Five. That is the number of times I've almost bought, but didn't buy an antique wall basket. What is an antique wall basket you ask? I'm going to do my best to describe it for you. An antique wall basket is an antique basket. That hangs on the wall.
I can slow down if you want.
I see them the odd time at antique markets and shows like the Christie Antique Show and Sale I go to every year. This past summer they had a beautiful basket that I almost bought to hold onions in on my brick wall in the kitchen. You may remember that wall in my kitchen as the wall where I store my weapons.
photo by Donna Griffith
This is what the brick wall in my kitchen has looked like for the past couple of years (as seen in the October 2014 issue of Canadian Living magazine). Antique French curtain tie backs holding my collection of rolling pins. I was afraid putting a random basket up on the wall with a pigs head and a bunch of rolling pins would just look mish mashy. I have a huge affinity for mish mashy whether it looks good or not. I'm a misher. And a masher. So I didn't buy the antique wall basket or the 4 antique wall baskets that came before it.
Then the other day when I was at my local dollar store I came across these baskets when I was looking for baskets for an upcoming post on something else entirely. I grabbed one and brought it home and by the time I got here I realized there was no question. I had to go back for 5 more.
If you take a look at the photo above again, just beyond the wood beam you can see into my mudroom which is where my freezer lives. It's also where I store all of the vegetables I grow all summer because it's a good temperature for storage. The only problem is, any time I want a potato or onion or anything I have to go into that mudroom which although may be a perfect temperature for storage, it not the perfect temperature for wandering into while wearing socks and a tee shirt. It's cold.
I would liked to have kept a few potatoes and onions in my kitchen but my cupboards are already full with other very important kitchen stuff like 152 slightly ratty tea towels and a junk drawer filled with rubber bands and pens that don't work.
Hanging these $3 baskets up gave me an entire wall of storage for potatoes, onions, fruit, herbs and ... more potatoes. Because a Russet can't be expected to do the job of a Kennebec. You need both.
Just look at how elated I am. I remember exactly what I was thinking. I was thinking I am SO HAPPY I can quickly grab a red or yellow onion. Or I just tooted.
Can't really remember.
I love mandarin oranges and buy them until they're out of season but I don't really have room on my counters for a big bowl of fruit. Hence ... one basket is dedicated to the things I used to have to keep on the counter; mandarin oranges, bananas, unripe avocados, that sort of thing.
I'd never get rid of the hooks. The hooks I love. They're antique French curtain tiebacks my friend Michelle gave me in a moment of weakness I suspect. I do not want to give them back to her but if she asked I would. (I absolutely would not but I want you to like me and that's the kind of thing a likeable person would say. In truth I'd cut Michelle's throat with a can opener before I ever returned these tiebacks to her.)
Just look at the genuine verdigris on them. In the words of that Seinfeld episode ... they're spectacular.
The baskets aren't full, they have just enough in them for a week or two. That way they aren't out of their optimal storage facility (the mud room) for too long. Plus they're $3 baskets from the Dollar Store, an establishment not always known for their superior quality. Any more than 5 onions or potatoes and they'd likely crash to the ground.
Now's as good a time as any to mention that I completely lied to you in this post. Not in words but in pictures. You know how they say a picture is worth a thousand words? Well three of those words in this case were" lie" "basil" and "fraud" .
I took the plastic bags off of my basil for the pictures because they just looked like blurry smears. You couldn't even tell what it was. I have two mason jars with some water in the baskets and my herbs sticking out. I find the best way to store any herbs is the give the stems a fresh cut, put them in a jar of water, cover them with a plastic bag and let them sit at room temperature. DON'T keep them in the fridge and with anything that has a high moisture content like basil or even sage leaves, cover them with a plastic bag to hold in some humidity.
The takeaway I hope you get from this post is a) dollar store crap looks less like dollar store crap once you get it out of the dollar store b) you may have storage hiding in plain sight and c) tooting is funny.
And that is the story of how I became a basket case.
The thing about Karen's blog - besides being so funny and useful - is that the comments are so great! Look at me! All the way down here 8am on a Monday morning - the world stopped until read Every Single One!!
Love the baskets, and the sweater. Michelle is a good friend to give you those awesome hooks. Karen, I'd bet you'd be fierce with a can opener. LOL
The wall is so interesting w/ all the gorge hooks..and baskets..and le cochon..:) It also looks beautiful w/ the rolling pins..the hooks of love for sure.
You may already have this up somewhere, but if not, could you do a tutorial for how to hang things on a brick wall without ruining the brick or having the nail/screw/bolt come loose? It seems that you've been successful in hanging some quite heavy things on your brick.
I was wondering about that, too. I could never bring myself to putting a hole in a brick wall and was wondering how you did that. I grew up with plaster walls and was only allowed to hang things with scotch tape. Putting a nail in a brick wall would have resulted in a spanking, grounding, and loss of TV time. Although I have my own walls now, I can't get over the fear of permanently defacing them. But I do love your display.
It's easy. You just need the right tools/equipment. You need a masonry drill bit for drilling into the brick wall (not a regular drill bit), and you need a solid wall anchor (meant for concrete, brick, etc). They're metal. Then you screw a screw into the metal anchor and you're done. Like I said, it's just about having the right equipment and tools. :) ~ karen!
May I jump in here with a recommendation that is really useful in those brick locations where you can't drill a hole, such as a fireplace where you may want to make seasonal decor changes that require different hole locations and your husband threatens something gawd awful if you do?
Brick clips have saved my marriage. No, really.
Apropos of nothing...my bread bag and pinafore from Rough Linen are awesome, with a heapin' helpin' of sauce.
I wear the pinny for e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g I do around the house/yard and am trying to figure out how to incorporate it into a work look, but so far not feelin' it. I'm sure I'll figure it out.
Which brings me to the reason I wrote this...you, Miss Karen - touter of Rough Linen, are evil and I mean that in the best way possible. But, could you do me a favor? Talk me out of ordering another pinny, this time in that lovely natural linen color? Thanks!
Oh no, I'm not going to do that. I have one in black and one in natural and the natural is my favourite. So ... I'm actually here to talk you into it. It's great! And would probably help you figure out that whole incorporate it into your wardrobe thing. ~ karen!
Sometimes the simplest solutions are right under our noses or in your case, Karen, right under the pig's nose! I'm definitely going to put this storage tip to use. I wonder if my grandma's egg baskets would work?
By the way, sure looks like toot giggles to me. ;-)
Those hooks! Oh my! Why have I never noticed them before? Clearly I'm not as fond of you as I thought. I'm considering slitting your throat now... My mother was a basket freak. In the 70's in our very hip orange kitchen there were huge white peg boards with many, many baskets. I still have them all.
Clearly, lol. And your mother knew what she was doing. All great women are basket freaks. ~ karen!
Being an old Industrial Tech guy, what's with the split in the bricks? It comes down so far and stops. Foundation settling?
And what about the pig? When is the wild boar hunting season in Canada? Did you hunt it down with one of the rolling pins?
Clever!!! I'm a basket hound myself (he he) and may have to copy this idea. I'm always wondering where to store potatoes, onions, fruit etc.
One question. Baskets from Dollar Tree or Dollarama? Thanks!!
I like it! And I'm going with they're magic baskets.
Love the baskets and you look "spectacular" in your picture!
This is great! Thank you so much for the information. I am going to immediately start tooting.
Hi. Karen . I have been reading your great news for a yr. now. You are a smart women and I enjoy each email. I only wish you were my neighbor so we could be next door friends. I would like to share each day with you. Ha Ha. Keep up the good work. Chris
Great idea Karen. I'm thinking about hacking it and putting herb containers in them. Might need to line the baskets with plastic. Also...I didn't know about putting a plastic bag over my basil. Add that to your takeaways....
It's not everyone who can deliver such a whitty post about dollar store decor and tooting. Fab. Thanks!
Love the pig's head BTW.
What an amazing photo of you!
Hi Karen, I notice a comment about radiant flooring in your kitchen. This is something I'm looking into and wonder if you ever did a post on it. I can seem to find the search button. Would love to hear more of your comments about this. And are you satisfied with the electric cost too. And nice baskets. I always look forward to reading your thoughts. Thanks, Marilyn
Hi marilyn. The search bar is up at the top right. It's the magnifying glass. Another easy way to browse and find things it to look under the headings drop down menus. So in this case it would be under DIY, DIY tutorials. Then just scroll to find it. But for now just use the magnifying glass. :) ~ karen!
Hi! Lovely post! I've missed you! I had eye surgery and you changed your format and then I couldn't figure out how to find your blog to get right to the most recent posts so I could read them. Today I was determined to figure it out. But I can't. Can you tell me where to click? Like how you'd explain to a not-quite-blind person? Or maybe you wrote a blog post about it?
Hi Leslie ... well you're reading the most recent post right now. "How I added tons of storage with baskets". All the post are in chronological order on the home page. There's one large link to my featured post (in today's case 3 quick and easy meals). That post stays the same for a few weeks. BUt everything underneath it in the small boxes are my daily posts. Welcome back! ~ karen!
Beautiful. Fabulous. Love it all. However, my most pressing question is what is special about a Kennebec? I'm planning my garden (and my husband's birthday present, as he's the potato grower in our family). Do I need to add Kennebecs to my order?
Kennebecs are the perfect french fry potato Julia. Also they grow nice and big and they're excellent storage potatoes. Slow to rot or sprout. LOVE them. I learned about them from watching Masterchef Australia years ago. Chef Heston Blumenthal (I think) was talking about the perfect french fry potato and said the Kennebec was it. Sure enough it is. Golden crispy on the outside. Doesn't fool you by just LOOKING crispy on the outside. It actually is. ~ karen!