Heritage Brand: Longaberger

pb

My first Longaberger basket was gifted to me by my mother when I was a teenager. It was a small lidded basket with a handle, and it made me feel important. Over the years it has moved with me many times and housed various things, finally establishing itself as my sewing basket (really, more of a mending basket since I don’t know how to sew). 25+ years later, it is still as beautiful as the day I got it, maybe even more so.
One of my more recent Longaberger purchases was a picnic basket. I wanted a picnic basket that was always packed with the essentials for trips big and small. Someone on Craigslist was selling a whole room full of Longaberger baskets (I kick myself now for not getting more!), and she had three large picnic baskets. I chose the one in the best condition and have filled it with all of the essentials. With this basket my husband and I (and now our daughter) can have civilized meals pretty much anywhere.
Our next basket will be an Easter basket for our daughter.
Because people tend to collect them, used Longaberger baskets can be found in very good condition. If you’re looking for used baskets, the larger ones are best bought locally since shipping can be quite expensive.
These baskets can come with a wide range of plastic protectors, cloth liners, risers, and tags. I tend to prefer a plain, stained wood basket with few add-ons, although in some cases these can be nice. For my sewing basket I use the plastic protector that came with it, and for my picnic basket I use a cloth liner with brightly-colored stripes (the Sunny Day liner).
Longaberger baskets are hand made in the USA.

Today on Food 52: 10 of the Most Iconic Scandinavian Designs & Their Stories

marimekko
Unikko (Poppy), by Maija Isola

Lately I’ve been interested in all things Scandinavian, especially cookbooks and design.  So I really enjoyed this post that came up on Food 52 (my very favorite food-and-so-much-more blog) today.  It’s amazing how modern these designs seem, even though most of them are over 50 years old.

cookware

I especially liked the Kobenstyle cookware (above) that is produced by Dansk.  I hadn’t heard much about this brand before, but will definitely be taking a closer look, especially at vintage pieces on Ebay.  It appears as though their pieces used to be made in Denmark, but are now made in Asia.  A quick Ebay search on “Dansk made in Denmark” turns up quite a few interesting pieces.

The Cutest Baby Mobiles

With the baby coming soon we’ve been looking for a mobile for her crib.  The cutest ones are those on Etsy- there are some incredibly creative people out there.  The mobiles are like little works of art.  Here are a couple of my favorites.

il_570xN.464147464_syl8This one (above) by SweetDreamsBabyShop is probably what we will end up getting.  I love the simple design, and you can even choose the colors of the raindrops (I think I would go with lighter, more pastel colors).  I also like that the hanger is covered in fabric.  I think this one would be cute from any angle- since the whole point of the mobile is to give baby something to look at.

mobile2

This one (above) by CutenSoft is so adorable.  I love the little Waldorf doll on the moon, the velvety material, and all of the soft shapes.

I could spend all day looking at the crib mobiles on Etsy.  One of my favorite searches is, “mobile Waldorf”, as you get to see a lot of mobiles with Waldorf-inspired characters on them– babies, animals, etc.  There really are so many great options for crib mobiles out there.

 

 

 

Great Moments in Tupperware

Oh how I adore vintage Tupperware.  I realized recently when looking through an Ebay search on “Vintage Tupperware” just how much of this stuff we had in our kitchen when I was a kid, so I thought I’d do a couple posts on my favorite pieces of Tupperware.  I’ll start with the things I still have and use today.

tupperware.jpg
The Tupperware Shelf Saver, #1243.  Most of these that you find on Ebay are yellow like the ones above, but there are a few in other colors.

First up is the Shelf Saver, item #1243.  These containers seem to fit perfectly in kitchen cabinets, are stackable, and the rectangular shape means they waste less space than round containers.  I use these for salt, baking soda, cocoa, brown sugar, and powdered sugar, and I have yet to find anything for these items that works as well as the Shelf Saver.  I had a few leftover from the old homestead where I grew up, and recently bought a couple more off of Ebay.

tupperware
The Tupperware Serving Center, #1665.  Great for potlucks.

Next up is the Serving Center, item #1665.  I come from a big family, and most of our holidays are done potluck style.  There is always a vegetable tray and the Serving Center is perfect for cut up vegetables, with a container for dip in the center.  You could also use this for cut up cheese, chips, etc.

Next up:  Tupperware for children!  I loved my Tupperware when I was a kid.

Summer Wardrobe Maintenance

Happy Bastille Day!

Generally this time of year is filled with mini vacations, trips to the beach, barbeques with friends, and feasting on seasonal fruit and fish. But one thing I like to do at this time of the year is to get my clothes and shoes ready for fall, which is just around the corner.

I take all of my sweaters and coats to the dry cleaner. When I get them back I put each sweater into it’s own breathable sweater bag to minimize damage from pests (I buy the bags on Ebay). I also take all of my boots into the shoe repair shop and have them cleaned, conditioned, polished, and re-heeled if they need it, and after I pick them up I put them back into their original boxes.

After having everything cleaned and repaired, I look through everything and cull the things that I didn’t wear much last season or that are past their prime. I want these things to be as useful and wearable as possible for the next person, so I try to donate things in their best possible condition.

Doing these things now means that I’m not in any rush to get them back from the cleaners, and when the weather turns cold and I’m wanting to wear my boots and sweaters, everything is clean and ready to be worn.

What’s in Your Picnic Basket?

pb

pb2

pb4My husband and I like to take trips in the summer and when we do, it is nice to have a picnic basket that is pre-packed with all of the essentials.  Last weekend we took a trip to the Olympic Peninsula and stayed in a rustic cabin for the weekend.  We just put the picnic basket in the car and we knew we would have everything we needed for a picnic should the occasion arise.  We ended up using it to have a very nice breakfast in the cabin every morning, instead of having to navigate the brunch crowd in town.

Our picnic basket is the Longaberger Large Picnic Basket, which can be bought used on Ebay.  I like this basket because it’s sturdy and I think it will just get prettier with age, and I like that the top can also be used as a small table.  I also like the way it opens, since it is very easy to access everything in the basket.  The downside of this basket is that it is not easy to carry over long distances, especially if you have a lot of floaties and other things you are taking to the beach.  But it’s other good qualities more than compensate for this.

The liner is the Sunny Day liner.  I like this liner because it has pockets, and I like the colorful stripes, but really any of the cloth liners for this picnic basket would work.  Often these baskets also come with a plastic liner, but I am not a fan of these as I think they are unnecessary.

Now for what I keep in my basket.  First, I found some sturdy acrylic wine glasses and put two of these in the side pockets.  In the other side pockets I put some one-gallon Ziplock bags and a bunch of plastic grocery bags, which are nice for garbage and dirty dishes.  I added four sturdy, unbreakable plastic plates and a cutting board that could be used as a serving platter (mine is 8.5″ x 11″ bamboo, the middle size of these).

There are lots of little odds and ends that are nice to have in the basket, and I searched for awhile until I found something to hold all of these things.  What I found is actually a first aid kit from Target, which you can see open in the last picture above.  I was a little surprised that I couldn’t find something made for this purpose but I have found that the first aid kit is really perfect.  I wanted something that could open up and allow easy access to everything inside it.  On one side, which is just a zippered pocket, I put napkins, thin closeable plastic sandwich bags (we use these all the time), and burger basket liners (you can use these on your plates and serving platter to minimize cleanup- I think these are nicer and generate less garbage than paper plates).  On the other side, which has divided pockets, I put lots of plastic utensils (I usually throw these in the dishwasher when I get home, and I find they can be re-used many times), the Opinel Stainless Steel No. 8 Knife in Olive Wood,  a Waiter’s Corkscrew, the MSR Alpine Salt and Pepper Shaker, and some individually packaged wet wipes.

Believe it or not, there is still plenty of room in the basket after all of these things for a picnic.

I have found that the picnic basket is constantly evolving, and after our trip this last weekend we have decided to add a tea ball (so that we can drink our nice loose-leaf tea when we are on vacation), and possibly some camping mugs.

We’ve really enjoyed using this picnic basket on our travels, and have had some wonderful picnics with it.  What’s in your picnic basket?