Barbie Thrifts Too.

I follow this cool blog called “Funky Junk Interiors” and earlier this month she shared one of her projects and I just have to share one of her images…


How cool is she? (Both Barbie and Donna, the creator of this upcycled scene and author of “funky junk.”) When I showed Eric, he said she should really be carrying one of his mini baskets. I totally agree with that!

If you click on the link above, or the image, you can check out all the other furnishings she created for her upcycled dollhouse project. She really is innovative and comes up with some interesting ideas if you are into upcycling.

Before These, There’s Those

Before one of Eric Taylor’s baskets can be created like these (which are still in progress) ….baskets-in-progress-after-molds

there needs to be those, (pictured below) which happen to be molds! Lots of molds. Molds for the handles, the rims and the bases. And all of these molds have to be made in different sizes, depending on the basket design or style.

Various molds for bases of Eric’s baskets.
To the left are the base molds. To the right are a few molds for the Mini and Smalls basket Handles.
These odd shapes form the molds for the larger sized basket handles.
And don’t forget the rims. These hanging molds were built by Eric to hold lots of rims at once.
After the rims are boiled, Eric lightly pounds ‘pins’ into them around the molds. I took a close-up because I love the texture these ‘pins’ make.

As you can see, there’s a whole lot more to basket making than just coming up with a design and weaving it! And for Eric, there’s more work because he insists on bending his own wood, making his own molds from scratch and boiling material for his handles.

It unquestionably makes me, a non-basketmaker, appreciate the art & craft, and how much work goes into making not only a bunch of baskets, but even just one basket!

What I Do With My Down Time

Being self-employed as a freelancer, or as a basketmaker like Eric, is hard work. Sometimes you need to work over holidays, and some years you get no vacation at all, and sometimes you wish you could actually get more than 5 hours sleep in one night.

However, after you pay your dues, you invested the time and put in a lot of hard work, you can relax a little. And that’s where I’m at now. When I get some “down time” I embrace it completely.

So before all the leaves have completely fallen and we move into winter, I wanted to take advantage of the beautiful weather we have been getting in middle Tennessee during the month of October. When we left New Hampshire for Tennessee about one-and-a-half years ago, I thought I would really miss the Fall season in New England. But Tennessee has not let me down. It has an impressive fall color display as well, but it also has a much warmer climate during the days, especially this October.

The perks of being a freelancer is that when there is “down time” I don’t need to pretend “I’m busy” at my desk like I would if working in a corporate atmosphere. Those were always the worst! Instead, I can enjoy myself. So on one of those “slow days” I went out and sat in my Hawaiian Chair Swing (a grateful hand-me-down from basketmaker Joanne Howard).


So this is what I did on a slow work day in October: I grabbed an art book and went outside to enjoy the scenery before all the leaves fell to the ground and winter moved in.


Here’s me in my floating chair swing. It is soooo comfortable! (Thanks Joanne H.!) And the dogs love hanging around next to me as I “swing.” The image on the right shows the tree next to us that still has leaves and is providing the shade below. The other tree in the background has lost just about all it’s leaves!


This tree is next to me when I turn to the left. I love it. The texture is ever changing. And I stare at it quite often. Probably trying to remember the details so I can paint it later, from memory! I love tree textures. chair-swing-up-and-down

Here’s me with the camera pointing down. And then the next image is the camera pointing up. Same spot, just different angle. It’s really a peaceful spot. I love my little humble swing under these two trees.

chair-swing-tree-dogsAnd the dogs appear to agree as well. But Jackson seemed to be annoyed. I kept calling out his name so I could take a picture with him looking at me. But his expression conveyed “Why are you calling my name when you have no treat?” However, Chance, the camera ham of all time, instantly turned and started to smile, revealing the top row of teeth. He just loves the camera!