"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

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Joy of a child's book!

One of the things I collect are books by the Swedish children's author Elsa Beskow. These books are being republished.

They are beautifully old fashioned with a cloth binding. It is nostalgia at its best! I only have four so far. I buy one every once in a while as a treat when I order some paperbacks. In fact, I have my next book in my basket ready to purchase with my next order soon.

The stories are sweet and full of childhood innocence but the illustrations are just so beautifully done. They take you back to a simple time and allow you to be a child once again...

Enlarge the photos by clicking on them so you too can enter the kitchen with mother, pull on Daisy's tail or encounter a family of gnomes!

Elsa Beskow was born in February 11, 1874 and died on June 30, 1953. Today is the anniversary of her death and I wanted to remember her by sharing her books with you. It is said that she used her own childhood experiences as well as those of her 6 children to inspire her books. If you love children's books and have not seen one of her books, I can highly recommend them.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

On the bench...

I mentioned not being able to paint wood in my last post but that is not entirely true. It is true for antiques. However, we have been refinishing our bedroom furniture which was looking very tired. This bench is something I found in a farm shop up in Drenthe. I love it but it was getting very nicked up from use. This is an old photo of it.

It is sitting at the end of our bed these days and we love it but wanted to dry brush it to go with the refinished drawers and nightstands. Jos had sanded it and it was waiting for me to devote some time to it. Today was the day. It costs me much energy and a setback when I do something but things like this are worth it!

Jos came home from work and carried it upstairs for me. It looks great at the end of the bed now. There is no longer a dark and scratched up bench there.

Now I am off to put my feet up on the couch with a hot cup of cafe au lait...

Monday, June 22, 2009

Let there be light?

I have been unsatisfied with a section of my living/dining room so I started playing with an idea this weekend. It is not finished, in fact, only just started but I wanted to show you what I am doing and ask your advice. This is a photo of the far wall of our little home. I love the color on the walls which is a chalk paint from the company Painting The Past called buff. I know painting the walls white would create light but I am not a white wall kind of girl. In the photo, the color looks darker than in reality. I took the first photo with my flash and the second without. It was evening and you can see what I mean I think.

We had two matching guilded mirrors upstairs which I brought down and hung on either side of the hutch. These will be great fun to decorate at the holidays! I am now thinking of switching the lamp on the left with a set of tall candlestick lamps to place in front of each mirror. I thought this would reflect light really well. I will have to get another wooden table like I already have on the left also.

I am working on reorganizing the top of the hutch today. I will also be changing the four fox hunt prints you see on the very left soon. I am not sure if I will try some of the speculaas molds there or something totally different. But I am not happy with my hutch inside. I was thinking of doing something to make it lighter on the back wall of the hutch. I cannot paint it as DH would never allow to me touch this wood with a paintbrush. It is newly made of antique oak. The inside has become a bit of chaos lately as I was not well enough and started just placing things quickly back inside. It does need reorganized but I was thinking of something that I can easily remove like panels perhaps covered with fabric? And then what would I use for the panels? Perhaps hardboard? What do you think? Should I just redo the inside standing up my pretty cream dishes to make it lighter or try to create panels? Any ideas or links to sites with fun ideas would be appreciated.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Remembering Tasha...

I start my new blog, replacing CelebrateTheSeasons, with a day of reflecting on someone I admire deeply. A year ago today, many Tasha Tudor fans were saddened by the news that she passed away. Yet a year later, she is very much alive to me. Her spirit lives on in her books and as I watch her talk on the DVDs Take Peace and Take Joy. Her legacy lives on!

One of the joys of her books is seeing a simple country life come alive on the pages. If you have never bought yourself one of her books, I can highly recommend it. Around The Year is just such a book that will be fun to gaze through at any time of the year. The illustrations that go with her poem are magical.

Here is the summer portion of the little poem in her book:
"In June come summer's longest day,
Now meadows smell of new-mown hay.

Hot July bring picnic joys,
Firecrackers for girls and boys.

In August swallows southward fly,
Summer's waning, fall is nigh."