Monday, April 15, 2019

Fifty-two Weeks....!




And a Few Little Details....

It has been Fifty-two Weeks, Dear Readers, give or take a few days, since I embarked on my Blossom-a-week project for the Lilac bush! And I am ever so Happy to be able to say I did it! I made one (or two) a week for Fifty-two weeks! And now I have a box full of lilac blossoms which will soon cover the Spring blooming lilac shrub for The Folly Garden!

See? Here is the box with almost all the blossoms 
(remember that I had attached four of them to the shrub
 before I realized I had better complete other details first!)


And here also are this week's batch of ten leafy stems..... 
which makes the tally somewhere around eighty leafy stems..... 
only forty or so to go!
And since I am now on the brink of launching the stem attaching program.... 
I thought I had better take care of a few of those other Tiny details first...

Such as finally adding the fungus
 (which is very delicate and so it should be added last...)

to the bare stemmed Winter shrub.

Here you can see it closer... 
the fungus are on the dead stump at the back.
And I also added a few of the "sucker" stems.....

Which you can see in this overall view.
At this point I am just trying to make this shrub match
 the one that has the snow on the branches.
I am fairly certain that once the blooming lilac is completed 
I will be adding a whole bunch more suckers to the front of the bush.
But I want to complete the blooming one first!

And Another Tiny detail that needed to be done first Dear Readers, 
was preparing the nest for the Spring Blossoming Shrub!

I made a few Robin's eggs from sculpey
 and painted them Robin's egg blue!
I think they are a tiny bit too large....
 but they will be mostly hidden in the foliage...
so I am going to use them anyway.

And then the nest needed to be attached to the shrub.....

This always requires a surprising amount of delicate twigs and glue
 to fill the space between the branches...
(I really don't know how the birds do it!)

Now the nest is ready and waiting.... 
the birds cannot be far away...!
But I promise you I will not be showing them any time soon... 
because I will be busy working on the branches!

And even though I have reached my goal 
of blossoms for the shrub, Dear Readers,
 I will still be making blossoms for a while... 
because there need to be a few for bouquets!
And yes, there might even still be
 a Detail or Two added to the Winter shrub....
After all, it is still a few weeks until the Lilacs will bloom!


Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Snowdrops....




The First Arrivals.....

Some of you, Dear Readers, may have seen your Snowdrops come and go weeks and weeks before now, but here in the North we are finally seeing them poke their heads out of the frozen earth! They are nearly always the first flowers to emerge in the Spring... their tiny white blossoms sometimes nearly hidden by the still snowy ground.... barely visible unless you know where to look and are watching for them. I have long intended that there be a clump of them under the lilac shrub, and have to admit I was running out of Time to get them made! Last weekend was the first real opportunity to clear last year's leaves from my RL garden, and so I suddenly found myself behind on my production schedule. But rest assured, I finished the lilac blossom number Fifty-one!

And here it is in the nearly full box!

I can't tell you how excited this makes me!


And another boring batch of ten leafy branches done!
But would there be time to make a bunch of snowdrops?
And could I even find the right sized punches in my tool box?

I had to try, even though I knew I needed to be out in my RL Garden too.
Above you can see the beginnings... 
painting a crescent of green on the inner petal tips,
 and dipping the green thread into yellow paint for the stamens.
The last time I had made snowdrops, (several years ago)
 I thought they had ended up a tiny bit too large for true 1/12 scale,
 so this time I started with a smaller punch.

Here I am slowly gluing the inner petals to the threads.

Here the three inner petals are all added.

I used a ball stylus to cup the outer petals
 before separating them and attaching them to the flower stem.

Adding the petals one at a time.... 
it is a slow process because you need to wait
 for the glue to dry between each petal.

Here you can see all the petals have been attached.
But then, Dear Readers, I truly had to go out to my RL garden.... 
and when I was done out there I was Exhausted!

So the beads for the tops of the blossoms were added later.
And I really wasn't sure I could finish the snowdrops this week.
But I tried anyway... painting a tiny bit of paper
 for the "hoods" at the tops of the stems...

They have stripes painted on the outer side, 
and tonal shading on the inner side...
not that anybody will be able to see the inner side when it is attached..... 
(but I will know it is there!)

The hoods get folded around the top of the stem
 where the blossom joins the thicker stem
 (already glued together here).

Here all the stems have their hoods attached.
 The blossom emerges from this hood as the flower blooms.

And adding a pair of strappy leaves to each stem.
In RL, these leaves are a bit thick...
 and I have not been able to make them appear that way in mini.
And I was rushing to try and get these done... 
to see how they would look in the Folly Garden...
 tucked under the Lilac shrub...

I only got four completed before it was late and I was tired.

But here they are!

Nodding their little heads...
(it just reminds me how many details are still needed here...
 those bricks need dirt and aging....
 there needs to be some moss....
 the lilac suckers are still not done.....)
But the snowdrops don't care! 
They have arrived, and that means
 it is truly Spring in the North! 

It sure is challenging to get good pictures of these little guys!
And tonight, Dear Readers, 
I added a couple more blossoms... 
because that clump was too sparse.

And there are still one or two more buds to add....
But I am running a little behind schedule here.....
Spring has arrived.... the Snowdrops are in bloom!


Monday, April 1, 2019

Now Showing.....




Gallery Exhibit....

I have been invited to Show my work in a Real Gallery exhibit, Dear Readers, and it has caused me to have to step out of my comfort zone! I apologize for the blurry photo, but my hand was a little unsteady when I first arrived to the Gallery Opening on Sunday and saw my drawings on display, so the photo is not very clear. The show is in a local gallery CX Silver Gallery, and the exhibit is the art of the faculty (and staff!) at the school where I work. They wanted a selection of my Christmas Card Drawings.... and when they saw that the recent ones were all about Dollhouses.... they wanted one of them too! I decided that the only one that was portable enough... and finished enough... was The Secret Christmas House....

 
So I put together a little display with the Secret Christmas House
 carefully set up under a glass dome,
 with a magnifying glass for looking closer.
 
On one wall are eight of my early cards.... 
done all in black and white...
 because color reproduction was terribly expensive back then.
Of course, they are full of tiny detail
 and you can't get a good view in these pictures.

On the opposite wall are a few of the early ones where I added color....
You can see a little more detail on these.

And on the third wall are the rest of the color ones.
You have probably seen these before
 as they are all more recent and I have shown them
 here on the blog at Christmas.
Just to their left is where the Secret Christmas House sits,
 so the reference to it in the Cards becomes obvious.
They want me to do a book...!
 
And meanwhile, Dear Readers, 
all I can think about are the leaves I have to make....

Ten more leafy branches done!
(I know this will get boring!)

And blossom number Fifty!

And in the box!
I know the temptation is there to celebrate now...
But we are Not Quite There!
Do you see the empty corner in the box...
I am aiming for at least two more Blossoms
 before I am satisfied!

But perhaps we can Celebrate 
the Gallery opening, Dear Readers,
Because every little Showing 
has to Count for something!

Monday, March 25, 2019

Yet Another Detail....




You Might Not Have Noticed....

Believe it or Not, Dear Readers, I have added another detail to the Winter Lilac Shrub, but I would understand if you have not spotted it right away. I was not sure I would be able to successfully make this detail, but I decided I needed to try.... just in case observant folks were to later accuse me of leaving something out! If you know where to look you can spot it in the above picture.... just to the right of the front door... can you see it? Yes, I have added a few of last year's lilac blossom seed pods to the shrub! Most people do not even notice them in RL, but I assure you this past year produced an abundance of them in our local shrubs., so I had plenty of models to follow.

Here you can see one of the shrubs where I work...

And a couple more examples silhouetted against the sky.

Even my own little shrub had a few still clinging to the stems...

I harvested one so I could see how it was shaped.....
And then I just had to see if I could make something like it.
 
 
Working on the same principle as the blossoms, 
but starting with a tiny punched star
 (because we didn't need petals)
I cut them in half...

Glue them to a thread.....
And when that is dry, add a dab of glue
 and twist the paper around the thread...
leaving it a little open as though the seeds have fallen.


The white pieces above are the seed pods drying.
(Meanwhile the lilac blossom production is under way for Forty-nine!)

And then we paint them a dried brown color.

And start the assembly process.... 
still just testing here!

And making the clusters of pods.... 
the blossom is actually a bunch of little stems...

And attaching them to the brown painted stem.
At this point, Dear Readers, I believe I am getting
 a good enough result that I started in on a whole batch of them!
Unlike the blossoms, they can be made with fewer pieces...
 
 
 so one week's batch made six more seed pods.
 
Meanwhile, Blossom number Forty-nine is completed!

And here it is in the box!
Soon... very soon, it will be time
 to start attaching them to the spring shrub!

And here is this week's batch of ten leafy stems all done too...
(Spring is right on schedule....!)

So did you spot the dried seed pod on the shrub?

On the branch by the door....


Believe me, I'll understand if you couldn't see them at all!

All seven of the seed pods are attached in the shrub.
And even though it is such a tiny detail
 it might not be noticed at all, Dear Readers, 
I am glad I made them,
 because I will know they are there!