Longleaf Pine Needle Basket

Good morning. The temperature has taken a nosedive. Our high for today and tomorrow is only 60º. 60º would be fine if the wind wasn’t blowing and the sun was out. But, the wind is blowing and unfortunately the sun is nowhere to be seen; so the “feels like” temperature is much lower. The heat even kicked on this morning. It will be a good day to do errands and be inside.

I did finish my 2nd pine needle basket.

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I used a wood scroll bottom I found at Hobby Lobby for $1.00 and about 48 yards of natural color artificial sinew I also found at Hobby Lobby. The sinew was a 50 yard spool for $7.99. I used a 40% off coupon to help cut the cost. I had the wooden beads in my stash. Using the longleaf pine needles we collected, prepared and cleaned in Alabama, making a pine needle basket is one of the least expensive of my hobbies. It just takes time, patience and some creativity. And, being able to find the right pine needles to use.

The bow is not permanently fixed. I’m not sure if I want to leave it or take it off. I could add a couple of beads to the bow ends. Just not sure yet. I also need to add a preservative to my baskets; like shellac.

Meanwhile, I’ve started another basket and finished reading a book. Life is good. Loving the lifestyle.

Until next time,

Kathryn

 

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Oh Poop

Good morning. If it isn’t one thing, it’s another. Yesterday Clyde went to dump our holding tanks for the first time since we’ve been here and I heard my name being called loud and clear. I came over to find him holding the sewer hose, trying to keep the poop from spewing all over. He needed me to close the valve. Apparently the sewer line was blocked.  One of our new friends (the couple who lent us one of their golf carts) stopped by and asked “now what did you break”.  He immediately called the office to report our problem. They send over a crew to work on the issue. Unfortunately the problem couldn’t be solved. They ended up bringing over PVC pipe to extend our line and connected us to a different sewer line. That’s fine with us. The problem is solved and we didn’t have to move to a different site. We like our site.

We haven’t got everything put back away in the basement storage areas yet from our water tank fiasco, as we are trying to get the storage bays thoroughly dry before doing so. But, I have moved our patio mat off the cement patio to enlarge our sitting area. It also will help make it a little more level, as the edge of cement and grass under our mat was a trip hazard.

It was a beautiful day yesterday with some sun. I was able to sit outside and work on my basket. I will post a picture of my basket when it is completed.

Loving our lifestyle.

Until next time,

Kathryn

 

 

 

 

 

Quiet Sunday

Good morning. I think I could get used to these temperatures very easily. Mid-high 70’s is perfect. My only complaint would be the wind we had yesterday. It made it a little difficult to work with the lightweight pine needles outside.

We were able to get our fire stick working yesterday. That’s a nice addition to our antenna TV. We now have quite a few options available to us for viewing. Yesterday was football, of course.

Enjoy your day. Loving our lifestyle.

Until next time,

Kathryn

Victoria, Texas

Good morning. We are here in Victoria, Texas where we spent the night in a Walmart parking lot. This is a huge parking lot. We had no problem finding a spot away from the crowds. We are also along the curb where we were able to put the bedroom slide out without any problems. That’s always nice.

We only drove 304 miles yesterday, but it was steady rain almost the entire day. Plus, driving through Houston during that rain didn’t help, nor did the construction cement blocks, which Clyde hates with a passion, that went on for miles and miles. It is still raining this morning. Hopefully it will have had enough by the time we are ready to leave. I know I have.

We also tried to fill up with propane again. We stopped at a Flying J, pulled up to the propane tank and Clyde went in to inquire about filling us up. When he came back he said you won’t believe this, the guy won’t come out in the rain. So no propane again. I’m not sure if it was a safety issue or if he just didn’t want to get wet. Thankfully our friend told us where to get our needed propane when we get down to Harlingen. He says it’s an easy in and easy out. That’s one less thing to worry about.

On the plus side, there is a Hobby Lobby in Victoria where we stopped just before settling down here for the night. I was able to find the artificial sinew I need to make the pine needle baskets with. Now I will be able to put some of those long pine needles we have been collecting to good use. See my big smile.😊

Loving our lifestyle.

Until next time,

Kathryn

 

Last Day of Nice Weather

Good morning. I hope everyone had a nice Christmas. We were able to face time with our 5-year-old triplet grandchildren while they opened their gifts. It was nice to be a part of their excitement. They are at such at fun age. We also enjoyed a tasty potluck dinner with other campers in the park. Clyde loves potlucks. He gets to try other campers favorite dishes.

This is our last week here in Gulf Shores. We leave here New Years Day to make our way down to Harlingen, Texas where we will spend the next 3 months. I am looking forward to the warmer weather and time with our friends.

The weather forecast for the remainder of our time here does not look good. Rain and thunderstorms start tomorrow with no stopping in sight. That just means we need to enjoy today outside.

I plan to collect my last batch of pine needles for basket making. I hope to have collected enough to make a few baskets throughout the year. The Longleaf Pine needles are best collected in the fall and the Longleaf Pine trees are only found here in the south. Our pine trees up north do not have needles ideal for basket making. They are much shorter. This park has many beautiful trees perfect for collecting the needed needles. The more we collect the better we get at finding and knowing which needles will work best.

After collecting we have been taking time to take the ends off the needles and clean them in hot water to remove any dirt and bugs. We then have to dry them thoroughly so they don’t mildew. Who knew the dashboard of the motorhome would be the perfect drying rack, full sun and out-of-the-way.

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Loving our lifestyle.

Until next time,

Kathryn

Eastern Screech Owl

Good morning. Yesterday was another wet rainy day. Today should be a bit better. No sun, but thankfully the rain has moved out for a few days.

In-between the rain drops yesterday, we went up to the nature center to see a presentation about the Eastern Screech Owl. Her name is Archimedes. She has resided in the nature center for many years. As she only has one eye she is unable to survive in the wild. She lost her eye while hunting for a mouse. She wasn’t paying attention to what else was around and was hit by a car. The doctors were able to save her life, but not her eye.

Screech owls, unlike other owls, have perpendicular ears. Meaning they cannot tell immediately which direction a sound is coming from because a sound will hit both ears at the same time (like humans). With other types of owls their ears are at an angle so sounds that are coming from below are heard by the lower ear first and sounds that are coming from up high are heard from the higher ear first. This makes it quicker and easier for them to know where to look for both animals who prey on them and animals they prey on. Screech owls are also much smaller in size than other types of owls. They are sometimes mistaken for a baby Great Horned Owl.

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Eastern Screech Owl

I finished my first pine needle basket yesterday. It’s not perfect, but I am really happy with how it turned out. I still need to seal it with some shellac. Others have used bees-wax, varnish or Mod Podge to seal and protect their baskets. I’m not sure what is best or which I will use. I do know that bees-wax is very expensive but is natural and a highly recommended sealant.

I now know that each basket uses quite a few pine needles. Which means more walks on the trails looking for nice long clean pine needles. I also now know that each basket takes some time to create. With each stitch I take I need to add another pine needle. It is a time-consuming process, but very relaxing. I guess that’s why I enjoy doing needlework.

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1st Pine Needle Basket – 5″w x 2 1/2″h

I won’t be able to start on another basket until I purchase some waxed thread or artificial sinew. But that’s not a problem. It will give me time to collect, clean and prepare more pine needles.

Loving our lifestyle. Have a nice day.

Until next time,

Kathryn

Pine Needle Basket Class

Good morning. This week sure has gone by quickly. I can’t believe it’s Friday already. Not that one day is any different from another for us. Today is going to be a bit warmer than it has been the last few days, so we may be able to sit outside for a while. A nice walk will be nice too.

Yesterday was my pine needle basket class. As I had mentioned before, I wanted to take the class last year when we were here but it wasn’t offered until January and we were gone by then. There were about 25 of us in the class. Two were men. The instructor had many helpers, who had taken the class in previous years, which was nice as they were able to give us the individual attention needed to get us started.

We were asked to bring some pine needles (or pine straw as the instructor called it). We were given a starter kit with a black walnut slice, needle and artificial sinew. She went over all the basics with us; how to collect and prepare the needles to work with. I was glad I had asked questions and looked online prior to class. I was able to have that part done. My needles were cleaned and ready to sew with. The time in class went by quickly. Basket making is a slow process. It takes time to collect, clean and prepare the needles. Creating a basket also is a slow process.

We were told that no two baskets are alike. Say you really like a basket you made and you want to make one exactly like it for someone else. Not going to happen. Even though you created the first one, no matter how hard you try the next one will always be a bit different.

I think I caught on pretty quickly. My previous experience with needlework helped. I already knit, crochet, cross stitch, embroider, quilt, sew, bead, etc.. This is just one more type of needlework craft to add to my forte. Will I stop doing my other types of needlework. No, making baskets is kind of messy. It is best to work on outside. But, I will be enjoying this craft now too.

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Start of my 1st Basket and prepared Pine Needles

Loving our lifestyle.

Until next time,

Kathryn