Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Not Yet Finished.....




New Year.... Same Old Story....

Well, Dear Readers, I hope some of you will Not be surprised to learn that I still have not quite finished painting the Christmas Card. It does seem to take me a little longer every year. I have already put hours and hours and Hours into it.... and it is nearly done... but it is not a good idea to rush the final parts. So I will take the Time that is needed to complete it to my satisfaction. Which leaves me to lament that I have nothing New to show you here! Except for this small teaser.... a glimpse into my workroom as it now stands.... all those Unfinished projects.... waiting! (And as I am sure you are aware... what you see here is nowhere near All of them!) Yikes!

Upstairs, beside my drawing table
 where I am painting the card,
 the ponies are waiting and the hounds keep watch
while Rose Thorne Cottage sits Teasing me....

And the sun shines in at this time of year...

Illuminating the beauty 
and the potential that awaits...
for some time......
When I have time.
(Jodi's chair has found a home for now...)

And downstairs.... where Hardwick Hall has been shoved into a corner....
The sun reminds me of so much I have left undone....
*Sigh*

Well, Dear Readers, I promised you
 this has to be just a little Teaser.... 
it's back to the drawing table for me,
 or I never will get the Christmas Card done!




Monday, January 6, 2020

Taking Down Christmas Decorations....




It Has To Be Done.....

Well, Dear Readers, I am sure you feel the way I do about putting away all the Christmas decorations.... Didn't we just get them all put up? Is it really time already to put it all away for another year? (Where does the Time go?) Certainly, my RL trees were evidence enough that it was Past time to take them down, dried and crisp and sagging as they were. So I spent my weekend removing all my sparkly treasures and finding all the right boxes and wrapping them safely for another year. The closets are crammed full once again and the empty spaces where the trees stood feel.... empty. But good in their own way. As if they are ready now for whatever is next.... until I rearrange the dollhouses again and the empty spaces are suddenly full of projects! And then I remembered the Dollhouse decorations too.... Charles was just at the point of deciding it was time to take down the tree in The Lovely Old Dollhouse.

"I think it's time to take it down now" said Charles.
"Well, I suppose it is getting to be that time," said Helen. 
"But the lights are so pretty... I just want to look
 for a few more minutes..." she added.
(I couldn't help but agree with her...
 although I know Charles is looking forward
 to having his favorite chair back in his spot...)

But the Time had come!

And when everything was cleared out and put back to rights......
"Doesn't that feel better..." asked Charles?
"Well.... " said Helen.... 
"I know I will think so in a little while."
"Uh-oh...." said Charles, looking over her shoulder...
"I missed the little tree on the Mantel..." he added.

"Well.... then let's leave it for now...." said Helen.
"Just a little comforting memento..." she added.

Well, Dear Readers, I hope you have all had a wonderful Holiday
 and that you are well on your way in your new year projects!
Alas, I am not quite done with my Christmas Card, 
so I will be still be looking back at the Old Year for a while.
 But I did take down my decorations... 
It just had to be done!


Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Running.....




Late....

I Hope you will Not be Surprised, Dear Readers, to learn that I am running Late.... with the Christmas Card.... with reading and commenting on blogs... with The Mini Castle New Year's Eve Party... with Everything, it seems! But I have at least One Small excuse... the weather over here has been challenging, with snow, sleet, freezing rain and even Thunder, Lightning and hail last night! Nobody at the Lovely Old Dollhouse was sure they could even make it to the Castle Party! But at the Last possible minute, they decided to try.... Helen was not entirely convinced the trip was worth it once they got to the Castle! "Are you sure it is done snowing...?" she asked Charles once they were safely inside. "What if it keeps snowing... should we leave early...?" she worried.

"Well, we have Arthur and Victor to help push us out of any snowbank..." said Charles,
 realizing at the last minute that he could have said something more reassuring.

Joanna and Victor were checking out the refreshments...
Joanna didn't want to admit she just might be
 getting tired of Gingerbread and Christmas cakes!
Victor was planning on trying the steaming punch...

Meanwhile the Band was tuning up in the Minstrels Gallery....
Tonight they are calling themselves 
"The Last Fearless Adventurers".....
(though you will probably recognize them as "The Deadly Nightshades")
in part because it was such an Adventure
 even getting to The Castle in last night's weather!

But it does appear that most of the locals have come out for the Party....

The children are all excited to be at a "Grown up" party
 where they will be allowed to stay up late!

Chip and Sally May and Annabelle are here too,
 although they left Chip's parents 
Ernie and Blanche back at the house...
 they did not want to go anywhere in the bad weather.
(Sally May is a little relieved to be out...
 Chip's parents have stayed since Christmas!)

Even Great Aunt Agatha is here.....
Well, to tell the truth, she has been here for months,
 along with Lady Athena and Lady Cassandra... 
who, at the Last Minute, have graciously
 opened the Castle for the Party!

Fleur is asking her husband Daniel if he has seen Gabrielle...
"If I spot her, I'll let you know..." he replies. 
"But we did give her the week off..." he reminds his wife.
"She's probably over at Will's...." he adds.

Well, Dear Readers, I must confess, it looks as though
 the Party is going to happen after all!

The "Last Fearless Adventurers" are striking up the music....
Arthur turns to Pollyanna...
 "Shall we dance..."? he asks.

And I, Dear Readers, will return now
 to painting the Christmas Card....
I know... I am running Late....!
 
I Hope you all have a Wonderful New Year!
(And don't forget to come to the Party!)


Monday, December 23, 2019

The Nativity.....




Oh! The Nativities....!

I Hope you will Understand, Dear Readers, when I tell you that I almost forgot to set up the Nativities in the mini houses! It has been that sort of Year... Season.... Month....Week....Not enough time for everything on the list! But I hurried around and Found the little pieces and reminded Pollyanna, because she really likes to set up the creche in the Lovely Old Dollhouse. She thinks the pieces are all where they belong...and as usual, she can't remember if the Camel goes on this side or that..., but no matter which it looks lovely and always inspires that deep feeling of Reverence. There is the Baby in his manger..... (I know he seems to have arrived a day too early!)... but there he is! And the Angel is singing Gloria! And the shepherd is looking on...

Oh, and Arthur has come to look too....!
"Isn't it lovely...?" asks Pollyanna.

"Very lovely," he says, not even looking at the Creche...
(Because he thinks his Wife is lovely...)
"Oh, you mean the creche...?" he adds with a smile.

"I think the sheep is too far back... " he adds
 as he pulled the sheep forward.
"There. Like that!"
 
"That does look better" agrees Pollyanna, smiling back.

Meanwhile, over at The Folly, 
Will has set up the tiny Nativity in the window.
It is getting dark and is really hard to see...

The lights are not on in The Folly....

But there.... the light is shining on the baby in his manger...!
And the Angel is singing Allelulia!

I am afraid Will and Gabrielle are not paying attention.... 
to anything but each other.
(They might be a match made in Heaven...!)

 
Back at The Lovely Old Dollhouse
Victor and Joanna are getting out the cookies...


And the Gingerbread too!
"Do we have to share the Gingerbread....?" asks Victor.
(His Wife is thinking the same thing...!)

Helen and Charles have been enjoying the Setting up of the Nativity....
Every year it is different... but the same...
 which gives them Great comfort.
"It looks perfect from here..." says Helen.


"I lost track of Time...." explains Pollyanna.
"I almost forgot to set them up in time!"
"But now we're ready!" she declared.

Well, Dear Readers, I hope you are ready....
 it is almost Time!
May you all have a Wonderful Holiday.... 
and may you Not forget the Nativity!


Tuesday, December 17, 2019

On A Cloud-e Day......




I've Got Sunshine.....

I am sure that All of you, Dear Readers, will know the Happy anticipation that comes with packages arriving at your house at this time of year! And sometimes when the box is from someone you have received packages from more than once, you can feel special excitement because you know you will Love the contents once they are revealed. And such was the case with the box that arrived from Dear Birgit in Germany, even though I had to wait a couple of extra days and collect it from the Post Office when it was open last Saturday, a Cloudy and rainy day! Imagine my surprise when it was "bulkier" than usual.... and there was an extra specially wrapped box inside.... What could this be....?

Well, perhaps you can imagine my Surprise
 when I opened the box to find this smiling fellow inside!!!

Well, he came with a card explaining his name is "Cloude"
which is a play on the name
"Claude" and the Cloud Palace where
 the Fairy Bears all live over here.
Of course, when I thanked Birgit,
 I forgot to add the "e" to his name... 
and just wrote "Cloud"..... 
(Which got me a little bit in trouble!)
But meanwhile, Cloude was so happy
 to be out of his box, and so eager to go exploring....
 
He dropped by The Folly... 
(it really was a Cloud-y Day!)
But no-one was home so he continued on...

No-one was home at The Tree House either....
but there was plenty of Snow... 
so he felt right at home already!

He Dropped in at the Cloud Palace Tower Garden
 to admire the mini silver tree...
but no-one was here either.

On top of the Cloud Palace Lookout Tower
 he found some tea and cakes...
But no-one was there either!

At last he found his way into The Cloud Palace Living Room
 where All the Fairy Bearys were still admiring
 the perfect Silver Tinsel Tree.....!
"Oh, Hullo" he said.
 "My name is Cloude, with an E" he added, just to be sure.
"I've come from BiWuBarenLand, and I bring greetings!"
And Believe it or not, Dear Readers, 
Just then the sunshine burst through the Clouds
 and filled the room with Light!

Well, really, Dear Readers, 
knowing these BiWuBaren Beings as I do... 
I was not so surprised...
That Cloud-with-an-e brought Sunshine!!
 
Thank you again, Dear Birgit!
I am So touched and Surprised!
 
 
(Now back to work on the Christmas Card!)


Tuesday, December 10, 2019

So Little Time.....




So Much To Do....

Once Again, Dear Readers, the Same Old Tree has been put up in the living room of The Lovely Old Dollhouse. It seems such a short Time ago that I promised I would show you the ornaments up close and in good light! But I fear I shall have to postpone that promise for another day. It is dark and the lighting is poor.... and the Tree has already been put up!

And Helen and Charles are enjoying the
 beautiful lights and shiny ornaments.
 It seems that no matter how many years go by, 
every year the thrill is the same,
  that burst of Joy when the little lights go on!
I will never grow tired of seeing the little Tree!

And over in The Shabby Sister House, 
Chip has put up the same silver tree.... 
Sally May Loves it, but Chip thinks it needs
 a little something this year....

His Father agrees.... 
but they have no idea what is needed!

Meanwhile over at The Cloud Palace,
Blue has lit the Same Silver Tinsel Tree...
 
And all the Fairy Bears have gathered around to admire it!
 

It looks just Perfect!

I Wish I had more to show, Dear Readers,
 but I spent the weekend rushing around
 to get ready for my Sister to visit
 and then traveling to her Grandchildren with gifts.
There is just so Little Time
 and so Much to be done...
And I haven't even started the Christmas Card!


Monday, December 2, 2019

Decisions, Decisions.....




Kit Bashing Continued....

You Might recall, Dear Readers, that I was hesitating to add the stones to the exterior of the Dollmaker's Studio ground floor while I had not decided how to fix the warped floor. After much thought and second guessing my original plan, I decided that I did not want to raise the floor level by adding any thickness to it in the hopes that thickness would defeat the warp. I think that eventually I will be firmly attaching the building to a base and that will have to be the "warp reversing" moment. Until then I have too many other parts that still need to be wrangled, and I am choosing to ignore the floor. It is supposed to be an "Old" building, after all! With that non-decision made, I continued to add the "stones" around the opening for that lovely door. At least I was certain that I could do this without getting too far ahead of any of the other "corrections" I needed to make to the structure.

I added the keystones next so I could be sure
 they were mostly centered above the door...

I needed to pad the opening at the left shoulder.... 
my cutting for the opening was a little off...
and the stones need to be snug against the door frame.

I was trying to keep the stones roughly even in size...

I think they ended up okay.
And now the door looks like it was made for this opening
 instead of the other way around!
And because I had last week off from work, Dear Readers,
 I was able to take the time to fiddle 
with the frame work of this structure.

I apologize for the dark pictures... 
I was just testing ideas and not taking good pictures.
I wanted to see the "whole" structure
 so I added the kit roof panels.
You can see that the side walls of the upper floor are not straight...
 since the kit has been "expanded" the floor
 no longer holds the shape of the walls properly.
I was going to need to add a "framework"
 to tie the walls together sturdily.

Then I thought maybe I could reverse the end wall
 so the little porch balcony was on the opening wall side
 instead of on the back wall.... 
this would allow more solid wall space in the interior...
So I gave it a try....

It would also make the extension created by the "Vignette" kit
 look less cluttered and more like an old Tudor building...

This really is a small kit.... 
the ground floor with the warp ignored....

Upstairs room with the door closed in 
where the balcony would have been... 
now there can be a wall for shelves of some sort...
And the large window on the end wall 
temporarily placed using the kit pieces...

And the attic.... 
still in the very undesigned stage.....

The frame I will be using for the end wall window....
just propped in place for testing...

I might still keep the little dormer 
on this side and add a tiny window....
We shall see!
But meanwhile it became Obvious that
 I needed to extend the sturdy framework
 of the front opening wall....

Because the upper storeys would also need to have hinging doors to close...

There was only the small upper section of 
the plywood wall to attach the posts to.....
So I used extra screws.

And once the front posts were in place, 
I could properly measure for the crossbeam 
needed to join them at the ceiling height.

And I could see that I would also need to add
 another support post at the back corner where the 
Tower stairs would join the building...
 which also required correcting the 
warped corner of the plywood 
with More Screws!

Here you can see the two posts where the Tower will attach.
 The left hand door is the entrance to the tower stairs...

And the crossbeam that will brace the upper floor 
and the frame for the opening side doors...
Firmly screwed in place!
And after all that jostling and bumping....
I decided I better glue those stones onto the floor...

Before I lost track of how they fit...

See... I am ignoring the warped floor for now!

But here you can see the upper walls propped in place
 with the new sturdy posts... I just have to trim off all those tabs...
And I really wanted to get the rest of the front opening wall doors cut...
 I just forgot to take any pictures.

Here it is being tested for fit 
before drilling and screwing it in place...

Here the rough panels are attached. 
The little balcony will attach on the opening panel
 and the door will open inward....

Here the door has been added... 
the size of the balcony will need to be carefully fit
 within the opening part of the front wall.

That is as far as I got on the Dollmaker's Studio, Dear Readers...
Every step required three times of taking everything apart and thinking again...
but such is the Nature of Kit Bashing!
You get to take everything apart....
 and throw out the instructions....
But you need to be prepared
 to make lots and Lots of Decisions!

And in case you wanted to know... 
the day before Thanksgiving...
 all the leaves had fallen from the Lilac at The Folly...

And the low winter sun reached way into the room...
and then Last night it Snowed!

I could not resist having a little Snow Day....
But Alas... there was no sun to shine in....
I will be sure to let you know when it does...!