...for Christmas and the New Year... 
     I wish you all much joy and happiness!

Around midwinter the days are very short and can be so gloomy…To bring a little cheer into these dark days there is no better colour than gold! 

In the Yellow Salon of my Canal House  I hung a mirror by Jim Coates which I gilded with 23 carat gold leaf.  The little pier table was made by David Iriarte and the silver-gilt inkstand was made by Jens Torp.

The soft glow of these golden colours warms me up instantly!

                                        … through treetops blowing…

 ♩ ♪ ♫ ♬

Hear the wind through treetops blowing 
drafting through the windowpanes.
Will the good Saint Nicholas be showing
through the storms and through the rains,
through the storms and through the rains? 

Yes he rides through nights unfailing
on his horse so strong and fast. 
If he knew how we await him
surely he would not ride past,
surely he would not ride past!

 ♩ ♪ ♫ ♬

…: a door that is divided into a top and bottom half that open and close separately

I didn't get much done last week, but I did build a back door for the kitchen.  A Dutch door of course.  
The door is quite large, larger than a typical kitchen door, but I wanted as much light as possible to come into the kitchen, so I made a big door.  I was afraid that glass might be too heavy for the door's hinges, so this time I used acrylic for the windowpane.  

The door still needs to be hinged, but -typically- I did not have enough hinges to hang the door.   It also needs door handles and a latch which I still have to make.   

As I was reorganizing my workspace last week, the kitchen became a room with an unusual view…
Normally the Yellow Salon can be found directly above the kitchen.  

At the last show in Arnhem I bought another painting from Elly Ypma.  It is an impression in oil after M.van Mierevelt's 'Portrait of an unknown Lady'.  The original painting was painted around 1600.

Last time I bought a painting from Elly I made a comment to her about the frames, which I didn't like.  I didn't know then that she makes all the frames for her paintings herself and decorates them with 23 carat gold leaf.  Obviously I never meant to hurt her feelings (sorry Elly!).

However, I still think the frames on the paintings I got are not right.  In the 17th century paintings had quite austere, dark frames made from ebony and such woods.

Yesterday I tried out various possibilities on my milling machine.   I still have a lot to learn, but I had fun trying to make a frame for my painting.  Now I did not have any ebony available to me  (I hope to find some in the future), so I used a very fine oak.   I think it already shows the painting so much better!

I do love the painting.  I love that lace cap and the fantastic lace millstone collar!

As I searched online for information on these frames, I came across Gregor's, a Dutch company which makes fantastic frames for old master paintings.  The video below is about the frames he made for the Hermitage in St. Peterburg, three of the frames were for Rembrandt's paintings.
Unfortunately the video is in Dutch, but I love the glimpse into a world we don't normally have access to.

Fun little fact Gregor mentions in the video:  He says the frame he will be making for the 40 million euro Rembrandt, will cost about 1250 euros.  The same type of frame would have cost about 2000 guilders back in the 17th century (that's about $ 1000!!).  For that amount of money you could buy an entire canal house on one of the Amsterdam canals back then!!  Wow!

When I looked at my photos from last week's post, I decided the green of the cabinets was too green.  It did not tie in with all of the blue of the wall tiles and the porcelain which will be in here.  So I mixed up the green paint with some beige and grey and came up with this colour which looks great with the blues of the wall tiles and also with the colour of the floor tiles.  

My next job was to make and paint marbled slabs for the wall by the sink and as a countertop.  For the marbling I used the same colours of paint I used in mixing the paint for the cabinets and as you can see, they're also the colours of the floor tiles.  

I still need to order the hinges for the last door, so I have not yet attached the cabinets to eachother and to the wall.  Another thing I still need is a tap for the pump, but I think I may have found one online.  The pump handle is one I made for a previous project and is too big.  I will make a smaller one soon. 

The tiles were hand made and painted by Idske.  I incorporated them into the wall above the countertop and I love how they look there!  I find it very special to incorporate handmade gifts into my miniature house!
The little jug on the window sill was also a gift, from Elisabeth Causeret.

All of the pottery on the countertop is by Elisabeth Causeret.   I bought the stoneware salt pot at the show two weeks ago, the other pots were purchases from previous years.

These salt pots were a very common feature in Dutch kitchens.   The salt glaze pots originated from Cologne (Köln, Germany) and were used  for preserving vegetables and meat in salt.   In the 20th century  it became more popular to preserve foods in glass jars and so the salt pots were left to just hold salt, butter, mustard or kitchen utensils.  

 Contrary to what you might believe (as I have not posted anything on my blog lately), I did not abandon the miniature world.   But time just seems to fly past!

Last weekend I went to the Apeldoorn Dolls House Show.  As usual I had a lot of fun with my friends and saw (and bought!) many gorgeous things.  I spent far too much money, but someone has to keep the economy going, right?  It might as well be me then ;-)

My first stop at the show was the table of Patrizia Santi (Patrisan).    I love the shoes she makes and cannot pass the opportunity to buy a few of her pieces each time I see her at a show.   A girl can never have too many shoes, can she?  
This time I went for the work boots.  I just adore the rubber profile soles which are flexible like real shoes would be. 

These brown leather booties closely resemble a pair I have in real life.  Again, looove the profiled soles.  And the matching handbag...what can I say, just perfect.  The photos don't do them justice!

These red summer sandals and matching clutch handbag are so cool.  Just look at those perfectly formed platform heels!   Resistance was futile.

 As I had started work on the kitchen of my new Canal House,  it gave me a 'shopping purpose'.  From my previous photos you can see I did not strictly adhere to it.  Below are the first stages of the kitchen cabinets.  They are very similar to the ones I have made before.  
The tiles I won from Idske will be going on the wall above the kitchen worktop.

A few days ago I wanted to install the cabinet doors.  In my stash I found I had 6 tiny hinges left, just enough for the three doors.  As I started work, I noticed one of the hinges had gone missing.  I looked everywhere for it (yes, including my sleeves and the soles of my shoes) but it just disappeared.   When I set back to work, I noticed another hinge had gone missing.  What?  Again, I could not find it.  It just vanished.   So strange.   And it wasn't even Halloween.

Now I'll have to order new ones.  This is where I get them:  Phoenix Model Developments.  They're not cheap, but I like the size.  

I did not only buy shoes at the fair, I managed to find some pieces for my kitchen.  I bought a green  porcelain dinner service...oh hang on, that is actually for my dining room which I haven't even started work on yet... There are more pieces to the dinner service than are shown in the photo and if possible I hope to add some hand painted pieces to it myself.

The blue and white vase in the photo is one I painted in Cocky Wildschut's porcelain painting class.  I painted the design freehand after a full sized 17th century Kangxi porcelain example.  It turned out really nice.   The tiles with the dog (also copied from a full sized example) was something I did in a previous class and have now incorporated into a tile wall.  

This wonderful coffeepot is by Elisabeth Causeret.  I love the two separate filters.  
The simplicity of the salt glaze pots fit well into my 17th century inspired kitchen so I bought several more pots and a jug.  

These were my last purchases at the show.  So I have shown you the first and the last things I have bought at the autumn show.  And the ones in between?  Ah, you'll just have to be patient! ;-)

Here's a little challenge for you...  I have added a few new items to this room since you last saw it a few months ago.  Can you spot them?  
Just kidding.  Not about the new items though, because there are some new things in here.

A couple of weeks ago Jonquil had a challenge for us to count the number of new items in her room.  To my complete surprise I came closest with my count and thus was the winner of an embroidered teacosy!

Maybe it's because I am a tea drinker, but I love all kinds of accessories related to drinking tea.   In this room I have quite a number of them already.   Recent additions are the Jack Cashmere teapot (which I showed in this post) and the painting by Elly Ypma 'Portrait of Machteld Muilman' (original in the Rijksmuseum by Frans van der Mijn, ca. 1745-1749).

  The embroidered flowers and the colours of Jonquil's teacosy fit perfectly here.   Of course I won't be putting it over the teapot as I still want to see that as well.

Isn't it pretty?  The embroidery is so fine!  When I put it next to my own embroidery 'doodle' from a few weeks ago, it showed me I still have lots to learn ;-)
Thank you very much Jonquil, I love it!

Last Thursday I went to Amsterdam to visit two canal house museums.  Oddly enough, I had never been to either museum.  It was a glorious sunny day,  perfect for strolling though the city.  

 Standing on the Keizersgracht, looking at the famous Westertoren (the tower of the Wester Church).

We started at the Museum Geelvinck, which is said to be a private city palace located on the Herengracht in Amsterdam.  The house did not seem very palatial to me, although the rooms are very nice.  Doesn't this Blue Room remind you of the Blue Salon in my Canal House?  

The garden of the house is beautiful.  It is based on 18th century garden designs.  The brown brick building in the background is the coach house.  

The second canal house we visited was Museum van Loon, located on the Keizersgracht in Amsterdam.  The photo above shows the rear facade.  I loved this house.  It was built in 1672 and the first owner was the Dutch painter Ferdinand Bol, a student of Rembrandt.  

This house also has a gorgeous garden based on 18th century design.  The building with the blue pediment in the background is the coach house to the main house.

The coach house is visible from the main house and, to ensure a pleasant view from the house, it was therefore beautifully executed in a classical style.  

When we entered the garden from the kitchen area,  this huge bird house attracted my attention.  The 'Birchhouse for Van Loon'  was made in 2006 by Irene Fortuyn.  It is a 1/24th scale (my guess) reproduction of the van Loon Canal House in birch wood.  

Although the ' Birchhouse'  is not furnished, it has rather lovely detailed interiors which are based on the real house.   I thought it was such a fun structure.   Judging by the slight damage to the house, it looked like it actually had been outside for a while.

The staircase in the van Loon house is beautiful!  Very delicately decorated in Rococo style, it looked like it would charm and impress any visitor.  

The complex design of the stair railing is just gorgeous!  
I loved the splash of colour provided by the wonderful Rococo wall clock and bracket.

I would love a similar clock in the staircase of my Canal House, but I don't think I have ever seen anything like this in miniature.