My Nantucket Finds

One of Eric’s students said we must stop by Tim Parson’s Basket Shop before we leave. So that’s what we did. We took out the car for the short drive to a secluded road with a small sign that simply said “THE BASKET SHOP.”

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Nantucket Basketmaker Tim Parsons has been teaching classes for 23 years and over three thousand students. That is a lot of students! I love visiting other artist’s studios so this was a treat for me as well.

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Above are images of molds and templates from Tim’s studio.

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Here’s Tim showing Eric his workshop area. They are discussing his dust collection system.

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Above are student projects. His workshop is an open-weave. You buy the basket and you can stop by anytime during shop hours to weave and get any help from Tim — all at your own pace. I love that concept.

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Tim has a great sense of humor. Here he is showing us his very unique and one-and-only Nantucket toilet plunge basket cover! Eric got some great laughs out of that one.

Thanks Tim for letting us pop in unannounced and showing us around your workshop!

While Eric was teaching, I went on my own excursion. My first stop? To the Nantucket Hospital Thrift Store of course! Before we arrived here, I asked Eric “Do you think they have any thrift stores on the island?” He instantly said, “No way. I doubt it.” But leave it to me to find a thrift store anywhere!

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I spent about an hour inside. And it was packed with other shoppers. And I think there were more men in there than women, perusing the racks of golf shirts, beach shorts and t-shirts.

I found a pair of very white casual sneakers, a seashell motif linen scarf, a floral blouse and this awesome, perfectly-weathered hat! A steal at $2! Who could pass up this hat? Not me!

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It will be perfect back in Tennessee when tending the garden over the hot summers. My other straw hat was too heavy. This one is very lightweight and will be much more comfortable.

Speaking of thrift items, while on our way to the Basket Museum, we came across a two-day “flash sale” hosted by a local auction house. Jackpot! We walked out with this, as a remembrance of our trip to Nantucket (which doesn’t have anything to do with the island, at least I don’t think so!).

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It is a grasshopper pewter something…. maybe a planter? It’s about 18 inches in length. It was sitting amongst colonial knick-knacks and with a quick look at the $20 price tag, we said “We’re buying this.” Eric is thinking about planting some cacti which I think would be very cool. Especially since us and house plants don’t tend to have a long relationship. A nice Cactus may be perfect. A shoutout to my vintage and antique expert Karen in Maine, do you have any information on this piece? I’ve never seen anything like it.

After all the walking we did, it was nice to come back to the 99 Main Street house and work on my Nantucket puzzle. I bought this puzzle a few weeks ago and didn’t finish it so I rolled it up and brought it to my sister’s house. But due to the change of plans with me going to Eric’s workshop at Camp Tuck instead, we ended up bringing it to the island with us. What better place to work on a Nantucket puzzle than on Nantucket?

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And the living room was the perfect spot to set it up — next to the windows looking out at the backyard and feeling the cool breeze. And as you can see, I did finish it. If you are into puzzles, this was a good one. A 1,000 pieces and it’s a fun and bright map illustration of the island and all the shops and things to do. And the pieces were not flimsy, good quality. (I’ll put a link below for the puzzle-people.)

Overall, it’s been a great time on the island. Eating out is way more expensive than what we are used to on an artist’s budget. So we spent a few nights in making our own sandwiches here at the house and settling on a granola bar for breakfast. It has worked out perfectly. And we are very grateful for the wonderful New England weather. It’s been fabulous.

Below is where I bought the above Puzzle I put together. If you are into puzzles, this was a fun one to do! The artist is Marshall Peck and the company who makes the puzzle is White Mountain Puzzles – which I have quite a few from. They are good quality.

Friday Catch-Up.

I cannot believe that it’s been two weeks since I last posted! And that was when I was up in New Hampshire and Eric was in Connecticut teaching his class. So I have a lot of catching up to do!

No, I haven’t been laying in a teak lounge chair under an umbrella ordering beach-side drinks on an island somewhere. Instead, I’ve been home sick with the flu! On the last days of our visit up north, I started to get a cold but must have picked up the flu as well at one of the various rest areas we stopped at on our 3-day trip back to Tennessee (and despite getting a flu shot!)

Yes, it took us 3 days to get home! Why? Well, several reasons. One being the snow storms hitting all the spots we would be traveling through and the first stop we made earlier than planned because of very heavy fog and slick roads.

The second reason is (and the main one) we were towing a very heavy trailer filled with materials, molds and some leftover equipment from Eric’s prior home in northern New Hampshire. We are so excited to announce that YES, Eric’s old schoolhouse finally sold! Yah! But it was a little sad when we stopped by the house to say “bye” the day before closing.

Well, actually, it was more sad for me. When I first met Eric, I was always excited to drive up North and spend the weekend at his rural place. It was nice to get out of the city and play with Chance in his backyard and enjoy nightly campfires.

But as I was reminiscing during our last “walkthrough,” Eric was whispering “good riddance!” And I don’t blame him. When we bought our new home in Tennessee, we sold my house in the city within 9 days. If we hadn’t have sold it so quickly, I know I would have been really stressed out being so far away.

So I cannot imagine what it was like for him to still have his house way up there while we were creating our new life down here in Tennessee. And now that it’s sold, I think he felt overwhelming relief and could now focus on planning, and moving forward, with our renovations down here, at the new home we own together (no more his and her residences).

And the last reason is that because I seemed to be coming down with something, I was in the backseat sleeping. So Eric was doing all the driving. Oh yeah. And there’s a fourth reason.

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We needed to take a small detour in Knoxville.

The closest place for Eric to get cherry wood is two hours away. So on the trip back home, he had to stop and get the materials. And not all of it could fit in the jam-packed trailer we were towing which meant the rest had to go in the van! So I was kicked out of the backseat and poor Chance had a tiny spot to sit in. It may look like the boards could shift around but they are tight and secure. So Chance was completely safe, but not too happy with the little space we left him.

Now that is why it took us a long three days to get home. And as soon as we walked in and opened the curtains to let the sun in, we were greeted by our adopted wandering pet. Yup, Betty-Sue was right outside our window, apparently waiting for us.

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Now I haven’t been totally flat-out on the couch, sick, for the last two weeks. I still had my freelance work to do. And one project was a little time-consuming. But I cannot talk about it or share any photos with you because it involved a celebrity who is currently on a popular tv show and I am under a confidentiality agreement. So that’s all I can say about that. And after a day’s work, I was too wiped out to write.

Over the next week I will catch y’all up (yes, I have now begun saying y’all) on some of the things we did up north. Like some photos of “Tour de Chooch.” What’s that you ask? Well, you will simply have to check back to find out!