Sunday, February 13, 2011

Turning Up The Heat

Fire and Ice

It has been colder than usual in this part of the world this winter. So it is not surprising that this has people thinking more than usual about keeping warm! Sitting beside a roaring fire in your cozy livingroom fireplace is one timeless solution to keeping warm. Not so very long ago it was the ONLY way of keeping warm in the long nights of winter. But with the advances of technology in the nineteenth century, people built furnaces that heated water which flowed through iron pipes to radiators to give a steadier warmth to the room. This allowed them to heat many of the rooms of a house with less mess and little effort. The Folly, being a very Victorian house, relies mostly on the fireplace to heat the main rooms. Will Peters Ott is keeping warm here while Arthur is out.
But the Folly has been modernized to some extent. There is a new steam radiator for the bathroom! This helps keep the pipes from freezing in a winter like this one!
And the Lovely Old Dollhouse has steam radiators as well. Even though it was built well before the time of steam furnaces, as soon as they were invented a former owner upgraded to the newer technology! Here you can see the beautiful silver painted ornate cast iron radiator in the bathroom. It is EXACTLY like the ones in the house I grew up in! So you can see that it is JUST RIGHT for the Lovely Old Dollhouse.
And there is another one in the Front Hall of the Lovely Old Dollhouse, probably because there is no fireplace in this room. It is the perfect place to dry wet mittens in the winter! There are no other radiators in the Lovely Old Dollhouse, probably because there ARE fireplaces in the other rooms, and therefore the radiators are not necessary. The fires would keep the room warm.
And Of course, the Great Hall fireplace is the ONLY heat source for the main part of the Castle Dollhouse. You may remember that I remarked that the fireplace had not been used in a very long time, and the fire was not as ROBUST as I wished it were! Well, now that we are in the depths of Winter and it is BITTERLY cold outside, the Castle fireplace needed an upgrade!
Guard Ian is seeing to it! He has piled on the firewood and we now have a blazing fire that just might take the chill off the Great Hall!
And some MORE wood! It takes a great deal of wood to heat the Great Hall!
You can see here below that I have painted in a much more vigorous fire than the tiny electric unit makes. Even though this is quite un-realistic, I am using it as the starting point for the larger fire.
With the electric fire turned on, it adds a slightly more realistic glow to the painted fire.
I painted a sooty background too, and added wisps of my favorite glittery "smoke" gauze.
Then I decided to try adding a more three dimensional painted "flames" to the foreground of the fire. I am not finished with this step, and am not sure how well I like the results. But I thought I would share them with you anyway. I painted some strips of clear plastic packaging material to look like flames and added them at the front of the fire. This picture doesn't really do it justice.
Here you can see the painted plastic packaging material. I used curved pieces as I wanted them to curl around the burning logs..... maybe they will look like it when I'm done!
And here's a slightly better view. You can see the "sparks" on the gauzy smoke cloth!
I will leave Guard Ian to his fire building......

Because it is St. Valentines Day today, and there are other "fires" to be tended to!
Charles and Helen are up early. Charles wishes Helen a Happy Valentines Day......
And he cooks her breakfast! He knows exactly how she likes her eggs!
Because it has been SO cold, Pollyanna is sitting in front of the fire in the Livingroom. She is wondering if she should invest in MORE radiators for the Lovely Old Dollhouse! It is a lot of work to keep the fires burning! This one has burned down to just the embers.... it is not enough!
While she is thinking, Arthur has arrived to bring her a Valentines Bouquet of Roses...... one for each year they have been dating...... has it already been FOUR years, she thinks? It does not seem so long!
But look, that is not ALL he has brought her......
Pollyanna is taken by surprise! She was not quite expecting this.....
she wasn't quite sure he was thinking of this...... could it be?
"Pollyanna, will you marry me?"
Oh My!
Fire And Ice!


  1. Oh great! Does it mean we will watch the wedding soon?;) Love all the stories and how you painted the fire - it looks so real! Glad they all are warm and cozy.:)
    By the way, the winter has just come back to us. Happily there is not so much snow as it was in December.:)

  2. I love your painted fire! What a romantic setting for Arthur to ask the all important question.

  3. That was a fun read and your fire looks good.

    Congratulations to the newly engaged!

  4. A wedding would be perfect. How romantic. The fire looks great, i have used that method. Happy Valentines Day ♥♥♥

    Victoria ♥

  5. Betsy, I think you have something going on there with the fire! It is a good way to simulate brning embers . I have seen this done life size with a fan blowing and when the plastic fire moves, it looks quite realistic. I think I saw this at a restaurant where they did this underneath little pots of food "pretending" that they were being warmed or cooked ! :)

    I like your Valentine's Day story :) but will Pollyanna say yes?

  6. Of course she'll say yes! Wouldn't you welcome a dashing, handsome suitor like Arthur (is it Arthur?).
    How well I remember those radiators! They are perfect for the LODH.
    Re your fire: the painted fire is beautiful and very realistic, but what about the summer? Would it make sense to have the fire all plastic so you could take it down (put it out?) in the warm weather?
    A lovely blog, as usual -
    Lots of love,

  7. Hi Ewa! I have not had time to answer all the comments this week! I will post about Pollyanna's reply in my next blog post!
    This winter is being challenging in many parts of the world! Today we are having a small thaw.... maybe spring will come!

  8. Thanks, everybody! It was not nice of me to leave everybody waiting for the answer..... My next blog post will reveal all!

  9. Hi Sans! I am going to have to work more on the fire. As usual, I think I jumped in before I had it all figured out..... and maybe the fire will be better if it is all plastic flames, not so much painted. I was impatient, and paint is so easy for me..... we shall see!
    As for the important answer.... coming soon in the next post!

  10. Hi Mom! It's really nice to have your comments here again, even though it means YOU are not HERE anymore!
    I think you are right about the flames... I was impatient and painted them before I thought it through...... I will be doing some more experimenting before it is all done! I also really want it to FLICKER!.....So I have a ways to go!