Future Sumac Basket?

When my sister came here to visit, I took her to the thrift stores and Goodwill. She bought a bunch of wood what-nots and brought them to Mr. Basketmaker’s workshop where she sanded them all down and applied oil and wax. I wish I had a “before” picture because they turned out amazing!


Who said you can’t find treasures at Goodwill? A little elbow grease brought these little finds to life…


This following piece (that my nephew Ben is showing) is made from Sumac. I did not know that the plant that gave me such an allergic reaction I had to go to the hospital this past summer could look this beautiful?


I did a little research and there are many woodworkers who use this disrespected invasive shrub. They are drawn to sumac’s alternating green and gold annual rings that produce an intriguing hue which resembles zebra wood. Initially, we all thought it was zebra wood, with it’s distinct fall-like colors and swirling grain.

We have many sumac bushes growing here on our property. Just maybe Mr. Basketmaker will be using sumac for future baskets??? I could really see this wood being used for his ear handles. I’ll keep you posted.

A Gothic Redneck Bouquet

Yesterday, Eric and I visited a large flea market before we headed over to the Annual White Oak Craft Fair at the Arts Center of Cannon County in Woodbury, Tennessee.

And while perusing the flea market booths, we came across this little gem which I simply had to share!


I found it amusing that it wasn’t ONLY a redneck bouquet, but a GOTHIC redneck bouquet! And for only 4 bucks! What a deal! Especially when it’s sitting next to the Bride of Frankenstein, going for $50. Some lucky (or unfortunate — depending on who you are) lady out there is going to be thrilled to get this, I’m sure.

At least the seller correctly spelled bouquet, right? So maybe it’s not so redneck after all!

And the 2nd Annual Penny Pinching Pickers 2013 Winner Is…


Karen! (the expert…)

Karen purchased the beautiful Slump Glass dish/plate. When I was photographing all the items, I knew that was the winner. What a great flea market find!

penny-pinching-pick-ericThe rest of the results are as follows:

2nd Place: Industrial Basket. Picked by Lynne, the basketmaker’s wife.

3rd Place: Alligator tool. Found by our loveable “sherpa” (the other Eric)

I do need to share that if you based it on monetary resale value as the main criteria as “best pick” it would have to be “the sherpa’s” Alligator Tool. That is worth some bucks! And he only paid a tiny five dollars for it.

Hopefully he will get that thing on ebay, make a great profit and then take us out to dinner next year! Wait a minute… they already do take us out to dinner every year. And feed us. And hydrate us (with both the non-alcoholic and alcoholic kind). Wake us in the morning with coffee and hot chocolate and eggs straight from the chicken coop. And throw in pricey tickets to one of our favorite venues, penny-pinching-picker-eric-basketryStone Mountain up in Maine. And let us shop in their own little “shabin” for vintage goodies. Okay, I guess you can keep all your earnings to yourself… 🙂

I should not be so hasty in declaring the best “money maker” until I learn what Karen digs up about her art piece. I may have to eat my words stated above. It won’t be the first time, or the last. That woman is awe-inspiring.

and last but not least… 4th Place: the Military Shower Pail.

Awe…. our last placer is Mr. Basketmaker himself. He was so proud of his pick! He was sure that he was the winner. He told me so all week. I feel bad that his glory has been dashed. But he’s still pretty cute to me…

So that’s it! Do you agree?

Oh, yeah. And here’s me with my industrial basket. Eric is in the picture as well. He’s clearly letting it be known that his shower pail is the winner.eric-lynne-penny-pinching-pick

We all send a big “thank you” to our esteemed panel of judges (Tripp and Michele) who are exceptional pickers themselves, I might add. I think they should join us next year and we can find new judges! Any volunteers? (Except Jud. You are not allowed to apply.)

Overall, it was a great day and great fun. It rained practically the whole time we were in New England except that Sunday morning. It was absolutely gorgeous. A great last day before heading back south.

And Mr. Basketmaker and myself are looking forward to next year! But we both agreed that next time we will pick without the intention of buying something useful! We are true “starving artists” and pretty much buy what we need with the occasional “splurge” item of something we “want.” So we’re so used to buying wisely. But you need to be a little risky when it comes to this competition!penny-pinching-pick-eric-karen

So what are we using our “picks” for? My item will be on my drawing table holding misc. paint, pencils, etc. — a “catchall” for things I leave on my table that is supposed to be empty so I have space to “create” at.

Eric’s shower pail is hanging next to our garden collecting rain water. You turn the spout a little, and it slowly drips, watering our garden.