Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Ashes, Birds, Branches.....

It's The Little Things.....

Another Busy weekend, Dear Readers, working on the RL project, kept me from doing much with the minis. But I have become really determined to accomplish at least Something in spite of the demands on my time and energy! And this weekend I was able to get three small things done! I realized that I had forgotten to add the ashes to the bedroom fireplace! And because I had also decided that it would Have to have a lit fire, there absolutely needed to be a pile of ashes below the fire grate! So I cut a piece of egg carton that had a humped shape and glued it in the hearth. Then I painted it ash colored and gave it a try with the "regency" fire grate.

Yes, I know, my pictures are terribly dark, it is almost impossible to see the details!

There will need to be a fire screen or a fender at the very least 
to prevent run away coals, but I think it is looking good!
Such a small detail, but I would have been 
very annoyed if there were no ashes!

The second thing I accomplished, Dear Readers, 
was that I remembered I had not yet painted
 All the birds on the walls of the bedroom!
This was something that would be very very difficult to do
if I had already glued the walls in place!

I managed to add four birds to the front wall, which is already attached, 
but without the side wall in the way, I can reach in from the side 
to paint on the front wall with at least a little less trouble!
(The above picture shows the side wall in place, but it is still removable!)
There still need to be quite a few more birds added to all the walls. 
The idea is that it is a New England version of the
 Chinoiserie wall decor, so fashionable in the eighteenth century,
and so it needs to be filled with our native birds!
So far the fireplace wall has American Bluebirds and Robins, 
and the front wall has the Red-winged Blackbirds and the Cardinals.
But that is just a start! There are many more that I plan to add.
It is such a little thing, but I think it makes a huge difference!

And the third thing I managed to do was to start the painting 
of the sculpey tree branches for the Parlor Fireplace.

Here you can see them all removed from the parlor but not yet painted.
The color of the sculpey is just a little darker than the paint I used for the Fireplace.
It is a slow process to paint all the branches, 
so I started with the ones surrounding the mirror on the mantel.

This is just with the first coat of paint. 
There will need to be some shadowing and texturing and marbling 
to make them match the fireplace.

But, of course, I have to test them in place even though they are not nearly done.....
(And once again, I am sorry it is so difficult to get good pictures at this time of year!)
Above, you can see them in place with the sconces turned off.

And here you can see the sconces turned on, and the sconce "shades" added.
This view is taken while the side wall is removed... 
once it is attached you will not be able to see this view
 except through the side windows!

I do think I am going to like the effect when they are all painted!
The color difference is very small, 
but I think it is such an improvement 
to have them unified in color!
So Dear Readers, I might have only done three little things,
But we all know those Little Things 
make a Huge difference!


  1. it's indeed all about the little things Betsy, it's the little things that lead to the big things or anything really ;). I love what you've done, the ashes are well done and definitely add extra realism, perfect! And those birds, so lovely! Good thing you thought of it befóre gluing the wall into place :D. The branches look só great with that fireplace, I think it's brillian! And the sconces in them, the colours do match perfectly, nice progress Betsy!

  2. It's the tiny things that make miniatures looking like the real ones so the ashes are right on place. :D The birds are so pretty! And the fireplace with branches look already fantastic.:)

  3. I fully agree with you, Betsy, that little things can make a huge difference :D! The ashes in the fireplace is a good, realistic looking addition and the painted trees on the mantle look already wonderful. Great work!
    Hugs, Ilona

  4. Forgot to mention your painted birds, how can I forget this?? Because you're such a fabulous painter :D!
    Hugs, Ilona

  5. Hi Betsy, The fireplace looks so authentic! Very nicely done. Love the branches tieing in with the sconces. Everything looks terrific. Lots of progress.
    Regards Janine

  6. Hello my Dear Betsy! :) What a difference having a fire blazing away in the bedroom fireplace makes- SO COSY- and so I hope that you are going to repeat a fire in the front parlor as well. Love the Birds in your mural. You are such a Skilled Artist, Betsy, and I admire your fearlessness in painting directly onto your wall!
    And your parlor looks absolutely MAGICAL, Betsy with the trees around the mantle mirror and the lights in the sconces not to mention those trees applied to the walls, which have to be the most Creative, Interesting and Innovative Wall Treatments that I have seen to date. Talk about fire, lights and trees adding to the ATMOSPHERE ... WOW!!!! :D


  7. Hello Betsy,
    It is all these little things that take a room from good to great! The ash is such a nice addition to the fireplace and really helps make it more realistic. Great tip to use the egg carton. As for the birds, your skill always impresses me and I wish I enjoyed painting more! The mural is coming along wonderfully. I totally get the New England Chinoiserie theme. Finally, The trees already look amazing. Having them unified with the fireplace made all the difference in the world! I love that room!
    Big hug

  8. Wow, those trees! Scary. Imagine actually living in a room like that? I think I would want to keep a light on all night...
    As for the fire in the fireplace, it looks great. Always wanted to have fireplaces in bedrooms & dining rooms; did once, used them rarely.
    Birds - how 'bout some 3-dimentional ones perched in the trees? (Hard!)
    Glad you reminded me of this blog - it's particularly satisfying.
    Lots of love,

  9. The fireplace looks so beautiful. Love the birds in the mural.

  10. Wow I love your tree branches and the glowing fire great idea for the ashes. Your birds in the trees are amazing your painting is wonderful you are so talented.
    Hugs Maria.

  11. It's always the little things that count - and now I can already imagine how the marble trees will look like... And how could a fireplace ever be complete without ashes? ;O) But I'm in love with your birds... they are beyond beautiful and the highlight on your wonderful mural. It was interesting for me to learn there are red-winged blackbirds in your part of the world... I wonder if they are also outstanding singers as our blackbirds in Europe are. It's somehow a shame because they are so common that many people don't notice anymore how beautiful they are... and without the blackbird's song it wouldn't be spring at all...


  12. O how I love your wonderful marble tree idea! And your beautiful birds!! I hope you will soon have more time to dedicate to the miniature world, so we can see the progress!!

  13. Oh my goodness! What a lovely, breathtaking fireplace and murals! :))

    Kind regards from Riverside,

  14. Hi Betsy - Yes, "Little Things Mean a Lot" as the song says. I'm glad that you thought about adding the ashes to your fire; it does make a big difference. It was a great idea to add the tree branches around the fireplace; they look just right. But I admit that I'm completely enchanted by the bird mural on the wall; I could just look and look. I can't wait to see all the other birds that you plan to add. Beautiful work!

  15. Oh, those walls with the birds are spectacular!!!
    Wonderful work, always so creative
    Judith/Iris March