I never made one of my discoveries through the process of rational thinking.
Albert Einstein
For a list of my upcoming workshops, check here....
Dear Readers,

I would like to tell you about one of my students, Ivy Howard. She contacted me to arrange a private lesson and was driving quite a distance from another state. I suggested what other long-distance students have previously done……arrange a private lesson with me in conjunction with a home workshop the following day which helps keep the cost down and also gives two consecutive days of instruction. We made plans and she came out to California. She is already a highly accomplished gourd artist but wanted to learn sculptural coiling. She brought a started piece and had completed several coils around a polished stone cabochon, as she had learned in my DVD, and was eager to use it as a center for a sculpture. I taught her how to use a wire armature as a foundation for sculptural forms and we worked together that day and the following day in the group class. Ivy took to the sculptural work quickly and the entire class was excited watching her new piece evolve. Learning how to do freeform work really opened up new territory for Ivy. After she returned home she sent me photos of the finished piece and I instantly knew I wanted to feature her in a newsletter.  

I asked Ivy to write a bit about “her story” and here it is………..   
I made my first gourd about 17 years ago. A friend showed me how to finish the outside of a gourd & coil pine needles around the rim. I couldn’t wait to do more. On her advice, I picked up Judy Mallow’s book “Pine Needle Basketry From Forest Floor to Finished Product” and used it to teach myself from there. I pursued my gourd art including pine needle rim coiling for several years but never attempted a basket. When an opportunity arose a couple of years later to take private instruction with Judy Mallow in North Carolina, I jumped at the chance. I was looking for reassurance that I was doing the whole process correctly (which I’ve since come to realize that there is really no “correct” way - lots of variations), plus I wanted to learn basket making. I knew no other pine needle basket makers so it was thrilling for me to learn from her. 

In 2008 I formed Ivy’s Gourd Art ( ) and have been selling my work (gourds and baskets, but emphasis on gourds) through juried art shows and galleries in Colorado. 
When your DVD’s came along, I knew I had to get them. I clearly recall seeing your work for the first time and thinking how absolutely artistic and freestyle it looked. I loved the sense of motion you achieve and how you break through the boundaries of boring! I had been making baskets but everything was clearly a basket - functional if the buyer chose - but certainly a basket and not a sculptural art piece. So, although I did know how to coil when I got your DVD's, I felt as though you opened up an entirely new dimension for me. You and your DVD’s taught me techniques that have enabled me to fashion my pine needles in ways I had not conceived. You also showed me alternative methods. Still - all of what I did until I came to your home was to do "focus piece" inlays for the front of my gourds. Your guiding hand was just what I needed to take the next step in creating an actual sculptural piece. Besides - it was just so much fun! 
I think there is something elemental about working with both gourds and pine needles. Perhaps it’s my Iowa farm girl roots, but I just feel at home and at peace when working with them. I know you have expressed similar feelings so you’ll know what I mean. 
I’m truly honored that you would find my piece worthy of sharing with your readers. Be sure to give yourself lots of credit! You deserve it. Thanks again for the wonderful teaching DVD’s - your commitment to excellence and attention to detail makes them a wonderful teaching tool and resource for beginner and skilled alike.  

If you have an object you want to mount on vinyl to use as a center for your basket, but it is hollow, uneven or unstable, or maybe doesn’t have much surface area to attach, (example: open side of a clam shell), you can use Golden Products “Heavy Gel ” to fill the empty space and create an even surface. It’s a very heavy acrylic medium that peaks well. After it dries, then you can mount your object on real or faux leather.  

You can take one of my classes for FREE! Yes, I said FREE! If you gather 4 or more friends to arrange a private workshop with me, YOUR class fee is zero! Just email me at if you would like to ask questions or schedule a private workshop.


50% DISCOUNT on ALL THREE OF MY VIDEOS if you are a teacher or member of a group and want to purchase a minimum of ten videos (any combination). Just contact me at if you would like more info.



2017 Annual Juried Exhibition
Through September 9
This mixed media exhibit features paintings, glass, beaded vessels, quilts, photography, basketry and more.

Coronado Art Walk 
October 21 & 22, 2017
10am – 5 pm

The 2-day Coronado Art Walk is held at the Coronado Ferry Landing.  Paintings, hand crafted jewelry, photography, ceramics and other mediums will be featured. Free admission

Southern California Handweavers’ Guild Presents: 
Weaving & Fiber Festival (WeFF) 
Sunday, November 5, 2017
10 am – 4 pm
Members’ Weaving Exhibit & Sale, Demonstrations of Fiber Crafts, vendors and Gift Boutiques, Fashion Show, Raffle/Silent Auction                                         

A diverse range of vendors offers tools, supplies, and books needed for weaving, spinning, and other fiber arts as well as finished hand-crafted items.
For Information go to

2017 Trolley Dances
September 30-Oct 1 and October 7 & 8

This is a truly unique event - passengers on the San Diego Trolley are led by volunteers to get on and off the trolley at specific stations to view the dance performances which are set in unexpected locations!


Ventura Art & Street Painting Festival
September 9 & 10, 2017
10 am-5 pm
Ventura Harbor Village
Fifty artists will be showing and selling their work in a juried fine arts and fine crafts show, while fifty street painters will be creating vibrant works of art on the sidewalks along the docks. 


October 7 & 8, 2017
10 to 4
Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum
2040 North Santa Fe
Fiber artists, guilds, and vendors will be at the Fiesta showcasing their work, demonstrating their skills, and selling their creations, wearable art, and supplies. Local fiber artists will also be selling their finished work. Meet and pet baby alpacas and listen to live music. Free admission, $5 parking.

The West Coast Clock & Watch Museum will have an amazing array of antique clocks on display and the Vista Gem and Mineral Society show will be taking place this weekend too. 

The Museum will be open all weekend so you can see examples of mechanical ingenuity and crafts associated with the early days of the American farm and rural community. On Saturday you can also visit the Model Railroad display and the Blacksmith Shop. Also during the weekend, the San Diego County Spinners will be doing a demonstration/practice run for the International "Back to Back" Wool Challenge. 

Silver State Art Festival
Gourds, Basketry, Woodworking
presented by the Nevada Gourd Society
September 23 and 24, 2017 
Classes on September 22
Fuji Exhibit Hall, Carson City, Nevada
The festival will be open to the public for two days -- Saturday, September 23rd and Sunday, September 24th. This is not a craft show, but an art show with art classes being offered to the public. 

There's still a couple spots left in my workshop in Coupeville, Washington from October 20-22. Click here for more information.

See photo below of the beautiful waterfront of Coupeville.
Website   |  Artist Gallery  Workshops  |  Videos  |  Contact
Nadine Spier
Contemporary Pine Needle Basketweaver
​Basket Weaving Classes and Basket Art for Purchase
1084 N El Camino Real Box B184, Encinitas CA 92024 (760) 533-1000