In November 2009 I was able to attend two workshops at the Philadelphia Miniaturia: 'Shaker Chest of Drawers' by Pete and Pam Boorum, and 'Magic of the Drill Press' by Tom Walden. The focus in the workshops was on learning techniques on the table saw and the drill press. The photos below show the Shaker chest of drawers I made in Pete and Pam Boorum's class.

We learned to rip, crosscut, dado, rabbet and make finger joints using the table saw.

On the photo below Pam Boorum is showing us a trick with the table saw.

The last photo is one I came across last night while flipping through the pages of the March 2010 issue of Miniature Collector (I scanned it from the magazine, so the quality is not too good). It is a photo taken by Mary Kalisky during Tom Walden's class 'The magic of the Drill Press". Even though I was renamed 'Joyce' in the caption, I am the tall one standing in the middle.

Rosanna's swap arrived! When I opened the parcel this morning, I found three beautifully embroidered pillows looking like little jewels, deliciously presented in a box of Genoan sweets.

Rosanna's home town is Genoa in Italy and the card she sent me accompanying the swap is a beautiful engraving 'Veduta del Porto di Genova' (View of the Port of Genoa). On the card she wrote that the pillows were for me, but the sweets were a gift for my son. Needless to say, that made us both very happy!

Some time ago when Rosanna (La Casa Rossa and La Stanza di Giuggiola) and I agreed on doing this swap (see also previous post), I sent Rosanna a few swatches of wallpaper and fabric I had used in the bedroom. Rosanna used the swatches to design and embroider these three pillows for me.

I can't begin to tell you how pleased I am with the designs Rosanna chose for me. The pillows look beautiful in my bedroom. I love the red one because of the apparent simplicity and its perfect match to the pattern of the red cover on the bed. And the 'toile' pillow is so very, very pretty. The whole positioning of that pattern, with the tree, the girl and the road within the circle...just enough, beautiful.

The striped one is so perfect with just that little bit of green which picks up the green accents in the room and of course the tiny stripe in the fabric. The flowers in that one perfectly refer to my peonies.

Not only the front of the pillows are beautifully made, the backs are done in silk in colours perfectly matching the embroideries.

Thank you Rosanna for such lovely works of art. I will treasure them!

As always, all pictures can be clicked for a better view.

A few months ago Rosanna (La Casa Rossa and La Stanza di Giuggiola)and I agreed on doing a swap. Rosanna would do an embroidery for me and I would make her the frame of my Louis XV Fauteuil. Rosanna is a whiz at embroidery and she will completely upholster the chair with her art work. I so look forward to seeing it finished! I did not take a picture of the frame before I sent it off to Italy, but Rosanna has posted pictures on her blog if you're curious (and if you've been reading my blog you'll know what it looks like).
The embroidery Rosanna did for me is in the mail and should be with me in a few days, I can't wait to see it!

Around the time Rosanna and I agreed on our swap, she had written a log entry about a long held dream of hers of opening a bookstore annex tea room. She had found the perfect name for it: Le Thé dans l'Encrier (The Tea in the Inkpot).
When I read that post an image popped into my head and I though it would be fun to paint it for Rosanna as a little gift.

I kept the design simple and used the colours I thought Rosanna would like based on the posts in her weblog. The letters pouring from the spout dictated the size of the painting, as I wasn't able to do the lettering smaller while still keeping it legible.

A few days ago one of my Dutch readers asked me about the chest of drawers and what was in the red box on top of it. I promised her to take some photographs of the box and its contents, so here they are:

I made the chest of drawers a few years ago from a kit (The House of Miniatures? MiniMundus? I can't remember) I still have to make the handles for it, but I want to make silver ones. Jens Torp has explained to me how to make them, so now all I have to do is sit down and MAKE them. Easy. Right? Uhm...

For the flowers I used pre-punched leaves by VaRIAatjes, I love the look of these Peonies. The wash basin and jug are part of my handpainted collection. I have not finished this one yet, (it still needs leaves etc) but I probably ran out of time during the class and forgot to bring it the next class.

A more detailed shot of the red box. In it is a lovely miniature cameo brooch which I found at the Arnhem show last autumn. I think I bought it from
Nostalgia Interior Design Specialist, but I am not entirely sure.

This past week I was finally able to finish some things which had been sitting on my table waiting for the finishing touches. Amongst them was a chair frame I had used as an example during one of my classes. I had painted it a nice wood colour, but just didn't know what to upholster it with.

Maybe it was the snow which gave me inspiration, because all of a sudden I knew I wanted to upholster it with white linen. I rubbed the frame with some white paint so it looked as if it had white wax on it. Although it looks rather heavy and clumsy in the photo's, in real life it is much more subtle and combines rather nicely with the white linen.

As I was taking the photo's (above) I saw some movement from the corner of my eye. As I looked over my shoulder out of my studio window, I saw a couple of Great Tits (the bird variety) on the bare branches of my grape vine, busily hopping from one branch to the other.
All I had to do was turn my camera around and snap a couple of pictures of them. They didn't even notice me, even though I was only a couple of feet away from them.

...the candles are snuffed out.

Of course that doesn't mean we can't light candles whenever we feel like it! Have a wonderful 2010!