Monday, November 26, 2012

The Collections

A Moment of Insanity....

What Exactly does One Collect, Dear Readers, if One is a Naturalist residing in a Tree House? This a question that has tipped me a little over the edge of Obsession in this Project! To begin with, the items have to be Tiny... Relevant to the Characters.... Visible..... Displayable in this already crowded room.... and by the very Nature of a Collection.... there must be more than one! Besides the Books that one expects to find in a Library, I have imagined this Naturalist (with a slightly Victorian sensibility) would gather the fascinating specimens of the Natural World around him.... perhaps beginning with the Rocks and Crystals of the Earth....
Here below you can see a particularly Splendid Amethyst Crystal mounted on a silver stand.....

(This is a beautiful little crystal of mine, which appears Huge in this scale!)
And it should be joined by a Quartz crystal..... not as perfect a specimen....
And then perhaps we should include this piece of an Amazing Crystalline Mineral... 
the name of which Escapes me..... but which is just too fascinating to leave out.....

And Then perhaps we should venture into the Agates.....
And assemble the smallest and Flattest examples we can find...

And fit them into the Drawer of the Secretary Desk......
Because they Must go Somewhere......!

And the Drawer still closes!!!
And the Finer specimens will be displayed on the Mantelpiece.....

Where they make Quite a Statement..... 
like Mystical Guardians....
Or crammed into the dark corner of the topmost shelves....
Where it is barely visible... behind the flickering candelabra.....
But that is just the beginning, Dear Readers....
The Rocks are followed by the Flora.....
And there is Nothing the Victorians liked so well as a Good Terrarium....
Placed under a Great Bell Jar......

With Mosses and Ferns.....
Set on a perch near a window.....
Where the plants might see some sun.....
And if we are collecting Flora..... 
Surely there would be some Fungi as well.....

Tiny little "lace-cap" mushrooms.....
(with due credit to Amy Gross for the Inspiration....)
These are made from paper and lace....
 And set within a Bell Jar.....
And perched upon a Bookshelf on the open door.....
Where the Bell Jar is all but Invisible...!
But we Cannot stop there, Dear Readers......!
The Collector's Passion jumps from one life-form to the next....
Surely the Lepidopterist must have his day.....

These Tiny Butterflies are painted by me on transparent drawing vellum... 
and here they are cut out and glued to sewing thread (to form the bodies..)

And here they have been glued to "invisible" nylon beading thread.....
Which is stiff enough that they will appear to be Fluttering above the surface....

 Of the Tiny little "reflecting pool" that is the base......

A Tiny little Pond......
In a Bell Jar.....
(Such a Victorian Vignette...!)
 (Yes, I Did find a smaller gelatin capsule...!)

Can you see how Tiny this is?!!!)
 Who could blame us for wanting it to sit right in the Middle of the Library Table!

(So difficult to Photograph!!!)

Is it Possible to have Too Many Bell Jars...?

Somehow.... I don't think we're done yet with the Collections!!!
Definitely a Moment of Insanity...!


  1. Your collector certainly has some fascinating specimens, great ideas!

  2. I love your bell jars Betsy! I know by now your imagination is endless and you still make me so surprised! I love this collection and can't wait for more!!AWESOME!!

    1. Hi Ewa! I really appreciate your Support! Thank you for always being there!!!

  3. I like your bell jars. It's a wonderful idea.
    Bye Faby

  4. Hello Betsy,
    I disagree...not a moment of insanity, a moment of genius! This has the be the room with the most atmosphere and style I've seen in ages. It is just perfect. I can only dream of sitting there reading and looking up to see all the wonderful Victorian objets d'art. You really have done a fantastic job Betsy I always get excited when I see you have a new post.
    Big hug,

    1. Thank you, Giac! I really wish I could shrink myself into this room too! But I really do think I am going a little "Nutty" on the details!!!

  5. Love the bell jars! Genius :)


    1. Thanks, Victoria! I have Always Loved bell jars in real life... (not that I have any... but the idea of them!)So making them for this room is really wish fulfillment!

  6. This added more life and magic to your project! Amazing!

    1. Thank you, Eliana! I keep hoping it is not too crowded!!!

  7. Wow! The bell jars are awsome. So many wonderful objects in them.
    I love the butterflies. I wonder if the Victorians collected seashells. Great work!
    Hugs, Drora

  8. Hmmmm... there must be another meaning of "insanity" that I don't know... maybe a slang word... because what you've done and shown is quite the opposite of insanity as far as my poor English and I know (LOL). You're right, one can never have enough bell jars, especially when they're as beautiful and stunning as yours. In that size - you're incredible! But in my opinion a collection needs many more specimen... *teehee*


    1. You are completely right Birgit.... it does have a slang meaning of "crazy awesome" if that makes sense to you! But I also meant that I am going Nuts with these tiny details! I am having fun with these collections... and we're not done yet!!!

  9. Touched, darling, never insane. ;)

  10. Astounding!

    Well, what more can I say to that? The collection is fantastic, those sweet butterflies, the gemstones, the fungi, all jaw dropingly amazing, especially when you consider the scale you are working in.

    Don't lock yourself into the Asylum just yet!!!

    Andy xxx

  11. The little pond & the butterflies are my favorites. And the bell jars will make dusting everything easier. Nonetheless, those little folks will have to hire someone to help with the housecleaning. Just as the Victorians did, of course! So plan to invite someone with a mobcap.
    Lots of love,

    1. Fortunately these rooms have doors that close so the dust will be kept out! (But there might end up being some little mice with mob caps.... A la The Taylor of Gloucester!)

  12. The little pond & the butterflies are my favorites. And the bell jars will make dusting everything easier. Nonetheless, those little folks will have to hire someone to help with the housecleaning. Just as the Victorians did, of course! So plan to invite someone with a mobcap.
    Lots of love,

  13. Beautiful!!! How did you manage to cut those little butterflies..they are so tiny :-)

    1. Thanks, Margriet! I used my embroidery scissors and cut away large sections of paper around the butterfly leaving one long attached sliver to hold on by.... if you understand what I am saying... so I never made the scissors go around a corner... like whittling away wood chips.... all the cuts were straight and gradually took away all the extra paper!

  14. You sound like a woman on a mission to find and create so many wonderful things for your bell jars. I have to say, you've excelled yourself with the butterflies!

    1. Thank you, Irene! Yes, the Mission is the Insane part... LOL!

  15. Betsy, this is awesome, everything is sooooo tiny and wonderfully done, this is geniously :D!
    Haven't you found yet anything at your porch?? It's almost 5 weeks ago!!!
    Hugs, Ilona

    1. Thank you, Ilona! And No, sadly I have still not seen the tiny Travelers! :(
      I am hoping that they will eventually get here... perhaps you are right that they were impacted by Superstorm Sandy... we don't know what route the overseas mail would take to get here! If it went through New York there is no telling what might have happened. I will keep looking! As I said, my porch is sheltered so any mail that arrives here is safe in the mail box.... We will keep hoping!

  16. O my dear Betsy, tsk tsk tsk. You are well and truly MAD! hahaha.

    I thought from your previous posts on one particular bell jar that you have really gone over to the dark side (of the obsessives). To have created the tiniest bell jar with its specimen in that insanely small scale is already enough to drive me wild but to do so many...I am without words.

    To top it all, when I read that you have painted those teeeeeniest butterflies yourself, I knew you have not only tipped the balance but fell hard. The reflective pool is but a sign that the fall was into a deep dark abyss of no return to the Land of Extreme Obsessions :):).

    But we know that's exactly why we love your work :).