Have I ever shown you the rear facade of my house ?   I don't think I have, not even on my website.  In fact I think I don't have any photos of it up until I started working on the little patio off the kitchen a few months ago.  

Below is an' in progress' shot of the two rear facades, while I was still working on the rear facade of my fake extension.  This small facade is similar to the one at the front.  I have used the same windows, but the gable and the door are much simpler than the front facade.  

As the back of the house doesn't need to impress anyone, these facades are generally much plainer than the front of the canal houses.  I don't know why, but often canal houses have plastered rear facades, painted a very light grey or white.   I'll have to ask this question at one of the museums next time I visit.  Maybe it has something to do with reflecting the light, or insulation...

Although I have made a few changes to the original facade (the gable top and kitchen windows are different), it is still fairly plain.  Since I took this photo I have added wall anchors to the main facade and worked on the patio some more.  

In a comment to the post about the front facade of the house, Daydreamer said she would be tempted to make the extension into another house.  Although that was more or less my original intention, I decided against it in the end.  

I couldn't help myself though!   I thought it would be fun to create a little roombox to go behind the back door....  And so I did.  I made a small three sided box from plywood which I can just slide behind the front door.  

I made the floor out of egg cartons, installed a false door in the back and added a light which I made from a plastic deodorant cap covered in beads.  

The furniture was given to me six years ago by Erna, a retiring miniaturist who gave here entire collection to me.    Some of her pieces reside in the main house, but this desk and the chair had not found a place yet.  They are just small enough to fit against the wall of this room.   I like how it works in this small space.   

The sunflowers come from Thailand.  I bought those at a market in Bangkok when I just started out in miniatures.   I always thought they were slightly too crude to use, but here I rather like them.  

The dogs I think are by Valerie Casson.  The kitty painting is a copy from a Christies catalogue,  part of a painting by Jules Leroy called 'Chacun son tour: patience'.   It had a few more cats on it but was too big for the frame, so I painted out some details and just left this pretty kitty.  

I have started work on the very small patio outside the back door as well.  I took a leaf out of Janine's book  and bought some plastic foliage to speed up the work on the patios a little.   I made a small tree with it (better photos soon).   The garden bench is one I made years ago out of branches of contorted hazel.    It fits perfectly here!

I like the flash of orange you see inside the small room when casually looking at the house.  

Outside the back door I have made a brick step, an outside tap (or faucet),   and a drain for the downspout. I love details like these.  There still is a lot more to do here.  Hopefully I'll find some nice miniatures for the outside space at the Apeldoorn show next week.   Have a lovely weekend!

That's a question I often ask myself to be honest.  It has happened to me many times in the past that I could not remember how I had made something, or which materials I had used.   So I have started to try and write down and photograph what I do so I can refer to it when I need it. 

In a comment on my previous post Anna asked if I would consider posting a tutorial on how I've made the sofas.   For a full tutorial I would have to make another sofa and I don't have the time for that now, but I can show you the photos I took as a reminder for myself.  I think they explain a lot.  

In another comment Lucille said she wanted to take a nap on the sofa and I could just cover her up with an old blanket.  Well I don't have an old blanket, but I did make a nice colourful throw to keep her warm.  I made it from silk velvet with a silk backing.  I had forgotten how difficult it is to sew silk velvet, it just slips away all the time, such a pain!  But it is pretty.  

Anyway, enough of that, lets go to the ' tutorial':

I do an initial drawing on graph paper and check with some wood whether it looks like the size will be OK for the room.  I then cut wood (in this case I still had some multiplex laying around) to the correct size and I shape the armrests on the sanding disk.   I keep checking it against my drawing so that the shapes become the same.  

I dry fit the pieces and check whether I still like the size and shape when placed in the room.  

After glueing the wooden pieces together I start covering the frame with a felt-like fabric.  I don't know what it is called, but I'm sure most fabric shops will sell something similar.  I use a thin, even layer of Tacky Glue for glueing this.

I am trying to get as few seems as possible, so the piece of felt above is one piece. It covers both the  fronts of the armrest and the back, and the bottom seat.  The photos below may make it a bit clearer.

I did exactly the same on both sofas.  I did not cover the underside with felt.

After covering the arms and backs of the sofas with felt, it is time to start cutting the upholstery fabric.  I used a linen fabric for this.  It has a little bit of 'give' to it when pulled and because it is fairly thick (as far as fabrics for miniatures go) there is less of a risk of glue seeping through the fabric and leaving stains.

Test your fabric by gluing it onto a bit of wood and felt first, to see how well it holds, and whether the glue leaves stains etc.  

Now here comes the most difficult part.  You must keep paying attention to what you're doing or you'll make a wrong cut and you have to start over.   If you're a dressmaker or good at 3D thinking it will be fairly easy to do.  

Lay your sofa on the fabric.  Check the grain of the fabric, which way do you want it to go?  With a pencil I draw the exact outlines of the fabric to help me guide my cuts.  I put a little bit of thin glue on every line which will be cut to prevent the fabric from fraying.  

Starting at the underside, I glue the edges of the fabric to the edges of the frame.   When the glue is dry I continue with the front of the backrest.  I cut it very precisely in the shape of the backrest, leaving the rest of the fabric intact because that will go onto the bottom seat.   Glue only to the edges of the backrest using very little glue!

Fold the fabric over onto the bottom seat of the sofa and fit the shape.  Make very exact cuts around the armrest and the front of the armrest.  Again, glue the edges down using very little glue.  

The fabric on the underside is cut flush with the edge.  The fabric for the two sides is folded over (like you would old fashioned sheets on a bed)  and glued flush with the edges.  

Pay attention to what you are doing here!  Make sure which way you want to fold the fabric first before you make any cuts!   I like to cut away as much fabric as I can from the corners to keep it from looking bulky.  But again, it is something you have to be very careful about.

In the photo below you can see how I have folded the sides down.

Upholstering the arms and back rests is easier than the seats.  Start by laying the sofa on the fabric again.  Check your fabric grain!  Make sure you cut enough fabric to go all across the back to the front and the sides as well.  Again to avoid seems, it will be one piece of fabric covering the entire arm and back rest.

Make a nice straight and crisp fold at the edge of the fabric and glue it to the back bottom edge of the arm and back rest.  When the glue is dry, fold the fabric over to the inside of the arm and back rest.  Measure, fold and glue the fabric to the front edge of the armrest and let dry.  

Smooth the fabric over the armrest into the inside corner.  Run your fingernail over the cross section of the arm rest and bottom seat and the arm rest and back rest.  This will give you the exact pattern you need.  Check the fit, then cut the fabric just a little bit bigger than your pattern line.  

Be very careful when cutting the fabric on the top of the armrest, it has to end precisely in the corner or else it will show!  Glue the edges of the fabric onto the armrest and let dry.  Do exactly the same for the back rest, folding over the fabric at the edges in the corner.

The only drawback I think this method has, is that it shows the folded edges of the fabric quite well.  Having said that, in real sofas this shows in a similar way.   Of course it all has to do with scale.  The thinner the fabric you use, the less obvious the folds will be. 

You could also use thin card underneath the fabric, in which case the fabric would fold underneath the card which would definitely make it less visible.  It does change the look of the furniture though.  Whereas I would use it on more formal furniture, here I felt it would make the piece look too stiff.

Are you still with me?  I know it's a long read, making it will take you even longer ;-)

The base of the seat cushions are made from wood again.  Make sure they are slightly too small for the upholstered sofa when you fit them, because you will be adding fabric to them making them more bulky.  

The slightly padded look of the seat cushion is achieved by adding some felt padding.  This way you can make it very rounded or more flat, whatever you like.  I don't have any photos of this process, but it is similar to what I did on the frame.  

Next, lay the seat cushion on your upholstery fabric.  Check the grain!  I used one piece of fabric to cover the whole seat cushion, top and bottom.   Start by glueing the fabric onto the bottom of the seat cushion.  When dry, fold it over onto the top of the cushion and start finishing the other edges by measuring, cutting, folding and glueing the same way as before.  

The inside corner is the last part you should finish, and it is a little bit tricky.  A dressmaker will understand the workings of this corner, as  it is impossible to stretch the fabric over this angle (unless it is stretch fabric, which it is not).   You have to make a cut exactly into the corner, stopping short just below the top of the seat.  You can then fold the fabric down on both sides.  However, this leaves a gap.  

As you can probably just about make out on the photo, I have cut a small strip of fabric and placed it underneath to cover up the gap.  It will not show when the sofa is finished (see photo above).    The last edge to glue down is the long folded strip.  Again, this can't be seen when the sofa is finished.

On to the back cushions.  I first made the ones in the photo below (the same way the seat cushions are made) but I felt they were too straight and boring.   The new cushions I made are simply squares of fabric sewn together and filled with sand.  I like sand as it gives the cushions weight and you can 'drape'  them.

The most important part is to keep thinking of what you want to do and how you want it to look.   From which angle do I look at the sofa, therefore,  do I want the folds to go to the left or to the right?  Be patient and use glue sparingly.  

Fitting the upholstery is almost like a bit of origami, once you understand what you have to do it gets easier.  

So that's it, finished sofas.   I know this is not a complete tutorial, but I hope it gives you some idea of how I made my modern sofas!  

Ha! You didn't see that one coming did you?  Well, neither did I to be honest.  Until a few days ago of course when I suddenly decided to make a modern modular lounge sofa for my Blue Salon.  

I was playing around with some furniture to see what would work best in this room, but it all felt a bit fussy and busy, drawing attention away from some pieces I really liked.  That's when I thought I needed something bold, with clean lines and neutral colours.  

I love how the sofa looks against the decorative background of the room.  

The colour of the linen fabric I used for the upholstery is a perfect match with the marbled fireplace!  I bought the fabric about a year ago with no special purpose for it in mind, but it was greatly reduced in price and I liked it.  You know how that is, I'm sure!

The proportions of the sofa turned out really well.  Before I made my (very basic) working drawings, I used blocks of wood to make decisions about the size.  The height is perfect against the panelling.

This is a view you would not normally see when looking at my dolls house.  I had to stick my arm and the camera inside the adjoining yellow room to take this photo.   But I wanted to show it because it shows the feet of both sofas.  I cut the feet from aluminium tubing which, as you can see, is open on one side.  

I placed the feet like this because the view into the room is from the right (like on the three photos above) and they would then correspond with the base of the fireplace.  I know, I can get a bit obsessed with details sometimes.

Not that I spend hours deciding on something like how to place the feet.  No, those things just come up, I look at them and I decide one way or another.  However, it did take me much longer to make these sofas than I thought.  But then again, there are two sofas, right?

I love the proportions of this room.  I know, the curtains are not straight, but they are not attached yet, they're basically just standing up by themselves.  

The little rug is one I made in the beginning of my dolls house ' career'.  I can't remember how I made it exactly, but it is knotted and when that's finished it is sheared with scissors to reveal this very soft and fluffy carpet.  

I always thought it was ugly but never threw it away.  But here it looks great.  The size is perfect for the sofas, how lucky is that? 

So there we are.  Something a bit different for a change.  I really enjoyed making these sofas and I am very pleased with how it looks in the room!

PS:  I could see myself relaxing on those pillows, feet up... maybe I need to install a big motorised remote controlled drop down TV screen in front of those double sliding doors between the two rooms...

 I made a small addition to my Canal House.  And I really mean small!

A few years ago I added a box to the back of my Canal House to make room for an ensuite to the bedroom and extra room for the upstairs landing.  Of course this meant the house could no longer be pushed with its back against the wall and all the wiring and other things which should not be seen, could be seen from the sides.  

  In Amsterdam there are seven or eight very narrow houses which are only a little over two meters wide, just wide enough for one window.    A narrow extension like this would be perfect for hiding the wiring and the box at the back of my Canal House.  

I used a few ornaments by Sue Cook next to the front door.   I tried to match the style of this facade to the one of my original house, which I made 10 years ago!   Actually, the Sue cook ornaments are more ornate than the ones I made on the big house, but I just had to use them.  They are so beautiful!

The light was quite bad today so I couldn't get a very good shot of the two houses together, but this way you get an impression of how they look from the front.    I used more ornaments for the top of the gable.  I still have a few additions in mind for that.  

I still had the leftover bricks I cut from sandpaper which I used to make the sidewalk and street with all those years ago.  Never throw anything away ;-) !   You can see from the new part how much the handling, dust and light have faded the original bricks in those ten years.

As I don't want you to actually look through the windows, I have made some very simple curtains of a thin white cotton,  glued down this time, not sewn ;-))   I like the simplicity of them. 
 It looks very pretty,  but does not distract attention away from the main house.