Monday, January 16, 2017


Windows, Doors and Pictures...

This Secret Christmas House kit has such wonderful windows, Dear Readers, I think they are the primary reason I bought this kit! To begin with, they have real tiny plexiglass panes! You can actually see through the windows and into the interior of the room.... if you can get your eyes close enough that is! And the frames themselves are composed of two layers of very thin laser cut wood so when they are glued together the frame has an ornate layered profile. This along with the lovely arched shapes.... such a European feature!.... makes the tiny house look so elegant and perfect..... even up close! But those window frames are a challenge to paint! The laser cutting leaves a residue of "burned" wood along all the cuts, and covering it requires several layers of paint! I only hope that I wasn't supposed to seal the wood with a varnish before painting it to prevent the burn from seeping through the paint over time. I started by applying a simple gesso primer to both sides of every window frame.

Of course, I forgot to take any pictures 
until I was well along in the painting. 
Above you can see the three frames on the upper left 
have only the gesso, 
while the others have been given a first coat of acrylic white paint.
You have to be very careful not to build up too much paint 
in the corners of each tiny pane, as the surface tension of the paint 
wants to accumulate in the corners!

Here you can see a little closer. 
The window frame on the bottom left shows the reverse
 or inside of the frame, which also needs to be painted 
because it shows when you look through the windows from the inside!

Here you can see the inside being painted on most of them.

And here is the view through the Library window from the inside. 
Yes, it definitely needed to be carefully painted too!
And while we are working on painting frames, 
I was also trying to add my own frames 
for the interior doors to these rooms!
If you recall, I had glued the library inside wallpaper in place 
before remembering that I wanted to make 
the door frames "three dimensional" 
rather than just the printed paper image.
So I started to paint tiny door frames too....

And forgot to take pictures until I was done.... 
but here you can see I have added a frame to the door in the Library!
It was so much trickier to add with the wallpaper already glued in!

And for the Parlor room above the Library, 
I wanted to add not only the door frame.... 
but I wanted the picture frames on the art to be "three dimensional" too!

Here you can see the completed frame 
glued onto the printed wallpaper 
prior to gluing it on the room walls!

And here it is glued in place, along with the interior window frame 
which is a piece that comes with the kit.

And then the Parlor door wall needed a frame around the door 
and a frame around the mirror!

Here you can see the paper is installed, along with the ones in the attic room.
And that room also had artwork which needed a frame!

I have to confess that it took me a while to realize
 it would be much easier to cut the frame in one piece 
rather than building it from four separate pieces as in RL!
The oval mirror frame for the Parlor taught me that!

So there is a reason the square frames appear lumpy and irregular!
(Sorry this shot is a little blurry... it is hard to get it in focus!)

But that is not all I managed to do this week, Dear Readers, 
I also made good progress on the larger rooms 
in the other wing of the house!
Starting with the other attic bedroom... 
a frame was needed for the artwork....

I know it seems silly, but I really wanted all the art to have "real" frames!
And the frames that had me most worried 
were the ornate ones for the Dining room walls.
There are two very elegant framed panels that look like Chinoiserie paintings... 
and the frames are delicate gold and not straight edged but gently curved.

I started by tracing the shapes and transferring them to the card stock.
Then I very carefully cut out the center portion first, 
testing it for fit on the artwork 
before cutting the outside edge of the frame.
I made two and painted them with several coats of the antique gold paint.
I paint on the plastic because they don't stick to it. 
The overflow of the paint can be cut away from 
the edge of the frame once it has dried. 

Here you can see I am testing one of the frames on the artwork.... 
the one on the left is just the printed frame.

Here you can see the wall paper with both the frames added. 
I am so pleased with the results of these frames! 
And so glad I practiced with all the other smaller ones first!
I think the frames make such a huge difference!

Of course it is difficult to get a good well-lit picture 
once they are glued into the rooms!
And there was still the door wall for this room...

With the door frame and the mirror frame....

And I also added the baseboards in this room and the Parlor.

And that is not all, Dear Readers! 
While I was working on all those window and door frames, 
I was also pondering the exterior front door.
It is such a beautiful and elegant front door!
But something about it was bothering me.

The door frame is gorgeous. 
But it is attached over the paper front of the house 
and the "windows" in the door look much too blank and lifeless to me.
Should I make the windows look more like windows?
Should I paint them in and make them part of the door as if it is solid?
Should I go all wild and crazy and add a sparkly glittery look?

Or use a slightly less sparkly paper that still has some glitter to it..... ?
Well this is the Secret Christmas House.... 
so I went with the slightly glittery paper...

Because when the light is right.... 
it almost looks like the house is lit up inside with Christmas lights!

I have been leaving the most challenging room for last,
hoping that by the time I get to it I will have figured out what I am doing!
The end walls with the kit supplied trim still need their wall papers. 
And the entire "Drawing Room" still needs it's artwork "framed" and the doors too.
And let us not mention that I am trying to figure out curtains....
Three dimensional ones rather than the flat paper ones that come with the kit!
So you can see Dear Readers, 
I have been making great progress on this Tiny house.
The windows, doors and pictures 
are Finally nearly all framed!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Done and Not Done....

The Circle of the Year

Well, Dear Readers, I hope you don't mind being presented with the Annual Christmas Card drawing so late that it is already well into 2017! Late is so late this year, it could almost be early for next! But alas, I know that by November of this year, I will be well into the process of trying to "capture" the year in yet Another card. Some years are just not easy to organize into any sort of pattern, and this year's composition was a struggle for me! And to top it all off, the subject was not easy to draw and then paint....! You are all familiar with the Real subject, The Lovely Old Dollhouse. Above you can see my rendering, flawed though it is. And with it, I wish you All (again!) A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! (Don't forget, you can poke the picture for an up close view! Or better yet, right click and open in a separate tab for a real zoom-in...!) And now that I have that task accomplished..... Perhaps I can get back to whatever it was I was doing before..... hmmmm.... what was I working on? The Tiny Secret Christmas House? It is still nowhere near finished. Especially if I insist on adding so many tiny trims and mouldings to each room....

But if I work diligently on it now.... after Christmas..... 
it might just be ready by Next Christmas!

After spending the Weekend trying to put away 
all the Christmas decorations in my RL house 
and the mini houses, I had a tiny bit of Time left.....
So I glued on the roof papers for the Secret Christmas House.
I couldn't remember what order I needed to follow with the windows 
and the exterior wall papers for the left side 
of the House pull-out section! 
I almost goofed and put the wall paper on 
before gluing the windows in place!
So the exterior wall papers are still not glued onto the left side.
And then I realized that there would be a strip of the roof edges 
that would not be covered by the papers,
 and needed to be painted as close a color as I could manage 
to the greens of the papers, Before gluing on the paper!
That was all I managed to get done!
 As for all those other projects, Dear Readers,
 half finished or just begun.....
Like me, Pollyanna is eager to get busy!
She even received some new Kits as Christmas Gifts......
(Thank you again, Dear Birgit!)

Can you see them there in the plastic sleeve.... 
those wonderful little laser-cut furniture kits?
Oh, those will be fun to assemble!
But there might be a little problem......

It seems that, like Me, Pollyanna might have a shortage of Space 
for working on her one two three or is it four dollhouses!
I guess One of the tasks for the New Year just might have to be 
making some Progress on Pollyanna's Studio!
So there you can see, Dear Readers, 
the way it works around here.... 
Something always needs to be done 
Before something else can be done!
But whether it is Done or Not Done,
As we go round the Circle of the Year
The Doing is the Fun!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Year.....

Are We Late for the Party....?

I Hope you will not be Disappointed, Dear Readers, if I have no Christmas Card to show you in today's post. I was Truly hoping I would have the drawing completed by the New Year.... but this year it just is taking longer. Here we are, already at New Year's Eve, and some places on the Globe have already seen their "Ball-drop", but over here in the Western Hemisphere, there are yet a few hours of that Old Tired Year still to play out. And Lady Athena has decided to take advantage of the moment to Host a New Year's Eve Party at the Castle! Everybody is Invited! it is sure to be a fantastic crush! The Christmas decorations are still up, so there is not much she needs to do.

 There is an enormous Tree in the Guard Room at the entrance...

She hung an enormous Glittering Silver Ball 
from the ceiling of the Great Hall......

She filled the Antique Tarnished Silver Punch Bowl 
with a steaming Mystical brew.....

And she hired a Local All-Star band to play music....
Meet the "Fearless Flashbacks".......
(Yes they sometimes double as the "Deadly Nightshades"....)

They are Heating up the Hall with their Heady mix of "Old Goldies" and 
Traditional Tunes with a Modern Twist!
(You should hear their Auld Lang Syne...!)

Victor and Joanna have arrived early 
because they didn't want to miss any of the fun....

Followed quickly by Helen and Charles...
Because Helen wanted to be sure they were not late!

Pollyanna and Arthur are here too... 
Pollyanna loves to come to parties at the Castle. 
She says it always reminds her of her Wedding.... 
one of the Happiest Days she can remember!

Chip and Sally May and Annabelle have stopped to admire the huge Tree.... 
Although Annabelle seems more fascinated by Guard Ian in the corner!

Will has arrived too. And because he is single now, 
he is trying to meet anyone new in town....
"Haven't we met somewhere...?" he asks the Gypsy.

The Aileens arrive with their children in tow. 
Jasper and Amber have been here before and 
are looking forward to an evening in the Castle. 
You never know what might happen here!

Fleur and her husband Daniel and their daughter Juliet are here too!
Juliet can't wait to play with her friends!

Oh, and look... it's Gabrielle too!
 She is now Juliet's "Au Pair" and has been
 included in the Evenings Festivities!

She is still new in the area, 
and has not met very many people. 
But she hopes to have fun tonight 
getting to know some of her new neighbors.

Oh my goodness... even Harold and Celeste have come tonight!
(They are Arthur's parents and were estranged for years,
 but have been spending time together 
ever since Arthur and Pollyanna got married!)

Sally May and Fleur can talk for hours about 
the challenges of raising a daughter these days....

And the children are still talking about what they "got" for Christmas....
(Yes, Amber might be a little jealous that
 Juliet got a Pink "Little Hostess" kitchen center, 
complete with Working oven!)
(Juliet didn't tell her she is already a little bored with it...)
And is that Mischievous Fairy here too....? 
Yes..... he could not resist such an Open Invitation......!
It is anybody's guess what he Might have put in the Punch Bowl...

Ken is trying to keep an eye on things.... 
Will is trying to interest the Gypsy.....
But she might have her eye on Ken....

And Gabrielle just wants some Punch!

Will turns and spots Gabrielle. 
She looks a little familiar.....
"Haven't we met somewhere....?" he asks.

Gabrielle recognizes him at once!
"Oh! Bonjour, Monsieur..." she says.... 
forgetting for a moment to speak in English.
"I mean Hello! We met in France last summer....." she said.
 "At the Park " she added when he still looked confused.
"Ah! The Park!" exclaims Will. 
And then he blushed a little as all the memories rushed back.
"You're the Nanny!" he adds."Renee's Nanny!" 

"I was." says Gabrielle. 
"I am now Juliet's Nanny..." she added quickly. 
She didn't really want to explain that she was fired 
because she had talked to him in the Park!
There was a moment of awkward silence 
while Will thought about Daphne....
 and then decided he really didn't want to talk about Daphne at all!
"So what are you doing here....?" 
they both said at the same moment... 
then they laughed together....
Will bowed and said "I will let the Lady go first.... 
what would you like to know...?"
Everything! thought Gabrielle....
"Is your business in this town...?" 
was what she asked instead....

Well, Dear Readers, how the Time has Flown!
Is it Time for the Ball to Drop?
Has the New Year already been Rung In in Your Land?
Have you Danced the Night away 
and Kissed your Loved Ones on the New Year?
There are still a few Hours to pass in my Land.... 
and I have a Christmas Card that still needs to be finished....
So I will leave you here for now...
While the Party is going strong....

Why even in the Castle Kitchens 
Henry and Belle are celebrating the New Year.....
"Come on Belle.... just a New Year's Kiss...." wheedles Henry...

"Just don't you be mistaking it for anything else..!" retorts Belle....
Dear Readers, I wish you All a 
Wonderful and Joyous New Year!
 May You all Kiss your Loved ones... 
Smile with your neighbors....
Dance the Night Through....
And maybe even tell a Tale or two!
I am so glad you could make it to the Party!