I spent an hour this morning before anyone else was awake finishing this gigantic basket I have been weaving. I wish you could have heard my husband laugh when he woke up and came to find me and saw the mess I had made! Normally I am a very organized person and I like things to be neat, but I turn into an absolute slob when I am engrossed in creating something. Over the years this has become a family joke.

I try to fight this “character trait.” I really do. When I start to make a basket, I carefully lay out all of my tools and organize the coils of reed according to their widths, and I make sure I have a big container nearby to throw my clippings in. And for a while I’m very conscientious about keeping everything in order as I work. ALWAYS, though, at some point after I have become really involved in what I am doing, I come up for air, look around, and feel absolutely overwhelmed by the mess I have made… suddenly masses of uncoiled reed, scattered tools, and clippings are EVERYWHERE.

My husband knows how much this creative chaos bothers me, and years ago he proposed making a deal. He said we should always work together… that my job would be to do the creating and his job would be to come in afterward and do the cleaning up. Of course, I would never just walk away and leave the mess for him, but I do always gratefully accept his help.

No wonder I love him!

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Wow. You are truly blessed with that man! And with a wonderful talent, too–I love the basket.

Infinity Goods

What a beautiful basket and a nice husband!
You have an interesting and peaceful blog. I’ll be back!


What a beautiful basket! You are so talented ;)


You are a lot more creative than me! I also have a few creative outlets that keep me sane while in the trenches of mommyhood. Thanks for the reminder that they are important!!

SAHMmy Says

If my husband offered to clean up the aftermath of my creative ventures, I’d take him up on it in a heartbeat! That basket is amazing!


Wow!! What a beautiful basket!

Shirley (Choosing Voluntary Simplicity)

Yes, he’s a keeper all right! I made this basket because I needed something really big to keep my current knitting project in (a quilt-sized cable afghan).


Simply beautiful and a real Mommy made piece of art!


What a coincidence! I make baskets, too, and weave chair seats. I just finished repairing two chairs and the mess is still all over my keeping room, which is also the “living” room. I’ve picked up the coils, but everything else is still littering the floor.

BTW, your basket is beautiful. I’m not yet up to your level.


Oh Shirley, reading your blog is so much fun! I found it while looking for different ways to freeze the abundance of apples we have this year, for use in baking pies later on this winter. Your idea of freezing them right in the foil, formed by the pie plate was a terrific idea.

Then I started reading some of your other blog posts and was hooked! Now it’s been about an hour and I HAVE to get back to weaving my own antler baskets and finishing up on a customer’s cane chair. Loved your blog about the grapevine baskets, too.


Wonderful man. GORGEOUS BASKET!!! ;-)


What a beautiful basket! Its one craft I never learned.
You do lovely work.


I just stumbled across your website, and am so glad I did. I can relate to so many of your posts. I heat with wood, and I do have a wood cooking stove. However, it’s not in working condition, but only paid $200.00 for it. I make herbal soaps from wild plants that I gather on our farm. Make baskets from willow, grapevine, and commercial reed. I also love to teach others about the old timey ways of living.


Wonderful! I am usually a bit annoyed by my husband’s creative process while cooking, but maybe I can look at it this way and make it a positive thing and help him tidy up – and love him more for it! :)


That’s a grand looking basket! How big is it?

Re: creative mess – I know what you mean about trying to keep it tidy and clean as I go to save me the larger clean up at the end, which can be a huge buzz killer, but always giving it up as a bad job! Happens with everything too, including when I write even though that doesn’t need much more than my computer and maybe a pen and piece of notepaper!

But the most interesting part that I notice whenever I’m making something, or even just doing a project involving a lot of sorting things etc, is what we could call ‘rug creep’ lol (because I often get down on the floor to do those jobs). Basically, I start out at one end of the rug, or at least in the middle. But at each new stage of the project (eg measuring, then cutting, then glueing, then decorating, etc), I seem to move backwards a wee bit until soon enough I find myself cornered at the very edge of the carpet with the debris from all previous stages lying in front of me marking a path to where I started out! The oddest thing is that I am completely unconscious of doing this until my bottom hits the cold carpetless floor hehe.

Am I the only one who does dorky stuff like that lol?


Beautiful basket! I’m a fellow basketmaker and always others work. I try to confine my basket messes outside but it doens’t always work. I love your blog it reminds me of childhood, gardening , animals, cooking on s woodstove, I probabky have forgotten how by now, Things do taste different when cooked on woodstoves.


OH my! I am the same way. I lay it all out, get the pattern in my mind, then “go to town”. It’s when I can’t get one piece of reed out of the coil, and I have the majority of the coil around my neck…with the ends under an outstretched foot, while my hands are gently pulling the reed out of the mess. When my husband sees me and laughs, I now I’m a bit up to my elbows in creating. Love your site, just found it. Thanks, Dee from Colorado