Monday, December 3, 2018

Christmas Cards...




And Procrastination....

It Was one of Those weekends, Dear Readers, when almost nothing was accomplished in my Mini Worlds, due to the necessity of moving all my houses around to make room for the Christmas Trees. My RL house is not large, and I have gone a little overboard over the past few years, assuming that I can find room for all my mini Real Estate, if I manage it carefully! So when it comes time to bring in the Christmas Trees (I do one upstairs and one downstairs.... one white and one with colored lights...) I am forced to compromise somewhere. It is the one time of year when I am almost tempted to admit that Maybe I have too many projects under way. But I managed it! The two trees are in place and have their lights on. The upstairs one is beside my drawing table and keeps me company on the loooong winter nights while I draw the Christmas Card. And we all know this takes me a Looong time to complete! But lest you think I gave up on my lilac blossoms.... above you can see the blossom number Thirty-five finished!

And here it is in the box with the rest of them.
I am hoping I can continue to make them
 according to my timetable of one a week,
 and still have enough time to draw the Christmas Card.
We shall see!
And meanwhile, since some of you are new-ish to my blog
 and might have only a vague idea of what I am talking about
 with The Christmas Card.... 
I thought I would take you on a brief tour
 of the most recent offerings....
Well, perhaps I will start with an overview.....
Because this is the Thirty-fifth consecutive year I have drawn a card...

The first twenty-five years are hanging on the wall
 at the bottom of the stairs.... 
It's really impossible to get a decent shot of the whole group!
The first eighteen years are done only in black and white...
 pen and ink on paper.... 
because color copies were not possible back then!
Over the years, the cards became a record of family life for the year...
 and because I love Medieval Art, 
they have always been inspired by Medieval Illuminated Manuscripts....
 often incorporating a letter of the alphabet.... 
either overtly or hidden in the drawing...
I am not going to bore you with looking closely at ALL of them!
But here is a closer look at the last ten years....
Since I have been living in my "New" House....

Of course, I drew the new house.... 
a little like a Dollhouse.....
 even though I had not yet started rebuilding The Lovely Old Dollhouse...
 it is sitting in the upstairs left-hand room
 in the back corner beside the Christmas Tree....!
(You might need to poke the picture to see it...!)
And I am sitting at the drawing table... drawing the card of course!
My sons were both home too...
And there is a letter hidden in this card.... though it is very subtle.

And in 2009, Even though I had fallen into the Dollhouse world....
 I was still a bit in denial.... 
The only view here is in the tail of the "Q".....
 rebuilding The Lovely Old Dollhouse had begun!
My younger son was serving in the Army
 and was in Afghanistan at the time....
(I apologize for the glare on these pictures... 
I had a hard time getting photos  without glare....!)

2010 and I was beginning to admit to the World
 that I was playing with dolls......
I had started this blog.... featured in the main bar of the "X"...... 
along with views of The Castle kitchen on the lower left corner... 
and The Lovely Old Dollhouse in the upper right!
I am sure you will need to poke the pictures to see what I am talking about!

2011 was a Hard year.... 
Hurricane Irene devastated our region... 
My sister was sick with cancer.... 
to mention a few of the larger challenges....
 but we made it through!
Again, there is a letter in this one too.... 
I think it is pretty obvious.
And I was still pretty shy about admitting
 my attachment to the mini world...
 but there in the center of the Tree Trunk, 
my sister and I are playing with the Lovely Old Dollhouse...

But in 2012, Dear Readers,
 I finally gave up all pretense! 
I had fallen deeply into the Tiny world of The Tree House.... 
(at approximately 1:48 or quarter scale)
I had done nothing else all year!
 I struggled mightily to find a different subject.... 
but the Tree House won... it got center stage in the Card!
Again... a hidden or subtle letter....
(I am sure you will see it!)

2013 was a "Flashback" to the memory from childhood
 of the moment I first laid eyes on The Lovely Old Dollhouse....
 my sister and I coming down stairs on Christmas morning.... 
there it was under the tree!
I struggled to get the perspective right on this one....
I was four years old.... she was three... we share this memory!
Meanwhile the "Little Dreamers" had arrived on my work table....
And Blue the Blue Fairy Bearey had joined me too!
(I hope you can see the letter in this one!)

2014 I went Kit Krazy....
(this had started in 2013 but I was in denial....)
Rose Thorne Cottage.... 
the Conservatory (the double conservatory)...
 the Cloud Palace and The Willowcrest 
all busted their way out of the boxes and ..... 
well you know... they kind of took over my life!
And I didn't mind for a minute!
'Cause all those little beings needed houses...!

2015 was another "flashback"..... 
not to a dollhouse Christmas....
 but to the Wonder of the Christmas Tree.....
 the lights... the hush of the dark morning.... 
before the parents awoke.... 
at my Grandparents house.... 
again, a visceral memory....

Here.... come closer..... 
I really think I captured that snow-globe..... 
remember those?

2016 was another year for The Lovely Old Dollhouse.... 
close up and in detail! 
I had finally done a little more work on it... in the attic... 
I think it was a year I was trying to work on everything....
 and felt like I did nothing.... 
or at least nothing that looked like anything in a drawing..... 
and certainly the brick walkways of The Folly
 were not going to look like Christmas!

And down there in front..... in all their Teeny-Tiny glory
 are the 1/144th scale ladies and the room box of The Folly Parlor.... 
which had leapt their way into my Mini Worlds.... 
but How could one possibly show them?
And the beginning of The Secret Christmas House Kit...
which I started because it might be a sort of Quick project.....
Or so I thought!

I only spent most of the year on it...
 and still did not quite finish it for Christmas Last year!
Because I got a Little carried away..... 
I had to make a lot of Teeny-Tiny things.... 
like dishes and goblets and Christmas trees
 and books and knitting and a cat and.... 
Well, you can visit last year's blog to follow it all!

But it was the feature of last year's Christmas Card!
No denying now that my life is wrapped up in Minis!

Well, Dear Readers, if you are still reading.... 
all this is a preamble to the Point... 
I am supposed to be working on
 This year's Christmas Card Drawing!
And what am I doing....? 
Some call it Procrastinating.... 
I choose to think of it as Getting in the Mood...!
But whatever it is... 
I will be working on The Christmas Card
 for the next few weeks....
 for as long as it takes 'til it is done!
But I'm going to try to not abandon my blossoms!


21 comments:

  1. Oh Betsy! Your art is a wonder to me! It delights me so much to try and spy every little detail, and still I wonder what I've missed. It amazes me how you manage to not only incorporate letters, words, meaning, people and events into such a wondrously small space, and yet details like the patterns on carpets and layers as we look into the scene are still exceptional. You are so incredibly talented, and I am so lucky that you share your gifts with the world! I can't wait to see how you memorialize 2018 in this year's Christmas card, because 35 of them and you're still full of creatively genius ideas!

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  2. WOW EEEEEEE!!!!
    Your annual Christmas Cards are Absolutely PHENOMENAL!!! The Designs, the Details, the Stories, the Colors, are Beautifully expressed by YOUR ENORMOUS TALENT!!

    I am IN total AWE!!! ❤️

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    1. Let me also mention Betsy, that your 2015 ("U" )illustration which you generously included in our gift exchange a few years back, is displayed on my wall and I continue to enjoy it, each and every day of the year :D ☃️

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  3. I just finished looking at each of your cards which show what an incredible artist you are. These cards are a combination of art, family history and your love of miniatures. Thank you so much for sharing these stunning works of art.
    Hugs, Drora

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  5. what a spectacular work! it's fantastic, bravo!!

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  6. You know, when you look at something and think.. 'can this get better?' and it does and it keeps going and in the end your are there with your jaw resting on the edge of the table in utter amazement and wonder?? Well that pretty much sums up my current posture.. :-)
    Seeing your treasure of cards just made my day.. Wonderful, Wonderful, wonderful.
    Anna x

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  7. Yes, it's that time of the year that we all here have to deal with it: Christmas trees who won't fit in, when someone's hobby has to do with miniatures, Betsy ;O!
    I'm glad to see number 3 of the lilac blossoms, they're so beautiful to see.
    Because through the years I've seen your other creations of the Christmas cards, they're true artworks, dear Betsy, so I can't wait to see the newest one ;)! I didn't know you've drawn them since 35 years now. But, WOW, you've framed lots of them in, what a collection you have, beautiful and lovely memories of times gone by....
    I fully understand the thinking about the creation of the new Christmas card: I 'work' the same ;). Before my hands start to work at something in miniature, I always have 'to think it over' of what and specially how I will do something....
    It's good to know for me that there are more people, who follow this process, as you do too.
    So, create new lilac blossoms whilst you're thinking of your newest Chrsitmas card, dear Betsy, we'll wait and see ;)!
    Hugs, Ilona

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  8. I am so impressed with your cards and how detailed and original each one is! Gorgeous. I'm speechless.

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  9. Wooo impresionante tu tarjetas de Navidad, espero ansiosa la de este año:-)

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  10. Oh I'm so glad you reminded me! That was a trip down Memory Lane for me, too - one of the cards, 2009 I think, I had rarely really looked at, even tho it's up on my bedroom wall along with all the rest. Of course we will all wait with baited breath (whatever that means!) for this year's card.
    Much love,
    Mom

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  11. Eh... I'm somehow confused now… am I on the right blog? I mean... the Betsy I know did not start the drawing of her annual Christmas card before New Year's Eve due to the lack of time during the last years... *devilish-grin* Starting Dec 3rd is really a reason to shout "Bravo!" *teehee* But without any more bad jokes: Thank you for making my day (as you so often do with your posts btw)! It was so much fun to discover your early ones (although I'm of course not able to spot any details on the photo but your black and white ones look fantastic too), your more recent ones and of course with extra joy your latest ones. Being the proud owner of wonderful copies from the last ones I can honestly say that these are true pieces of art! It's fascinating to see all those details you're able to bring in... And seeing this parade of your masterpieces made me even more aware of the fact how you're following a vision and/or concept in the creation of your cards, not only showing what you've accomplished and what happened in your mini and real world that year but also the scheme with the letters being woven so cleverly into the drawing. I'm really looking forward to see your 2018 masterpiece! Have fun while drawing!

    Hugs
    Birgit

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  12. What a wonderful tradition and a lovely thing to do. And your talent :O :O :O Can´t wait to see this year´s :)

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  13. Hello Betsy,
    What an amazing artist you are. Your cards are all so incredibly detailed and amazingly beautiful. What an incredible artist you are.
    Big hug
    Giac

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  14. Wow I have seen some of your cards before but seeing all these together was a real treat. Your cards are gorgeous and hold so many precious memories. Wonderful artist I can't wait to see your new one.
    Hugs Maria

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  15. Hello, Betsy - I've seen a few of your amazing Christmas cards over the last few years, but I had no idea that you've been drawing
    them for 35 years! The ones you've shown here are such a delight to examine. I've enjoyed getting lost in all the minute details, although how you can draw such tiny images while maintaining the clarity of each one is beyond my understanding. I admire your incredible talent in bringing forth this wonderful creation every year.
    Marjorie

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  16. Vos cartes sont merveilleuses, vous avez tous les talents chère Betsy. J'ai l'impression que nous recevons de moins en moins de cartes de Noël ou de Nouvel? Si un jour je reçois l'une des vôtres je la garderais bien précieusement.

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  17. You're a great artist. The Christmas cards are amazing.

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  18. You are incredibly talented! Thank you for such a wonderful post! I admitted to myself and others that I want to play dolls in 2012. I am happy from now on. Your message has touched me very much! Your new year cards are amazing and beautiful! Thanks you!
    And the lilac is fantastic! Only a miniaturist has such great patience!
    Tatiana

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  19. O my, Betsy! That was a wonderful view of Christmas Cards past. I am in awe of your talent, as I always am. You are not procrastinating, inspiration needs to ripen, like cheese ;-)
    I have no doubt that when the time is right, the inspiration will start to flow and you will come up with another gem.
    Your art is a beautiful tribute to your life. Thank you for sharing it with us.

    Hugs!

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  20. Fantastic art and what a great way to celebrate each year! :D

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