1. A mat-forming, evergreen shrub (Vaccinium macrocarpum) of eastern North America, having pink flowers and tart, red, edible berries.
2. The berries of this plant, used in sauces, jellies, relishes, and beverages.
1. A small, single-storied house, especially in the country.
2. A small vacation house.
cran·ber·ry cot·tage
1. A tiny house in the woods in the north of Holland.
2. Peace, quiet, paradise.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

I believe....... Santa! Do you??? He is trudging his way through the snow covered woods to be here in time for December 25th. 


Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thanksgiving...dinner for two and autumn displays...

How nice to have Thanksgiving dinner for two at Cranberry Cottage. Unfortunately, for the second time in a month, we had to leave earlier than planned as I have been having major problems with my allergies (at least we think that is the problem) while in the woods. My doctor arranged for me to see my specialist at the hospital again in two weeks though so he can check some things. 

Our dinner was a turkey filet steak with onion gravy, sautéed Brussels sprouts with smoked bacon and roasted butternut squash. This turkey steak was so moist and tender so I think I will do it this way from now on. It means no leftovers but that is not such a bad thing when the meat is so succulent. Dessert is not pumpkin pie but pumpkin mousse. I started making this each year for the holiday a couple of years ago from fresh pumpkin. It is delicious and simple to make. You can find my recipe here on a previous blog post.

Back at home in the city and we are busy getting some big projects done in the garden while preparing to allow the garden to have its winter sleep. I also started taking down my autumn decorations to make way for Christmas. 

I have been trying to use my quilts in different ways that I traditionally do. I feel a need to pare down what I have and start making this more simple to do around the house. Just a few pieces like my bobbinlace toadstool picture, gourds places on wooden candlesticks and a leaf shaped dish with acorn pincushions adorned my sideboard along with a quilt and pots. 

The vintage olive pot is a favorite item and I combined it with an old mustard pot and handmade pottery vase to sit on my quilt. 

We moved my sea chest to the quilt wall now and I can keep changing the flowers in my large crackle effect pot. Did you notice the wreath with Sinterklaas? Hard to believe that it is almost December 5th already! Time flies and it will be Christmas far too soon.....

Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving if you are from the US and otherwise are enjoying the last days of autumn wherever you are in the world!


Wednesday, October 22, 2014


pas·tor·al  (pstr-l, p-stôr-, -str-)
a. Of or relating to shepherds or herders.
b. Of, relating to, or used for animal husbandry.
a. Of or relating to the country or country life; rural.
b. Charmingly simple and serene; idyllic. See Synonyms at rural.
3. Of, relating to, or being a literary or other artistic work that portrays or evokes rural life, usually in an idealized way.
4. Of or relating to a pastor or the duties of a pastor: pastoral duties; a pastoral letter.
1. A literary or other artistic work that portrays or evokes rural life, usually in an idealized way.
2. Music A pastorale.

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin pstrlis, from pstorshepherd; see pastor.]

pastor·al·ly adv.

It seems I have been seeing many scenes which evoke the images reminding you of toile de jouy fabric. While on vacation this year in France, Belgium and Holland, I enjoyed these scenes of simple country pleasure. Whether a windmill on a hilltop with cows grazing (photo 1) in Holland or a small orchard beside L'Abbaye du Val Dieu (photos 2 and 3) in Belguim, they make you pause and sigh. A peace falls over you. 

In spring, we visited the Chateau de Rambures and I spotted the cows grazing way off the side of the castle grounds. They are in the farmer's field near the castle but just visible as you come near the walkway. Again...a pause to sigh...a reminder to slow really see what is around you...


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Autumn starts to show her colors.....

There is a buzz in the garden that autumn has come...

Our New York Asters (Symphyotrichum novi-belgii) are in glorious bloom. They have taken over a large area and put on a great show to say goodbye to summer and herald in autumn. The bees are enjoying a final summer feast of nectar.

There is such an overflow of flowers that I even put them in a vase to create an instant autumn table on the terrace just outside the living room. 

And our hydrangeas put on a great show over the summer but are not quite done showing off now with pretty rose tints to welcome the fall. 

There are touches of autumn in our front garden too. I love opening the bedroom curtains in the morning as this table display greets me as I start a new day...


Monday, September 15, 2014

Vacation is hard but fun work.....

Our summer vacation has ended and was wonderful from start to finish. We started with a long stay at Cranberry Cottage. It was so quiet and peaceful which is something we needed. Our goal was to do a project which was inspired by something I saw on Pinterest leading me to this blog post. Thank you Ronda for sharing your brilliant idea! It worked a treat on a wall we were unhappy with at the cottage.

We have a great deal of sunlight that shines on this wall. After wallpapering, we found out that direct sunlight will cause vinyl wallpaper to shrink and pull away from the wall while the paste is drying out. The same wallpaper in the guest room was no problem but here it has gaps and a few bubbles. But my problem is that I LOVE this wallpaper and do not have enough to redo it. It is not a paper that is available any longer. So how to fix the problem and be able to salvage something I love??? 

Ronda's idea of creating a grid was just right! We painted thin wooden slats. We sanded them after painting to give them a worn look. Then measuring first the vertical lengths, we divided the wall into four sections. The horizontals were then glued into place creating 5 sections. We were lucky that we did not have to created the trim around the wall as it already had a trim. We simply painted it to match the slats. 

Both Jos and I are thrilled with the results. It really creates a nice feature wall. We got rid of a couch that was far too large for the room and brought our sheep leather chair to take its place. Our next project is a mantle for the fireplace. Humm...time to look around on Pinterest once again.....


Saturday, August 16, 2014

A visitor came calling at Cranberry Cottage.....

I was watching Jos saw some wood for a project in the cottage when I realized straight across from me, this cute mouse was also watching Jos too!

"Once upon a time there was a woodmouse, and her name was Mrs. Tittlemouse.
She lived in a bank under a hedge.
Such a funny house! There were yards and yards of sandy passages, leading to store-rooms and nut cellars and seed cellars, all amongst the roots of the hedge."

“Tiddly, widdly, widdly! Your very good health, Mrs. Tittlemouse!”

Quotes from The Tale of Mrs. Tittlemouse by Beatrix Potter

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Garden inspiration.....

We love to visit gardens for inspiration. Visiting the tiny city of Gerberoy in France to see the garden of the French painter Henri Le Sidaner did not disappoint us. The addition of this beautiful ornament, which if you look closely in the photo collages, you will find in the artist's garden too. When I found this ornament in at a Dutch farm that sells ornaments, I knew it was the perfect way to remember our visit to Henri's garden...

To enter the gardens, you walk around the outside of the village along the old medieval walls. There is a door in the arch of one wall that enters into the garden. The day we went there was noone else there and it helped create the magic of the world where Henri painted.....

Click to enlarge the photos and get a closer look. 

I love this photo I shot of Jos sitting in the quiet garden enjoying the morning sun.....

Ornaments and statues were everywhere throughout the garden.....

What a privilege to be able to stand in front of the little summerhouse/atelier he painted. And what a summerhouse! I loved all the details in this tiny building. During the exhibit, this was one if my favorite paintings which came to life in the garden.....

The gazebo built on the foundations of a medieval tower allows you to take in the beautiful views of the landscape in and around Gerberoy..... 

Henri Le Sidaner passed away 75 years ago today 16 July in 1939. But his spirit lives on in his timeless paintings but also in the magical gardens he created in Gerberoy, France. 


For those interested in seeing more, here is a YouTube film of his time spent in Gerberoy. It is in Dutch but well worth watching even if you cannot understand the language.