Everything started with this Bimbo box, a slot machine, the pin ball machine and the train.

All these machines really work.   

Margriet van Loon and I had made a Bimbo box, a slot machine, a pin ball machine and a train during several workshops with Bert Aarts and we were looking for a suitable scene to put them into.

We thought a leisure centre for seniors would be a good idea.

In September 2009 we were at a fair and we both bought a shop to transform it into a senior centre.

These shops are 80 cm length and have a lot of "glass" to look through. That is why we found them suitable for the purpose.
The 2 shops are standing on top of each other.

On second thoughts we did not like the paper with stones motif so we pulled that off.

And the brown windows were a bit gloomy, so we bought some light coloured paint.

Unfortunatly we forgot to use a primer so the first layers of paint disappeared into the wood.

We painted, put on wall paper, and made walls. The centre consists of a large room and a small room.

The small room will be the domain of the craft club and the place for the train. 


For years I had a sawing machine but I did not dared to use it.

But during the making of this project I learned to overcome my fear and even enjoy it! For both rooms I made paneling and

after that I found I had enough practise for the difficult task: a wooden floor


I never dreamt that I would be able to make a wooden floor.
I started with making the design and buying the wood.
All those wooden strips had to be cut in lots of tiny pieces. To do this safely I made a cutting guide from an old  cigar case.
Then I could start sawing, and sawing and sawing.....  so many little pieces.
And then I had to glue them together!
Margriet also made a wooden floor.
I was so proud after I had finished it!

The time has come to do something about the exterior of the house.

With the use of templates and stone powder we made little stones. After we had done that we were not entirely satisfied.
Later we gave the stones and the cement more colours using acrylic and water paint.
On the upper windows we made stained glass using thin lead and glass paint.
A very precise but pleasant work to do.
Look, how nice it is with the lights on and the train table in front of the window.
Unfortunatly I decided later to put the leisure centre in a glass cupboard and the front did not fit.

Now the interior has to take shape and it is important to know what kind of club it will be and for which people. Margriet and I have very different opinions on this.
Where in Margriet's soos "freedom and happiness" is paramount; at my club it is more the "norms and values".
Everyone is welcome at Margriet, smoking and drinking are allowed, there is a house pig walking around, and the mental state of the visitors is not important.
Everyone only does what he / she wants. My soos used to be on a Christian basis. That is no longer the case, but this influence is still noticeable.
There are several clubs such as: a hobby club, a craft club, a bridge / clover club club and a reading club. What is made in the craft and hobby club is of good quality and most of it goes on sale once a year for a good cause. The visitors to the club are people who have always worked hard and now want to share many pleasant hours with their peers. Drinking is allowed, but from time to time and in moderation. This does not have to be explained to the visitors, they do this automatically.
The name Lauwerkrans emphasizes this. One may rest on one's laurels after work, but one is also honored after a hard life. And because we both have a different kind of treatment attendants in mind, our sooses are also very different.
However, this sometimes leads to heated discussions during work. ( but always with lots of humour)

Furniture had to be made. I had never done that before so I thought it would be wise to start with the furniture for the train room. I had drawn the cabinets myself, but how often I have not forgotten to take the thickness of the wood into account. And then start again. It took a lot of wood, but I also learned a lot from it. I had done my best on the doors of the top cabinets. They closed perfectly when they were not painted. Unfortunately, they could no longer open after painting. Learned something again.
But the hobby room had furniture and a work surface.
Now tools still had to be provided.

It was fun to make my machines in miniature.
Like the Proxxon drill on its stand, the sanding machine and the sawing machine.
On the right the full size cutting machine with the 1/12th scale one on top.

It seemed that the bar stools I bought  for the craftroom were too low.

So I'd put some self-hardening clay on top and upholstered it with fine leather.
Actually, it was an improvement.

The walls of the craft room.
The right hand  side wall is owned by the train club and is covered with posters of trains.
The left hand side wall is owned by the boat club and has boats, sea life paintings and things you can find on the beach.
Twice a week the train craft club is here, twice a week the boat craft club and once a week the repair club.
They repair toys, furniture and make things for the centre.
The items, waiting to be mend, are on top of the cupboard

So far the craft room. Now we go to the large room.
He, is there someone leaving the room???


The bar was the first thing I made. Although it is known that seniors can be heavy drinkers, in this centre it is not a problem.
At first the back of the bar was all wood.
Margriet said: " That is not clever. If you cut the wood at the bottom you can put a crate there". She was right.
I practised sawing a fancy border when I made the bar.
And I decorated 3 cheap tables with coloured stripes of wood.

The saw, who used to be my biggest enemy, was now my friend!
But Margriet found out that you have to keep concentrated using the sawing machine.


Shelving for behind the bar.

Melvin, the barman, is a very good help.


The corner of the bridge/card club.
To make a table and chairs was not so simple. 
But I succeeded. Unfortunately I was impatience.
Before the glue had entirely dried I started to use the wood dye.
In doing so I squashed the chairs and had to start glueing again.
This made Margriet laugh loudly.
Another hard lesson I learnt.

Laurel motiv cushions embroidered by the members of the needle work club.




These 3 bar stools are made in the same way

as I did the stools for the craft room.

The centre begins to fill and is getting the right atmosphere.


Loes Diebels was so kind to help us make some wigs. An enjoyable day, we worked hard and I made 3 wigs!
That day was very hot and I  had opened the window in my room.
During the night there was a thunderstorm and heavy rain.
The next morning the dolls were laying in a pool of water and the wigs were completely ruined and in pieces.
They could not be repaired, I had to throw them in the bin.

The bridgetable is now complete, there is a coatrack and the lamps are hanging  and shining. I am getting there.

2 Nice armchairs for the ladies. In a magazine we found a pattern and started to make it.
But soon we found out that it would be way too large so we had to make our own design.
The lady by the chair is glad, she can sit because she is not very fit.
She was born with one leg longer than the other.
Therefore she has orthopedic shoes; one sole is extra thick.
She wears support stockings and recently she has had radiation because of breast cancer.
Luckily she has the centre to go to. Here she can relax, talk about her health problems, and have a good time with friends.
Melvin, the barman, always gives her an extra treat.

Getting older you might need
some extra help. Wilma van
Elderen taught us how to make a walker.
The lady in the first picture needs a walker to come to the centre. The redwalker is the "service walker".
So the members can serve drinks and dishes of food without having to carry them. Very convienient.
Walking sticks can be put in the umbrella stand.   


This is how Margriet and I worked many days while discussing the diffenrences of our centres.
Although the centre looks finished, a few
items still have to be made.
Now we are thinking about a festive opening.
The date of the opening is 20th November 2010




When I made this site, it was october. The month in which we all think of breast cancer. The lady who has had the radiation had made little cards with a pink ribbon glued on them. She sells them and donates the money to Pink Ribbon. She is so glad that all the members buy at least 1 card from her. 



On the back wall now hangs a cupboard in which the aquarium is located and where the various clubs exhibit their works.
The bulletin board keeps
track of activities , announcements and a list of sick members.

Margriet and I made an important discovery while working on the club. In the beginning we had fierce discussions about the rules of conduct and the differences of our societies, now we hardly have that anymore . Although in principle we have very different opinions, in practice we turn out to be more or less the same.


May I introduce to you? The members of the Laurels

Festiv opening on 20 November 2010

This is  "Soosjaal", Margriet's leisure centre

Margriet makes something delicious.
Ceciel Wissink made 2 georgious cakes.
This is the one she made for The Laurels.
In the basket are papers. Margriet and I
both wrote one side of it.
Every one got a paper to take home.
After the speeches and the unveiling of the
leisure centres we had prepared 2 workshops.

In this workshop we made 2 books.
One about each centre.
After that we made a box to put the books into.



This workshop was quite hilarius.
We made 2 different packages of Tena Lady.
The small package fits in your handbag, the larger one is more economic.
And, as you can see, we filled the larger box.

At the end of the day there was a glass of eggnog or "farmersboys".
These two drinks are old fashioned Dutch drinks.
Unfortunately, after that the opening day was over.
It had been a wonderful day and Margriet and I already know what our next project will be.

Here you can  watch a film about The Laurels at Christmas:

This is not a trade site, but you can always sent me an e-mail if you are seriously interested in a miniature.
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