Monday, January 26, 2015

Lights for the Willowcrest

And Shadows...

I am certain that I have mentioned, Dear Readers, that I intended to add lights to this project. And if any of you have ever worked with one of these kits, you will know that the walls are very thin, and therefore difficult to hide wires inside! But I considered it essential that we have a lamp to cast a little bit of  light into that nearly impossible to see hallway.... and so I was determined to find a way to conceal the necessary wires.  The above picture shows you the staircase with the side wall removed. I have not yet glued it in place, because I would be unable to get the lamp affixed correctly with the wall in place. And you can see, in silhouette, the ornate wrought iron style lamp I have hung from the hall ceiling....

And if you look carefully in this shot, you can make out the staircase in the light from the now lit lamp..... this time viewed from the other side through the doorway into the parlor. The light works!
I carved a channel in the floor of the upstairs hallway to run the lamp wire over to the dividing wall between the kitchen and the Parlor. I have decided that most of the wires for the lights can be run down this wall to the underside of the house, where they will plug into the power strip. They will be covered over by a false "brick" wall on the kitchen side, which is back to back with the fireplace in the Parlor. And while we are adding the lights to the hallway, I decided to test an idea for the Parlor lights.

I plan to put a pair of sconces above the fireplace, 
but I wanted them to look like they were candles on the branches 
of the trees on either side of the mantel.
So I added some wire to the sconces.... 
and then some sculpey....

And then I needed to make sure the light still worked 
after the baking in the oven part....
Sadly, it didn't. 
So I replaced the bulb and tried again....
And this time it worked! 
So be sure to remember to remove the bulbs from the lamp 
before baking it with the sculpey!

So once I had determined 
that I could embellish the lights this way, Dear Readers,
I got a bit carried away....
After Dreaming about them all night, 
I decided I wanted there to be a mirror over the mantel.
And the very next morning I found a scrap of mirror 
and cut it to fit....

Between the branches of the Trees over the Mantel.....

And I started to make more branches from wire and sculpey....
Shaped to frame the mirror.....

And aligned carefully to fit above the fireplace...
(I did not bake the fireplace, just used it to position the branches)

And here we are testing the fit of the baked branches....
(all held temporarily in place with a little bit of museum wax)
This is, of course, the view which will be hardly visible 
once the house is all built...
because the fireplace wall is slanted away from the open side of the house!

This is more like what you will see when looking into the Parlor 
from the open side of the house.

 But I like to think that there will be a slight view 
from the windows on the front and the side of the house,
So I have decided to make the fireplace at least a little bit realistic
and started to make it look like carved marble....

And I added bricks to the back of the hearth....
and I plan to use this small "Regency Grate"
to hold the coals.
It still needs a lot of details and soot and ashes...
but you can get an idea of the look.

Here we are testing the mantel in place,
And I have added another sculpey branch to the near side of the fireplace.

Here's another view from where the side windows will be....

And with the sconces lit...

I don't know about you, Dear Readers, 
but I think the Tree branches with the lit sconces 
cast a wonderful network of spooky shadows.... 
blurring the edges of real and magical....
Creating an otherworldly atmosphere....
Perfect for this Witchy House!


  1. WOWEEE, Betsy!!! I LOVE the tree branch mirror frame and the sconces and they really DO look magical! When the lights are on the shadows on the ceiling are simply Amazing and the entire space becomes eerie and mysterious. It would feel ominous, if the walls were really dark but because they are pink, there is an feminine enchantment within the entire room. And I LOVE your ceiling in this room. It is now a favorite of mine like your ceiling in The Folly. You always make the ceilings of Equal importance to the walls and I always love the results when you do. :D
    I am so glad that you have added a light to the hallway as well, because how else could one clearly see all of those moon maidens climbing up the stairs?


    1. Thank you, Dear Elizabeth! I have just read your Garden post... and sadly it would not let me comment.... said only "team members could comment" But I wanted you to know I am in Raptures over Your Garden!!! I hope you read this so you can fix the comment thing... I had waxed positively Lyrical.... :(

    2. Problem Solved
      Thank You Betsy! :))

  2. Quelle bonne idée les branches qui encadrent la cheminées et les ombres qui se dessinent au plafond. Comme vous dites Betsy, tout cela crée une atmosphère d'un autre monde. Un monde fantastique et tellement original.

  3. I love the sconces in the Parlour. The lighting is really mysterious.
    I also had problems with the thin walls of my Willowcrest. The solution in mine was to double all the walls with cardboard or foam board, to conceal the wiring and, after, to make the paintings on the paper. But my paintings are really to yours. Good luck for the rest of the wiring !

  4. What a beautiful idea to create those trees along the fireplace, Betsy, it gives a complete other look at your house :)! Personally I still haven't tackle the problems about lighting for my house, but you did a great job at yours: the house has so much more atmosphere after adding lights in it.
    Hugs, ilona

  5. Hello Betsy,
    Once again you have me fall in love with a miniature project. It is incredibly beautiful, original, and very well made. The branches around the mirror and for the sconce is such a fresh idea and looks just incredible. This is a house I would love to visit in real life. It looks like a fantasy house from the Victorian times. Your incredible work always inspires me Betsy.
    Big hug,

  6. I looooove this branch mirror! Great idea and with lights on it looks just superb!
    Endless imagination you have. :)

  7. las paredes finas no han sido impedimento para tí, la has electrificado muy bien y ha quedado todo precioso.
    Un abrazo

  8. Ahhhhh... I'm in love with a fireplace... who would ever have expected this to be possible?! *LOL* Your idea for combining your fabulous wall paintings with 3 D effects is simply stunning, this fireplace is magical, special, inspiring and beautiful. I really admire you for being able to light your dollhouses - it gives so much atmosphere.

    Birgit (who hopes you are warm and safe!)

  9. wow I love what you are doing, what a great idea for the mirror x

  10. Your place is beginning to look more and more mystical and beautiful with each addition!

  11. Tricky though it clearly is the lighting is adding such an incredible ambience that I cant' imagine the scenes without it.

  12. What a wonderful and mystical piece youve created in the fireplace! The branches make it look so amazing particularly with the lighting just a whole dimention to it!
    Stunning work!

  13. Wow, you created mystery mood in the house, this lighting looks very well.

  14. Love that Willowcrest house. So moody and spooky - the fireplace is wonderful, and you've been very clever with the lights. Of course you needed them!
    Sorry I'm so late -