Everything started with this slot machine,
the pin ball machine and the train.
All these machines really work.
13 September 2009 Margriet van Loon and I both bought a "shop" in which we wanted to make a leisure centre for seniors
We had made 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.
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.
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 withdrew in 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 cutting machine but I hardly 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 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 cutting, and cutting and cutting.....  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 dicided later to put
the leisure centre in a cupboard without the front!

Now we will start making furniture. Before we start we need to know what kind of people will attend our centre. Margriet and I have a very different opinion about this.
Margriet says: seniors have worked all their life, now they must be free to do whatever they like.
But my opnion is that people want to keep the values they are used to.
In Margriets centre everyone is welcome, smoking and drinking is allowed, a little housepig wanders around the room and the mental state of the visitors is not important.
My centre use to be only for church members. Not any more but you can still feel the influence.
In my centre are several clubs eg. a craft club, a needle work club, a bridge/card club and a reading club.
The members of the craft and the needle work club make items of high quality and most of it will be sold in the charity shop.
The members of my centre have lead a  working and responsible life and like to enjoy nice hours with people who think alike. They are allowed to drink alcohol
in my centre, but not always and not too much. I do not have to explain this to my visitors, it is their life style too.
The name THE LAURELS  emphesizes this: to be honoured with laurels or to rest on ones laurels.
Because of our very different kind of visitors our centres will be very different.
This sometimes leads to heated debates during our miniature making.

Furniture had to be made! I had never done any so I thought it
would be wise to start with the furniture for the craft room.
I designed the drawer and the cupboard but it happened so
often that I forgot to take account of the thickness of the wood.
I had to start again a lot of times. I used a lot of wood but
I learned from it. I was so proud of the cupboard with the 2
doors. Before painting the doors closed perfectly. Could not
be better. But after painting them I had to close them by force
and now they will not open again. Well, again I learned from it.
Finally I was satisfied with what I had made.
Tools, that was what I needed!
Making a miniature like my
full size one was what I
enjoyed very much. Like the
Proxxon drill on its stand,the
the sanding machine and the
cutting machine.

Full size sanding machine with the
1/12th scale one on top.

The miniature sanding machine

Full size cutting machine with the 1/12th scale one
on top.

The miniature cutting machine

Full size machine with the
1/12th scale one on top.

miniature machine
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 some fine leather. Actually, it was an
The walls of the craft room.
The right hand  side wall is covered with posters
of trains.
The left hand side wall has boats, sea life paintings and
things you van 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.


3 cheap tables
look nice now.
Shelving for behind the bar.
Melvin, the barman, is a very good

A saw is very sharp, isn't it
The corner of the bridge/
card club. To make a chair
was not so simple. 
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 gluing
again. Another hard lesson.


The ladies of the needlework club embroidered these
Laurel motif cushions


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


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
th 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.
Tgey could not be repaired, I had to throw them
in the bin.


A bid box

bridge table with bid boxes


     wall lamp

     wall lamp
2 Nice armchairs for the ladies. I 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
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.
Se 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.


Getting older you might need some extra
help. Wilma van Elderen tought us how
to make a walker. The lady in the
first picture needs a walker to come to
the centre. The red walker 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
This is how Margriet and I worked many days
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.

May I introduce? The members of the Laurels

Ben Jansen

Jan jansen

mrs. de Boer

Mr Smart

mrs. Maluputti

gp. Beck

mrs. Snee

mrs. Klein

Melvin Zandsteen

mrs. Blerick

Ben Jansen and Jan Jansen are twins; mrs. Snee and mrs. Klein are cousins.

The Laurels is nearly finished.These are the last pics before the opening.

20 November 2010. Grand opening of  The Laurels.
We had made snacks, invited people, 2 cakes, speeches and a lot of laughter

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.
The workshops were related to the leisure centres and seniors.

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 egg nog 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.

I have made a short film about the centre being decorated for Christmas.
unfortunately the spoken laguage in dutch.

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