Monday, July 9, 2018

Whither Shall We Wander....

On This Fine Summer's Morn....

I had a week of Vacation, Dear Readers, which seemed an endless stream of hot sunny Summer Mornings with possibilities at every turn.... and was gone before I could catch my breath and focus on any of my many projects for any meaningful length of time. What with the Holiday in the middle of the week and several time-consuming appointments on the other days.... my Time was consumed with getting there and back again and trying to stay cool in the Record breaking heat! But in retrospect I did manage to accomplish a few things... none of which were on the immediate "to do" list! The most satisfying one was the completion of the exterior wooden trim on the remaining windows of Hardwick Hall. Above you can see a picture of the attic window without the trim.... the printed crossbars on the acetate windows always bother me as being too one dimensional! I had even painted the pieces of trim ages ago... and after completing the porch trim, I decided to tackle the windows too!

The parlor bay windows also were still in need of their trim... 
making a total of eight windows needing trim.
I started with the attic ones... and then remembered
 that there was a reason I hadn't finished them....
 I still needed to paint more of the extra thin trim
 I used to make the illusion that the windows are
 double-hung and could possibly be opened!

Here you can see what I mean... 
the window on the right has been completed, 
and the trim for the lower half is much less deep....
 hopefully creating the illusion that the lower half of the window
  sits beside the upper  and could slide past it when being opened.
And the window on the left is one of the ones needing to be finished...

So I trimmed down some very narrow wooden
 coffee stirrers and painted them the silver of the trims.
This requires four coats of paint!

Then I cut and fitted them to the attic windows....
 these windows are tiny!
But you can see the lower half of the window
 is "set back" from the upper half.
(Or at least I hope it appears to be set back!)

And then I started on the Parlor Bay windows... 
and when I got to the lower portion,
 I realized the sill was poorly fitted
 and there were big gaps at the bottom 
of the window panes!
So I cut and painted slivers of trim to fill the gaps.....

The one on the left has been filled... the right has not.

Here they have both been filled....

And the trims added.....
I know.... the lighting is awkward... 
(I was keeping my blinds closed!)
Here is a better shot... a bit glaring even... 
but it shows the different depth of the window trims.
It took an entire day to complete!
And with the exception of the bathroom window,
which I added to the design...
 the windows are done!

Another day I spent a lovely morning sewing by an open window
 with the breezes wafting in...
slowly filling in the background around the blossoms.... 
before the heat of the day became over-whelming.
And I thought I would get to painting on the Castle Great Hall ceiling....
(Isn't it high time I finished those Patient Saints?) 

Again, it is dark in here!
I wanted to get a better look at the way
 the ceiling would connect with the walls...
Here it is lit with the flash
which shows the colors beautifully,
 but erases the cracks at the edges of the ceiling
 which will need to be covered with trim.... 
an added layer of "rock" buttressing the ceiling.
And as I pulled out the wood and began to prepare the trim, 
I realized that I would not be able to attach it in the right spot
 without knowing exactly where the ceiling would sit... 
and with the whole structure of the Castle still somewhat half finished.... 
I would need to do some of that structural work first!
Ah, Dear Readers, this is how I end up
 going down the Rabbit Hole and into
 I-Wonder-Where I-am-Land!
Because in order to do any of that larger work on the Castle, 
I would need to clear it out....
(I am shocked to admit that I have no idea
 how many years it has been since I did that!)
All (or rather Most of) the Little People 
went off on Vacations for the Summer.... 
and I packed up boxes full of furnishings 
and partially done project pieces...
 trying to keep it all organized so I could find the pieces again....
 and I really only cleared away half of the rooms....
Figuring I would at least finish the structure of the Lord's Tower...
 (the plywood panels are becoming warped
 since the top walls have never been fastened in place....)
the unfinished Council Chamber....

And what will be the Lord's Bed Chamber at the top of the Tower.
And each room has the front wall framework to add too....
the "Proscenium" I call it.

Here I have drilled and screwed the 
Great Hall "Proscenium" temporarily in place.
And I have been struggling since Forever with the question
 of whether or not to add Doors to the fronts of all the rooms
(To Door or Not Tudor ... that is the Question!)
And as I Dream of getting the basic framework
 all drilled and screwed together at least temporarily....
Because if I am going to attach any Doors, 
the framework needs to be done first...
And then I look at the Base....
Where the Caves are located... 
(even though they are filled with stored materials)
And somehow it becomes important to start with them.....
 clean them out.... paint them.... attach the doors... 
all pieces of plywood that were cut out ages ago
 and are stacked up and waiting.... in the way, to tell the truth!)
The first cave ready for the primer....
And the primer done.....
 oooh that was a contortionists job!
And the door panels too!
And the next morning .... 
starting on the dark gray paint.... 
because they are dark rock caves!
Here is one with just the primer coat.... 
you can sort of see your way around in there!

But a Cave is supposed to feel vast and dark and Murky...!
So I painted them dark Gray.
You can get lost in there!

And then I started on the outside frame of the Base....
because it is supposed to be the "Rock" the Castle is built upon...

I will most likely add more paint and colors
 to add to the illusion that it is "rock"...

And the doors too...! 
And I started adding base colors
 to the front of the Castle itself....
And then I realized that until each room
 was completed and the front screwed in for good...
 I couldn't add the paint....
 because the screws would need to be
 puttied over first before painting! 
(And isn't that bringing me right back to where I was before....?)
Okay, so I can still temporarily drill and screw the
 framework together and worry about painting later!
And I can test the idea of doors in each room...
Won't they get in the way?
 I will be wanting to leave them open
 all the Time so I can see in there....!
Oh yes, and I did complete the sixteenth Lilac Blossom!
Ah, Dear Readers, I don't know how I got here....
 or where I am going from here... 
But I do think it was Long Overdue!
 And that is Where I wandered 
through all my Vacation days!


  1. Hi Betsy, you seem to be inspired to finish your Willowcrest;-) which is great for me as I am learning from you.
    The order of things to do is always quite complicated and I understand why things stall. The Castle is a very big and ambitious project and To door or Not Tudor (very clever), it will all come to you at the right time. And hooray for another lilac blossom! All in all you accomplished a lot during your vacation days. Can't wait to see where you wander next.

    1. I came across this lilac blossom, thought it might inspire you

    2. Oh Wow! That lilac blossom is perfect! Yikes! it almost makes mine look unrealistic... *Sigh* I can only do so much! I would go broke at that price for my lilac shrub! LOL!
      And yes, I am still trying to get some of the structure of the Willowcrest finished.... the cupola has to be built... So much to do! I am so glad you are building one too!!!

  2. What pretty windows
    I am always admiring in front of your paintings!

    1. Thank you Claude! I will get to the painting ... soon! The patient Saints are getting tired of waiting! LOL!

  3. Wow! You got a lot done! I would go nuts, completely nuts, with so many projects. I don't know how you keep them all straight in your head with what you want to do.

    1. Hi Sheila! I think part of the "problem" is not being exactly sure what I want to do next.... or being too indecisive about which idea to use.... sometimes it takes me a long time to convince myself that my idea is good enough! It's all for the adventure anyway... and I do love the process so much! :)

  4. I love the details you've added to make the windows look real and functional! The leading and stained glass are beautiful!
    It seems like time in general has sped up, but it sure looks like you accomplished a lot of work in a week! It was fun to revisit the castle and all it's magnificent charm!

    1. Hi Jodi! Sometimes the details make me crazy! (Like needing functional stairs and doors and windows that at least look like they could function! LOL!) I'm glad you like my window details! Time sure is rushing by .... I am just trying to make the most of it wherever I can! :)

  5. Your Willowcrest windows with the now finished trims, make a world of difference Betsy and no doubt you're happy to be able to delete yet another item off your To Do list even if it wasn't on it! ;D
    But, I have to say how impressed I am that you have been able to FIND your pre-cut and pre-painted wood doors and trims for the various projects featured here, especially after such an elapse of time!
    I have misplaced many things which were pre-prepared or on stand-by which I can never seem to find again when I need them, so I figure that your mini kingdom must be quite well organinze!
    And even though the week quickly flew by, your vacation time, proved to be Time Well Spent!

    1. Dear Elizabeth, if you could see my "storage" you would know why I could find them! LOL! Piles of cut pieces stacked in the corner beside the Castle.... not moving an inch in how many years? (It is almost embarrassing!) My family is so kind when they visit... they overlook the fact that my entire house has become my "work room"...! I felt it was time to clear up a few corners and get the pieces attached... even if the interiors are not yet finished... then I will be better able to see what has to be done! And the tiny details on the Willowcrest have been bugging me for a while! It feels good to get them done! :):)

  6. Goodness Betsy, I need a lie-down after reading all you have achieved over your holiday break. Well done. The windows for the Willowcrest look great. It is amazing how small details make all the difference. I love the painted saints on the ceiling of the castle. Beautiful. And your embroidery is coming along nicely too.

    I think you need a real holiday after all that!
    Carol :) x

    1. Hi Carol! I agree with you! I think I need another "holiday"! LOL! The problem with being obsessed is not wanting to take time away from the projects... I really do love the making of things! But sometimes I think I need to make myself slow down... and then an idea occurs and up I jump! LOL! I'm glad you like the Saints... I am really hoping to get them finished soon... which is such a relative concept! LOL! :)

  7. Wow, you've achieved a lot during your holiday week… it's for sure always amazing what difference little details like your window trims make. It looks so much better this way. And like Elizabeth already said - I am in awe that you're able to find trims and doors being prepared a long time ago. I always end up knowing where pieces have been before I put them away - with no clue where they are now. It was fantastic to see the Saints again… and the castle. And it's even more fantastic that one lead to the other and made you start working on the castle and especially the caves... very spooky… perfect for placing a "dragons welcome"-sign there… *grin*


    1. Dear Birgit... the secret to not losing things is to not put them "away"! LOL! My "work rooms" are busy places and there is not anywhere for things to get put away to... excluding the Caves which have now been emptied out! I am trying to make a little more "order" in my kingdoms... so the Castle structure is needing to be finished... or at least mostly attached even if temporarily (the benefit of screws... they can be unscrewed!). We shall see if it helps with the "unfinished" projects piles! LOL! And it is always so satisfying when those little details do make such a difference! It was worth all the trouble and the long wait! And the Caves.... they have always been a project that is just almost about to be ready to begin.... *sigh*.... when I get the time to figure out some of the details..... :):):)

  8. You wit, you! Tudor, indeed.
    Wow, you have a lot of work to do on that castle. I'm glad you've begun! I love the castle...
    Lots of love,

    1. Hi Mom! I wonder where I got my wit from....? :)
      I love the Castle too!

  9. Hi Betsy, seems like despite it flying by you still made the most of your vacation! ;) I just love your Castle’s Great Hall ceiling! I know it can be dark in there but it kind of makes everything seem more realistic. I understand the whole can’t do one thing without seeming to do a whole bunch of other tasks first, it always seems to be the case in these builds. It’s nice to know you have this project to come back to when inspiration strikes.

    1. Hi Kristine! The Castle has been only half built for quite a while... it feels good to be making some progress here again. And yes, there is a lot of planning required... and waiting while figuring out the details. The Saints have been very patient... I am hoping to make more progress on them soon. I am really glad you like them! I love the dark and moody quality of the Castle... the Medieval Times were so different from what we know... I am really fascinated by them! :)

  10. Ahhh Betsy, I think you just described an average day in my craft room!! Just starting something, even if it means you can’t finish it, or that it highlights something else to do, is progress. And taking a fresh look at it may highlight a way forward, what to do first. This build is amazing. Can’t wait to see what’s next!

    1. Hi Shannon! Yes, that is exactly the way it goes... start something and discover something else is needed first... then something else and so on! LOL! It is a wonder we ever finish these project! Oh, gee.... maybe that's why I haven't finished any of them! LOL! At least I can say I love making them more than finishing them! :):)

  11. What a week! What an amazing difference the attention to the tiny details on the tiny windows make. The 'working around in circles' only to find yourself back where you started seems to have paid off - you got a lot done on your way around LOL
    Anna x

    1. Hi Anna! I love that description of the process.... working around in circles... getting a lot done on the way! It is exactly like that! And I am glad to say I enjoy going in these circles. It is so satisfying when those little details really do make a difference! :)

  12. Hi, Betsy - You do seem to have accomplished a lot during your vacation week, even though the time may have sped by for you. I'm impressed with the way you managed to make the Hardwick Hall windows look like double-hung ones by adding that extra strip. Nice work! I'm glad that you've returned to the Castle; I enjoyed the photos of the lower part - I'm pretty sure that I haven't seen the caves and the rock before now. What a great concept! And of course I always love seeing that ceiling with all the "Patient Saints" - and I'm happy to welcome the 16th lilac blossom!

    1. Hi Marjorie! The "double hung windows" were one of those technical details that were giving me fits until I figured out how to make the illusion with the thinner trim. I am so glad I persevered... now the windows are much more realistic looking! As for the Caves... they have only been featured in my Halloween tales... entirely a temporary "stage-set" because so far there has been no real work done on them! And the Saints keep tempting me to get them finished... and then something else needs to happen first. But I hope to work on them more soon! :)

  13. Wow!!! Che progetto enorme! Sono impressionata dal castello! Complimenti!

    1. Thank you Blanche! It is a huge project! LOL! I was a novice designer and wanted it to really feel like a Castle so it is big. I am glad you like it! :)

  14. What an amazing project this is. The detail on the windows was definitely time well spent especially when you show the "done" and "not done" versions. It makes such a difference.