Super-Productive Happy Hour

I finally succumbed to the stomach bug that just about everyone around us has had and our family had the landmark "everyone sick at once" day yesterday. No fun. But today, I am back on track and the boys and I had a restorative day at home. Not only is all our laundry, washed and line dryed (but not put away, that's where my laundry-doing comes to a screeching halt), but I got some more work done for our craft booth. I started these guys the other day, but haven't shown any progress:
I am hoping to learn a few PhotoShop basics soon because if I don't take photos in my photo studio (read: the porch during the day) they look rotten. The cats are actually a nice Raspberry sherbert pink, and are made from felted wool blanket. I was turned-on to this material by Simmy and what a find! I have only found a couple at thrift shops, but they are so big, they are not as precious as the lovely wool felt that Laura and I have been using, so I am not intimidated to try something new. I like them. I made the new ones a bit shorter and fatter than the prototype, and they just lack their bottoms and tails, then they will be done.

I couldn't resist messing with the blanket a bit more, so I cut it into 1" strips, and glued it to another color blanket- a light gray/aqua and fooled around with spirals.
There's a pen for scale. I just glued the little spirals together. I want to make 20 or 30 more small spirals of different sizes and make one big, amorphous table "runner" or decoration. The spirals are incredibly firm and sturdy, I am tempted to make a little rug to put in front of my kitchen sink. I wonder if 1/2" strips would have enough structural integrity, I don't want to use up all my nice blanket!!

I am trying to make things for this craft fair using only materials that I have at home, so I messed around with my new favorite basket pattern, Shaker Cheese, a hexagonal basket design. My parents live right down the road from The Country Seat, an awesome basket supply place. When we were visiting in June, I found the pattern for the Shaker Cheese and bought a bunch of reed in different widths. There is something so appealing about this pattern, and I had been searching the internet for a free pattern for ages. Sometimes, it's just easier to shell out your three bucks and get working, and I am glad I did! I made a few several weeks ago, but used plastic pallet strapping. They turned out ok, but the strapping is slick and hard to work with. Today, I used 1/2 and 7/8 reed and here's what I have so far:
That's 5 baskets, 4 big and one small. The big ones are about 15" wide. I still have to bend down the stakes and put the top rims on, but have to dig out my other basket making stuff first. Besides, the regular weaving is the fun part. I made the ones with the finer reed first, and while I really like how they are turning out, I prefer the sturdiness of the chunky 7/8" one. I  have really been wanting to make my own laundry baskets, and if it was bigger, this chunkier one has possibilities, if it's strong enough. Here's a photo of one of the bottoms, it reminds me of a beehive.
I don't really want to become a professional basket maker, but it is eminently satisfying to turn a pile of reed into a useful vessel using only my hands and a pair of scissors. I think they would be perfect for yarn storage.

Now. I am not going to end every blog post with a photo of my kids, but this was just too much today- here's what Avery and Julian were doing on the porch while I was hanging out laundry:
They're magicians.  

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