In time for Easter: lots of little baskets

Payette Senior Center crafters Kawesha Ascyna, left, and Karen King work on a relatively simple project of making small Easter baskets from construction paper.

Tiny Easter baskets fashioned from construction paper are being stuffed with pinches of Easter grass and a few small sweet treats (think: jellybeans) in time for this Friday’s regular lunch at the Payette Senior Center.

A crafters group which meets every Thursday at the center rapidly produced around 150 of the paper baskets a couple of weeks ago. Two of the group’s members, Kawesha Ascyna and Karen King, explained that the crafters make items for many of the holidays, and they typically work several weeks in advance.

Thus, when they gathered for their meeting on April 4, the crafters’ creative work for Easter was already nearly done, although they would later be helping the Payette Chamber of Commerce to stuff Easter eggs for an April 20 egg hunt for kids, held in connection with Killebrew Days.

“Next we’re going to make May Day baskets,” Ascyna said.

Not all of the crafters’ projects relate to holidays, however. King pointed that an important continuing service of the group is providing loomed caps for newborn babies at the three local hospitals — St. Luke’s in Fruitland, Saint Alphonsus Medical Center-Ontario, and Weiser Memorial Hospital.

“I’ve been making booties for babies out of polar fleece to go with the hats,” King added.

“We have enough yarn to make hats for newborns for a whole long time,” King said. However, she added, “we can always use more donations of crafting materials.”

Recently, another member of the crafters, Sue Tilman, was busy embroidering a set of pillow cases which would be made into dolls’ dresses.

Ascyna said the group frequently offers its crafts to the public at community events where there are vendor tables. The crafts aren’t tagged with prices, but donations are gratefully accepted to keep funding the group’s community service projects.

Ascyna said approximately 12-15 people are active with the group, which holds its Thursday meetings at 1 p.m. Anyone is welcome to join.

Attendance on April 4 was perhaps a little lighter than usual. In addition to Ascyna, King and Tilman, others taking part that day included Janell Marcum, Pam Blevins and Diane Spencer.

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