Friday, March 10, 2023

A Tisket

A Tasket
A Green and Yellow Basket
(Ella Fitzgerald)

I love baskets!
Since Easter is approaching,
I decided to play show and tell on my baskets.
Not Easter baskets, but baskets in general.

Did you know that early splint baskets
were made from either ash or oak?
These were formed in a woven fashion from
wet splint wood such as the above basket.

All three of these baskets are splint ones.
You can tell an early one from by a newer one
as the older ones are much heavier.

The older ones are all woven too.

I also loved how this one had a hand carved handle
which was also woven in to the top.
You wont see this in baskets today.

The next baskets I would like to talk about are
rye baskets.
Did you know these baskets were mostly used
in bread making?
Our foremothers would make their bread dough
by adding a linen piece to the rye baskets,
and let the dough rise.

All rye baskets were formed by coiling
wet rye grass around a strand of rye grass 
to form these baskets.

The coil would always start at the middle and
the weaver would work the coil around and around
until forming the basket of their choosing.
Some were deep, while others shallow.

This next basket is called a feather basket.
When collecting goose and duck feathers,
it was necessary to have a lidded basket
so your feathers would not fly away.
You would lift the top to add your feathers.
Gramma B had a basket like this one.
(this was not hers)
I helped collect feather for her so she
could make feather beds and pillows.
They were the best and warm in the Winter months.

In the early days our foremothers
used their aprons to collect eggs.
Vintage wire metal baskets were created to hold eggs.
It was thought that eggs would stay more fresh
if they had air circulation.
There are all types of sizes and shapes to these.
I dont really see the practicality of the chicken
 shaped one though.

Growing up on my grandparents farms,
one of my chores was to collect the eggs each day.
While at gramma B's I grabbed a large
enamelware bowl to collect the eggs.
She had about 50 hens.
Now at gramma H's, I used an egg basket
similar to the one above as she had about
250 hens.
Gramma always helped helped me and we needed 
a bigger basket.
This particular one one I use in my bathroom 
to hold our toilet paper rolls.

In other news,
we lost 6 treasures two days ago.
Back in the 1800's a club was built on one of our islands.
It was created for the doctors and lawyers
in the day to take their families to the island
from Detroit for weekends and vacations.
A steamer named the Tashmoo would set sail
from Detroit and make the trip to the island,
and then also stop at different ports along our 
mighty river before going back down.
The Tashmoo also stopped about a mile from our house.
Where I currently live was considered
a Summer home residence too.

The Old club itself was built on land, but the many
cottages to the South were all built on stilts.
Each cottage was painted a different 
color and it was the first thing folks saw
when entering the channel from Lake St Clair.
You could only access if you had your own boat
or travelled on the Tashmoo.

In the 1940's they built a bridge from
Harsen's Island to this private island,
however access is still only for members.
Since the cottages were built over water,
they also built wooden docks to get to them.
These were eventually replaced by steel ones.

I found this pic on the internet of the cottages.
Six of them burned and all that is left are
the docks. A total loss.
At least a few of the cottages were saved along
with the club itself.
The winds that day caused so much devastation.

Well it is snowing right now.
We might get another 6 inches.

Hope everyone enjoys their weekend!

Basket Blessings To All!


  1. It's so sad about the fire, seeing something with such history wiped out. I love your basket collection. I have far too many and most I don't use anymore but I hate to get rid of them because sometimes it's just what you need!

  2. I love baskets as well. Too bad about the loss. That is a cool history. We are getting more snow, even as I type this. Have a great weekend.

  3. I'm a basket lover also and have so many of them in different styles and I use them mostly for storage. Some are truly works of art. I gave some away to good will as I had way too many.

    How sad about the loss of the historic cottages. I'm sure the loss will be felt during the summer time when vacation time comes.

    Snow is melting again today but we still have so much left.


  4. Hi, I love baskets too. :-) I have so many different styles and sizes. I use them daily, in the garden, collecting eggs and storage.
    I am so sorry to hear about the loss of the historic cottages.
    We have several old barns in our area that the roofs collapsed from the snow. It has been a harsh winter. Our neighbor, 5 houses down, garage roof collapsed.
    Thinking Spring!!!

  5. I have a rye basket given to me by my son - I love it. Your baskets are perfect. Also the wrong iron baskets holding different items.
    I am sorry about those cottages - that is so sad.
    Now snow.
    What is going on?

  6. Your basket collection is lovely & the wire ones !!!
    How sad those beautiful cottages are gone forever ....looked beautiful.
    We could have a Nor'Easter Monday into Tuesday ....I hope the weathermen are wrong !!!!

  7. The baskets are great and so handy! I know they were such a necessity back in the day. The egg baskets are cute and maybe the chicken shaped ones helped the eggs feel more at home! Ha! Anyway, making an ash basket could be hard today as we have lost so many ash trees to ash bore disease. We lost our beautiful one a few years ago. So sad about those cute cottages. Maybe they can be rebuilt one day? It's cold here after such a beautiful week and we even had snow flurries in the air yesterday but no accumulation. I hope the snow doesn't cause too much trouble near you. Have a good rest of your weekend!

  8. I love your basket collection. I have a fair sized collection of old baskets too. The old splint baskets are my favorites. I am so sorry about the loss of the cottages.

  9. LOVE the basket with the hand carved handle!
    So sad about the cottages. History lost ;-(

  10. I'm a basket lover too...I have a trunk I keep them in and pull them out to decorate with or to carry things in - it gives me that old-fashioned Laura Ingalls/Tasha Tudor feeling that makes me smile. I'm sorry about the fires...the multi-colored cottages are so lovely...what started the fires? How awful to lose such old treasures. More snow...did you send us some?! We had a little this morning and it made my heart happy! Mary


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