Isn't this a beautiful country lane? I travel this driveway each week to our down-the-road-a-bit neighbor's house to pick up raw milk...some for drinking and some for Hannah's soap.During the last few weeks, this is the scene that's greeted me as I drive up...lots of walnuts have fallen from the trees on the left onto our friends' driveway and all along the sides. Sometimes the driveway has been so full of walnuts that it's hard to drive through them all.
After asking if we could gather the walnuts to use for Granny's stain for her baskets, we've been gathering walnuts each week....in fact, three huge boxes full of walnuts!
Here's where some of them are now....drying on our picnic table: The next step is cracking them open and putting them in a bucket of boiling water to help bring the walnut stain out more freely: We are waiting for this stain to be ready for dipping baskets. Granny recently received a custom order for 3 large baskets to be ready just before Thanksgiving. Here she is having a grand time making the first basket: In this next picture, Granny has woven quite a bit of the basket with the colors specified by the customer...brown, orange, and green: Now comes the binding around the top, and Sarah helps Granny since the basket is a big one and the weavers are extra long. This project has taken quite a bit of material to make, and much labor was involved: Sometimes even though all the measurements are correct when the basket is laid out, the size tends to grow a bit as the basket gets woven. Normally, this isn't a problem since all of Granny's baskets are unique and different in their own special way. That's the beauty of a handmade item.
In this case, however, the customer wanted the three baskets to fit specifically into three shelves in a piece of furniture, and they had to be the exact measurements.
After re-measuring, we found out the basket was just too big for the customer's purpose. So...once the walnut stain is ready, Granny will dip this basket and put it in her Etsy shop for sale. If you think you might be interested in a large colorful basket, keep an eye out in the next two weeks for that listing on Etsy.
In the meantime, she's made another one for the customer -- almost identical except smaller, and this time the measurements were right! Now....two more to go to have this order complete!