.....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 will 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, too grey, too blotchy,  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. 

                              sweet  adj \ˈswēt\   

                             -delicately pleasing to the eye 
                             -very good or appealing
                                   -skillful, proficient
                                   -awesome, cool, amazing, sick, rad, etc.  

I am sure this has happened to you:  while searching the Internet for some information, you come across all sorts of interesting links and you get sidetracked from the original search.  Yesterday was one of those days for me.  I found the wonderful flickr photostream of Tim Sidford  ('sweetington').  While I had planned to work on a fire surround,  I could not help myself and spent the best part of the afternoon and evening browsing through his photos.

 With permission, here is a preview of some of Tim's work:

Photo by Tim Sidford

A Gothic Whimsy, scale 1: 18

Photo by Tim Sidford

Red carpet glamour, Lobby, Sweetington Hotel scale 1: 18


Tim creates these beautiful miniature rooms using decorative paint techniques and basic materials like card, wood and playmobil furniture.  Hold on... playmobil?  Those little bright plastic children's toys?   Yes, that playmobil! Hard to believe, isn't it?

The rooms have many different architectural styles, from Art Deco to Georgian to Regency Chinoiserie.   An  explanation for this great diversity of styles (many of them in one building!) can be found at  'No.1, Sweetington Square. A History'     
There are different 'sets' in sweetington's photostream.  One I really liked because I can follow the working process, is 'Work in progress...'    I hope you'll enjoy Tim's work as much as I have!

                                                 .....get out of the kitchen!

Well that's just what I did today,  I am enjoying the summer (which has finally arrived) in the shade of  my garden.   I'm doing a little bit of work on the fireplace for the reception room of my second canal house.  I will show it to you when it is finished, it is almost done!

In the mean time I will show you what I have been working on the first half of this year:  a 17th century miniature kitchen.  For those of you who are thinking they are experiencing a déjà vu, you are right in thinking you have seen this before.  Well almost anyway.  This kitchen is based on the one I made two years ago, with just a few adjustments. 

 The beautiful tilt top table was made for me by Colin Bird.  I put in the accessories (silver by Jens Torp)  and the chairs (by John Hodgson) just for the photo. 

                                                  ....or the corset and the tool box.

Hello again!  I know it has been a long time, but you know the old excuse, 'I have been busy... '   In my previous post I showed you some photos from the show in Rheda, today I want to show you a few things I bought at the show.   

 About five minutes before the show closed I came to the table of Uschi Schiffner's 'Petit Corsages'.  Uschi makes beautiful miniature clothes and corsets.  Some of her fifties corsets actually open and close with little hooks!  I could not resist this little blue one, so pretty! 

The corset has great detail, I love the little clips on the suspenders.  With its blue and pink colours it looks perfect in the attic bedroom.   All I need now is a beautiful dress,   I already  bought a gorgeous sparkly necklace to go with it! 

 The necklace is by 'Miniatur Juwelier' Ursula Stürmer.  The gems are Aurore Boreale crystals, topaz and indicolite on gold.  The necklace is very difficult to photograph, it is much prettier in reality.

 The corset and necklace in a bit more detail. 

 I also bought something completely opposite to the corset and necklace, a wonderful metal folding tool box.  Isn't it great?  It was made by Edmund Drescher.

 Edmund had a fantastic collection of metal tools, boxes, tables etc., all working of course!  I love the workings of this tool box. 

And the beginning of my tool collection...I need a lot more!  Next time I go to Rheda I know where some of my money will be spent! ;-)