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the little things | wooden spoons

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I think it’s easy to be intentional when making choices about the big things you bring into your home.  The big commitment items like sofas and china hutches and statement pieces.  I don’t think it’s quite as easy to be intentional about the little things.  Things that are utilitarian and inexpensive.

But, if you’re going to buy something, anything, even something little, relatively cheap, and utilitarian, why not buy something you love?  Imagine your home filled just with things you love.

Well, that’s the goal, anyway.

I’ll be the first to say that I don’t love all of my kitchen utensils, but I’m working towards it.  I feel very neutral about my can opener and pizza cutter, but I love my wooden spoons.

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I look for ones of different shapes, sizes and tone of wood, so they each have their own personality and I can justify having way more than necessary.  (There is an ongoing struggle within me between the less-is-more-Marian and the collector-Marian.  We can see who is winning in this case.  And when it comes to ironstone.)

My favorites are the ones that are old and worn; discolored from years of use.  I’m trying to use my new ones a lot, so they can earn their patina a little quicker.

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Would you believe I bought the spoon on the left about 12 years ago, just because it was stamped with the word “France”.  It’s not just a wooden spoon, but a French one.  It’s faded now, but you can see it clearer on the new one.

I bought this pretty wood-burned spoon & spatula set at the Holiday Expo I spoke at in November…

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…and received a few more for Christmas to add to the family.  I also love the dark walnut ones that were sent to me as a gift from a reader.

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…and even when I’m not using them, I enjoy them.

What little things do you enjoy in your home?

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Comments

  1. Wooden spoons for me, too! ??

  2. My weakness is vintage porcelain trivets. The round ones that have hand painted flowers on them. Love your spoons! I think I might need a few more, myself!

  3. I bought a beautiful birds eye maple wooden spoon years ago and never used it. It was only for display. But my thoughts on that have changed lately and it is now in my crock to be used and admired regularly.

  4. Love old hotel silver but not fancy pieces. I have a few personal teapots and creamers. They are well worn and not terribly shiny. Just something about the old metal and the names of long gone hotels.

  5. Korrie says:

    Ooh! Love the wooden spoons. Do you have a source?

  6. LOVE your comment about your dueling selves! I have a “less is more” Sheila and a “collector” Sheila and mine also duel quite often! Right now I’m very much into less, and clean and simple…. hopefully that will stick!

    Love your wooden spoons and I must say, you’ve made me think about mine:)

    Thanks for a fun post!

    Best,
    Sheila
    http://www.maisondecinq.blogspot.com

  7. Lovely wooden spoons! I enjoy seeking out unique old bakeware whether it is an odd muffin tin or bread pan. The more patina the better!

  8. Ginger Marshall says:

    Spice tins! I started collecting Ginger spice tins about 35 years ago. At first ANY Ginger tin would do, but over the years I’ve become more selective, buying only those that are especially pretty or unique. I started added Nutmeg tins, for my daughter Megan, about 20 years ago, & now any spice or cooking tin goes. Lately, I have been very fond of vintage marshmallow tins, or “marshallmallows”, as we call them in our family!

  9. I love wooden spoons. I use 3 to 4 every day, and I have definite prefereces for them. I had a few get damaged, so I need to get some more. I actually saw that wooden spoon marked France recently and very seriously contemplated purchasing it. They were at Sur la Table. I had never been in the store before (only on their website) but I was in a different part of town for a change and needed to wait, and saw this store while waiting. I was very excited to check it out! I have been thinking about returning to get myself a couple of new spoons, since they are so used.

    I do the same with other small items. A lot of my kitchen items are vintage ones, that have come to me over the years from people going into homes as they age. I prefer some of the old pans (like the Mirro muffin pans) to new ones, and have found a couple more at garage sales. They are painted inside, with colors that look like they are from your milk paint line.

  10. You would love your pizza cutter if you used a meat cleaver. Makes very short work of it!

  11. Kelly says:

    One of mine is salt and pepper shakers, especially the small ones for individual place settings. And mismatched crystal or glassware, but it needs to be something that you can’t buy in a department store currently. I’m very nostalgic.

  12. Typewriter ribbon tins. Hull, McCoy vases–only white. Framed Buzza mottos. Cocktail shakers. Red tomato pin cushions. Quimper. Green depression glass. Milwaukee Road Traveler dishes. Exactly, I must put the brakes on.

  13. Oh, and anything vintage Halloween.

  14. I love little sugar and creamer sets, especially pewter ones. I use them for holding everything – bobby pins, pencils and pens, crochet hooks, paint brushes, anything I can. It’s how I justify to my husband that I get to keep them. :)

  15. Colette says:

    I thought I was the only one. I admit to a little sigh when my wooden spoons are all clean and arranged in their crock. I also will admit to “freaking out” over my wooden spoons getting put in the dishwasher by loved ones who just can’t start to understand what they could have done wrong by helping with the dishes ? Perfectly patinated wooden spoons, rusty things, chippy white paint, & vintage super soft linen. These are my “comfort” faves.

  16. Two years ago we were in France. My daughter took us to an olive oil shop in Paris. They had a wonderful section of cutting boards and wooden utensils made out of the wood from the olive trees. I was like a kid in a candy store!
    They also had an olive oil shampoo that restored amazing hydration to my dry, curly hair. But that is a story for another day!

  17. Cloth napkins. Haven’t bought paper napkins in 20 years. I was working for a nonprofit back then and the first set I bought were 25 cents a piece. Finally had to say goodbye to that set of 8 about a year ago. Now I have multiple sets, some seasonal, some year round. Even have a set of red and blue for BBQ meals. Makes every meal fell a bit more special. NO PAPER NAPKINS!!

  18. Sheran Steading says:

    I am a wooden spoon lover, too. I love to look for unusual ones, and I even have one that was made by a friend. I also love vintage creamers. And bowls.

  19. Rowena Philbeck says:

    I love wooden spoons too. Their is a local man (The spoon man) who makes beautiful ones and I have some of his. He even makes a rouge one for gumbo etc. Flat on one side. Its awesome. I think the more used the better as well. Love your collection and what you have them in too!!

  20. Thats amazing to see one of my favorite things featured here, wood burned wooden spoons. I found some artistically burned ones in an Etsy shop called Fleece and Thicket! I admit it’s a new collection I’m starting!!

  21. Debbie w says:

    Hi, Marian….we always love your references about wooden spoons. Today, we were happy to see our walnut Wilson Falls Art spoons in your collection From this post! I have been meaning to let you know that we recently opened an etsy shop: http://www.wilsonfallsart.etsy.com. Thanks for giving us the “mustard seed” idea to open a shop after your inquiry about our spoons! Ron and Debbie Wilson

  22. mary m young says:

    I love anything kitchen that is old but at the same time I am a sucker for nice plastic gadgets.I have an assortment of wooden aka treenware. I have them displayed in an old pottery vase that has iris on it. Some of my wooden items especially flat ones have a little burn on them but that adds to the charm. If I think they are drying out I usually put a gulp of mineral oil in a zip lock bag and let the wooden item marinate to get moisture back into the wood. Ofcourse never never put wooden things in the dishwasher. I have the cutest small wooden potato masher with stainless steel masher made either here in NH or Vermont. That lives amongst the wooden ware.

  23. I, too, love and enjoy my wooden spoons. I bought mine (probably a dozen of them) for the equivalent of 12¢ apiece in Germany 50 years ago. Talk about patina! Oh, and I run them through the dishwasher every time they’re used — hasn’t hurt them a bit.

  24. Graham says:

    If you have to take medicine, or aspirin or whatever, why not make it look decorative? I’m mad for apothecary jars. Labels are easy to make so that nothing gets mixed up.

  25. Marlene Stephenson says:

    I too love wooden utensils,i have new and old ones that i have bought at estate sales. I have all kinds,people sale them cheap,but i love them.

  26. Deborah D says:

    I love wooden spoons too. I like rolling pins a lot.

  27. Sandy says:

    I love wooden spoons and also love wood potato mashers with great patina. I’m now collecting a few different shapes on vintage bread boards

  28. Penny says:

    What a fun post Marion,

    I have a black walnut hand carved spoon similar to your’s that’s my favorite. It goes with a tiny pastry rolling pin. I enjoy cutting boards, wooden bowls and silver napkin rings to go along with cloth napkins.

  29. Debbie says:

    I have collected vintage silverplate, sterling, salt cellars and spoons for more than twenty years (when a set of sterling candlesticks could be bought for $10). I moved on to table linens, and kept on collecting the other, too, when I found a bargain. Then I was bitten by the rustic stuff, and had the most fun planning a wedding for my daughter and rehearsal dinner for my son, here at our home, and combining the silver with burlap and pottery, rusty candlesticks with sterling, white tablecloths and napkins. I’m loving the “whatever suits your fancy” attitude that prevails now. I’m 65 and I remember the sometimes uptight and rigid attitude of my Southern upbringing! Have some wooden spoons that were handed down to me, but my favorite are discovered ones that just felt good in my hand!! I love the attitude and creativity of you young folks, and really enjoy reading about it!

  30. About 20 years ago we were expats living in the Middle East, and took our first vacation to Syria, known then for its French fashions and sweets, ancient ruins, and wonderful food. I was advised by American friends there that as a souvenir, I should buy a thick apricot wood cooking spoon in the bazaar. Apricot wood is used because it is the strongest local wood, and the spoon is carved with a slight twist in the handle, which makes it easier to stir a heavy batter or a thick stew. I liked it so much that I bought another on a subsequent trip to Turkey, but it isn’t as carefully carved as the first. Both go through the dishwasher with no ill effects, btw…. Other everyday kitchen favorites include a wooden rolling pin that was a wedding gift to my great aunt in 1920’s Arkansas, a tiny nutmeg grater that belonged to my great grandmother, and my grandmother’s square cast iron cornbread skillet. (Corny wIsdom from my father, a southern math teacher: “Pi r2? Pi aren’t square. Cornbread are square. Pie are round.”)

  31. Debbie Nisson says:

    My husband and daughters say I have a chair and dish fetish. I admit it. I also love wooden spoons and my favorite are made of olive wood.

  32. Debbie Klausing says:

    I have a large wooden spoon made by my Uncle, which I treasure. He made spoons, nesting Shaker boxes and other items for Shakertown in Kentucky. I have been thinking that I need some of your oil. He has since passed away, so I need to be a good steward and take care of it. I also have this thing for lamps and mirrors, but they have to speak to me ( or be really good deal). . My friend says I am looking for light.

  33. marylisa noyes says:

    my wooden spoons are in a vintage crock right next to my range. I also have small espresso spoons I’ve collected in a vintage german cup.

  34. Dottie Gee says:

    Vintage animal planters. Luv ’em!

  35. Michelle says:

    I have a big collection of wooden spoons also! I love all different ones like you. I keep them next to my stove in an old crock. I also collect wood cutting boards and have way too many! If there’s such a thing!

  36. Arlene says:

    I have quite a collection of wooden spoons also! Love them! Especially the old ones.

    My favorite collection tho has to be old medicine tins and bottles. I have a huge amount of them. We ended up building a small shelf around our bathroom to display them. I love the old sample tins. I love to shop in antique stores and when we were first married without much money (still not much!) these were something I could afford, most were around $2 or sometimes less. Then I inherited the contents of 2 grandmothers medicine cabinets. I still love reading them – such interesting things they say!

  37. Tyler Lane says:

    I just love finding vintage, quality items that I can use for everyday tasks instead of manufactured, plastic junk. For example, I recently scored a pewter beer tankard for my kids toothbrush holder, a hand thrown glazed pot as a twine nest on my book shelves, and an old metal toolbox as a storage container.

    Also! There are some olive wood spatulas on etsy that I am obsessed with. They’re not only gorgeous, but sturdy and versatile. I just replaced a handful of plastic utensils for this set- https://www.etsy.com/listing/101524478/olive-wood-spatula-set-wooden-spatula

  38. I love white pitchers! A farm girl I am!

  39. I LOVE CHICKENS!!!!! Not any…they have to have a certain look to them. All are vintage. Some are old milk glass, some are S&P shakers and some are just stand alones. One of the most fun things that happened was, I found a old fat hen salt shaker in a shop. She was a beauty and I didn’t care that she didn’t have a mate. Then at least 25 years later at a flea market I found her Mr. Pepper shaker mate!!!! It was funny how they both were singles…and just the one I needed. LOVE when that happens!!!!

  40. Beckie says:

    I love them too! And, I have way too many!! Fortunately, or maybe unfortunately, I live very close to the little place that makes Allegheny Treenware (http://alleghenytreenware.com/). They have a huge variety including left-handed as well as right-handed utensils. It is such fun to go for a visit!!

  41. I LOVE old wooden spoons! I actually just did a blog post about the ones I wood-burned for Christmas craft sales. They are so much fun to do! You should try wood-burning one in your spare time…Ha!! I know how that is…what is spare time? :) No, but really, they are fun to do. :)
    Anyhow, I also collect fiestaware and blue canning jars with zinc lids. I sold all my dishes I had accumulated and bought all fiestaware because I read about high lead content being in some dishware and since I LOVE fiestaware anyhow, this was just the last push to get me to invest in them. I love how colorful and fun they are…and I can choose a different color to use every day depending on what color I am feeling for that day. :) Anyhow, always love catching up on your blog. :) I’m so glad you always keep up with writing.
    Here is a link to my blog post of my wooden spoons: http://www.pailsofpaint.com/2016/01/art-for-kitchen-woodburned-wooden-spoons.html

  42. Summer says:

    Vintage and antique cookie cutters, I have stored them in vintage tin picnic baskets. Vintage linens. Red and green handled kitchenware. Treenware. Graters. Vintage fruit crate labels, framed and hung on my kitchen wall. Old advertising cook books. Old toby mugs in all sizes. Old sewing items. The list goes on and on. Oh, yes, wooden spoons!

  43. Heather Anne says:

    My son would tell you that wooden spoons are great for playing indoor wiffleball too! I have the same long handled spoons from France – my mum got them for me after my son broke my last one. They are awesome for jam making because the long handle keeps me from getting burned. Jam making gives them a LOT of really nice patina too – especially grape and raspberry!

  44. Collette Evanko says:

    Items used to organize and corral my “stuff” – wooden boxes and trays, tool boxes, trugs, etc. So much nicer than plastic storage bins.

  45. For me it’s anything with a peacock on it, or a peacock feather. I have… a lot of peacock things, and it’s starting to get out of hand. But I just can’t help it!! Especially when people oh-so-generously get the things for me. Haha! At least your collection doesn’t make you look crazy, just like you enjoy cooking. =)

  46. HippiesChick says:

    I find that right now I am collecting Ironstone and wooden cutting boards. The Ironstone I have been getting lucky and finding it for under $10.00. The cutting boards, especially the old animal shapes make me smile when I see them. Since I bought my first house in September, I understand about surrounding yourself with the things you love. It has become so clear to me. I use my Ironstone and my china. I don’t want it on my table unless I love it.

  47. I’ve a thing for wooden spoons too! I bought my Husband an oak ladle for our ‘wood’ anniversary :) My other big irresistibles are jelly moulds – especially china ones with the shaped outersides and Mason and Cash mixing bowls…. I have them all around my kitchen!

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