zaterdag 28 december 2013



Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas?! We had a good time, everything considered. Christmas will never be the same without Jan, but the girls and I tried to make the best of it. Thanks to my two sisters in law and my brother, we did well. The girls and I even baked our traditional Christmas turban.

The amazing looking pie with the blueberries and raspberries was made by my sister in law. It tasted as delicious as it looks on the photograph!

I have been vintiguing today. With success :-)! I found some lovely cups, an old black necklace and some vintage needlepoint, which will look pretty on one of the walls in my craft room.

Inspired by my finds, I went up to the attic, to work on some cushion covers for my eldest daughter. I made them from vintage curtains.  Hope she will be pleased. If not, I may keep them for myself :-)!

The painting on the first photo was a recent thrift store find as well. It's dirty and damaged a little, but I love the bright red and pink of the Zinnia's.

In between vintiguing, sewing and baking, I started on a new crochet cushion cover. I will show you the result once it's finished.

Wishing you all a Happy week ahead! Enjoy the last few days of the old year.


Madelief x

zondag 22 december 2013

Merry Christmas



Just a short post today. We are off in a moment, to celebrate my eldest daughters 24th birthday. I will take some cupcakes and truffles with me, which I made yesterday. If you are interested, you can find the recipe for the truffles on the BBC Good Food website. For the cupcakes I used the basic recipe from the Hummingbird Bakery (with the vanilla topping).

The concert I had in the old church in Kethel went well. The church looked really romantic, with a huge Christmas tree brightening up a dark corner. The music was beautiful and the spirit of Christmas was in the air. Dear Marian, Elizabeth, Fleur & Irma, thank you very much for being there! x

The girls and I will spend Christmas with my brother in Nijmegen and sister in law in Amsterdam. It will be difficult and different this year, but I hope that despite everything we will be able to enjoy the festivities.

Sending you lots of love from Holland. A Merry Christmas to you all! Hope you will have a happy time with family and friends.

Madelief x


zondag 15 december 2013

The Perfect Meringue

Meringues Swiss style, Italian ones or French ones. I tried them all, love them all, but somehow I did not manage to end up with those snow white mountains you see in magazines and cookbooks. In my oven they always turn an elegant shade of beige. Very pretty, but not the snow white I was hoping for.

As I am not the sort of woman to give up easily, I gave it another go.......guess what? They are crisp on the outside, soft on the inside, but most important, they are white :-)

What I did was put them in the oven for two hours at 100 degrees Celsius. After that I turned the oven off and left them there to cool. Which was about four hours in my oven. I think the trick is to leave them to dry slowly, rather than to bake them. So use a low temperature.

The violet swirls were made by using a toothpick, which I dipped in violet food colouring. I gently added some lines to the little heaps of meringue mixture before they went into the oven. I used sugared violets and little white and silver pearls for decoration. I glued them to the meringues with a bit of icing, dusting them with icing sugar afterwards.

If you are looking for a good recipe, you can find one in The Guardian or in the Great British Bake Off book 'How to bake'

The baubles, cups and saucers and fabric used in my photo's, are old and new vintage finds.

Sorry I haven't been around lately, but I will make it up to you next week. Wishing you a Happy time. Enjoy the Christmas celebrations and parties!


Madelief x


zondag 8 december 2013

A Vintage Christmas

This is officially a chaotic post! Are your last two weeks before Christmas as busy as well? Every year I decide to leave gaps in my dairy, to breathe in some fresh air, but somehow they always seem to disappear :-). I have been in and out of the house the whole week. Nevertheless, I managed to get the boxes with Christmas decorations out of the loft.

Over the years my collection of vintage Christmas ornaments has steadily grown. Whenever I am at a flea market or in a thrift store, I find it hard to resist that special glass ball, pine cone or father Christmas. As the prices are so low, I simply have to take them with me.

I decorated the chandelier in one of the bedrooms with pinks blues and shades of white and silver and in the living room pastel coloured candles, paper balls and bells brighten up the darkness. We already put the fairy lights around the mirror at the end of October, in need of some extra light! I wrapped the first Christmas presents. I need a few more, but most of them are ready to be given away.

This weekend the choir I sing in had it's dress rehearsal. On the 21st of  December we have our very own Christmas concert. We spent the day in a beautiful 17th century church in Kethel, an old part of Schiedam, singing Christmas Carols. Such a festive way to start the Christmas season.  

Wishing you a Happy week! Have fun decorating.


Madelief x