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!


  1. Oh, your Christmas tree already adds the magic in "big" room, is beautiful! the Conservatory is wonderful, I admire the opening window, it's fantastic work!

  2. I keep saying, Betsy, that I'm in love with your conservatory, it would be such a wonderful place for relaxing between the plants ;)! And I know what it is being in a conservatory on a hot really need windows which can be opened :D! Your latching mechanism to keep the windows closed is a very creative solution of this problem, great work! And they even work too, how cool......for the invention and that you got some fresh air inside ;O! (I hope you understand what I mean to say?)
    So, you have started to decorate your house for Christmas? I love to see the Christmas trees, but here we have to wait in our house, because first one of my men in the house will first celebrate his birthday.....but we already do this since years, so it's okay!
    I love your Christmas corner in the conservatory, it very cosy. Will there be a Christmas tree too?
    I wish you good preparations for Christmas this upcoming time!
    Hugs, Ilona

  3. I love your windows with all the little tiles. it gives a nice volume to your room. you advance quickly. it is a project that will be completed soon.

  4. j'adore la dernière photographie où l'on voit quelques une de vos maisons autour de l'arbre aux lumières multicolores, c'est la magie de Noel ;-)

  5. Your attention to detail is amazing! Love the opening windows and latches.

  6. Great finds Betsy! Yeah, I promise myself to learn making mini food always when I need something to put on the plate and have nothing interesting home. ;)
    Your Christmas trees are splendid! Itis always good t see some progress in your fantastic conservatory. :)

  7. Hello Dear Betsy! I am hoping that this will get through because of the amount of difficulty I have been having with my computer lately makes leaving a comment, hit or miss these day.
    I love the fact that your windows operate and that you have made custom latches for them! What a treat to see that kind of attention to detail! Well Done!
    I think that the tiny treats that you scooped up from Michael's are wonderful for the tea table in the conservatory and begin to give it a holiday atmosphere inside. Certainly,your full-sized Christmas trees are making the season bright with the the lovely lights strung through them. I wonder if you plan a mini version for the conservatory? hmmm?
    The snow is here on the ground on the southwest coast of Canada and has frozen over so I guess it is planning on staying for a while. Although my mind is on Christmas, I haven't made a move on the interior decorations as yet, but seeing your trees may give me the kick-start that I need.
    Wishing you a Season of All of the Very Best, Betsy Dear.

    keeping my fingers crossed that this comment gets through.


  8. Your conservatory is just a wonderous place! Lovely build and I can imagine the great stories it will inspire!

    I love you christmas tree, we just brought ours out and it is getting close to the red, green and sparkles that inspire the season!


  9. This greenhouse has a beautiful structure.
    preparing Christmas is very realistic, well done

  10. Did you begin to wonder where I was?
    Knitting. I, too, am preparing for Christmas!
    I love the wire latches - I agree 100% that the doors must really open. The latches are in scale and attractive and functional.
    And as usual your "real" trees are on their way to their beautiful completion.
    Lots of love,

  11. Realmente tu invernadero es una pequeña maravilla. El que los pestillos de cierre funcionen es ¡increíble! Un trabajo perfecto. Me encanta el aspecto navideño de su casa "de verdad" con los árboles ya colocados y encendidos..La Navidad es ¡muy hermosa! Un beso

  12. Perfect place for a Christmas scene, the conservatory is fantastic! I absolutely love that little latch...and it works! P.s.The invisible people and animals in my house have nothing to eat at all, though there is a box of biccies (biscuits) to go in soon, that'll have to last them for a year, at least :D

    Sarah :)

  13. Hello Betsy,
    You always put up marvelous decorations for Christmas! The level of realism created by all the details you put into the conservatory is just incredible. The dark picture looks so realistic and I could just see myself sitting there enjoying a nice cup of coffee and reading a good book. Excellent eye for detail Betsy.
    Big hug,