Thursday, September 29, 2011

Lights, camera, action!

I have put some of the finishing touches into the bedroom of my canal house, finally!  Ceiling moulding, skirting boards, decorative trim around the windows, fire basket, curtain rod and curtains...All little things but they take up so much time!   I think the bedroom looks a bit like a set from an old movie now...

When this was all finished I felt the room needed more lights. I didn't want to wait until the next dolls house fair so I rummaged through my drawers and found an old silver ..well I'm not sure what it was, but I could call it a 'jewelry finding'. I played around with it a bit, using some glass paint and silk string and made it into a very eclectic light to hang above the chest of drawers. It is a bit odd, I admit, but I rather like it.

I also wanted a light on the fireplace mantel. I started out making a 'candle in a bottle' type of light with a lovely red glass bottle I had. The bottle was great and I managed to drill a hole in it to thread the wire through, but the candle was looking a bit too crude so I put the whole thing aside. I then found a pretty clear glass vase in my drawer and decided to use that and make a little lampshade for it.

In my hunt for material to use for the lampshade I came across a box of little beads, glass on the outside and silver on the inside, perfect for a pretty lampshade! I cut the lampshade from clear acrylic and wound a string of beads around it until the whole lampshade was covered (keeping the beads on the outside only).

I am quite pleased with both lights. I will adjust the voltage a bit so they don't shine so bright, but that will be in the future.  Photographing the bright lights was not easy!  When I looked at the photos, I noticed a spot in many of them.  Unfortunately this is a spec of dust inside my camera.  That's what you get when you leave your camera in the same room as where the sawing and sanding is done. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Learning from David Hurley

David Hurley (no website unfortunately) makes the most beautiful, finely carved miniature Tudor furniture.   About a week and an half ago (how time flies!) he taught a three day class close to where I live.  I was one of the lucky people able to attend his class. We made a small chest with three carved panels.

It was a fantastic class, I have learned so much in those three days!   I am really pleased with my results even though there is still a vast amount of room for improvement.  Below are some photos of the finished chest.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Queen Mary's Dolls' House...updated

...on 'The Queen's Palaces'.

On Monday 19 September, BBC One will broadcast part two of a three-part documentary about the official residences of Queen Elizabeth.  In this episode of Windsor Castle, Queen Mary' dolls' house will also be featured.  Watch the trailer below:

Don't miss it! It starts at 9 pm in the UK and at 10 pm in Holland (and most of the rest of Europe).

Yesterday I received an email from miniaturist Wil Leussink with a wonderful link to The Royal Collection Podcast:
Starting at about 1:30 minutes, the podcast shows some wonderful images from The Queen's Dolls' House.

Thanks for the link Wil!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Les assiettes de Quimper...


These are the seven other Quimper plates which were in the set I bought.  I bought them at 'Art de Cornouaille' (  They were  € 20 for a set of ten.  I believe they were made as 'feves des rois' (to be baked in a cake). Although not handpainted, they are real porcelain.  I saw two sets when I was there, 2009 and 2010, mine are from the 2010 set I believe.

I found more sets on the internet, also quite nice I think:   and   (and many, many more to be found in the sidebar).  Unfortunately they seem to be out of stock at the moment.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Petit souvenir de vacances... faïence de Quimper.

I spent some time in Brittany this summer, on the beautiful coast of southern Finistère. On a visit to the nearby city of Quimper, I came across a collection of 10 miniature porcelain plates, all in the famous Quimper pottery style. Of course I had to buy them, such a nice souvenir of my vacation!

The photo's below show the old city of Quimper, the Cathedral of St. Corentin and some of the typical 15th and 16th century half-timbered houses.  I think some of these houses would be a perfect inspiration for a miniature version, don't you? 

The day we went to visit Quimper it was very busy on the roads into the city, and finding a parking space was not easy ( and that's putting it mildly!).  What we didn't know, but apparently everyone else did, that it was the day of the annual city fair.   Hundreds of stalls were lining the old city streets.  It made it more difficult to get a good look at the houses, but it was fun anyway. 

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