Garden roses in a simple vase placed atop a crochet doily, a stemmed compote dish waiting to be filled with the pear preserves, and family recipes handwritten on timeworn index cards and scratch pieces of paper spring to mind memories of Easter week travels over to Texas to visit my great-grandparents.
My mother came across a handwritten letter from my great-grandmother while spring cleaning. I’ve asked my mother many times if she remembered the address of their house, but she couldn’t recall what it was.
Rainy day are made for indoor activities. Good thing I love thunder and lightening and find them intensely beautiful ’cause we’ve seen a boatload of beauty over the last few days. Rainy days and Mondays blues took on a whole new meaning with this DIY Easter basket project.
Today’s blogging soundtrack is courtesy of the Spotify Discover Weekly playlist which changes every Monday. First in line on this week’s list is Laughter in the Rain by Neil Sedaka.
Serendipity plays here.
The DIY projects I do tackle are born out of necessity more than enjoyment. When the antique shop was open, I didn’t think twice about upholstering, repairing, or refinishing DIY projects. Bottom line profit played a huge role in those decisions.
A fond memory of a beloved Easter basket and the futile search for one like it accounts for this DIY Easter basket project.
When the big move of 2010 took place, I left the packing and moving from the old house to the new to us house to Dave the Builder while I packed up my parent’s house for their move.
One colossal undertaking I do not recommend to the faint of heart.
In the moving mayhem, Dave made the executive decision to part ways with soooo many things I would have kept. Whatnots and doodads can easily be replaced, but certain items qualify as irreplaceable. One such item is the handmade Easter basket my mother bought me in 1974.
A group of ladies residing at a local care facility made the most beautiful Easter baskets from plastic dry cleaning bags. The plastic was pulled through a simple green berry basket, knotted on the inside, and trimmed. An undone wire hanger shaped to fit and tightly wrapped with plastic dry cleaning bags became the basket handle.
I loved the basket, and kept it all these years.
The more I thought about it, the more I knew I wanted an Easter basket like it. Ebay, Etsy, and the local treasure shops did not have anything even remotely close. I saw several tutu baskets, but that’s not what I want.
As Patsy Cline said to Loretta Lynn in Coal Miner’s Daughter, anything we can’t buy, we’ll make.
Hello, DIY Easter basket project.
Begin with A bamboo Easter basket from the dollar store. I figure if I mess it up I’m only in for a dollar.
A few pieces of scrap tulle left over from Christmas allowed for me to practice. Once I mastered the cut and feed, it was on to the fabric department at Walmart for four yards of white net and eight yards of light blue tulle.
The texture of the white net makes it easier to fill in gaps and when fluffed out give a nice full coverage of the area you are working with.
Bamboo Easter basket
8 yards light blue tulle
4 yards white net
1 roll 1½” wide white grosgrain ribbon
Speckled Easter eggs
Hot glue gun
I worked with two lengths of fabric and multiple layers.
I cut the tulle and the net into 12″ strips for layers 3, 4, and 5, and 8″ inch strips for the layers 1 and 2.
More layers make for a fuller look, and shorter layers around the basket rim beautifully cover and conceal the bamboo.
Feed a strip of tulle or net through the spaces in the basket with half the strip on the outside and the other half of the strip on the inside of the basket.
After an exhaustive and empty-handed search for my crochet hook, I just used my fingers to feed the fabric through the basket.
Yes, I made a couple of larger than need be holes in the basket. You may notice the blue and white ribbon in the image below. If you make the same uh-oh simply cut a piece of ribbon, feed it through, bring it up catching the layer above, and tie with a knot. Trim the excess ribbon and problem fixed.
Tulle and net are forgiving, and when fluffed and fanned out cover a multitude of DIY sins.
Work with a two blue tulle strips to one white net strip repeat all the way around each layer of the basket.
Fluff and fan out each side of the fabric to desired fullness.
Trim each layer of tulle and net down to the desired lengths to create extra fullness.
Fire up the hot glue gun.
Use caution when using a hot glue gun so you don’t burn your fingers.
Use a binder clip, clothespin, or hair clip (you get the idea) to hold the ribbon in place.
Wrap the basket handle with the ribbon. Secure the ribbon to the base of the basket handle with several drops of hot glue.
Trim each layer of the tulle and net to desired lengths to create extra fullness and correct any unevenness.
I’m very pleased with the finished product. Dave swears it’s prettier than the original one I had, and I think he may be right. Isn’t it funny how a memory of a beloved Easter basket became such a source of inspiration.
Our Easter Sunday dinner menu is almost finalized. Numerous do you/will you eat ________ phone calls have been made to the picky eaters collective.
Dave the Builder submits his requests early in the menu planning stages, our son specifies his desire for his favorite dishes to at least make one plated appearance during his visit home, and the youngest nephew wants only one thing- my Vanilla Bread Pudding with Vanilla Sauce.
It’s almost a side dish at this point, and I no longer regard it as the star of the dessert table.
I guess I should be more selective with the way I frame the topic of dessert with The Places In The Home gang. The look Dave the Builder and my mother had on their faces when I informed them we will be going naked for dessert was priceless.
Speaking of an Easter decorating and tablescaping dollar store run and the color blue…
We need another set of plates in our kitchen cupboard like we need a another set of plates in our kitchen cupboard.
Can you say obsessed?
Simple and understated dinner plates have their place on our Easter dinner table. I prefer to let the crystal, linens, flatware and centerpiece live out loud.
I am one of the last Southern hostess holdouts when it comes to monogramming the vintage linen dinner napkins my mother brought me back from her last trip to Tennessee. I’m still on the fence about committing this particular set of napkins to a permanent applique and color choice.
Thank goodness for hemstitch cocktail napkins.
The jury is still out on Martha Stewart’s getting bunny with it napkin fold decision for Easter 2015 plans, prep and pastels tablescape.
An Easter tablescape can rival fashion’s finery for the spotlight in the Easter parade. Dressed to impress not only applies to the fashions, but to Easter baskets and Easter tablescapes. To look upon a beautiful Easter tablescape as a work of art is no over exaggeration of the term. I’m featuring a two part series this week appropriately titled Easter Tablescape Ideas.
A centerpiece full of fresh flowers from nature’s floral department aka our own yards broadens the field for artistic interpretation.
Begin with a vase, jar, tureen, pitcher, decorative coffee can- any type container that floats your boat or flower frog will do.
Fern and magnolia leaves, camellias, hydrangea, knock out roses, palm fronds, daffodils, dogwood branches, bridal wreath spirea, azaleas and lilies- all eggscellent (you knew it was coming!) centerpiece options.
Inspiration lives in the great and colorful outdoors.
Never underestimate the decorative power of paint. Hobby Lobby makes a great point!
We see oodles of pictures showing lovely kitchen and dining rooms with dining tables polished and pristine.
You won’t see one of our kitchen tabletop.
It’s a working tabletop- one big catchall for house plans, design boards, material lists and shelter magazines.
Now you know my little secret and why I am in total support of the statement, “the kitchen is the heart of the home.”
Tablescapes usually take place on the dining room tabletop, but not this year.
The dining room chandelier is still sitting in the box waiting to be rewired…for the second time.
Dave the Builder stripped the new wiring as he was threading it through the center tube.
He didn’t discover this very important development until he was in the process of hanging the chandelier and the wires sparked in Katy Perry style.
Carrots- it’s your holiday time to shine. I know I associate the carrot with Easter dinner. I have posted these recipes before in separate posts, but thought it would be so much easier to consolidate them into one Easter dinner recipes post.
Holiday weeks can be so hectic, and who doesn’t appreciate a little convenience? These two recipes are delicious, make a beautiful presentation, and are Easter dinner and dessert appropriate.
Grandma Hiers’ Carrot Cake
Butter, for pans
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups vegetable oil
3 cups grated carrots
1 ½ cups chopped pecans, optional
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick salted butter, room temperature
1 (16-ounce) box powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 3 (9-inch) round pans; Line bottom of the pans with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add eggs and vegetable oil. Using a hand mixer, blend until combined. Add carrots and pecans, if using. Pour batter into pans.
Bake for approximately 40 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes. Remove from pans, place on waxed paper and allow to cool completely before frosting.
For the frosting:
Add all ingredients, except nuts, into a medium bowl and beat until fluffy using a hand mixer.
Stir in the nuts. Spread frosting on top of each cake layer. Top with chopped pecans.
Glazed Carrots With Orange & Ginger
Side dishes, desserts and recipes for Easter Sunday dinner are becoming part of the discussion rotation here at Places In The Home. Traditional holiday favorites take center stage on the menu, but I like to bring something new to the holiday feast. I found an impressive glazed carrots recipe in one of the many magazines I subscribe to and was ready to go(or so I thought). Wouldn’t you know it, when I am ready to further investigate the ingredients and prep directions I can’t find the magazine. Who am I kidding? I can’t even remember which magazine the recipe was in. I’m learning to immediately write down the name of the magazine, site or book items of interest are found in. That did not happen in the case of the missing glazed carrots recipe, so I winged it from part memory, part personal tastes. Here’s what I came up with.
Glazed Carrots With Orange & Ginger
1 lb pkg. peeled baby carrots
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons orange marmalade
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/3 cup orange juice
zest of one lemon
zest of one orange
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Chopped fresh parsley for garnish (optional)
Combine all ingredients except lemon juice and parsley in saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring to incorporate all ingredients together.
Reduce heat to medium low, add lemon juice and cover. Cook until carrots are tender. Taste to determine if you want to adjust the seasonings.
I like to add the parsley and one additional squeeze of lemon to the pan to allow it to “soften” for approximately 1 minute. Serves 4.