Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Did Someone Say Books?

How Small Can You Go?

Lately, Dear Readers, it has seemed as though I have had NO Time for making Minis. Between the Loss of my brother-in-law, Travel, Household Projects that had waited too long already, and the inevitable after-vacation workload... the Real Life World has been VERY Demanding of my attention and energies. Add to that a general sense of NOT being sure how this room is going to look..... and I guess it is no wonder that I feel as though I have accomplished very little. So I confess I am a little surprised to see how much I HAVE managed to make over the past few weeks! Perhaps it is because the items are so Tiny that they seem insignificant? And paradoxically... because they are so TINY they are somehow easier to make? At any rate.... I started to make tiny "books" for the tiny shelves......

I know... they don't really look like books... 
They are made by cutting a "woodsie" lengthwise to make a thin strip and gluing a strip of printed magazine paper around it, leaving one of the long sides open and then chopping it into tiny sections each less than a quarter of an inch long....

Once they are arranged on the shelves you only see the spine of the book....
so they are relatively convincing! Even though the pruning shears I use for the cutting leave the paper edges a little frayed... I tell myself that it adds to the "old and well used" atmosphere of the room.

So one woodsie at a time I have managed to fill some shelves.....

And if you are at all like Me, you will want to see what it looks like with the door closed..... 
Yes, the colors and shapes ARE visible..... 
it Does look like books!!!

And that is not all I have done..... 
I have even started on more of the shelves..... 
a WHOLE LOT MORE  shelves!

As with the Salon, there has been an awful lot of VERY Fidgety fitting of pieces and parts and lots of masking tape used for temporary placement..... but it is starting to look like the Library it is supposed to be! The shelves will all need their doors and I will be making woodsies into books for a while.....
But Meanwhile I have also made the Fireplace.... 
Here below you can see me testing it for fit prior to painting it.... 
so you can see the lace and the jewelry fittings I have used 
that will supposedly look more like carved stone once they are painted....

And here you can see the painted hearth....
It will probably get a lot of touching up before it is done....

And here you can see it in place in the room....

There is still a ton of details to be added to this... but it is a good start... 
It definitely has that Gothic feel to it....!
And there is even more to show you!
I wanted to add a carpet in this room... and I had in mind a lovely woven ribbon trim.... 
But by itself the ribbon is not wide enough for the look I wanted.  So I decided to see whether I could cut the ribbon up and glue it together to make a larger pattern.....

Here you can see the whole ribbon as well as the test for the larger design....

And here it is partly glued in place.... 
I am attaching it to a thin muslin backing.....

And here you can see the entire carpet glued together....

And testing it for fit...... Hmmm..... 
I didn't measure first! It is just a tiny bit too big to close the door.... !
Maybe there will have to be some dog-eared corner chewed off???
At least there will need to be some wear and tear.... we shall see.....
And there is even MORE, Dear Readers! 
Last night, in spite of being weary from a long day of Travel to Boston and back... 
I found myself wondering just how small could I make copies of some of my smallest miniature illuminations... and whether they would be small enough to make open books.....?
So I gave it a try....
At 25% of 25% of a tiny two inch illumination....
with layers of pages and a card-stock cover..... 
glued together at the spine....

I think it works!!!

See how Tiny it is??

The pages are less than a quarter of an inch tall!!!

Testing it for fit late last night (why it is so dark...)

And I Loved it so Much, I HAD to make another one tonight!!!

This is Really Just the Beginning!
I cannot help myself!!!! I am in LOVE!!
Did Someone say Books?


  1. Unos maravillosos trabajos!!!
    Los libros son increíblemente pequeños.
    La chimenea es perfecta
    Un abrazo
    GRACIAS por no tener palabra de verificación

  2. Betsy, You stop and go to bed, now! STEP AWAY FROM THE BOOKS!

    But seriously --they're di-VOON!

  3. What a brilliant idea to make a rug, it looks great, and your tiny book is amazing, it looks so real.

  4. I look in wonder at the size, incredible,

  5. Betsy, Betsy!! You have done so much (almost too much) fantastic work! I agree with John: stop and go to bed, before you're addicted to making mini books :D!! But................I LOVE it!
    Greetings, Ilona

  6. you are not the only one to be in love with this project!!!! :)
    I so much enjoy following your work!! :)

  7. Ha! Happy to see you used lace for the fireplace! Didn't I say it is great staff to have some sculpted adornations? Thank you for giving me an idea how to use these ribbons I love them too. And the books OMG!!!! Betsy!!!! I LOVE them and most specially these open ones! Awesome work! Can't wait for more.:)

  8. You always begin with saying you could only achieve so little and then you're showing us miracle after miracle... Your books are fantastic (and I really love that word "woodsie"... teehee), especially the open ones. That rug is such a clever idea, some kind of revolution in patchwork, I think... Great work - and so much fun to follow.


  9. Teehee, I agree with Birgit :). Never believed Betsy when she says she has achieved very little ! Or rather, believe it! Because she can really make very little .....boooks together with about 100 over other very little things :).

    I am starting on a 1/48 project and feeling very uninspired because of the heat! Help by giving me some of your energy!

  10. Hello Betsy,
    Now that is a post! Everything is just lovely, but I have to say using the lace for the fireplace is just fantastic idea. It looks so realistic and so charming. I love the gothic style and I think this room is just perfect. I am still amazed that you can get such wonderful detail at sucha small scale.
    BRAVO my friend. You always delight!
    Big hug,

  11. What a lovely room!
    I want to see a blow-up of the illustrations.
    The fireplace, in particular, is beautiful - The room by itself, with fireplace & shelves of books is so charming, will adding furniture make it overstuffed?
    Lovely, lovely.

  12. The books are Fabulous!!! Making books is so addictive. The fireplace is beautiful, I love the stag finding you used.


  13. Hi Honey
    it is looking utterly wonderful! I adore the "fantasy" look of it all - you jsut want to oped all the doors and see what is round the corner.
    I love checking for you updates.
    take care
    Simon xx

  14. Betsy, your imagination is killing me, in the best possible way! You know that million-mile stare, the one we get when we're figuring out how to turn something real world into something small world? In all my stare sessions, it has never occurred to me to turn lace trim into fireplace carvings, or a straight length of ribbon into a square tapestry rug! It's not just your ingenuity and clever fingers, it's your generosity with us, how you share your alchemy with us. Amazing.

    I've made books out of thick matboard in a similiar way, also because you can "fray" the edges. Your books look particularly nifty in the bookcase. Fooling the eye is definitely miles more interesting to do, and fun to look at, than reproducing reality verbatim, don't you think?

  15. I love the library! Those books are fantastic and the one that is open--wow!!

    That rug is pure genius--and that method is very useful to know how to do.

    In fact, this entire project is pure genius!

  16. I love your fire place and windows.

  17. Hi Betsy!

    the room looks great already, even if it isn't even finished yet! I love the tiny books, I have to make some books myself oneday, on a slightly larger scale. The fireplace looks really imposing, very grand!!

    Andy xxx