Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Why everyone needs a cat like Gibson the wonder cat

This is the oldest team member of the Modern Country lady blog-team: Gibson. He is 16 now.
Gibson's strenghts are : security and relaxation techniques.
Security is paramount for him.
He knows places to hide where we don't even think of. Luckily he has taught his skills to Thomasina, and they now both have a safe drawer in my cupboard.You can compare it to a safe room- like Jodie Foster had when those killers tried to get her and her daughter.Same priciple without the mobile she had. Cats are not that much into technology.
He's good at helping with craft projects.Inspection, that sort of stuff.
And reminding me of lunch-breaks for the team as he needs his food to keep his figure.

This time I was on time with the provisions.Here he probably thinking of afters.He likes two meals rather than one.
He is tolerant of others .

And his relaxation techniques are second the none .

Gibson is the cat who kept me on the straight and narrow and I have much to thank him for.
When my husband John left me for an old girlfriend, Gibson parked himself at my feet. He looked up at me, completely relaxed, and said:" I trust you. You can do it.I know you have no money right now, and no job, and a big mortgage and five pets to feed .But you can do it.You will look after us.You can do it. I trust you completely."
He had more trust in me than I had in myself. Everyone needs a cat like Gibson.
So I did. I worked 3 three jobs at the same time and kept all my pets safe and fed and we all survived .
This was Gibson's finest hour - and I will always thank him for it.
This week, Gibson has had a bloodtest .The diagnosis is not good.He has kidney failure.
He sleeps a lot and wonders why I fuss.He's OK right now.
But I am preparing myself to see another little mound of earth under the flowering cherry tree where he will sleep the big sleep with his friends Harris, Sophie,and Emily who are already playing in that big green meadow in the sky and will welcome him gladly.
I know that in each life some rain must fall. In mine it sure has and there will will be some more quite soon I guess.
If you are so inclined, say a little prayer for my lovely Gibson.I sure will.

linking to Metamorphosis Monday
Wow us Wednesdays.
transformations and treasures
transformation Thursday
Strutt your stuff

Monday, 27 June 2011

Happy Birthday to a Great Guy

Today is the Birthday of the Modern Country Gentleman's Dad . He hates presents. He hates all vegetables apart from green peas.He thinks the country is going to the dogs.He tells me so often that I am usually quicker than him and already say it for him & then burst out laughing.Luckily he is English so he has a sense of humour.
He is the perfect guy to call to  when your loo has just exploded with water everywhere and you both can't stay but have to go to work.He will sort it out.He's one in a million.
He brings you food when you are in bed with the flu.And buys dogbiscuits although he doesn't have a dog. So when our dogs come he can pretend he eats a dogbiscuit which he " accidentally" drops.So the dog feels brilliant as he has just stolen a biscuit off the big guy.  All dogs think he is the best.
He prefers dogs to people.
Here's to a great guy. Happy Birthday.

linking to Making the world cuter Monday.Metamorphosis Monday

Saturday, 25 June 2011

A festive breakfast...and life is for living..

This morning we had friends for breakfast. Apart from getting everything ready on time to eat,  - o deary me- - that is such fun !
I went the whole hog so it took a while- breakfast in Holland or Germany is not just sweet things like jam, honey, marmalade and rolls, but also ham, different kind of cheeses and different kind of bread- and then of course coffee and tea.
I sent the Modern Country Gentleman- being English- out of the kitchen- as he was cramping my style.....he recoiled in horror when he saw what I was going to put on the table " Cheese???!! CHEESE ???!!!"" Cheese for breakfast ???? ".At which point he got thrown out -understandably." There is only one captain on a ship " as they say in Holland and this captain eats cheese for breakfast if she wants to.

So finally I was done.I don't really have a dining room as such.So either I  start moving things around in the living room , pulling out tables, and getting in extra chairs, and generally getting so frazzled  that by the time I'm done I just want to throw my guests out of the window ..or........ we go the more " relaxed " style " , my guests just have to lump it and park themselves in the kitchen - so that was my plan today .
My mum is an terrific embroiderer and she had sent me a lovely table cloth with napkins for my birthday last year.

So all well and lovely.Then I broke a plate as  I am a bit of a klutz, and then I poured tea all over the table cloth- actually- just a noticed- but it's tea so it will never get out!.
Do you use your " best" and " prettiest" table cloth - and who cares if you pour accidentally a bucket of red wine over it ?

OR- do you do a nice table-scape but basically don't use it ?

What the heck, ,life's for living , that's what I say !
Have a fabulous weekend whatever you do.

P.S. the dinnerservice is Audun Ferme from Villeroy and Boche- not great but nice enough. Not sure if I would go for yellow again..

linking to
Modern Mix Monday
Masterpiece Monday.Brag Monday. 
Metamorphosis Monday     Amaze me Monday   
Show off your cottage Monday
Tablescape Thursday 

Friday, 24 June 2011

On Apartment Therapy's " Inspiration gallery" !

The weekend seems to be starting well.... almost finished with one of my projects- ..and
-much excitement... . just noticed I have been featured on the Apartment Therapy website!!
How extraordinary exciting - it's in the "small cool book" under " Inspiration Gallery"-"Statues in the garden".You can find the link here.
It refers to a post about my garden which you can find here.
The best thing is that this statue  had been thrown away and was re-claimed- it was missing it's head.... never pass the opportunity to get yourself some free statuary, that's what I always say ! Here below is another sample of free statuary I found which I incorporated in my front garden design.. a nice ribbed urn which was broken in four big bits and put back together again .Re-claim and re-enjoy!
Potager or traditional vegetable garden traditional landscape

Well- hope you will have some lovely sunshine this weekend and a relaxing time- wherever you are.

I leave you with a picture of my mock orange- wish I could send you the scent-  -mmm.Definitely would plant one this autumn if you haven't got one yet.
Have a fabulous weekend.

linking to
 Centsatiomnal Girl's garden party
 Amaze me Monday.
Craftomaniac Monday
Metamorphosis Monday
Show off your cottage Monday
Cottage Flora's Thursday 

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

An unexpected suprise .. and a feature

I came home yesterday from welcoming my best friend Kathi back to the UK after an absence of 5 years and found this on my front door...
My neighbour Jo is so sweet- don't you just love unexpected surprises and late Birthday presents :-))
She's a neighbour in a million, what with the dog sitting, furniture donating ( hahaha) ,  hand holding and present giving.
The world is so full of kind and wonderful people!

Inside was THIS which was even better....hahaha
MMMMMMMMMmmmmmmmmm !!  If you have never had strawberry creams, or violet creams, you must try them one day.
I discovered these dark chocolates with a creamy filling tasting of strawberry or of violets here in Britain, as in the Netherlands, we don't really have chocolates like that- and they are super delicious.
I am absolutely determined to find a good recipe and then try to make my own Violet creams.
Maybe with these babies from my garden..
...or would that be too cruel ? They are very sweet after all ...

Another surprise- Onprettything has just done a feature under " Revamp Roundup" on my Nautical shadow box ( see below) - you can see the link here .

All, in all, a week of lovely surprises.Hope your week is as good as mine.
Now back to the chocolates and the projects :-))

I am linking this to : Show and tell link party

Monday, 20 June 2011

A piece of Birthday cake and project update

This Saturday was my birthday so I thought to send you all a piece of virtual Birthday cake and a big " thank you "  to all you lovely blog-friends out there for your support , lovely comments and for keeping on following my blog- especially as I have not been posting much over the last two weeks- so sorry- o deary me-hahaha!!

I have a a whole load of projects on the go , and I am busy creating a small collection of home-ware stuff ! So I am very excited right now- and a teeny bit frustrated things are not going as quickly as I want it to go.
Plus I am doing some furniture make-overs - but  all I can show right now is some tempting shots to keep you in suspense. So here are just-a few details of what I am working on, amongst other things .. 
this- my " romantic range"
With these materials....
                                                   And then this - another sneak pre-view..                             

    Which goes with  this (which is part of a more comtemporary range)  :

 Then there is still this waiting.....already in a base coat..
 Meanwhile there is mayhem in the animal world here..all fighting for a place on the spare bed while major projects are under way..
" My spot" " "No-mine-Get off"  !!"...
    Score : cats : 1- Dogs : 0..
In the meantime-  roses are still going  strong this month-  if you think of planting some nice climbers this autumn to brighten up a really boring shed or a whole row of completely yawn-inducing conifers, can I suggest this fantastic monster of a climbing rose ( also described by others as " A huge and very vigorous climbing and scrambling rose", the " Kiftsgate". I  grew this monster about three years ago in a group of huge conifers which were drab and plain, and it's such fun to sit and watch per day almost and see this rose climbing up in it, and covering the trees with swathes of white tiny pretty flowers.. 
Here's a detail by the way-.
  And I leave you for now with my favourite rose at the moment, called " Peace"- which is flowering in my garden at the moment.
  Have a great week!
I am linking to:
                                                                     Saturday morning link party

                                                                                            Seasonal Sunday 


                                                             Brag Monday
                                                              Craft Catwalk
                                                              Masterpiece Monday
                                                             Making the world cuter Monday
                                                             Craft-o-maniac- Monday
                                                           Amaze me Monday
                                                            Modern Mix Monday
                                                             Mod Vintage Life

                                                          Show off your cottage Monday
                                                           Tabletop Tuesday
                                                            Nifty Thifty Tuesday
                                                          Get your craft on Tuesday
                                                          Talent Tuesday 
                                                          Twice owned Tuesdays 
                                                          Tutorial Tuesdays  
                                                          Bromeliad's June Inspiration Party

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Red, white and blue and roses, roses, roses...

 It's June- the month of the roses ! By pure coincidence both the blue iris , the red rose and also the white rose are in flower at the same time today in my garden- ( slightly too late for American Memorial day but still..pretty good ..) so I thought to send you this lovely red- white and blue to brighten your day. Ah!The colours of roses...
Red-white and blue are not just the colours of the American and English flag, but also of the Dutch flag- so for a Dutch person like me, it's super cheerful and very apt. So I made myself a very patriotic nose-gay.

  I have been tending and nurturing my roses- I wished I had many more than I have at the moment- but then, maybe not on second thoughts. Roses are enticing and alluring like a voluptuous  1950's Starlet with dark red velours Capri-pants, but also just as temperamental . This rose-arch here below , as you can see , is clad with two white climbing roses .These are really two yellow rose trees .They died off. The roots were left in the soil . Then the roses regenerated themselves and then the roses came back as white climbing roses .
Here is a close -up of the rose.It has a lovely lemony scent .But it just goes to show that rose equals unexpected surprises .I still would have preferred the yellow.But then  - the scent is lovely.So it's a keeper.
Just a tip in case you're thinking " rose-arch" : if you want to put a rose-arch up, put the legs of your  arch quite deep in the soil and then secure with quick-setting cement. My last rose-arch - which looks perfectly fine here last year- see here
was not secured properly ,  fell over, and the metal was completely twisted and unusable because of the weight of the roses .It's not much fun having to completely untie a climbing rose full of thorns from an old rose-arch !So remember- in case of a rose arch : dig deep and concrete in !
The dogs were quite helpful while I was digging the trenches for my arch and trying to get as much cement in my hair as I could in the space of 10 minutes, and kept me entertained, running around amongst all the fallen roses.
And Maud came out of the shrubbery looking like this:
No idea how she got this forget-me-not flower in her hair-this is how she came out - but I think it's adorable.                                                                                                                                                      
My other advice is : be kind to your roses and don't keep them in a pot , but plant them whenever you can, in  full soil ( with some nice and smelly manure).They love that and reward you with clusters and clusters of flowers.This climber is called" Teasing Georgia" .It's getting so big and so full of roses now it's getting a bit scary.The rose-heads are so heavy they all droop down, like they are all looking at you and figuring out what they will do next.Grow some more I guess!!
It's a modern rose, but with the look of an old-fashioned rose..Here's a detail. Lovely and yummy.Almost so tasty that you want to take a bite out of it!Yum!
But I previously had it in a pot and was lucky to have three roses on it during  the whole summer.So get those spades out and those bags of manure and start digging!! 
Soon you will have a house covered in roses, and more sugar- coated rose-petals and self-made rose water  , than you can shake a stick at !                                                                             
I have high hopes for this rose I planted last year-called " Albertine "  a real monster from a growing speed point of view.
 I hope to goodness she hurries up and covers the whole front of my house with an explosion of pink  bubblegum rose extravaganza and I will have to fight my way to the front door with an jungle-knife.
I am so looking forward to that day !  Sadly, the score at present it is...about seven roses on the whole thing .
All good things come to those that wait- that's especially true for gardeners!
                                                       Have a great rest of the week!                                                                
I am linking this to the following link parties ( the button is at the bottom of my page ):

Tuesday garden party. Wow us Wednesday .Show and tell Wednesday.Swing into Spring Wednesday.Tablescape Thursday.    Transformation Thursday, Inspiration Friday.