"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

Thursday, February 24, 2011

White roses and lace

Yesterday I spent a fun day with my good friend Bep. We went to a large indoor fabric market. So many wonderful fabrics, trims, buttons... Can you overdose on seeing such wonderful things? *wink* We also walked into the village shopping street and visited a couple of shops to look at yarn among other things. Then before leaving, we had to stop in at a store called Action. It is a wonderful discount store. I bought this tray.

When I got home, I immediately started playing with things to put on it on my dining room table. The nice thing about it all being on a table is that you simply slide the tray aside when it is time to set the table for dinner.

I put some of the things I love on the tray...lace, a lacy looking pot and ball, silver heart keyring, a candle and my white miniature roses I recently bought.

There are so many rosebuds on these plants and now all we need is a little sun to make them open.

Walking past this tray and seeing these things make me smile. I hope you have things in your home that make you smile too?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Don't you love a bargain?

In a shop I stopped in at on the way to Cranberry Cottage, I happened to find a bargain. It was laying on the floor under a bargains table. I almost did not even see it...

I found a matching decorative cake plate to my larger one I already had. They are made of wood with a painted taupe grey paint distressed effect. It was marked down so well that I had to get it. *grins* When bringing it home, the fun began. One of my cloches fit on it perfectly so I was able to use the two well together.

Under this cloche is a piece of my handmade bobbinlace, a porcelain heart and a watercolor portrait of Samuel Pepys which was a souvenir from a little shop in The Cotswolds.

The two plates are now standing to greet all who come to visit on my sideboard in the living room.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Love is in the air.....

It is almost Valentine's Day and our home has reminders to celebrate the heart throughout our living room...

A vintage wooden trough full of heart made for me or given to me as gifts by various friends.

A book containing beautiful words of love given as an anniversary gift from my sister....

Chocolate and raspberry colored quilt I made which I called 'A Box of Chocolates'...

A Valentine's tree adds a twinkle of light...

I wish I could remember that first day,
First hour, first moment of your meeting me,
If bright or dim the season, it might be
Summer or Winter for aught that I can say;
So unrecorded did it slip away,
So blind was I to see and to foresee,
So dull to mark the budding of my tree
That would not blossom yet for many a May.
If only I could recollect it, such
A day of days! I let it come and go
As traceless as a thaw of bygone snow;
It seemed to mean so little, meant so much;
If only now I could recall that touch,
First touch of hand in hand.--Did one but know!

by Christina Rossetti

Sweet words of long lasting and true love...

'Mended Hearts' quilt with a wooden dough bowl of more fabrics hearts...

Valentine's day is a time to remember more than just our husbands, wives or sweethearts. It is a time to also say to all those we care about how special they are to us. I wish each of you who read my blog a Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 4, 2011

On the rocks.....

This is a rock garden just outside on the terrace between my studio and our living room. Normally this would not be a style I would choose but it is practical for this area due to the large windows there. We thought it would be a simple touch to the sitting area near the house as we plan to plant up the rest of the garden heavily in comparison.

But the rock garden needed a facelift. For years, the previous owners have swept dirt and junk into this area and it showed. If you look at the photo above you can see the results after cleaning it up from the photo below which is before we started.

You can see the anti-weed membrane sticking up through the pebbles and it is just very dirty looking. We found broken wine glass, clothes pins, plastic wrappers, plastic from toys, etc. and lots of leaves and so much dirt that weeds started growing in it.

We removed everything right back to the membrane. Once the membrane was swept, we started to first filter out the less dirty pebbles to put them back. A good half of them had to be washed though. It was hard work which we sometimes continued even when it turned dark. A friend laughed when she saw it and asked if the beauty police were coming to visit. I laughed back and said the beauty police live here. *grins*

The fountain did not work and we wanted to see if we could figure out if the pump was broken but instead Jos discovered this. If you look closely on the photo, you will see that the end of the cord has been cut straight through most likely with a hedge clipper. Jos plans to pull up part of the terrace to retrieve the remaining portion of cord and repair it.

When the frost season has passed, I will plant another decorative grass. We marked a spot for it with a tile.

Now my large lanterns are standing in the rock garden and I think they look like they belonged there all along. It is so pretty from inside the studio or living room to see the candles lit.

Our gardening makeover has started and this was hard work but when I see the before and after photos, it was well worth it. We have major plans for both front and back which we are going to work on as time and weather permits. For now, I can sit on the terrace in the coming spring to enjoy the rock garden and hopefully by then a working rock fountain.