donderdag 29 april 2010

Outdoor kitchen

Last week my husband and I finished working on the outdoor kitchen. I am so happy with the result! It's not stylish at all, but so cheerful to look at and work in. We did a lot of sawing and painting, but is was worth it. The best part was to fill the kitchen with old china and other flea market finds!

I bought three lovely second hand floral pitchers from Meander at 'Marktplaats', the Dutch equivalent of Ebay. Normally you cannot even buy one pitcher for the price I paid for three :-).  The floral cups I found in a huge box filled with all kinds of china at a fleamarket. They did not have any saucers. At that time I did not know what to do with them, but found them too pretty to leave behind. The plates against the wall have little chips and cracks, and some are made of plastic (Cath Kidston, Hema). It is an outside kitchen afterall! I bought the turquoise cups and saucers and the little turquoise jug at a flemarket as well.

The garden is looking lovely at the moment. In the little glass jar you can see which flowers are in bloom in at the moment. I will show you some more pictures soon.

Jeanne and Noelle asked me about my post about 'Pearls and Flowers', which appeared on their blog role. I tried to leave a reply with Ingrid from The joys of life yesterday, but something went wrong and her post about Pearls and Flowers appeared on my blog. Still don't know how it happened. I deleted it, but I could not find a way to delete the text on your blog roll. So sorry! For the ones who are dissapointed not to have seen a post about Pearls and Flowers, which I can imagine :-), please check out Ingrid's blog,  she loves them both! To all of you a Happy weekend. To all the Dutch ladies a Happy Queens Day!!

A special kiss to my uncle and aunt in Wahlwiller, who are keen followers of my blog and never miss it xxx

Lieve groet, Madelief

maandag 26 april 2010

Birthday party

Yesterday I celebrated my birthday. A friend told me that I am on the wrong side of forty now. Guess I am, but I am very happy to be there!

What a glorious day it was. We had sun, some clouds, high temperatures, and our garden looked like a dream with all the blossoms and spring flowers. It was the perfect setting for an afternoon tea with friends and family. We went early, so that I could fill some vases with flowers, get rid of some weeds that caught the eye, and decorate the tables.

I did manage to do all my own baking; blueberry muffins, maple pecan muffins, cupcakes, scones and some rocky road cookies, but it was quite a task. I had to think of Katy Noelle of the blog  In the Sunny Spot, who hosted a afternoon tea for a group of ladies in March and could not get cucumber sandwiches out of her head........ Yesterday, I felt exactly the same!

Unfortunately I did not manage to take much pictures, but I hope the ones I posted give you an idea of how the garden and the food looked like.

Sorry I haven't been able to leave a comment this weekend, but I will make it up to you. Wish you all a lovely new week!

Lieve groet, Madelief


woensdag 21 april 2010

Morning at the Fair

Sunday morning my husband and I visited the 'Fair aan de Maas' in Mijnsheerenland. We took of early, to miss the crowds. What a beautiful day it was; endless blue sky, 19 degrees celcius, a mild breeze. It just could not be better! We both enjoyed the fair very much. It was not too big, which added to its charm. There was so much to see. My favourite stalls were the ones selling brocante, china from PIP studio (which I love) and plants. My husband enjoyed the sunlit terraces, a good cup of coffee, his home brought newspaper and the birds of prey show. I must say the birds of prey show was very good indeed!

I did not look for anything special at the fair, but in the end I came home with two beautiful lace scarves and a delicious homemade bread, which we ate in our garden! I hoped to perhaps meet one of you, but alas I saw no familiair faces.

Wish you all a lovely wednesday!

Lieve groet, Madelief

zondag 18 april 2010

Enchanted April/Winner giveaway

April is definitely my favourite month. Goodbye to the snow, the cold and the long dark nights. Hello to the flowers, birdsong, sunshine, walking barefoot and smiling people..... Maybe it helps that I am an April girl! If the weather permits, we plan to have a birthday tea in our garden for family and friends next week. I am looking forward to it very much. Preparations have already started; looking up recipes in my cookery books and making our garden party proof. This week my daughters and I plan to make some cupcakes, lemon bars, carrot cake, maple pecan muffins and blueberry muffins. It will be far too much, but that doesn't matter.

Today some more photos of our garden and allotment complex. It looks enchanting with all the pink and white blossoms!

But now, the winner of my give-away! I am very happy to announce that Ingrid, from Home and Lifestyle is the winner! Dear Ingrid congratulations. You are one of my first and very loyal followers and it makes me glad that you are the one who won my give-away. Ingrid's blog is beautiful too. If you haven't seen her blog yet please have a look. Ingrid, will you email me your address so that I can send you the presents? A thank you to my other blogfriends for taking part. I appreciate it very much and hope you will have more luck next time!

Wish you all a happy Sunday! Lieve groet, Madelief

donderdag 15 april 2010

Garden house inside out

Some of you (yes you Nicola ;-)), asked me about the inside of our garden house. Well, let me show you some pictures and explain.

It is a very small house, really more a shed (two meters by two meters). My intention was to make a little cottage of it, but that just won't work. There are so many things to store when you have a garden, and they have to be stored dry. So two huge iron cupboards were bought, to put in all the garden and kitchen utensils.

The old brown cupboard I found at 'Marktplaats' last year. Marktplaats is a Dutch equivalent of Ebay. It's filled with my flea market finds and mugs that I love. Still love the cupboard too. It is one of my projects. I like to wallpaper the inside with Cath Kidston wallpaper (pink roses). The rest will be painted white. The wallpaper has been ordered, but I don't have time to do it yet, kitchen and garden furniture first. 

As the house is so little, the kitchen was moved outside. You can see part of the kitchen on the first two pictures. Work is still in progress there, but I had to show you my colourful collection of mugs. They looked so cheerful when I was doing the washing up!

This must be my lucky week! Still can't believe it, but I won three giveaway''s, a handmade pillow by Hannie from  Sisterly', which I will show you as soon as it arrives. I also won a beautiful handmade turqoise bracelet by the very talented Leslie from 'A spoonful of'. Riet from Riets photoblog sent me a surpise 2nd price giveaway (it was more a 1st price) containing a beautiful book 'Nieuw landelijk', a little book on tea, a tin of anis sweets and a sachet of Lavender. Dear Hannie, Leslie and Riet thank you so much for your beautiful gifts. I will cherish them! If you do not know these ladies yet, please pop over and meet them!

woensdag 14 april 2010

The little white house

Ingrid from Home and Lifestyle asked me to take part in her blog game. The only thing I had to do was find the sixth photo I ever posted and tell something about it.

My sixth photo appeared to be of 'de Lange Haven' in Schiedam. The Lange Haven is a canal, which is situated in the centre of the old part of Schiedam. In lunch time I often take a walk there. It is such a beautiful and inspiring place; the old houses and boats, the mills, the trees along the canal. It gives so much energy walking there and sucking in the special atmosphere of a time long ago.  I don't know the history of the little white house on the photo. What I can tell is that it is situated nearby the old lock and the Porters guild house (het zakkendragershuis). The Porters guild house dates back to 1725. It has a clocktower. The clock was once used to let people in Schiedam know that a ship had arrived, that had to be unloaded. Don't really know who lived in the little white house, but I can imagine it may have been the lock keeper or one of the people who helped unloading the ships.

If you would like to see some more pictures of Schiedam, including the mills and the Porters guild house,  please click on 'Holland' in my sidebar.

Wish you all a happy wednesday!

Lieve groet from sunny Rotterdam,