Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Of Plans and Pillows....

Kits and Kit Bashing.....

The Other Needlework I have been doing recently, Dear Readers, is the Petit-point Pillows made from Janet Granger's Lovely kits. I showed you the first pillow all finished, and the beginnings of stitching a second one, using the same design, but changing the color of the background. I also only had a 28 count fabric instead of the 22 count that comes with the kit. Here you can now see the two cushions together, and the difference that a higher count cloth makes in the size of the finished pillow! Of course I also started stitching yet another one of Janet's kits, this time in the Tree Of Life pattern.

Here you can see I have completed the stitching,
 but have not yet made up the pillow.
I love the design for the Tree of Life, 
but I found it harder to follow the pattern, 
and made a mistake in counting the stitches in at least one place!
I also found it quite challenging to stitch the white, or cream colored,
 background because it was harder to tell where you had stitched!
But nevertheless, I really am enjoying these little kits!

As for the Big Kit I am currently working on, 
the Willowcrest, which I have named "Hardwick Hall", 
construction is finally at a point where I have decided I need to make 
some serious changes in the design of the structure!
The attic level is meant to be just that... an attic. 
Here you can see the space is one main open area 
with the stairway to one side of center.
The problem arrives with the placement of the chimney...

Here you can see where the kit wants you to place it.... 
right in the center of the room.... 
right in the way of Everything! 
They have it attached as a piece of one of the main roof supports... 
and even if I take that support and "flip" it
 so the chimney is on the other side of the room, nearer to the stairs.....

I still think it is in an awkward position over the stairs. 
It would still have to be re-built to fit around the stairs!
 So I decided that this chimney is just not usable! 
I must cut this chimney off and build my own to fit.

And besides that, I don't like these "roof supports"!
They are utterly unrealistic and block the view of the upper part of the ceiling!
So they will have to be changed too!
Here you can see the upper portion of the roof from the top, 
with the chimney in the "flipped" position..... 
and I have no problem with the basic roof shape.
But the "new" chimney is going to have to exit the roof 
in a slightly different spot... so I will be making changes here too!
But the Truth of the matter is that I have always envisioned this Room at the top of the House as the Witch's "studio" or "Library" or "Spell-room".....
And because Madame Artemis is the Lady of the Moon... 
I want there to be a Skylight in the roof 
to let the Moon-light into this Space!
After all, those Moon Maidens are marching up those stairs to this Room....
We simply Must let the moon-light in!
And rather than a skylight in the modern sense, 
I have been thinking of a Cupola.... or a Belvedere....

So I made a cardboard mock-up 
just to see how it would look from the exterior.....
But really, Dear Readers, I had decided I would build this even if it looked awful!
So I was really just deciding on proportions and dimensions.....

Here you can see the rear view....
(The paint cans are weighing down the floor while a support is being glued!)
And before you could blink,
  I had cut the roof panels to make an opening at the top....

And I have lopped off the chimney support too.....
but I still need to completely redesign the roof supports!
They will need to be more like real rafters and allow the view up into the cupola.
But for now they hold the roof panels properly in place.

And I am using a block of pink styrofoam 
to play with the placement of the new chimney and fireplace... 
because there will have to be a hearth to go with it!
And I must confess, that I am scheming 
on how to make a spiral stair up to a landing 
that would allow the little people 
to look out the belvedere windows! 

I think it will work if I make the floor a metal mesh 
that still allows the light to come through to the main room below!

And I have to confess that I also started another one of the
 little pillows in the Tree Of Life pattern...
on the smaller cloth, and with a slightly different color green for the leaves.... 
I think the light green supplied with the kit 
is a little pale against the cream background!

So I guess you could say that I have been Kit Bashing, Dear Readers,
Whether it's Hardwick Hall or the Petitpoint Pillows....
I have been changing the plans!


  1. It's interesting to read about your plans of changing the attic of the Willowcrest. And I admire your patience in stitching; the result is gorgeous.

  2. Hello Betsy,
    I could not agree with you more in regards to the chimney. It really is a terrible design flaw and I know you will come up with a much better solution. As for the spiral staircase...that is a terrific idea. I can't wait to see it come together, as I know you can do anything, and do it well. Keep up all your great work and the pillows are so well done.
    Big hug

  3. Your stotchwork is so perfect and fine!! I always want to learn to stitch and knit but then I just glue my fingers to wood and chase butterflies...

    I like the staircase it will be regal and add to the fantasy that is this lovely abode!

  4. Hi, Betsy - Your tiny pillows are beautiful, and I admire your skill and patience in creating them; I can understand why you enjoy making such lovely things. I also understand why you want to make changes in the attic and roof structure of Hardwick Hall. I think your plans will work out well and be much more practical. I love your ideas for a spiral staircase and a cupola. I'm looking forward to seeing how it all turns out! (I know it'll be just right, as your work always is.)

  5. Your pillows are wonderful. I really like this house.

  6. Hi Betsy! This way I know you: always changing plans, but just to make it all better :D! What a strange and terrible design flaw. I'm sure you'll come with a great solution. Your new cupola/belvedere is another awesome idea out of your creative brain, love it!! I really can't wait to see it placed on top of the roof, Betsy.
    I am full of admiration for your embroidering, so tiny and the result looks wonderful. I also love this Tree of life design, it's nice work!
    Warm hugs, Ilona

  7. Except for your skills it is hard not to admire your imagination Betsy! The house will look even better and your changes in stichings look beautiful!

  8. I just love it when you have your kit bashing days!!! This belvedere is an awesome idea, even your prototype is looking so good and makes the whole house very special. After all - it's a magical place... and being able to look at the moon is for sure a must-have in Hardwick Hall, the place of the marching Moon Maidens. Chapeau for your newest pillow, it's a very lovely design... and I agree with you... I never liked stitching white on white...


  9. Cannot wait to see the chimney! a bit of bashing is always good ;o)

  10. Love your needlepoint, Betsy, and I'm enjoying the progress of Hardwick Hall (and the new name).

  11. Hello from Spain: I really like your pillows. Very inspiring. Keep in touch

  12. Muy bonitos cojines.
    La idea de la escalera de caracol es buena.
    Un abrazo

  13. You never were one to follow someone else's plans slavishly! I'll reserve my comments on Hardwick Hall until it's set in stone, so to speak; but those pillows! They are wonderful. I love the tree of life pattern - I'd like to incorporate it into my knitting somewhere. Even tho you always change things, are you interested in some old ones? I have one of "miniature quilts," for instance.
    You are certainly a genius.
    Lots of love & a tip of the hat,

  14. Hi Betsy! As always, I am utterly Amazed by the modifications that you make to Everything! :D You are always willing to go the extra mile when it comes to your Incredible builds, and to share your thoughts as to "how and why". I am particularly interested in Hardwick Hall because I am beginning to put this same kit together myself and have had nothing but trouble with it thus far, so I am learning from you with every new post you do.
    I really like the idea of the cupola on top, what a Terrific idea! I have seen that the attic of this kit offers quite a lot of room but very little light so I think that your solution is a Really Good one, and I am anxious to see the final results.
    Your needlepoint cushions are LOVELY! I envy you your needle skills. You are Talented in so many different areas but especially when it comes to using your imagination! :))
    So Keep on kit(s) Bashing, Betsy, because you always manage to do it to PERFECTION!!!
    Have a Very Happy Easter weekend :D


  15. I love your pillows they are gorgeous. Wow I always admire your way of seeing and doing things. You come up with the most fantastic ideas and are so brave. I love watching your magic come to life. Happy Easter.
    Hugs Maria

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  17. This is adorable I would love to create one too. Good job very cozy, sweet and i love these sweet details, just beautiful!!! And now i am your new follower!
    It will be great motivation for me if you visit my blog and follow

  18. I love the thought processes involved with a new build and any alterations - all is possible at that stage.

    The embroidery is beautiful - I applaud anyone who stitches in this scale and I really like the sofa you have placed them on. It's a nice piece.