Basket Weaving

Weaving is an old craft. Basket weaving is the process of weaving or sewing natural or pliable materials into a three dimensional shape that can be used to store, carry or hold items.

I begun to experiment with basket weaving leading up to Christmas last year when I wanted to create a carry case to hold my handcrafted Christmas presents. I wanted to create a carry case that would be a gift in itself, not something else to end up in landfill and something that would be treasured, used again and something using natural materials.

I experimented with a range of natural ropes and found that the rough ones doesn’t slip as easy and hold their shape more once constructed. I experimented with sewing, gluing and tying.

The following process is only one method and it is the easiest method I found to get a quick basked that can be as big or small as you like.

You will need:
~ A long piece of rope. This will depend on the basket you wish to make. I bought about ten metres at my home hardware store and just cut it off when the basket reached the size I wanted.
~A plastic needle with a large eye. (The eye is the end of the needle the cotton, or sewing material thread through)
~ A selection of Raffia in any colour you choose.

1. Start by wrapping the raffia tight around the end of the rope until you are happy with the tension and then rap the end of the rope into a coil to begin the base of the basket. Use the raffia and needle to thread through the tight gapes between the coils and pull tight.

2. Continue to wrap the rope into a basket shape and putt tight overlapping the raffia using the needle.

The rope must be pulled tight and held tight which was a bit hard on my hands. But I did manage to make a small basket in one sitting.







Visual Diaries with Children …..or Adults

A visual diary has many uses. Creative folk keep these as a journal, visual notebook, ideas book, mediums and styles tester journal and for other reason like travels diaries. I however keep them for all of the above. There is something wonderful about opening a new diary or starting a fresh page. I also love to look back through these journals and see what inspired me at the time or what I was influenced by. A visual journal should be a visually pleasing book. something you enjoy working on, sharing and viewing.

Think decorative headings, cutting up paper or packaging, gluing images you find pleasing, fabrics, ribbons, using coloured pens, pencils or markers, paints, printing, photos and anything else you love.

Some people however find it daunting to look at a new blank page or a new diary. Where do they start or what should be the first mark.

I have been working on a plan for visual diary ideas to get creative minded people started on what should be first.

Take the 30 Day Visual Journal Challenge

To Get Started:

What book do I use?

Start by finding a book or a journal with blank pages. This will give you creative freedom with the direction of how each page can be used. If we have lines we automatically think we need to stick to them, within them or on them. Blank pages can be used upside down, sideways diagonal or any other way you can think of.

What is your aim?

Why are you starting a visual diary? Is it for work, pleasure, to keep track of your ideas, inspirations or a visually pleasing book to showcase your holiday or cooking ideas. I keep many visual journals for many different purposes. I have work books to sketch ideas and brainstorm, art journals that house my ideas and inspiration for my next project and journals for holidays, recipes and projects.

How will you keep up to date?

Set aside some time each day to update or add to your journal. Plan each day when you will work on your journal. This will help to ensure you get around to it. Choose a time when you are able to sit for an amount of time that suits you and what you wish to achieve. Set up somewhere you can spread out with all the tools you will need.


To get started click on the page titled: The 30 Day Visual Diary Challenge.










Easter Bunny Masks

Working as an art teacher I am always pre planning fun activities that relate to special events that are celebrated during the year. Especially events that children enjoy. I love handmade gifts, decorations and items that engage children in these events that they love so much.

As we approach Easter I have been busily cutting (also hired some helpful parents) to cut out approximately 100 bunny masks. I choose felt as the medium as the texture related to the soft fur of a fluffy bunny. I love using felt and try to expose children to a range of mediums and textures. It is good for their sensory development. Felt also lasts longer when little fingers are taking on and pulling off their masks over and over again. My third reason for choosing felt is that it a great surface to glue on to using a regular glue stick.

Use the scraps that are left over from the cutting out of the mask as these are great for gluing on to the mask. You might also like to try cotton wool balls and any other craft items you may have. This will make the masks more personal and fun!

I used a hole punch to put two holes in the mask where I tied on some hat elastic. You might like to sew the elastic on.






DIY Wahi Tape

As I have written about earlier Washi Tape is a fun way to stick, decorate and update items, artwork and even more boring items like work documents.

It is however a bit costly for the best quality and decorative ones. When working with littles they tend to go through a lot of rolls if not monitored. When looking through my art supplies the other day I found a handy roll of masking take and thought that it would be fun to use this to make my own ‘Washi’ inspired tape.

As I was working with pre schoolers we decorated it using crayons. The coverage was good and we spoke about creating patterns using shapes and colours.

They where very proud to use this tape on their work.