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Gettin’ Crafty

Back in the day...

We at Chateau Vol Manor have been getting quite crafty these days. While I could say the increasing amounts of light cause us to rethink our crafts and have us rather venturing outside, it has actually been quite the opposite.

I for one have been gearing up for grass basket weaving since I got here. I signed up for the class back in September/October, and was SUPER excited about it- even ask my roommates. I had been talking about it for weeks. Then, much to my teary dismay, it was cancelled. Woe is me!!! I was so heartbroken, words could not describe. Apparently only one student had signed up for the class- me.

The class was again offered for the spring, and you bet your furry lamb’s tail I signed up! Not only did I sign up… I used my power of radio to advertise… wink wink. (Now, we do this for all UAF Northwest Campus classes alike, I just added a little extra love to the basket weaving announcement.) And lo and behold… it was a full class. I was overjoyed. So much excitement was running through me, I actually finished my basket first! (After fifteen hours of labor of course). That definitely came as a surprise- for those who know me… promptness and speed have never been my strong suits.

It’s little, and not perfect, but I’ve been told it has ‘character.’ It took patience, and a lot of poked fingers as I learned, but once I got going I was in the zone… no stopping me. Putting the colors in was the best part! The grass was extra soft (you want soft/slightly damp grass… it’s easier for sewing), and it really gave life to it. Mine ended up looking more like a vase than a basket, and we ran out of time to make lids, but I am still proud of my little grass basket.

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As well as basket weaving, I have learned to sew! well, re-learned – thanks to Emily. She’s been getting quite good at sewing dresses (she’s made four so far, and they’re super cute). I think the last time I used a sewing machine was in eighth grade Home Ec. class, so a refresher was definitely needed.

It all started when a friend of ours asked to use our sewing machine to make a dog bed. I watched her for a bit and it seemed pretty simple- just straight lines and some stuffing. When it was done, it pretty much ended up being a giant pillow with a zippable pillowcase cover over it. Then if it got dirty, just the case could be washed instead of the whole bed.

I soon realized a pup near and dear to my heart did not have a bed to call her own, and I knew what I had to do. After much planning and careful research complete with multiple trips to the Whimsy Shop, the discovery of a ripped sheet in perfect form, and the locating of old pillows for stuffing… I was ready.

I didn’t really know how big to make it, and she’s not a very large dog, but my theory was the bigger the better. You can’t go wrong with a big bed, right? I would have to say I’m glad I ‘re-learned’ to sew on the inner pillow, because that stitching is.. um.. let’s say stitched with some extra love. Three days later, and voila! A magnificent puppy bed, complete with a velcro edge for easy cover removal.


As well as my projects, the roomies have been busy gettin’ crafty too. Along with Emily’s four dresses, she crocheted all of us hats for Christmas, and even made me a cute Easter-y type chick for my birthday. It was rare when we first got here to see Anna Rose without her knitting needles, and she too took a class at UAF and made many beautiful bowls. Hailing from the news department Zach is the music master-mixer, and behind closed doors Daynee crafts pieces your grandchildren’s grandchildren will be reading as classics someday.

There’s no better place than Nome to get your craft on. We can all vouch for it. What will you make?