"Every house where love abides
And friendship is a guest,
Is surely home, and home sweet home
For there the heart can rest."
~ Henry Van Dyke

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Welcome autumn.....

My favorite season has begun! I just love everything about this time of year...

...the cool, crisp air...
...the warm colors...
...the fact that trees become like flowers...
...comforting foods like eating warm English custard to warm you inside...
...the smell of autumn in the air...
...the sounds of a crackling fire...

I finally started doing my autumn decorating. For me this is late but I have not been able to do it before now. I decorate the top of the television with my 'plumpkins' and grape leaves.

It is wonderful to get out my autumn themed quilts once again. I think I need to start another one soon as I just adore these colors.

My coffee table has another quilt on it with a stitched middle section. I enjoy combining my hobbies. A fun decorating idea is to use a framed card (enlarge the photo to see the framed card in the tray). The one in the tray is one I received from my sweet Aunt Janey who passed away years ago. I loved the card and framed it. Now I remember her each autumn when I get this out.

A gold leaf dish with two handmade acorn pincushions adorn my seachest to give it a subtle autumn touch.

We spent some of our vacation working on repairing our walls from the water damage we had with the leak in the kitchen. I decided to use this chance to change some things around. This used to be my quilt wall. I decided to bring all my fox hunt prints together on this wall now. An addition of some leaf garland adds a touch of fall.

Simple but effective with a piece of 'poor man's silver' in the form of an acorn laid in a plant. The pocket-watch was Jos' grandfather's. It no longer works but we have it as a memento as he dearly loved his grandfather.

A pretty autumn dish sits next to my laptop on my desk.

The woodstove will be in full use now. I did this charcoal drawing many years ago. I placed it with some faux maple leaves to celebrate the season.

How are you celebrating the season?

I missed joining in on Rhondi's Welcome Fall party. She has many links on her blog to welcome autumn in blogland.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Food for the body and soul.....

As I mentioned, we had been away for a few days. We drove to the very south of Holland in the province of Limburg. In the village of Holset, there is a small version of Lourdes. The village church is a place of pilgrimage to the holy Genoveva of France.

Holland is a very flat country except for this corner of the country. Here you can see beautiful rolling hills as the country spills into the borders of Germany and Belgium. Enlarge the photo and see if you can find the castle in the distant mist...

We found a wonderful little restaurant our second evening called In de Oude Stroopkokerij. It is run by a young man in his old family farmhouse. He cooks wonderful local specialities and is very welcoming. I can highly recommend eating here if you are ever in this area.

The building alone is amazing and, yes, that is a correct date over the door, 1767. You sit at one of the antique and vintage tables and enjoy the freshest food cooked to perfection. We were in awe of the owner when we happened to talk to his brother outside and he told us his brother is a bachelor who runs the entire place on his own with only a little help from young people from the area who he hires to serve the tables. The first evening, he came to our table himself and the second evening, he popped out from the kitchen to bid us goodbye.

In the back of the building, you can still see the old syrup presses where his family made their apple and pear syrup until well into the 1930s.

And look who we ran into...

It is Simon Slug who is Selby's cousin. *grins*

This is the village church. Come along inside with us...

As I mentioned, the church is dedicated to Saint Genoveva. People come here daily to light candles.

Even this tiny church is full of beauties like the stained glass...

Wrought iron...

and gold chandelier...

One of the magical things about this area is that you can visit three countries in a five minute time span. Roads wind back and forth through Holland, Germany and Belgium. We had to make a stop at a boulangerie in Belgium for a baguette and these delicious favorites...chocolate eclairs.
A better lunch cannot be bought anywhere for us! Care for a bite?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Doing the laundry.....

I have mentioned before that I enjoy doing laundry. So while at the open air museum last week, I really enjoyed seeing some very early washing machines. And this one must have been chic for its time as it is a Miele which is still a very well known and expensive brand. I would love to go back in time for a day and use this machine. I think a person would come back so very thankful for their modern appliances but then again...maybe I would want to stay back in time.

This washer was in a shed in a small back garden. It is stoked with turf. This one must have been hard work and I am not sure how fresh the laundry would have smelled when it was done.

A Dutch laundry house. Isn't this just a beautiful building? I would really love doing my laundry if I lived here. *grins* I am sure the women and girls that worked here did not spend time looking at this building back in 1900. It was just very hard work.

Here is an old photo of the wet folding room. Laundry was given back to the owner folded and wet. Alternatively, you could have it folded dry which took even longer. The laundry process took an entire week to complete.

Wash was soaked as the first step in the process. It was then washed, bleached, rinsed and blued. At this point, it was taken to the folding room to be shaken and folded wet.

If you ordered your wash to be done folded dry, it would first be dried, mangled, ironed, folded and then pressed. At this point, it was cupboard ready.

An old print of an ironing worker. Ironing was a part of the process that took great time and attention.

An old photo in the dry folding room.

Some areas of Holland are noted for the special way in which a sheet is folded. This is folded into a roll that they call a rose.

It was hard work but I think there is nothing like a perfectly pressed and folded piece of linen goods in a cupboard. I would miss a fluffy towel coming out of a dryer but I enjoyed this walk back in time.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Windows to another world.....

We have been 'on vacation' this past week. We have been away for a couple of days and those photos are yet to come but I wanted to share a window into the country we live in. We visited the open air museum earlier in the week before we went away. It had been years since we had been there and thought it would be nice to go again. It is a place where you not only walk back in time but also visit all the corners of Holland in one day.

Since I love architectural details, I noticed when I downloaded my photos that I had taken so many photos of windows with various types of shutters. It is fun to show them all to you. This first one is very unusual as they slide down over the windows. They are painted in the typical Dutch 'bottle green' as they call it.

A simple country looking wooden shutter on an small farm.

Again some green shutters on a Fresian farmhouse. These kinds of shutters are still seen on houses today.

The highly decorative shutters on a home from Hindeloopen. This city by the Ijsselmeer is famous for its colorful paintings on walls and furniture.

These shutters are on a farm in Limburg in the south of Holland. These seem more similar to shutters seen in France.

Another unique village in Holland is Staphorst. They are also know for the color combination of bright green, white and bright blue on the farmhouses.

These are one of my favorites. I love this sweet little heart carved into these shutters. And what a beautiful window! *sigh* Do you think they would allow me to move into this farmhouse?

The bright shutters on a daylaborer's cottage in Nunspeet. It was used only for the day that the worker was busy at a farm and then the family had to move on by foot to the next place for more work.

I hope you enjoyed peeking into these windows with me. I took so many photos at this museum that I will be sharing many more of them in the coming weeks. I just love all things old. It gives me a peaceful feeling that things last in this disposable world we now live in. It was difficult to find but here is a poem about looking out the shuttered window into autumn's begin...

"The pine trees bend to listen to the autumn wind as it mutters
Something which sets the black poplars ashake with hysterical laughter;
While slowly the house of day is closing its eastern shutters.

Further down the valley the clustered tombstones recede,
Winding about their dimness the mist's grey cerements, after
The street lamps in the darkness have suddenly started to bleed.

The leaves fly over the window and utter a word as they pass
To the face that leans from the darkness, intent, with two dark-filled eyes
That watch for ever earnestly from behind the window glass."

~ D.H. Lawrence

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Greetings from Slugsville...

Hi everyone in blogland! Selby S. Slug here. I stopped in to say hello myself since I have been making regular appearances lately on this blog. The owner of this garden calls her little escape Cranberry Cottage but I know it as Slugsville. It is my home. She put out some left over bread for the birds. I meandered my way up to give it a try and boy is it yummy! So while I munch away on my latest meal, she is snapping more photos of me. Humans are rather silly creatures, aren't they?

It is autumn and becoming damp and cool which is perfect weather for me to cover a lot of ground. In the meantime, the human is setting out more pumpkins and gourds.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Welcome September...

...and all its splendor! We are having a quintessential autumn day with rain and wind. I enjoy hearing the rain tap on my window and the wind sing around my home. I have been cocooned in my quilt studio sewing the last section onto my latest charm quilt. All those warm colors which also say autumn.

Autumn colors are starting to come alive in the woods by Cranberry Cottage too. The Rowan trees are weighed down with berries at this time of year. I love the folklore surrounding this sweet tree. It is said to protect the dwelling it is planted near.

'Rowan tree and red thread
makes the witches tine their speed.'

A first tiny acorn falls to the ground as the first autumn winds blog...

'Best I love September's yellow,
Morns of dew-strung gossamer,
Thoughtful days without a stir,
Rooky clamours, brazen leaves.
Stubble dotted o'er with sheaves ~
Morre than Spring's bright uncontrol
Suit the Autumn of my soul.'

~ Alex. Smith

May this September bring you many gifts of color. Just go outside and look around....