Monday, December 30, 2013

New Years Resolutions....

The Christmas Card.... At Last!

I finished this Year's Christmas Card two days after Christmas, Dear Readers, which is Not how I would like to have it happen! But so it goes when there is a busy life and I set myself a difficult task. This year it was a drawing of my Memory of Christmas Morning fifty-four years ago.... when I first set eyes upon The Lovely Old Dollhouse... and the "Never Ending Story" began! I won't go into detail about the struggles I had with drawing this Perspective! I just knew the "Vision" in my Memory..... and had to make it work on paper! There are no photographs of this.... so I am sure there are a few details that might be different if there were. I was only four years old and my sister was three and the dollhouse was built by my Grandpa from designs drawn up by my Daddy.
The little details around the edges are the current pictures.... if you follow this blog you will recognize many of them.... (with me hard at work painting things at the lower right)... but I had to take liberties with the perspectives to make things fit the spaces!  The original painting is 8 inches by 10 and a half inches, done in watercolor and pen and ink. It took me over a week to complete it. I do hope you can forgive me for taking you on this journey down memory lane.... the Lovely Old Dollhouse is what started it all!

So now that we are putting Christmas behind us for another year..... 
and looking to the future... the New Year is almost upon us....
which means many of us are Making New Years Resolutions!
(Usually I avoid this challenge!)
But this year I find I really want to resolve to Finish projects sooner....
(Don't laugh!)
And really, I have spent the past couple of days working on partly finished  things...
Do you remember the embroidered bed curtains for the Pagoda bed in the Tree House?

Well, I added the final flower and the details to another flower....

Then I started on the leaves....
This will mean the first curtain is nearly done!
It is the one for the back side of the bed... towards the wall...
That way I can make mistakes and it doesn't matter as much!
Each curtain is two and a half inches tall!
Perhaps I shall start the second curtain tomorrow...!
And because I have So Many Unfinished Painting projects.....
I decided to work more on painting the Saints on the Castle Hall Ceiling!
You may remember I started it last July....

Here above is a close-up of how I left the Saints Hedwig and Mark... 
partly done.....

And this is Saints Mary Magdalene and John.... 
Barely started!
So I got busy and spent a Wonderful day painting details....

I added the darker outlining for Mark,
as well as the Lion and the book stand...
And I did the face and hands of Hedwig...
and worked more on her head covering and halo.

Here she is closer.... 
with some of the details started....
there are still a ton of details to paint...
And another closer view of Mark...

 I still need to work on the highlights of his robes 
and add another layer to the background....
Here you can see I have added a lot to Mary Magdalene...
She will need another layer on the background 
and more highlights on her cloak...
And I also worked quite a bit on John...

 He still needs details everywhere....
but the basic colors are laid out....

Just a tiny bit more was added here....!
It is really difficult to get a shot of all of the Saints together....

It is so dark out and the light reflects off the curved surface....
but you can see that I still have to start the six Saints for the other side of the ceiling!
Maybe I will get that started Tomorrow!

Here is a closer view of Mary Magdalene....
I also need to work on her hands....

And a closer shot of Saint Hedwig....
Lots still to do....
I don't know why I am bothering with so many details on these Saints....
They will hardly ever be looked at... 
up on the dark ceiling of the Great Hall!
But somehow I can't seem to help myself.....
Like with the tiny embroidery, and the Christmas Card....
I just Love the details!
Perhaps it is the Saintliness of the Saints 
which inspires this New Years Resolution....
(We'll see how long I keep to it!)

Happy 2014 Dear Readers!
May your New Year be Wonderful.... 
And may your Resolutions be truly Inspired!



  1. Your Christmas card is fabulous and so worth waiting for. I really admire your talents for drawing and painting. It brings visions to life. Best wishes for a creative New Year. You are making a good start on your New Year's resolution already.

    1. Thank you, Sharee! There is no time like the Present for getting things done, as they say! So I have jumped right in! I hope you have a wonderful New Year and thank you for being a wonderful follower of my blog!

  2. Oh this is such a stunning card! Love every detail of it!
    Saints are patient so you don't have to hurry with them. ;)
    Have a very happy New Year!

    1. Happy New Year, Ewa!!! Thank you for reminding me that the Saints are Patient! I will need patience to get it all done! So they might have to wait every now and then! I am glad you like the card... sometimes I think my ideas are not very exciting... but I draw them anyway! This one worked out after all!

  3. O Betsy! That Christmas card is absolutely breathtaking! I love all the details and I recognise so much!!! So worth the wait!! (It would look so good in a children's book. Any plans yet to make one?)
    As for the Saints... yes it must be their influence that guides you and compels you to get the details right. There again: stunning.
    The good thing about resolutions is that you can make new ones whenever you want. So far, yours are looking great. :-)
    Have a wonderful, creative New Year, full of imagination and magic.

    1. Thank you, Veronique! It has been such a Pleasure having you as a follower this year! I really appreciate your creativity and your humor... and I LOVE it that you also have little people whose stories need to be told!!!
      I like that bit about the resolutions... making new ones often is a good idea! We shall see how many re-starts I get! LOL!
      I hope you have a wonderful New Year!

  4. Replies
    1. Gracias, Carmen! May you also have a wonderful New Year!

  5. The Christmas Card is so amazing. You've really captured Christmas morning to a child. Your artwork is stunning and I love the Saints you've painted. They are so detailed. Wonderful work, Betsy.
    Happy New Year!

    1. Thank you, Lisa! It was amazingly tricky to paint this memory... but I think I managed to make it come out right! Happy New Year to you!

  6. I have no doubt you will finish your projects sooner whether due to a New Year's resolution or not... sooner meaning as soon as your satisfied with what you've achieved! ;O) Your progress in stitching but especially with the Saints is stunning as always, your eye for details is awesome. And your Christmas card is a masterpiece... it is so special with this important childhood memory and all the wonderful things you have made last year including yourself at work and of course even with Blue!!! It may surprise you - but that really touched my heart! *LOL* (Btw - I've sent you an E-Mail... hope you received it). Please forgive me - but I'm going to rob that photo of the card right away from your blog to put it in my archives. And now best wishes for the coming year - Happy New Year to you and your dear ones!


    1. Dear Birgit, Happy New Year! And Thank you for doing my drawing the honor of wanting to keep it! I worked hard to capture the memory... I had to take a little poetic license... but others who were there have recognized it! It was such a powerful moment in my little life! As for including Blue in the card... that was a "no brainer" for me!!! She is such a sweet addition to my world!!!
      Happy New Year to you and all the BiWuBaren!!!

  7. The Christmas card is amazing.
    I also like your embroidery.
    Happy 2014!

  8. That Christmas card is amazing! It was worth the time it took.

    As for New Year's Resolutions--oh dear! I love the things you have started but they will be lovely whenever you finish them. I always make resolutions, but most fall by the wayside--I think that this year I will forego and just ride along wherever the winds of my life take me.

    Cheers and love and thank you for doing such a wonderful blog,

    1. Happy New Year, Iris! I usually want to just follow the winds... this year I think I want to steer just a little bit!!! LOL! It is always a pleasure to hear from you and to see what your little people are up to!

  9. Betsy, your Christmas card may be late, but it was so worth waiting for us to see it now: it is BEAUTIFUL! And your embroidery work is so amazingly tiny, it will look great. All those details you paint on the Saints is awesome, real artwork.
    I wish you and yours a wonderful, creative and healthy 2014!
    Big hug, Ilona

    1. Thank you Ilona! Your words mean a lot to me because your standards are so high! Your work is always so inspiring and I always learn a lot from seeing what you do! I hope you Have a Wonderful New year!

  10. Happy New Year! it lookslike the saints will be finished in no time :)


    1. Hi Marisa! Happy New Year!!! (It is always amazing to me how long "no time" is!) I always Think it will take no time.... but then I learn otherwise! LOL! At least Progress is now being made!
      I hope you have a Wonderful and Creative New Year!

  11. Your Christmas card is a card after my own heart! How so very talented you are! Your saints are amazing! Wishing you a very Happy New Year!

    1. Hi Lucille! Thank you for the words of appreciation! Every artist like to hear when they have touched someones heart!!! I hope you have a Wonderful New Year!

  12. Happy new year Betsy x
    I LOVE your card, the details are amazing. I particularly liked the the tiny scene under the stairs.
    The saints are so pretty (if that's the right word), I love their faces and expressions.
    Have a fantastic 2014

    1. Hi Simon! Thank you for your wonderful comments! And I guess pretty Saints are way better than ugly ones... LOL! Seriously, thank you for your appreciation... it is so difficult to get the expressions even close to the originals... I usually think I have failed! So it is heartening to hear that they are indeed looking good! I hope you have a Fantastic and Creative New Year!!!

  13. And a happy New Year to you (and all you other bloggers, too).
    I love the saints - particularly Hedwig, (what was her claim to fame?) and the guy with his feet on a lion. I wish I lived in a castle with a painted ceiling; but oh my gosh, imagine the smoke!
    The sun is just rising out here in SW New Mexico, at 7:27 a.m. It's lovely. I have no NY resolutions; just to stay healthy, love my dog & hope a better year for the World.
    Lots of love,

    1. Hi Mom! Happy New Year! Saint Hedwig was a thirteenth century Duchess of Silesia who founded a Convent and Hospital and took care of the poor and sick. She also walked barefoot in the snow! As I am sure you know, I also wish I lived in a castle with painted ceilings .....!
      Love to you!

  14. Hello My dearest Betsy! I am so impressed with your work on the Christmas Card! It is beautifully illustrated! Your talents are Amazing! I have loved the castle ceiling of the saints and all of the work that you have done with the embroidery is so minute! How do you manage to fit it all in???? ( That is the question! ) Visiting you here is a real Adventure Every single time! Who knows where the next post will lead the reader; but I have thoroughly enjoyed the ride!!!:D You are so gifted with the pictures that you paint both in miniature and with the words that weave in and out of each doll's house story, telling a complex and continuous tale woven together with magic! :D What a great gift!
    Have a Most Marvelous New Years Betsy! I look forward to the further adventures of all of your projects!!!! :))


  15. Happy New Year Elizabeth!!! And Thank you for your wonderful comments! It is such a pleasure to have you as a follower and to be the recipient of your observant eye for details! You have a great deal of experience in the mini world and I love looking at the worlds you create! It is a wonderful aspect of this symbiosis that is blogland... that we come away from it So Enriched!! It is always beyond my wildest imaginings!!!
    I hope for many more years of shared blogging!
    May you have a Wonderful and Creative New Year!!!

  16. The Christmas card is wonderful!
    Good luck with the implementation of your projects! It's a lot of work!
    The paintings are getting splendid!
    Happy 2014!