Yesterday was one of those days.

Our playdate got cancelled for the morning and we have been cooped up all week with colds. Adam had a four-hour conference call and would not be joining us for some lunch-time relief. Ellis is definitely showing his three these days. Both boys refused to nap, and by 3pm I couldn’t take it anymore. I needed a moment not holding, looking at or instructing my kids. So I packed them up in the car for a five-minute voyage to the dump. Both the kids rear-face (a post for another time) and sitting back-to-back in the car was just the break from each other that we all needed.

Don’t get me wrong, I love living in the country, but I have a three day max for staying home. We usually stay pretty busy with playgroup, storytimes and outings during the week. Because of our colds we were on day five of stay at home quarantine.

The dump is a perfect distraction. It is only three miles away. Ellis might see a dump truck and there is the swap shop. The swap shop is the place where you can leave or take anything that isn’t ready to be trashed. We have found some gems there. Everything from the duck bank (a favorite among toddlers who love to feed him pennies) to big vintage speakers for Adam’s stereo to our dining chairs.


On this lucky day I found a basket I had coveted for a long time.


I love baskets. The bigger the better. I use them for everything all over the house. There is a very fancy African import shop in town that sells these baskets, but they are too rich for me, so for years I have just admired. Sure this basket was busted (or more accurately “toe up” according to the random guy standing around at the swap shop), but it was the basket I had always wanted. So I pounced on it.

And I remembered my resolution to slow down and take some “before” pics when I start a new project. Which I did. Before, during and after pics. I haven’t completely accomplished my resolution to slow down (I did decide to start this project during the witching hour between dinner and bedtime in which our whole house falls apart) but I had waved my white flag and surrendered to this day hours earlier. By that point of the night, Adam was already running the show, so I felt ok diving right in. (I also started writing this post before I actually finished the project, but hey, baby steps.)

So to give this basket new life I trimmed off the broken top and needed to finish the edge somehow. I tried black and tan yarn, but really the yarn was too thick and it kept splitting the wraps on the row beneath it, so I ended up using a variegated ribbon. I just stitched it all around the top edge of the basket.

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Here is the after shot, with a toddler model in the basket, for scale.

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So the basket redo ended up being a good save to an otherwise frustrating day. Baskets for the win!