AWARD

Thursday, 2 June 2016

A trip to the Balcony-

I have a sister who used to be in the theater.  Whenever we are in the car together, it's all about HER.  Against my good advice, she insists on taking the most roundabout, zig zag route imaginable to get us from point A to point B.  She laughingly says it's because she likes to be different.  She deliberately puts on her "DIVA" persona whenever she gets behind the wheel, because when she is driving she won't listen to ME, instead she'll insist on going her own way!
I grew up being bossy, AND  I'm older than she is therefore when I try to point out the advantages of taking the faster main roads to get where we are headed, she'll simply smile and continue to ignore my "great wisdom", and drive where she wants to.    


And so we will always take the scenic routes-
the
longer, roundabout pathways, through strange neighborhoods, backstreets and side alleys; areas I never knew existed!  And I have had to learn to hold my tongue, sit back and enjoy the ride until we get there.  And thus I've found,
(providing that your not the one paying for the gasoline ),
that 

the road less travelled is often the most interesting


This observation is certainly applicable as to how I came to have the balcony on Villa Leone that I now have. 

Not knowing where to start with its initial construction, I decided to take a detour and do something I knew would work, and which I hoped would give me the courage I would need later on.
I began by repainting the black front door.
Right after I read Betsy's comment in my last post about painting the front door of the villa a "Blood Red", I set about doing it.  I love Red front doors and so Betsy's advise was easy to follow.  I chose "Geranium Red Patio Paint" from Michael's, to go over the  existing black paint.  I deliberately made the red paint thin in some areas which allowed the black to show through.  I lightly sanded the door and then  muddied up the color with a thin veil of black gel stain over the red to age it.  Once the painting was done, I KNEW that it was a keeper, so I went ahead and glued on the extra trims, i.e, the lion's head door knocker, two additional decorative iron panels at the top of the door, a lock and the carved door handle and plate in the center of the door.  I made mine from a necklace clasp which was something I'd seen in a tutorial somewhere. Placing the handle in the center of the door was something Janine had done on her French house, and which she'd told me was very european. 
The ornamental iron panels are cut sections from a sandalwood fan.
For added weathering, I also used a lead pencil on the surface of the door. 

I left 2/3 of the door red but darkened it by degrees, towards the threshold.  
I was pretty happy with the overall results, so THANK YOU Very Much Betsy! :D
The front door will in all likelihood, remain removable probably.... forever,
since the entrance hall will be difficult to access otherwise.

I was able to cross that job off of my list, while
still avoiding work on the balcony.
Repainting the door, instantly changed the mood of the house and directed me towards a decision about the patio

to remove it
   I took it off because in all of my research on Venice, I didn't see anything in any of the buildings, to support it.  So once I made up my mind that it had to be done I didn't hesitate.
The patio came off so cleanly that I was astonished!  The small wall however, did leave a big gash in the front facade, which I   patched up later with cement. 
This is the entire patio unit.
And wouldn't you know...
the length fit perfectly along the side of the house- Yahooooo! :D

leaving just enough room to add a front retaining wall later on. 
With the patio relocated, it was time to focus my attention on the space above the second floor french doors.
( notice how I'm still circumnavigating the balcony?) 
I had been to the thrift store and found a multiple tea light candle holder with decorative tin floral motifs attached to a metal frame. Since one was already partially detached, I realized that the rest  of the medallions would be a snap to remove too.
When I got the candle holder home, I easily snipped them all off with a pair of pliers.
 I cut 2 of the motifs down to fit inside the empty arch above the second floor doors.

I layered the two piece of tin together which increased their mass and filled the recess. Then went over everything with wall patch,  avoiding the negative spaces.  I gave it a light sanding and aging using water based stains, which completed this plaster relief.
The day I bought the candleholder, was the same day I bought this black metal basket also at the thrift store.  I had every intention of using it for the front balcony.  I was feeling giddy at the thought!  This would be the quickest and easiest route to get where I was going, since it was ready-made and already looked like a balcony! 

As you know, I am by nature, quite lazy, not to mention  impatient and I'm always on the lookout for the shortcuts. But here is where I ran into a roadblock.
This metal basket did NOT come apart easily and violently resisted my considerable efforts to cut through the frame to achieve the dimensions I required.  I was working up a terrific sweat as I sawed through the metal.  It was with great determination and all the strength I possessed in my hands and arms, that I managed to finally cut through the frame to have just enough for one section of the balcony, yet not enough to complete the project.
Huffing and Puffing I reluctantly had to abandon my shortcut intentions of using the metal basket as planned.



TOO BAD!  IT WOULD HAVE BEEN SO NICE
but perhaps I could still make it work- somehow. 
Now, to tell you the truth, I kinda liked this look and I would have probably used it, but I just didn't want to have to go though that wrestling match again! 
I did however salvaged a mangled piece of the filigree tin. After I straighten it out, I cut it down to use as grill for over the front door.
Waste not, Want not!

I decided while I was at it, to explore a number of different directions, to see if any would lead me to a final commitment.
Below are just a few of Many variations.  
Several of them I actually liked! 
:)
At one point I was also considering shutters for the french doors.  I had One shutter, which was not even the right size. Even so, I tacked it onto the door to see if it was worth considering.
:/ 
 I took it off
:/
Still going around in circles
:)
:O !!!
:/


And THIS is where I ended up and this is how I got here...

While Janine was flying back from Australia, Fatima and I attended a miniature estate/garage sale across the border and it just so happened that there were lots of carved balcony spindles and railings in a pile marked FREE!  When I got them home and tacked them to the balcony, they fit the bill for the balcony... 
very Solid and Substantial! 
I spray-painted them white then waited for the paint to dry.
Meanwhile-
 Janine at last arrived back in Canada, so she and Fatima and I met and exchanged mini gifts, had show and tell, told stories, shared treasures, ate and visited.
Janine brought back some AMAZING needlepoint goodies which Linda Park had made for the 3 of us! Truly AMAZING gifts! Thank You Linda! :D 

I will show mine in a later post, as well as some of my other lovely gifts received from friends.   
Linda arrives later on this month, but she sent some things along with Janine, i.e. these laser cut, chipboard tags. These gift tags looked Oriental/ Turkish.  There is a lot of the Turkish influence in many of the homes in Venice so when I returned home, I cut some of the tags down to see if they would fit as inserts into the window slots of the french doors. 


 THEY FIT PERFECTLY!
And 

they entirely transformed the look of the balcony.
I painted the grillwork to look like aged metal, after which, I painted the doors "Brick Red" and aged them with black gel stain.  That altered their color to a deep, rich burgundy. 
Taking this road led me down another.
 Under the balcony I installed 2 MORE lions for additional visual supports and I also added a horizontal flag pole. 

I was also inspired to finish the lower doors which received 2 carved panels, after they'd been glued permanently shut!

What luck! I found a photo in a magazine of the winged lion of Venice, which I plan on transferring onto fabric and adding fringe. My intention is to suspend it as a flag on the flag pole. 
Or I could I drape it over the balcony? 

Before I forget, these are the door knobs for the second floor French doors.  The painted metal findings work really well with the metal grill inserts. 
Having realized one balcony; leaves me the second one yet to do.
Here we are again, back to the patio side entrance with the Juliet balcony still waiting in the wings.


I made all of these plants, except for the big one.
I'd tried out Annie Fryd Christensen's "We Love Miniatures" youtube tutorial
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOIFLFl74mU&index=5&list=PUtkTdmDzMxrjQ2qXBZl7Xjwon 

how to make paper succulents, which were lots of fun!   My intensions are to FILL the patio and both of the balconies with colorful flowering plants.  I prefer to contemplate making plants because then I don't have to think about making that second balcony!!! :( 

The white clothes peg is a wedge to level out the door panel, since I had to re-cut that opening,... AGAIN!  
Detail of the patched and crumbling wall and foundation. 
And I finally decided on an exterior lamp to hang by the front door.  I made it myself based on the one I made for my room box "GOTHICA"Best in show 
http://studioeminiatures.blogspot.ca/2013/06/best-in-show.html
I wanted something with visual weight to counterbalance with the weight of the balcony.  I also wanted it to cast a golden glow when it was turned on. 

 and it does!
I still have to settle on 2 matching exterior lamps for either side of the second floor balcony.  I'm considering a pair of black carriage lamps, however I wanted something entirely different beside the front door.

 The front stoop is an old sanding sponge rubbed nearly naked.   
For now it works fine until I get to that project.  


One final note:
 Janine found a magazine article about Venice, during her return flight to Canada.
 She gave me the tear sheets when the 3 of us were together at Fat's house. The photos and the text were TERRIFIC resource materials and they provided a closer view of some of the homes along the canal.  

Here is a quote from one of the printed captions:

"While many of the old palaces here have been restored, many more are peeling and crumbling bulging and lurching. 
And this is part of the appeal" 

 I agree!
One peeling crumbling, balcony down, and one more to go....


but I have to leave you now because YOU have arrived at the end
Hope you enjoyed your trip to the balcony even though I made you go the LONG WAY. 

but you can blame it on my sister! 


elizabeth














































































110 comments:

  1. All I can say is "WOW". What a great roundabout way to come to something so beautifully detailed and amazing! What luck you had at the Estate Sale over the border. It was meant to happen and it was there just for you because the balcony looks terrific. The lamp is beautiful and you made it which is extra special. I loved it in Gothica and it looks great here. The door transformation is also great. Love the red with the black peeking through. In short...Love love love!

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    1. Hi Fats, and Thank You! :D
      I believe that finding those free spindles was "meant to be" too!
      I'm so glad that you like the lamp, Fats. It took me 3 attempts to finally make it and then to get it to look right, but I was inspired when I saw the Incredible wall sconces you made for your Garfield "Victoria." It was also a last resort since I couldn't find anything on line which met the specifications. It was so helpful and encouraging to have had your input, Much Appreciated! I find it a real blessing when we're able to bounce ideas off of each other; wouldn't you agree?

      elizabeth

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  2. I am in constant amazement! Your mind is a constantly mini-seeing machine.....all the bits you find and turn into stunning mini additions! I've read this post 3 times and keep staring at the pictures. Amazing elizabeth.

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    1. Hi Kat! I am sooooo Pleased that you like what I have done Kat; Thank You! :D I am not always entirely confident that I've made the right choices when I make them, but I'm glad that you think that I have. :)

      There ARE lots of bits and pieces that went into this exterior with thanks to a little help from my friends. It pays to have other people on the lookout for interesting materials which they then pass on, not to mention the helpful advise and opinions of fellow miniaturists ( such as yourself) on the internet.
      I'll have to remember that phrase though, "mini-seeing machine": I like it! :D

      elizabeth

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  3. This is amazing, I love the way you try and change things till it fits naturally. Everything looks old and I can almost smell the damp from the canal. I admire how you manage to make thing look old! Looking forward to the next post. Greetings

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    1. Greetings Aurora! Thank You for your comment about "everything looking old" That makes me Happy, but the cherry on top was when you said that you could "smell the damp from the canal"- that for me is a Most Wonderful Compliment, because it means that you feel that you are actually there too. :D

      elizabeth

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  4. Por lo que queda demostrado,que la línea recta,no siempre,es la manera más rápida de llegar a destino,jajajaja!!!! Los cambios que has hecho después de dar varias vueltas,son sorprendentes,maravillosos,de una realidad increíble!!!!!!!
    La puerta roja es perfecta,los desconchados,las humedades del agua del canal...todo me transporta a la bella Venecia!!!
    Besos.

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    1. You are So Right Pilar- the "straight line is NOT always the fastest route"! :D
      I don't think that I could have arrived here coming from the direction I had originally set out from, by going in a straight line; I had to take the scenic route. ;P
      I LOVE what you said about being " transported to Venice", Thank You!!! That is exactly what I am trying to convey even though I have physically never been there. My desire is that this villa will bring Venice to the viewer! :D

      elizabeth

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  5. Hi Elizabeth, What a roundabout route you have taken and in such a short time!
    Amazing progress! Darn that basket would not fit but I think you have made the correct choice in the spindles for the balcony and the gratings in the French doors are inspired. I could see your eyes glow when you unpacked the parcel from Linda and saw those panels of latticework.
    I enjoyed your post so much. You always inspire us - in fact you make it all so possible!
    Thank you and see you soon I hope.
    Hugs Janine

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    1. Thank You Janine! It certainly WAS the longest most "roundabout route" imaginable- Patio ON.... Patio OFF, front door blue, front door black, front door red.... etc. etc. But the time, although it Was short didn't feel like it.
      It feels like I have been working on this project for Months and Months, instead of just getting started on it. I feel as though the villa and I have a long history behind us even though technically we are still just getting acquainted. There are times when I am consumed by frenzied building and painting and then great lulls occur when I do nothing but stare at it and wonder what to do next and I can't think of an answer. When Linda sent along those tags, I was in one of those low tide moments and seeing the patterns in them re-ignited the fire that had almost gone out, of trying to think of what to do with the doors. I do believe however, that I am nearly ready to move from the outside- IN! I wanted to get the exterior to a certain point where I could comfortably do that and at last I feel that I'm almost there!
      The change will do me good!
      I look forward to seeing you again soon too, and anticipate the time when all 4 of us MINITEERS get together again.
      One for all, and All for one!:D

      elizabeth

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    2. Elizabeth, I did want to mention that the side patio would suit as a landing platform for gondolas. Villa Leone is certainly old enough to have people and goods delivered by water.
      Terrific aging as usual.
      Chaio Janine

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    3. Hi again Janine! You must have been reading my mind! I have begun to write the "history" of this villa and it's merchant roots! I'm still fleshing it out but you have guessed its direction intuitively!
      Clever Girl!!!! :D

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  6. WOW ! Elizabeth le chemin long,peut-être avec des détours, certes, mais avec tellement de détails et de découvertes au fil du déroulement du message,que le final arrivant, je ne peux qu'être agréablement et superbement surprise par le résultat ❤❤❤
    Les plus jolies découvertes se font en prenant les petits chemins pas la ligne droite ;)
    Bises. Joce

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    1. Thank You Joce! :D And I would agree with you that the "prettiest discoveries ARE when you take the small paths"! :)) When I am driving with my sister, I am actually paying attention to where we are because there is so much that's new to see, but when I am bee-lineing it, just to get somewhere else, I am on automatic pilot and rarely care to notice what is going on outside. All of the details become a blur.
      Mies Van der Rohe is quoted as saying "God is in the details" and I believe that he was Right!
      Especially when it's applied to our miniatures! :D

      elizabeth

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  7. Your balcony is perfect! The spindles really are just right and the flag is going to be a wonderful detail. If you need more laser panels, speak now - I only have tomorrow but would probably be able to get some. Your plants are great too. You have such a good eye. Probably perfected as you drive the long way around!
    See you soon, Cheers, Linda

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    1. Hi Linda! :D YOU saved the day for me, Thank You!!! Forwarding those tags was a God-send and I am so glad that you are able to see how I put them to good use!
      I would LOVE some more but not to worry too much because I have taken care of the most pressing concerns ( the doors) so I am content. :D
      I am Delighted that you like the balcony, Linda. As I've said, I have plans for many more plants for the balconies as well as for the patio. I've found that a little turquoise and other pops of bright color, goes a long way!
      And I am really looking forward to your next visit, as are both Fats and Janine! :D

      elizabeth

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  8. Yes I really did enjoy my journey! All your finds and how they all worked so well, this is an exciting project, thanks for having me along fore the ride :) Oh and a rotary tool with a metal cutting disc may help on the basket---

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    1. Thank You Very Much Linda! :D
      I am finding this to be an exciting journey too; more like a working vacation actually! I am finding out so many things that I didn't know about the city of Venice, not to mention having to study up on its architecture and the history of the Republic. Trying to translate some of that into this villa is mentally stimulating and often exhausting yet the pursuit of trying to get it right is inevitably very rewarding! :D

      elizabeth
      and THANK YOU for your advise about the rotary cutter. You know I HAVE ONE and I never even thought to use it???? I believe that God was behind it! :D

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  9. Bonjour Elizabeth,
    quel plaisir de suivre en votre compagnie ce chemin plein de détours car l'on s'émerveille à chaque étapes.
    J'adore de plus en plus votre nouveau projet.

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    1. Thank You, and Yes Jean-Claude there were a great many "detours" but I am Very Happy that you not only enjoyed the ride but will are enjoying watching this project "grow" I confess that this house has me quite curious about that too! :D

      elizabeth

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  10. Talented artist, great ideas and wonderful work. Congratulations and hugs.

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    1. Thank You Very Much Meli! :D As you can see, I am using this doll's house as a 3-D artist's canvas. My ideas remain unformed until I actually begin working on it, which is why it is a always a mystery and a surprise to ME, as to how it will play out.
      But I'm Really Glad that you like it! :D

      elizabeth

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  11. PHEW! What a ride! You sure are flexible with your ability to change plans at the drop of a dime. Most certainly talented and creative. I love how you find things to use for miniature work. ;-) It is all looking great. I look forward to the next adventure.

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    1. Hi Catherine! I can tell that you, (like me), are Huffing and Puffing too! :D
      It is true that I DO change my mind way too often and have to backtrack over the same ground that I had already taken great pains to cross, but if something bugs me or if I feel that I could improve on anything even after I've done it, then it WILL continue to plague me until I deal with it.
      Best to hack off the offender rather than waste more time trying to work it in. The consolation prize is that I am USUALLY much happier after I bite the bullet, even though it kills me sometimes at the thought of doing it.
      But I AM Glad that you like the results Catherine and are ready for "the next adventure"
      ME TOO! :D

      elizabeth

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  12. I've thoroughly enjoyed taking the scenic route and observing your process as the Venice house unfolds. I especially enjoyed seeing all the ideas you had for the balcony, and when it came to the one you had chosen, said "Yes!" audibly...and apparently rather loudly, as I startled the cat. I liked some of the ideas, but the one you ended up with was exactly "it"...just perfect. I also enjoy reading about the found items that you incorporate into your projects. It inspires me to think outside the box as well. It also seems as if you find the exact items that you need, when you need them...just love it when that sort of artistic serendipity comes about. This project looks already as if it has had a long and most interesting life...the stories those walls could tell, eh? Your aging techniques are just second to none. I always bookmark your posts so I can reference them, and this one is no exception...so much good stuff!

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    1. Hahahhaha! Your talking out loud and startling the cat Kate, is Priceless! :D
      You are right in that some of the "found items" seem to turn up at just the right time, which is often after I have tried and rejected everything else and am about to give up! That's when I believe, that God steps in.
      Thank You for mentioning how this house looks like it has a history. That is sweet music to my ears! I am working on the background HISTORY of VILLA LEONE and should have it ready for my next post.
      I think it is always a good thing to know who has lived on the property as well as who is living there now! :D

      elizabeth

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  13. dear elisabeth, this balcony version is perfect. venice does not have a lot of ironworks.. it is all about stone!
    and it is wonderful to follow the development of this house. so many ideas, so many solutions... all about decisions, decisions :-)

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    1. Thank You Marion for validating my final choice! :D Some of the photo of Venice along the Grand Canal show both, but by far from what I've seen, the stone balconies outnumber the iron ones at least 2 to 1! What I have found so AMAZING, is that a city built primarily on timber can support such heavy stone structures on top! What a Incredible feat of engineering Venice is especially since it ( for the most part) its architecture is still standing, many centuries later! :O

      elizabeth :D

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  14. The simpler balcony is absolutely perfect as it doesn't conflict with the wonderful doors.... and so much better for them to be the stars of the show. I love your work. It is exactly like watching a wonderful painting come together - a touch here and a touch there and everything is transformed an just when you think it can not be improved upon - it is. very, very painterly and very beautiful. Marilyn

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    1. Thank You Marilyn! :D I am a Big Fan of wrought iron balconies but I too,am GLAD that I went with the stone! It has all the "bulk" that I was looking for; if that makes any sense?
      I have been saving bits and pieces of flotsam and jetsam for years, and as I am finding it and adding it to the house, it really IS coming together like a painting! :D
      At this stage it is probably the most visually decrepit dollhouse many have ever seen, yet I find every chip, scar and water-stain extremely gratifying!
      I'm Very Happy that you like it too! :D

      elizabeth

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  15. Dear Elizabeth, it's always a feast to visit your blog, because I love the way you find out things and techniques, you're using in miniature, and also with the most wonderful results there can be :D! Look at your 'imaginative trip' to Venice: it gives you the best solutions for your questions of how to do things and what is Venitian (and what's not) and will it be suitable to use for your dollshouse. I've missed the fantastic, beautiful light in your previous blog post, so thank you for mentioning it again and the how to.
    Everyhting is great work, as usual!
    Warm hugs, Ilona

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  16. Forgot to say: have fun with your gorgeous gifts :D!!

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    1. Greetings Ilona! I find that I in building this house I am allowed to do the things that I wouldn't otherwise indulge in... i.e. travel. So taking an "imaginative trip" is a good substitute for me! :D
      I had a preconceived incorrect idea of what Venice was like. I knew none of its ancient or recent history or its culture. I was watching a travel guide program that explored a lot of the side canals, palaces and eateries when doing my research which provided a lot of extra help in determining what to use and what was not suitable. Finding new information and how to apply it to the dollhouse has been a Very Great Pleasure! Which is one of the reasons I enjoy this hobby as much as I do- it really makes you THINK! :D

      But just wait until you see the needlework Linda Park did! It IS GORGEOUS!!!!

      elizabeth

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  17. Love the door, love the balcony, love the grilles, love the lions - can you tell, I'm enjoying this build? The practise runs are interesting too - a visual path through the mini mind of Elizabeth!

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    1. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your comment Irene! :D
      I wish that there weren't quite so many "practice runs" but at least they lead to a conclusion- Hip Hip Hooray!!!!! :D

      elizabeth

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  18. I love how your house is coming on, it's just fantastic. The door is perfect and the balcony, just what the house needed. Far much better than your firt attempt. You managed to capture the Venitian style perfectly. YOur display of plants is a gorgeous touch, like the scene of the balcony with the cage.
    Geneviève

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    1. Hi Genevieve!:D Thank You Very Much for saying that I am "capturing the Venetian Style". Nothing could please me more!!! :D
      I am really happy with the way the plants turned out, and eventually I would like to add some geraniums as well as nasturtiums, into the mix. However, for the time being the succulents and the rose standard help add some "life" to the patio and the balcony along with the birdcage. I'm glad that you liked that scene Genevieve, because I do too! :D

      elizabeth

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  19. You really are on a roll Elizabeth, how lucky to score the perfect bits for your balcony and the perfect laser cutouts from Linda. I'm still scouring the stores looking for some, I found one packet hidden among some other stuff and I'm hoping I might find some more yet. Not that I actually know what I'll do with them ...

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    1. PS - I forgot to mention that your plants are fantastic!

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    2. Thanks Norma for your comment! :D It certainly pays to have those extra eyes scouting out unique materials! Linda has an Excellent Nose for sniffing out prospects!
      I had never seen anything like these tags here and I am glad that you were able to find some as well! Thankfully, I had just enough to finish the doors- Whew!
      I can see though that there are still other applications yet untried so keep on hunting and gathering Norma! :))
      I am so glad that you like the plants- more to come but do check out Annie's tutorial, it is fast and easy and most of all FUN! :D

      elizabeth

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  20. You tell such a great story, Elizabeth! I love seeing the progression of your work and hearing about the decision making process. It looks pretty darned glorious at the moment. Gosh, I wish I could sit by your side for a day or two and watch you work! I have a feeling I'd learn so much!

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    1. Hi Claudia! Your compliment about my "story telling" touches my heart, Thank You! :D
      However, if you could only see the congestion and confusion I am surrounded with compared to Your organized work area, I think that you would immediately retract your words! :))
      Because I'm MESSY as well as Bossy!

      elizabeth :D

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  21. Hello Elizabeth, how wonderful to see your post! It's always an education and such a joy to see how your creative mind gets from A to B :) Your house looks so real and just like an old building in Venice.
    All the best
    Vivian

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    1. Thank You Vivian! I am striving towards making it look both "Real" and "Old" and trying to keep those two things in proportion has been challenging! :)) I enjoy the process though and especially love it when I think I've got it right and that those in the know, think I have as well! :D

      elizabeth

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  22. Magnificent details! I love your journey as much as the destination, too! :D

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    1. Thank You Very Much, Brae! :D I was telling a friend today that it is the process of making something happen that's the most rewarding. Of course finishing a project is what I look towards, but definitely " the journey" is what I enjoy the most! :D

      elizabeth

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  23. The balcony is perfect for this house, that looks like an old house. I really like the doors and the plants are amazing.

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    1. Hi Faby! Thank You Very Much! :D I am glad that you think that this looks like "an old house" because I am in the process of writing a HISTORY of VILLA LEONE" which will explain exactly why it does!

      Make sure you visit Annie's youtube tutorial where she demonstrates the plants! :D

      elizabeth

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  24. Seguir tus avances es una maravillosa aventura! :)

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    1. Hi Zulueta! I am finding this to be "a Wonderful Adventure" for me too! I am learning so much about a city which I previously knew little to nothing about, and what could be more adventurous than that? :D

      elizabeth

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  25. For me this was leaning comfortably back and enjoying "Balconies on parade" to the fullest... and of all contestants you've chosen the perfect candidate. Like Marion already said, stone appears more Venetian style to me. And I also enjoyed all the other additions you've made, the lions, the windows with the lasercut pieces, the flower pots, the lamp, etc. etc. - and not to forget the sanding sponge. I hope you're going to keep it there... after some time of trusty service he would deserve being part of this gorgeous project... ;O)

    Greetings
    Birgit

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    1. Hahahahha! You are soooo Funny, Birgit! I LOVE your comments!!! :D "Balconies on Parade"- I now wish I'd thought of that as a heading for this post! :D
      It makes me Very Happy though that you've enjoyed what I have done thus far. With regard to the sanding sponge... I may have to concede to your wishes... as due reward for services rendered! :D

      elizabeth

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  26. Ohhhhhhh! The lasercut 'metal' filigree window thingys are PERFECT! :o
    I love the lamp and new balcony too and having the patio on the side of the house works so much better I think - much more balanced! I cant wait to see what you come up with next!

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    1. Hi Christine! Yes, aren't the laser cut tags the neatest things!!! :D They were an answered prayer because I wasn't sure what to do with the doors until I saw them and then it all fell into place.
      And Thank You; I think that the patio also works better on the side of the house too, and I would agree- "more balanced! :D

      elizabeth

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  27. Siempre es un placer visitar tu blog, está lleno de geniales ideas y trabajos preciosos.
    Un abrazo

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    1. Thank You Very Much Eloisa, but I have to give credit for many of my "great ideas" to my many friends who Have been to Venice and who are able to steer and direct me along the way. :D

      elizabeth

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  28. Elizabeth, I am overwhelmed with admiration for your work on this villa! This does NOT look like a miniature house; this looks like the REAL THING! I'm convinced that you have some sort of built-in radar that leads you right to whatever obscure piece of whatever-it-is that you need at the moment - your "findings" are incredibly appropriate. Of course, a less creative person might not recognize the very thing that's right under her very nose! That ability is part of your genius, too. I love the blood-red door and the way that you've aged and accessorized it. And of course the balcony and the French doors are beautiful pieces of work. I liked the metal balcony railings, but the ones you decided to use look just right - I think that was an excellent choice. I'm so glad that you were able to use the cut-off patio on the side of the house; I really love that patio, especially the way you made the tile floor. I'm also happy to see that more lions are making their appearance; this truly is the Villa Leone! Congratulations on this unique creation!
    Marjorie

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    1. Hi Marjorie and Thank YOU from one Villa to another! :D
      I have had lots of help and advise to get me this far. It pays to have friends who like to travel and can pass on their first hand knowledge of what is right for a project and what is not. Some of the research information which has come from other bloggers has also proved invaluable so I consider Villa Leone to be a joint effort! :D
      Betsy's suggestion for the Blood Red door was timely and really got the ball rolling when I was almost at a standstill, and although I was initially disappointed that the metal balcony was a FAIL, at least I know for sure that it was no longer an option, so it's been easier to move forward.
      I was greatly relieved that the patio was so easy to re-locate because I didn't want to lose it either, and now, with very little alteration I will be able to incorporate it into the future garden plan. Meanwhile, the occupants can enjoy sitting outside to enjoy the sun.
      When I get the roof on I have 2 more lions to install, can you believe it? I had no idea that I had as many as I do, but I am excited that now I can finally put them ALL to work! :D

      elizabeth

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  29. Well, I'm kinda speechless! This is looking amazing. I really liked your metal basket as the balcony rail, and as I scrolled through the options, I got sadder, knowing you weren't going to use it. Then I got to the last pic with the square spindles and as soon as I saw it thought 'that's it!'. Perfect fit! The 'metal' grills on the doors, the panelling on the lower French doors and the lions head supports all just add additional dimension to an amazing project. And loving the patio down the side. I can just imagine sipping some delicious cocktail on a warm evening at sunset. It is all falling into place, like it was meant to be!

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    1. Hmmm, turns out I wasn't so speechless....

      Delete
    2. Ooooo get out the cocktail shaker Shannon, cause I'm feeling a Margarita coming on! :D
      It's funny the way that you've described the "Balconies on Parade"
      ( quoting Birgit) is kinda like what I felt for a while too. However, once I found those FREE posts I KNEW that there was a reason that none of the other options were working for me and I am Delighted that you too, have approved my final choice! :D

      elizabeth

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  30. Those laser cut panels are absolutely perfect! I love you you used finding and the metal candle holders to do the hardware. The lions are great too! It looks so lifelike!

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    1. Thank You and I Agree with you Cyd! The laser cut tags ARE Perfect!!! :D
      I was doing a Happy Dance in my head when I discovered that they were exactly the right thinness to be able to slide into the channel of the doors.
      And finding the metal candle holder was a stroke of luck which I nearly passed up, because I didn't know what I would do with it until after I got it home. Some things are just meant to be! :D

      elizabeth

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  31. Ohh Elizabeth,
    was für ein spannendes Objekt. Ich bin fasziniert von den Bildern, die Malerei, die roten Türen, die tollen Lasercut Arbeiten, einfach alles. Der Mut zu nochmehr Farbe wird belohnt. Ich könnt wetten, das das Ocker an der Hauswand auch noch nicht die letzte Farbe sein wird, die wir gesehen haben :)Es macht einfach nur großen Spaß ihre Arbeit zu verfolgen. Ich bin zwar kein Venedig Fan aber zu beobachten, was man aus diversen Materialien machen kann, ist der Oberhammer !!!
    Unbedingt weiter machen ...
    Ganz liebe Grüße
    Skiddi

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    1. Hi Skiddi! Thank you for your encouraging words about adding " More Color!" Although I don't believe that I will be changing the color of the main body of the house again, I am however in total agreement that the addition of LOTS of colorful plants will be Very Effective as well as Cheerful! :D

      elizabeth

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  32. Dear Elizabeth, you are Amazing!!! I can't believe how wonderful all these "long way around" steps are when they all come together in this fantastic new facade!!! The trims for the door are just Perfect! (I am SO glad you love red... because so do I!)And the way the wrought iron basket balcony defied your attempts and then the free spindles were there for the taking!!! You just gotta follow some of those signs! And oh WOW did it ever turn out Right!!! You are so amazing for finding these bits and pieces that turn into gorgeous grilles and magical lamps!!! I admire your design sense and your creative Verve!!! I am Loving everything you have done!!! But there is nothing new about that! Your work is just Magnificent!!! I can't wait to see more! :):):)

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    1. Hi Betsy! - I KISS YOU A THOUSAND TIMES!!! :D You set me on a course of action that was at the bottom of all of this, and I can't Thank You enough!!! :D
      Once I repainted the upper portion of the house orange, I wasn't sure what to do with the front door so black was "Safe", but as you suggested -it just wasn't right. The "Blood Red" not only made the villa HAPPY but also made me - CONTENT!:))
      And I can't tell you how BLESSED I felt when I discovered those free posts and railings! I had been discussing their need and hoping tofind some at the sale while Fats and I were driving down to Bellingham, so I know that God must have been listening! :D
      And Thanks goes to Linda Park for finding those Laser Tags, knowing that they had potential, and sending them home with Janine. :))

      I feel that what you see now Betsy, is a direct result of a multi-layered collaboration involving many of my mini friends and that includes YOU! :D

      elizabeth

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  33. I love how this project is going, and all the roads you've taken - thank you wonmuchbdor sharing. I love the balcony, definitely a right choice! All the details are so exquisite and the aging looks so realistic. I live how you have an eye for seeing all the things that can be used in miniature settings.

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    1. And so sorry for the typos! That's what I get for typing on my phone but couldn't wait to get home and comment!

      Delete
    2. What a lovely comment Nora and I Thank You Very Much for your excitement and enthusiasm! :D
      The more details I add to the exterior of this house the more I WANT to do!
      Soon however, I will have to leave the outside and go indoors to begin working on the Interior. And I tell myself that I WILL, right after I do "Just One More Thing" :D

      elizabeth

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  34. Your house is amazing. I had to pinch myself to check if it was a miniature or real scale house. Hugs, Val

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    1. No Bruises Please Val, yet what a Great Compliment, Thank You! :D Every miniaturist loves it when their work looks so "Real" that it fools the viewers, so you couldn't have Pleased me More! :D

      elizabeth

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  35. Dear Elzabeth,
    Wow ... what a masterpiece! Every detail. You're a really great talent.
    Hugs Dorien

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    1. Greetings Dorien! Although I wouldn't call it a "masterpiece" I do like the idea of trying to get there! :D
      I am working on this house, and treating it as though it were a 3 dimensional painting, however it is still a work in progress, and
      every time I pick up a brush or a craft knife, something on the doll's house changes. I'm finding the process totally engrossing as well as a constant challenge! :))

      elizabeth

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  36. Oh dear Elizabeth,

    this is so, so amazing work !!! The door, the floor, the lamp, the patina on the walls, those ornamnets, those colors and all those wonderful made details ! I'm fascinated and very much inspired by your incredible work.
    I really love this wonderful house made with so much creativity and love ! Chapeau !!!
    Hugs from Pipi

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  37. Greetings Pipi! I know that you too are an artist, and so I Thank You Very Much for your very Encouraging words! :D
    This project has Finally woken up, after lying in a coma month after month. I feel energized as well as "fascinated" and "inspired" by the progress too, which means that I am working furiously while the creative juices flow and my MOJO is in town! :))

    elizabeth

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  38. Sorry I'm late...
    Another brilliant post, Elizabeth. I love the door colour and all the details you have added, that laser cut wood is a real find! I am so impressed by your skills at aging things, it really takes it to another level.
    Have a great weekend.
    Si

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    1. You are never late and Always Welcomed Simon! :D It makes me feel Very Happy that you like and have enjoyed my progress to date. And I agree with you that the laser cut chipboard WAS indeed "a Real Find" Hooray for Linda Park!!! :D

      elizabeth

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  39. Hi Elizabeth,

    Amazing progress! I LOVED your updates, and thanks for sharing your progress. I love the balcony, the lace shutters, everything is so exquisite. :)

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    1. Hi Pei Le! Thank You Very Much for your comment and for you lovely compliment! I am feeling pretty good about what the villa looks like on the outside and will soon be tackling the interior. I hope to be sharing my progress on that soon, too! :D

      elizabeth

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  40. What a great tour, you must be very happy with your sister ;)
    It all looks amazing, so lived, you have a great eye for datail, so much to see! And also much to learn for me, I really enjoy! ♥
    * marlies

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    1. Hi Marlies! You are RIGHT! I AM Very Happy with my sister!!! :D When she read this post the only thing she questioned me about was my calling her a "Diva", but I told her that I meant it in a GOOD WAY! :D
      Sometimes you need others to make you do things a different way than what you are in the habit of doing.
      But speaking of "Details".... You have a "Great Eye for Detail" too! Your lingerie line is certainly a testament to your abilities to make miniature undies look Beautiful as well as "Wearable!" :D

      elizabeth

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  41. Wow! Just wow! Elizabeth, you never cease to amaze me with your inginuity. I love that you see the potential in things that others may throw away. The balcony looks amazing and I have to say, matches the theme of the house much better than cast metal railings. I love the door inserts and additional plaster moldings. Beautiful!!
    Did I spy 43 Green Dolphin Street in next months edition of The Dolls House magazine UK? =0D

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    1. Hi Pepper! Thank YOU Very Much! :D I think that I get my love of JUNK from my mom, which means that I end up spending excessive amounts of time looking for it and then being surrounded by it! "HOARDERS" would have a field day in my studio! :O
      I like the stone balcony better too, Pepper. I think that it looks more Italian and the metal looks more French. When I took photos of each transition of the balcony I was attempting to look at it objectively because it is difficult to see it that way in person, and once I saw it through the camera lens then I knew it was the keeper, and I'm Delighted that it meets with your approval! :D

      You surprised me with your last question, because I didn't know when The Doll's House Magazine was going to publish the article, so I suppose my answer is -YES! Whoohooooooo!!!! :D

      elizabeth

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  42. Where to start! Elizabeth, I feel like I am in Venice (the last time I was there was in November 1970 when it was flooded, you had to navigate St. Mark's Square on planks of wood raised up on old bricks!!). You have done a wonderful job and I am really glad the large balcony has gone from the front because it just did not feel right. What you have now feels very right. The lions heads are absolutely perfect under the new stone balcony. I was not sure about the grill at first, but the way you have handled it downstairs, with panels at the bottom half of the door is super.
    I think what is really impressive about you is your ability to see use in things the rest of us might walk by. Night lights, labels, metal baskets etc. Wonderful creativity.
    The only negative thing about your work is that it makes me feel so pedestrian and boring. Your miniature work is truly magnificent.
    Carol

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    1. Yours is the PERFECT compliment Carol! If it feels as though you are in Venice again, then I KNOW I am on the right path! :D
      The night before last I watched a documentary on the steady sinking of Venice and its on-going problems with an increase in flooding. They showed the exact the scene you've mentioned, of people on raised sidewalks, and bailing water and the interiors of businesses, churches, and homes all swamped with water. I was APPALLED! It almost made me want to pick up my house and move it to higher ground. I am simply going to have to forbid those natural disasters from happening in my fantasy version of Venice! ;P
      Thank you for commenting on the lower doors too! I knew that they could not remain the way they were, yet the visual weight above them limited what I could do around them. When I finally found the solution it was a great relief!
      Your compliments about my work is Greatly Appreciated however, please keep in mind that THAT is exactly what I feel when viewing all of the Magnificent work of others!
      What a wonderful hobby, both to enjoy and to share! :D

      elizabeth

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  43. Привет Элизабет! Я сижу и улыбаюсь. Так замечательно и интересно! Вы чувствуете историю дома так тонко. Мне кажется, что ваши руки касались стен пару веков назад. Память прошлого живет в вашем сердце. Балкон смотрится очень хорошо. Вы создали ощущение зноя и влажности. И конечно же здесь есть история многих поколений. Так много замечательных деталей! Чугунная решетка расположена над дверью. Резные двери. А какой фантастический фонарь! А растения! Мне очень нравилось ваше патио. Но мне казалось, что оно закрывает пространство. Вы нашли великолепное решение. И конечно, я восхищалась вашими фотографиями. Дом смотрится так реально! Мой муж увидел фотографию и сказал: "Ничего себе, какое старое и сырое здание!" Он не поверил, что это миниатюра! :) :) :)
    Замечательная работа, Элизабет!

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    1. My Dear Tatiana! Your comment reads like poetry to me! I LOVE how describe "my hand touching the wall a few centuries ago" - it is TRUE! Since I began building the exterior of the villa, I have found that each layer takes the house a little further back in time so that I have been mentally constructing its history throughout the entire process. I love that you can SEE and FEEL the heat and the humidity, in the photos, That thrills me!!! :D
      The fact that your husband was tricked into thinking that it was a REAL old and damp building was the ICING ON THE CAKE for me!!! Please pass on my Deepest Thanks, because he sure knows the way to Sweet Talk this lady! :D

      elizabeth

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  44. Buongiorno Donna Elisabetta,
    The transformation is amazing! AMAZING! I just love the look of the building. the red door is perfect and looks so grand. I think the balcony you chose is the absolute perfect choice. It works so well with the building...and the chipboard tags made perfect window trim. It all looks amazing and I can't wait to see what you do next time. Bravo! Bravissima!
    Big hug
    Giac

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    1. Thank You Don Giacomo! :D Once again your generous praise and enthusiasm had made me smile! :D
      I too, am Very Happy with the way the front door. I tried to make it look old but not quite as old as the building itself. I hope to have the history of Villa Leone ready by my next post, which will hopefully explain the addition of the grillwork as well as the front door! :D
      Ciao Ciao for now!

      donna elisabetta ;P

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  45. What an extraordinary transformation, Elizabeth!!! Tha balcony looks amazing. The lions heads are perfect. The aging is very realistic, back to the past...I love the lantern,the laser cut wood is a very good idea, the door transformtion is beautiful. You are very, very talented!!! thanks for sharing!

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    1. Hi Nono! :D I am very excited about the transformation too! :))
      I am having to do a whole lot of research, much like you have done with your mini opera scene "Don Pasquale". It has been quite the adventure; looking for those details which would help make the difference. Thank you for your comment and your compliment Nono, I really appreciate them! :D

      elizabeth

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  46. Dear Elizabeth,
    This blog entry is worth reading, contemplating and reading again...which I have done with great enjoyment! There is much to look at and admire greatly but the one aspect I so enjoy is that fact that you are brave enough to remove what doesn't work...the determination to get it right has served me well in my miniature work too. It's a lesson well learned for this rather timid miniaturist so I thank you from the bottom of my heart! The red door is as beautiful as can be as it captures the romance and gorgeous Venetian colours to a "T"...so well done particularly with the amber door light casting a soft golden glow. The aged hardware on the door just make a person wish to push it open to peek inside! That pesky balcony turned out beautifully after all your efforts...too bad about the metal basket but the visual weight of the present balcony looks perfect. Thank you for sharing the link to the tutorial by Annie Fryd Christensen's...I will have a go at that project as your planters turned out very realistically and that type of planting is delightful in the Venetian climate. Your post reminds me to look, look and look again for miniature inspiration...absolutely "top drawer" (as my English grandmother used to say) and I shall wait with baited breath to see what other wonders you create! Cheers from Alayne in Winnipeg

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    1. Hi Alayne in Winnipeg! :D I read your comment with Great Enjoyment and I Thank You for your very kind words! My response to your observation regarding my "being brave enough to remove what doesn't work" is this-I Just Couldn't Stand It Anymore! Why waste more time, and money trying to avoid the issue? Much better to just get it done and move on, because where it was, made no sense at all.
      The Red Door was Betsy's idea and as soon as I read her comment about changing the color, I KNEW she was right, but I LOVED your comment about wanting to "push the door open and peek inside"...
      My intention is to begin work on the inside just as soon as I install the the rest of the exterior lighting which should be over the next week.
      I am sooooo pleased that you are going to check out Annie's plant tutorials on youtube! She makes it all look so easy Alayne, and it Really IS!
      Meanwhile, never stop looking and re-examining JUNK, only be warned that collecting it can quickly turn and take over your life! :O

      elizabeth :D

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  47. Excellent! I love watching you put your houses together. The finish on your walls is gorgeous. The little patio looks like such a cozy place to drink your lemonade and read a magazine. It's amazing to watch your artistry unfold on projects.
    hugs♥,
    Caroline

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    1. Hi Caroline! Thank You for enjoying the finish on the walls! I felt like a kid in kindergarten using my hands to apply the plaster and the cement and the paints, very Messy yet quite gratifying!
      I like your idea of sitting on the patio to drink lemonade- or perhaps a wine spritzer!? ;P

      elizabeth

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  48. Susan Hamilton9 June 2016 at 11:34

    My but you are brave. All of that hacking and slashing is time consuming and a lot of work! You've taught me not to settle for the almost right but keep going until you reach the perfect and that balcony and doors are it. That part of the house is amazing now and I'm drooling on myself in anticipation of what's to come. I'm the sort who thinks cutting a new door way is a big deal so I can't help but think of the hours and hours of planning and work behind these pictures. I am in complete awe oh fearless leader. You've just made my day. I think I hear the gondola man calling. Better go and flag him down. Love! Love!

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  49. Right you are Susan! and I've been hacking and slashing as if there were no tomorrow. I wouldn't call the balcony "perfect" however because I can't do that kind of work, but what I strive for is the perfect atmosphere as far as the eye is concerned. :D
    And cutting a new doorway IS a "Big Deal" just as you have said, because it changes the traffic flow and the way a space can be used. Everything Matters!
    I am too am anticipating what's to come, but first I must clear out the construction debris inside the house before I can get serious.
    But hark-eth me ... what song-eth is it that I hear-eth in the distance? - "O solo mio????"
    Oh, It IS HE! The gondola man, who doth now approach-eth!
    I Shall indeed "go and flag-eth him down-eth"

    elizabeth-eth

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  50. Elizabeth you are INCREDIBLE! Amazing work, as always! Hugs.
    Claudia

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    1. Thank You Very Much Claudia, and Right Back to YOU too!!! :D

      elizabeth

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  51. Gorgeous! I find your process fascinating. Not that I don't do the same thing, but you make it seem so much more artistic.

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    1. Hi Keli! Thank You Very Much! That is High Praise Indeed!!! :D

      elizabeth

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  52. Hello Elizabeth,
    wow!! It is always amazing to see your work! Your ideas are great, and the result is perfect!
    For me, it is always a pleasuere to visit your blog and watch your work.
    Greetings and a big hug
    Melanie

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  53. Thank You for your compliment Melanie! It makes me happy that you have enjoyed this new adventure so far, because it's an exciting one for me, even though I often feel as though I am making very little progress with all of the twists and turns just to get to this point.
    Your words are Very Encouraging to me and so I shall press on! :D

    elizabeth

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  54. Just popped in to see if you'd added anything more and you didn't so I looked at everything again. Just exquisite. I think the one thing I admire above all else is what a master you are at aging things. It's something I have not tried yet other than on a few bits of furniture. I am always afraid of going too far or not far enough. You have it down to a science. I have a bunch of new folks following your blog because I pretty much commanded my mini group to take a look and some did. Needless to say they were grateful for the heads up so thank you Elizabeth for being such a generous inspiration to us <3

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    1. Hi again Susan!
      I haven't yet posted any new photos because I am still working on a few things and stuck on a couple of others all pertaining to the exterior, however I hope to have some pics up by this weekend.
      As for any aging, I usually DO overdue it but I have found that nothing is irreversible, so if it goes on, it can also come off or be toned down or otherwise modified. Even over-cutting can be corrected, and since Perfection is never my objective to begin with, I can just let loose and try to go with the flow.
      I appreciate all of your comments and your observations Susan, so THANK YOU for taking the time to do so. I may sound confident and like I know what I'm doing but I'm not and I usually don't, so your words often give me just the BOOST I need.
      Thank you as well for promoting my blog with your mini group! You sound just as bossy as I am! hahhahhaha,
      but I bet they still love you for it anyway! ;P

      e :D

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  55. The only word i can say after this post is WOW!!! Elizabeth you are inspiration for me..
    You have done a lot of work and the results are amazing. It s pleasure for me to visit blog of such warm and talented person like you!!! The balcony is georgous!

    GIVEAWAY on my blog

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    1. Hi Nielcia! I am Soooooo Glad that you like this work in progress and Thank You for you Very Kind words regarding the balcony! :D
      I am currently making some plants for it to soften up the stone and I hope to be posting them by the end of this week, so please stay tuned! :D

      elizabeth

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  56. Hi Elizabeth! Everything being said above I just want to add that I have greatly enjoyed following your building process again. Your venetian house makes me wish having one! Thank you for lovely comments in my blog too.

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  57. Hello Riitta! I am DELIGHTED that you are enjoying this building process and the journey it is taking me on! I have never been to Venice so all of the research that I am having to do is quite exciting and certainly interesting! Venice is not the city that I originally thought it was, nevertheless I am looking forward to discovering my interpretation of it, as this doll's house develops.

    elizabeth :D

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