Monday, October 26, 2015


I admit it, I suffer from Artist Deficit Disorder.

My first Pine Needle Basket
Gotta get my fix on art classes, or learning a new craft technique or just downloading the 50% coupon for local craft stores to peruse the aisles for a new toy to play with.

Outdoor deck at Reserve

After my hikes at Wildcat Mountain State Park I headed over to the Kickapoo Valley Reserve for a class on Pine Needle Basketry, offered by the Driftless Folk School.

There's so much to share in that last sentence.

Kickapoo Valley Reserve-a preserved wetland gem of over 8000 acres. Lots of outdoor recreational activities and educational center. A must do for another time.

Driftless Folk School- a regional organization in the Kickapoo Valley offering hands-on classes in the culinary arts, crafts, homesteading, farming, wilderness skills, alternative energies and sustainable living. I like their motto "Linking the wisdom of the past with the aspirations of the future".

Okay maybe it's the old hippie coming out but I would love to take every class they have. So I picked my first class because it's used so often in gourd design.

Pine Needle Basketry- a great introduction into using needles from the long leafed pine tree (southern tree) and sewing/wrapping them together with a synthetic sinew into coils around a base. The teacher Roberta Condon of Portage, Wisconsin is an accomplished pastel artist and basket weaver. She shared her expertise and enthusiasm for this ancient craft with new modern twists and turns.

I think a trip to her studio is in order.
Roberta Condon artist
Roberta Condon artist

Roberta Condon artist


  1. It looks like wonderful new projects await you. The Gulla women make gorgeous woven baskets.

  2. This is so timely as we recently passed through the low country where the Gulla ladies sell their baskets. I love the baskets you've shown, so beautiful. I recall taking a fairy furniture class at Shake Rag Alley....this looks like a similar set up. It's always good to have a little get away and learn a new skill.