Saturday, January 30, 2016

New Grandbaby!

Attic Treasure Basketry is taking a little time off to celebrate the birth of a new grandson and catch up on custom orders. See you soon!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Dyeing Basketry Reed

Dyeing basketry reed can open up a whole world of wonderful design possibilities when weaving your baskets. I used to buy colored reed, and then I decided to start dyeing my own. You'll find much more flexibility dyeing your own reed and it adds a whole new dimension to an already enjoyable craft.

I really like to do this outside, but Wisconsin winters really don't allow it and for lack of a better place, I usually end up in the kitchen. My family has become used to NOT trying the interesting looking recipes I've created.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Small Baskets: Time for Tea

I love weaving small baskets in between some of my larger projects. The nice thing about little baskets is that I never seem to run out of ideas for using them. Doesn't a little tea basket look so much nicer than a paper box? Now available in the Etsy Shop.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Challenges and Changes in the New Year

Hope you are off to a wonderful and blessed New Year! 

We've taken some time off to celebrate Christmas and enjoy the holidays with our family. We also took some time out to mourn the passing of my husband's sister. She faced Multiple Sclerosis for many years with great courage. Her life was an amazing example not only to us, but to many others and she will be greatly missed. 

I, myself, am finally bouncing back after a respiratory illness and ear infection which has slowed me down a bit for the past couple weeks. I finally started to weave again at the end of last week and got started at custom orders. 

What's exciting about the current custom orders is that it's a huge increase. In addition we're seeing more visitors here and on Etsy daily. 

I received word within the past couple weeks that one of the events I've been involved in has been cancelled in 2016. It was sad news. It was an event that we looked forward to attending. I am, however looking forward to some new events and those will be listed on the blog soon.  

You may also note that Attic Treasure Basketry now a dot com site. I'm in the process of working on new website design and hoping to make this transition by April of this year. 

There is plenty to work on and we need to take one step at a time. At the same time we're ready to stretch our wings a bit. I hope you'll stop by often and we look forward to seeing you again as we grow and learn in this new year! 

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Merry Christmas!

I've spent the last several days working on some handcrafted gifts that I plan to give our kids for Christmas. Yesterday I worked on this shelf for our daughter's nursery. When I'm finished it will hold three baskets above her changing table for various stuffs. Then I have a big 12"x12" for under her changing table. 

Thankfully my basket weaving skills are better than my woodworking skills! It needs some stain yet, but I'm confident that I'll be finished by Christmas. More pics later.

She has a whole woodland theme going on and so I purposefully selected knots and imperfections. In it turned out to be a pretty simple project. Jigsaw, drill, kreg jig and screws is all I used. The baskets will have batik liners and ceramic buttons from Glaze Girl Designs on Etsy.

I was also working on a couple signs, but I can't give everything away, so no pictures for now. I had to stalk  Pinterest to get the idea. Last night my husband yelled down to our oldest son, who was in the basement. "Hey, you better sign us up for Pinterest or we may not get anything for Christmas!" 

Expect the country primitive wall baskets to be back in stock in the Etsy Shop in the new year and some other surprises for Valentine's Day. 

I probably won't be blogging much, if at all, from now until the new year, so Merry Christmas and we'll see you in 2016! 

Friday, December 11, 2015

Modern Rustic Decor Basket

Remember this basket from a few weeks ago. I finally decided on using the Early American stain for this one. In the end  I think it gave it a little bit of a trendy look for those who might want a little bit of natural look in mixed in with modern. The bright blue coconut button gives it just a touch of color. If this is something you might be looking for, stop by the Etsy shop. Thanks for stopping by today and have a GREAT day!


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Reflections on Art and Self Criticism

I love creative projects, particularly basket weaving and as a basket weaver I often look at my own work in a far more critical light than other people do. My husband tells me time and again that I'm too rough on myself.

Self analysis can be a good thing. With every basket I weave, I learn something new. I learn new techniques. I learn to improve on techniques I already know. I learn how to recognize mistakes.

However, we or I can be too wrapped up in self. Self wants to be the boss. Self wants to be the judge of all things, wants to push us around, wants to convince us that our time and talents would be better left to things that aren't in the creative realm because let's face facts, we're just not that good. So we tell ourselves.

I had an experience a couple weeks ago where I was trying to use up some reed, sort out things, make a few small things out of bits and pieces when I came across a wine basket that I'd never finished. I really thought about leaving it in the never to be finished pile because through my own eyes, I didn't like it and was convinced that nobody else would either.

In the end though, my more balanced hubby convinced me to finish it up. Then came the debate. Should I take it to the craft fair with me or not. Now just as another example of how we sometimes tend to lean down hard on ourselves, I hid it toward the back of my display behind all my favorites.

Someone walked by and said, "Oh, you have so many beautiful baskets, but I just don't see anything that I can use right now..."

"Wait a minute!" She saw it. I had an empty wine bottle sitting in it for display. "I'll take that one right there. Can you set that aside for me and I'll be right back?" My first sale of the day! The unworthy, rescued and hidden.

It's true, there are certain techniques to be mastered in order for something to be good, to be well made, to hold up, and even at times to be aesthetically pleasing. However, someone told me once, "Don't stare at your work too long, or you'll never sell any of it."

God has given us many gifts, abilities and talents. The gifts and talents we have can be of no use to anyone if we hide them. We can ruin the joy we get out of creating with our hands, using our imaginations, trying new things, and even serving others if we look at everything through our own magnifying lens, where every flaw-real or imagined- is a whole lot larger in our own mind's eye.

Enjoy art. Share your talents and bless others with the gifts that God has given you.