I am mainly a coiled Pine Needle Raffia Basketry maker although I have dabbled in many other techniques. The making of a hot mat using green ponderosa pine needles and yarn while visiting my Grandmother in North Idaho started my ongoing interest in coiling baskets. It was 12 years later that I met Charlotte Smith and rekindled my interest in pine needle basketry. Her style of using raffia for stitching and beautiful teneriffe patterns hooked me on making pine needle baskets.
My husband Jim was with the US Forest Service when I really started making baskets in earnest, teaching and finally writing two books on Pine Needle Raffia Basketry. I have found pine needle basketry to be a portable craft. When we moved with the Forest Service from the Ponderosa pine forests of central Washington to the Ponderosa Pine forests of central Oregon, the baskets moved with me. We turned an interest into an occupation to market my books and supplies through a nationwide mail order business, Baskets & Bullets. When we moved to an Island in Southeast Alaska, my portable business went with me.
I still teach when I come down south on trips and every June we hold a workshop at our Destination Lodge, here in Alaska. Jim quit his job with the Forest Service in 1988, we built cabins on the beach behind our floating house and opened our Lodge, McFarlands FLOATEL.