Back from a great Christmas break away.  Spent the holidays with our family in Virginia and North Carolina and cherished the time with our three granddaughters. 

Completed all the basket orders due for Christmas before we left.  Hope they added a little something special to a few Christmas mornings.  Now, time to get to the orders due in January;     first up will be two Mushroom Hunter packs to be shipped to Spain, followed by a custom designed Mushroom pack for a client in California. 

Just sitting here thinking about my business as the new year unfolds.  I never thought that this little enterprise would grow as it has.  When I retired from a long career as an educator, I knew I did not want to sit still.  I needed to keep busy and while the weaving and woodworking business was still small, I felt it had the potential to grow and mature.

Nine years after retiring (and almost fourteen years after selling my first basket) I’m awed and so thankful for the growth and maturation of my operation.

I still weave every basket myself.  I have no employees and can promise each customer a hand made, authentically styled basket.  Over the years, I’ve met so many wonderful people.  My customers have come from, literally, all over then world.  All have been great to work with.  I hope they appreciate the baskets half as much as I appreciate them!   Also, adding weaving classes has been a wonderful experience.  I’ve never given a class, either off site or here in my shop, that I didn’t enjoy thoroughly.  My “Wall of Fame” bulletin board in the shop is filled with folks who have produced a wide array of baskets in varying sizes, shapes and styles…each one unique and beautiful!

2012 was a busy year.  I tweaked the basic packbasket design to accommodate mushroom hunters and saw that strike a chord.  About 80% of the holiday orders were from mushroom gathering devotees.  I did a limited edition packbasket ornament series for Adirondack Life magazine which sold out.  I cut back on the shows I do as the shop and class activities kept me on the go.

Of all the holiday orders I filled, I think the one that was the most fun was a mini fishing creel ordered by a customer whose husband had built a mini strip canoe and wanted a complimentary piece to display beside it.   

The photo here shows the mini next to a full sized traditional creel.  I duplicated the features of the larger one as best I could and even added a hand cut leather strap.  The result was quite pleasing.

It was a little trickier to pull it all together due to the smaller size, but I think it came out well. 

This year promises to be busy and productive.  I’m looking forward to both new and returning customers and many more classes.  I so appreciate everyone who has patronized my operation and sees  value in my pieces.

Have a happy, healthy and fulfilling 2013.  Thanks everyone.

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