Sunday, May 18, 2008


I have kind of a mental list of things I'd like to learn to do at some point in my life. It's constantly evolving, but I'm slowly but steadily working my way through it. I only visit briefly at some of the stops on this list (tatting, stained glass, lampwork, spinning), maybe revisiting every once in a while, whereas at others I linger for months...years...maybe a lifetime.

I spent a glorious yesterday at The Mercy Center, an oceanside retreat, learning the basics of pine needle basketry. Learning to make baskets out of pine needles has been on my mental list for years. As a matter of fact, I've seen online instructions and knew enough that I was sure I could sit down and do it at just about any time, but I never seemed to get around to it, until now. When Paige found this workshop offering and asked if I wanted to go with her, I jumped at the chance. I had no idea what a treat we were in for.

This is the view from where we did our work among a dozen or so other women, basking in the spring sunshine among flowering plants, gardens, wind chimes, garden art.

This is the Mercy Center's beach, where we took a little stroll after a yummy lunch in the Center's dining room. Sailboats on the horizon. Picture perfect day.

And here's my little pine needle basket-in-progress. I'm making it a size that will fit over a big cottage cheese container, with the goal of putting my orchid's pot inside. Raffia from a little stash in the basement, pine needles from neighbor's enormous tree, beads from you know who. I'm hoping the water-like colorway of the beads will complement the earthiness of the brown needles when they dry, along with the natural raffia. Such a beginner effort, but I'm loving every minute of this slow but satisfying project. I'm not one to have a million holders-of-stuff gathered around my house, so I don't know yet if pine needle basketry will be a short stop on this life-learning journey or a much more in-depth exploration, but I'll never forget the location of those first few stitches and the pause to enjoy what nature had to offer on that day.
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Blogger thinggtwoo said...

The Mercy Center is a stunningly beautiful place, with a peace about it that I have found in few other places. Your basket is lovely, and I'm happy you had such a good time!

10:12 PM  

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