I've been enamored with the pine needle basketry lately. I am totally addicted and can't seem to put it down. A lot of folks have asked me to teach them how and I tell them all the same thing. I don't know how. I just to it. It just happens. The needles seem to know where they want to go. My hands seem to know what to do. I watched a friend in Florida work on hers a bit and thought it looked interesting. Then I picked some needles off her lawn and brought them home. Once I got settled back in, I sat down with the needles and thread and just played until I got the hang of it. It seems very intuitive to me. I don't really have a plan when I start except what thread, beads, and stitches I want to try. Then I get started and the basket just 'tells' me what it wants to be. Does that make sense? Maybe I was a Native American basket weaver in another life, I dunno. I just know that sitting outside on a spring evening , coiling, is one of the great pleasures in life as far as I'm concerned.This is the one I'm working on now. It will be a medium sized, a little bigger than the other ones I've done, with flared sides. I started it out around a slice of walnut shell that my friend sent me. I used way to many stitches to secure it to the shell making it almost unrecognizable. See! Learned something for next time. I'm trying out the wheat stitch which I like, although I have a lot of work to do on the evenness of my stitches. About halfway up the sides, I'm going to try coiling in some red jewelry wire and want to try making a handle for the first time. I may put the red wire around the top rim as well; we'll see how badly it kinks when I try to work with it on the sides. I think I'll leave the beads off this one. Next up is a long thin French bread basket with a carved wooden bottom. This will be the first time I have something in mind to try and shape. We'll see how that works out.
And now, I have a confession to make. I own a power tool of my very own. I was in Home Depot looking for mill work for basket bottoms and there was a power drill on sale. It wasn't fancy like it's neighbors. It didn't do anything fancy, just drill holes; but you don't need to do a lot of stuff if you do one thing well. It looked simple to operate and like I couldn't get in TOO much trouble with it, so I brought it home. We're very happy together. We have been playing, 'let's see if you can drill a hole in THIS' off and on all week and he hasn't let me down yet. I wanted to get drilling straight down before I took a whack at the mill work I got.
So I practiced on produce. That's right. I said it. I live in an apartment, y'all! I don't have scrap wood around! Us li'l Yankee girls make due with what's on hand. Anyway, now Ben is terrified of the noise and my safety glasses, and the apples and oranges are traumatized on account of what happened to their friends, but I think I have a steady enough hand to try it for real on wood this weekend. How silly is it that this makes me happy! It's the little things I guess.
Another little joy in life around here was attending the first Farmer's Market of the season on the Capitol Square this weekend. I got down there about 7:45 and it was already rocking. There weren't a lot of veggies, some wintered over parsnips, spinach etc. but there were lots of flowers, cheese, meat and baked goods like these awesome cow cookies! Wouldn't they go great with a glass of milk? Confusing, but tasty...
And honey... There was quite a BUZZ about this gentleman's hat, but if you sold honey, what other hat would you BEE wearing?