Melissa Wass' Profile

About

When I was in elementary school, I won a book called Back to Basics during a Girl Scout magazine sale drive. It was the early eighties and the book, published by Readers Digest, was a kind of a crunchy environment simplicity kind of thing. It showed you how to build your own log cabin, vegetable garden, weave a basket, and much much more.

I loved that book and poured over it's pages. My father, a biology teacher and avid outdoorsman, noted my interest and encouraged it by taking my brothers and I on camping trips, where, among other things, I learned to start a fire with flint and steel. My paternal grandmother, a product of the World War 2 generation, taught me other skills from the book--canning and bread making. I learned to make pickles and discovered since old folk remedies in her country kitchen. Sitting at her kitchen table, I first took yarn in hand and crocheted a chain--the…

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  • Female
  • Born on July 25
  • Joined June 1, 2010

Favorite materials

Natural fibers, herbs

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About

When I was in elementary school, I won a book called Back to Basics during a Girl Scout magazine sale drive. It was the early eighties and the book, published by Readers Digest, was a kind of a crunchy environment simplicity kind of thing. It showed you how to build your own log cabin, vegetable garden, weave a basket, and much much more.

I loved that book and poured over it's pages. My father, a biology teacher and avid outdoorsman, noted my interest and encouraged it by taking my brothers and I on camping trips, where, among other things, I learned to start a fire with flint and steel. My paternal grandmother, a product of the World War 2 generation, taught me other skills from the book--canning and bread making. I learned to make pickles and discovered since old folk remedies in her country kitchen. Sitting at her kitchen table, I first took yarn in hand and crocheted a chain--the foundation stitch of all crochet pieces. Grandma gave me a lot of foundation.

I still practice the old crafts and I've expanded my repertoire. I learned to make sour dough bread when, as a new Navy bride, my husband was stationed in San Diego, CA; the process of wild fermentation wasn't completely new, but I'd never used it for bread. I learned to dry herbs and blend teas during the period when we were having our five children--peppermint tea was about the only thing to calm my morning sickness. I picked up the skill of knitting to add to my crochet when I discovered how much better knitted dish cloths were to the crocheted ones I'd tried to make.

Everything I sell in my store has been developed over a lifetime of learning how to get back to basics. The original models for ever knit or crochet project are in use somewhere in my home or with family members. The herbal products are all created in small batches in my kitchen and used by my family and friends. Most of the herbs are grown in my own herb garden from seeds I started on my windowsill.

All of this is to say that I offer honest products here, striving for practical art that can be useful, whether it's a shawl to warm you or a herb to help heal you.

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