Monthly Archives: June 2010

Jam Season

On Monday I made a modest batch of strawberry jam. It always takes longer, and becomes more involved than I imagine it will. (the jam is one thing, but the sterilizing of jars and all of that….) But in the end I have a few jars to put away and one we’ve already started. My first intention was to make lots of strawberry jam but then I discovered that we have what can only be called an “embarrassment of riches” in blackberries at Good Cheer, and they will provide plenty of jam!  Perhaps I will get better at jam making this summer!


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Country Cushions

With what we lack in furniture at Good Cheer I am trying to make up with cushions. After a frustrating trip to the fabric store, I found a great quantity of some “just right” cloth at the Salvation Army for a few dollars. (Perhaps it would not have felt so right if I saw it at a fabric store, and maybe it is partly the “find” that makes it right, I don’t know.) The little red rosebud pattern is very cheery, and makes me think of the country, and of country houses. I threw together a few cushion covers (I’ve still got one to make) and , though they aren’t perfectly made, they are just the thing.

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Happy Honeysuckle

My honeysuckle is entering the third year of its life and, for the first time, is really and truly happy! For its first two years it had aphids, and was just generally displeased both with them and with our attempts to get rid of them. But this year it is going strong – I guess it just takes a bit of patience.

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Introducing “Good Cheer”

Introducing “Good Cheer” our new, old house. We are, without a doubt, in love.

We spent a fabulous four days there, wandering about with big grins on our faces. We had next to no furniture but that mattered not one bit and the nearby family provided a splendid picnic that was a wonderful welcome. Please indulge me……

Food prep in the kitchen.

Our packing crate table, with the first supper.

The “studio/workshop” and “daisy mound” seen through the kitchen door.

The “barn”. Perhaps truthfully a small shed, but it is a barn for us.

And a bit of knitting on the only wet morning.

Hidden treasures. Somewhere, under all that grass.

I’m still smiling at the pictures…..can’t wait to go back.


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Fabric: a frustration and a find.

Today I set off to get cushion forms, and buy fabric for covers for the new house. I spent and eternity walking around the store. Part of the problem, I suppose, is that we haven’t really got any colours to build on. The room is a neutral tan colour, which is great and, well, neutral. And I love picking colours but I think I must have been feeling the pressure. It seems impossible, but in the whole fabric store I could not find anything that was what I wanted. The longer it took me to decide the more desperate I felt. So I grabbed something. And it’s nice, it’s just not…..right. Can’t shake the feeling. Maybe I’ll have to piece together cloth from vintage sheets or clothing, to get the feeling I want. So that was my frustration.  (not to mention that niggling feeling of having spent money on something….)

And my find? Last weekend while trolling yard sales I found a new apron. Now of course, we were looking for various things we need (which we didn’t find) but I was willing and happy  to accept the apron find. I love the pattern and the combination of colours. It came for a dollar, safety-pinned to a pinny which really can’t be worn, but whose citrus coloured floral pattern will be great cut up and made into smaller things. I think I’ll go look at my apron to cheer me up!

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Building a Table

We’re building a table. The new house needs a table, and it has been a subject of much discussion. At first the plan was to buy a suitable farmhouse style table, preferably and antique of some sort……but we couldn’t find anything we liked. Then we talked about building one. I admit I was a bit resistant to the idea at first. Of course, I always thought it would be great to build a table. There is something about a kitchen table that feels like the heart of the home, and building it would be special somehow. But I knew we lacked the skills to put together a table as a carpenter would, the proper joinery skills. I can be sort of a purest about these things and I somehow worried that putting together a table with screws would not be right. Ah, but then there was more discussion, and more thought……and eventually I began to feel that I was being a bit snobby, and not recognizing that the building it, the doing it together, the making our own, was infinitely more important. Building a table, even with screws, would be fun, and it would be special because we made it. (and it means we can transport the wood to the house in the car and put it together there!)

We are using a this design found on Knock-Off Wood, though we have adjusted it to be the size we want. Lots of calculations. Today we are measuring our all the pieces. I will keep you posted our progress with the table.

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My grandmother passed away at the beginning of June. Fortunately, it was not altogether unexpected, so my mother was able to make the trip from Canada to England to be with her. When my mum asked me if there was anything from my granny’s house I would like her to bring back to remind me of her, I thought of this painting.

It hung on the wall in the spare room, and I always  liked it. On my last visit I commented on it and asked Granny where it came from. Apparently it was painted for her by her friend Ningo (sp?) Woodford, who lived round the corner. The flowers are freesias, my grandmother’s favourite. I wish now that I had taken notes, because I remember the conversation leading on to some interesting stories. At any rate, I’m going to see what I can piece together and write a little note that I will include behind the painting when it is framed, for the record! Speaking of framing, I think I might try to make one, but we shall see. It certainly deserves a good frame and I’m not exactly and expert!

I am very happy to have this painting. I think it’s perfect –  it will remind me of my grandmother, her favourite flowers, and the talks we had on our last visit.

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