Monday, September 29, 2008

Cherishing the old...

"There is a great deal of poetry and fine sentiment in a chest of tea."

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson, Letters and Social Aims

I was contemplating some things to photograph for my blog entry and realized that a number of my antiques are tea related. I love tea! I enjoy it in the mornings, as a rest filled moment in the afternoons or in the evenings. I even find tea a comfort in the middle of the night when I cannot sleep. I think my two favorite teas are either a cup of strong English breakfast tea with a spot of milk or a cup of Earl Grey.

I love my tea caddy from the 1800s. It sits on my sidetable that I have decorated as a desk. It is simple and yet elegant. But what I love most is thinking how many cups of tea the lady who owned this made and what conversations occured over those cups of tea.

The caddy still has it wooden lid...

and the lining along with a tea scoop. I discovered there were still tea leaves in it when I bought it. I left them there as a rememberance of when this caddy was used.

I love using old tea cups to sit out around the house. Here is a museum reproduction tea cup on my desk. I purchased it at the gift shop of a manor house in the north of Holland.

This recent find from a flea market is a silver tea spoon. I had never seen one like it before and loved its delicate form.

This is an antique Dutch tea stove. There is a copper bucket which used to hold hot coals with a special shaped teapot on top. The teapot is missing but I bought the stove to use for flower arrangements.

"There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea."

~ Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady

Monday, September 22, 2008

By the fireside.....

An autumn Friday evening at Cranberry cottage! Nothing could be better. It is peaceful outside and there is a chill in the air that leaves the cottage rather nippy.

Normally, our reclining chairs sit by the wall next to the fireplace. Jos really wants to have some work done on the fireplace and then have a woodstove installed. We have a woodstove here at our house and it does a wonderful job of heating the downstairs. Fireplaces set a more cozy atmosphere but a woodstove is more effecient.

So I suggested to Jos that we move the two chairs and set them around the fireplace as it was really rather cold last Friday. It was really nice to face the warmth of the fire and enjoy an evening of quiet. I sat with my Beatrix Potter Quaker sampler and Jos read and Dagi slept...

Did you notice the porcelain knobs on this chest of drawers? It is the set I showed you earlier. I bought 6 of them thinking I needed that many but I only needed 5 so I brought them to Cranberry Cottage to use on this little chest of drawers that did need 6. We really like them better than the wooden ones that used to be on here.

To me, life doesn't get any better than this...sitting by a warm fire with my husband and cat enjoying my handwork.

And yes, dear mother, Dagi borrowed the shawl you made me. He kept scratching at it until I took it off my chair and laid it out for him.

"...that can win us back to
the delusions of our childhood days, recall to the
old man the pleasures of his youth, and transport
the traveler back to his own fireside and quiet home!"
~Charles Dickens

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Finding new things in favorite places...

Well, if I could show you something that represented how Jos and I felt last week being able to spend the entire week up at Cranberry Cottage...this photo is it! We just enjoyed 'being'. Enjoyed sitting in the garden at times...enjoyed working in the garden...enjoyed watching the birds...enjoyed cooking and eating delicious meals...and enjoyed being a bit lazy like these old goats. *grins*

Often times, we go on Saturdays to the village of Dwingeloo. It has a wonderful atmosphere. There is a brink (village green) and we have coffee or tea on a terrace and take a walk around the brink to look at all the beautiful old houses. I love old buildings.

This time we noticed that one of the historic farm houses was now turned into a shop. I just had to go in and take a look. I thought you too might enjoy seeing this one. Even outside the shop, there is so many nice things to see and a few places for husbands to rest while waiting for their wives to come back out again.

I spoke for some time with the shop owner Carla and she is the nicest lady. I think she has done an amazing job with her new shop. She kept telling me things were not quite as she wants them but I overheard three couples walking around saying this was not a was a museum.

Of course, it does feel like a priveledge to be able to glimpse inside such a wonderful old farm. The building dates back to the 18th Century. Many things are in tact like the old fireplaces, the floors and old windows, and even the old water pump.

At the moment, there are autumn accents around the shop but Carla says she will be adding more gift items geared to the people living in the surrounding area once the tourist season is ended and, of course, she will be decorating for the upcoming Christmas holidays. I am really looking forward to coming back for that.

Everywhere you look, the shop oozes with charm. I was very happy to see we have gained such a nice place up north and cannot wait until my next visit to De Juffer van Dwingel. If you are in the area, it is worth a visit. The website is here.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Walk among the heather.....

Take a walk among the heather with me here in Holland. This time of year is so beautiful. It is the end of the season for heather and the color is fading fast.

Life for heather, like many things in nature, is short. Its time is fleeting.

Even the fungi are shortlived. Yet if we stop and really look, we can enjoy the fleeting moment in all its perfection.

We too are here for a short time and should live each and every moment to its fullest. As the summer season passes into autumn, take a moment today to really look at something in your garden or take a walk in nature. Don't let this moment today pass you by...

(Photos taken in Doldersum, Holland last week during our vacation. Click to enlarge and see the heather fields in detail.)

These words were written by Charlotte Bronte about her sister Emily who had passed away...

"For my part I am free to walk on the moors - but when I go out there alone - everything reminds me of the times when others were with me and then the moors seem a wilderness, featureless, solitary, saddening - My sister Emily had a particular love for them , and there is not a knoll of heather, not a branch of fern, not a young bilberry leaf not a fluttering lark or linnet but reminds me of her."

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Back home again...

We are back home after a wonderful time at the cottage. It was so peaceful and we enjoyed resting up which I really needed after letting myself become exhausted. I am going to try and take a step back. It is not easy for me to not overdo things. We had some perfect autumn weather this week and enjoyed sitting in the garden now and then. So I wanted to share a few images from my garden at Cranberry Cottage...

I enjoy using gourds to decorate in the autumn and up north they are very affordable.

I bought this bottle at a thrift shop and loved the shape and texture of it. I think it was a bargain at only 1 euro.

Remember me mentioning that I had an old weathered pair of wooden shoes at the cottage? Well here they are.

Toadstool time is coming. I had a few in our garden and found one among the heather when we took a walk. I have this display on the chest in the cottage.

A small display of miniature gourds at the new terrace.

Friday, September 05, 2008

The laundry room

Welcome to our laundry room. Come on in and take off your coat. There is plenty of space to hang it. In our home, the laundry room is as you enter the house. It is a small but efficient space. We have refinished the plain coat rack in palisander stain giving it a rich tone. Since everyone has to come in here to hang their coats, I wanted this room to look really special. We have kept the paint color for the back wall as we both still loved it. I had it mixed based on a Laura Ashley color. The other walls are now a warm white which is called 'Katoen'. The white is not as cool as it looks in the photos. Normally I would not go with a white but you will see why I choose this color when I reveal the entrance hall.

This is a bargain piece I found. It was only 2,50 euro and I thought it looks so cute with the little washline. The grey does not work in the room so this is a project I still have to work on by changing the grey paint color.

This tour is going to contain alot of photos. It is such a small space that taking an overall photo is almost impossible. I wanted to show you the set up of the laundry. There is a drainboard on the machines and we are thinking of replacing it with a wooden drainboard that will be stained to match the new wall rack I made. What do you think? Some people are saying it needs changed and others saying it is fine when they visit. I would like the drainboard to be the same width as the wall next to the door you see. This one is a bit short. The dryer sticks out farther than the other machines as there is a heater behind it and it cannot go back any farther. Doing the new wider drainboard would mean it would be out as far as the dryer. Don't forget you can enlarge any of the photos.

TaDah! My pride and joy! I came up with an idea of a wall rack but looking around they were very expensive and not the large enough size I wanted. So we went and bought wood, braces and hooks to create what I had pictured in my mind. Now besides quilter, stitcher and lacemaker, I can add furniture maker to my list of hobbies. Well, not really as this was not that difficult to do.

In the evening, there is a pretty glow when I only turn on the candlestick lamp. Next to the coat rack is a hanging basket where I do seasonal flower displays.

I have various glass jars holding things from my wash powder to fabric softener to clothespegs to vintage buttons. It has been fun searching for the jars and then going through my house for items to use for decorating. I have a stack of my small quilts resting on a shelf and a chest filled with doilys my grandmother handmade.

Two old irons...

Buckets hanging from handhewn hooks...

Miniature quilts...

You have seen this old Singer before. It was a gift from a dear friend and I love the look of it displayed throughout the year with seasonal items. As you see, it now has a miniature quilt and plant alongside it.

I am so glad you stopped by! Bundle up as it is a chilly autumn afternoon and don't forget to leave your calling card (a comment) before you leave...

"No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace
As I have seen in one autumnal face."
~ John Donne

I am taking a blogger's break for a week. Jos and I are off to Cranberry Cottage to stay an entire week. We did not take a vacation this summer and decided to use some time to stay longer and enjoy the cottage, autumn's begin and the woods. I need to take a good rest. You can read about it here. I have been overdoing it and had some bad flare~ups. I am hoping a week in the peaceful north will be very good for both Jos and I. I will see you again in a week's time...

Thanks to all of you who have wishes Jos a happy birthday.