"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

Monday, June 27, 2011

Make do and mend Mondays

Making do means many things. It also can be applied to how your approach cooking. I hate wasting food. I try to never have leftovers by being careful about how much I cook. And what do you do with those leftover slices of bread that are not as fresh as they used to be?

I now make individual old fashioned bread pudding. They are quick and easy to make as well as being a taste of days gone by. You can use any kind of bread for this. I had a heavier whole wheat bread this time and it turned out just as good as when I used wheat or white.

Fill two ramekins with strips of bread. Just tear it to fit in the dish. I line the dish as I go so they end up in circle or spiral shapes. As I go, I added thawed blueberries. I pick many each summer and freeze them. You can also use other fruits, raisins or dried cranberries.

Once the bread and fruit is prepared, take a measuring cup and put in 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and added cinnamon. You could also use vanilla at this point. Mix in one egg well. Now top up the measure with milk until it reaches one cup.

Spoon the egg mixture over each ramekin carefully. You do not want to egg mixture to cause the bread to push up in the dish so do this slowly. Now sprinkle more cinnamon over the bread pudding and place in a 375F oven for about 45 minutes. You egg mixture will be set and the bread raise up as it bakes. Let is cool just slightly before serving, if you can keep yourself from eating it straight out of the oven. *wink*

*** I have cut down the amount of sugar and gone with brown sugar to make it a more healthy choice. ***

This bread pudding is so good and has that nostalgic taste of old fashioned cooking...

...but don't forget some whipped cream or a ball of vanilla ice cream. A girl has to have a little fun when eating a healthy treat, right?

Do you know any great make do recipes? Why not join in with Make do and Mend Mondays?

Friday, June 24, 2011

The sign post.....

Recently, while taking a nice drive in the country in the north of Holland, we happened upon this small lumbar yard. Jos stopped as he wanted to see if he could buy a weathered old post to use at Cranberry Cottage. The man showed us wood but we told him it was all too new. She he took us into this part of the yard and we found the perfect post for only 5 euros. It was a great deal and he was glad to get rid of it. The old weathered wood is not something people buy. Something I will never understand since I think it makes it instantly look like it has always belonged in the garden.

Why a sign post you ask? If you used to read my old blog then you know I had a sign made for the cottage. You can see where it was originally hanging by clicking here. We had a very old white ball outdoors lamp that was very ugly. It hung a bit up under the roof line thankfully so not so visible but still we really disliked it. We were able to get an old fashioned looking lantern with leaded glass for a great deal and decided to replace that ugly old one.

This lamp hangs down where the sign hung so we had to make other arrangements for the sign. Jos dug a spot up in the driveway, put in the post and our sign hangs once again to welcome you to Cranberry Cottage. It looks like it has always been this way. I really like that weathered look...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

It is June! It is summer!

Today being the first day of summer, it is good to take a moment to think about gardeners of the past that influence us today. Oh to be able to sit in a Gertrude Jekyll garden. To be able to care for a garden that is influenced by her cottage garden style. We are doing our best to create a little piece of beautiful nature in cottage garden style. Our days and evenings are spent working outdoors when we can.

On rainy days, I take solace in a vase of pretty pink peonies as I look on from my living room window to a freshly planted garden. It is June! It is summer!

"What is one to say about June, the time of perfect young summer, the fulfillment of the promise of the earlier months, and with as yet no sign to remind one that its fresh young beauty will ever fade."

~ Gertrude Jekyll

Monday, June 20, 2011

Make do and mend Mondays

When you move to a new house, often you find that things no longer work. We had replaced a couch already before we moved but decided to decorate the living room to work well with the colors of our couches. In doing so, many of the items that we used before with a bit of old world Victoriana charm just do not fit in now.

In some cases, we sold items on but I cannot part with the brass candlesticks I have as the large one was our unity candle for our wedding ceremony and the others were a wedding gift. I decided it was time to make do with them and give them a makeover. They needed to go from fussy to a touch prim looking. And what does it better than black matt paint?

We I washed them to remove any dust and then we gave them an extra cleaning in ammonia to remove any grease from candle wax. Two thin coats of primer and two coats of black matt paint did the trick.

They now fit in again very well with my living room. I have more of my brass candlestick collection which I will be painting black as well. I love how they have come up and know I will have many more years of pleasure out of them now.

It will be nice to want to have them out once again instead of stuffed into my bookshelves since they did not really go with the living room before. After all, this is my year of use it or loose it. What about you? Do you have things around your home that you can make do with or mend?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Cloche love.....

Like many out there in blogland, I love a cloche. It makes just about anything you can think of that much prettier when seen through a glass shaped bell. I change mine regularly and often to reflect the season.

Back in Febraury, I shared these cloches with you on an old post. I decided that they look really great in my quilt studio. Being in the studio, I wanted to give them a sewing theme. After two months, they still make me smile each day.

My little mouse Boudewijn (pronounced Bow-dah-vine) is still in his cloche but this time holding a pincushion I made a number of years ago. You can see it in more detail on my old blog by clicking here. The pretty hand knitted lace was a gift from a quilt friend Albertha. Her mother made it. My handmade bobbinlace is in both cloches and I used vintage sewing items in the smaller cloche. It includes items like a card of buttons, a clothes peg with lace, an old spool of thread, a reel of ribbon and an carved ivory needle holder.

It makes me happy to see these vintage items out while I sew or stitch.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Make do and mend Mondays

This week it is mend and then make do project...

Jos is really proud of the fact that he did the Make do and Mend this week. We have spent this long holiday weekend here in Holland very busy working in the garden. While working on another project, I mentioned I thought it was time to throw out a very broken garden rack. It is wooden and just literally was in pieces.

He decided he was going to mend it right then and there! Some of the wooden pins had broken off. He carefully drilled them out and had to search for something that was the exact same size. It ended up that a bolt he had was the perfect size so he sawed it in the correct lengths for the pins to be replaced.

Before I knew it, we could start to make do with things we had to decorate a corner of the garden.

I placed items I already had on each shelf...

It is nice to not have a heap of broken wooden shelves laying around but now a rack to add a nice touch to the terrace.

What about you? Have you found anything to make do and mend in your home?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Happiness is.....

.....a summer's bouquet!

"Summer set lip to earth's bosom bare,
And left the flushed print in a poppy there."
~ Francis Thompson, "The Poppy," 1891

Monday, June 6, 2011

Make do and mend Mondays

Sometimes it is fun to challenge yourself to do something with as tight a budget as you can. We just created a coffee corner in our garden doing just that.

Back in February, we started searching on a Dutch website called Marktplaats for a table and extra chair for our garden in our new home. We have a second terrace that is large enough for more than the one rocking chair which I had at our old house. These chairs were sold as a one time offer at a major DIY chain years ago. I was able to find a second one for which we paid only 20 euros. The original price was 99 euros. As soon as we got home, Jos got stuck in on sanding it so we could oil it with the same oil we use on the other chair.

The table was becoming a challenge. I did not want a big table but also not one too small. I felt like Goldie Locks trying out the furniture of the Three Bears. We finally found an old French bistro table made of wrought iron with a stone top. It needed work but was only 10 euros.

We scraped it with a steel brush, cleaned it and painted it black. I loved it for the pretty and decorative scroll work under the table. It came up like new again.

A few items on the table which can be seen from inside the house and our chairs sat by the table in the shade of our sweetgum tree. I rarely ever sit in the sun so this is fast becoming my favorite spot.

A perfect spot to sit and listen to the birds with a cup of coffee or tea and read a book...

This area is not finished as we have to have the terrace rebricked and I want to work on decorating the edging of this terrace but in the meantime, we can sit there and simply enjoy...

Cost of this mend so far is only 30 euros. Who does not like a bargain?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Cats and cows.....

Have you ever seen a cat asleep on top of a cow?

Dagi has smashed this pillow down and sleeps on it all the time now. It is his favorite spot. The pillow was a gift from a friend but I am not sure she intended it to be used like this. *grins*

Oops! Time to tiptoe away as we woke up Dagi and I think his look says it all.....