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.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

A few days break in the Mosel Valley (part one)...

After our brief stop from my previous post, we drove on towards the Moselle River. This is our 4th visit to the Mosel Valley and we just love it there. This time we stayed in the village of Lieser at Landhotel Steffen. This hotel was something I chanced upon while looking for a place to stay. It lived up to its description and more. We had a room with a view of the river and dinner included each evening. Jos was a little leary as food in hotels is not always good. But this could not be farther from the truth. Both evenings were excellent. We ate a starter that we would not have ordered but really enjoyed. Funny thing is we had it at the second place and would not have eaten it otherwise. But more about that later. There was a beautiful big terrace but the weather was not warm enough to sit outside unfortunately. We will certainly return here for another stay in the near future. 

We choose Lieser because it is close to Bernkastel-Keus. This is a pretty German village and we always enjoy walking here. Jos tried a Riesling ice cream while we were there which was delicious. It really did taste like frozen wine. 

The Italian restaurant was right across from the Bear fountain. I just love this fountain and have shown it before in my old blog. My father's nickname was Bear so I must be a bear cub...right? *grins* 

I always walk around in awe in villages like this as I adore anything wrought iron. They have beautiful hanging signs that just make me drool. And we discovered a Dutch connection with an iron shield hanging on the city wall. It reads "Vivat Oranien Nassau" or Long live Orange Nassau which is the Dutch royal family.

Jos peeked one morning to see what was right next to the hotel. He told me to come over and look as I would love this garden. Then he said "Oh no...don't look!" It was a wonderful garden for a shop. Lucky for Jos, the shop was not open on the days we were there. We did however go look in the garden. It was so beautiful and gave me some inspiration for my own garden. 

I loved the angels and wrought iron! I want to go look for a chair in the charity shop to sit in amongst my plants now. And I told Jos I wanted him to make me a ladder for our tree. He said he would so now I just have to hold him to it. *grins again* 


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Walking into a fairytale.....

On our way for our vacation last week, I searched for a good place to stop halfway there. I discovered this castle on the outskirts of Bergheim, Germany. It is the magical renaissance style castle of Paffendorf. You could easily pass through the village and miss this treasure which is set off the road behind the church. But from the moment you drive up, you are met with a fairytale castle...

We had lunch in the castle brasserie. Knowing we had a dinner booked that night at our destination, we ordered a starter to tide us over. Jos had white asparagus soup and I had the green asparagus salad. Both were delicious!

We then took a short walk in the castle park. As you walk in, you are met by the first of the ponds and giant sequoias. There were wildflowers in bloom all around you. 

There are gunneras in bloom all through the grounds. 

How beautiful dead wood is! It becomes a garden ornament when left to stand along the water's side or a piece left to sit and rot naturally. Since we are doing this now at Cranberry Cottage, I loved seeing this. 

The water in the ponds was so clear that you could see the fish swimming (left) and the tadpoles darting around (right). 

If you are ever in the area, this is a wonderful stop. We could not take the time for a tour of the castle but would love to go back one day...

Here are some links I found on YouTube so you are take a cyber tour for yourself...
You may want to turn off the sound on the second video. It is a good look at the grounds but the music is terrible for the scenery. 


Friday, May 22, 2015

Garden visitor

Sprng is such a pretty time in our garden. This year, all three of our wisteria are doing well. One was badly frost damaged 4 years ago but even it is perking up with 4 blooms on the vine. One for each year I had to wait and see if it would survive.

Jos was very busy starting back in February. He relaid all the paths here in the city garden. We decided to use the stones we had at Cranberry Cottage so he had to remove them there and relay paths there too. There are three wider paths now with give order between the cottage garden planting. 

We put out our fountains again. I always have them on when I am in the garden and love the sound of water. I also discovered that there are 2 frogs and a toad living in that tiny pond on the right of the photo. 

Decorating in the garden is a must for me and now I have a new table to decorate with. Our older table is still on the back terrace but we had a robust table specially made for the terrace closer to the house. 

It is a monk's table made with very chunky douglas pine. We both love it! Jos aged the wood with vinager and steel wool so that it would match the chairs and bench we have owned for years. 

This special visitor to our city garden is such a treat! For the third year running, this great spotted woodpecker has been visiting us each spring. I was so pleased to get some good photos while he was at our peanut butter feeder. It is a crowning glory to me that he feels safe in our garden. We have achieved what we set out to do when we bought this house 5 years ago...that is to create a little piece of the countryside in the city. 


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Busy bee in springtime.....

Where did March go??? I was really busy and kept wanting to blog but time just slipped away. I will share more about it at the end of this post. March meant two holidays to decorate for this year. I started the month with my cloches showing a tiny of St. Patrick's day cheer but then had to switch them after the 17th of the month to Easter...

All my spring and Easter quilts were pulled out and accessories added to welcome the Easter Bunny when he arrives...

These little shoes were my Easter shoes when I was a baby. I am so glad my mother kept them along with a few other items of clothes...

Jos and I have been really busy working both in the garden in the city and at Cranberry Cottage. Lots of changes have happened at the cottage but that is a post in itself for later. As for the city garden, we have added a conifer hedge right next to the house. 

We need a little privacy. See that beautiful pine on the neighbor's side? We found out they are going to cut it down when Jos saw a notice in the local newspaper. We ordered some 15+ year old Thuja Emerald conifers and the man from the nursery called to say they would be delivered. 

Once we removed the plants that were in this section, Jos had to dig a big trench. They are planted and watered in so we have our fingers crossed they root well. Jos also added a row of paving and it all looks so nice now. 

We have also been to visit a carpenter up north who is making us a robust pine monk's table with cross legs. The table is done so we have to go pick it up. I can't wait to see it and have our first meal of the season outdoors!


Monday, February 23, 2015

February cloche and quilt love!

It is already so close to the end of the month and I had intended to post more this month. February is the month of love and Valentines so my cloches are decorated for the season. On the coffee table are two with various hearts in them. Three of the hearts were gifts from friends...Sonja, Silvia and Annet (Silvia's daughter) they have a special place. The heart doily was a gift from my sister.

The sideboard has a cloche with three white glass heart ornaments.....

My desk also has a cloche with a vintage feel...shoe pincushion, spool of lace and a black glass heart ornament.....

Pink roses by my quilt wall.....

Blue and taupe vases by my 50 Hearts quilt. This quilt was made over the last year to celebrate my having turned 50. The evening before I turned 51 this month, I sewed on a special label to finish off a quilt that holds memories for me. You can read about it here.


Friday, February 6, 2015


Again this year, my amaryllis bulb was planted in October to have it ready to bloom in December but it did not show itself until January. Too late for the holidays but standing tall in all its glory for the start of the new year. It brought some beauty to the month which normally feels dull due to the Christmas decorations having come down. 

This week the blooms faded as February began. I see a tiny spot coming up again so have to wait to see if a second stem will come up into flower yet. 

The language of flowers...amaryllis is the symbol of pride and splendid beauty

We tallied up our decluttering results for the entire month of January...
10 items thrown out
1 suit donated to clothes bank
8 items taken to thrift shop
5 items taken to chemical drop (old paint and glue)
21 items sold for a total of 363,50 euros 

We are thrilled with the start of our year's goal to clean up our home and life. I hope we can keep up the momentum as the year progresses. Each month, I will tally up what we have achieved. I am so excited to get rid of unused items in order to make room for things we want to do in the house. More about those plans will come this year. 


Thursday, January 29, 2015

A little winter.....

This piece of stitching adorns our living room each year in January. This year, it turned out to be prophetic. We spent last weekend at Cranberry Cottage and on Saturday morning awoke to this.....

I was thrilled to see some snow. It was thick wet snow that stuck too. What a pretty sight!

Then on Sunday morning, we had a visit by this little creature. This red squirrel was trying to get the peanut holder from the arbour but Jos has made sure he no long can make it fall off. But we felt for him as he was hungry and put out some peanuts for him. He was adorable with his bushy tail and pointy ears.

Back in the city, the little snow that fell here was all melted by the time we drove home on Sunday afternoon which made it harder to leave the snow still at the cottage. But I can think back to our perfect weekend while I look at my winter tree. All the ornaments are handmade by me.