Spring 2008 "Just Patterns"

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From Sheri’s Studio….

With school now being on Trimesters, I was fortunate enough to have the Winter term off from my Art program. I was able to go to Florida at the end of the year and spend the month of January in my parent’s condo. This was such a treat weaving by the pool almost everyday. (I even had a group of new friends who would check daily to see what I was working on. Weaving can be a conversation breaker and yet there are still people out there who cannot believe that all baskets are woven by hand!) I was able to swim daily and do my pool exercises, shop at Flea Markets, and Antique shops. I was also able to go to 3 very large outdoor art shows-one was right on the street by the ocean! I also enjoyed viewing an Edgar Degas art show of his bronze sculptures on loan from a museum in Brazil. At night I was able to scrapbook and work on some of my photos-I have often said that if I did not weave, I would be a major Scrapbooker. Just a great time to unwind and be creative!

Coming back to Michigan in February can seem even colder than not leaving the state. We are still getting tons of snow and as I said to my husband-“Isn’t it exciting to know that we are making history?” We have not had this much snow in February since the early 1900’s! So my new motto for the month is-Stay inside and Weave! Or Just be Creative!

So here are my picks for this Issue. I might even say the “B” Issue-Bird’s Nest, Bandanas, Bird House, Big Totes, Bunnies and Beach Walks. The first is my challenge to you to experiment with new media-like I did, of course, you can do this in #1 round reed, but try super fine wire to create your own random weave “Bird’s Nest”.

The NorEsta is featured with 3 of their beautiful, big totes. The “Twill Tote” can be woven in solid colors (they dye 112 solids and 20 variegated colors) or in space dyed. Handles are wrapped in dyed reed. The other two “Double Wall Totes” feature leather handles or Shaker tape to accent your carry all.  Both are double woven which means that they will be sturdier than ever to carry your belongings as you weave 2 layers; try this weave.

NorEsta has also designed the “Bandana Basket” which is a nice sturdy square base to round basket with dyed side accents. The 4 corners are left open to slip the colorful bandana into place. Once you weave one, you’ll want to continue and do many colors which would be great as a snack basket for parties or a roll basket.

“Bird House” by Marla Helton is a neat functional home for your feathered friends. Marla grows her own gourds and then creates with them. This one can be hung indoors as an accent or outdoors to greet your flying neighbors; a great gourd project.

“Beach Walk” is one of my longer weaving projects that starts out with a grooved wooden base and slab rattan which is dyed. The inner core of the cane takes the dye very well and the outer cane will look variegated or like a crackle effect; very striking! Then Randing weave accents the center while lashing above and below this creates “X”’s which shows my love of the beach; add a sea shell or starfish for accent.

My “Bunny Gourd” is a cute and easy addition to Spring.   Either leave gourd natural like here or paint white to create this bunny. Add facial features with a black Sharpie and dyed round reed. Ears can be formed with pipe cleaners. Tie a bow around the neck and then sit in a paper cupcake liner which will help your bunny stand and look even cuter.

Looking for the Bonus Pattern?  The NorEsta has also designed this colorful "Easy Tote Twill" using their space dyed reed for the weaving along with wrapping the handles.  Please go to my Website www.justpatterns.com and go to the Pattern Exchange Page.   Here you will find this Pattern along with over 3 dozen patterns that you can use for your own personal use.  No Computer?  Ask a friend or visit your local library.

Enjoy these projects and the change of seasons! Remember… it does not matter what the season is as long as you are happy! Happy Spring! and  Happy Weaving!

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Just Patterns

The Idea Magazine for Basketmakers

(616) 846-7926 * sheri@justpatterns.com