Monday, November 12, 2018


More Stems and Twigs.....

You will think I have done Nothing at all, Dear Readers, from looking at the pictures of the stems of the Lilac shrubs, but I assure you that I have spent the weekend adding layer upon layer of paint to those shrubs! The point of the four shrubs is to make them look like the same shrub.... in different seasons... so I needed to duplicate the same paint layers I had used on the first one! That one was somewhat experimental, but the truth is, each layer of paint that is added makes for a more realistic end result. This is because the bark on a shrub (or tree) is never really just one color. It is many many colors, seen in different light  and shadows and blending to form an "impression" of "bark color". Most people see this as brown... but upon close inspection it is usually a very grayish brown sometimes with a more tan hue and sometimes with a red or black hue.... which is challenging to duplicate! But I was repeating what I had already done on the first shrub... which was to start with a dark gray layer that would be visible in any "crevices" in the bark once lighter colors had been layered over it. Above you can see one of the shrubs part-way done.

The next layer went to the opposite extreme... 
almost the color of bare exposed wood... 
but it adds to the depth you see when other colors
 are added over it and not every bit is covered completely.

The third layer tries to close in on the "color"
 people think they are seeing when they look at bark...
 a drab brownish gray..... again leaving
 highlights of the previous layers visible in spots....

And the next layer is a darker more brown less gray layer....
really just brushing on highlights over the other layers,
 not trying to cover it completely at all.

Which I did for all the rest of the shrubs! 
Now at least they are all at the same layer of color depth!
 I am sure I will continue to add layers...
 I don't think it is completely right yet... 
but it is getting closer!
And at the same time I need to add the color to the rest of the twigs... 
which so far have only been painted on one of the shrubs! 
And in between all those layers of paint...
 I did complete blossom number Thirty-two!

And in the box with the ever growing
 group of double blossom stems!
(Remember there are already four blossoms attached to the shrub..!)
And because it seems so boring to just show layers of paint....
I will share with you Dear Readers, 
a rare peek into the Tree House....
because the sun came to play for a minute or two on Saturday morning...!
 (You have no idea how rare a thing this has been this year!)
Do you even remember the Tree House? 
Standing so patiently beside The Folly.... 
on the Other side from the lilac shrub and the Glass House.....
It is the home of the Rats... 
it is approximately one-quarter scale (1:48)

At the very bottom, nestled in the ground between the roots is the Kitchen....
(I have not built anything on this project since 2014....!
 But it is still not finished at all...)

The next floor up is the salon.....
Since the leaves are off the RL trees
 the sun is shining way into my workroom
for a few minutes early in the morning....

Sorry about the reflections....
 I needed to snap the pictures 
in a hurry before the sun ran away....

The next floor up is the Library.....
 where so many items have fallen on the floor....

Nobody has been in to tidy up in quite a while....

I do love this room....!

And the bedroom on the next floor.....
( Oh!.... There is somebody home! 
So sorry for intruding...! 
It is rather early to be visiting!)

And the floor above... the Bath Chamber.....

With the most beautiful Tub in the world....!
All these rooms are lit with LED's....
 and the entire Tree is just a Tree beside The Folly....
I have not had the Time or the Focus 
to work on the next rooms in this project...
 perhaps when I am done with the Lilac Shrubs, 
I will know better how to finish the Tree!

So I will keep working away at the Lilac Shrubs, Dear Readers, 
In the hopes that I will be mastering techniques
 that will be useful on so many other
of my unfinished projects!
Because Someday I will be 
Revisiting the Tree House... 
to make Twigs and Stems again!


  1. So pretty inside the little treehouse!

    1. Thank you Sheila! I haven't worked on it in a long Time.... perhaps I will again soon! :)

  2. Isn't colour just such an amazing, ever-changing thing? I love how you have described the layering of bark colours and the scrubs are looking fab.
    Being a bit of a 'newbie' around here, I had not seen the tree house before - That would have to be the most glamorous rat house in the world.
    Anna x

    1. Thank you Anna! I LOVE everything about color...! The endless variations... the amazing combinations.... patterns... I Love color! LOL! The Tree House is overdue for some more "development"... we shall see how soon I get to that! It is a most glamorous residence in an unexpected setting! That is part of what makes it so much fun! LOL! :):)

  3. La corteza del árbol se ve muy real!Y los ramos de lilas estupendos.
    Que bonito el juego de luz en la casa del árbol!

    1. Thank you Pilar! I am trying to make them very realistic and I hope I succeed! The Tree House is still waiting for me to finish it...! :)

  4. Copying one lilacs shrub with a scala of different colors, into four other shrubs, must have been an undoable task, Betsy, but you, with your excellent painters skills, managed to do it! Anyone who knows how these shrubs look like in real, knows that your shrubs are wonderfully painted and look very realistic now. Moreover, you explained very well your paint process, that's something I absolutely can't do in proper English, so thank you so much!
    You even managed to complete blossom number thirty-two, hurray!
    I loved peeking into your Tree House, it's such a beautiful and creative creation, Betsy, it's so lovely to see it back again. It's always good to go back to an other project, when you better know what to do next, or how to complete it, isn'it!?
    Hugs, Ilona

    1. Thank you Ilona! I know you understand how challenging it is to make mini plants! The layers and layers take time! I am hoping the lilac shrubs will look "the same" when done.... except for the seasonal differences! LOL! Already I can see so many differences... but that will be my secret! LOL! It is not possible to make them exactly alike! And the Tree House is patiently waiting for me... I have a lot to do to finish it... but I am learning some techniques which will be useful! :):)

  5. Nice job that the lilac!
    the house of rats is charming!

    1. Thank you Claude! The lilacs are a long project... The Tree House will take even longer! LOL! I need to get more done on it soon! :):)

  6. Hello Betsy,
    How inspiring you are. The shrubs will be worth every minute of work because they are coming along perfectly. They look so realistic and I appr3eciate the fact that you take time to rework all of them so they match perfectly...many would not have taken that extra step.
    I love revisiting the Treehouse. It is such a fun and whimsical project...and incredibly well made.
    Big hug

    1. Thank you Giac! I am hoping the lilacs will look alike when done... (except for the seasonal differences)... I am sure it will not be noticeable if they are not! LOL! The Tree House is a favorite project of mine... I need to get back to working on it soon! :):)

  7. Hi, Betsy - I haven't seen the interior of your tree house before, and what a treat it is - so many levels, so much to see, and all of it beautiful and unique. Your explanation of your painting process for the lilac trees is so interesting. I like the "layering" technique that adds depth and color to the tree trunks - which, by the way, are looking SO REAL. As usual, I'm awed by your talent, your skill, and your diligence.

    1. Thank you Marjorie! The Tree House has several other rooms I didn't show... and of course the incomplete ones.... I need to get more done on it soon... I am learning techniques I will need...! So it is a good thing I wandered onto my other projects! LOL! The lilacs are making steady progress... and I am starting to have faith that they will look as I hope in the end! :):)

  8. You have truly mastered the bark on those lilac shrubs! Incredible! And oh how I enjoyed looking at each of the rooms in the treehouse! So many lovely decor things to look at, light fixtures, artwork et al. But my absolute favorite thing, and the photo I had to look at for a good long time, was the hand painted walls in the bedroom. Dear Betsy you are so talented, and the lively birds and pretty flowers are a window into your amazing soul! Now that you are a Bark Master, I can't wait for you to apply your skills to the tree's exterior!

    1. Dear Jodi, I am glad you could see the Tree House at last! I have not worked on it in too long a while.... I have plans...! Yes, the Chinoiserie Bedroom murals are a favorite of mine... ! I am looking forward to doing more on the Tree House.... when I get there! LOL! The lilacs are coming along.... and I am hoping they will look right when I am done!! :):)

  9. Not everyone has the talent nor the capability of being able to swap scales as dextrously as you can and do Betsy so for me it is always A Treat to have another peek into the Fantastical Treehouse at The Folly!
    And watching the steady metamorphosis of the Lilac shrubs also outside The Folly demonstrates your Mad Skills for Meticulous Details and how it pays off, Every Time!

    1. Dear Elizabeth, I do love the tinier scales so much! They make the normal dollhouse stuff seem HUGE! LOL! And they require more inventiveness because there is less that can be bought... although that has been changing recently too! I am enjoying seeing the lilac shrubs Finally beginning to look like I imagined all those months ago... Progress indeed! I am enjoying making them... and taking the time it needs to get it right! :):)

  10. (I love tree houses!) The interior of your tree house is really exquisite!

    1. Hi Sam! I am watching Dr. Zoe's house being transformed...! Tree Houses are so much fun! I really need to get back to the Tree House soon! I have much still to do! :):)

  11. Saw your Treehouse for the first time today and it's awesome. I love the bath!
    Inspired by your work, I began looking at trees and tree barks in a different way. Some of the trunks have a cracked grey texture but from afar it looks kind of brown.
    It's a pleasure seeing your shrubs stems in process. Great work!
    Hugs, Drora

    1. Thank you Drora! I am glad you like The Tree House bath... it is very special! I love The Tree House because I can make anything I want and it is all "make-believe" so it doesn't have to be perfect! I need to get back to working on it soon. I am glad my painting has added to your "seeing" trees! I love them and always see the details and want to copy them as much as possible..... which is not easy! :):)

  12. Oh, what a wonderful surprise - revisiting your fabulous tree house was brightening my day. It was like coming back to a place where you've spent an unforgettable holiday some time ago. And of course a place offering the most beautiful tub in the world! ;O) There's no doubt that you will take advantage from your actual struggling for bark-painting-perfection when the day comes where you'll start to paint the tree house. You've shown and even more explained your steps so well - and the result is breathtaking. The stems look so real - but I dare not forget: Welcome to No. 32!


    1. Thank you Birgit! It makes my day to know it was so much fun for you to Re-visit the Tree House! It is always like a vacation for me when I peek inside there... a Vacation I never get to! LOL! I really do need to get more done on it soon.... but not before the lilacs are blooming!:):)

  13. I do so love the concept of a tree housing an elegant and complicated series of rooms & lived in by small animals. Sophisticated small animals!
    I think your fellow craftspeople will be fascinated by your thorough study of the color of bark, and your attempt to reproduce it on tiny twigs. You're amazing!
    Lots of love,

  14. I was delighted to get to see your wonderful tree house again. Your shrubs are amazing they look so real.Thank you for sharing so much.
    Hugs Maria

    1. Thank you Maria! I love to re-visit the Tree House too! I really must get it more completed sometime! LOL! I am enjoying making the lilacs.... even though it takes a long time I think it will be worth it! :):)

  15. As I was checking my pond in my real garden I stood next to my lilac tree and examined it . I am amazed at how real your shrubs look! You really have captured the texture and colour variations. Once you are done, your shrubs will look like real bonsai lilac!
    Thank you for showing us the tree house again. I loved the sun shining in the rooms. It's such a pretty home, full of glitz and glamour. Those rats have got a beautiful fairy tale home.
    And welcome to yet another lilac blossom.

    1. Thank you Veronique! I am getting closer to the right finish on the lilacs... still some details to add! But I am starting to think they will please me when done! LOL! The Tree House has been waiting too long... I really need to work on it some more soon! (I am saying that about a lot of my projects lately! LOL!)

  16. Thanks for sharing how you are putting together those lovely shrubs. The blooms are so vibrant!

    1. Thank you Grandmommy! I am enjoying the process even though it is a very slow one! (Maybe that is what I enjoy about it?! LOL!)

  17. Replies
    1. Thank you Fabiola! I Love the Tree House... I need to get more done on it soon! :):)

  18. I have not seen the tree house!! So it was a very nice surprise to me. What a wonderful thing! I think I need to visit your blog more thoroughly and see all your projects!

    1. Hi Alexandra! I have not "finished" any of my projects.... they are all in partly finished conditions! I am not very organized with my labels either... it would take you forever to look at all my projects! LOL! But do have a poke around... the labels on the sidebar sort of lead you where they say they will! Thank you for your comments, I am very happy to have blogland friends who love minis!!! :):)

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