Monday, July 2, 2018

Leaves and Other Little Details....

Looking Closer....

I thought it was Time, Dear Readers, that I experiment with making leaves for my Lilac bush(es) so that I could get a better idea of the work that lay before me for the Summer and Fall versions of my bush. (Remember I am planning to make a bush for each season...!) I have done very little in the way of flower making and plant kit assembling, but I have watched several other bloggers accomplish great things with the making of plants both large and small... so I have hope that I will succeed! Above you can see a sample of my second or third attempt at making a branch with lilac-looking leaves.  The lilac leaves are roughly heart shaped and have one prominent vein down the center of each leaf, with finer veins that are almost unnoticeable to the casual observer, spreading off of the main vein. Here, let me show you.....

This is from the lilac in my yard.... 
and the leaves are set in opposing pairs along the stem, 
every other pair turned at 90 degrees from the previous one... 
thus maximizing exposure to the sun!
For my mini leaves, I had experimented with ways
 of attaching the "hearts" to the stem...
 and decided that I must use wire in order to
 be able to control the position of the leaves along the stem

Maybe you can see the stem with the shorter wires being glued on here...?
I was not being careful about the pictures I was taking.....
 because I was just experimenting...
It is the same process as the "twigged branches"
 I was making for the shrubs to begin with... 
only many more twigs on each branch!
Then I attach the "heart" leaves to each twig.
Then I paint the leaves with my acrylic paints... 
hoping I am coming up with a color
 that is close to the lilac leaves in RL.....
Adding the veins down the center of the leaves...

Testing the look with the mini blossoms.....
(adding the crease to the leaves too...)

Then trying to compare the mini with the Real thing.....
My green is a bit too blue... 
but I think that is partly the lighting...
(it doesn't look blue at all indoors!)

Here is a closer shot... and the color even looks closer to the lilac color! 
Clearly, I will have to pursue the color equation more closely!
And how about seeing what it looks like on the mini shrub....?

I think it looks pretty sweet!...
And terribly lonely...!
Look at all those branches.... 
each one needing how many leafy twigs???
No, I have not done the math....
I am simply going to start making them....
 and keep on making them for as long as it takes!
(For two entire shrubs....!)
But the good news is that the leafy twig
 takes nowhere near as long to make as the blossoms do!
(Which really is a big relief!)

And while I was busy sporadically working on
 these leafy twig experiments, Dear Readers,
 I was also adding tiny details to other ongoing projects.
I can't tell you how many times I have cast my eyes
 on the porch of Hardwick Hall and
 noticed the incomplete trim at the base...

In particular the corner where those pesky tabs show....
(I apologize for the dark pictures... 
it has be excruciatingly hot here this weekend (97 degrees F)
 and I have my blinds closed....)

And the view along the front where the tab for the construction shows.....
It was two years ago already that I added
 the lattice panels to the porch... 
(which led me on an interesting migration 
through brick-making to the Folly landscape
 and the Glass House construction...!)
And all along I knew I needed to finish the trim on the porch!
 I even painted a suitable piece of wood trim ages ago!

It was such a simple task to complete it!

And the other pieces too....
So Simple... and so satisfying to have it done!

Now all I need to do is finish the steps... 
and the railings..... and the landscaping....
and we won't even look at the list of what still needs doing here!
Because I was also adding a little bit of detail to the Gypsy Wagon...

I wanted to paint the bars of the cages before I attached them...
 but I couldn't decide on the color.
As you can imagine, when these wagons are finished,
 they will have quite a lot of colorful painted trims... 
and I needed to be sure of the colors I planned to use.
I have painted them a lovely sky blue....
 but the lighting in this picture doesn't show that well...
I will have to get better pictures.

And lest you think I am forgetting the lilac blossoms....

I completed blossom number fifteen!

And here it is with all the others...
Maybe I am a quarter of the way through making the blossoms....?
We shall see!

So that is what I accomplished this weekend, Dear Readers,
Lots of looking closer at the Details of the Leaves 
Along with several other little things...
I do Love those details!



  1. I'm not surprised you haven't done a leaf count - I wouldn't either! Your little leaves look good and very authentic. Good for you finishing off that little base task too - I'm guilty of leaving simple little jobs too - your conscience is now clear and you can crack on with leaves.

    1. Hi Irene! Sometimes it is the "simplest" tasks that get left the longest.... because we think it won't take very long so we never plan to do it! LOL! I am glad to have taken care of it finally! It looks so much better now! And I am not going to worry about how many leaves I have to make... that would probably give me nightmares! LOL!

  2. Those leaves are perfect. And they won't take as long as the blossoms, thankfully.
    We heard about your heat wave all the way out here ...
    Carry on,
    Love, Mom

    1. Hi Mom! Yes, it's been hot! I am glad the leaves are easier than the blossoms... now I can convince myself to keep going on this project! LOl!

  3. Good for you Betsy in getting several of those little jobs DONE and crossed off your TO DO list!
    I love the leaves and how your bundling them on wires prior to attaching them to the shrub and I agree with your mom in that they shouldn't take AS LONG to do as the blossoms; but then again, knowing Your Particular Profection-ism, I'm not placing any bets on it! ;D

    1. Thank you Elizabeth! (I think!) I am hoping the leaves won't take as long.... but I really have no idea! Lol! Maybe it is better that way... I will just start and keep going... eventually it will get done! :):)

  4. Your leaves look wonderful. And congrats on blossom fifteen!

    1. Thank you Sheila! It feels good to at least have the design worked out! Now I can get a production line going.... eventually... and hopefully there will be a finished bush next year! (But don't quote me on that!!!)

  5. It's better if you don't count those leaves ! way better :D !!!

    1. I agree Rosanna! That way I can live in the illusion that it will be easy!! :)

  6. Wow, fifteen!!?! That alone is a lot of work. And sounds like lots! Well done. And I think the leaves look great especially on the shrub, even with just one stem. You go girl!

    1. Thanks Shannon! I am glad to have started the leaves... figuring out the method is sometimes the hardest part! Now I just need to make them.... and make them ... and make them! LOL!

  7. It is such a satisfying feeling to finish something off! Good for you!
    The photo with the lilac bloom and leaf is awesome! This bush is going to be so freaking amazing!!! Keep going Betsy! The effort is going thrill us all to pieces!

    1. Thank you Jodi! I am liking the look too... now that I have a method for the leaves it really begins to feel like I might get it finished someday!!! LOl!

  8. What would we be without those little details? ;O) And if anyone would still be wondering about them it would be final evidence to look at your porch's basement. The difference is striking… not only because those tabs are hidden now - but with those trims all makes sense and looks… well… complete! And terrific - it is great to see Hardwick Hall's porch this way… already with some pumpkins. Well, H is coming nearer - as well as C... *grin* Btw it made me smile to learn that those trims you needed have been ready and waiting since some time for you to attach them. And speaking of attaching… your lilac leaves turned out awesome, very realistic. The little lonely pioneer branch looks fantastic - and it's great news that these are less time consuming than the blossoms. Welcome to No. 15! 20 comes in sight!!! Go, Betsy, go! And before I forget… the cages look fantastic too. Before I enlarged the pictures I thought the rods were silver. *smile* But in the bigger version the light blue showed up. Stay cool during the heat - we're trying the same around here too. After a few days of relief and little bits of rain (well, Kiel-Week *sigh*) we're back to heat and drought. The first fields are burning and don't ask about my poor garden…


    1. Dear Birgit.... you should not frighten me with comments about "H" let alone "C"!!! You know these ideas begin to give me sleepless nights... long before they should! LOL! As the days march ever closer and I have No idea What the story is about... or the picture for that matter.... !!! I should never have started these never-ending-there-must-always-be-a-next-one projects!!!! But I am sure that by the time the curtain is supposed to rise... the actors will be on the stage....!
      As for the leaves... that is just another "little" project on my list! LOL!
      I wish you could have the perfect weather at your yard... we are also too hot and dry... even so I must say I love Summer! :):):)

  9. Hi, Betsy - Those lilac leaves are so realistic; you've done an amazing job of creating the perfection of the real thing in miniature. I do think you're wise not to do the math! Just know that it will eventually be done, and what an incredible feat that will be! Bravo on completing the fifteenth blossom; I can visualize that box being filled before long. (But don't do that math either!) I love the elegance of the porch trim for Hardwick Hall, and I understand your satisfaction at having one more item checked off the to-do list. I'm especially happy to see the work progressing on the gypsy wagons. I've adopted those wagons in my heart and mind, so I'm very glad that they're in such capable and creative hands! I can't wait to see more of them.

    1. Hi Marjorie! I am glad you like the lilac leaves! I am excited that they are easier than the blossoms! Now I can really imagine the finished bush(es)! As for the porch trim, I always feel silly that it took me so long to get around to such an easy small task... and it makes such a great difference! A lesson to be more focused! Lol! I am really glad you like the Gypsy Wagons so much... it is an encouragement to me to know that you are Dreaming of them too! There are still some tricky technical details I am figuring out for them... it does slow the progress... but that is just an excuse... I get distracted! I promise you more soon!!! :)

  10. The leaves are beautiful! I even went in my garden to check with my own lilac bush and yes, they are perfect!!
    As for the trim... did my project inspire you? I have a suspicion that the trims and frills will be more taxing than the entire build. I like your trellis pattern and shall keep it in mind! ;-)

    1. Hi Veronique! I am glad the leaves meet your inspection.... I would hate to have to change my design! LOl! And yes, I am always inspired when I see other people working on the "Willowcrest"! Seeing it on other blogs is what made me have the courage to start my kit... I had it in the box for years! LOL! I tried to follow the instructions that came with the kit... but I ended up doing it at my own order... it is a complicated building! I really look forward to seeing your progress! :):)