Monday, July 30, 2018

Christmas In July.....

Are You Kidding Me...?

Imagine my Surprise, Dear Readers, when a little over a week ago as I was returning from work on a hot July evening, I spied a package at my door that had a mysteriously familiar look about it... it was just like the packages that often arrive at Christmas Time from Birgit. (I am sure some of you are familiar with these wonderful packages!) What? thought I..... a package sent so soon...?... perhaps to guarantee it's arrival in time for Christmas this year... ?! (Because last year's took an unusually long time to get here!) Well, I had to open it in as short a time as I could manage... which actually took quite a while because each wonderful treasure had to be carefully unwrapped and examined! And there were lots of them!

The first to emerge from the bubble-wrap was this adorable baby goat... 
with a message saying he was in search of a Gypsy Wagon to call home!
And very soon after was this wonderful cat...

Flocked and whiskered by Birgit!
His message says his name is "Mephisto" 
and he's looking for a new home 
and will work for mice and milk.... 
any magical or gypsy home would be welcome!
I reassured him there were several options...
 but first I needed to see what else was in the box....!

A Beautiful magical mirror was next....

Followed by a whole assortment of magical potions 
and a family of charmed pumpkins!

And a couple of ghoulish skulls and a flying black horse....
And that was not all... not by a long shot!

More magical potions...

And parchments and wands and even a frog!

Here, you must have a closer look... 
I am sure the frog is enchanted!!!
And look... a Magic Lamp too!
(I begin to suspect that Birgit wanted to be sure they would be here
 in Time for Halloween rather than Christmas!)
And there were even more treasures... materials for making things...
 green moss for aging gardens... a whole bunch of odd jewelry findings....
Not to forget the beautiful card with Rosey smiling
 from her pink hydrangea blossom!
Well, you can see Dear Readers, how I might be excused 
for thinking Christmas had already arrived!!!
Thank you Birgit for this wonderful package!

It has been a few weeks since I showed you the Gypsy Wagons,
and I have only added a few tiny details
 in all that time.
 I'm trying to get the decorative trim pattern worked out... 
which is complicated because most of the wagon exterior is still not done...!
But I am sure you can imagine how quick
 our little Kid was to find her new home...

See how perfectly she fits?
And of course, if there is a Kid... there must be a Nanny...
 (I better hurry up and finish this "barn"!)
Meanwhile, Dear Readers,  I continued to work
 on the large castle doors project....

I painted and attached the doors to the Castle Guard Room.

Believe me, it is going to take some getting used to
 the new look of the front of the Castle!
And I continued with the doors for the upper rooms...

Some of which as I mentioned,
 hadn't even had their "prosceniums" cut yet!
I decided where the windows needed to go....
and pulled out my big saw....

And cut the windows!
I am trying to be true to the designs of the older Castles....
 they were designed to be fortresses... 
and they had very few windows.
 Windows were a weakness in the walls
 so they tended to be high up... 
just to let in some light and have a view of the exterior.
Here you can see the Great Hall doors... it is a two story tall hall... 
and at one point the gallery might have gone all around the hall.
There are windows at the gallery level and on the main level.... 
but I am wondering whether I should make
 the ones on the gallery level be four across.
Often there were more windows on the interior walls 
that overlooked a courtyard or the inner bailey.
I will have to ponder this some more.

But I did decide that the Great Hall doors needed to be double panel doors...
 otherwise they would be too large and awkward when open.
Here I have cut them into the panels.... 
but they are not painted or hinged yet.

Here you can see just the two side panels in place (held with tape!)
showing that once they are attached, 
I will be able to have a partly closed position, 
with the middle panels folded back to allow a narrow opening.

And with all the doors closed....

Gosh, it's almost starting to look like a Castle!
And oh, heavens, it got late
 and I almost didn't finish blossom number nineteen!

But there it is!

Proof in the box!
and as for Mephisto, Dear Readers, 
he is inspecting the Castle....

I think he likes what he sees!

Something tells me he will be taking over the Castle!

So you can see, Dear Readers, I wasn't kidding!
I think it was Christmas in July!
Thanks to the generosity of Birgit!


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  2. Quelle pluie de cadeaux, vous avez été gâtée chère Betsy. J'ai beaucoup le petit chat noir qui me fait penser à mon Louis.
    Bonne idée la porte à double panneau!

    1. Hi Jean-Claude! I Love black cats, so he is the perfect gift for me! I am really enjoying the new Castle doors... even with so much work to do!

  3. Replies
    1. I was So Surprised! I am enjoying the gifts very much!

  4. It indeed looks like Christmas! :-). Such nice presents! Mephisto belongs in the Castle :-).

    1. It feels like Christmas too... except for the weather! I am letting Mephisto go where he wishes! :)

  5. Oh such a lovely Christmas! Your doors look wonderful and I can't wait to see more. It seems like you've gotten so much accomplished.

    1. Hi Sheila! The gifts were such a surprise! I am really loving how the doors make the Castle feel like a Castle! LOL! But it is bigger than it looks!

  6. Wow! It really is like Christmas! Such wonderful and charming items! LOVE the kitty - well done Birgit! The goat is perfect for the barn, and the trim is looking lively and wonderful!
    Love the bi-fold doors - great idea! I LOVE the floor tiles in the castle!
    And number 19? The lilacs are adding up!
    So incredibly generous and thoughtful of Birgit to send love and holiday cheer in July!

    1. Hi Jodi! I am really enjoying Birgit's gifts! They will enrich all of my stories! As for the Castle.... the doors are turning out to be a much bigger "project" than I assumed... I have that problem a lot! LOL! And the Castle Hall tiles were another of those bigger than I thought projects... it took me a couple of years to make each tile and finally to attach them and grout them.... but it really set the tone for the entire Castle! So it was really worth the wait! LOL! But now that I am making the doors, I am loving how they make the Castle look like a Castle! :):)

  7. Hi, Betsy - Those are wonderful gifts from Birgit - and such a lot of them. The little kid looks perfectly at home in the Gypsy Wagon "barn." And of course, the black cat (I love his name) is just what every Castle needs. The Castle doors are taking shape nicely; it was a good idea to make bi-fold doors for the Great Hall. I'm really eager to see the Castle with all the finished doors in place. Your lilac blossom box is looking much fuller now that the nineteenth blossom has been included. Your perseverance is inspiring!

    1. Hi Marjorie! I was so surprised to have Christmas in July! It really has been fun! Mephisto is going to play a wonderful role in my many stories... how could he not? As for the Castle doors... they are a lot of work, and I am wrestling with the temptation to rush ahead to the painting part.... so it is a good thing the weather is slowing me down! LOL! I really just need to get the "structure" part built and can then do the decorating at a slower pace. At least that is the Plan! :):)

  8. What a delightful surprise Betsy! So many cute things. I love the idea of the little kid in the gypsy wagon, and yes the kitty looks very at home in the castle. Enjoy the treasures!

    1. Hi Shannon! It was a real surprise and so much fun to get these Treasures! I am enjoying finding them all the right places (which will take a while!) LOL!

  9. Well, looks like Mephisto gives honor to his name… being "the spirit of perpetual negation" he forgets at once his expectations to get a place in a witchy or gypsy home as soon as he gets a chance to improve. As the Rolling Stones sing... (well, almost): A cat of wealth and taste - so a whole castle it shall be for him. But in a way not a bad choice… of course not for Mephisto - but it's also a relief to know that the wizard is not very far away down in the dungeons. Maybe he will find out what Magica de Spell could only suspect… my beary witch thinks Mephisto might be a time wanderer, being able to wander through the different spheres of time. And as you might have guessed… he's able to talk… but only if there's a chance to have a real good conversation. ;O) - I'm glad that I could send you a bit of joy and fun with this stuff of mine and it's good to see that everything arrived in good condition (except for one of Mephisto's whiskers… *LOL*) I hope this will be helpful when decorating your witch house, wizard dungeon or creating the next episode of your H-story (ooops… there's that bad letter again… but okay, you've been the one using the frightening C word even in the headline!) - and leave you plenty of time to go on with your lilacs. No. 19 already!!! Hooray!!! You're still keeping up with your schedule - impressive. And speaking of impressive - it's great to see the castle in total with this fantastic solution for the doors of the hall. Not to forget - the little kid looks very happy in his new home… together with his darling Nanny. Is this goat named Poppins? *grin*


    1. Dear Birgit, I can't tell you how much fun it is to have all these Treasures to play with! And Mephisto is clearly taking center stage! LOL! (Yes he was a little "bent out of shape" by the Journey over here... he seems to think he could have made the journey just fine in his own method and time....!) I have been "soothing" his ruffled whiskers by letting him wander where he wishes! (I would not want to get on his "wrong side"!) And I am sure he has a lot to say about the "H" stories.... we shall have to wait and see! Although at this point there is not much of the "waiting" part left! LOL! I will confess I am starting to panic... I will be traveling to see my Mom in September and that will take some time from Minis... and then there is the "small" matter of me re-arranging... ie re-building the Castle and all the Caves.... what was I thinking? LOL! So who knows what we will find come Halloween....? :):):)

  10. You have a good friend in Birgit! What a lovely pot pouri!
    I love Mephisto. And he's BLACK! A Perfect cat for an enchanted castle.
    Lots of love,

    1. Hi Mom! Yes, Birgit is amazing and wonderful and creative and generous.... I could go on! I am enjoying the Treasures very much! And Mephisto is just Perfect! :):)

  11. Congratulations on all your wonderful gifts from Birgit. The kid looks perfect in the caravan. It looks like that cat has chosen the best place for him plenty of mice to chase ;) and so many interesting things going on.I love the mirror. Enjoy all your fantastic gifts.
    Hugs Maria


    1. Hi Maria! Birgit's gifts are so much fun! I am really enjoying finding them all places to "live"! Mephisto will be in the middle of all the Castle goings-on! I am sure he will find plenty to keep him busy! LOL! :):)

  12. Beautiful gifts for the summer.

  13. Awesome gifts you received from Birgit, she's such a kind friend.
    Méphisto is fantastic and fits right in as does the adorable Kid.

    Glad you divided the doors of the great Hall, they would have been difficult to handle for the little people otherwise ;-)

    And hooray for yet another blossom. You will get there!



    1. Hi Veronique! I am having so much fun with all the new Treasures... I have to make sure I don't get too distracted from the bigger projects! LOL! The Castle doors are being so much fun to play with now that they open and close on hinges!!! I am sure the little people will be glad I divided the Great Hall doors... it can be a little alarming to have the entire wall move at once! Lol! :):)

  14. How exciting to receive such lovely gifts - the mirror is my favourite. It was a great idea to split the Great Hall doors - it adds to the grandeur, I think.

    1. Hi Irene! I am really enjoying playing with my new Treasures! It's a lot of fun to try out where they should live... it makes one see the "same old spaces" with new eyes! The Great Hall doors are really the centerpiece to the Castle... and they are adding a whole new dimension to the Hall... I am loving it!!!

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