Sunday, December 24, 2017

Merry Christmas 2017

The Miniteers met last week and as always my compatriots gifted me and each other with wonderful mini treasures.  Unfortunately Fatima was unable to join us .. . next time we hope she will be with us.

Linda has been busy once again and made this amazing bee cushion for the French House. The bee was a symbol that Napoleon took as his own.  I have used in the Empire Room but as Bruce and I have kept bees it is a very appropriate gift. Linda also made the amazing little bee slippers that I have in the Empire Room. 

I have placed it on a chair where the lady of the house spends time (when not gardening), refurbishing old linens.

The cupboard and laundry basket is full of these linens - repaired, washed and bleached in the sunshine and then ironed to crisp perfection... if only in my imagination!

Many of the neatly packaged linens with minute lace trim are from Studio E. - she actually does rescue all kinds of handkerchiefs  and converts them to folded linens or bedding. I try not to look at them in Thrift Stores as I already have an ample collection.

The room above is named for the birds in the wallpaper. Breakfast tray on the desk by Studio E. Door panels are painted to match the wallpaper. In the picture below you can see the petit point cushion on the chaise that Linda made using my initial.

The Swedish House has not been forgotten. Perhaps Christmas is happening there at present as here in Vancouver it is Christmas Eve.
Wrapped parcels, pink snowballs and cinnamon buns from Elizabeth. Candles by Linda.

Can you see the little circles on the gifts - they are tiny fimo circles with santa motifs. Look how the icing and cream looks so deliciously edible.

The reality that the Swedish House has turned the living/dining room into a construction zone has not yet become an urgent problem as this year our children and grandchildren are at the "outlaws" for Christmas day. We will celebrate together at the end of the week.

Decorative gable lit from behind. I bought this some time ago. I thought I might use it to imply a decorative ceiling in the French House. We have cut it in half to fit into this space.
In the French House I did do a decorative texture ceiling. I took a plastic doily and painted it on to the ceiling, when the paint was still wet but stable I gently peeled the doily off and it left a plaster-like impression. A happy accident I must admit.

Red doors on the upper balcony. The balustrade has not been installed. This railing was from the previous incarnation of the house and I am not sure if we will use it.

The "four inch" extension piece fitted but not permanently in place to enable us easy access to the interiors.

The entry vestibule, also fitted, but not glued. Interior and exterior lights to be added.

Front door open - inner door also painted red.

The weather outside is frightful!

But occasionally, it is amazing, the rain ceases and the sky clears revealing the mountains in all their breathtaking glory.

In the Northern Hemisphere we have reached the winter solstice and once again turn our thoughts to the seemingly elusive possibility that Spring will return.

Merry Christmas everyone.
warm regards,
Janine and the trusty man, Bruce.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Sometimes Help is Appreciated

Sometimes input from those smaller persons in ones life is a great help.  Recently we had two grandchildren and dog stay with us for ten days while parents went on a well earned escape to tropical climes. Lucky parents and lucky Grandparents!

Handy husband is encouragingly patient and has Grandchildren doing all kinds of work as assistants.
This five-year-old is a dab hand with the hot knife (cutting curtains for our canal boat), sewing (tabs for tying back same curtains), using the Dremel and vacuum cleaner are also only a few of her learned skills.

In the above she has shown Grandpa how to attach clamps and below she shows same Grandpa how to do a happy dance. Dancing is a skill that seems to be completely natural to her.

Grandpa needs a lot of practice. It's nice to teach Grandpa something new!

In the mean time the Swedish House is taking shape.

The walls and floors of the demolished house were in such rough shape that we decided to make cardboard templates of all floors and walls to enable us to apply coverings on those and apply those finished replicas to the interiors.

Ceiling beams stained and installed - bedroom and upper hallway. You can see an entry cut for French doors to the balcony. The door into the upper level hallway has been moved to allow a through view.  

Yes, we are still working in our living/dining room as my workroom is far too small for all this construction and it is too cold in handy husband's workshop.

Below the beams in the living room are larger than those in the bedroom.

This is the wall panelling in progress for the stairwell walls. I must acknowledge and give thanks to Liberty Liberty  for this effective and easy wall panelling method.

The medallions are a Dollar Store stick on gem. The detailing strips are cardboard - all painted with Gesso. Yes, we did make the stair less steep so that no one will bump their heads as they ascend/descend the stairs.

The doorway on the left is the access to the kitchen.

Upper hallway with new stairwell. French door to balcony.

The extension - beginning the shiplap siding.

Windows and edging being trimmed before painting.

The chimney.

Wood flooring for the living room cut from 1x6 cedar for the bedroom and fir for the living room.

I like this wallpaper as it is nicely distressed. However, when I clamped it into the room it appeared too heavy.  Plans for the other rooms are for pale finishes.  I will photocopy it and do an mock up with wainscotting on the lower half of the room to see if that helps quieten it.

 Front of house - French doors to balcony and proposed railings.

Just for fun - a light on the board and batten panel.

or maybe  at the front door?

 Stay tuned!

To my Scandinavian friends please remember this is my impression of a Scandinavian House only and perhaps as it develops it may morph into its imagined location .... or it may take on a life of its own and move location.

regards to all Janine