I've not been at the bench much lately cos last month I've traveled to Alberta, Canada to visit my dear friend Gerry. And it was all and way more than I could have imagined! 

I took over 1.300 photo's. To give y'all an impression of this inspiring trip I naturally had to cut that number down a bit. ;) So here we go;

First of all Alberta is known for it's oil. So lots of donkey pomps :) The capital and biggest city around is Edmonton and it was lovely to discover its past & present and that of its surrounding area.

Straight away something amazing happened... You have to know one of the things that has been on my bucket list for half my life was to see the Northern lights or Aurora Borealis. So going to Canada I'd enrolled this website called Aurora Watch, to get notifications when solar activity gets so great, chances to see the aurora in the area go beyond 70%. And guess what?!

Second evening I got a mail! So spend that night gobsmacked... Lying outdoors on my back, mesmerized by colored curtains of light hanging from the sky. Getting brighter and then dimming. And all that time, moving and dancing like waves washing ashore. It was so surreal, amazing... so much better then I'd ever could imagine!

I've tried to take photo's but at one point I just stopped. It took away from the experience that lasted till 3 am? Then it slowly died out... What an extraordinary spectacle. We saw it again, a week later, above lake Louise, where we spend the night as we toured the Rockies. 

And those were just as breathtaking...

White tail dear casually grazing alongside a cliff

Humbling scenery and wherever you looked... so pretty

Forgive me for saying, but everything seemed so big. And then I'm not just talking bout the mountains :)

But seriously... we stayed at fantastic places, encountered nothing but kindness & hospitality and again, the vista's and nature was just out of this world...

I mean, check the size of that couple walking down the road...
(remember, I come from The Netherlands, a country that's as flat as a pancake :))

There was still some snow but the first lakes and rivers were starting to defrost, showing their famous blue-green turquoise color.

The places scattered in the Rockies are sparse. Yet, some of the ones that are there, have hotels from the days when travel was done with grandeur and in style. These are scenes from Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. Luckily for us, living today, they cherish their past & legacy.  It gave us the joy to experience the scenery they're set in as comfortable as generations gone by have done. 

But the best and most astonishing of all was nature itself...

In all the little detail,

And as a whole.

It was hard to select pictures; this is just the tip. There were museums, climbing mountains, architecturally interesting buildings, hot springs, good food... and the list goes on... It was a memorable trip. But it was made extraordinary by all the kind and caring people I got to meet. I wish there was some way of showing my gratitude for all the warm welcomes I was greeted with over and over again. Thank you all!

4 poster bed

Finally! After more then 3 years, working on it on and off... I'm proud to present the first version of the 4 poster beds. 

It's been a fun collaboration piece I've made together with my clever and dear miniature friend Gerry, who used his inquisitive mind to learn how to mill with the aid of CNC. Lots of parts were drawn on his computer and milled out by him. Just look at the marvelous job he did on the delicate tapered and two sided twisting pencil posts with petit finials.

The fun part was to combine both our skills so I added more detail with hand carved acanthus leaves in the mid section of the posts. And the same theme returns in this version with the centre rosette on the headboard.

The bed is a miniature version of a modern day king size.

Wish I could jump into it, but even beter; instead I'm getting ready for short holiday that I'm really looking forward to :D

Have a wonderful Good Friday & Easter Holiday

From hibernating to napping

After waking up from miniature hibernation and with most of the workshop up and running again, the first thing I did was to get back to the four poster beds. A project that had been on the back burner for far too long!

Imagine! It was over a year ago I'd made a start on carving the centre decorations... but fortunately fresh wood chips were scenting the new shop again.
I also had to find a way to make them portable, so just like the real thing I designed miniature hardware, or bed hooks, to be able to dismantle them. I carved the recess that would take the hardware áfter staining the pear wood or else the end grain would darken up too much. 

While a bed was taking shape I simultaneously worked on a matras. Not a fan of needle and thread this job was quite a challenge for me. Cos my sewing machine couldn't perform to the standard I was looking for, all the stitching needed to be done by hand :/

With tiny stitches I added piping round the edge...

... and padding when the matras was closed. The pillows were filled with bird sand. It's such a fine type of sand that it requires minute & tight stitching, but when that's in place anything stuffed with it will 'sit' like the real thing cause of its weight. One could opt to glue the seams for this particular use, to avoid the wee sand grains from falling out. But that can cause stiffness where it's to be avoided most of all. Again, anything to make it 'sit' and 'fall' naturally.  

And there you have it; a comfy and cosy crash pad. Anyone care for a little nap?

Time is ticking...

Hi everyone,

The past year real life has taken most of my attention away from making miniatures so hence my absence... One of the things was a possible move and with that would come the necessity of picking up my workshop. Aaah! Something I don't even wish my worst enemy! Imagine dismantling the organized chaos of an overflowing workshop full with boxes and cabinets stuffed with materials crammed with tools. You probably recognize it. A place, so full, yet where you can find anything blindfolded. So late summer I made a reluctant start to sort & pack...

A few weeks later...  the need to move was lifted. Hurray! I decided to make the most of the situation and redo the whole shop as the ever-growing bits, bobs and tools made me run into storage issues and irritations. Amongst was a more sufficient and permanent power tool set up too!

But first sorting out the paper archive;

Build a more efficient wood storage;

Repaint all the work surfaces;

 Scrape (40 years of dirt from) the floor. 

And while at that I'd found the front leg that disappeared while building the regency library chair :D

I'd relayed a bit of electric to feed the power tool area too and then it was on to build a few cabinets i'd managed to get my hands on;

A small one on the back wall;

A bigger one on the right, and most of the power tools with dust extraction in between;

And here's is the main work area reinstated;

I was at it for quite a while but very contend with how it turned out. By that time Christmas had come which is peek season at work so it wasn't till mid Januari that time was favorable to start thinking of building again... So apology for neglecting this blog, but as you can see it was for a good cause :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...