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, 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.