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.

Sunday, July 29, 2012


My Aunt Janey's birthday is today. She passed away many years ago now but I still remember her in my heart. She was my favorite aunt even when I was a little girl. My mother always took me to her house when she needed to go away and I had to be watched.

I loved going to her house. I remember having a treat of a square of vanilla ice cream with Hershey's chocolate syrup poured over it while sitting in a high chair at her kitchen table. It had a pull out ladder so I could climb up it myself.

Later, I used to call her my Kitchen Gnome. She was very short and made the best pies in the world. See how I got the name? She used to make up to 9 different pies when I came home to visit and expected me to choose which one. I asked her once if I could have slivers of them all so that stuck. The family would then have slivers. *grins*

I have a pair of her wooden knitting needles in my bookcase. I bought a ball of yarn to keep them in and it is a nice way to remember a very special lady!


Monday, July 23, 2012

Running waters.....

The sound of water running or dripping as it falls is the answer to living in the suburbs. It helps to mask the sound of neighbors in their gardens. But it is also pretty...

It adds something special to the garden and allows frogs and toads to frolic or birds to bath or drink. I also have two large concrete dishes for bird baths in the garden in addition to the running water but have noticed that the large birds enjoy these features instead.

We finally arranged the fountain area near the house. Back in 2011, I showed you how we had to clean this area washing all the stones. We found the pump from the fountain had been cut through with a garden clipper by the previous owners. We bought a new pump and rearranged the stones as we have a pump with various functions one of which is this ball shape. The water sounds so pretty when you have this running. I can even hear it indoors now as I sit chatting with you.


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Books, books, books.....

We love books! To us, a living room is not complete without books. But recently, I was frustrated with my bookshelves which looked far too messy. As the old saying goes...mother knows best. I sent her this before photo...

...and a few photos of bookshelves I like. She knew right away what it was that I liked...having more uniform look to the shelves. So I took out all of the big items in the double open shelves. I removed the wooden boxes holding our CDs which I rarely listen to. Jos stained my stepping stool to the same wood stain as the shelves. I added more shelves to the unit and find it is much better. I actually added books from the bedroom but it looks like they are emptier instead of fuller. I am really pleased with the after photo...

I kept one double space for stacking my handmade quilts in...

One shelf is now devoted to the Penguin Clothbound Classics that I want to collect. I do not have many yet but love the look of these books...

I am able to finally use little decorative items on the shelves that work well with the books instead of creating clutter...

While hunting for my before bookshelf photos, I came across this photo from August 2011. I had set myself a challenge to read ten books before I was allowed to buy any new books. I read more than the ten books but these were the books I pulled specifically for the challenge. I now see that four of them are still not read. I am going to set myself a challenge to go look for the following titles to read before the end of the summer...

Secrets and Shadows by Mary Nichols
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
A Year on Ladybug Farm by Donna Ball
The Dream House by Rachel Hore

Do you set reading goals for yourself? Do you have bookshelves? What do you do to make them look really nice or are they all books?


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Did you know.....

...that this is a deadly weapon? A secateur you ask? Yes...when it is in the hands of my husband.

I was watching a monthly German show called Landlust TV. I love this show and look forward to seeing it each month. Tonight I had to miss some of it as I had to go out and show Jos a few things that he was going to deadhead for me in the garden. One was a Lady's mantle that was finished blooming. But there is a second plant in the garden that was still in full bloom. I happened to look out and realized Jos had started cutting all the flowers out out this plant also....yikes! He had even thrown them on a stack to throw them out.

I went ran out to stop him before it was all but cut away. About one third of the flowers are still on the plant. *sigh* I could not throw away perfectly pretty flowers so I told him to get me a vase out of the garage. Instead of having my blooms on the plant, they are in a vase on the table. And Jos? He has promised to ask questions first next time.

In the language of flowers, Lady's mantle means comforting or protection. 


Friday, July 6, 2012

Summer flowers.....

Yesterday I changed the vignette on my coffee table...

A quilt tabletopper, dough bowl filled with lace, berries and tiny stitched patchwork pillows, candles and flowers say summer. It all started as I had hosted my annual Christmas in July party in my garden. I picked some flowers for a vase and brought them indoors the day after the party.

I love the pinks coming through from the flowers to the dough bowl to the quilt...

Have you done any summer touches in your home?