Monday, September 15, 2014

A Dutch Summer Fest and Dollhouse Rooms

School started on September 1 this year in The Netherlands...Labor Day in the USA.  Remember when we used to start school the day after Labor Day?  Nicholas started mid-August in Atlanta.

Anyway, the week before school starts each year, Gorinchem, where we live, puts on a big Zommerfest (Summer Fest) to bring summer to a big-blast end.  It's a full week of activities all around our inner citadel, plus music on stages every night.

After 5 years now, Astrid and I usually just go out on Saturday to see what's up.

Like the Lego venue, for instance, just a block from our apartment.

Legos are big all over the world but especially in Europe.
Based in Denmark and started in 1949, it's one of the most successful companies in the world.
As of 2013, around 560 billion Lego parts have been produced.
The bricks alone, sold in one year, can circle the earth 5 times.

 At the city square, next to our Grote Kerk, there was an organized mob.
The kids really do have a last blast.

All kinds of interactive crafts keep little minds and fingers busy.
(Big ones, too.)

Did I ever mention that tennis is a HUGE sport in Holland?
Start 'em young, of course.

But what absolutely stole my heart was this little fella playing chess with his dad.
Right out there in the open for the whole wide world to watch!
I wanted to eat him up.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

All of this was at the city square, as I said, which is at the backdoor of our Grote Kerk.  How many times have I shown you our Big Church!  

   We love going inside, never knowing what will be on exhibit there.

 It so happens there this time there was an exhibit of miniature doll rooms 
from Hans van den Heuvel van der Kooi.  Her collection covers almost 20 homemade rooms 
from 1930-2000 on a 1:12 scale, lining the inside church walls.

 Once I got started, I couldn't stop, changing my camera setting to the macro mode.
I think I was a miniature artist in a past life.  Seriously.

Can you imagine all this detail!  It just blew my mind.

There was a Medieval room and a kitchen from the 70s
(which I somehow lumped together before keeping the rooms separate).

Here's the decor of a living room in Ameide from 1964.

An atelier.
(Gotta love the red hair!)

A children's room or nursery.

A room with Mackingtosh furniture (notice the chess board!).

A tearoom.

A butcher's shop.

A teen room (with Pepsi, HA!).

A room from the 1930s.

A bedroom.

A men's room (back in the day).

A 1950s kitchen and living room.

A 1950s parents' bedroom.

And last but not least, a room in Christmas spirit.
Are you ready?  It'll be here before you know it!


  1. ginnie, do you have a close up of the rug on the 2nd to the last photo? i'm loving that design and i hope to cross stitch that pattern.

    1. Actually, Maria, what you see there is the best I have of it, to be honest. I wonder if you could find something similar on the internet???

  2. The miniature chess player and chess board are great! :) He really is cute.

    I'm like you and love miniatures. But I didn't see any miniature legos. :}

    1. I didn't know that about you, Ruth! And because of my small hands and fingers, I seem to do well with the dexterity part. :) No miniature legos, though, you're right.

  3. You have THE BEST city!

    1. And to think we never took you on a citadel walk, Robin. We still can't believe that. Well, you arrived a day later than originally planned, which was the reason, but still. You just need to come back!

  4. I'm with Robin. Each time I see your city, I see healthy faces, beautiful landscapes, magnificent color and design. The Dutch have a secret and that is how to live well. Later on I'll send you my version of that terrific kid (I fell in love with him too). My love is called Antoine and he is in France. To this day, we refer to Antoine, "Susie's lover or son in another lifetime." Wait 'till you see him! Same kind of fabulous charm--same terrific glasses! Love, Sus

    1. I do know what you mean about the Dutch, Susie, especially since I fell in love with one of them. HA! They can be a bit stand-offish if they don't know you, but once they do, you may have a friend for life.

      And, yes, I can see why you fell in love with your Antoine!!! :)

  5. I don't think you could tear me away from the dollhouse rooms....I love to see the detail.

  6. You’re having entirely too much fun.

    When I was a kid and thought I wanted to be an architect, I used to build miniature houses and furnish, light and landscape my models. Then I’d smash them and start again. In high school a friend and I built a 17 foot long model of the George Washington Bridge in NYC. It may still exist somewhere. We sold it.

  7. Oh Ginnie, what a great festival. I think everyone becomes a child again when going to such a fest. I would have spent the whole day looking at these miniature rooms – so lovely. I am pleased that you took many pictures so we could have a good look too – what a fun post.

    1. Oh, yes, Vagabonde. You would have LOVED this fest, indeed. At first I wondered if I was doing over-kill on the miniatures but then realized they are so soulful to ME, so why not. To now find out they are soulful to you as well, I'm delighted! Thank you.