Last week I taught my Louis XV style bed class to a group of miniaturists at my house. We had a lovely day even though my students had to work really hard. Before they all knew I was such a slave driver (lol) one of the students gave me a beautiful little gift.

Margot of La Belle Brigante is a talented dollmaker. She makes beautiful 12th scale dolls, but also makes these wonderful tiny dolls of which she gave me one. If you go over to her weblog at you may still be in time to enter Margot's mystery give-away which ends May 31st!

The tiny lady Margot gave me is only 4,5 cm high and was made from fimo and silks. I found a perfect spot for her in the dining room. She's a lovely companion to the lady in the painting and the one on the blue and white plate.

Thank you very much Margot!

*Note to Catherine: I'm working on it ~lol~
...not a miniature post, but still very small and cute!

When we came back from our trip to England last week, we had a new addition to the little menagerie at our home: a baby hare. Our neighbour's kids had rescued the poor little thing from the claws of a cat and brought it to our house. As we weren't home, my mother (an experienced maternity nurse lol) and our son took care of the new baby.

He has been thriving on goat's milk, generous portions of hay, herbs (read: weeds from our garden, of which we have plenty) and special baby bunny food. He (I think it is a he) is now heavy enough to be weened off the milk. Thankfully he is eating all of the other things very well as well.

We have to let him go eventually, as we have a law in Holland which states you cannot keep any kind of wildlife in captivity. So we have to get him slowly reacquainted with the big outdoors again soon. Until that time, we are so enjoying him...isn't he the just the sweetest little thing? of my favourite cities in the world. I was able to go there last week and spend several days enjoying art and miniatures. It was wonderful.

After a post by Linda (Une Petite Folie)a few weeks ago, I was reminded to go and visit Windsor Castle and see Queen Mary's Dolls' House.
The Dolls'House is huge but beautifully made. I love the fact that so many companies and artists contributed pieces to fill the house. It is a shame that it is difficult to see all the detail as you - understandably- can't get very close to the rooms. However, the two books about the dolls' house (on sale in their bookshop and on Amazon) and the website about The Queen's Dolls' House are very good and have detailed photos.

Unfortunately it is not allowed to take photos of the dolls house, so instead, here are two photos I took at Windsor Castle.

We spent two full days at the fabulous Victoria & Albert Museum, looking at some of their jaw-dropping collection. In their silver section I was able to name and date several full sized silver pieces, not because I am an expert on silver, but because I own some of them in miniature, made by Jens Torp. I thought that was so funny, collecting miniatures can be very educational!

Here is a rare photo of me, reflected in a late 17th century toilet service mirror.

During the weekend I spent a fabulous two days at the Kensington Dolls House Festival. I planned to take lots of photos (I even bought a handy little camera so I didn't have to carry my bulky and heavy DSLR camera with me), but I forgot all about it! I promise to take some pictures of my purchases soon though, and give you a little show report that way.

On the last day of our trip we went to Chiswick Auctions. When we arrived we saw a notice on the door that filming was in progress for the ITV show Dickinson's Real Deal. We don't get ITV in Holland, so I don't know this particular antiques show, but I do remember David 'The Duke' Dickinson from when he presented BBC's Bargain Hunt.

When the auction started they were still filming, so even though I won't be able to see it myself, all of you ITV viewers out there may be able to catch a glimpse of me in one of these 'Real Deal' shows! (If only I had known they'd be filming me, I would have put on a nice frock and some make-up, haha!)

During the viewing at the auction house I spotted a lot of around 20 glass topped boxes from the 1920's, some of which contained miniatures. The estimate was within my budget, so I decided to bid for it. When my lot came up, the bidding was fast and over before I knew it, but I got the lot! It was very exciting.

These are a few of the miniature items which were in the lot:

These two boxes are my favourites. Although the items in the second box look a bit tatty, it is not as bad as it looks. The two items on the outside are actually jars of marmalade and strawberry jam, the same ones can be found in Queen Mary's Dolls' House! The paper tops have started to disintegrate, but the rest is in reasonable condition.

And lastly: a real record from 'His Master's Voice' in miniature, with a recording of 'God Save The King'. A copy of this record can also be found in The Queen's Doll's House.
Isn't that just the most perfect souvenir from a miniature filled week's visit to London? I absolutely love it.

Two weeks ago I was the lucky winner of Sylvia's giveaway. She sent me this wonderful hand crocheted shawl/ bedcover. As I don't crochet myself, it is doubly wonderful to receive a gift like this. You can see in the photos below how finely it is made and how beautifully it drapes! Sylvia ( lotjes dollshouse ) sure is a multi talented woman!

Yesterday I came back from a week's holiday in London (more on that in another post soon) and found out I had won another giveaway. How lucky is that?! I won Hanna's giveaway (Miniature Chef), a rustic board with handmade delicacies. Again something I don't do myself, so a wonderful gift to receive. Of course I will show photos as soon as it comes in the mail.

Thank you Sylvia and Hanna!

The Floor Scrapers by Gustave Caillebotte (1875)

I wish I could say I've had these guys in to finish my floor, but I have been busy myself over the past few days. I used old slats from window blinds as floor boards. As they were too wide, I had to cut each floor board five(!) times to get it the right width and length.

It was quite unusual for Dutch houses to have parquet flooring in the 18th century. In one of my interior history books I found several designs for 'parquet flooring' from around 1770 which I thought would work for my dining room. The design is simple but provides a little bit more interest than just floor boards.

After getting my boards all fitting perfectly, I rubbed down all the edges with sandpaper to give them some signs of wear. After gluing them all down (I stupidly forgot to mark them individually and no, they're not all exactly the same length!), I sanded the floor several times. I then mixed up a nice stain out of paint and old stains I had in my stash and gave the floor four coats of that.

The windy weather made quick work of drying the floor between the coats of stain. The next photo is not very good, but I wanted to show you a little detail I put in which is ever so faint, but very nice when the light hits it. I put nail holes in every floor board. After I had put the stain on (which has varnish in it as well) I put black shoe polish on the floor to highlight the cracks and the nail holes.

The final touch was to rub the floor with a few layers of bees wax. It gives it that beautiful natural glow, so much better than varnish!
After all that work you'd think the floor would be proudly displayed when the room is finished, but in the late 18th century it was actually the fashion to have carpets in the rooms...