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, August 30, 2012

Do you know???

Anyone else find themselves longing for autumn on these last few days of the summer months? I saw the first pumpkin stands when we were at Cranberry Cottage over the weekend. I am planning on stocking up on them soon.

I have been adding little touches that say summer is ending to my home. I put out a crazy quilt I made with autumn colors and some accessories on the dining room table. Not quite autumn but shows it is coming.

I thought it would be fun to add a cutting board under my dough bowl but this one is very new looking. I love the size and shape of it but need to age it in a way that it is still safe. So that means no stain painted on. I am hoping someone will have advice for me about aging a cutting board? I found this link but wondered if anyone has done this before or knows of another way? I know I could just using it intensely but that takes a very long time and I want to use this on my shelves with my speculaas cookie molds.

So if you have any tips, I am all ears.....


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Making old into new.....

I host a quilt group in my home each month so I need lots of chairs. This was a very old chair we bought back when we lived in Sweden to use at a computer table. It was from IKEA and the finish had turned such an ugly orange color. You cannot really see how orange it was from this before photo...

I had been rummaging in the second floor rooms through all our stuff which is still being sorted since we moved in. I found a remnant of a upholstery fabric I had used to recover two Swedish chairs which you can see here (click  for old blog post). It was enough to try padding this wooden seat once the chair was recovered.

Jos took the chair apart, sanded it down and stained it in pure palisander stain for me. Normally palisander comes out a rich brown as we have used it for our bookshelves and my Windsor chairs. On this pine it came out much lighter and gives the chair a nice warm and rustic look. I stapled layers of stiff, thick batting to the chair before then stapling the upholstery fabric on and replacing it to the chair. I have the chair beside our hutch in the living room when not being used. Now I have an extra chair for my quilt studio that is much more comfortable to sit on as we turned an old chair into a new one.


Friday, August 24, 2012

Wash day.....

...back in time...

The wash must be put through the linen press and then hung out on a rack to dry...

This is done out in the work shed where the little WC (water closet or toilet) is contained.....

The toilet is painted in a special blue shade to keep the flies away and the holder is full of newspaper scraps as there is no toilet paper yet...

All photos were taken at the Open Air Museum of Warffum, Groningen in April 2012.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A cup of tea?

Won't you come in and join me for a cup of tea?

I will just be a moment while I make us a nice hot pot of tea. Perhaps some Cranberry tea or Earl Grey? Or would you prefer some Darjeeling? I also have a cup of good strong Yorkshire tea? Do you take milk or sugar?

There is nothing like a cup of tea and a chat.....

'Drinking a daily cup of tea will surely starve the apothecary.'
~ Chinese Proverb


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Screen for the garden door.....

We have had too many 'visitors' lately in our home. Other people's cat, a bird, lots of flies, butterfly and even an emperor dragonfly... So I kept asking Jos to get us a screen door. He did not want to get one. It would be very expensive to have a carpenter make one and the retractable screen doors are really bad quality. So I put on my thinking cap and this is what I came up with...

I had these lace curtains from IKEA (Alvine Spets) which we used in our previous home for privacy. I no longer need them for that purpose here but thought they would make a great screen that looks really pretty too.

I made a ruffled tunnel on the top and bottom and fed a tension cord through them. Jos placed the hooks for the tension cord on each side of the door opening also at the top and bottom. The lace panel stretches over open door keeping visitors out. If we want to go in and out, I can simply unhook the bottom cord and slip it into the same hooks as the top cord to allow us to walk in and out. I am really happy with this solution which is not only functional but prettier than a screen.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A caged bird.....

In my case, it is simply a birdcage with a bird plaque contained within. I have wondered for some time how best to use this wire cage outside to its best advantage. While planting some summer annuals, I got the idea to hang it. We had removed a mailbox from this wall when we moved in and the holes were perfect to hang this birdcage from...

"These are the days when Birds come back -- 
A very few -- a Bird or two --
To take a backward look."

- Emily Dickinson


Monday, August 6, 2012

Problem solved - before and after.....

If you remember, this is the wall space in my living room that I did not like due to the plugs and yellowed ugly thermostat which I showed you back in June...


I brought my butler tray in from the entrance and placed some decorations on it and a large dough bowl underneath...


I had intended to create a space to display some of my doll/small quilts while also hiding the thermostat. I needed air flow to circulate there so I solved the problem by sawing (well Jos did that part...grins) a piece of weather old wood and mounting my hooks onto them before hanging them on the wall. It stands about 1-1/2 inches from the wall but you cannot tell, however it allows the air to flow just perfectly and it gives me a rustic, primitive look that I wanted...

I love having a special space now to use for seasonal decorations in my living room. So for late summer...roses and blueberries with some tea accessories and a stitched piece I made a number of years ago...

I do need to swap the lamp for a smaller one I think. What do you think? This is one of my favorite lamp shades and would rather change the lamp than change the shade. I have a similar lamp upstairs that is a bit smaller with a small lampshade.

What was most fun is that the makeover of this wall was completely free. I used all items I already had. 


Friday, August 3, 2012

The humble bumble.....

What a pleasure to sit in the garden and watch the humble bumble bee buzzing around happily drinking the nectar of our patch of Great Globe thistles (Echinops sphaerocephalus). They can sometimes gather with as many as 5 on one bloom. Never bothered by the presence of the others, they continue on their mission to collect the means of making delicious honey.

So I stop and pause daily to watch them. Lately, it seems the fashion to say you are very busy. Many are too busy for each other. Perhaps we can take a lesson from these humble creatures who live in harmony with their surroundings gathering the making of something sweet in life.....

"To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee,
One clover, and a bee.
And revery.
The revery alone will do,
If bees are few."

~ Emily Dickinson, 1755