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Friday, October 17, 2008

A Tisket, A Tasket

A look at a few of my homemade baskets..
A large Williamsburg basket which is a reproduction of the baskets that were made centuries ago in Williamsburg, Virginia by a Mr. & Mrs. Cook. They were used as serviceable market baskets.

A small Williamsburg basket that Punkin 1 (first granddaughter) and I made several years ago.A small egg basket that will hold yarn for a knitting project just as easily as fresh eggs. Could you imagine a broken or soiled egg (they don't come freshly washed from the hen house) in this basket..not me.
A tater basket...just large enough to take to the garden and bring back enough taters for supper.
A wool-drying basket replete with legs, my favorite basket.

I made these baskets at different times as you can tell by the difference in the shade of the reeds. The potato basket has been made the longest and the wool basket is one of the newest. There are other baskets that I'd like to make someday, like a fishing creel, a Cherokee picnic basket, a Nantucket Lightship basket, etc. The directions for the ones pictured here and the ones I've yet to make are all in this great book by Lyn Siler. I got mine from eBay for $3.  I"m using the money I saved on the purchase of the book for basket reed, handles, etc. ;)
Goodman has been driving over the walnuts in our country-style, gravel driveway for me as he leaves for work and returns home again. (He's used to my dabblings & is always a good sport about them. :) I wouldn't recommend doing that on a concrete driveway because of the dye in the hulls as it makes a royal mess, but here it will wash into the soil as it would in nature anyway. Why would I want him to run over the walnuts? Trust me, it crushes the hulls open slightly and makes it a lot easier to remove them . (Remove the hulls with gloved hands, of course)
Hulls in the bucket to save for when I have enough for the dye bath for the baskets. ;)Drying the nuts for later to use in holiday baking recipes like fudge, chocolate cookies, on top of hot fudge sundaes...drool. I've had lots of questions on an easy way to crack the nuts..and as far as I know there's no easy way under the sun to do that - grab a hammer and lay the nut on a hard surface and whack. If you find a better one, give me a holler!Have a great weekend, Y'all!

Linking with The Art Of Home-Making Mondays, Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop


  1. Hmm, I love your baskets! I want to learn how to make them. Yours are so beautiful! You do wonderful work.
    The walnuts look so good. I'm getting a little hungry with all of your talk about fudge, cookies and sundaes! Agh! I'm going to check the pantry to see what I can make! LOL!

  2. All your baskets are beautiful, but I especially love the tater basket, a very unusual but elegant shape.

    and, now I am hungry for fudge, thank you very much ^.^

  3. I love all of your baskets...the potato basket is my favorite. My Great Grandpa made them but sadly the art died with him. I so wish I had learned how myself. We just don't always appreciate these things when we're young.
    Thanks for the tips on the walnuts. I'm going to dump her walnuts in the driveway when the rain stops. :P That's a pretty dang smart idea.

  4. Beautiful baskets!! I wish I had a few of the ones I made -well, I must have at least a couple around here....hmmmm.
    I wouldn't want to put eggs in that basket either, it's too cute! ( we collect ours in little plastic buckets)

  5. Your baskets are great. What a neat skill to possess!

    I'm afraid the only nuts I have access to in my yard are acorns, and the squirrels pretty much have dibs on those. ;-)

  6. Your baskets are amazing!!I LOVE all of them. Good luck with your walnut processing :)

  7. I love those baskets. Your the crafty queen!

  8. I love your baskets! I made two at a daycamp on Prince Edward Island when I was a kid; somehow that I just didn't quite understand, two weeks into a camping trip with the six kids, our parents decided they wanted some time all to themselves, so we got to learn the basics of basket weaving. Couldn't make out (heh) why the folks didn't want us with them every waking second.

  9. Oh, I love your baskets!! I've never made one--are they hard to make?

    Sounds like you'll be busy with all the walnut baking over the holidays!!


  10. my grandaddy used an old hammer and his special river rock to crack
    walnuts-granny made the fudge and the divinity!

  11. Lovely baskets!! I have one that needs to be dyed. Remember it?

  12. I am so impressed that you made those baskets! My daughter has always wanted to learn and I get so intimated by the idea. This really inspired me! Thanks for sharing on the Art of Home-Making Mondays. I always enjoy your posts :)


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