Tuesday, January 16, 2018

January Dreaming.....




Looking Back.... Looking Forward....

I have to admit, Dear Readers, that January brings with it the inevitable urge to assess the progress, or lack of progress, made during the past year on any of many "in work" projects. And when I review last year's accomplishments in my mini worlds, the list is small! That might be in part due to the fact that I worked on the Secret Christmas House kits for much of the year..... and the results are Tiny! In a "regular" size dollhouse I would feel I had accomplished a great deal if I had built, decorated furnished and accessorized an entire house! But in this case... it is all so small it hardly seems to count! Not to mention that it is Not quite Done! In the above picture (taken back in November) you can see the "shell" of the house with the morning sunlight streaming in the windows (a rare thing at this time of year!) and illuminating the interior of the rooms before the furniture was added.

I love that you can see right into the tiny rooms 
as if they were much larger than they are!
But the chief thing I want to point out is that there is still No Snow
 adorning the exterior of the house!
Lots of lovely icicles but no snow!

Yes, I have been avoiding this step.... 
intimidated by the types of artificial snow and how to apply them......!
 I need to do some test samples to get familiar with the materials!
And because it is snowing right now in my RL world, 
and might snow all night and most of tomorrow... 
I might have a Snow Day to stay home and play with ... snow!

My lack of significant progress on any of my larger projects can really only be ascribed to my lack of focus.... (we won't mention the broken arm). I made a little progress on painting  the Castle Hall ceiling.... but didn't come near finishing it. I made a little progress on the Cloud Palace Roof... but didn't make any progress on the exterior walls... which need tons of egg-carton rocks. I made a little progress on the Gypsy Wagon interiors and windows, but didn't even get as far as attaching the walls to the base! 

I made a little progress in the Attic of the Lovely Old Dollhouse.... 
but didn't even get the new knee-walls painted! 
There was No progress at all in the chapel...

Even though Father Alban has been on the brink
 of an inspirational breakthrough... for ages!

No progress at all on the Tree House.... 
waiting patiently for the next floor to be worked on...

(I know, you can barely see it behind the lamp.... I can't find the better pics!)

But it is the Willowcrest, Also known as Hardwick Hall, 
that has been calling to me recently!

In particular, all the places on the exterior walls where the tabs show through...
making me decide that I must add clapboards to the exterior to cover them up!

Like right there above the bottom trim..... it's driving me nuts!

And all the corners on the dormers in the attic.... 
absolutely need covering up!
But then I have to admit, Dear Readers, 
that before I can add the clapboards.... 
I must complete the wiring of all the lights....
Yes, I tried so hard to run all their wires down 
through the center wall behind the fireplaces....

Except for the bathroom.......

Which has no wiring at all so far..... 
and the middle wall is the one beside the tub.... 
not really where the lights would be placed!
Not to mention the other side of the kitchen.... 
which right now only has the overhead light....

Shouldn't there also be a light over the sink? 
Which means running the wires down the outside of the wall....
And even in the attic..... there should be a couple more lights....

On the outside walls...
Which means running the wires down the outside walls...!
I guess it's Time to go back to the Drawing Board 
with the layout of the wiring!
Not to mention the interior trim needed to cover 
all those not very appealing corners on the dormers!

And the design for the cupola which brings light into the top floor.... 
and the chimney re-design since the kit placement was so not acceptable!
And speaking of little bits of trim needed in odd places....

The bay window in the living room has gaps between the panels.... 
where daylight shows through!
I filled the cracks with 1/8 inch square strips...

The clapboards will run between the strips....
I just need to decide how I am making the clapboards!
I bought some of the pre-formed basswood panels, 
but don't like the way they would need to join at the ends
 and overlap their sections.....

At least the strips have covered the gaps in the panels!
(But I still need to add the exterior window muntins too!)
So which comes first... 
completing the interiors with all the wiring
 so I can cover the exterior walls... 
or just getting the wires in place.... 
for all the remaining lights...
and decorate later....
 
And surely, the oven should have a light too?
I guess I have a whole lot of re-thinking to do with this house!
But that's what January Dreams are for Dear Readers,
Looking back so we can look ahead!
 
(And I did finish the Christmas Card! 
But I don't want to show it here until
 it has arrived at my family's homes.
 I will show it next week!)
 

Monday, January 8, 2018

The Best Laid Plans.....




Late to the Party.....

I am Sure that Some of you, Dear Readers, have been wondering about how Quiet it has been over here on this blog, with no updates about the Christmas Card (still not finished), no views of the Tiny Secret Christmas House with all the gifts under the Tree (still not completed), and no invitation to The Castle for a New Year's Party (alas, there was none) all due to the unplanned and unwelcome spell of "Under the Weather" also known as the flu which laid me low for the past ten days. Alas, I was forced to abandon all my best laid plans and retreat to my bed for days on end. And to top it off, we have been enduring record cold weather, snow storms and ferocious winds in this part of the world, leaving us feeling rather besieged! I was even too weak to take my camera around to visit all my mini worlds, and so I have almost no New Year updates to share with you. But I am sure you will be happy to hear that I am on the mend and even returned to work today, so maybe I will get caught up soon with all my lagging projects! Better Late than Never! And speaking of Late.... the box of gifts that Birgit sent to me way back at the end of November, took an extra long time to get here... arriving the day after Christmas! I assure you, it's arrival was even more welcome having been given up for lost! As I am sure some of you know, Birgit is one of the most generous blog friends imaginable!

(Of course, my pictures were taken late at night so I hope you can see them at all!)
The beautiful cards and the calendar with 
Rosey and Fluby through the year are all made by Birgit.
And I must tell you that the entire Cloud Palace Gang 
was ecstatic that the Marzipan arrived after all!!!

(I apologize for the dark pictures....)
The entire gang gathered around for the New Year's Treat!

This is the delicate and world renown Chocolate Cloud Marzipan....!
The Beareys are particularly fond of it 
because it reminds them of the Land of their Birth...

They try not to be too impatient.... 
but they eagerly await it at this time of year!

And this year there were a few other tiny gifts from Birgit...
including a lovely "china" horse and another "china" Pegasus....

Who decided straight away to fly up to the Cloud Palace 
for some chocolate cloud Marzipan!

She said her Name is "Milkyway".....

And she hopes Nobeary minds if she crashes the Party!
Of course, all the Beareys are Happy to share!

Well, Dear Readers, I hope you will understand
 if there is still no Christmas Card to show...
At least there Was a Cloud Palace New Year's Party....
with  plenty of Marzipan....
All Thanks to Birgit!

Happy New Year!!!

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Deck The Halls.....




Finishing Touches....

It is almost Christmas Eve, Dear Readers, and in my eagerness to get the Secret Christmas House done in time for Christmas, I almost neglected to prepare any of my other dollhouses! So I hurried around today and made sure the trees were put up. Charles is admiring the same old tree in the same old corner of The Lovely Old Dollhouse. There is still a little time left for last minute preparations, but he is telling Helen she must not go out in this weather... it is too dangerous! It has been freezing rain all day and everything is covered in ice!  Helen is telling him she doesn't have any more shopping to do anyway, so she is happy to stay home and admire the tree. I must admit, I never get tired of seeing these mini tree lights go on!

The Silver Tinsel Tree has been put up in The Cloud Palace...
It is decorated with Golden "Wishing Stars" 
which are the Specialty of Blue the Blue Fairy Beary.
Sometimes just looking at the stars is enough to grant a fervent wish... 
So you better be careful!

And Brother Beorn has invited Sweet Pea to join him
 on the Palace Tower Garden Top 
to admire the "Christmas Beacon Pines"!
(Surely, Someday this Tower Garden will get finished!)

And since I left you wondering whether I would
 make a better tree for the Secret Christmas House,
 I had better show you what I have managed to do!

Here is the humble beginning... a mini "bottle brush" tree 
next to the paper version that came in the kit.

I started by trimming off all the fake white snow...leaving a narrow brush tree.
(I actually made it narrower than this but didn't take a picture.)

Then I coated it in glue and rolled it in some "landscaping material" 
which was left-over from the Tiny Garden kit I made last winter.
I thought it looked wonderful as is... 
but the color is just a bit too yellow for a healthy Christmas Tree!

So I painted it a richer green...
Which did start to make the texture a bit too "clumped"....
So I used my exacto knife to cut gaps into the shape...
but I am afraid you cannot see the difference.

And then I wanted to see if I could make some 
tiny "berry" garlands out of tiny nail-art beads.....
I spread a thin line of clear gel glue along the plastic surface
 and "roll" tiny beads into it and let it dry thoroughly.

When they are dry I glue them to the tree!
In order to see how this will look in the Parlor, 
I have to cut the tree from the thick wooden base...
 
It is just leaning in place to get a sense of the size....

Here I have added some tiny beads for Baubles....
(I am not sure they are tiny enough!)

And of course, I have to keep testing it in the Parlor
 to see if I am getting anywhere!

And I have to compare it to the paper tree...
 to see if I am making any difference...
It is cute... but not there yet!

And while I am debating and Dithering, Dear Readers, 
Pollyanna has gotten involved in another Teeny-tiny project....

It is a Tiny Dollhouse kit by "Young At Heart" 
that I picked up last year at the Sturbridge Fair...

(I had to give Pollyanna some help... 
she doesn't have the right tools yet!)

I painted the floors red..... 
because the Lovely Old Dollhouse has red floors... 
and this reminds me of the Lovely Old Dollhouse!

With the remaining floor and side added.... 
not as easy as it looks! 
(I don't have the right tools yet!)

We are making some progress!

I painted it white and added the roof....

Oh, I LOVE this tiny House!!!

Meanwhile, Dear Readers, 
I have decided that I simply Must try to make 
some Itty-bitty candles for the Christmas Tree...
The paper version has them, after all.... 
and I have always adored a candlelit tree....
(I forgot to take pictures of the progress... 
but they would have been too small to photograph anyway...)

Can you see them here?
They are made of glue-stiffened sewing thread cut very short, 
with an end dipped in super fine glitter... 
and the bottom end glued to a piece
 of gold "glitter" (the ordinary kind).....
I am sure you cannot see all the bits in the pictures....

Testing it in the Parlor... 
I think the candles add a wonderful layer of detail!
And even though you cannot see it in photos, 
in RL the candles do sparkle!

And there needs to be a gold star on top!

And then I decided that I really did need to "touch up"
 the edges of the Creche figures... 
where they were cut from the card left some white showing
 that was very distracting... 
so I painted the edges of the angels
 with gold on the wings and
 blue and green on the gowns...

And then Finally.. glued it to the mantel!

And the Tree too.... glued in place!
(Oh, I also added more pieces of red "glitter" for baubles...!)

We are nearly done.... 
But the gifts are still not all wrapped!
(I may be running out of Time!)

But it is Christmas Eve...
 
Over at The Folly, 
Will has put up the little Creche....

Such a simple vignette, but so moving....

And in the Lovely Old Dollhouse too...
The usual creche is in the usual place...
(Although no-one can ever remember on which side the camel sits...)

Yes, I may be running out of Time, Dear Readers..... 
but that is nothing new.... 
(even when the Holy Baby was born... they were not quite ready...!)

So I am still Decking the Halls,
 and wrapping the gifts....
Adding the Finishing Touches.....
And I am still drawing the Christmas Card....

But Christmas Comes!
May you All have a blessed Holiday!