Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Another Little Thing...


 Not Quite Done...

As you Might know, Dear Readers, I have spent a Lot of time during these Covid years soothing myself by stitching tiny things. I usually take pictures of my progress so I can show the steady development of each project. But I am shocked to discover I can't find any pictures of the making of this little Sampler! Why would I neglect to take pictures? Or remember when it was that I was working on this? I can only plead the usual Covid problems of stress and anxiety and disruption of normal habits. So, I am sorry to say I can't show you the development of this lovely little project. It is another one of Janet Granger's kits, and it was quick to stitch. Perhaps that is why I didn't take pictures! Above you can see the nearly completed piece of stitching. It sat in my sewing box for a long time and since I am trying to finish these little things, I pulled it out, ready to put it in the frame that is part of the kit. But then I realized that I had always felt that the windows of the house were a bit too "empty" feeling as the kit left them bare with no curtains showing. In the above picture you see only one of them still empty... I remembered to take a picture at the last possible minute! Just imagine all the windows empty... and perhaps you can see why I wanted to add that detail.

I did manage to find the kit package
 to show the house with blank windows!
And here it is with the final window curtains stitched.
I think it looks so much more... inhabited!
And I didn't take the step of putting it in the frame yet
 because I decided I wanted to paint the frame
 and not leave it the stained wood color.
And that's all I have to show, Dear Readers, 
Just another Little Thing not Quite done!

Monday, January 10, 2022

Finishing Things....



The Christmas Card and More...

Well, Here it is, Dear Readers, the Christmas Card at last! You might not be too surprised at the subject matter.... but the perspective, or point of view, might not look familiar! It is one that I noticed while I had the Castle pulled all apart to paint the back side last summer. The only way to see this view when the Castle sections are standing together, is to stick your head all the way inside the Guard Room and crane your neck to the left and look into the Great Hall through the "entrance" doors.... as if you were a tiny person walking into the room. Even a camera put in through the doorway has a hard time getting a good picture of this perspective! But being a Dreamer who is clearly obsessed with this Medieval experience.... I want to feel like I am walking into this Grand Medieval Hall with the soaring ceiling painted with portraits of Saints! And thus we have this rendition. I did finish the drawing on January 2nd, but could not get it printed for several more days because the Covid surge has caused many local businesses to be drastically under-staffed. I am sure you have all experienced this, and certainly, a late Card needing printing is not an emergency! As for the other "finished" items I referred to in my header.... there are not many! I have stitched many tiny items in the past two years, and the minute the stitching was done on each, I started another one, leaving the "finishing" for later!

Remember this cushion?
I finally decided I needed to actually finish it!

Here it is with the carpet for size reference.
The carpet is on 18 count canvas cloth,
 the cushion is on 40 count silk!

The backing is a faux suede in dark blue.
The stitching together is simply overcast stitches all around
 with a single strand of the floss. No turning required.
I stuffed it with small beads.

Here it is in The Lovely Old Dollhouse living room.
And that is all I have "finished" so far, Dear Readers,
but there is a long list of tiny things waiting their turn.
Perhaps I will get many things finished this year!
I hope you are all staying well, Dear Readers,
 and maybe even getting a few mini things finished too!

Saturday, January 1, 2022

New Year....


Same Old Story....

I must confess, Dear Readers, it is a New Year, but there is not much that is New to show in my Mini Worlds! Above you can see where I left off stitching the carpet at Thanksgiving time. I am eagerly looking forward to getting back to the stitching, and all the other mini projects.... but I must first finish The Christmas Card drawing! I am nearly done. I have been working on it diligently for hours and hours every day (this is not a bad thing as I Love to paint!) but the drawing is complex and cannot be rushed. And I am scheduled to go back to work on Monday morning... so my window of creative opportunity is coming to an end. Nevertheless, I wanted to take a minute to wish you all A Happy and Creative New Year! And now I will rush back to my painting.... still not finished but getting close! I Hope you are all enjoying the Holiday and Dreaming of a Wonderful Creative Year ahead!

Happy New Year!

(Even if it is the Same old story!)

Monday, December 20, 2021

Christmas Trees....


 And The Nativity....

I Don't know about you, Dear Readers, but with Christmas falling on a Saturday this year, it somehow feels to me as though there aren't enough weekends before Christmas to get "everything" done! So I have been rushing around trying to make sure the Christmas Trees are all decorated in time. Over in the Lovely Old Dollhouse, Charles has managed to put up the "same old tree" in the same old corner of the living room. He knows what he is doing after all these years so it looks just as good as always. There was a brief moment of panic when the lights did not turn on right away...! But with a little jiggling of the wires and plug connections the lights flickered to life! Ahhh...! It is always such a satisfying thing to see the Tree lit with those beautiful lights!

Helen is so relieved that the lights still work!
 It would be terrible if they had to try to buy new
 ones with so little time left!
And shopping is still a "risky" thing... 
so ... she is very relieved!
"It looks wonderful, Darling," she says to Charles.
"I always feel so peaceful once the tree is up." she added.
"Now we are ready!"
And In the Shabby Sister House, 
Sally May and Chip have put up the Silver Glitter tree
 in the same corner of their living room. 

But Blanche and Ernie, Chip's parents, are the ones 
spending most of their time gazing at the beautiful lights.
Sally May is too busy baking for Christmas
 and Chip and Annabelle are "helping" her in the kitchen.
"Let me help you, sweetie," 
says Chip, reaching for a cupcake.
"I'll tell you if it needs anything...." he adds.
"Can I have one too?" asks Annabelle.
"Okay, just one...." says Sally May.
"But you have to eat all your supper too!" she added.
And the Cloud Palace gang had put up the Silver Tinsel Tree.... 
yes, it is also in the same place as always!

 All the Beareys had gathered around to see the beautiful tree!
Alas, nothing new had been added this year.... 
and there was even a suggestion that the lights
 were not at their brightest....!
"Nonsense," said Blue.
 "It is just that the sun has not gone down yet!
 They will shine perfectly at night!"
(Sir Orion thinks he will check on the batteries later!)
But meanwhile, back at the Lovely Old Dollhouse, Dear Readers,
 Pollyanna has been reminded that the Nativity has not been set up yet! 

"How could I forget...?" she wondered.
It didn't take long to put all the familiar figures
 into their accustomed places.

"Doesn't that look lovely?" she asks.

"Do you think the camel should go with the Donkey?" asks Charles.
"Well, he never seems to fit
 on the side with the Kings..." replied Pollyanna.
"Maybe the cow would be happier with the donkey..." suggested Charles.

"Well, I suppose we could give it a try..." says Pollyanna,
 moving the cow and the camel.
"But it means the cow is not showing her best side...." she adds.

"And the camel is looking a bit lost way back in the corner...." she says.
"But at least he is with the Kings.." said Charles decisively.

"Well, that settles it! " said Pollyanna happily.
(She was in no mood to argue with her Grandfather!)

Helen heaved a big sigh. 
"Now we really are ready!" she declared.

And I don't know about you, Dear Readers, 
but I am not yet ready for Christmas... but I am working on it!
The Annual Christmas Card will be late again...
As usual!
I hope you all are enjoying your Holiday preparations,
 whatever they are!

Monday, December 6, 2021

Ceiling Details....


 More Rocks...

You Might not have noticed, Dear Readers, but I have always felt the the arched ceiling "ribs" of the Castle Great Hall Ceiling were too skinny to adequately support such a vast ceiling! It has always been my intention to make them more robust, but the method of doing so has not always been clear. As I have worked on all the other parts of the Castle that needed strengthening, I have figured out the method I should use. I would just cut a whole bunch of those little "rocks" and apply them along each side of the existing arches! The problem being that the stores are having difficulty stocking the wood I had been using (a Pandemic problem, it seems) and so I had to use a slightly different stock. In any case, when I was originally painting the ceiling, I forgot to leave all the edges with an unpainted border that would get covered in the end, so in some places the rocks do intrude on the paintings! (But who is going to notice this except me?) Above you can see the very beginnings of adding these "rocks". I started in the center for symmetry's sake, and because the way the rocks need to be fitted at the ends where they meet the wall is going to be complicated.

Here you can see even closer, where the "rock" covers
 the top of the head of that angel who is peeking in through the gap....

But since the idea is that they are peeking in through a gap... 
they don't mind being partly covered!

Here you can see that I am leaving the very bottom ends
 without the "rocks" until I can fit them while the ceiling
 is in place in the Great Hall....

Like this!
The bottom ends on the front section are even less finished
 because the front wall connection is only partly designed...
and still could be changed.

Here is a slightly closer view of the ends where they join the wall...
I will fit them very carefully!

These strengthening "rocks" also needed to be added along
 the edges of the ceiling where it meets the end walls.
And in order to get them to be positioned correctly, 
the ceiling needed to be in place while gluing them.
This meant that I needed to get the arched sections of the ceiling
 to curve properly before I could add the "rocks".
(This has been a complicated process!)

And once all those "rocks" were added, Dear Readers, 
the "ribs" all needed to be repainted!

Because I had already painted the "darker" edging
 of all those new rocks where they abut the ceiling,
 I didn't need to worry about getting paint on the ceiling part.
Only the old part of the ribs needed repainting.

And because all those new "rocks" were so symmetrical,
 I could easily repaint the ribs with an alternating "stone"
 pattern of dark and light stone...
creating a wonderfully dramatic effect!
(If you can see it in that dark old Great Hall....)
Above it is mostly painted.

Here you can see it from a slightly different angle.

I also needed to repaint the end wall "arches" 
so they would match the vaulted ribs.
(Sorry for the dark photo...)

This is testing it in place before I painted the grout lines...
That very necessary step!

Starting the process.... slow and steady...

And on the end wall arches too.... 
partly done so you can see the difference it makes!

And here we are testing it in place again with the grout lines done!
You can also see I have fitted the end "rocks" 
where the ribs join the back wall.
The front wall ones are still not finished.
That wall is a whole other chapter still to construct!
And now, Dear Readers,
 after adding all those "rock" details
 I think the ribs finally look strong enough
 to hold up this ceiling!

Tuesday, November 30, 2021



 The Saints Again...

I had some Extra time off from work last week, Dear Readers, and was able to give the Saints my undivided attention for a couple of days! Above you can see the last two on the front half of the ceiling looking just as they have been for years. They both looked "almost" done, but in fact needed a great deal of work. I began with Luke because I was copying him from a Medieval original, and therefore it was easier to know what was needed. His paintbrush, the portrait of Mary he is painting, his robe, his halo, all needed work. The most obvious part was his arm which holds the picture frame, it was not bending in a natural enough manner... so I started there....


In order to make the wrist and arm align in a more natural way, I had to shift the outer edge of his "stole" so it fell closer to his body.

Then I repainted the robe and elbow. Of course, I neglected to take a lot of pictures.

Here you can see I have started to paint the floor under Bridget's feet.
I felt she needed to be better "grounded".

There had always been a need to make Bridget look more "medieval".
 She was one of the Saints that had no original painting to copy.
Even though she looks lovely as she is, 
I needed to make changes to her face in particular.

I changed the shape of her head covering and added heavier outlines.
One of the things to remember is that these paintings
 are hard to see in place... subtlety is lost completely! 

But meanwhile, I had also added more details to the other Saints...

Saint Lucia and Saint Nicholas still had many details to complete.
I got carried away with embellishing the floors...

I indulged my love of patterns.

Not that you can really see it when it is in place... 
but I will know it is there!

And the ground under Saint Cecilia
 also needed some softening with details...
So I painted blossoms...

Which you can see here.

And along the way I also completed Saint Nicholas' Croizier,
 and added layers to the Hunters in the border.

And I suppose you want to see it in place in the Castle Great Hall...

 It is really difficult, even with the flash,
 to get a picture of the entire ceiling in place!

At least this one sort of shows the floor details!

Well, Dear Readers, I made a lot of Progress
 painting the Saints.
And they might even be nearly Finished!