I also painted this for my sister. Her living room is this colour, so it should go nicely.
And I've been making lots of crocheted gift baskets (a good stash busting exercise). Here's a mini tut for Penny and anyone else that's interested.
I used a big hook (this one's about an 8m) and 3 or 4 strands of yarn. This will make your basket stiff enough to stand up on it's own. I made a loop (with a pullable tail) and crocheted about 6 dc into it, and then pulled the tail tight so that the hole closed up.
I carried on crocheting in a spiral, increasing every stitch in the first few rounds, then gradually increasing less and less, so that the work laid flat. When it was as big as I wanted the base to be, I used a flat stitch to join the work.
I then flipped the circle over and removing the hook from the stitch, pushed the hook through from the other side and grabbed the stitch again.
I then dc crocheted round the posts of the circle, so it formed a little wall.
Once I'd been round the circle, I switched back to dc in the normal way, joining each row with a slip stitch, till it was as tall as I wanted it to be. The base should have a nice little ridge round it.
When it was tall enough, I carried on crocheting round a little, then chained about 10 stitches and then reattached them to the basket, I carried on a little further and then chained another 10 stitches and reattached them These will form the handles, so make sure that they're roughly opposite each other. All done. I used all the scraps of wool that are too little for bigger projects, and if you change the colours round regularly, the basket will have an interesting texture.
By the way, the cookies were cooked and consumed. They were good. Too good. Even M ate them and he has borderline OCD food fussiness. I'm considering buying a packet of Smarties tomorrow to make some Smarties cookies. Mmmmmm, chocolate.....I shouldn't really; no matter how much I protest that they will be for gifts, I have very little willpower when it comes to chocolate.