Monday, January 27, 2014


Who (K)new....?

Perhaps it was the fact that it snowed much of the weekend, Dear Readers, the kind of light snow that blows sideways in the wind and never lands, but howls around and looks white and makes you want to stay inside and make things, or perhaps it was that so many others have been starting the New Year by starting a New Kit to build, or perhaps it was that the Little Fairy Bear Blue had decided to wave her Magic Wand over me, but so it was that I found myself Starting a(nother) NEW House! But Please, do not panic! I have not forsaken Any of the other projects! It is just that Sometimes when a project is burning a hole in your brain the Only solution is to start building it! And at least I can say that if you never start then surely you never will finish.... so it is better to start.... and start some more! And because I had promised Blue the Blue Fairy Beary that Someday I would build her a Fairy Palace in the Clouds, I thought I had better get started! And because Blue is not very big, I decided on the smallest little kit I could find. It is the "Buttercup" by Greenleaf and will be about 16" by 12" when it is done. Except that I am going to be making a few changes.... but we will get to that later! Here you can see she is visiting the cottage.....
It has been given a coat of primer 
and just roughly assembled to get a sense of the scale...

I apologize for the dark photos..... it is dark at this time of year....

Here you can see her so much better in the upstairs where there is no roof... 
but you can see that there will be plenty of room for such a little Bear under the eaves!
And with these kits you need to do a lot of the painting before you even assemble it.....
Especially if you are going to do any Fancy painting....!
So when it came to the choice of Color for the House 
and I asked Blue what she wanted.....
She didn't hesitate for a second!

It was Almost as if she waved her magic Wand!

Can you see how much she likes this color?
(Well, I did have to get out my brushes....!)

The front door will lead out to a Terrace.....

Where Blue can sit and eat.....
This little house will be the main room of the "Cloud Palace".....
But there will be other rooms too....

In fact, she reminded me that we needed a doorway cut in the wall....
In order to access the Tower......

Which I will make from Quaker Oats boxes.....
(I have been eating my oatmeal for breakfast...!)
They seem to be just the right scale for a little Fairy Bear to live in!
But as I am Sure most of you are aware of how long and slow the process is to 
"remove and prepare" each and every piece of these kits 
before you can even start to glue them together.....
You will not be surprised to learn that while the paint was drying....
I also was Starting on another Saint painting!
This is the final Saint for the ceiling and I wanted it to be Saint Brigid.

She was the Patron Saint of Ireland and lived in the fifth century AD. 
She established Monasteries at Kildare and performed many miracles.
I did my research Dear Readers, and to my surprise, 
I could not find a Single portrayal of Saint Brigid that was earlier than the fifteenth century! Her history and stories are well documented, but rarely if ever illustrated in the early years of manuscript painting.
So I had no choice but to design my own version.
I chose the simplest icon style I could find (from the many recent portrayals) 
and chose the attributes that I felt suited her best. 
In one hand she holds a torch (in some versions it is a bowl of flames) 
and nestled in her lap is a statue of the Church... 
indicating her role as founder of the Church in Ireland.

I managed to get most of the foundation colors painted 
and made a great start on her face.
And while I was painting her I realized that 
I was not happy with the colors of Saint Cecilia's gown....

If you look at the previous post you will see that the gown was gold...
It was too much gold.
So I repainted it white as an undercoat...
Then added the purple...

And while I was at it I also worked more on her face....
Still so far to go!

And I keep trying to get a good picture of the ceiling in place....
But the lighting and the focus are very challenging!
At least it gives you an idea of how they all look together....
And in case you didn't know, Saint Brigid is celebrated on February 1st, 
which coincides with the midpoint between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. 
In the Pagan times it was considered the first day of Spring, 
and the beginning of the Lambing season.

Over here we have adapted the Holiday to "Groundhog Day" on February 2nd. 
But whether you celebrate the day for the Saint or the Rodent.... 
it Truly does indicate the Time when the Days are noticeably longer 
and the Light is returning to the North!
So Dear Readers, whether it is a New Kit or a New Color,
or a New Saint Portrait...
I seem to have made a lot of New Starts this Year!
Who Knew!


  1. The blue color really suits Blue!!! It looks great. And your ceiling with saints is amazing!! The saints have such beautiful faces!

  2. O my, I almost want to say "you naughty girl, finish your sprouts first. Then you can have dessert". That of course is my mom's voice, trying to teach me to do one thing at the time, even the tedious. It failed :-).
    I love that Blue is going to have a Palace in the clouds!!! And a tower no less! Every Fairy Beary's dream come true! It will be interesting to follow! You've gone kit-bashing again, yeah!
    As for Saint Brigid, she's also patron saint of artists so you couldn't have picked better :-). She holds the flame of inspiration. I shall be celebrating her this weekend.
    Have fun!!!

  3. You always seem to get so much done. I love the photo with all the saints on the ceiling. The building looks fabulous.

  4. I am sure Brigit will be most happy to read this post! LOL!
    I love the blue of Blue's house! Can't wait for more!
    And your Saints are filling the ceiling so well! I love Cecilia and brigit's faces! Can't wait for more of course! :)

  5. Blue will be in heaven (very happy) with her new house and even with a real tower!!! The color suits her perfect and I think she will perfectly feel at home.
    Your Saints are gorgeous, Betsy, their faces are so realistic, it is very clever of you! Thank you for the information about those Saints and their history, I think this is interesting.
    I knew you would found your inspiration and creativity again ;)!! It IS you and you can't leave it alone, creativity is in your blood, lady ;)!
    Hugs, Ilona

  6. @Ewa - do you have a sidejob as a fortuneteller??? Can you foresee the coming lottery numbers, too??? *LOL*

    Oh, it's so exciting that Blue gets her own castle in the clouds - looks like she reserved one of her wishing stars for herself. The Cloud Palace... sounds so fantastic - and what a choice of colour, she's a fairy beary of exquisite taste. I'm very curious to see how this will turn out - and what other rooms there will be... hopefully a little space for guests, I think many would like to visit a castle in the air. I would too - but I'm struggling at the moment with a lilac trick marker that resists to finally fade away from my fabric and keeps me from going on with what I want to do... *sigh* As you said - it's the dark part of the year... But there's comfort because Blue will get her own palace and I'm feeling better whenever I see your newest progress on the Saints! ;O)


  7. Hello from Spain: your saints are fabulous. I like the blue color. Great job. Keep in touch

  8. Hello Betsy,
    Yay! I am so glad you have another project because it means more posts! The kit looks like a perfect fit for blue. I look forward to seeing your great ideas come to life. As for the saints ceiling, it just keeps on getting better all the time. I love it!
    Big hug,

  9. A palace in the clouds for lovely Blue is a very special project. I love the blue she chose and I love your Saints paintings. You are very talented and your work is fabulous.
    Hugs, Drora

  10. Another start! I know all about that - knitting projects spring into my mind and proliferate. It's all I can do to finish ANYTHING! (In knitting there's a syndrome called "second sock." You can guess.) So much to do, so little time....
    I too love the saints' faces. They're lovely. Makes me want to have a full-size saint picture on my wall - an icon? Saints in Christmas cards?
    Keep it up. Stay warm.
    Lots of love,

  11. Blue looks so happy in her future home. I like the color of the walls.
    Bye, Faby

  12. A very promising project! Your paintings of the saints are lovely!

  13. But of course the Buttercup kit would need to have a tower!!!... and a Terrace!!! Ah Betsy, this is what makes a visit with you so Special. You are not just a Day Dreamer, You are a Day Doer! :D


  14. I love the color you used for the walls and the paintings you made are stunning!! Very good job and I'm looking forward to see more from you!! Hugs!

  15. I hope the blue fairy bear likes his new home, I do!!

  16. Blue's Buttercup looks like such a sweet project. I look forward to seeing more! xo Jennifer