Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Year Wishes

And Surprise Gifts.....

I shouldn't be Surprised, Dear Readers, but I was utterly Floored by the gift my Sister sent me for Christmas! Several years ago I showed you a peek of a lovely quilt she was making for her little doll house, made from scraps of silk I had given her, scraps left over from the magic star wands I make and sell. Well, it turns out, she was also making one for Me!!! It is pieced together "Crazy Quilt" style, and then embroidered with the loveliest little details.....

I simply could Not believe my eyes when I opened 
the package which had arrived Christmas Eve!
We don't always exchange gifts.... 
it is more of a random thing, 
so I wasn't expecting to get anything at all!
The above picture is what I saw when I opened the box...
I can't tell you how much I Adore this quilt!
The only question in my mind was Which bed it should grace.
And the first bed I tried it on was the one in the
Chinoiserie bedroom of the Lovely Old Dollhouse....

I had only bought this bed a few weeks earlier and was 
planning for it to be the bed in the new Willowcrest house....
and only placed it Temporarily in the Lovely Old Dollhouse
while the Willowcrest is being worked on.
But now I think I have accidentally found the bed 
that always belonged in this room!
And with the new "Old" Quilt, 
I think it looks just the way this room should look...
Filled with beloved Old furnishings and 
"Great Grandmother's" heirloom quilt!

Thank You, my Dear Dear Sister!!!
It is unexpected Gifts like this 
that make the Dollhouse World
come alive for me!

And on a Similar note, I did receive other gifts that were
Unexpected this Christmas.....
My Mother sent a collection of little Treasures from her Thrift Shop...
Including the wreath  you can see here....

Which I think is supposed to be for a candle....
But really works Wonderfully in the Castle Great Hall....

Which Lately has been the setting for and Old Fashioned House Party....

And some of our Friends have gathered there by the fire....
Oh, the Stories I could tell....!

But there were also other little Trinkets from my Mother...
such as these two little Saint Nicholas figures...
Here you can see them on the Kitchen mantel  of the Lovely Old Dollhouse...

Where it seems there is Never Ending conversation
and good food around the Kitchen table!

And speaking of Good Food....
I also received other little Gifts from Dear Birgit 
of BiWuBaren Blog fame....

Don't these Gingerbread men and cookies look Delicious?
and that was not all she sent me, Dear Readers,
But all the little items on the table you see below....

Tiny animals, A Flying Reindeer and two beautiful 
Tiny laser-cut wood scenes!
(And many other tiny trinkets too!)
 But I can't forget the Marzipan....

WHO has been eating the marzipan, you ask?
Well, I think it looks like a Lovely little Buche de Noel...

Sliced up on a little platter......

And served with Tea.... or Coffee.... or Hot Cocoa!
Which is exactly what Blue and Sir Orion and Brother Beorn
are having for Supper on this New Year's Eve!
Thank You Birgit!
And I can't leave you there either, Dear Readers,
because I Finally finished drawing my Christmas Card...
And wanted to share it with All of you...
If you look closely you might recognize a scene or two!
(Be sure to poke the picture to see it larger.)

(And if you see it here before yours arrives, Dear Mom,
I hope it will not spoil it for you!)

So, I should not have been Surprised, Dear Readers,
by each and every one of these Gifts,
But I was Surprised, and Deeply Touched!
Thank you for thinking of me!
And I would like to Wish All of you,  my Dear Readers,
A Wonderful and Endlessly Rewarding New Year!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Last Minute Wishes.....

May You Have An Enchanting Christmas...

Time rushes on, Dear Readers, and ensnares us with the many Tasks and Traditions that make the Holidays so special. But even so, there is room for Last Minute Wishes, Ideas, Inspirations.... and even perhaps a Dream or Two! So it happens that Blue, The Blue Fairy Beary, had been sitting alone in the Cloud Palace as the Days grew shorter and the Nights Longer.... (and I am sure you can understand that at This Time of Year, her Task of Fulfilling Wishes can become rather challenging...) and she realized that Something was Missing from the Cloud Palace! She had forgotten to get a Christmas Tree! And as she sat there Dreaming of a Lovely Christmas Tree.... she thought it would be Wonderful to have a Silver Tinsel Spruce Tree......

And no sooner had she thought of the idea, 
then there the tree stood!

A Beautiful Rare Silver Tinsel Spruce Tree!
(Well, I think you can guess that 
she has been so busy making Wishes come True, 
that she had forgotten her own Power....!)
And what is even more Special about this Tree...
It is decorated with little Golden Wishing Stars!

 If you come up Really close, perhaps you can see them.......!

 When Brother Beorn and Sir Orion came home that evening 
they were completely enchanted with the Tree!

Brother Beorn could Not believe his eyes!
Another Magical and Rare plant here at the cloud Palace!
And Sir Orion could not help thinking 
he might take one of those stars and make a wish himself...!

I don't know about You, Dear Readers, 
but I still have to finish some Last Minute Tasks 
before I am ready for Christmas....
But I am going to take one of those stars Now and 
Wish You All A Very Enchanting Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas Cards

And A Gift .....

I have had no time for Making Minis lately, Dear Readers, because like so many of you, I am trying to get ready for Christmas in my RL World! For me this always means making my annual Christmas Card, which takes me a very long time and is rarely finished in Time for Christmas. I am still painting the picture.... well, at this moment I am trying to quickly update my blog...., but I really must get back to the drawing as soon as possible! Some year I hope to have the drawing done Ahead of time, so I may spend more time arranging the mini Christmas scenes. Alas, that is not happening this year. So instead of showing you My Christmas Card, I will show you a few of the tiny cards that were part of the printable gift boxes that Sarah so generously shared on her blog! Here you can see them on the mantel of The Folly. It seems Will has several old fashioned friends who still send out cards! There are no other Christmas decorations in The Folly this year, because Daphne is not here and Will is not feeling very festive.

He is not quite moping, 
because it is the busiest time of year in his shop, 
so he is too busy to think about it too much.
But he does spend a lot of time looking at an antique painting 
that reminds him a little bit of Daphne.
And he is not sure why he agreed to dog sit for his friends over Christmas. 
But it is nice to have some company. 
Otherwise the house would feel too empty!

And in the Lovely Old Dollhouse there are also a few cards on the mantel.
And the Same old Christmas tree has been put up in the same corner as every year....
but somehow, I never tire of seeing those magical little lights come on!

A few tiny new snowflake ornaments have been added this year....
perhaps you can spot them....?

And the creche has been set up in its usual place on the sideboard...

Although I am sure the figures are all in a different order!
I can never remember which place the camel goes...!

And as so many of us do at this time of year..... 
Helen has been shopping for gifts for her loved ones....

But she is not telling anyone what she bought!

And I have also been the recipient of a gift from overseas.....
which I am sure you will understand, I had to open right away!
Dear Birgit sent me one of her packages filled with tiny treasures and delicious treats....
I am only sorry she is still without an internet connection!

Amongst the many tiny treasures she sent me 
(Which are still in their wrappers here!)
was her famous Marzipan....
And lovely Christmas cards....
And a fantastic gift for Brother Beorn....

A Rare and Magical Rainbow Rose!!!

Brother Beorn is overjoyed to have such a 
Rare and Beautiful plant in his care!

He even checks on it in the long dark night....
He wants to be sure he gives it the right care!
Dear Birgit, Thank you for thinking of me!
You are so generous as well as Talented and Witty!
We miss you here in Blogland!

So I hope you will understand, Dear Readers, 
This short Post with so little news....
I have to go finish my Christmas Card!
It may be just a Christmas card.....
but it is also my Gift!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Christmas Tree Ornaments

Gone To The Dogs.....

Christmas Tree ornaments, Dear Readers, are one of my Favorite sources of miniatures for my dollhouses. And while they are often not true to 1:12 scale, the charm of the minis often makes up for the lack of accuracy in scale! And who could resist the charm of this group of furry friends? Not, I, as you can see! They are sold in my Supermarket at this time of year, as Christmas Tree Ornaments, and I confess, I can't resist bringing them home with me! I have no idea who they "belong" to, but I am sure I will find them a Family!
And while we are on the subject of Ornaments, I would like to thank Sarah of Amber's House blog, for sharing her printable ornament boxes and assortment of tiny cards! I have been wanting to make some for myself for Years now..... and didn't know where to start! Sarah made it incredibly easy for me to jump in! I quickly printed the sheet and started to make the boxes, only to realize that I had almost no beads the correct size to fit in the partitions of the boxes!

So I had to go shopping..... 
a dangerous thing at this time of year!
But I found some beads of the right size and colors...
at Michaels.

But I wanted them to look more like real ornaments with the little top hanger pieces....
so I started by adding a small gold bead and a wire loop to the top of each bead.
And then I decided that the top bead still looked too much like a bead....
so I added a tiny strip of silver metal foil around the bead....

Of course, this took Much longer than the time to assemble Sarah lovely little boxes!

But eventually I had one box of ornaments with little tops all done!

And another box with the larger glittery beads I had in my stash.
I think I will go back and make little toppers for these too!

And the box on the right also needs the top hangers added....
(it was the first box I completed and has an odd assortment of beads!)
This is just a fraction of the boxes and packaging material on Sarah's  printable assortment!
I will be making more pieces as time allows.
Thank you So much for sharing this Sarah!
It really is a Fantastic gift!
And while we are introducing new Dogs...
I have to confess, Dear Readers, 
these three are Not the only ones 
who have come home with me recently!

Helen was Very surprised to discover that Someone had brought 
two Large and Furry puppies home to the Lovely Old Dollhouse!

Surely, they are large enough that they must be
Bearnese Mountain Dog puppies!

Could You have resisted these sweet pups?
(Found in the ornaments section of Joann's Fabrics!)

Helen is thinking it is a good thing they will not "grow" any larger....
but will stay puppies forever!
She thinks they Must belong to Pollyanna and Arthur...
She hopes no-one will expect Her to walk them!

As for the other three.....

Who could resist?

You'll take us home with you, huh?.... Please?

They may just be Christmas Tree Ornaments, Dear Readers,
But lately I find I have definitely Gone to the dogs!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Christmas Preparations

Every Little Bit Counts.....

The days are Flying by, Dear Readers, and the Christmas Countdown has begun in earnest here in the States. I am sure you have heard of "Black Friday" when everybody goes Christmas shopping all at once.....well, not Everybody, as I absolutely avoid shopping on Black Friday! But that does not mean I have done No Christmas shopping. I was at Michaels two weeks ago and spotted the lovely miniatures shown in this picture! The cakes were separate from the cake stand.... but they all were begging to come home with me! I keep telling myself I will learn to make tiny food..... but I have yet to do it.... and the little people in my houses are at risk of Starving unless I give in and Buy the food!

In my defense, I will point out that I am Rather Busy trying to just get the Houses built..... 
(don't remind me that I keep adding to the list of unfinished ones.....)
And the Real Life decorating and Christmas shopping has to be done too!
So I grabbed the goodies and brought them home!

 And while the Conservatory is still Far from Finished.....
I have made some progress!
As you can see, the side wall on this end swings open....

I apologize for the Darkness of the photos.....
It is very difficult to catch the sun these days!
Here you can see the end that is nearly complete...

And here you can sort of see the entire structure, 
with Both sides open!

The roofs are not yet attached, 
but the walls are all completed and glued in place!
But the part I am the most excited about is the windows.....

Here you can see them (on a Sunny Saturday morning)
from the outside looking in.
Believe it or not,
I wanted at least Some of the windows to be able to open and close!
If you have ever been inside a conservatory on a sunny day 
you will know that it is essential that there be some means to Ventilate the room!
And with all the windows in this structure.... 
only the smaller ones would work to add hinges.

And even then, the way the walls joined at the corners 
did not allow room for the hinges.
But I was determined to try on the end wall!
I succeeded with the hinges once the corner "posts" were 
"strengthened" by adding strips of wood. 
This was necessary in order to build the framework 
that allows for the side to swing open.
And then, once the windows were successfully hinged, 
I was in need of a latching mechanism to keep them closed!
But they needed to be functional latches, not pretend ones!
So I decided to try using wire.....

Here you can see my latches in the open position.....

Here is a close-up view....
the wire pivots on a nail......

Here it is in the locked position.....
the "catch" is a piece of painted cardboard and a tiny bit of plastic 
from a clothing price tag (I am sorry I neglected to take a picture.)

And here is the window opening....!
The latches really work!

And the remaining door hardware has been attached too.
These are commercial lever-style door openers....
(but they don't really move or latch!)

Here you can see the completed end wall glued in place....
but the roof framework is still not finished.
There is a small amount of warping in the end wall 
that I need to solve before I can complete the roof framework.
It may not look like much, Dear Readers, 
but it is a Very Satisfying Little bit!

Oh, and just to reassure you that I have made a start 
on decorating the Real Life home....

The trees are up and have the lights on!
Here is the little tree in my upstairs studio...

And the bigger one in my downstairs "living room"....
really the corner of my "dining room"......
which is really my "Workroom"! 
So you can see, Dear Readers,
Christmas Preparations have begun in my Worlds,
Big and Small.....
And while not much has been done, 
Every little bit counts!