Monday, March 11, 2019

Spring Forward.....!

Ready or Not.....

I am sure you will Think I have already shown you this, Dear Readers, because in a way, I have, but actually this is the Other Winter Lilac Shrub finally getting the buds painted! I am struggling to get caught up with all the steps I had completed on the Snowy Lilac shrub.... and of course, I thought it would be a quick little job to paint all those buds. It's not. Hours of carefully painting all those glue blobs .... it is so much easier to add them than to paint them! And believe it or not, they have two sides...! You think you have covered the whole bud blob... but if you turn the shrub, the back side is still just dried glue! And you have to reach into all the branches and only get the paint on the glue blob bud! And you have to be methodical and resist the temptation to just paint the next nearest one... that path is chaos. It is important to proceed one entire stem at a time so you don't overlook a single dried blob of glue! As I said, this is not a quick little step! And this weekend we even had one hour less Time because the Clocks had to change. But it is done! And it is the last shrub that will have painted buds!

Then I also needed to add the nest.... 
which still needed to be "aged".... 
here you can see it with the other two remaining nests,
 also getting their wash of brown paint.

Here I have added it to the shrub.... I know, 
it is hard to get a good picture.
I think the twigs confuse the camera.... 
it doesn't know where to focus.

I also started a serious study, Dear Readers, 
of the Time needed to produce
 the leafy stems for the Spring and Summer Shrubs.
 Above you can see the stems with twigs prior to adding the leaves.
 I estimate I will need four leafy stems per branch.... 
times roughly  thirty branches.....
 (the number of main branches on the shrubs)
 which totals about 120 leafy stems per shrub.
I have about thirty already made but not painted...
 which leaves about 90 left to produce.... 
and only nine weeks left till blossom time!
And my study determined that it takes roughly
 one half hour per leafy branch from beginning to end.


At ten branches per week, that takes five hours... 
in addition to the four or five hours needed for the blossom plan....
 Will there be enough time....?

 And speaking of Blossoms... here is blossom number Forty-seven!!!

 And in the Box!
(Even I am becoming impressed!)

But really I wanted to show you
 the Other Winter Lilac Shrub in The Folly Garden....

 I did not add any more snow to the shrub... 
(even though it snowed again on Sunday...)
Because at this time of year the snow is melting .....

And the minute the sun comes out .... 
all the snow is gone from the branches... 
even if it is still thick on the ground!

Those bare branches give us hope!

 I still have to add the suckers to this shrub.... 
and the fungus to the stumps.... 
and the lichen to the stems......
But I think I am making progress, Dear Readers,
Springing Forward....
Ready or Not!


  1. Yes, I'm sure you're making progress, Betsy, you can be proud of yourself, especially for your perseverence to make so many of them! The shrubs look so realistic with all of the details you're adding to them.
    I'm one of those people, who knows for sure that making flowers/plants is very, very timeconsuming, but if they're'll see it is worth all your effort! See the content of that cardboard box, what a beauty of flowers!!
    I love seeing the Folly in the 'melting' snow, I can clearly see the difference ;). And welcome to number forty-seven, you can be proud to see them all gathered in the box, they're beautiful!!
    Hugs, Ilona

  2. Hello Betsy,
    It is just wonderful. I read your posts and looka th the pictures and think I would never try such a project...I would go nuts. However, the results are simply incredible and with each post I fall more in love with your shrubs. Hang in there!
    Big hug

  3. Hi Betsy, keep up the hard work, it is paying off! Maybe you can´t see the light at the end of the tunnel but you will, you are getting there and we have the honour to follow you and cheer you up and enjoy along with you when you´re finally there. Let´s jus enjoy the ride, Spring is almost here!

  4. Your patience and attention to the smallest (but very important) details are becoming legendary Betsy! The best thing about your weekly updates is that the fun you are having in creating these superb lilac shrubs for all seasons comes across and invigorates all of us to do our best work and enjoy it! All those blossoms in the box remind me that soon it will be warm outside, the neighborhood full of color, and my soul glad we've made it through another winter!

  5. Hi, Betsy - Your patience in methodically painting all those glue glob buds is amazing and inspiring, and the shrub is turning out so beautifully that I know it's well worth the time and effort. I'm glad that you continue to move forward with this project; I'm pretty sure that I would have given up or found a number of drastic short cuts long before now. I commend you for staying the course. All the snow has gone from our trees, and it's finally started melting off the ground; I can see grass again for the first time in many weeks. The slow disappearance of the snow, in addition to your wonderful collection of forty-seven lilac blossoms, gives me much hope that nature is finally ready to spring forward into a warm and colorful world!

  6. Wow! Busy busy weekend. You got a lot done even missing an hour. Ah...meticulous painting...I recall those days...

    I love how the lilac bushes are coming along though. Can't wait for spring when they'll be in bloom.

  7. Beautiful work, as always. You're a great artist.

  8. The lilac bushes are superb! I'm waiting for them to bloom and know it will be a glorious sight.

  9. Claro que se ve el progreso!! mirando las fotos anteriores y comparándolas con las nuevas,se ven todos los detalles añadidos y va a quedar impresionante!!!!

  10. I really enjoyed that post - very educational! You are so amazingly accurate and patient! The shrubs look wonderful. I look forward to seeing them in person in June.
    Stay warm & dry,
    Love, Mom
    (snow here this morning)

  11. I love your tree and your nest is an adorable addition!

  12. Most Impressive,Betsy! The 4 seasons will be well represented once you have completed your 4 lilac shrubs, and then we'll have the rest of the seasonal under-plantings to look forward too as well! ;D


  13. I don't know why… but I loved the sight of the melting snow from picture to picture! *LOL* As always it was interesting to follow your steps and your struggle for perfect realism. I must confess I've saved your advice about painting things like those blobs methodically very well… *grin* And it's fascinating what difference a detail like the bird's nest can make. Your calculations about the leaves may be a bit frightening… eh... no… let's better say it's a challenge, this is so much more motivational. And although spring is already on its way - there will be another spring next year… so if time should not be on your side you could still concentrate on the summer shrub instead. Not to forget - welcome to No. 47!


  14. Those nests are just gorgeous and so realistic Betsy. I am not sure it’s wise to count up the hours to make the leaves, but look at how far you’ve come with the flowers! That’s great work. Keep persevering! X