Meet The Onliners

Meet Betty Swanson, our Onliner from Minnesota,
pictured here with the basket she uses to hold her basketry tools.

Betty, a retired high school library paraprofessional, began weaving last year but has completed many, many baskets. She says it took a friend a number of years to get her to begin weaving. Betty is self taught and reports many successes and a few flops. She has already developed a fondness for all kinds of patterns and those by Tressa Sularz are her favorite. Betty tries to remember not to let the basket stuff take over the house, but she did have the experience of having the smoke alarm set off at 3:00 a.m.. by the basket dust.

Betty was widowed in 1997. She has two sons, Kelly and Brad, both of whom are engineers. She began her online communicating via her son Kelly's computer. Since Kelly worked nights, Betty had to do most of her e-mailing before 8:00 a.m. when her "day sleeper" son arrived home to sleep in his bedroom where his computer was located. When Kelly moved to a home of his own, his computer stayed and moved to Betty's kitchen.

Pictured at right is Betty with a fish mouth basket, tote basket, Algonquin shelf basket and (in the background) a wool drying basket. Also pictured is her fuzzy buddy, Tippy Toes, plotting his escape.

When she is not weaving baskets, Betty has a number of other interests. Her love of birds and gardening come naturally as she lived on a farm for many years. Betty now resides in a small residence, but still enjoys flower gardening. She is also good with a camera. She video tapes weddings and took the pictures of herself that appear on this page.

Also among her hobbies are collecting pink depression glass, Stanford University baseball cards and Dept. 56, the Dickens Village. She also enjoys Bev Dolittle art. One of her latest projects was to help Kelly decorate his new townhouse (the one he moved to without his computer).

When it comes to staining baskets, Betty says, "My favorite color method is a weak black walnut hull dye because it makes the basket look antique. It can be softened and warmed a bit by adding a coat of neutral stain when the basket has dried." She also advises that one can of Welch's grape juice and one can of Welch's cranberry juice produce a nice mauve color and that the cranberry juice alone makes a nice rose-pink.

Another system Betty likes to use to save time is cutting the reed for more than one basket at a time. She says, "To prepare the 'kits', set out small paper bags and place all ready-cut materials in each one. Write the name of the basket on the outside of the bag. It is less messy when you can weave from a prepared kit."

We truly thank Betty for being our very first Onliner to be featured on the site.

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