Timberwolf Creek Blog

Picnic baskets, they way they oughta be

Ok, I’d like to think I’m fairly intelligent, but have to admit that it took me fifteen years (that’s right, years) to finally figure out that when folks leave here with a picnic basket, it should be a memento of their time in the mountains, not a Made in China purchase. Good heavens. Years.

Yesterday, Larry and I spent a wonderful afternoon with Judy (my bride c. 2012) at the Church Street Craft Fair in Waynesville. Only it’s not on Church Street any more, it’s on Main Street. I think that’s a topic for another day. Anyway. Did I mention that I’m easily distracted these days? Ok. Where was I? Oh yes. Years.

I stepped into a booth and was just transported.  Not that kind of booth.  I mean, I didn’t go into a time warp or start talking into my shoe or suddenly find myself dressed in a cape and a shirt with a big red S on the chest.  Not that kind of transported.  I mean a vendor booth at the market – this one filled with the prettiest baskets I’ve seen!  Each basket was wonderfully detailed and carefully crafted.  Naturally I asked about who made them and the very nice lady in the booth told me that indeed, she had.  When I said that they were just exquisite, she actually blushed.  Clearly she was pleased, but by way of demonstrating my sincerity, I promptly bought all she had in the size I needed.  And I couldn’t be happier about that!

Walking through the remainder of the fair (and what a fair! bluegrass and bagpipes! not at the same time – I don’t know if I’d enjoy that – but the entertainment was great) folks were stopping me right and left to admire my pretty baskets, laced up my arms and held every which way.

So.  No more made-in-china baskets.  Now, when you get a picnic lunch here, you’ll have a hand-crafted basket, lovingly created by a local artisan.  And Miss Laura Ann has burned her initials on the bottom corner of each one: her signature.  All the baskets are different, with painted flowers, or braided rope, but all the ones I got have the curled wood at the top, which the artist told me is called a tulip edge.  I got completely distracted by that, and we had a nice long conversation about tulips vs lilies vs iris.  I probably thought of ‘iris’ because she had a whole row of them worked into one basket in a beautiful blue.  Not quite a violet blue, but more like a periwinkle.  Like an iris would be.  The little Siberian iris, not the bearded ones – those come in oh so many beautiful colors, not just periwinkle blue.  I couldn’t get that one because it wasn’t nearly big enough, but oh I did love the Siberian Iris blue colored tulip edge!  See there?  Distracted.

These are a generous 15×12 and 9 inches tall (plus the handle) and nice and sturdy, so they can hold a healthy-sized picnic lunch, complete with a pie.  I do love finding a whole entire pie in the bottom of a picnic basket, don’t you?  I mean, that could be distracting for anybody, not just me…

And you can take home your hand-crafted Appalachian artwork basket to enjoy for years.  That’s right.  Years.

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