beautiful. There are so many options for basket weaving materiala & limitless options for creativity.

3) What is your biggest challenge?

I think that since baskets are so widely available & inexpensive at stores (I won't mention any in particular) that it becomes very hard to price an item that will sell & that I can still make some money on. I'm not sure people realize the hours of work that sometimes go into a handmade basket, & yet they'd prefer to buy something that is sweat shop or factory produced. For instance, my last posted basket is the Great Lakes Storage Basket. I put lots of hours into the basket, people seem to like it & yet I'd like to find it a home.

Sometimes I get done with a project & I can see things that I don't like about it, so I wonder if I should really try & sell it. But I've made baskets to give away as gifts, entered some swaps, & sold some. I've had lots of positive comments.

There are many excellent basket weavers out there, & people who make some really amazing things. I consider myself to be in the intermediate camp, so sometimes I feel a bit too inexperienced.

Often it is just difficult to know what it make , because basket weaving varies from primitive in design to very eclectic & modern. Then there is everything in between. I pretty much weave baskets that are more traditional in style.

I have a busy household. Two children are married & I have a young grandson. I also have six children at home. I home school two high-schoolers, & work part-time at the Christian school where the rest of my children go. I'm also starting classes for becoming an instructional assistant, so my time is somewhat limited. I also weave mainly on my dining room table, so when it's supper time, Mom gets kicked out of her weaving area.

4) How are you inspired?

I like to look at pictures of other baskets in magazines & on websites. I try to figure out how to incorporate design elements without copying someone's work. Sometimes I just sit down & start making something & get ideas as I go along. I've been experimenting with reed dyeing & really like some of the colors I've been able to come up with.

One of my favorite places is East Troy Basketry. I love to walk in the shop & look at all the baskets & patterns. It's not a really huge place, but it is really amazing to me.

5) Apart from creating, what do you enjoy?

I love kids, that's why we have 8 of them & that's why I want to become an instructional assistant.

I also love to spend time outdoors. My family & I go camping & fishing. I like to do a little archery. My dad has a lake home in Northern Wisconsin, & I wish I could get up there more. I like canoeing. Weaving is great outside in the summer. I just need to remember to put sunscreen on. I also love hanging my wash out on the line. On busy days it gives me a chance to get outside.

I usally go to work out at the YMCA several times per week. I can't say I'm all that passionate about it, but I'm learning to enjoy the time away from home & to get exercise that I really need.

The light of my life lately is my little grandson. He's a blonde, blue-eyed cutie. He lives about 2 hours away, so when he's here I make the most of it. Lately he's an on-the-go guy, so I'm a little disappointed that sitting in the rocking chair snuggling Grammy isn't on his list.

6) What is something you've always wanted to try, but haven't yet?

I would really like to go for a hot air balloon ride someday. I would also like to go to a foreign country. Possibly the U.K. or maybe South America.

As far as basket weaving is concerned, I've never been to a convention or basket weaving retreat. I'm hoping to do that someday soon.

7) What is your most cherished handmade item?

Probably my scrapbooking of my children's baby pictures. I like to pull it off the shelf now & then & jsut look through it. Even though the pictures of my right after birth are pretty awful, the babies are beautiful & my husband handsome.

A couple of the baskets I've received in swaps are pretty special. Of course I didn't make them.

I guess I'd have to say that a small cathead basket that I made at my first guild meeting. It was "Luck of the Draw" night & you had to make the basket that you drew. I never made a cathead, so one of the ladies, Karen, sat next to me & helped me all the way through. She was great. I came with an icecream pail for water, pencil, ruler, & a few clothes pins. I didn't have much for tools then. She helped me so much, loaned me some of her tools, & saw me through the whole project. She also helped me through some other guild meeting baskets. She's an amazing teacher & so I keep that basket as a reminder that I've advanced quite a bit since then.

8) Is there any rule you can't help but break?

I'm not sure ther are too may you can break with basket weaving. I used to think glue was a no-no, but every now & then I'll use a little when I make a wood base basket. Most of the time I live without it though.

Basket weaving is preyy forgiving. Sometimes I find myself weaving too tightly, & I've had to work hard on learning how to keep that at a minimum, especially if I want my sides to go straight up.

9) What could you never live without?

My devotional time & Sunday church.
My EZ lash tool & cable ties for doing rims.

10) Tell us you top five!

Top five hmmm...

I like classic literature. I've been reading a number of books by C.S. Lewis lately, not the Narnia ones though. My favorite book of all time is probably Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott. To Kill a Mockingird, & Grapes of Wrath probably would be next in line. The Byrd's Christmas Carol is something I've read to my kids a few times, & I always cry.

Music- Vivaldi, Bach, Handel. I also like Josh Groban & Fernando Ortega.

Websites - Monergism, Hillbilly Housewife, East Troy Basketry, Country Seat, & Basket Makers.

Movies - Don't watch too many, but Amistad, Walk to Remember, It's a Wonderful Life, October Sky, & Friendship's Field.

11) Besides Etsy, where can your work be found?

I just stared trying to work on a website.

To celebrate her feature, Attic Treasures Basketry is haveing a giveaway!
Just stop by her shop, have a look around, leave a heart & come back here to tell us what you like or give a suggestion of elements or colors you like to see in a handwoven basket.
The winner will receive a special mail basket with a yo-yo flower embellishment!
The winner will be chosen using next Wednesday.
Lots of luck everyone!


Anonymous said...

I love the red and blue basket posted in the blog-beautiful and functional! I won Xanthe's giveaway a few weeks ago, so don't include me in the drawing.

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