Monday, July 15, 2013

Olive Baskets and Fishing Floats...........

Perhaps you've seen vintage olive baskets popping up in decorating publications recently.........even Pottery Barn had some for sale in their 'flea market' section, overpriced I have to say. I purchased one at the beginning of the year from an online source (Christina at the beautiful blog, Greige). I've enjoyed it so much on a small corner table in my dining room. Purple tulips dangled over the rim at Easter, a huge bunch of blue hydrangeas jostled for space one recent week - picked prior to the torrential daily rains now dashing them to the ground, turning the blooms rusty brown so early in the season, and making me so sad. 
When two more baskets were available at an affordable price from Kristen, a dealer at SuzAnna's Antiques, I jumped at the chance and brought them home. 

Being somewhat large for the farm table - where I often sit to blog - I've now moved them to new homes. One sits on my hearth. Another on the table in the gazebo and I've added chunky white candles which, if it ever stops raining here, we will enjoy on Summer evenings while sipping a glass of chilled 
Sauvignon Blanc, and supper alfresco.

I can see them back on the table at Christmas perhaps holding two small balsam fir trees - decorating fun ahead.

The baskets are authentic so have dents and dings..........but oh how I love their pale blue grey metal and a little rusty patina on the galvanized base and handles. Some people say they are from Turkey rather than Greece, and were used to gather grapes, either way they are gorgeous and bring dreamy thoughts of the old ways in the European countryside. I can picture the olive groves at Summer's end, trees laden with fruit, the harvesters arriving to gather the bounty, piling them into these baskets once they have ripened from green to black under the hot sun.

Fishing float, Falkland Islands natural yarn, Indian dough bowl.

My decor is definitely leaning toward a collection of larger items lately. I'm loving these old pieces from around the world. No, I didn't carry the old fishing float back from Japan last month. This one probably took about 10 years to bob across the Pacific Ocean and end up on the beaches of Oregon, Washington or Alaska. I did notice, while in Japan, they are now using ugly pink and orange Styrofoam floats so the beautiful glass ones are becoming collectors' items.

Modern fishing floats - Rishiri Island, Japan - June 2013

To learn more of the fascinating history of the glass fishing 
floats go HERE.
Large eye-catching items make a statement, especially in small spaces. I was getting tired of moving, rearranging, and most of all dusting tiny ornaments scattered about the cottage. Perhaps I'm getting lazy in my dotage......or have I at last found what I truly like, want to live with, and what are becoming my favorite things?


  1. Mary, these are beautiful, and have to agree that it is good to have certain bigger pieces that make a statement. Love these baskets!


  2. Mary, I love those olive baskets. I like the idea of a chunky candle in one, I can just see the light peeking out of those holes. And Christmas trees in them? PERFECT!

  3. I love these olive baskets and can definitely see them with little trees inside for Christmas. I just love the flavor of your home. Thanks for sharing with us. Off to explore at the antique mall right now.

  4. Mary, those olive baskets are great! Love the soft patina from years of use. It's fun to see more snippets of your lovely home.

  5. These olive/grape baskets are really beautiful. And yes, I can see them used for many things including a small fir tree at Christmas. I imagine the candle light flickering through the slits would be pretty as well. Those newer fishing floats are not pretty at all are they? I love the glass ones much more. I have several vintage baskets made by NB Native Indians around the house that I use for magazines, books and blankets. I love the patina and colours of the different ones. They are very practical.


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