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24 September 2009
It's amazing how seemingly insignificant events in one's life can start something bigger than you realize.
When we were on our trip this summer, many of us in the group were taken with and purchased the bread baskets that were sold in the So. of France and seen in use in many restaurants we visited. I took the photo below in a shop in Arles where there were lots and lots of them.
They made great gifts and I bought one for my mother at the Farmers Market in Arles, which I gave to her last month, with her other gifts and the gifts I'd bought for Peach and Kathy.
Now, Peach and Kathy are the "crafty cousins." They do gorgeous cross stitch and many other things, and they have been trying to get a business started, and looking for things they could make to sell at a craft fair before the holidays this year.
When Kathy saw the bread basket, she pounced on it and decided that it was something she'd never seen before, she loved it, thought it would be easy to make and started examining it from every angle, measuring and making notes.
They are great because they are reversible, they are washable, they can be stored flat, like place mats, and the possibilities for designs seem limitless.
After we'd settled ourselves in for coffee yesterday, at the start of Cousins Day, Kathy and Peach pulled out a bread basket they had made.
They have been playing around with fabric and sizes and making lots of these baskets. Everybody who sees them wants one and they have sold more than a dozen already. Every time they show the basket to someone, they want to buy it. They want to make 50-60 in time for a craft fair in November and will decide, from the response to the baskets, if they will make this a real business or not.
We started talking about the possibilities beyond bread baskets. Matching napkin holders (same pattern, but different size), matching placemats (they have those in France too).
I decided that there were uses beyond just the dinner table. I can envision this being a great baby shower gift, for example, done in a baby themed pattern and filled with baby items, like q-tips, lotion, baby rattle, and a host of other small baby things.
Or a basket for the guest bathroom, filled with little soaps, shampoo, washcloths, etc.
Or maybe a gift basket for a new neighbor, filled with some sort of cookies or bread or whatever.
Or a gift for the cook in your life, filled with spices and small cooking utensils.
The ideas kept flowing and before we left, I had ordered three of them myself and been asked to make a list of ideas for uses for such a basket.
It was another successful Cousins Day. I presented everyone with the cookbook I'd made of photos and recipes from the past two years of Cousins Days, which they all liked.
Peach complained that all the pictures of drinks being poured were of HER pouring them, so she took a picture of ME pouring drinks this time.
This was a "French 76, a mixture of vodka, cointreau and lemon juice, topped off with champage.
There were winners of 65: One won 3, two won 2, and one was the victim of bad karma, which will teach her to speak nicely next time.
We laughed a lot and declared that as Cousins Days go, this was one of the "funner" ones! I can hardly wait to see how this possible business goes!
If anybody would like to contact my crafty cousins about ordering one
of the baskets you can write to them at
PHOTO OF THE DAY