Class proposals Guild School 2015

Hi everyone!

The other day I've returned from a fabulous week attending Guild School 2014 in Castine, Maine. Before I elaborate on my adventures in class, and the fun I had with old and new miniature friends, I'd like to share class offerings for next year. I know a lot of people who weren't there are keen to see if they need to get ready (already! :), and for those who were there it's a nice reminder!

So here it goes;

I've added a photo album and think i've captured all visuals accompanying this list. Enjoy!

class proposals Guild School 2015


Chess set storage box

Hi All,
Real life has been pretty hectic lately but some was in a very very good sort of way! A major one is I'll be able to go to Guild School after all! Whoeie!!! So happy, blessed and grateful :) So i've been doing some necessary last minute preparations... oh boy... it's just over two weeks! One of the things was to make a little something to donate to the auctions they always organize. I have a few bits and bobs but wanted to put in something really nice too. Proceeds go to the school and this way I can contribute to future scholar ship students! And here is it; a little storage box. 

Here's how I made it;

This is the set I'd made last year, but it lacked a neat box, come storage solution. 

So I made two little dove tailed drawers to fit a frame the size of the board.

 I decorated the outside with some parquetry, and made sure to miter the veneer at the corners of the box. 

It definitely needed square knobs, matching the checkers of the board and the pattern on all sides. I wanted to make brass knobs but i'd no stock that was wide enough, so i opted for wooden ones. 

Then lined the two drawers with paper thinned home dyed calf skin leather.

And finally added a little label next to my custom made heat stamp that a sweet miniature friend once made for me. 

A few final layers of various finishes, et voilà,
 it's ready to be played with :)

Hope it will do good,

IGMA Artisan Membership

AAAH! I don't know where to begin!

I'm delighted (that's and understatement!) about the fan-tas-tic news I received this morning; I've been awarded IGMA Artisan Membership! Oh wow! The pleasure! Yah!!! And so proud of myself too I didn't fail my first attempt but received this recognition straight away instead!

Long story short; late summer 2013 i realized that if I wanted to apply for Artisan member, this was the time to do it. Juggling family life & a job, I knew how little time I was left with. Still I set myself the goal to finish a total of 5 pieces before the year was over.  That would leave me ample time to cope with unforeseen setbacks, the necessary paperwork and posting it across the ocean.

Building was challenging. It was tedious too. And boy oh boy, was it frustrating at times! But… I loved every minute of it; it was all fun! I also made them their own bespoke traveling boxes, all matching in style. Seeing them grouped together was such a delightful sight; very rewarding and it brought a real sense of accomplishment.

All I needed to do now was to put together the required documentation. I decided upon a photo album to let the many pictures i'd made during the build speak for them selves.

I think the first page sums it all up;

Come springtime I'd send everything off in a ridiculously sturdy box, to protect it from what could happen during transit.  I can't say I've ever been more happy to see pieces go!!!  And with this last hurdle taken, all I was left with was to sit and wait… Argh! Exciting! Until this morning when i heard about the decision the selection committee had made. I've been granted Artisan Membership!

I can't begin to describe how much this recognition means to me. Most importantly I would like to thank each and everyone who've helped me personally but the list is so long, I'm scared I'll forget to mention some of you. Let me just say I cannot thank those enough who supported me with their encouragement and knowledge along this journey of growth and development. And those who've shown and kept faith in me, especially when my self criticism was bashing my confidence. You all know who you are!

Thank you all ever so much! I couldn't have done this without you. I love you lot, you are all true friends!

Proud new IGMA Artisan Member :)

Architectural detail

Occasionally I commute between where I live and Zaandam. That means a ride with the option to take the short and straight, but exposed and boring route along the provincial road. Or I can opt for the longer but more sheltered and scenic version. 

Usually I take the longer one because the beautiful old houses alongside the winding road make for a far more enjoyable ride. And sometimes I pick out an architectural detail, and focus on that during the ride, just to have a bit of fun while my legs peddle away the miles. 

The other day was just such a day. I picked out the sky light (the windows above front doors) and because time was on my side I decided to photograph them for you. It's amazing to see how many variations there are.

First; back in the old days (1600's) these lights had a clear function and that was to shed light into the dark hallway behind the front door. Because they weren't able to make large sheets of glass at that time, these windows were made up by connecting small pieces of glass with the aid of lead strips. Similar to this early example; 

As time progressed and fashions changed, these upper windows or fanlights (is that the proper English word?) changed accordingly. 

Along the route you can see windows from the opulent Renaissance to the more common trees of life from the 19th Century. 

The more you look, the more variations you can spot; from elaborate pictorial carvings to windows with stark graphical rabbets. 

I also noticed returning symbols, among were arrows and wondered if they represent a meaning. A search on the net soon made me stumble across this page;

Wow! So much information on such a dedicated subject. Although in Dutch I soon realized this site should be up here, for all who are interested in more background info then I can ever offer. 
(If you enter the address in Google translate you can read the site in any language desired)

So let me just finish with a few more pictures of these special windows above the front door. I hope you enjoy them just as much as I do when I pass them along my route.

a choice of design

Hi dear miniature friends,

Here's a little update on the design for the head boards of these 4 poster beds. It's not a huge progress as carving is very time consuming and time hasn't really been on my side lately. Still, it's fun to show you where it's at and because I would like to hear your thoughts on a few things at this stage.

Before building even commenced we'd designed a classical theme of acanthus leaves decorating a simple yet elegant 4 poster bed. 2 Versions of the head crest are already chosen and are in process of being carved right now.

One is a bow ribbon tied to a bundle of flowers. Not finished yet, but these pictures will give you an indication.

Another one will receive a round centre piece. Very different in appearance and overall feel, as you can see from the mock up below.

Pretty too in its own right, with the decorative theme of the leaves continued. Yet, the overall feel is a little more rigorous than the top version with its frivolous flowers and ribbon.  

Here's my question; If you could pick one, which one would that be? Would you go for the romantic look, or perhaps the bit more masculine one? 

The reason I'm asking is because I'll be finishing 5 beds in total. The one with the ribbon is already taken. The other 4 are up for sale too. One with the round crest which leaves the remaining three having a headboard that is still open for suggestions or variations of the 2 above. In other words; here's the chance to get your own 4 poster bed with a custom designed head board crest. 

I'd love to hear which one you prefer! And if you're interested or have any questions about the beds, feel free to contact me anytime. 

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