Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Carolers and an Elvis Christmas

My dear friend, Janet, visited Saturday evening. She brought me a gift which I will tell you about farther down.

While we were having hot apple cider and talking we heard Christmas carolers on our quiet street. We haven't had carolers in all the years we have lived here since 1997. It was a special event. Here is part of the group in front of Davree's Christmas Cottage.

More Christmas carolers and there were even more on our front patio to the right, didn't get a photo of them. They had instruments and it was very nice hearing them.

What a wonderful treat for people to carol. They told us they have never come this far in the neighborhood, we are so glad they did! It made the evening so special.

Janet is a quilter, I've neglected quilting for a few years. Janet gave me a gift of yardage of an Elvis Presley Christmas tree skirt or Christmas table topper and ornaments. I put on my Elvis Christmas music while we continued our visit and apple cider.

First thing the next morning I decided I would get more use out of a table topper and cut and hemmed it. Look, isn't it wonderful? Thank you, Janet!

We're ready for a wonderful Christmas Eve dinner. 
I hope you all are also ready to celebrate a peaceful Christmas.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Kruid Nootjes, Gingerbread Cookies

On December 5 Sinterklaas arrives in Holland by boat then rides a white horse to deliver goodies to all little good boys and girls. The tradition there is to leave a carrot in your wooden show for the white horse.

Sinterklaas comes from Spain with his Moorish helpers, they are called Zwarte Piet, black Pete. Sinterklaas has a full white beard, a bishop's hat, long red cape and carries a hooked staff.

Jan always tells the story of being a little boy in school when Sinterklaas visited. Zwarte Piets would throw out handfuls of candies and kruid nootjes, the little round gingerbread cookies. All the children scrambled across the floor to pick up as many as they could. The kruid nootjes are not wrapped! Maybe the children were trying to beat the three second rule.

 Another tradition is receiving your initial chocolate letter either in milk chocolate or dark chocolate. Here are our boxed Dutch chocolate letters for Joe, Doug, Reese, Davis and Jan.

 We stock up on Dutch foods every few weeks when Erik Timmerman comes from southern California on a route. Can't do without our Dutch coffee and other goodies. Erik gave us a box of Weinbrand-Bohnen, brandy filled chocolates, delicious.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Evening sky and little goat's feet!

This was the sky a couple of nights ago. Jan called me out to see and I took a couple of photos from our driveway, no Photoshop or any adjustments in color, it was gorgeous!

Last night our friends Bill and Kaye brought two friends to see Davree's Christmas Cottage. They were enchanted and loved it. It's funny how grown ups can have so much fun and they were encouraging me to build another and another. For sure Davree's cottage will be decorated for Valentine's Day week.

Every few weeks we get a visit from a Dutch products vendor. Erik Timmerman drives up from southern California on a route to sell imported Dutch food. We are so hooked on our Dutch coffee, we stock up to last till his next visit. He stopped by yesterday and we stocked up on a few extra treats.

After dinner this evening Jan pulled out a package of goodies. I've had these a few times over the years but never knew their name, bokkepootjes, translates to little goat's feet.

I've always liked little goats, ever since I was pregnant with my son Doug. I took Joe to a petting zoo and was wearing a green plaid maternity dress. One adorable little goat kept following me all around nibbling on the hem of my dress. This evening I nibbled a tasty little goat's foot. 

Tomorrow I will show you a couple of other Dutch tasty treats. 

I'm going to be making gluhwhein to have on hand the last few days for any adult friends and neighbors that visit Davree's Christmas Cottage. Hope to see you! For more information see the Visit Davree's Cottage page.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Visit Davree's Christmas Cottage

Can you see Davree, the build a bear monkey in her cottage? She's serving tea to her great uncle Douggles who is visiting.

Find the sleeping mouse. What is his bed made of?

Come visit Davree's Christmas Cottage, it will be up through Sunday, December 29. Official hours are 6 to 9 p.m. but could be earlier, anytime after 5, it's dark enough by then.
5589 W. River Bottom Ave.
Fresno, CA 93722

Bring your friends and family and let everyone know about Davree's Christmas and there is a page with her story to pick up and also questions about what you find in the cottage.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Frances the Fairy in Davree's Christmas Cottage Scene

Frances has been fluttering around the Christmas tree in Davree's cottage. She has her own little purple fairy door to come and go and visit her woodland friends.

Kitty has been watching the knitting basket. She wants to play with the ball of yarn.

Come visit Davree's Christmas scene, it will be up through Sunday, December 29. Official hours are 6 to 9 p.m. but could be earlier, anytime after 5, it's dark enough by then.

Bring your friends and family and let everyone know about Davree's Christmas and there is a page with her story to pick up and also questions about what you find in the cottage.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Lights and Tea Time at Davree's Cottage

Davree's Cottage is out every evening through December, come visit and tell all your friends. It's for children and grown ups in a magical spirit.

Davree's Cottage Christmas Scene 2013
Hours are 6 to 9 p.m. till December29
At 5589 W. River Bottom Ave., Fresno, California

Davree loves her nativity scene, in front of the tree.

This view is from the window on the right side, you can see across the cottage to Davree's red door, her favorite color. Flickering on the window sills are her Merry Christmas lights.

A closeup of the tree shows the red and white paper garland and one inch birch tree ornaments with red gingham bows, tiny work. How many sayings will you find?

Next time I'll show you some more details and Davree's new kitty. The new kitty is being naughty, can you guess what he might be doing?

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Davree's Cottage Christmas Scene and Tea with Douggles the Gorilla

The scene is out now till December 31 for visits from 6 to 9 p.m. Here are several photos, more to come.

Great Uncle Douggles' eyes are sparkling, he was so happy to be invited to tea by Davree. She's happy with her new Christmas dress made of ribbon from Costco. What is she serving? Yum yum, those animal cookies are so good.

The teapot and warming stand was purchased when we lived in Holland. I believe it is actually a little pot for hot water to be kept warm with a candle and to add to strong tea to weaken it. Davree has safe LED candles.

Above, between Douggles and Davree, you see a small print of The Tuck Box, original painted by my hubby. The Tuck Box is on Dolores street in Carmel, California and has been a tea shop for many years. Prints, 8x10 inches, are available, see Shop Paris Cabinet link.

The fireplace is flickering and doggies are warming their little rears and Davree's reindeer pet is happy to be indoors. The print above the fireplace is a make believe snow scene of the Fresno water tower that Jan painted a few years ago as a Christmas card for us. Prints are available, see shop link.

The fireplace is painted brick and the hearth is also painted. It is a replica of the fireplace in my hubby's childhood home in Holland, photo below.

Go to "Visit Davree's Cottage" page for details of where and when to visit during the Christmas season in Fresno, California.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Cotswold Style Stone and Happy Davree

We got a lot done today on Davree's Cottage but still so much to do before we put it out for display by 6 p.m. on Wednesday, December 4!

Jan didn't get a chance to start working on the cottage till almost 3 p.m. and I was amazed how fast the painting on the front was going. Notice the lower right is not finished. The air was cold today, this was about 4:30 when he moved into the garage to continue painting.

Here he is working on the side, amazing work!

One of my small baskets was the right size for yarn so I made a few skeins of yarn and made a set of knitting needles from a bamboo skewer and two wooden beads. I wound a ball of green yarn, to pull out from the center and knit a little swatch on real knitting needles then slipped the stitches to the little bamboo waxed needles. I was pleased with the basket. Notice the end of the original bamboo skewer.

 About 8:30 p.m. I climbed into the cottage to continue decorating, here I'm arranging the tea set on the shelf, everything is attached with museum putty. It works like a charm and releases easily if you twist to remove.

Here I am with Davree and her reindeer pal she's had for years. She looks very happy and is excited that she gets to dress up tomorrow in her new dress. Davree, the Build A Bear Monkey, is so precious to me since my grandsons made her for me on January 2, 2005. I have her birth certificate. They named her Davree, a combination of their names, Davis and Reese.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Gulliver's Travels to the Land of Lilliput

When I took this photo today it reminded me of Gulliver's Travels to the Land of Lilliput.

Late this afternoon Jan said he was having fun, he really enjoyed putting the finishing touches on the inside. And here is the final strip of floor board. The fireplace needs to be built behind and get the real burning fire look.

I can start decorating it and setting the scene! What fun that will be tomorrow.

There is still exterior painting and the skirting to do but did you notice? The door has a door knob!

Click on the navigation bar, Visit Davree's Cottage for address and times to visit during the Christmas season.

Now back to finishing the garland for the little Christmas tree.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Mini Tree Ornaments and Molding for Davree's Cottage

Small peppermint candy canes and birch wooden disc ornaments are two of the items for the Christmas tree for Davree's Cottage. I had wanted to use walnuts burnished gold but they seemed too large for the proportion of the tree.


A tree needs a garland which I'm making, it's very time consuming! Will show you later.

Here is Jan today inside Davree's Cottage, touching up the nail holes after mounting the ceiling trim. We're getting closer to finishing!

Friday Jan's sister and brother-in-law stopped by on their way home to Washington state from a visit to southern California. They gave us a gift, a Dutch cookbook. It starts with the history of Dutch food and cooking, very interesting about the origins. It has beautiful photography and traditional recipes.

I'll have to make the St. Nicholas slices for Christmas, they have lots of spices and almonds.

We have set Wednesday, December 4, 2013 as the first day for Davree's Cottage Christmas Scene to be on display from 6 to 10 p.m.

Bring your children or adults and their teddy bears or favorite stuffed animals and take photos with them visiting Davree's Cottage.  

Davree's mail box will be available to leave her a letter. 
Also letters to Santa will be delivered to the North Pole by a relay of fairies going city to city. Francis will take letters on the first leg north.

5589 W. River Bottom Ave.

Fresno, California 93722
For more information Call Donna at 559 355-3080

Diamond Pane Windows for Davree's Cottage

Fitting a window in Davree's cottage!

We have some diamond window panes! They are so quaint! As you can see, there is still much more to do. The other two sections of the front window, the door window and eyebrow windows.

The bottom skirting and more painting on the exterior, then we can detail the interior, moldings, paint touch ups then the fun part can begin, decorating!

Coming Soon! We have a delay, should be up for viewing by Monday or Tuesday, December 2 or 3, 2013

Visit Davree's Cottage Christmas Scene 
Bring your children and their teddy bears or favorite animals and take photos with them visiting Davree's Cottage.

Location in Fresno, California and evening hours to be posted by Sunday evening, December 1, 2013.

Fresno, California
For more information Call Donna at 559 355-3080