VENICE is famous the world over for its abundant flowered covered balconies, and so, since I am patiently awaiting some products for the Villa's bathroom, and since I am STUCK once again in miniature limbo, I thought that I would try and make some flowers to fill up a long planter box which I've made to eventually sit on the ledge outside the Villa's 3rd floor bathroom window.
The length of the planter box is 6.5 inches/16.5cm which is unrealistically long but since I didn't want to make 2 planter boxes, I'm okay with it. I decided to fill the box with IVY LEAF GERANIUMS.
Having previously made regular geraniums from kits, I felt I already had a good idea of how to do it. And having collected A LOT of paper punches from thrift stores and on-line vendors, I thought I could do it from scratch and hopefully well enough to give me the look I was aiming for;
AN EXUBERANT ABUNDANCE!
There are a total of SEVEN individual plants in the planter box.
4 pink & white ones
3 solid red ones
It took me about 3 days to completely assemble all of the plants.
I'm pretty happy with the way they look and so I'm going to pass on what I did which is neither special or unique,
I thought you might like to see it anyway.
FYI To any "professional"mini flower maker looking at these be forewarned- they ARE NOT "anatomically correct"
because I'm far too lazy to be that precise
what I'm showing you here is how I've chosen to make them it's a style I'm fond of and like to call: "Close Enough!"
so with that said- On With The Show!
The pink geraniums are made using both plain and acrylic painted photocopy paper. Some of the red ones were also made using painted photocopy paper.
After making 2 of the red plants with the photocopy paper, I switched over to Japanese writing paper, which I'd originally found at the thrift store. I later found the same packs of paper at a local mall retailer which sells DAISO Japanese products. It was $2.00 for 80 sheets. The weight of the Japanese #19 writing paper is similar to old cigarette or tracing paper.
For the pink geraniums I used a 5 petal paper punch for both the blossoms AND for the leaves .
The smallest of the flowers was what I used for the flower heads and the medium and the large punches were what I used for their leaves.
Here's what I punched out
sorting through the 3 sizes was a bit of a pain since they all looked the same!
I used all 3 sizes in green for their leaves
For the red geranium plant I switched to using the painted Japanese writing paper. The reason was that it was not only thinner, but the blossoms held their shape better.
I'll elaborate more on this a little further down.
Here's how I built the plants: I began with 3-4 lengths of 30 gage paper covered florist's wire
I folded the ends up about a third
Using a pair of pliers I twisted the folded ends together to a length of about 1 and 1/2 inches. This stem gave me plant base as well as a handle to hang onto as I constructed them.
I fanned out the stems and cut them down into irregular lengths. The upright ones would be the taller plants and the bent ones the cascading ones.
I cut smaller pieces of the leftover wire into short lengths of no more than an inch
The short lengths were bent into a "V" shape
The "V's" were then wrapped around the various stems, then to secure them in place, I pulled both ends tightly by using my pliers
Each sub-stem will support flower heads and/or leaves.
This is what it looked like when the armature was done
The only glue I used throughout this project was Carpenter's Wood Glue. To stabilized all the connections and add strength to the armature, I coated everything with a thin layer of the wood glue. I used a metal ball tool to apply the glue but a toothpick would've worked equally as well.
I made sure to completely coat the joints of each of the sub-stems so they wouldn't move about when the flowers were attached.
The glue blobs which you can see below where smoothed out using the ball tool.
Everything dried quite quickly!
Once the glue had set I prepared to add the flower heads.
I found some fake plant parts in my stash which had tiny styrofoam balls glued to it. I carefully picked the little balls off.
Once the styrofoam balls were removed I pierced them through with a corsage pin, Glue was added to the ends of the stems and the tiny balls were slipped onto the ends through the hole I'd made. ( I am showing a straight pin in the photo below however the corsage pin hole was easier to insert the wire through)
The petals will be applied to all of the little balls
The balls were given a coat of Wood glue right before the petals were attached.
The petals for the pink/white geraniums were first cupped with a ball tool, but for the red ones I changed my technique to what I show below.
Using a sharp pair of scissors I cut each of the paper flowers towards its center.
Then using fine pointed tweezers I gripped the flower on one side of the cut and wrapped the rest of the paper around the tweezers forming a cone-shape
I dipped the end of the flower cone into the wood glue
and then onto the styrofoam ball
I continued this process until the entire ball was covered. HOWEVER, After I began building the red geraniums, I noticed that the stiffness of the paper was causing the flower to unfurl.
so it was at this point, when I stopped using the photocopy paper and switched to using the Japanese Writing paper, which continued to hold its shape after the blossoms were glued to the ball.
"For unto us a child is born, unto us a child is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and HIS NAME shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government, there shall be no end upon the throne of David and upon His kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of The LORD of HOSTS, will perform this." Isaiah 9: 6,7
"Now this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the LORD by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call His Name EMMANUEL, which being interpreted is, GOD With Us." Matthew 1:22, 23
Jodi sent me an assortment of her Most MARVELLOUS hand-made MINIATURES
And this is what was inside: First: a box full of Summer with a running theme, which I'm certain you'll see! ❧❤️❧
I am so Stoked about this tall aged stone planter! It is absolutely Ideal for my future Italian Garden, Fully Loaded with Sunshine! But wait- that was not all oh no, Jodi sent me 2 pots of her fragrant white Casablanca lilies.
Her lilies are planted in 2 stone Lion-head pots I LOVE IT!
Jodi also included a small pot of purple geraniums. ALL SO BEAUTIFUL! Below you can see how Lovely the flowers look when grouped together ESPECIALLY between those 2 "guarding" lions! with the plaque also from Jodi
But if all this wasn't summery enough- Jodi sent me a selection of her AMAZING bird houses too!
I have specific homes assigned to each of them!
But Wait THERE'S STILL MORE! I also received some of Jodi's tea towels, and a tea cup with tea with spoon and a used TEA BAG on the saucer! Incredible! I would have been driven MAD as a Hatter attempting to do what she has so Successfully done! She obviously didn't name her blog"MY MINIATURE MADNESS" for nothing! :D
Inside her woven TEA BASKET were her custom tea towels, a jar of raw honey, 2 tiny boxes: one containing Peak Frean-style tea biscuits and the other individual tea bags!
ARE THESE AMAZING OR WHAT!!!???
and still MORE GOODIES!
A golden lion and an Elegant golden chair upholstered in a lovely Merlot- coloured textured fabric! Jodi included a Fat Square of the same fabric in her parcel and when I reversed the square I knew that AT LONG LAST- I'd found my drapes!
I was so excited that
I made the drapes almost immediately using Jodi's fabric and wouldn't you know it; there was just enough!
Below are the new drapes- pleated, valanced and fringed AND coupled with a new set of net curtains behind them.
The drapes are weighty enough to block the most intense summer heat whilst the net curtains filter the light and maintain privacy.
Once the drapes were up, the rest of the room really came together.
Linda Park's Incredible "VL" needlepoint cushions were already on the sofa and compliment the new curtains so well.
The hefty-gilded mirror was a resin Christmas Ornament I'd found at a local thrift store, which I'd repainted and aged to (hopefully) look like old and weathered wood.
One thing led to another.
The 2 black chairs are from a set I'd purchased earlier from Celia at K.T. Miniature Journal http://ktminiatures.blogspot.com/2018/06/some-not-so-old-dolls-house-furniture.html I loved them at first sight because of their shape and their open backs which gives a lighter look to the Morning Room and allows you to easily see through and beyond them into the main entry.
The 2 original French chairs which used to live in the Morning Room, were moved upstairs to the Music Room. (see my previous post for details) These 2 chairs were re-upholstered in the same fabric as the drapes, then quite naturally, I wanted to re-set the entire table.
After looking for an entire day for my missing round tablecloth, I FINALLY located it EXACTLY where I'd put it so that I could always easily find it. go figure?
I then set the table for A CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST.
I set out my treasured mismatched Sam Dunlap china.
The cups are bigger than average but I couldn't resist the fancy scroll-shaped handles on them!
The small blue and white plater depicting an Italian countryside is by Carrie Lavender of A LAVENDER DILLY https://www.etsy.com/fr/shop/alavenderdilly?section_id=19541821
My Continental Breakfast begins with a hot cup of herbal tea. On the table is one of Jodi's opened tea boxes containing her UNBELIEVABLE TEENY WEENY TEA BAGS! I removed one and placed it on the saucer beside the teacup.
Each teabag is wrapped with a string and has a label securing it! Honestly, I don't know HOW Jodi managed to do this as it must have been such a fiddly, time consuming job.
These individual bags so cleanly and so perfectly made... THEY ARE TRULY AMAZING!!!
The silver tea pot which I purchased last year from the Seattle Show holds the Hot Water. The Flakey Croissants were made by Valentina of Pink Cute Sugar http://valentinapinkcutesugar.blogspot.com/search/label/%E2%9E%BD1%2F12%20scale%20miniature
The jar of raw honey was yet another Wonderful gift from Jodi!
The peeled orange is by Yulia Yakobson in Estonia. I have her oranges displayed in several locations throughout the Villa and I NEVER get tired of looking at them.
As the morning wears on, the music teacher is up and down the stairs, grabbing a quick bite in between. She's left her Betsyville handbag with her sunglasses and shoes as she dashes up the stairs again to get her house keys before she leaves the house. She's Always forgetting something! But what she lacks in Organization, she makes up for is her Dedication and Passion for her art!
The fimo purse was discovered inside a grab bag from the thrift store, whilst the black mules were formerly wine glass tags also found at the thrift store. Janine made me the Hermes shopping bag with their signature brown ribbon draped over the top.
The iron statuette was moved out of the Morning Room, and down into the hall and wears the music teacher's sun hat by Fatima
I love the way you can see the assent of the stone staircase from this angle in the Morning Room
ah me... it appears that Breakfast is officially over
The Gondolier is out "gondolling" and the music teacher is elsewhere perhaps checking her bookings for the day. I expect she'll be back any minute though, because she's forgotten to take her book.
I would Strongly encourage EVERYONE to visit JODI'S blog MY MINIATURE MADNESS http://my-miniaturemadness.blogspot.com/ http://my-miniaturemadness.blogspot.com/2018/06/buyer-beware.html#comment-form
Many miniaturists looking for Quality Artisan Items for their collections, have ordered merchandise from SWAN HOUSE MINIATURES.
Jodi has just posted about her most recent encounter with this particular vendor and has since found MANY people (myself included), who've had the Unfortunate Experience of not receiving what they've paid for!
♫"How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank! Here will we sit and let the sounds of music creep in our ears. Soft stillness and the night become the touches of sweet harmony" ♫ from Shakespeare's play The Merchant of Venice
The bedroom of Villa Leone is almost finished. ( there are still a few more things left to do on my to-do list. ) Even so, didn't want to postpone this blogpost any longer because the more I delay, the longer it grows.
Needless to say, that I've changed and re-arranged this Venetian bedroom
many times since I began working on it.
I will review some of the major changes in this post,
which IS rather lengthy
but I've got some longoverdue
so be prepared for a bit of a read!
Since the Leone villa is a modest dwelling,
occupied by a music teacher and her husband
(a Venetian gondolier ),
the bedroom would be somewhat simple room,
using mis-matched pieces handed down from various family members
and therefore all the more treasured.
Most of the reference materials I looked at,
were either far too grand
as austere as a monk's cell-
What I was wanting was something,
romantically in between.
I began the bedroom with a rough mock up of the proposed room arrangement,
using as much furniture and as many accessories
as I could squeeze into the room.
I was also deciding between 2 beds;
one heavy Victorian bed and the other
a more delicate brass model.
I placed the beds in the foreground of the room with the other pieces stationed behind it.
First, I tried out the Victorian bed; pre-assembled from a vintage Realife Victorian Bedroom kit, which I found tucked away at Ross's Treasure House (a local miniature store)
I then tried out the brass bed which I'd purchased half-price at the Seattle Miniature Show last March.
I decided to go with the brass bed.
Of course I needed to age it and tone down the shine which I did by using a couple of light spray coats of Matte Acrylic Sealer and then some acrylic paints for the required tarnish.
The Chrysolite lamp and the vintage Bakelite electric clock were items I've had for a while, but the vintage books were a gift sent to me from Andrea Thieck of ANDREA THIECK MINIATURES http://www.andrea-thieck-miniatures.blogspot.com Thank You once again Andrea! :D
I LOVE BOOKS in Real Life and I Most Definitely love them in a doll's house!
The following "demo" is how I aged the lamp I'd chosen. The gold metal was darkened with acrylic paint and the glass sections were tinted
using Martha Stewart's glass paint
This is the lamp after a couple of light coats of
the English Tea glass paint. I'm quite happy with its new/old vintage look!
Keli Iseecerulean Blog
surprised me a few months ago by generously sending me some GORGEOUS pieces from Charlene's Legacy (some of which I'm also sharing with my friends) Thank You again Keli!
❤ ❤ ❤ The piece which I've kept and specifically wanted to use in Leone's bedroom
were the delicate vanity and the matching stool.
However, the only space available for the vanity was in front of the double doors leading onto the balcony, which was in between a 3 door wardrobe to the right, withthe main door leading into the bedroom, on the left side of it. In other words the vanity was surrounded by 6 doors all swinging in towards it Definitely a logistical problem :( And on top of that, the door on the left wall of the bedroom which looks out over the garden, was also prevented from fully opening by the end of the brass bed blocking its path. which of course, was another problem :( Since free access through all the doors was a Major issue with the current furniture arrangement, I thought it best to rethink my entire floorplan . so it went from this... ↓
to this ↓
not all at once, but gradually, over a period of time
but it was shortly thereafter that I began to have second thoughts about using the brass bed. so the bed was changed from this one... ↓
back to this one ↓
Once I was satisfied that there was enough walking space around all 3 sides of the wider Victorian bed, and that all of the doors could comfortably swing open, I removed everything from the bedroom again, which included the wallpaper panels, the floor, rugs, the furniture, accessories etc., so that I could hook up all of the electrics for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd floors.
and after several frustrating and hair pulling attempts- THEY ALL WORK!
It was as I was looking for the electrical tape I needed, that I came across the pair of sconces which Janine had given to me for my birthday last year. They proved to be Exactly Right for the second floor hall. I not only love the style of the sconces but they provided LOTS of light for the second floor hallway! Thank You Janine! :D http://minworks.blogspot.ca/
I LOVE the way these sconces look! :D
and since I didn't need the hanging fixture over the staircase anymore out it went.
(no need to worry about changing the lightbulbs now!)
Fatima had given me a large unfinished Bespac wardrobe for Villa Leone which required some minor repairs. I stained it Walnut and re-fitted the mirrored doors, and fixed the missing leg. It turned out pretty good.
The black hangers I bought at the Seattle Show last March
I have a Monic Robert's dress in there for show,
and the Gondolier's shirt and tie which Linda made specifically for Villa Leone is now hanging in the wardrobe too! :D
a lacy pink gown came from Charlene's Legacy via Keli soooo pretty! I'm saving it and the vanity my future Glencroft re-build
I'm not sure who made the the moccasins, but the embroidered slippers were Christmas gifts made by the VERY talented Linda Park. http://lindasminiworld.blogspot.ca/ She made a custom pair of slippers for Janine, Fatima, and me and I THINK THEY'RE PERFECT! Thank You Again Linda for ALL of your Amazing needlework! ❥kisskisskiss
these are truly Marvelous! I'll place them on the floor by the bed. ❧❧❤❧❧ In the meantime, I made a wide plank hardwood floor for my Venetian bedroom using The Willowcrest dollhouse kit's generous supply of thin clapboard siding.
The wallpaper I've chosen for the bedroom is a beige on cream over-size damask from a scrap book suitably subtle and old-world looking which works well with the bed
BUT as much as I liked the Victorian Bed, I found that the big empty space in the headboard was visually annoying to me. It looked like it needed to be filled but with what???
I'd found some ornate puffy stickers at the dollar store which I tried out on the headboard. I gave them a spray coat of Matte Acrylic Sealer so the acrylic paint would stick, cut some up and glued them onto the bed.
Stonewallingis a refusal to communicate or cooperate. Wikipedia
Villa Leone, has been deliberately refusing to cooperate with me which means that I've had nothing of interest to communicate on my blog. There's been nothing new to show you since January 14th because
I've been busy pouting.
I've been mad at Leone for stonewalling me
I'd suggest an idea but Leone would refuse it. So I'd try something else, however it didn't matter what I came up with because, the Villa rejected all of my ideas for it.
This went on week after week
and since Leone stubbornly refused to communicate or cooperate- I stubbornly continued to pout
Secretly I knew that the Villa was pushing hard for me to make the staircase for the second floor yet I continued to resist because frankly- I hate making stairs.
Eventually, I opted for a reconciliation.
Reluctantly, I resigned myself to working on the Villa's second floor staircase leading up to a 3rd floor Master Bedroom.
But I wanted as much floor space on the 3rd level as possible so I figured the best approach was to install the second flight of stairs right next to the first.
I papered the ceiling, cut the hole for the stairs, made the tile floor for the hallway using a STAND IN flight of steps as a temporary substitute for those which I will eventually have to build.
At the same time I also had to plan out the bathroom which will be the room closest to the viewer, as well as plan the layout for the adjacent library/music room on the second floor.
Many fine details for the entire second floor had to be planned simultaneously.
Once I had a workable floor-plan, and had cut out the opening in the ceiling for the stairs, I began constructing the interior walls for the 2nd floor hall and its future staircase.
For the dividing stair/bathroom wall, I cut out a window to provide additional light and interest in this tall, dark stairwell, and would look good on the bathroom side of the wall, too.
The "iron" grill was added to the window to help dress it up.
I fashioned the "L"shaped STONE WALL to not only enclose the first floor stairwell, but to also support the run of the staircase on its opposite side.
Since the stair enclosure looked plain to me, and since I have lots of cherubs in my stash, I decided to add a couple of angelic"carvings" to further embellish the walls.
The musical cherubs were glued in place and painted to match the stone.
The cartouche carvings were a gift from Fatima which I cut to fit, later I added the extra bit of plastic curlicue cut from a doily to fill up the space underneath it.
I found a hanging light fixture in my stash and tried it out in the hall. (but HOW will they (or I) ever be able to change the bulb?) hmmmm? I don't know moving on
I also made the tile floor for the hall from sheets of Scrap Book paper from THE HOBBY LOBBY
At this stage I was feeling pretty confident about my progress. that is UNTIL IT WAS TIME TO BEGIN WORK ON THE ACTUAL STAIRCASE and this is whenI ran headlong into another STONE WALL! ➽l
Megan from the blog "CREATIVE ME" http://www.blog.creativeme.co.za/ ran into exactly the same problem. She discovered that she no room at the top of her staircase for a landing and Whoops! neither did I! ☠ Try as I might (And I did try) there was no room to step off the top stair. EVEN WORSE there was NO ROOM for A BEDROOM or A BED on the 3rd floor! I did EVERYTHING I could to try to have a bed up there but there just wasn't enough room! ☠☠☠ by now, I was ANGRY AND FRUSTRATED! I realized that I would have to forfeit either the entire bedroom or a staircase leading up to it because Leone wouldn't let me have both!
In theory there's SCADS of space in the attic however there's also inset interior walls which support the roof as well as the 3 recessed windows on all three walls, AND a long hole in the floor to accommodate the staircase, so in reality, there's very little usable wall or floorspace despite it's great size.
I realized that I was snookered.
sooooo, after some more required pouting,
I chose to move the stairs to the opposite side of the hall so I could at least have a landing. in fact: the new position of the staircase is very close to their
as per the original instructions in the kit. duh! (I guess I should have read them) Thus, the attic bedroom was moved down to the
SECOND FLOOR, leaving enough room on the 3rd floor for it to become the library/music room.
I think that this arrangement will work.
and Sooooo now everything I had already done had to be UNDONE Which meant that I had to patch up the hole I'd cut in the ceiling, then recut a new one. I also had to entirely cover over the old ceiling paper in the hall with a new ceiling paper to hide my ugly patch job.
I also decided to remove and dismantled the existing stone walls and make a half wall instead.
When that was done, this is what it looked like
I found smaller seated cherub in my stash and glued it next to the ball on the banister, then tried out the arrangement with "Isabella" requesting that she perform the balcony scene from "Romeo and Juliet"
but alas! she was up-staged! Visually there was TOO MUCH STUFF GOING ON the cherub with the harp was Stealing the show and the view from afar looked really odd like- what IS all that stuff over there?
soooooo I pried off both of the angels, ditched the small one and moved the bigger cherub further down the pony wall, gluing it in between both of the cartouches.
I left the ball on the banister alone.
Now it looks like this
and as it happens, this new half wall will make it easier in the future for Isabella (probably me) to change the light bulb in the hanging fixture
Meanwhile a little Shakespeare, if you please...
"O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo? Deny thy father and refuse thy name. Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,. And I'll no longer be a Capulet."
Truthfully I like the look of the half wall much better! and now that the angels are out of sight-
it looks cleaner
The floor tiles haven't been glued down since there are electrical wires for the first floor ceiling lights directly underneath it. They will need to be connected to the power strips before the tile are permanently affixed, and once the floor is installed I will build the dividing wall between the hall and the bedroom.
FYI One of the most difficult tasks I had to perform, was getting my hand and arm through a window to apply the drywall filler along the join between the bathroom wall and the exterior wall, while working carefully around the hanging lamp and the pictures. Then I had to clean up the resulting mess. I also had to paint it with a VERY LONG HANDLED BRUSH! Whew!
When I told Janine that I had learned to become a contortionist I wasn't kidding
ahhhh the hoops we'll jump through for the sake of this hobby!
ugggh After I viewed the above photo I knew I needed to install some ceiling trim.
>< BLAST! out comes the tub of wall putty and then the paints again!
Arrrggh! an unsightly stray blob of putty, is found still clinging to the framed painting
Gold gilded frames in the gallery came courtesy of Jean-Claude at Maison française 1/12 ♥ thank you again Jean-Claude!
Artwork on the narrow wall leading towards the bathroom, are a round brass button cover, a cherub earring, and a coat of arms with a lion in the center of the shield Viva Leone! and yes, me and the Villa are on speaking terms again
And so there you have it! weeks of pouting and of doing nothing, and then of doing..