The Jackson Chronicles: Day One

Most of you know that we adopted a dog. Well, he actually adopted us by showing up at our door almost every day for months. So Mr. Basketmaker started letting him sleep in his workshop and then finally took him to the shelter and “registered him” to make sure he wasn’t a missing pet and after a 3-day waiting period he went to the Vet and then he was ours. I mean, Eric’s.

We originally named him Jaxson McBrown. Then Eric started calling him Shoeless Joe Jackson. So we changed the spelling to ‘Jackson.’ I was fine with that since my auto-correct kept changing it to Jackson anyways when I texted updates to my family and friends.

So, we adopt this dog and he’s a great dog but 100 percent a “farm dog.” He keeps watch over our house, digs up moles, finds the occasional animal bone to chomp on at the end of our driveway and loves jumping into the mucky pond behind our house. He’s also a brilliant escape artist and continually lets himself out our front door. So we knew he would be hard-pressed to stay confined at a kennel when we hit the road. And leaving him behind during our last trip and having me watch our video surveillance online in an obsessive manner to keep an eye on him wasn’t going to fly for this trip. So he’s on his first basketry adventure. And I thought it would be fun to document this previously-homeless dog’s second shot at life and his experience on an extended road trip and staying at a hotel. I’m naming this series “The Jackson Chronicles.”

The morning started off well. He hopped in the van after some coaxing from Eric. Chance knows it’s time for a road trip as soon as the first suitcase comes out. So he was in the vehicle, waiting patiently, an hour before Jackson got in.



In this pic above, Eric is off to the right, behind me, telling Jackson to be used to this car because he will be in it for the next 7 hours. The look is telling us “Are you kidding me?”


Weeks prior to this trip, Eric took Jackson along for the ride on his errands to get him used to the car. He quickly learned that Jackson likes to sit right up front. We don’t allow that. So we had to rig up a barrier that Jackson could not barge through. Eric chose this pic to be posted because he said it showed we are now rednecks. But I say it’s Yankee ingenuity! It’s actually an old gate that I bought at my antique store up in Maine from one of my dealers eons ago. It worked perfectly!


He started to get a hang of this travel thing and would lean up against the window and watch the scenery.


But mostly, he would sit right next to me, in my ‘mobile office’ while I worked on my laptop. Here I was designing some logos for one of my clients.


He cycled from looking out the window with his big nose directly above my keyboard to simply staring at me while I worked to then leaning his head on my arm.


(awww… I know… so cute. A little blurry but still cute.)


Then Chance got jealous and jumped up beside him. So it was me, the two dogs and my laptop all on the back row of seats in the minivan. All I can say is that it was really getting quite stuffy back there if you know what I mean.


And I wasn’t the only one tired of being cooped up in this stuffy van. 


And one dog seemed to be quite annoyed at not being the “special one” anymore on all our basketry road trips. He now had to share everything!

In addition, what I didn’t anticipate was all the hair on my clothes! Chance is not a shedder. He has hair and it needs to be groomed. Jackson has fur. I know some of you might think that’s odd that we both neglected to even consider bringing a lint brush but we totally were absent of the fact that Jackson sheds! And it seems like he started shedding the moment we hit the road!

However, I did bring his dog brush. So I guess I sort of knew that he sheds, but not in a way that my pants, my jacket, my computer bag, you name it… would be covered in fur!

Overall, the trip went quite well. At first Jackson was shaking a bit and then moving quickly from side window to side window, probably trying to figure how to get out. But soon he settled in and seemed to be a little calm. But then that brings us to when we arrived at the convention. You will have to tune in tomorrow for that!

Eric Taylor Basketry Web Workshop Corrections

I’ve been a baaaaad basketmaker’s wife. Well, more like a baaaaaad employee in Mr. Basketmaker’s marketing department. But honestly, what do you expect when I work for free? There have been errors on Eric’s workshop page on the website eric-taylor-workshop-web-snapshotfor a couple months now. However, I have finally fixed them.

Now I reiterate… I only fixed the issues on his workshop schedule page. I have not added the images to each of the kits which has been on my to-do list for two years now or fixed the finishing kit’s Paypal link or added his new bungalow baskets which are not new anymore since I was supposed to do that last year or added the mini baskets in the gallery — do I need to go on and embarrass myself even more?

But in my defense, I have always told you I am a constant procrastinator! And web stuff I put off the longest. It drives me crazy. I cannot stand html, I don’t read html, I don’t speak html, I don’t want to know html but I have to figure it out to fix issues on the website when they arise. Don’t like it, but I have to suck it up and do it. Then whine on my blog about how I despise html and upkeeping websites.

I mean look at my own website. Wait, I didn’t mean that literal because I have not updated it since 2008! Then a couple months ago, I decided to completely delete the entire site to make me update it. So what is there, two months later? An “under construction” message. And I have had five clients in the last five weeks comment to me that they needed to view my portfolio for a new project they wanted to hire me for! Not good. But I always figure out a way around things like that… sent them my portfolio as a PDF and all is good. That should buy me another couple months.

So, back to Eric’s website. I fixed the errors in the schedule and will list here the corrections, so hopefully, the people who are hosting these workshops will forgive me for not doing it sooner!

The Association of Michigan Basket Makers convention: I have replaced the “To Be Determined” with the dates October 16-20.

The workshop at The Basket Cottage in Milton, Georgia also had a “TBA” for the longest time. The actual dates are November 1 & 2.

I added the third day for Saltbox Crafters in Connecticut, so Eric will be teaching Thursday – Saturday, December 5-7. Also, I had Mary Jo’s email incorrect. It is if you want to contact her.

And finally, I fixed the date for the Ocala, Florida workshop at The Basket Cases. I incorrectly had January 2nd. The correct date is January 3rd, 2014. Sorry Anne! If you would like to take this class, you can contact Anne at

I think that is it! Well, for the schedule at least. Next is all the other stuff……..

Five Questions Friday: Dryer Lint

Q: How good does it feel now that your exhibit basket is almost completed?
Eric: Relieved, it’s been too long in the making and I’m just happy that it is finished. And I think we settled its name last night.

Q: Did you mail out Joanne H.’s jigs yet?
Eric: Yes! The postman took the package before I could add the drill bits that she added via email.  So, Joanne I will drop them in an envelope for tomorrow. (editor’s note: Joanne, it looks like you will always be waiting on him)

Q: If I was to stir up a little controversy on my blog, what would I write about?
Eric: Writing about how I might’ve got bumped from a convention (remain unnamed for now) because you posted a basket I was going to teach before it was juried. Of course, nobody would really punish me for the actions of my wife and her blog, right? (editor’s note: I’m sure other women realized that I’m just a lowly basketmaker’s wife. Surely, they would never think of doing such a thing. Especially since I always write about the conventions with lots of pictures and usually for several days. Who would not appreciate that kind of free advertising and online presence?)

Q: What’s on your agenda for today?
Eric: Packing for a last-minute camping trip. We have been busy since returning from JCC and with all the rain, we haven’t had a chance to get out there this season. Then Lynne started pushing for us to go this weekend because it will be the first time we’re bringing Chance and wanted to do it before the campgrounds get packed. I have to remember stuff like dryer lint. Ever since I told her that dryer lint makes a good fire starter, she’s been collecting it all winter in empty hot chocolate containers. I need another use for all of her empty hot chocolate containers.

Q: Lastly, Eric’s favorite question — What aggravated you this week?
Eric: Our hot water heater quit and of course the warranty ran out in February. (editor’s note: Yes. That expense blew our whole yard budget and other house repairs that needed to be done. You’re really a starving artist when you can barely afford to go camping! LOL.)