Did you know?

A "Pandula" is a flower which blooms only in one's imagination.


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

October 29, 2013

Well girls and boys it has been almost three weeks since I posted.  Just haven't had access to a computer very often.  So I have lots to share.

First off I finally got to send my friend Dana her birthday basket.  I really felt that since she sends me my Long Leaf Pine needles from GA, and believe me it is time consuming, that I wanted to do something striking for her.  Also, it just happened to be her birthday.

She really wanted a piece of wall art for her office...and I did indeed try.  However, my real talent is in art that is functional.  So here is the start of the project....ugly as hell I must say.  As you can see I was trying to add in multiple pieces of wood, the intention was to actually to add another small one to the other end also.  However all I could think about was the fact that it looked like a hot air balloon, or even a nesting doll.  Hated it.  So even though it was so large that each row was taking me almost 2 hrs.  I ripped it off and went back just to the center piece.  Then I had an epiphany, what I do is ART, so if she wanted to put it on a wall that was fine with me, and it became a basket.

Actually the largest I have done to date.  I also tried a new stitch.  I found it in a book that I purchased long ago, it is the slant stitch done in such a way that it does not slant.  Thank you Pamela Zimmerman for your clear instructions.

Here is the final result.  Her favorite colors are purple and teal and I just wish that this photo did the basket justice.  It was beautiful even if I do say so myself.

 Can you believe I even had purple stone beads to put on it?

I am hoping that she sends me a pic of how she displays it.  She thought that she might just display it on a plate hanger.  Can't wait to see it.  Wish I could have seen her face when she opened it.

Love you Dana, Thanks so much for all of your support and help!  Enjoy it.

Now for the other new pieces..

A close up of the center.

This brown and yellow one is my pride and joy at the moment.  I never realized that pine needles had so much yellow, gold and orange in them.  I guess it could also be that I just so love the more natural colors of fall.  Basically it just glows.  I even like the dark wood for this one. 

And now for a teeny tiny one...I found teeny wood beads for it also.

And now for a medium size one...

Business is good for now.  I can hardly make them fast enough.  Awesome!!!  I am realistic enough to know that after Christmas things will slow down, but for the moment I am living my dream of being an artist that EARNS MONEY!!!

This week I will be spending one full day gathering, I have a friend who is going to go with me.  Then I need another day of just sanding.  Then back to the stitching again.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Dana's Birthday gift is on the way!!!

I finally got the big Birthday present in the mail today.  Still not posting pics though because I want it to be a surprise for her...and I am not very good at surprises...lol.

But here are a few pics of my latest projects...Here we have Florida Gator colors.

I also made a small business card holder for the gentleman who slices the tree limbs for my basket centers, but of course I forgot to take pictures of it.  It actually turned out cute.  I measured and measured and measured and got it to be exactly the right size for the cards to stand up.  My first...I got such a kick later as I walked to the ladies room at the Farmer's Market where I work on Saturdays and saw it sitting at his booth with his cards in it.  WOOHOO!

Stay tuned, same bat time, same bat channel next week for pictures of the birthday basket.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A little information for inquiring minds...

October 1, 2013    

I finished the largest basket ever this week.  It is a birthday gift so I can't share it until I actually ship it out...but I CAN'T WAIT FOR YOU TO SEE IT.  It is indeed lovely.

So in lieu of pictures I saw this article and thought I would share it with you guys.  I found it on a blog here, so I cannot take credit for it at all.  I just thought you might like the information.

You have probably looked at pine-needle baskets and wondered why they are priced so high. The main reason is because pine-needle baskets are very time-consuming. It is very tedious work, and it takes many hours of practice just to master coiling and stitching.

The materials are also expensive. Unless you are lucky enough to live where long pine needles are grown, you will need to purchase your needles. You will also need to purchase, drill, and stain the center of your basket which can vary in price depending on what type of center you use. You can make a solid pine-needle center, but this adds several hours to your basket. In addition to the needles and center, you will need to purchase your stitching material (usually sinew, raffia, or waxed linen), your stitching needle, a gauge, and a few other miscellaneous items.

Preparing enough pine needles for a small basket requires about an hour. The needles need to be covered with boiling water and soaked for about 30 minutes. The caps (bark covered ends) need to be removed from each pine-needle bundle. This takes about ½ hour. You are now ready to start your basket.

When creating a continuously coiled basket, you will need to add new needles every other stitch or so. There are several types of stitches, and the time required for each stitch varies greatly. The most common stitches include the plain stitch, split stitch, V stitch, wheat stitch, and fern stitch. For a 4"-diameter basket, it can take from 20 minutes to 1 hour to complete only one coil around your basket.

Most basket makers seal their baskets with a combination of beeswax and paraffin or shellac spray. This is optional but will add to the life of your basket.

As you can see, creating a pine-needle basket is very time-consuming. And don't forget the extras like handles and embellishments that add time and expense to your basket. Most people who make pine-needle baskets create them for their own use and simply enjoy doing it. I personally find it very relaxing. It is one of the few times I just forget about life and concentrate on something I enjoy doing.


I have to disagree with the sentiment of Pine needle work being expensive.  The one thing I like about it is that most of my supplies are FREE.  See, I believe that any Art form can be either as expensive or inexpensive as you want it to be.  I live in FL and so my coil materials are basically free.  I harvest Pine needles, grasses and palm fronds myself, so mostly it is just hot hot hot work.  I also sand and wax my own wood so again it is time consuming, even though the wood is harvested FREE.   What this also means is that I have control over what I want things to be shaped like and to look like, as much as one can when using organic products, not store bought/milled wood.

Do keep in mind though that I do not have a full time job, so the one thing I do have a lot of is TIME.  And I need it as these processes are very labor intensive.

Also I do indeed agree with the part that says it takes time to build the skills to make beautiful coils and stitches.  I have been making baskets intensively for the last 2 years, and sporatically for the 3 years before, and I am just now getting to the point where I think my work is as good as the ones I see on other sites.  I have also developed my own style.  I hope these things are evident to you, my fans, as well.

I would love to hear some of your thoughts on these things.