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.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A sad end to 2013.....


2013 has ended in an extremely sad note for Jos and I. Our precious Dagi had to be put to sleep yesterday. His birthday was the week before but he went quickly downhill and we had to make the difficult decision to take him to the vet. His eyes stayed bright to the end so this made it the hardest decision we have ever made. He is now resting in peace...buried in a spot in our garden which an online friend calls Susan´s Corner. We will miss him so very much and are totally heartbroken!

Master Mind´s Adagio 
Born December 21, 1997
Died December 30, 2013

Friday, December 20, 2013

Impressions of Christmas.....

Christmas is almost upon us. For me, as with other seasons of the year, using my handmade objects is a big part of our decorations. 

A number of my quilts and stitched pieces hang in the living room. Above is a sample.

I love to arrange flowers and have made a poinsettia arrangement in a doll's sled in front of our hutch. 

My bobbinlace ornaments hang in the tree with mercury glass and silver ornaments. 


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A woeful tale with a (thankfully) happy ending.....

Our move three years ago was jinxed with many problems. Unfortunately, it was partly due to our hiring two companies who were not very good at what they do. This is something you never know for sure until the people are in your home working. We hired a small business floor company in Ede which had almost perfect reviews. This man seemed to know what he was doing while he was talking to us about the work. If you recall this blog post on my old blog, he said the floor in our home could not be renovated after all and arranged a new floor to be delivered.

Three years and a legal battle later, we now know that the man conned us into buying a new floor. More about that in a minute. We have had to become schooled in wood floors over the period of this dispute with this man. From days within the floor being laid, things started going wrong. Here is a sample of what we have had to deal with.

Floor laid too tightly in spaces even after he cut it out many times over to reduce the floor and he caught power cords between the floor and baseboard causing a fire hazard...

Floor shifting and causing pressure on heating pipes putting them as a risk of breaking and flooding the room...

Floor movement so bad that furniture could not be set straight and things like lamps would shake as you walked by...

Floor boards in the length were not sawed at correct lengths causing them to push into the walls...

Floorboards repeatedly springing up from the surface. It was sometimes impossible to walk in areas...

The solid oak floorboards had been nailed down but all the nails were coming up between the boards...

Floor not laid with proper lengths apart and movement causing a ladder-like shifts kept occurring in various spots on the floor...

Some gaps were so large, you could stick a finger in between...

We had to attend a hearing after our floor was inspected twice by independent experts. We won the case against the man. He has been very rude with us since we started to complain about the floor. Since then, he has refused to pay us leaving it up to the organization (CBW) he was associated with at the time we had the floor laid to give us the guarantee that they would pay out the funds he owed us when we had our floor redone. Due to their rules, the results of this case are kept private which means we are unable to get out there and warn others about this man. 

After the legal dispute was settled we found a one man company called Montfrans Parket in Nijkerk to install a completely new floor. 

We hated the idea of having to move all our furniture out again. We also had a major worry about removing the baseboards. In the end, Peter said the baseboards did not even have to be removed as the floorboards came away in most areas and could be sawed from areas that were not free enough to lift them from under. We were left with a gap though once the new floor would be put in. Jos painted some wooden beading which were fitted along the bottom of the old baseboards. 

As you see, the old floor exposed here looks fine...

But we had the new floor delivered and ready to be installed...

And when Peter sanded the beech flooring to be able to put in the new floor, he told us he could have even made this floor look like new again desspite the mess that the old floor guy made of it. It was obvious that the story that the floor was not good and could not be renovated was a lie.

In looking for colors of stain, I found a photo of a floor called Hungarian Point. It is the chevron pattern. Well, I just loved it and kept coming back to that photo. In the end, Jos fell in love with it too and this is our new floor...

It was laid through into our entrance hall and bedroom. We find our hall far too small compared to the overall size of our house but this has made it feel bigger...

The floor is solid oak and has been smoked. It then had a white oil applied to give it an aged grey look...

As you can see, the beading looks like it was there from the beginning.  And we love the old feeling it gives...our own castle. *grins*

We are a little over two months further and the floor is just beautiful. It is perfectly laid with not a single problem occurring. This proves there are also some really good craftsmen out there who are experienced in their work. I just wish we had found Peter Montfrans three years ago when we moved in.


Monday, November 25, 2013

An unexpected blogger's break.....

I had an unexpected blogger's break. It was not my intention to take so long to post but many things have happened and I ended up neglecting this blog for two months. I wonder if anyone is out there anymore bothering to even read my posts? *sigh*

First, we had to prepare the house by moving everything from the ground floor as our wooden floors had to be replaced. I will be posting about it all very soon after I get some photos taken. That all seemed to finally fall into place after a drawn out legal battle fought for the mistakes a man made who laid our floors when we moved here 3 years ago. We had to get everything prepared in a short time as the matter was able to come to a close. Lots of photos and the story to follow soon.

At the beginning of November, I took two of my quilt friends for a long weekend away at Cranberry Cottage. These two ladies are both 85 years old and full of life. They are so fun and caring. We had planned this trip back in the spring but waited for autumn to go as it is all three of our favorite season. It was fun to be able to share Jos and my special little hideaway with them. The photos of this post are some of my autumn decorations there.

The toadstools were in the drive and back garden that weekend. Don't you just love the Orange Peel fungus? The first time we had it was last autumn and I thought it was candle wax. It is unreal to see.....

I also had to deal with a major crisis in my quilt group leaving many of us feeling rather hurt by two members. We have had a meeting to discuss where and if we should go from here. We are preparing to move on into a new year for the group with confidence that there will be a closer bond after dealing with some problems. It has really taken a good deal of time to get things back on track.

I am back and will be posting more regularly now. I also have to start taking time to catch up with many of my blogging friends. How are you doing?


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

*Sigh* ... Autumn is here

Autumn is my favorite season. I think the earth sighs as the season begins. It is a time of such beauty and I try to reflect some of that in my decorations. My new quilt wall is donning a quilt I made back in July 2001 which I called "The Colors of an Ohio Fall".

The fabric pumpkins are also handmade. In fact, I made a second set for Cranberry Cottage as I cannot think of autumn with without "Plumpkins".

My quilt ladder is dressed with the quilts of the season. I added some vines and acorns.


Tuesday, August 27, 2013


Things happen in life that lead you in a different course. We have to have our wooden floor removed and replaced soon. I decided that we needed to get out bookshelves out of the living room beforehand as that is a great deal of work. I love having books in a living room but have always dreamed of having a library. We are getting close to being done with creating the separate library but now also have a long wall where the shelves used to be that needed decorating. So time to move things around again...

My antique English sidetable is now on a portion of this wall. Right away, Jos said we could now use this as a quilt wall. Guess he missed that from our old house.

Here is my summer decorations for the sidetable...

My Bull's Eye quilt which I made back in 2004

Sweet primitive Windsor doll's chair with my teddy holding a stitched pillow which was a gift from a friend

Cutting board decorated with a summer vingette

Amazing to think it is time to change it to autumn in the next couple of weeks.....


Saturday, August 24, 2013

More old things.....

Back in this post, I mentioned that I found another old gate at a brocante shop. I had wanted them both to use between the planting in our back garden. Neither made it there in the end. The bigger of the two was just right for this wall. I used to have a round metal piece hanging here but this gate was so perfect in size that we moved it to here instead. Jos created a planting area for me which has already grown nicely in just a couple of months. We planted a passion flower which is growing wildly but not blooming yet and two kinds of clematis which both bloomed. I did not take the photo while they were in bloom unfortunately.

We have three old oleanders planted in a large terracotta pot in the front area too. Last year, I decided to try pruning them as they were getting leggy. Suddenly this summer, we have a pink double flower among the white blossoms. I have no idea how it has happened. It is very delicate looking.

Last week while driving through the countryside back to Cranberry Cottage, we came across these storks in a field. Not so unusual in the north of Holland. They are often in pairs hunting for food. But this time there were ten of them in the same small field at once. What a pretty sight to see these beautiful birds. It is still summer here as they have not started their migration yet...


Sunday, August 11, 2013

Jessie Willcox Smith moments.....

Bed in Summer is the chosen Jessie Willcox Smith moment this week...

I am going to bed as I am not feeling up to par. I found this cute children's poem that made me smile and wish it was Saturday for me too (*grins*).....

Sick by Shel Silverstein

"I cannot go to school today,"
Said little Peggy Ann McKay.
"I have the measles and the mumps,
A gash, a rash and purple bumps.
My mouth is wet, my throat is dry,
I'm going blind in my right eye.
My tonsils are as big as rocks,
I've counted sixteen chicken pox
And there's one more -- that's seventeen,
And don't you think my face look green?
My leg is cut -- my eyes are blue --
It might be instamatic flu.
I cough and sneeze and gasp and choke,
I'm sure that my left leg is broke -- 
My hip hurts when I move my chin,
My belly button's caving in,
My back in wrenched, my ankle's sprained,
My 'pendix pain each time it rains.
My nose is cold, my toes are numb.
I have a sliver in my thumb.
My neck is stiff, my voice is weak,
I hardly whisper when I speak.
My tongue is filling up my mouth,
I think my hair is falling out. 
My elbow's bent, my spine ain't straight,
My temperatureis one-o-eight.
My brain is shrunk, I cannot hear,
There is a hole inside my ear. 
I have a hangnail, and my heart is -- what?
What's that? What's that you say?
You say today is...Saturday?
G'bye, I'm going out to play!"


Monday, August 5, 2013

Old things.....

Old things can be this old piece of stitching I did about 25 years ago. I was working on my bookshelves today. They are being removed to another room to create a separate library. Only one section remains in the living room waiting to be emptied and taken apart. I pulled out a stand and placed the stitching on my dresser in the bedroom. It has a summer feel with this colors.

The verse says...
We never really grow old it seems,
We keep in our hearts our fancies and dreams,
And in a corner all tucked away,
To the child we all were yesterday. 

One old thing I have not shared yet was an old piece of iron fencing I found at a brocante shop. I loved it right away but also found another I loved. In the end, Jos bargained for both of them. This one is laying now on the window sill of our bedroom. This window looks out into our front garden. It fit so perfectly here so I knew it had to be here instead of in the garden which is where the second fence, well actually a high gate, is placed. I like how this allows me to see well into my garden when I open the windows but also allows me a little privacy from the street beyond our hedge.

Here is the bad side of old things...I am in the midst of trying to declutter in a high tempo during the month of August. We have a box in the hall now where we are collecting items to take to the charity shop. But today, I decided to concentrate on old magazines. I tend to keep them far too long so I am looking through them and sorting them to give away to friends. The good thing about this kind of decluttering is that you clean up and make a friend happy by sharing too. Passing on magazines which will then again be passed on is a green way to declutter.


Thursday, August 1, 2013

What a difference a year makes!

Welcome to our garden a year later. When we moved to our new house three years ago, the garden was very plain and could be seen in one blink. Jos and I love to garden and enjoy creating a secret haven to rest and relax in.

We loved the quietness of this neighborhood when we moved here. Times change as neighbors do but I guess that cannot be helped. When our new neighbors moved in last summer, we had to start a major job of putting in a new fenced boundry. We had also built two pergolas and had a vision of this becoming a green oasis creating various areas of the garden that would not be visible all at once. This would make you want to walk around to explore the different areas. Here is a photo of our garden from the same spot with before being taken in December. You can see the bare bones of the fence and pergolas.

The long pergola is finally starting to become a green walkway. Next summer should see it totally covered. It leads to our second terrace where we now have our table and chairs. It is shaded for most of the day, very private and a perfect place to enjoy eating al fresco.

I have also added more garden junk onto the fencing to give it character. A vintage 'mestvork' or manure fork is a perfect place to use for a garden vignette. I added a plant, little lantern and a wooden heart. It looks really nice from the sitting area we now have on the first terrace.

And now for a slight rant so you can stop reading if you would rather not hear this...

Unfortunately, this has created a problem now with our new neighbors. We put up a fence with a trellis fan in each section. The fence was to be planted up from both sides. They only put in about 5 plants along a 12 meter long fence. Jos planted 40 English ivy's just on  the first four sections along with various other plants. It is not filling out at all on the first section which on our side looks right into my studio and part of our living room. The neighbors also have a set of rules for themselves and a set for us. First, the laundry was hung right in front of this fencing in our full view while I was told in what my neighbor mistakenly takes as charming humor that I was not allowed to hang any laundry or he would call the police. Then his wife stopped putting her rack there and it became the spot his two children play who have a tendency to be very loud. Often he and his wife stand there looking at their plants. It began to feel very intrusive and I stopped using my studio. Jos works from home when he can and finds it very distracting to be in the studio where he loves to work.

Last weekend, we added this half fence which is visible on their side only in part of the fan trellis. It is exactly the shape of the fencing already there so as not to look strange for either of us. But I think it made it very obvious to them that all the planting is our own. They showed up the next day to complain about it. They told Jos we had to come to them and basically get their approval before we do any changes. I must say I disagree with them. It is our garden and we think having privacy is a basic human need and right. You cannot please everyone and I love my garden and want to spend time in it when we can. We have already noticed for ourselves how it feels to have our privacy back once again in a week.


Monday, July 29, 2013

Love is.....

...letting your cat have the fan on him because he is too hot during a heatwave while you are melting away yourself. *grins*

"One of the oldest human needs is having someone to wonder where you are when you don't come home at night."

- Margaret Mead

Our sweet cat Adagio is still doing well even with the heat of our summer. He sleeps so much and eats less but then we eat less too when it is hot. He is not happy being alone anymore even just for a while so I try and stay with him as much as possible. We just feel so blessed that he is still with us and getting so old that we do not begrudge him this one little demand...all our time for his last years.

These are photos of Dagi back in our old house a few months before we moved. He is an indoor cat and will sit in the door opening without going out as he knows he is not allowed. This amazes most people that see it.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Jessie Willcox Smith moments.....

We are in the midst of a heat wave and I am not a fan of summer at the best of times other than moments spent in my beloved garden. I am unable to go outside at all due to my physical limitations when it is extremely hot. This wonderful illustration sums up how I am feeling this week...

I am doing some stitching but forget quilting at the moment. I also have been reading to pass the time while enjoying an artificial breeze....i.e. a fan. *grins* Books can be such a joy at times like these!

"Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability."  
~Sam Keen


Note to Vicki: I am unable to email you to "chat" as I do not have an email address for you. I did want to tell you that I do have Anne Lindburgh's Gift From the Sea. It is a great book to pick up and read in from time to time.

Note to Jenny: Good to see you here again!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Buren...from windmills to chocolates...

Take a walk with us through the beautiful, fortressed city of Buren in Holland...

Molenhuis - anno 1649

My Dutchman resting for a moment to take in the view from the windmill...

Windmill - Prince of Orange - anno 1716...

New built houses in old style...

Authentic old houses...

Royal Orphanage - anno 1612...

Walking in the Kerkstraat...

...with a happy surprise of a chocolate shop with handmade bonbons...

...and home to enjoy them with a cup of coffee and remembering an enjoyable walk in a beautiful place...