Going for gold....

                         . ....and crowned by a laurel wreath . This past week I have been making a fireplace for the front reception ...

                         .....and crowned by a laurel wreath.

This past week I have been making a fireplace for the front reception room (or salon) of my Canal House.  I wanted it to look similar to the one in the Yellow Salon, but not quite the same.


Below are some (well, a lot actually) work in progress photos, but first one of the finished fireplace. 


I start with a general idea of what I want it to look like and then just search for the right materials. The square ornaments on the corners are by Sue Cook, which I have had in my stash for many years and finally got to use.   


As I wanted this fireplace to be a little bit different from the one in the other room, I decided to marble it in grey tones.   I cut acrylic mirror sheet to size and aged it using the same technique I used last time. 


I thought the grey colour was 'cool' enough to act as a balance for some gilding.  I used 23 carat gold leaf on the mirror frame moulding.



Some more marbling...the tablet on the chimneypiece needed a stronger colour than white.
My first Canal House's distorted reflection in the mirror. 


 ...And more gilding.  I added a large gilded laurel wreath to the marble tablet on the chimneypiece.
 

And then I also gilded the sconces.  The style of the sconces is not quite right,  they are a bit too Rococo.  But they'll have to do for now (and they are very pretty), so I changed them a little bit, cutting of some of the scrolls, adding some bows and gilding it all.  



 Working on the room.  I finally finished the two windows for this room.  They are a lot of work and I must admit I find it a bit boring.  John of Merriman Park suggested making some sort of jig to make the windows as there wil be something like 40 windows in total for this house.   Unfortunately the windows change in size on all floors, so I'd have to make several jigs as well.  Does anyone have a good idea on how to do this?


The marbling on the fire surround took me a whole day to get it right!  Too light, too dark, too blue, too beige, to grey, too blotchey,  too plain...etc.  The photo below was taken with flash, so it isn't quite the same colour as in reality but it is close.  I like it. 

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70 comments

  1. Que belleza de trabajo
    Un abrazo
    GRACIAS por no tener palabra de verificación

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    1. Thank you Rosamargarita. And you're welcome, I don't like the word verification either!

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  2. Absolutely fabulous, I love it! :) Good job! :)

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  3. leuk die foto van kamer in aanbouw,schouw ook mooi gemaakt.
    groetjes adrie

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    1. Dank je Adrie! Ben jij nog ergens mee bezig?

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  4. I love watching the progress/process that another miniaturist takes with a project, it is sometimes more interesting than the final (pretty) photos.....I am sure you understand what I mean. I love the imagination that is behind each piece.....I too look forward to see more. Thank you!

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    1. Yes, I agree with you Linda! I do enjoy looking at pretty pictures but it is the process which leads up to that picture which interests me most, both in my own work and in other people's work.

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  5. Wat een prachtige schouw..net als de rest van je kamer. Veel plezier met bouwen.

    Groeten Xandra

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    1. Dank je wel Xandra. Jij ook natuurlijk!

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  6. Felicidades un trabajo fantástico, es una preciosidad!!!
    Besitos

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  7. Incredibly handsome what you do.
    It's all so fun and beautiful what you make.
    I have read also about your kitchenette.
    The brilliant stuff you have and that you decorated.
    I do have a lot to catching up to do, basically on everyone in blog -land, because I've been busy, with the garden and vegetable garden. But the weather would not grow my tomatoes and turn them red, so I've placed it down and I've given myself time to build.

    You are an inspiration to many, respect for the master builder!!

    Greetings Alexandra.

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    1. Thank you Alexandra! Too much praise! Yes I have seen the photos of your beautiful garden, a lot of work to keep it looking good, I know. I let things go a little too often and then it is even more work to try and get it to look decent ;-) My tomatoes are doing fine (had the sweetest tomato salad last night, yum!)but they are in the greenhouse, so protected.
      I look forward to seeing your house progress!

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  8. Beautiful work. You're talented and you've got a lot of knowledge and experience. Always a pleasure to enter your blog.

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  9. Wonderful work, Josje, you make my hands itch to do some work on my dollhouse, it has been seriously neglected the last while.

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    1. Thank you Elga! Well you've got your new table, so plenty of room to create some new things on ;-)

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  10. es un trabajo maravilloso, y muy conseguido, la felicito
    y gracias por enseñarnos la forma de hacerlo
    un abrazo

    is a wonderful job, and very accomplished, I congratulate
    and thanks for teaching us how to do
    a hug

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    1. You're welcome contar! And thank you for the compliments!

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  11. Oh Josje, yuo are SO clever!
    I love your Blog so much, it's such an inspiration - though being inspired means one is encouraged to try something new, and I fear I wouldn't make half as good a job as you.
    I have no ideas on the windows I'm afraid, I buy mine (cheat!).
    Have a great week my Dear
    Simon -x-

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    1. Ah thank you Simon! But come on, you're a very accomplished miniaturist yourself, of course you can make something like this yourself. Just have a go! Basically it's just bits of wood and paint ;-)

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  12. It's just beautiful and totally suits your house. The detail is amazing.

    xo
    Claudia

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    1. Thank you Claudia! I hope to see some more of your pretty house as well, although I know the dogs, the yard and life keeps you very busy at the moment.

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  13. Hi Josje,
    How absolutely beautiful! You did such a terrific job on the firebalce marble. and theovermantel is stunning. I very much admire your technique. I know what you mean about the windows, my house has 43 and each one is different...I like to make them one room at a time. When that room is finished being decorated I move to another and more windows...makes me hate them less.
    Big hug,
    Giac

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    1. Thank you Giac! Yes if anyone should know it is you! You amaze me with the speed at which you built your huge house, and so beautifully as well. I am doing the same thing you did, one room at the time or else I'm afraid I'd start throwing things, haha! The most boring part is cutting all of those -I don't know what they're called in English- glazing bars to fit just right. Oh well, I know it looks good in the end, but that doesn't make the task more pleasing.

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  14. Elle est vraiment très réussie cette cheminée, j'admire!
    Nathalie

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  15. Hello
    What a fantastic blog you have made. I'm amazed by all the beautiful things you do. I have not words enough to describe all the unique and beautiful you are doing.
    Thank you for your willingness to share your knowledge.
    hugs
    Wyrna

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    1. Thank you Wyrna! And welcome to my blog, I hope you find it helpful. Enjoy!

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  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  17. Some suggestions on jig building. It is done with gauge blocks for setting spaces.

    There are at least three commmon approaches to this situation. One is to route grooves into a base plate for the muntins and window frames to drop into the other is to glue raised blocks onto a solid surface which also creates grooves for the muntins to drop into.

    With both methods you end up needing a way to set up a router or saw for making the spacing the same across the vertical and horizontal squares in the windows. That is where a gauge block comes into play. It is what you use to set that distance from the fence on a table saw or router when making your tool setups. Depending on your approach you gauge block might need to be the size of the open area plus the width of a muntin bar or it might need to be only the size of the open area as you will have the frame side of the window next to it.

    A third approach also involves gauge blocks. Put together the frame, drop in a row of gauge blocks the size of the area between the muntins. Glue in the muntin and move the gauge block(s) against the other side of that installed muntin to do the next row of muntins. I have often used that approach but you can end up with a too narrow space gap on the last row if you are not very careful.

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    1. Thank you Karin! I always love your extensive knowledge on the more technical matters. I like the first two methods you described, I think that I will try those for the next windows. I had to look up what a gauge block is, never heard of it before! Obviously I don't have one, but I'll start a search for it, seems like a very good tool to have.
      I appreciate your answer Karin!

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  18. Beautiful, the colours are superb, everything so delicate!

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  19. Hi Josje,
    Your fireplace looks wonderfull, really like it!! Believe it or not....I still find it difficult to do marble painting with acrylic paint...what am I doing wrong?
    And allready working on your second room.....you work fast! ;-)
    Thanks,
    Jeffry.

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    1. Yes, like lightning, haha! The second room in less than a year...;-)
      Well I don't know what you're doing wrong, but you can do it with oils, right? Which should be even better than acrylics because the layering can be so beautifully transparent. Or else we should do a little get together where we can share techniques.

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  20. VERY nice. You teach me to be patient and take my time to get it just right.

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    1. Ah patience! So difficult at times, but yes, often worth it. I have learned over the years that I have to finish something to a level where I am happy with it, or else it will keep annoying me until I redo it anyway.

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  21. I love the colour in this room and it would NEVER occur to me to cut a light fitting. Another idea to store away!

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    1. As long as you don't cut into the wire, lol! I have been scouring the internet for cheap but nice looking chandeliers to bash now.

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  22. Ah Josje,

    So well thought out and such attention to detail. The fireplace looks wonderful and I love the mirror, and what windows!! The light they will bring into the room, just beautiful!!

    ML fi xx

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    1. Thank you Fi! Yes the windows on this floor are nice and big, bringing in loads of light, which is what they liked just as much 250 years ago as we do today ;-)

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  23. Hello Josje!
    Well here I am at the bottom of the list of your lovely comments........they are all well deserved! Your fireplace is beautifully done. I remember seeing your "Mirror Aging" from the earlier post and LOVE it! It is so very real looking. Will have to give your method a try. I have learned many things from you since discovering your blog and you have inspired me to step outside my comfort zone.
    Thanks for sharing all these great ideas and methods!
    Warm regard from Ray

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    1. Hello Ray! You are always so very kind with your comments! Thank you.
      About the mirror aging, it is all about what kind of materials I have at that time and then I just have a go at trying out what I think could work. This worked out very well, except for the scratching of the acrylic. If you use real mirror that wouldn't be a problem. I have another technique I still have to try out, using (car)spray paint. Just a dusting of gold and then some black or dark grey around the edges should work very well as well. That also eliminates the scratches on the acrylic.

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  24. I don't know how I missed this post five days ago.

    I love the working windows you are making, they are gorgeous! I would have no idea where to begin. I love the color of the rooms walls. The fire place and mirror are perfection!

    I hope you will do a tutorial someday about how to do real gilding. And where to buy the supplies. I have a whole book of real gold sheets my grandmother gave me and no idea where to buy the other necessities.

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    1. Thank you Catherine! Gilding is really easy with the modern seizes. But I will do a post on it soon to show you all how I do this. I have to think of something to use for gilding now!

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  25. This is for mischy: Thank you for your kind compliments about my work. I did not publish your comment because of the link you included.

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  26. Hi, Josje!

    Sorry I'm so late to the party but I'm sure glad I came! Your fireplace is breathtaking and I am so thrilled to see how you did it. When you break it all down, it looks so easy! Is this the room where you are going to have raspberry silk curtains? We ARE on the same page, lol! I'm glad Karin was able to help with the jigs --she has helped me SO many times, I really think I should consider changing my house's name to 'Karin Corbin Park.' Well, anyway --fabulous, truly inspiring work, Josje!

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    1. Thank you John! We'll just have a litlle afterparty ;-) Basically it is easy what I do! If you have the right ingredients it is hard to get wrong. This is the room for the raspberry fabric, although it will not be curtains, I have a beautiful turquois silk for that. I will use the raspberry as an accent on a chair, at least that is the plan. The rest of the fabric will go to one of the future bedrooms where I will have it paired with two other gorgeous fabrics and a wallpaper by Les Chinoiseries.

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  27. Everything is coming together so well, the gold and blue is such a beautifull combination, they really emphasize eachother. And I admire your marbling skills! It gives such a realistic and luxurious effect, I'm a little embarrassed I often take the easy way out with marbled paper... It's not nearly as nice!

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    1. Hallo Anneke! Yes a classic combination, like the sun and the ocean, can't go wrong there! And I am a strong believer in using what you have got, or what 'works'. If the marbled paper works for you, use it!

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  28. Me parece espectacular...como siempre disfruto y tomo nota de tus trabajos
    Gracias por compartirlos

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    1. Gracias por tus cumplidos agradables!

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  29. Prrrrrrrachtig Josje ! Ik word hier altijd zo nederig van... (goed voor mijn karaktertje denk ik dan maar...)

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    1. En hier word ik weer nederig van...Nog even en er is niets van ons over ;-)

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  30. I'm trying to figure out if the reflection in the mirror above the fireplace is a dollhouse inside a dollhouse or if it's the front of a dollhouse across the room. Seems like a fairly fantastic photo either way. Victorian Madeline townhouse dollhouse

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    1. Thank you! It is the reflection of my other dollhouse across the room.

      I'm afraid I don't know your name, but I do want to ask you something. In your comment you have included a link to your business. Now, even though I appreciate your personal comment, to me including the link (also the one in your profile above) looks a bit like spam. I would like to ask you if you leave a comment, not to include links to your business. Thanks!

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  31. That is beautiful. I would love to be able to do marble effect - people tell me its easy but it doesn't look easy to me. You have done a magnificent job on this entrance hall.

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    1. Thank you Sandie! Well, it is easy in a way, on miniatures anyway. I have done a short tutorial on my website (written many years ago) but it is in Dutch. I will translate it to English and upgrade it with more photos in the next two months I hope. ~Josje~

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  32. Josje, I have nominated you for the 'One Lovely Blog Award'. Hugs, Sandie. http://SnippetsfrommyStudio.blogspot.com

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    1. Hello Sandie! Sorry I am a bit late with my reply, but I was away on vacation.
      Thank you so much for nominating me for you blog award, I really appreciate it! However, some time ago I have decided no longer to participate in blog awards. I really should write a note in the sidebar of my blog about this.
      I do really feel honoured that you thought of me though. Thank you!

      Have a wonderful weekend! ~Josje~

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