zaterdag 23 juni 2012

here it is

First things first: a warm welcome to Simon and Debora!

Debora does beautiful carving, as you can see for yourself looking at for instance the carved mirror she made from scratch and the wooden table she made is to die for, and and and....; really works of art! Pay attention to how detailed every piece is, and that in this scale!

Simon is making his own house and decorating it, too.
On his blog  you  can see his drawing room, dining room and a lot more! I lovvvve the golden yellow wallpapering and the atmosphere in his rooms. His furniture is gorgeous!

I am really overwhelmed and touched that you, my models and dear followers, take time from your busy lives to follow my blog.
Thank you so much!

Last week I hardly found time to do any mini, it was a hectic week for several reasons.
But, a promise is a promise and so I did some rescheduling and made time to do some work on the tabletop.

Yesterday I took the tape off; it is far, far from perfect but decided to finish it anyway.

I carefully sanded the wrong stain off after all, and after cleaning with a damp cloth, stained the whole tabletop.
Transparent, as I meant to do in the first place.

After drying I slightly sanded using steelwool 0000, I still have to give it another coat of stain.
And then it's destination is either on the bottom of a drawer or the bin.
But it was a good experiment and I have learned a lot from it.
However this will be the last picture I post on the subject.

Haven't got any legs to go with the tabletop yet, maybe I will attach some somewhere in the future.

My special thanks to John, Ray and Giac for their sweet and positive, stimulating and uplifting comments!

Here it finally is:

This is the only picture I could use out of 20 that came with a big shiny part, as I have stained it in  gloss finish.

I wont do anything mini for a while, going to do repairs and painting on my
real life house and enjoying summer in between chores.

I wish you all a great weekend, a wonderful summer and encourage you to do all the things I wouldn't do ;)!


Just one question though:
would 3 chandeliers on a ceiling of 1 room be too much?
measurements of the room are approx. 23 inch deep, 17 inch wide and almost 11 inch high.
what do you think?

zaterdag 16 juni 2012

War on veneer 2

Well, I was really disappointed when writing the last post but the comments of you guys, Ray and John, let me see things in perspective again; thanks!

Speaking of disappointments.. I was watching the football match (for the European Competition) between Holland and Germany last Wednesday evening on TV.
Mind you, I am not a sports fan by any means, I get tired by even looking at it and only watch some of the matches that are played for the European Championship or the World Cup.

It is a quite amusing pastime to look at 22 sweaty, muscular men running like madmen across a field, doing some silly little dance whenever a goal is scored. 
When our national team wins, its party-time all over the country and that is fun, if only for the way people dress up.
On that (nowadays rare) occasions the whole country seems to unite and that always makes me wonder why people just don't act that way all year round.

Anyway, 11.4 million people in Holland watched the national team lose the game.
So there was a sort of collective disappointment in our country on Thursday.

Not sure if the disappointment was about losing the match or about the abort of parties though.
On Friday everything was back as usual again.
So far on disappointments and perspective.

On topic again:
The veneer arrived today!
Look at this:

Now isn't this gorgeous?
Personally I think it is just beauuuuutiful!
And it is soft as silk, too.
I don't know the correct translation for it, but I suppose it is something like Olive Oyster veneer. It is a slice of root from the olive tree.

I will only use part of the center, already sanded a few millimeters off and cut it to size, will glue the veneered top on tomorrow, keeping my fingers crossed!
Next step is to dry it thoroughly, because I have moistened some of the veneer.
When dry I will show you pictures again.

Have a great weekend and don't do anything I wouldn't do!

maandag 11 juni 2012

The war on veneer

Not much happening in dollhouse-land and because I can see my blog has been visited, an early update:

Unfortunately the third attempt also cracked, so I've cut out yet another top.
This story is getting all of the characteristics of a never ending one, but if the fourth attempt fails again then I'm calling it quits.
There are too many other things to do, both in miniature as in real life, to spend that amount of time on this.
However even then I will make other attempts in the future; just can't stand the idea of having to give in to a stupid piece of veneer.

It is not my habit to point out in capitals what I do wrong, and won't bother
you with that again after this little project, but figured, better to learn from my
mistakes than make them yourselves.

By the way, discovered that the veneer I use has become somewhat brittle, due to the fact I keep it in my living room where I've really turned up the heat from November 'till April.
Or anyway, I guess that is the reason.
So I have moistened the veneer just a tad, and that makes a difference.

In the meantime I am anxiously awaiting the new veneer; must admit my expectations are high but things always look different in a picture, just can't wait to see and feel it.
Sensitive as I am to the touch of materials, that is probably even more important to me than the look of things.

The veneer I ordered is also thicker than the other veneer, so there will be some sanding involved. As it is not available in thinner sheets, this will have to do.

I expect  the veneer and the new blades for the scalpel I've ordered to arrive within a week.
OMG, wish it would have arrived yet so I can continue and get it done with.

Hugs and I hope you are doing well,

donderdag 7 juni 2012

again veneer

Still busy with the veneer.
I made another attempt, I had come this far:

Sorry for the bad quality of the pictures, they are taken at night.
When I tried to continue, this happened:
Several pieces fell out/broke off and a crack appeared.
That could all be repaired but that's no fun.
What to do?
I know! start a new....

I even like this design more than the ones before... 
In an aha!-moment I made a phonecall to the supplier of my veneer.
Before I knew it 30 minutes flew by; this man really knows all
about veneer!
I had this idea on how to fill the big C-volutes and he helps me to obtain 
what I am looking for. He thinks he has the perfect veneer for the job.
He also came up with some ideas of his own. I like that.
Great teamwork!
Only thing is, he has no spare time 'till friday before he can look further into
my order.
But lets be honest, I'm no Speedy Gonzales either.
When this fails, there is yet another option but if not absolutely necessary
I will avoid that one.

In the meantime, I will go on cutting when I have the time.
Progress is really slow but you know, before I would have thrown the lot out
of the window but now I am really having fun, even when things go wrong.
Can you believe that!?
Another update when there is progress!


vrijdag 1 juni 2012


I've got a new follower this week, it's Mij. Welcome Mij, hope you will enjoy following my blog!

Promised a new picture and here it is... not much to see yet, but the outer bands are on...
Next week I will work on the flowers and leaves.

How-to's on working with veneer can be found on the internet and people use different methods.
This is the way I like to work with veneer.

The thickness of the veneer I use is 0,6 mm.
Before I do anything to the veneer I cover the top with masking tape to prevent most of the splintering, scratches and to be able to gently draw on it with a pencil without leaving marks on the veneer itself.
Towards the end, when the only thing left to do is sanding and staining/oiling/whatever finish you want, it is easy to remove the tape by gently rolling it up using your thumb or fingers.
Be carefull not to tape the sides, or there will be gaps between parts (if your pattern requires to glue parts together).

A scalpel, sharp pair of scissors, cheap break-off knife and a metal ruler are the only tools I use.
Whenever you cut a line, decide on forehand wether you cut the line at the right or left of your pencil-stripe, or in the middle.
1 mm. can make a big difference in a miniature piece.
Do not work on veneer when you are tired or distracted or in a hurry.
Always remember you work with very sharp knifes.

Because the veneer is so thin straight lines can be cut carefully using a sharp pair of scissors.
Sharp is the keyword when working with veneer; only sharp tools make sharp lines and you want your parts to line up as close as possible.
Other, more intricate lines you can score using the break-off knife or a scalpel.
Make sure you keep the knife at the right angle when you score, I keep mine at a  90 degree angle.
Do not try to cut through the veneer in one stroke.
Your knife has the tendency to follow the grain and there is a pretty big chance your veneer will be ruined.
A far better result is reached when multiple scores are made with a sharp knife,
using not too much pressure.
If there is no pattern used and you want to veneer a table top for instance, cut your veneer slightly bigger than your item is; you can cut the excess off once the glue has dried.

White woodglue is used to glue the veneer to the underlying wood and a toothpick is all it takes to divide the glue evenly; after you have put the glue on, check to see if the glue is divided evenly and carefully check the outer lines and corners.
The glue has a tendency to dry very quick there; if needed apply another thin coat of glue in that places.
It is important to be sparse with the glue: blobs will show when the veneer is dry and can hardly be removed without ruining the piece you have put so much effort in.
Too much glue will also come out sideways when you put pressure on the veneer.
That can leave marks when staining the piece.

Once you are sure you have glued the veneer in place, put some heavy weight, like books on it. Be extremely careful so the veneer does not slide.
But do it fast, or the veneer will start to curl up.
Let dry overnight so you are sure it dried thoroughly.

When you have finished your work of art, gently rub off all of the masking tape.
Sand it ever so slightly using steel wool 00000, following the grain.
I use no steelwool but I use Abranet, sold at
That stuff is expensive but goes a long way.
Take the dust off using a slightly damp cloth.
Let dry several days before staining, the glue must have lost its moisture or else
it will leave marks underneath the stain.

When you want to finish your work, do not use any water-based product.
Remember: water and veneer don't go together.

Succes in working with veneer!