Monday 28 February 2011

Day 231-Frame Baskets For Gathering

I knew it!  I knew it!  I knew if I tabled basket making as part of the agenda at The Gathering, I would finally be able to make a decent basket or at least understand instructions!

 What Gathering? 

The Gathering is a monthly mini meeting between founding  members, Cindy, Asuka and me.  Since June 2010, we have met  once a month. Without Fail.   We have 2 Honorary Members, Dale and Rosanna, who attended our 1st and  3rd Gathering respectively.

 We try to plan for  at least one mini making at each Gathering but deciding what to do can be a bit of a headache as our styles , preferences and methods are different, sometimes even  at odds. Cindy, the reluctant captain, is often tasked with the unenviable job of deciding what to make.  Coincidentally or not , it is usually something I want to make. Poor Asuka!

What Instructions?

If you have read my post on Day 213, you may remember how hopeless I was at trying to follow basket weaving instructions from my book, 4 pages of which are extracted here (see left)  for you to decipher.  I thought maybe my 2 other friends can translate these codes. 

So I emailed Cindy : How about we make baskets at the February Gathering? Finally, something all 3 of us can use despite our different genre.  So we met yesterday and I found out I was wrong about 1 thing:

 It turned out  that none of us were really good at  following the written word. 

Luckily, Cindy had made frame baskets before, way back in September 2009 and she remembered this wonderful pictorial tutorial at Linnanukkis

Going back and forth my laptop to look at the pictures in the tutorial, this is what we did: 

Materials:  We used these plastic line to make the frames. But you can also use wires or even papers.  For the baskets, we decided to try different materials. Cindy decided on brown paper from paper ropes,  Asuka and I , cotton cooking strings. 

Frame:  Make the frame and then use tacky glue to hold them in place. 

Handle Joints:  This is the tricky part that took us a while to unravel. You first make a cross at the part the frame joins the handle. You then start weaving diagonally, one spoke at a time in one direction until you are satisfied. 

Skeleton and Body: After you have done the weaving at the  handles, build the skeleton body by adding more spokes gluing the edges of each spoke at the part the handle joins the frame.  Then start weaving in and out of the new spokes. Use two strings , one at each handle  joint and have them meet at the center for an  easier finish.

It took us between 1 1/2 hours to 2 1/2 hours to  finish the baskets  up to this stage, just before varnish.  Guess who took the longest? Moi, of course. We all decided that paper gave the best results as it looked the most realistic. The smallest basket made by Asuka measures 5/8" at its widest , mine  is 1" and Cindy's 1 1/4".

Varnish : We used wood varnishes for the cotton baskets and just a matt acrylic varnish for the paper one.  And then,

the baskets are finally ready for some gathering

1st, we have Asuka's baby basket for freshly dug potatoes

Here, you see plucked oranges and figs overflowing from the basket  by Sans!

And perched on OM's ladder is Cindy's willow skein frame basket for those mountainous magic herbs.

You may want to know that just one of those potatoes , bought in Bangkok but dirtied and painted by me,  can fill  OM's  stomach for the whole day.

And the baskets of oranges and figs , gifts from Kiva, are so precious to the Rollas that they only eat one of them a month.  These fruits DO NOT rot.

Last but not least, those herbs or  real dried flowers, when pounded and applied to the face with the mountain mud, will instantly make you look 20 years younger. So don't use it if you are less than 20 years old !


Dark Squirrel Victoria said...

What a great tutorial Sans! How nice you can get together online and do this. You made it look easy but I know it's not.

Victoria ♥

Drora's minimundo said...

Sans I am speechless! This fabulous tutorial is going to be very handy for my straw market which will probably be completed who knows when...
By the way, if you email me your address, and if you are interested, I'll send you some shells. I don't believe they were meant to stay hidden in a box and I want to share this find with other fellow miniaturists.

rosanna said...

He he, here I am... chained to the ironing board but it's long enough to let me have a look at the pc ;o)) I love the way you three did the baskets, they are so cute !! all of them. although agree that willows skeins give the best results. Have fun with your new talent. I'll write to you tonight, Hugs, Rosanna

Ana Anselmo said...

wow, I love baskets, all kind and sahpe, andthese are so beautiful!!!! Great work! It is really nice to work together, it helps a lot to understand the tricky steps of a tutotrial isn´t it?

malu2 said...

Hay, Sans,estoy felíz, me has hecho recordar,cuando yo estuve en Bangkok,
durante muchos días recorri todo el país,maravilloso,espectacular y fui muy feliz en este viaje con mi marido y mis hijos,toda Tailandía de norte a sur,bueno podría contarte muchas cosas que tu sabras.
Sans,el tutorial es magnifico,y las cestas te han quedado espectaculares,me gustan muchisimo,has hecho una escena preciosa.Besos desde España,MªLUISA.

cockerina said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cockerina said...

"Do not use if you have less than 20 years" ... Sans you made me fall out of chairs, to laugh!
beautiful baskets, thank you for the tutorial ... But I can not find the wire covered with paper .. where you buy it?
Last but not meant as a criticism, the most beautiful basket for me, is made of paper, it is so realistic!
please, when you write your posts, they are very imaginative with writing, but you can not write BIG letters in the middle of the sentence? you can not understand how it becomes difficult to translate in my language! thanks!
a kiss

Sans! said...

O Vic, we don't get together online :). We meet at my home once a month. Where Dale and Rosanna were concerned, they attended the mini meets when they visited me last year, June and August respectively :). I remembered we made paper lanterns when Rosanna was here :). And I think Cindy tried to show us how to tat :):). None of us could follow , I'm afraid :).

The baskets are not that easy at first. Without Cindy and Asuka, I will never be able to "break the code". Once I understood the process, it is not difficult.

Sans! said...

Drora, how sweet of you. I will do so :):). I have used up all the mini shells given to me or collected by me. Those in the shores of Singapore are not that pretty because our beaches are reclaimed land :) or at least I have never found good ones :).

I think I may have some things you can use for your straw market too :)

Sans! said...

O Drora, Cindy was just telling us at the mini meet yesterday that she wants to try making macrame bags . I must show her the ones you made out of raffia strings!!!! :)

Susanne said...

Really great baskets, Sans, thanks for the tutorial. I will try it someday..
Love, Susanne

Sans! said...

Hehe Rosanna , I wish it was really made of willow skein (I mean, what in the world is that :):) ) . I love the paper one too made by Cindy but you know her, she has magic fingers as well. And Asuka's OMG soooooooo tiny and cute, and totally her :).

Both of them left their baskets here for the Rolla house.

So do you think you can decipher the instructions in the book, Honorable Member? I read and re-read and re-read but seriously, what do they mean when they say "weave down in front of the horizontal rod, across and behind the vertical, up and in front of the next horizontal, back down and behind the same horizontal, across and in front of the vertical and up and behind the first horizontal to take you back to where you started"????!!!! HUH??????

BiWuBär said...

That really sounds like a lot of fun - I like that statement "none of us were really good at following the written word"... ;O) Your baskets turned out fantatstic, I'd bet there is more to come...


Kim said...

Wonderful baskets! I did not even dare to look at the written pages because I know it will make me want to try to "crack the code" and there are so many other things I am supposed to be finishing up right now. How can I get some of the the magic herbs??? I don't mind looking my age, but is there one that will take some of the extra jiggles off of my thighs?? A potato a day does not sound like too bad of a diet to me- as long as I was able to have a treat of oranges and figs once in awhile :) How lucky you are to be able to meet each month- and how lucky we are to get to see the results ♥

Dark Squirrel Victoria said...

Even better you are able to meet in person, you are so Lucky :)

Unknown said...

UWAHH!!! they look so good in your pics!!! i was just about to link your blog to mine, i'm writing a little about macrame ;) and then some.

WOO HOO! SUCCESS!!! let's make more baskets :)

The Old Maid said...

Read your comment to Rosanna, Sans - what an interesting horizontal instruction;D
Great baskets - all of them:) The paper one is looking most realistic but they all show your talents. It is great you can meet together once a month to make miniatures:) so have fun during every meeting:)

May said...

Te han quedado espectaulares las cestas. Muchas gracias por el tutorial. Besitos, May

About Me said...

This is a valuable tutorial, Sansl!! Thank you so much for sharing with us. It’s enjoyable to read your posts. Thanks again! :)

Jollie said...

Ohhh wauw!! Sans you and your friends did a wonderful job on these baskets!!
Thank you soooo much for your good explanation in your tutorial on how to do it, I think I will give it try also :)

Hugs, Jollie

Alison Shibata said...

Good job, Sans! Fun, yeah? Next, you must try poly clay food :)

Daydreamer said...

Sans!, Your Baskets look SO Real in the pics..... I mean they ARE REAL, of course, I meant REALISTIC in terms of scale! You would never know they were minis! I have never tried basket weaving, and as I have a nice collection of mini baskets, it falls WAAAY behind needlepoint and book making in my list of things to master... or even TRY! But your instructions certainly make it LOOK easy and fun! And with great results! Those baskets have such a lovely shape!
I envy you your group of mini-makers! What FUN to get together regularly and make minis!!!
As for Willow skein.... Willow is a tree or shrub that grows very fast, and has long supple branches and when you cut the branches off it will grow new ones quickly so they used them for baskets and fences and fishing weirs and traps in the Middle Ages. :)
And I am SO glad I am over twenty years so if I use your herbal recipe I will NOT disappear! LOL You crack me up! :)

Lataina said...

All the baskets are beautiful! Sana, you are so lucky to be able to get together with other people who enjoy miniatures. =) You all did a wonderful job!

Rosamargarita said...

Gracias por las instrucciones. De seguro haré la prueba.
Un abrazo

Rosamargarita said...

Tardé 2 horas en hacerla, estoy muy agradecida Sans! GRACIAS por compartir.
La hice!
Un beso, y muchos abrazos!

Sans! said...

This is the fastest reaction I have ever seen from a post in my blog, Rosamagarita ! I just went to your blog to see the basket you made and it is better than mine for sure :). I see that you have actually followed the book instructions on how to do the weaving at the handle-rim joint. I think I prefer yours!

I am so thankful that you linked your post back to me :) but credit goes back to the wonderful tutorial from Linnanukis at .

I am so happy to see your little basket, dear :).

Esta es la reacción más rápida que he visto en un post en mi blog, Rosamagarita! Acabo de ir a su blog para ver la canasta que ha hecho y es mejor que la mía seguro:). Veo que se han seguido las instrucciones de libro sobre cómo hacer el tejido en la articulación del mango de la llanta. Creo que prefiero el tuyo!

Estoy muy agradecido de que se ha vinculado su puesto de nuevo a mí:) pero el crédito se remonta a la maravillosa tutorial de Linnanukis en

Estoy tan feliz de ver a su cesta de la pequeña, querida:).

besos y abrazos :)

Sans! said...

Ana, no matter how much of a grouch I start my day with (which is exactly what happened on Sunday when we met) , this 2 girlfriends of mine would invariably cheer me up. The 3 of us agreed that this basket making session was the most successful mini making session we had done thus far.

So many things I love about our gathering...the sense of accomplishment at having cracked the code and the experiment with the different materials , even varnishing the strings, our weaving skills, making the ends meet (strings) etc etc and of course all the chit chats in between and yes the food! Asuka brought casserole from Indonesia , cookies we call "Love letters" her aunt made and we had churros (Singapore version) with prawn paste from Malaysia and mum's soup.

It's been 8 meetings and we still get really excited before each meet. These are the good things in life :)

Rosamargarita said...

OK...OK le daré el crédito en mi blog! No lo leí, leo en inglés, pero no todo.
Es problema el asa? trataré de explicarlo!
Más abrazos

Sans! said...

María Luisa, tienes que prometerme: la próxima vez que visite Tailandia y que se ya la familia de su esposo está allí, usted debe tratar de escala en Singapur. Tienes que visitar! Usted será el próximo miembro honorario de nuestro encuentro!

Siento que estamos tan cerca físicamente ahora que su familia está a sólo 3 horas de distancia en avión!

El tutorial de Linnanukkis es fabuloso, ¿no? Creo que las cestas se ven muy bien con flores de loto:)

Sans! said...

Jejejeje Rosamagarita:) todos somos tan asustado ahora con este problema de crédito:). No ha hecho nada malo en absoluto! No soy yo quien tiene que tener cuidado:).

Sólo quiero decirle que usted ha sido tan maravilloso!

Miles de besos:)

malu2 said...

Sans, problemas de traductor,todos vivimos en España,fuimos a Tailandía,toda la familia de viaje de placer,tendría que haber un idioma universal para todo el mundo,todo sería más facil.Espero haberme explicado bien.Besos.

Kikka N said...

The baskets are amazing! Just like real ones!

Terelo said...

Un tutorial muy bien documentado.
Genial, gracias por compartirlo.
Saludos. Teresa

Creations by Marie Antoinette and Edie Marie said...

Hello Dear Sans,
These baskets are just to fab.I love them. Talk about being talented,You are very much so.I've always love visiting here.You always amaze me.
Thank you so much for stoping by.I'm glad you liked my new doll.I've been so slow in making anything lately. I can always count on your good words.
May God bless you Hon,
Stay sweet and keep creating your beautiful work,
XXOO Marie Antionette

Margriet said...

What wonderful baskets!!! Love the big one! it's wonderful to craft together with friends...tomorrow our dollshouse club will meet at my place..we try to meet once a month too!
Thank you for the tutorial, I really am going to try this someday! I love baskets!!

Rosamargarita said...

Hello Sans! Maybe you are interested in this picasa (it is mine) it is abot the basquet.

Ascension said...

Es un gran tutorial y vosotras habeis seguido las intrucciones de maravilla.
Seguro que en esas reuniones lo pasais genial.
Mis felicitaciones a Cindy y Asuka sus cestas son preciosas y la tuya tambien.
Las frutas de
Kiva son fantasticas y ademas no se pudren.
Gracias por poner fotos de el montaje, es mas sencillo de aprender.
Por cierto, yo tengo mas de 20 años, no te quedaran unas poquitas de esas hiervas para mi jejejejejeje
besitos ascension

Sans! said...

Caterina :):), you made me laugh out loud (LOL!) hehe, didn't know that the translator is case sensitive :). Ok Ok I will try not to upsize my middle letters :) but you know Caterina, I fall asleep reading my sentences. That's why I started typing like this :). I usually blog till late into the night , you see.

You really don't need to use that plastic line. Just use wire because we found this plastic line too thick in the end . Have you seen Rosamagarita's ? I think she just use strings or wires and her basket turned out brilliantly!

Sans! said...

Susanne, I remember the post where you had some straw hats in the background? These baskets will look great there :)

Sans! said...

Birgit, you are shhhhharrrp! Yes, we are now addicted to making baskets. At the next meeting, we have decided to do even more baskets, maybe a different pattern and then tarot read in between ;p

Sans! said...

Kim, when you find that thing that takes away the jiggle, I am the first in line ok? I will do anything, be your slave, feed your chickens, walk your dog :):). I have had thunder thighs since forever! :)

I have never liked potato in whatever form but things that go with it like bacon bits, gravy, sour cream...yummmmmmms :). So I can have 1 potato a day and still put on weight ! :).

I have started running , Kim :) and it feels goooood :) and yes, one of the best things about my miniature world are the friends I have made and when you get to meet them once a month , it is blissssss!

Sans! said...

Vic, it's amazing but all 3 of us feel really lucky that we get to do this once a month :)

Sans! said...

Cindy! Definitely! See if I can find some new material in India :)

And then bring the macrame at the next meet! It looks awesome on your blog!

Sans! said...

O my, Ewa, I have verti-cal reading those hori-zontal instructions! :):)

You know, no matter what we did during these meetings, even some days when we don't mini at all (very rare ) , one thing we always have is fun :).

Sans! said...

May, gracias! Gracias por pensar en mí y me envíe el video! :)

Sans! said...

Hello Peiwen, it's so good to see you here! I believe you know the other 2 girls as well? :) And Rosanna ? :):)

I am glad you enjoy my posts :). You made me a very happy camper :)

Sans! said...

Jollie, when you do, you must show us your baskets ok? :):)

O my, I absolutely love the pictures you sent me :). I am going to take my time to read your email slowly and savour all the eye candy.

I still haven't packed and it's almost 12 midnight and I still have work tomorrow and .....yes, I much rather be here with you guys :):)

Sans! said...

Alison :) thank you. We went to your blog to look at your baskets too :):) and at the moment, I am still inclined to leave food to masters like you :)

Flora said...

And to think I was going to lose this wonderful and useful post!
This is my favorite model of basket, but I had no idea howdo it ...
Now, I can probably not the same, but at least there is the idea :-)
Yours are too cute, absolutely in tune with the whole scene.
The fruit is fabulous and the background music is a blessing for all my anxieties ...
Once again:
Hurrah Sans :-)
Mini hugs, Flora

Flor said...

Sans!! que cosas más, pero más hermosas haces!! Las canastas son bellas ,bellas!!! Ahorita guardo el tutorial muchas gracias!!!!No creo que me salgan como las tuyas... pero lo intentare ( ;
Un beso♥

Sans! said...

Betsyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!! On top of the sweetest words, today I received this incredible parcel from you. I am hours away from my trip but once I am back, I will show the world your amazingly beautiful gift. I showed it to my friend Pam and she was just ooohing and ahhhhing the whole time :):):).

Thank you, my dear sweet Betsy! I will be back on the 16th :):) Then I will catch up with you. I am already thinking of how I should title that post :).

And why am I not surprised that you will now what willow skein is used for in the medieval days ? :):)

Sans! said...

Thank you Lataina!

I am very lucky to be a part of this group of artisans I have the utmost respect for. Their work is crazy amazing!

Sans! said...

Rosamargarita, OMG! Those photographs are soooooooo detailed . THANK YOU!! Did you do them just to show us how to weave the joints???

I LOVE THIS COMMUNITY! This is what I call a community! So much giving and sharing!

Sans! said...

¡Oh, María Luisa, Sabia Que Todos vivian en España :):). CREI Que habia dicho Su Marido es de Tailandia :):). Ok, Ahora te entiendo perfectamente:):)

Por cierto, creo que las imágenes hablan en un lenguaje universal :):).


Sans! said...

Kikka, THANK YOU :):)

Sans! said...

Así que bueno verte aquí para ver el tiempo de 1st Teresa :):). Gracias por su interés en mi blog:)

Sans! said...

Like how I count on yours, Marie Antoinette.

I just love reading about your dolls . You never cease to amaze me with how you just keep coming up with new ideas on what's to be underneath her skirt ;p !

One day, you should just hold an exhibition of all your dolls. I will pay money to go see them :) Really I will!

Sans! said...

Margriet, I was fumbling along in my 1st year on my own when I started this passion. Then , I relied heavily on my virtual friends to guide me and of course, I strive on their encouragement. Would you believe it took an American friend to visit me here before I met Cindy and Asuka? Before that, it was another US blogger who introduced me to Cindy's blog :).

But there's no stopping us now. Ad I hope it is the same for you and your mini club. These monthly meetings really help us improve even better :). Try to really make sure you meet. It is so easy to let our "real" life overwhelm us only for us to realise how important this is to us as well.

If something makes us happy, then it must be important :).

Sans! said...

Ascensión, hemos hablado mucho durante la semana pasada que me sentía yo sé que incluso mejor ahora. :) Y yo le digo, la Ascensión, tiene la belleza más importante de todos. Eso está dentro de ti! Ese tipo de belleza nunca se desvanecerá por lo que no es necesario ningún hierbas mágicas en absoluto!

muah muah muah :):)

Sans! said...

Flora Flora Flora, where have you been? Actually, I thought since it was your birthday and wedding anniversary, I would give you some time to spend with your hubby :):). So I didn't come a knocking on your door ;p!

Again, we share the same taste. I have always love this basket. So it was a real treat for me that I could find a tutorial for it and have Cindy and Asuka here to experiment making it.

At the end of the session, we were all sighing with contentment. Finally, Asuka said, we made something that we all could be happy with. And yes, finally, we make a post about the Gathering :):). It has taken us almost 10 months :):)

Sans! said...

Flor, que se descarga si la cesta no va a salir bien. Usted tiene el don. Usted puede reducir cualquier cosa y todo y todos son realistas!

No puedo esperar a ver sus cestas!

besos y abrazos

Flor said...

Un besito Sans♥ ¡Gracias!!!

malu2 said...

Perfecto,perfecto,el traductor.Besos.

Maria Blanca "AyamontinoMaria" said...

Fantastic tutorial! Thanks, Sans...Hugs.

Unknown said...

*sits in a corner awaiting your return*

*fiddles with bits of paper rope*


Rosamargarita said...

Sans! said...
Rosamargarita, OMG! Those photographs are soooooooo detailed . THANK YOU!! Did you do them just to show us how to weave the joints???

Sí Sans! las hice solamente para mostrar la union de las asas. Creí entender que era un problema?
Un abrazo

vie à la campagne said...

It's adorable! thanks for sharing the step by step

Virginia isabel said...

Te has salido con las cestas. Probare yo a ver si me salen. jaja
Aqui en españa en una cadena va a echar durante tres miercoles tres peliculas de bollywood y pienso verlas porque me corde de ti.
Solo por la escenografia merece la pena. ya te dire a ver que tal.
empiezan por la de SAAWARIYA.

Daydreamer said...

Thank you, Dear Sans! for letting me know it arrived safely before you left on your Ashram Adventure.... otherwise I would have worried that it arrive while you are away and get lost.... the imagination does run away sometimes! So Thank You! :) And I AM kind of excited to see what YOU do with it! :):)

Nuskina said...

thanks for the tutorial!!! it's great!!! I'll try!

Amy said...

Wow. I dub that insanely cool.x

Sans! said...

Jejejeje Flor, I just translated my reply to you so I could understand myself :)

Sans! said...

Teehee <--- lenguaje universal, Maria Luisa :)

Sans! said...

Maria Bianca, thank you for your comment because it brought me to you again!

I have just visited your blog as well and I just want to go back again and again. When things are not so crazy here, believe me, I will. :)

Sans! said...


I am getting so many response for this post. Must be because of the "willow skein" you made lah! :) I love that I am getting the credit and attention that I don't deserve. mwahhahahaha:)

Anyway, I just saw the picnic basket you made for the picnic entry on your FB! It's s&it crazy good! Is that the new material? Ok, don't tell me, show me at the next meet! We are due for the March one liao!

Sans! said...

No hay problema, ahora, Rosamargarita! Tú eres el mejor! Número uno!!!!!!!!!

Sans! said...

Vie a la campagne! Love your blog too! Thank you !

Sans! said...

Virginia Isabel, soy tan afortunada! :):) En esta comunidad, cada vez que alguien ve algo en la India, que piensa de mí :):).

¿Te he dicho que vivo a unos 200 metros de distancia de un cine que sólo muestra películas de Bollywood. Mi casa es un tiro de piedra de Little India! :) Pero sólo me encantan las películas de palacios indios .. jajajaja!

2 películas tengo que recomendar encarecidamente: Jodha Aqbar y Kama Sutra (A Tale of Love).

I will try and find Saawariya

Sans! said...

Yo Betsy!!! Your art was the 1st post I wanted to do when I came back but I just didn't have any photo opportunity.

I must admit I was also quite affected by the crises in Japan and didn't feel like blogging about my happy time in India.

Work has also taken up some time but now I can breathe again and maybe I will blog soon. Including your gift, I have lined up at least 4 posts for this month :).

Sans! said...

Ani, your little basket for the cat is marvellous!

Sans! said...

Thank you Amy! I too share the same view about your blog :)

dalesdreams said...

I absolutely loved this post and I can certainly see why so many others did as well! :)

Brought tears to my eyes reading the first few lines. Memories! Some day, I hope to come back and visit you all again. :)

The baskets you all did are wonderful! I confess, I can't do according to the written word either. I take the materials, look at pictures or just let my hands do.

When we were camping one summer, the girls learned how to weave baskets. They learned from a sweet Native American girl. They did it with pine needles, which, now that I'm thinking about it, lends it self perfectly to miniature scale.

If you want any pine needles, just let me know. ;) I don't recall seeing any pine trees in Singapore.

They have to be soaked in water and then they sewed them together, while weaving? does that make sense? with thread or embroidery floss.

The most amazing thing to me, is, I can still hear all of your voices in my head when I read your words. :)

Sans! said...

And we hear yours , Dale :). I may meet Cindy tomorrow for the March Gathering. I believe in almost every meet, there were mention of our associate members, Dale.

No, we do not have pine tree but I will be really interested in seeing you weave one . Blog about it if you do? I found out from Alison and also Cindy that soaking material if they are natural , eg leaves before weaving is almost a must.

I think we will make more baskets at subsequent meet with new materials.

dalesdreams said...

Have fun! I'll be thinking of you both. :)

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