Welcome to Char Ciammaichella's Blog!

This is the place to stay connected to all those people with an interest is weaving. Whether it be baskets or wire weaving.

I also hope to use the blog to stay connected to all those great students I meet while teaching classes.

Please feel welcome to leave messages and good thoughts here!

Check out my website for great basket weaving kits, patterns, chain maille jewelry, and basket charms.


Friday, May 6, 2011


Is Spring ever going to arrive in Ohio???  I know I am really ready for it.  We have had a really long and snowy winter.  But, I have kept myself busy!  Had a couple of great conventions in North Carolina and Rockton Illinois in March.  A few of my new baskets and kits have been finally added to my website.  My most popular basket this year seems to be the Flower Berry Market Basket.  

Will be teaching it at several conferences this year.  In North Carolina, we had time at the end of class to learn new lashing techniques.  I will be giving classes these options throughout the year!!  Sign up for a class!!!!

  Also, "Hope"  is a good basket to use as a gift for for Breast Cancer Awareness fund raisers.

Last week I had the honor to teach a basket weaving class for a friend at the Kentucky School for the Blind in Louisville Kentucky.  I taught 5 students in the 4th grade class.  They did a great job! And it was a great experience for me.

These last few years I have really enjoyed making the silver chainmaille bracelets and necklaces as well as the stamped silver necklaces. Unfortunately, I will not be making them much longer. :(  When I started the chainmaille, silver was about 9.00 per ounce,  this week it almost made it to 50.00 an ounce!!  This will make it very tough to create and sell the jewelry.  I do have a bit made for now and just hope the price begins to fall.  I will keep playing and learning new patterns but will use copper or enameled copper for awhile and hope the price of silver starts going down. 

Time to get creative and come up with new baskets for proposals for 2012 already.  Any one need a basket for a particular use?? That's how I begin the process.  Have a purpose in mind, decide the size needed, any specific colors, then begin weaving and playing with color placement and weaving techniques. 
Help me out here--
Any specific baskets needed?
What techniques do you need to learn?
What's your most popular color?
Which do you like best, woven bases or wood bases?

I appreciate any suggestions!

Thanks much,  Char

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Spring is on the way!! (I hope)

Holidays are well over with and I think I have found the last of the decorations to put away.  Looked up in the livingroom the other day and realized the huge Christmas wreath was still hainging!!  I've been staying busy making up kits and new baskets for 2011.  My teaching schedule will start in March with a trip to North Carolina Basketweaving Conference in Raleigh N.C.  Will be teaching the Autumn Bowl and the Berry Flower baskets. 

Autumn Bowl

Berry Flower

One of my winter projects was to make a Nantucket Tapestry Purse.  I saw fellow weaver Dianne Gleixner carring one and I knew I had the creel purse mold.  Bought some nice yarns from Dianne and started it months ago!  I finally finished it a couple weeks ago.  Sent it off to wood worker Fred Kohler and he made the lid for me.  It turned out so nice.  I really love it!  Am very pleased with it!

Enough on the basket front, now to the jewelry!  Unfortunately, not a lot to report in that the price of silver has gone off the charts!  When I started with the chainmaille bracelets, silver was 10 to 12.00 an ounce.  Today it is 34.53 an ounce.  :( 
I have been playing with some enameled copper rings.  They are copper, with an enameled coating that comes in many colors.  I will be offering the enameled copper bracelets on the basket weaving cruise scheduled for Feb of 2012.  Who knows what the price of silver will be by then.  The enameled copper is a cheaper way to learn, then you can move on to silver! 

My teaching schedule for 2011:
NCBA-Raleigh, NC   3/17-20th, 2011
LLBWA- Rockton, Illinois   3/25-26th, 2011
Bluegrass Area Basketmakers Seminar- Jabez, Ky  6/7-11th, 2011
TBA- Newport, TN 7/20-23rd, 2011
Northwest Hoosier Basket Guild-Valporaiso, Ind  Sept. 29-Oct. 1st. 2011
AMB-Lansing, MI-Oct. 12-16th, 2011

Basketweaving Cruise!!  Feb 11-19th 2012
Check it out!  Sounds like lots of fun
Just a note:  If you are planning to attend any of the conferences and would like to order kits from the website, let me know and I can bring the orders along so you can save on shipping costs!
Visit www.charsweavings.com to see all my basket kits and jewelry creations!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Happy New Year to All!!

The Holidays sure do pass by quickly.  You work a long time getting ready and it's over so fast!  We had a great Holiday week.  Finally, all 3 of my boys were home for the week!  Got very hectic but was very nice. 

Doug and Kim- Drove in
From Texas

Alan and Ari- Al was happy
with his Great Lakes
Christmas Ale

Joey and Deanna- The tree
They picked it out and helped decorate it!

And we can't forget Griffin! (my Grand Dog)  He rode here in the back of a very small car from Texas.  He sure was a good boy!

Griffin keeping me company while I read!

For the new year, I've been sending out basket proposals for Conferences in 2011.  Making new baskets, dyeing reed and "playing" with designs.  I know it's a bit early, but here's a new spring basket!
Chasing Flowers
Weaving this is fun!  Techniques include 3 rod arrow, using 3 colors of round reed and chase weaving (hence the name!) using 2 styles of weavers- a flat oval weaver and round reed.  The metal flowers are added when the basket is finished. 
Check out my website http://www.charsweavings.com/ to see several new basket kits. 
Also new are the bracelets I made for Christmas presents! 
Bracelets are a 2/1 weave with individual jump rings.  Charms are individually stamped with the children's initials.  I also added the Angel charm.  These can be made with or without the addition of the birthstone charm.  Think about Mother's Day gifts!!
 -for Mom, or Grandma!!

My teaching schedule as it stands for now!

NCBA-Raleigh, NC   3/17-20th, 2011
LLBWA- Rockton, Illinois   3/25-26th, 2011
Bluegrass Area Basketmakers Seminar- Jabez, Ky  6/7-11th, 2011
TBA- Newport, TN 7/20-23rd, 2011

Basketweaving Cruise!!  Feb 11-19th 2012
Check it out!  Sounds like lots of fun

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Getting ready for the Holidays!

Spent the last week getting ready for the Holidays!  Making a few gifts, cleaning, and making cookie dough.  Will bake next week!  This sure worked good for me this year.  Just made the dough, labeled it and put it in the fridge.  Will bake later! 

Dick, Joey and his girlfriend Deanna trudged out to cut our tree.  Snow was a couple feet deep but they found a great one!  It's about 9 1/2" tall!  Not sure how they even got it home.

        Deanna's behind Joe trying to
            walk in his footsteps!

 My Mother-In-Law has to many Grandchildren to fit on a necklace so I came up with this bracelet.  It's a 2/2 chain with small silver discs.  I stamped the initials of all the grandchildren on each disc.  Then added a small birthstone charm next to the disc.  And of course had to add the angel disc!

Basket teaching schedule for 2011
North Carolina Basketweaving Convention  3/17-20, 2011
Bluegrass Area BasketMakers Seminar  6/7-11, 2011
Tennessee Basketrty Association  7/20-23, 2011

BasketWeaving Cruise!!  Feb 11-19, 2012

Monday, December 6, 2010

Holiday Madness!

I had a holiday craft show at my house last weekend and am trying to recuperate form it!  Had to haul my livingroom furniture out and move tables in!  I think it went well.  Had a lot of shoppers.  Thanks to all who came by.  It was great seeing folks I have not seen in awhile! 

A new item I made for the show was a challenge.  It's the Snowman Necklace and Earrings!  The sterling silver discs are stamped and the little copper nose is soldered onto the silver.  It was a challenge for me because I didn't do much soldering before this.  I think they turned out great!  Was very pleased.  What do you all think??  Now I'm ready to take on more soldering!  Want to bezel some stones.  January is my play time so I hpope to get the stones I have made into necklaces. 

On the basket weaving front, things have been equally busy!  Sending out proposals for next year's conferences.  So far, I will be at NCBA,and Jabez Kentucky. 
 At NCBA, March 17th-20th 2011 classes will be:
The Holiday Gift Basket

Several different tie-ons are available for this basket.  2 hour class on Thursday.

The Autumn Bowl

You'll learn chase weaving as
well as 3 rod arrow using 3 colors of
 round reed. Will be a fun class!

Berry Flower Techniques include twill weave following a graph and using different colors of round reed.  Several different tie-ons will be available for the front of the basket.
Hope to see many of you weavers there!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

AMB Convention

Marcia with her basket!

The Association of Michigan Basketmakers put on a very successful conference a couple weeks ago!  What great people!  The Vendor's Extravaganza went over well with both students and vendors.  Many vendors offered specials throughout the evening.  I had a give away!  For everyone who purchased something, their name went into a Basket (of course) to be drawn at the end of the evening.  The give away was my American Dream basket, filled with many homemade items.  The winner was Marcia Rooks!

I taught 2 classes, the Lots of Arrows and the Fall Potbelly Baskets.  The Fall Potbelly was interesting in that everyone shaped their baskets differently! 

Same basket, different shapes!

By the end of the Lots of Arrows class, everyone knew how to do the 3 rod arrow themselves!  As promised! Here's Judy concentrating on her arrow row. 

One of the best things about attending and teaching at conferences is seeing old friends.   Michigan proved to be wonderful for this.  I got to visit with many teachers that I had not seen in many years.  Joan Moore, Mary Hetts, and Marilyn Moore--was great to see you all again!
Kathy Halter, Mary Hetts and I

Friday, October 8, 2010

Newest Creation

                                        Newest basket!                                              Needed a wine basket for a gift and came up with this one.  The finished product will have a nice sign on the front with a cute saying.  Will post these when my sister, Rhonda makes them!   Will make a great Christmas gift!    Not on my website for sale as a kit yet but soon!    The basket has a wood base with the  handle attached.   

A couple photos of students weaving their Spiral Rope Bracelets at the Northwest Hoosier Basket Retreat. 

                                     The actual bracelet!

Spent all day yesterday dyeing reed and making kits for my next teaching adventure.  I will be teaching at The Association of Michigan Basketmakers in Grand Rapids Michigan on Oct. 19-23rd.  Will be teaching the Fall Pot Belly and the Lots of Arrows.

Lots of Arrows

Fall Pot Belly

The Lots of Arrows basket came about when teaching a couple years ago.  The basket had one row of the 3 rod arrow in the beginning of the basket and again at the top.  By the time everyone got to the top area, they forgot what they did.  I decided to come up with a basket that would really reinforce the 3 rod arrow pattern.  This basket has 7 rows of the 3 rod arrow, using 3 different colors of round reed.  This makes it easier to catch a mistake right away.  By the time you finish the basket, the 3 rod arrow will come natural!  

The Fall Pot Belly is a great basket.  This basket can be easily changed for the different seasons.  Use green spokes and red weavers.  Shape the basket more rounded and you have an Holiday ornament!