Tuesday, 13 December 2016

a DECK THE HALL Story





I hope I'm not repeating myself too much with the following photos, but brace yourself to see MORE STAIRS!
It just can't be helped.
With this WILLOWCREST kit, the corner staircase HAS to be completed first because otherwise there is no way for me to get my giant hand inside to do the necessary work.
As you already know, every doll's house comes with its own special needs and surprise surprise; 
Villa Leone has quite a few! :/

This is where I left off in my last post. The stairs were built but before I could install them I had to finish the window wall, which meant everything had to come out, walls, floors, stairs, windows, etc.
My project was to build that running panel that follows the stairs along the wall.  I'm sure it has a proper name but I don't know it.
I measured the area I was going to be working on and cut some poster board to the size I wanted then cut it into shape to follow the stairs and glued it firmly into place.
I sealed the surface with MOD PODGE and let it dry.
I remembered that I had purchased these embossed border stickers from Michael's Craft Store, and chose the pattern I wanted for the wall.

The stickers are an embossed plastic so the pattern would stand up to the wet wall patch I was going to apply over it.
This is the panel with the dry wall patch applied, the border trim, then some wood trim.  I sprayed it with several layers of hair spray, and then hauled out the paints. 

I gave the panel a coat of Vintage White acrylic paint.   Whilst the paint was still wet I mixed dabs of Black Gel Stain and an oil based wood stain.  




A close up of the wall texture.

So this is how the stone was beginning to look 




between applications of the mix, I would give it a blast from the heat gun which sped up the drying process considerably! 
After I was satisfied with the color, I took my wall outside and sprayed it with  a Clear Mat Acrylic Sealer , which gave the surface some shine and made it appear more like a polished stone.  When it was dry I brought it in for additional layers of touch-ups then mattified it down with more hair spray.
Periodically, I would check it against the stairs to see if the color mix was working with the color of the stone I had already done.
At this stage, I needed to pause and figure out how I was going to finish the interior window
Finding a solution was going to look awkward no matter what I did.
The window fame in photo above, is actually the exterior frame, but it gave me an idea of how much of an intrusion into the very narrow stairwell, I could afford.
NOT MUCH!!!


WELL, after much fiddling and fussing around I finally found a way to make the window fit, and NOT protrude too far out from the wall.  
Making the needed adjustments for the inside of the Villa, means some additional work on the exterior of the hall wall, but I'll have to tackle that problem LATER! 

I made sure that everything blended with the mural.

then decide to add some trim at the base of the stairs too.
When reviewing this photo I didn't like the way the vertical piece of trim butted into the wood, so I"ll need to make some additional corrections there too. 
More painted trim in the corner, however I 'll have to wait until I permanently install the hall wall before I can finish the trim right up to the ceiling-
a tricky job which I already expect will make me sweat! 

:((
So there it is!  
I think I'm kinda done for the time being.
***
Now it is time to play!


or is it?????


It was as I was taking photos that I realized that the stairsteps were very pale. 

hmmmm, 

a very strange looking flight of stairs 
"but hey, that's how I roll"
*sigh*
Anyway... above is the BEFORE-
and this is AFTER.
Once I had aged the steps I felt I needed to age the wall as well.
I added more plaster to places on the wall, as well as chalks, and tea stains, and lead pencil to look like fine cracks. 



Hey, maybe I need a light?
So I installed that as well.  It had to be high enough to clear the head and yet low enough for the homeowner to change the bulb. 

Then I needed more aging on the lower corner of the wall. 



I also carved back some of the steps so the treads weren't as deep and therefore, less treacherous.
Okay, that's better!
and just when I thought I was DONE, I decided to revisit the window once again and make that look older too.

After I redid the window, I applied a thinlight layer of drywall patch over the entire surface of the wall using my fingers to work it gently over the paper which I sealed with very light applications of hairspray.  This process muted the sea-green color without changing it overmuch  which means that I am going to have to repeat this technique on all of the other wall paper panels in the halls to make them look cohesive. 
A close up of the aged wood window frame. 
This photo shows what the entry hall should look like once it is permanently installed.  The wall-light fixture will be in the stair well and only the lower portion of the hall will ever be seen. 


Now this was originally going to be THE END of this post-
however, after visiting some of the other blogs on my reading list and seeing how they are excitedly getting their doll's houses decorated for Christmas, I figured that perhaps I should as well.

to date it hasn't felt very Christmasy around here, but

last week we had a HUGE snowfall here in western Canada and even though a lot of it has already melted away, when I look out of my Studio window this is some of what I see. 
And if this isn't enough to put me into the Spirit of  Christmas,  
I don't know what else will!? 


below is my own mini contribution. 
Later tonight I will FINALLY
 put up my Real life Christmas tree

that is-
(
if I'm not too tired)

My personal tribute to 
"The Ghost of Christmas Present"

The box of Laduree macaroons was made by Fats, the bag was a gift from Magda at "17-17"blogspot., and the vintage celluloid Santa came from parts unknown.

the peppermints were a gift from my friend Bettie Smith, the wrapped gifts came from wine glass markers that I found at the thrift store.  
The canning I made from beads and bits.
In real life I don't Can, but my friends do, so I thought that they would appreciate some home-made preserves for Christmas. 

Under the table is a gift to my daughter; 
Grandma's favorite stew pot, filled with some hand-carved kitchen utensils, honey from the hive at "Green Dolphin Street", a bottle of Italian extra virgin olive oil and a candy cane 
(although I know she doesn't really care for them;
but I Do!♥ )

I thought it might be a good idea to offer any visitors some holiday baking, which it appears they've been helping themselves to, so I think it must taste pretty good! :D


More preserves, some specialty oil and a bottle of Peppermint Schnapps 

Ahhhh
we have at last arrived at the SECOND ENDING of this post. 
I will be leaving you here but know that I shall be back in the New Year with HOPEFULLY something more than MORE stairs, to share with you.
until then-     
   HAVE A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!

A SHOUT OUT to all of my wonderful followers, both Old and New- I Thank You!  ♥
I wish you all 
A HAPPY, as well as a HEALTY 
NEW YEAR!

                       https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iO7ySn-Swwc

"For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given and the government shall be upon HIS shoulder and HIS NAME shall be called;  WONDERFUL, COUNSELOR, THE MIGHTY GOD, THE EVERLASTING FATHER, THE PRINCE OF PEACE" 

elizabeth

99 comments:

  1. Yahoo! I turned up two minutes after you had posted. I must be psychic ... or is it that other word that sounds similar... psycho?

    The window with its iron grate is great as is the window sill. So glad to see the progress and always admire your ability to age everything to perfection.

    I was hoping that Christmas would arrive soon at the Villa. It must have been fun to create the scene after all your frustrations with the stairway.

    Your photo shows that you have had a lot more snow that we have had and we are only about 10 k apart, as the crow flies.

    Talk soon.
    Janine

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    1. I think that the 2 of us DO have a physic connection Janine, and yes there are times, while working on this project, which could also be described as "Psycho"- I think it goes with the territory! hahaha
      Thank You for liking the results of the window! I do too.
      I had to order more of the chip board gates since I didn't have enough, so the iron grill pictured in the window is borrowed from the dining room..... Robbing Peter to pay Paul! ;P
      Playing Santa at the Villa was something I decided on the spur of the moment and it made me Very Happy because as you've indicated, the stairs WERE frustrating and took more time than I thought. Besides which, I enjoy playing with miniature foods and had plenty to choose from in the "pantry"! :D

      The photo with the snow is only a small corner of the garden as you are aware, but it is in the back garden where you can fully appreciate the magnitude of the downfall.
      The snow is hard and crusty with a layer of ice underneath. Still rather treacherous to navigate on foot. The weight of the snow is crushing the evergreens as is frozen fast to the plants. :(
      More work to do- LATER
      I'll be in touch soon, but wish you and your Trusty Man, a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS! :D

      elizabeth

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  2. I love your aged window grate and the cracking frame. Your steps look amazing!

    You have a ton more snow than me. We don't have any. Just a little fog this morning.

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    1. Hi Sheila! Thank You for enjoying the stairs, the window grate and the cracking painted frame. I used white glue as my crackle medium which was something I had tried before on The Arthur, however it worked better for me, this time around. I have to say though, that seeing your aged walls on the NOLA house was Very INSPIRING! :D
      Here in Vancouver Canada, there is a TON of snow and no real prospect of it disappearing soon either, which is okay by me since most of the main streets are cleared and driving is nearly back to normal.
      Have a Wonderful Christmas Season, Sheila and Best of Luck with your HBS entry! :))

      elizabeth

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  3. I cant believe I watched this staircase/wall created right before my eyes. Because I would not be able to recreate anything like it in a skillion years! It is beautiful! Have you ever thought of giving a class the doll-shows around the country? They would be a hit!

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    1. Hi Grandmommy! Your comment has given me a good chuckle, Thank You for enjoying the stairs! :D
      Working on the hall wall took me almost a week from start to finish. Every time I thought I was done, I would find something else to add, (which is how I seem to work best) which also means that I am always just as surprised by the end results too!
      Thus, I don't think that I would be a very good teacher, but I am Very Happy that you like the final product! :D
      Have a Very Merry Christmas Grandmommy, and a Very Happy 2017!

      elizabeth

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  4. So creative! I love your aging. Very effective. Merry Christmas to you too :)

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    1. Hi Linda! Thank You Very Much!
      I REALLY enjoy aging things which usually means exercising some restraint which for me, can be a challenge. ;P
      I hadn't originally intended to do anything with the upper portion of the wall but now that I've made it look "Old", I am quite satisfied with it!
      Wishing you a Very MERRY CHRISTMAS and a Happy New Year! :D

      elizabeth

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  5. The stairs and the walls blend perfectly now. You are a master at aging my friend. :-) It all looks wonderful! Your decorations are the perfect choices for this setting too.

    I had no idea hairspray was so useful? What does it contribute to the process?

    I have always hated the stuff for is intended purpose. You wash your hair and then spray it with glue. ICK... that just gives me the creeps! haha

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    1. Hi Catherine! I worked long and hard on trying to make the stone blend well so Thank You for your compliment! :))
      I had TONS of fun with the Christmas tree and the condiments on the table and all I had to do was find where I had stored them in my stash, no further cooking necessary! :D
      Regarding the hairspray; I agree that it is a sticky mess to have in your hair but it works wonderfully as a light sealant for wall patch. I sprayed it lightly on the wallpaper after I dry brushed the wall patch onto the surface and it sets it in, same thing applies when using chalks. It dries more matt than a spray lacquer and you can safely use it indoors.
      I hope that you have a Very MERRY CHRISTMAS, Catherine and a Wonderful 2107. AND I am hoping to see even more of your incredible NEEDLEWORK in the months to come!

      elizabeth

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  6. Impressionnant de réalisme !
    Le vieillissement de l'escalier et celui de la fenêtre est incroyable.
    L'esprit de Noël est merveilleusement entré dans cette maison ❤❤❤
    * Joyeux Noël Elizabeth *

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    1. Thank You Joce! :D I had a LOT of fun aging the walls and the stairs, and although the process was time consuming, it was worth it in the end.
      and Thank you for your compliment regarding Christmas coming to the house.
      It was a Very relaxing reward! :D

      Merry Christmas to you too, and All the BEST in the coming New Year!

      elizabeth

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  7. Un envejecimiento perfecto,una realización impecable,tanto la entrada como las escaleras tienen un aspecto impresionante,muy real,has sabido combinar las texturas,la humedad y el paso del tiempo de manera genial!!!!
    Que bonito paisaje nevado desde tu ventana!!
    La decoración navideña es preciosa!!!!!
    Felices fiestas para ti también!!!!
    Besos.

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    1. Hello Pilar! Thank You Very Much for your comment! :D
      I found it interesting and it certainly challenged me, to get the look of "the passage of time" without the stairs and the window looking too decrepit, and although it took longer than I thought it would, I thoroughly enjoy it! :D
      I think that the snow is here to stay for awhile; hopefully up to Christmas Day but after that, (in my opinion) it should MELT away immediately! :)

      Have a Very Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year!

      elizabeth

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  8. The stringer just finishes off the stairs. It looks wonderful, as does all the aging, the paint and trim. I would definately visit more than once with all those Christmas goodies on offer :0D
    Have a lovely Christmas Elizabeth. Much love, peace and happiness to you and yours X

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    1. Thank You Pepper for your compliment and also for giving me the missing word- "stinger"! I knew it had to have a proper name!!! :D
      Since I enjoy aging much more than building, I found myself re-visiting the Real life goodies far too often whilst waiting for the layers of paint to dry, thus, plenty of pounds around here -
      and not of the sterling kind, either
      mores the pity :/

      Have a MARVELOUS Holiday Season Pepper and LOVE, PEACE AND HAPPINESS to you and yours too! :D

      elizabeth

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  9. I just love and admire the way you can make things weathered and old. But so realisticly!! Just great. Many greetings

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    1. Greetings Kleine Vinger!:D
      Thank You Very Much for your comment, I Really Appreciate it because I not only LOVE to weather and age things, but I also enjoy trying to make it look as authentic and realistic as possible, which is what I find to be the most interesting and fun to do. :))

      Season's Greetings to you, and All the VERY BEST in the coming New Year!

      elizabeth

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  10. It is so enjoyable to see the visualization of your creative process. Just when I think it's perfect, you take it to a whole new level of detail and raise the bar yet again. It is all just so lovely to look at - including the Christmas scene! Have a very Merry Christmas, Elizabeth!

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    1. Hi Jodi, Thank You Very Much! :D
      I had always intended to make a "stringer" ( thanks to Pepper for the term) for the stairs but put off doing it because of needing to get the BIGGEST challenge off of my plate first!
      I have to admit that I am Happy with the way it turned out as well as solving the problem of the interior window frame.
      Everything seems to fall into place once a direction is established ( thank you GOD! )
      I am soooo pleased that you like the Christmas scene too, but I find it makes me hungry when I look at it! :o

      Enjoy A VERY Merry Christmas Jodi and all the BEST with your HBS entry this year! :D

      elizabeth

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  11. What a wonderful set, an incredibly successful patina, it's splendid
    What beautiful decor for this christmas decoration
    Merry christmas to you

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    1. Hi Claude!:D
      Thank You Very Much for your comment regarding the patina! I know that you enjoy colors and textures as much as I do,
      so your compliment is Greatly Appreciated!
      Merry Christmas to you too Claude and a Very Successful and Happy New Year! :D

      elizabeth

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  12. Totally amazing, you've given me a mountain of ideas for my 1/48 and 1/12 scale dollhouses'. Showed my husband and he said wow . Happy Christmas 😇

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    1. Thank You for your lovely comment Helen! :D
      It makes me Very Happy that you are able to glean some new ideas for your dollhouses, cause that's what it is all about!
      Have a VERY Merry Christmas, and please tell your husband that I said "Thank You!"
      and have a Happy New too! :D

      elizabeth

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  13. I loved to read your blog post, Elizabeth, and as you know by now, I always do ;O! Your way of aging the walls and making the trims look fabulous, the stringer just finishes off the stairs.
    Thank you for offering us all of those nice Christmas goodies, I'm thinking about coming along a few times, hehehe ;)!!
    Have a lovely, cosy Christmas, Elizabeth, and much love, health and happiness to you and yours,
    Ilona

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    1. Thank You Ilona for your Lovely Comment!
      I enjoy reading Your blog posts too!!!! :D
      I am Very Happy that you like the way the stringer looks because although it took me awhile before I felt I got it "right", it was a feature which I thought was necessary to make the staircase appear authentic.

      Please feel free to help yourself to the Christmas goodies, because I can always make some more! ;P

      Have a WONDERFUL Christmas Season Ilona! I am greatly looking forward to seeing the mini Ilona's animal farm, sometime in the New Year. ♥

      elizabeth

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  14. C'est toujours avec un grand plaisir que je regarde vos photos, tout est si beau et si bien réalisé. Quelle chance vous avez Elizabeth d'avoir tant de neige et je comprends que de regarder par la fenêtre donne envie de faire les décors de Noël. Bonne fin d’année et à bientôt pour la suite de votre merveilleuse maison.

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    1. Good Afternoon Jean- Claude!
      Thank You Very Much for your comment regarding my work, although when I think about YOUR magnificent staircase, I still have a LONG way to go!
      I had did have FUN putting the Christmas scene together, it was quick to do as well as relaxing and best of all, it didn't involve ANY MATH! ;P

      I wish you a VERY Merry Christmas Jean-Claude, and I look forward to seeing MORE of your Exquisite French Chateau in 2017
      - albeit without a kitchen- ;P

      elizabeth

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    2. Thank you Elizabet, with or without kitchen? I do not know yet ;-)

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  15. hahaha...Elizabeth you crazy girl, the Christmas decorations were a nice touch I like how the stairway turned out. I had an accident yesterday I hit a fence on my way home cause the truck was in 2wd not 4wd.during yesterdays snowstorm I didn't do much damage just a ding in the bumper and now my back hurts cause I was braced for impact. anways I was looking around the basement for a heating pad and found Rich has a big tub of joint compound (the other one dryied out) I wonder if that will work as well as dry wall compound? might as well give it a try . anyway

    Merry
    Christmas

    Love
    Marisa

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    1. Hi Marisa! :D
      I am Very sorry to learn of your car accident, and your subsequent back injury! What a way to end the year., although it it could have been much worse. I glad that you are otherwise "okay", and a heating pad sounds like what I would do for it too.
      I am Happy that you have approved the Christmas decorations at the tail end, it was I admit a little crazy to have it as an add on but the opportunity was too good to let slip by. :))
      I think that drywall patch might be a little dryer than joint compound but if you've already got some why not give it a try?
      It couldn't hurt! ;P
      Have a BETTER Merry Christmas Marisa, and please Get Well soon! ♥

      elizabeth

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  16. The stairs are beautiful. Only you could take functional boring stairs and make them a piece of art. But it's truly the layers of paint and live you applied that make them come to life. But holy smokes, don't climb/come down those stairs after some wine or with a laundry basket!! I think you'll need a laundry chute.

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    1. Thank You for your Cute comment Kat! :D
      As you have wisely observed, the stairs are better to look at from afar than to actually try to navigate, ESPECIALLY when "in your cups" or hauling a dreaded -LAUNDRY BASKET! Not only would it be a tight squeeze but you wouldn't be able to see the treads- 911!
      It is probably a good thing that I like to wash things by hand it the sink and that I am quite fond of being sober. ;P

      Have a Merry Christmas a Happy New Year Kat, and keep on making your VERY creative Modern Mini posts which I've thoroughly enjoy seeing and reading! :D

      elizabeth

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  17. Como siempre, un trabajo impecable y espectacular.
    Yo también te deseo unas fiestas maravillosas y feliz año nuevo.

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    1. Thank You Very Much Eloisa, for your lovely comment about my work! I am So Pleased that you like it! :D
      I wish you a Very SPECIAL Christmas Season as well as a Very HAPPY New Year! :D

      elizabeth

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  18. Ver todas las imágenes del proceso de envejecimiento me ha dejado con la boca abierta. Es impresionante lo que has conseguido. Me ha encantado tu aportación a la decoración navideña. Espero que tengas unas maravillosas fiestas. Nos vemos el próximo año.

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    1. Thank You Very Much Isabel! :D
      I Greatly appreciate your comment regarding my aging process. Combining the various gel, acrylic and oil-based stain mediums was easier than it looks because when they begin to separate on their own, the irregular stone color emerges; and direct heat sets the mix in place.
      Thank you for enjoying my contribution towards Christmas Isabel. It made me HAPPY to do something pretty which didn't require Any paint and/or plaster- for a change!
      All the Very BEST in 2017 and have a VERY Merry Christmas Isabel! :D

      elizabeth

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  19. Once more I am in awe with the looks of your walls, stairs etc. after you've treated them with your impressive Elizabeth-methods I would never ever dare to try but really like watching when you do them in deepest admiration. And what a lovely Christmas decoration you have set up, I have no doubt the Ghost of the present Christmas would be very happy to see this. Have a wonderful Christmas and best wishes for the New Year!

    Hugs
    Birgit

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    1. Greetings Birgit! :D
      A couple of days ago, I had the great pleasure to see both your Buttercup and Marmalade fairy bears, over at Betsy's house as they were paying a brief Christmas visit to The Cloud Palace.
      It was seeing them there which inspired me to put together a Holiday feast of my own for those "unexpected drop-ins", that make this time of year Extra Special. :D
      I am Delighted that you like not only the look of the walls and stairs but the Christmas goodies too!
      I shall try and save you a cookie... after I wipe the crumbs from my mouth
      Have a WONDERFUL Christmas Birgit, and all the BEST in 2017! :D

      elizabeth

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  20. Dear Elizabeth, you Amaze me every time with your additions to an already apparently perfect construction!!! It always just gets better and better! And as usual, you are Fearless with your materials and techniques for aging and layering and disguising the flaws in the kit! Clearly, by the time you are done, Villa Leone will be a little Jewel box of a Palace, worn and serene and gloriously moody with the ancient carved stone, elegant murals and beautiful balconies!!! You create such an amazing aura of "Real Antiquity" with all your layers and stains and sprays... And, like Birgit, I would be afraid to try half of what you do! But the results are Swoon worthy!!! And all I can think is "this will be nearly impossible to see in the completed house...!" Yes, you will know it is there! And I have to confess, the mysterious stairway in this kit has always fascinated me! :)
    As for you Christmas Decor.... it too is just Perfect!!! So much in so little space!!! Gifts, Treats, Tributes and treasures... all laid out on that gorgeous demi-lune hall table.... such "tasteful" decorations must make the Ghost of Christmas Present positively delirious!!! Merry Merry Christmas to you too!!!

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    1. Dear Betsy!
      Your comment has made me grin from ear to ear! :D
      Such high praise for so many mistakes, nevertheless I Thank You! ♥
      I love your phrase " worn and serene and gloriously moody" because that is EXactly the look I felt the house was calling for, so your words are music to my ears.
      After much thought I am seriously re-considering a small window in the kitchen which will give me a view of the stairs.
      I'm not that far along as yet, but prior to making them I didn't expect the stairs to look like much, therefore being able to see them wasn't a consideration.
      Like you, who adds layers of details to tree house ceilings which none but you can fully see; you who adds the tiniest bit of wood trims to microscopic houses and then peoples them with dressed and coiffed teeny tiny dolls; it might not have been ones original intent albeit you keep on going until the project tell you to STOP! ;P
      Meanwhile, I was inspired by seeing that you had put up your Christmas tree in the Lovely Old Doll's House and it brought back memories of my Real Life Christmas's Past...
      I am Glad that I did it, AND kept it small. It felt good to get "back into the mini kitchen again" and to lay a demi-lune table; which is always so much easier to tidy up, after the company has gone. :D

      Have a JOYUS Christmas Betsy, and a Happy and Healthy New Year! :D

      elizabeth
      p.s. I have your original Christmas card pinned to my Studio wall where I am able to appreciate it all year long! :D

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  21. Your staircase is really great. I love the way you aged it. It looks like an old venetian palazzo, at Xmass time.
    Joyeux Noël

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    1. Thank You Very Much Dominique! :D
      I have been a Great Admirer of YOUR Willowcrest doll's house, with its Wonderful Art Nouveau decor, AND the Incredible staircase and handrail you custom built for it! Talk about the "WOW-factor"...!
      I Love your observation that Villa Leone looks like an "old Venetian palazzo at Christmas time", because for me it's confirmation that this house is on the right track! ♥

      Have a VERY Merry Christmas, Dominique and a JOYUS New Year! :D

      elizabeth

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  22. My dear friend! What can I say. You are an "ageing" perfectionist??? Your eye for detail is getting sharper all the time. The little Christmas scene is perfect. You are the Master!
    Will wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy 2017 but will be in touch soon.
    Hugs, Linda

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    1. Good evening Linda and Thank You Very Much, dear friend! :D
      I feel that I have to keep on pressing on so that I'll have a place to showcase ALL of those Amazing VL needlepoint cushions which you've Very Generously blessed me with! They will be the NEW-looking things in This OLD- looking House! hahaha

      I am quite pleased with the way the mini Christmas spread turned out. It had been re-adjusted many times; paring it down from double of what it originally was YIKES! - less is more as they say ;P

      I wish you a Much COOLER Merry Christmas Linda, knowing that you and your daughter are impatient to receive an Extra Special gift from Santa before the New Year.!
      CHEERS and waiting to hear :D

      elizabeth

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  23. Hello :)
    stunning work! It's unique and incredible looking. The old stone stairs with the fitting "used" and antique look of the wall ... That's awsome. I quess my next project should also include some old looking things. Thats amazing ... can't get enough ...

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  24. Hi Honey! :D
    Thank you Very Much for your comment and for your compliments!
    Making the wall appear as "used" began to make sense to me the more I worked on the stone.
    Aging the upper portion of the wall was NOT on my original To Do list so I began with a little bit and gradually increased the decay on both side of the window so it would look cohesive and visually balanced.
    And since this was a tall wall, I knew it could take it! ;P

    Have a VERY MERRY Christmas Honey, and a HAPPY New Year! :D

    elizabeth

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  25. The stairs are amazing, I love what you did with it. I also love the aging of the wall it looks so real. And what a treat to see your beautiful Christmas decorations!!!
    Merry Christmas to you nad yours!
    Geneviève

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    1. Thank You Genevieve! :D
      Your comment is Very Much Appreciated, both about the look of the stairs and the Christmas decorations! :D
      This is my second time having a Christmas posting, quite a bit different than my first one.
      It gave me a lot of pleasure setting the Christmas things up as well as trying to keep it contained, and I feel satisfied with the results. :))

      I wish you A VERY Merry Christmas Genevieve, and to all of your families too, both the Big and the Very Small! ♥

      elizabeth

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  26. Once again Elizabeth you have done great job with minibuilding! Your italian villa will be gorgeaus and makes me hope to have one too. Your Christmas table setting is delicious clever setting of different ingredients. Thank you for commenting in my blog and Merry Christmas to You too!

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    1. Thank You for your Lovely comment Riitta! :D
      I think that I am finally beginning to feel more confident about the direction of this Villa which is still a challenge to me yet getting easier with each new thing I do.
      It certainly gave me a Lot of pleasure to contrive a Christmas scene for it, because I was able to utilize some of the mini condiments in my stash, which I have been making and storing for months. :))

      I Wish you a VERY Merry Christmas Riitta, and a New Year filled with Many More mini Joys! :D

      elizabeth

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  27. Hello, Elizabeth - More amazing features on Villa Leone! Yes, that "stringer" (I couldn't remember what it was called, either, until I read Pepper's comment) does complete the staircase to perfection, and makes the window frame placement look exactly right. I know the window involved much work and much trial and error. But it doesn't LOOK as though it involved any of those things; it looks very natural and as though it has always been there. I just happen to have fallen in love with that aged window frame. I wonder if I'll ever stop repeating that you're an incredible master of ageing and finishing techniques. Your stone staircase is sheer beauty, and of course when it's finished to absolute perfection, you start all over again to make it better! You did a wonderful job of blending all the stone finishes, as though they've all grown old together. The under-stair Christmas vignette is delightful - so much to see and enjoy; a true feast for the eyes! Thank you for a lovely Christmas post.
    Marjorie

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    1. Hello Marjorie! :D
      It is always such a Pleasure to read your comments and I Thank You Very Much!!!♥
      Regarding the aging of the window frame. It is a technique which I learned from a fellow blogger DALE FLUTEY.
      First you paint the window a dark color, and when dry you paint on a thin layer of white glue. When the glue surface is set, then go over it with a lighter colored paint. I used a heat gun to speed up the cracking and then went over the whole thing with a black water-based gel stain and wiped it off. This made the cracking look Even More ancient.
      I have to admit that it has turned out better this time around than when I tried it on the shutters of Green Dolphin Street, a few years ago. I guess "practice DOES make Perfect";
      or should I say- IMPERFECT? ;P

      Thank you again, for enjoying my Christmas Vignette!
      As I write this, the snow is coming down steadily and heavily which means MORE SHOVELING TOMORROW, be that as it may-
      it sure looks pretty right now. :))

      I wish you and your family a VERY Merry Christmas Marjorie, and a VERY Happy New Year! ♥

      elizabeth

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  28. Arrrgh!
    misspelled his name it's Dale FLUTY ( no "E")

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  29. elizabeth, I know the challenge of imitating stone ;-)... and you did a great job with these stairs. yep, happens to all of us once in a while that we have to tear things out to get in... hihi. but you can be very proud of the result :-)

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    1. Thank You Very Much Marion! :D
      I actually enjoyed making the stone this time around only because I had already done the stairs which was the hardest part. There is still the upper stinger portion yet to do but that is a much smaller section and will be hardly visible one the bathroom wall is installed on the second floor.
      ahhh me, so many pre-steps yet to do, but Thank You for enjoying all of the results thus far! :D

      Have a MARVELOUS Christmas Marion, and a VERY French New Year! :;P

      elizabeth

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  30. Oh, Elizabeth, what a great update. I love reading how you tackle things that come up and deal with pesky problems. The stairs looks brilliant. I especially love the plaster on the wall, as seen behind the table. The mural tones in perfectly with the walls and trim, well done.
    Your little Christmas scene is lovely and is reminding me I need to do the same before Christmas is over!
    Hugs
    Si

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  31. Hi Simon! :D
    I am Always Delighted to hear from you and I Thank You! :D
    I am Really happy with the way the wall looks too. I kept taking photos and checking it through the camera lens, before making additional corrections until I was entirely satisfied with the various wall surfaces and trims.
    The Christmas Scene was a Welcomed change of pace and I encourage you to do one too because, it FEELS REALLY GOOD!

    Have a VERY Merry Christmas Si and All the BEST in 2017! :D

    elizabeth

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  32. Elizabeth: I am truly in awe of the talent you have for aging finishes and making everything look not only sooo realistic but also so well-used and well-loved! Like Grandmommy says - I would love to take a class from you on the processes you use. You say you wouldn't be a good teacher but I find that hard to believe, given all your other talents as well. Your Christmas scene looks wonderful as well - so in keeping with the overall feel of the scene you are building up. I love, love, love your work!
    Have a wonderful Christmas. I so look forward to what the new year will hold for Villa Leone. - Marilyn D., Oromocto, NB

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    1. Hello Marilyn! :D
      I loved your comment- Thank You so Much! :))
      Many Many Years ago I used to teach a few mini classes at the club I belonged to, but nothing of the magnitude I am doing now.
      I tend to get carried away in the process and often loose track of time once I get started, but here is a true story which you may find interesting-
      I once had a new job selling makeup and teaching my clients how to apply it. My boss was watching me go through the process and later told what she had observed and offered me some advise.
      The fist thing she said was that she LOVED the results of my makeovers,
      The second thing she said was that I was taking TOO LONG going about it because the students wouldn't be able to remember half of it, or be able to repeat the fiddly techniques I was teaching them once they got their makeup home.
      The 3rd thing she said was not only should I cut down the application time, but also cut the makeup product down to the basics and to not overwhelm the clients with too much stuff.
      And finally- that if I heeded her advise I would have a long and successful career in her store.

      and I did! ;P

      I wish you a VERY Merry Christmas Marilyn, and a VERY Happy
      New Brunswick New Year too! :D

      elizabeth

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  33. Hi Elizabeth,
    GORGEOUS! - that is all I am going to say.....
    (I want to be a miniature person so that I can just stand by the sweets table munching away while admiring your beautiful work in the hallway!)
    You are talented beyond words. Thanks for being a wonderful teacher by showing us how to keep trying until we reach perfection.
    I wish you have a very blessed Christmas and a happy new year!
    Hugs,
    Sam

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    1. Hi Sam! ♥
      Thank You Very Much for your lovely comment- Greatly Appreciated!:))

      Part of the reason that I enjoy blogging is because it enables me to remember what I have done in the past, since I often I can't remember the steps of how I got from point A to B, thus my blog becomes teaching material for me as well! ;P

      And since you've mentioned it, I have already had to re-fill the goodies on the sweets table several times over since I posted this, because
      I like to stand and munch away too! :D

      A BLESSED Christmas Season to you too Sam, and all the VERY BEST in the New Year too! :D

      elizabeth

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  34. Hi, your ageing project amazes me. The whole staircase is great. I have to wonder how much you have had patience with the walls, window etc.
    I LOVE your Christmas scene. You really have eye for details.

    I wish you a VERY Merry Christmas!
    - Sirkka

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    1. Hi Sirkka!
      I am Delighted that you like my staircase, Thank You Very Much!!! : D
      Your comment regarding my patience is interesting to me because I don't think of it that way. I would consider myself to be more Impatient than otherwise, yet when it comes to trying to satisfy myself towards an objective I am focused on, then the time is of little consequence - but I am sure that you find this to be true for your own mini projects too- in fact I think that this can be said for just about ALL of us in the hobby! ;P

      A VERY Merry Christmas to you, Sirkka and may you have a Wonderful 2017 ! : D

      elizabeth

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  35. Hi Elizabeth,

    That's really an amazing job on the aging finishes! It looks really awesome and the blending work is superb! I also heard from my friend it is surprising that Vancouver is snowing this year. Are you liking the snow? I'm sure it is feeling very christmasy this year though. Happy holidays to you and your family!

    Pei Li

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  36. Hello Pei Li! :))
    Thank You for your comment regarding the finishing of this staircase; Very Much Appreciated! : D
    It is a good thing that I enjoyed doing it because I have one more hall wall to finish at the top of the stairs before I can call this section of the house done.
    Meanwhile, the snow in Vancouver is quickly melting away. A steady drizzle of rain is taking care of it, although there is still plenty of snow and ice on the ground.
    I DO hope that we will still have some left on Sunday, but that still remains to be seen. :(

    Merry Christmas to you too Pei Li and All the VERY BEST in the coming New Year! :D

    elizabeth

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  37. My Dear Elizabeth.....one word! OUTSTANDING! Thank you for taking the time to bring a little Christmas to our world in your mini work!
    Merry Christmas.
    fats

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  38. Hi Fats! :D
    So Happy to see you and have you home again too!
    Thank you Very Much, my dear friend. I have come to think of Christmas in connection with your Garfield Christmas house and although this is just a slice, yours is a Full Meal Deal.
    Keep going on it Fats, the West Coast Show is less than a year away!

    Have a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS and lets have a Miniteers get-together in the New Year, okay?

    elizabeth

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  39. I learn so much from your posts, Elizabeth, thank you! Wishing for you happiness and inspiration this Yule, and both serenity and prosperity in the new year.

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    1. Hi Nancy! Thank You Very Much for your comment and for your Good Wishes as well; BOTH are Greatly Appreciated!!! : D

      I wish you and your family ((and your inquisitive kitten) , a VERY Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year too! ♥

      elizabeth

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  40. Wow!! I am speechless! Years ago I took a class in traditional painting techniques. It was a serious class and I learned a lot but I am nowhere compared to you! You are one seriously talented lady! The ageing of the window, wall, stairs, the choice of colours and textures. Wow!
    I love what you are doing and am looking forward to seeing much more in 2017.
    Your little Christmas display is delightful. Today is Christmas and I wish you a merry Christmas with your loved ones.
    As for your question on my blog, I replied with a picture via personal message on Facebook ��
    Looking forward to your incredible blog posts in 2017!
    Hugs,
    Véronique

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    1. Hello Veronique and A VERY Merry Christmas to you!!! :D
      Thank You for your Marvelous comment regarding the aging. It is something which I enjoying Immensely, yet every attempt is a new adventure for me as well, still I press on! ;P
      Regarding my question on Facebook- I am having MORE problems with my Facebook account and so I will not be on it until I can get the glitch resolved- A Real Pain!
      Looking forward to 2017 too and especially being able to continue the Angelique saga in the House of her Ancestors.
      Greetings to you and to yours - : D

      elizabeth

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  41. Dear Elizabeth!
    I love your art!
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
    Hugs
    Tatiana

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  42. My Dear Tatiana! Thank You VERY Much!!! :D
    It gives me Great Pleasure that you do, because I also enjoy YOUR art too! :D
    Wishing you and your family both the Real one and your miniature ones, A Blessed Christmas and a VERY Happy New Year! :D

    elizabeth

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  43. Happy Christmas Elizabeth! Staircase looks fantastic, I really love it, stonework and ageing is spot on. Looking forward to seeing it in place, this house is going to be special. I laughed when you said you don't can, I'd love to do things like that, but don't have time to, because I spend that time doing things like that in miniature, much like yourself and everyone else here...😃 ah well we're sorta doing it aren't we?

    Sarah x

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  44. Hi Sarah!!! :D
    Thank You for your comment regarding the stonework and the staircase, which I appreciate Very Much! :D
    Regarding the canning, though I have to admit, I (once) canned dill pickles under my mother-in-laws guidance we made LOTS and almost all of my jars turned cloudy whilst hers stayed clear and the pickles were perfect. I think that that experience from 1979 has colored my desire to ever try again. : (
    However you are SPOT ON in saying that not only do I not have the time to can in Real Life because time canning in mini, is so much More Fun! :D
    Have a VERY Happy Christmas Season Sarah, and Welcome Back to Blogland!

    You have been missed :D

    elizabeth

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  45. So excellent! The stairs are gorgeous. And thanks for always taking the time to explain all your methods. It's so interesting! Happy New Year to you and your family. I know you will astound us with your genius in 2017.
    big hugs♥,
    Caroline

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    1. Hi Caroline! Thank You for your Lovely comment! :D
      I am glad that you find it interesting because even though my methods are a little off the wall, I find the process interesting and I enjoy it- especially WHEN it WORKS! : ))

      Which, however is not always the case..... :((
      Have a Wonderful New Year Caroline, and may yours be a year filled with more Incredible Shabby Chic minis which I ALWAYS look forward to, as well as learn from. :D

      elizabeth

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  46. The stairs are beautiful! And I love the color combination - it is so pleasing to the eye. Happy New Year!

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    1. Happy New Year to you too, Penelope, and Thank You for your comment on the stairs and the color combinations.
      I continue to fuss with the color of just about everything I do, until I Force myself to leave it alone before it's "over-worked"; which sadly sometimes happens.
      The color of these stairs however- is FINAL!
      Whew! : D

      elizabeth

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  47. Beloved, beautiful, proud, romantic, incomparable, glorious, rich, noble, magnificent, splendid, historic, genuine and all round amazing...I was trying to find the best words to describe how your Villa Leone now appears! There didn't seem to be one or two words that captured the essence or spirit of your build so here is a partial list of words that could be used to describe your wonderful building. You inspire and teach in the most lovely way and I have learned much from reading your blog. The Christmas items are perfectly delightful and have again illustrated the warmth and generosity of the season. Wishing you a very healthy, happy and inspired New Year! Cheers, Alayne

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    1. Dear Alayne!
      What a BEAUTIFUL Christmas Gift for me to receive- Thank You VERY Much! : D
      I am overwhelmed by the Kindness and Generosity of your words and will try not only to live up to them, but to stay HUMBLE in the process;
      a mighty task indeed!
      As far as the Christmas items, they made my life easier because they were food goods which I already had in waiting. In fact it felt like opening my Christmas presents early since I often can't recall what I have in my stash. Rummaging through bead boxes of Christmas and mini panty items, was a joyful reminder of things long buried and completely forgotten, plus an opportunity to play with them again before they all went back into storage.- Great Fun!

      Many Blessings of the New Year to you and yours and
      Thank you for following my blog Alayne, and for your ever enjoyable comments -Very Much Appreciated! :D

      elizabeth

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  48. Tus técnicas son de unos resultados maravillosos.
    Un abrazo
    Maite

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    1. Thank You Very Much Maite!
      I enjoyed trying out those new techniques on the walls and it makes me Happier that they were actually successful too! ;P
      Enjoy the New Year!

      elizabeth

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  49. Dear Elizabeth,
    Sorry for the late reaction. What an amazing, wonderful masterpiece. I love it the way it looks like. Nice color.
    Hugs Dorien

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    1. Greetings Dorien!
      Thank You Very Much for your comment! I am Very Pleased that you like the way it looks and approve of the color :D

      Keep up the Fabulous work on your Greenleaf GARFIELD inlaid floor. Your wood-woking skills are Phenomenal!!!

      elizabeth

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  50. Hi Elizabeth, sorry for the late comment. This is so fantastic, thank you for all the step-by-step pictures, the aging looks amazing on the stairs and walls! I love how much detail you put into it, really well done!

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    1. Hi Susi!
      Thank You for taking the time to comment! :D
      I am glad that you enjoyed the step-by-step pictures which were included not only for you but also for me!
      You would be surprised at how easy it is for me to FORGET what I did to get from point A to point B! :(
      The Aging inside my head, is not as much fun as aging a dollhouse wall! ;P

      elizabeth

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  51. I have just finally been able to sit down and study this post, and have found it absolutely fascinating. I have created a few miniature "plastered" walls in my time but your method is different again. Thank you for sharing and inspiring. Celia

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  52. Hi Celia! Thank you for taking the time to "study this post", and I am So Glad that you've enjoyed it!!! :D
    After leaving the staircase to work some more on the outside of this Villa, I decided a couple of days ago, to try and finish the upper section of the staircase wall and get the rest of the plastering done. But I had already forgotten what I did. Yikes!
    I seem to have the recall of a flea these days, so I ended up having to "study this post" again too!
    Go figure :/

    elizabeth :)

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  53. Estas técnicas tienen resultados perfectos, y te agradezco mucho que las compartas. He aprendido mucho y me encanta ver como te va quedando todo. Un beso

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    1. Thank YOu for your compliment Maria! :D
      Although I think that the technique still has its flaws, the results turned out much better than I expected-
      Praise the LORD! :D

      elizabeth

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  54. So WONDERFUL hall! Great job!

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  55. Hello Paulakum!
    It makes me feel Happy that you too, have enjoyed this posting about the staircase, Thank You!!! :D

    elizabeth

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  56. Hello Elizabeth,
    That hall is to die for! All the building and finishing steps was well worth it. It looks perfect and one would think you make staircases all day long! The finished steps and their stone finish are amazing. You call it a strange flight of stairs, I call it a perfect and exact interpretation of building I've visited in Europe. The stickers added a great touch and your treatment of the window is spot on. In addition to your beautiful build you once again created a wonderful atmosphere so rich in layers and character! Bravo! Bravissima! It must have been such a great place to be over the holidays, so beautifully decorated!
    Big hug
    Giac

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  57. Hahahaha! If I could avoid having to make ANY staircases Giac, then I would, but since you have visited similar "strange" stairs in Europe, that gives me renewed Hope of representing this as a semi- authentic Italian villa. :D
    Stairs are not my favorite things as you know, yet they are a "necessary evil" and have to be done.
    Oh,if ONLY I could do them as good as you, then I wouldn't cringe at the very thought of having to make them again for the second floor! ><
    Even so, I am Very HAPPY that you like them Giac, and SO GLAD to see you back on the blogs again - you were Greatly MISSED!
    a Big Hug Back, my friend :D

    elizabeth

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  58. Hello,
    I am Brazilian and doing some research I found your blog.
    I loved your job!

    I'm trying to make a doll by making a bubble gum.
    I've tried some materials, but I did not succeed.
    Would you have any suggestions to give me?

    =)

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  59. Hello Coisas!
    I don't think that google translator is doing a very good job translating your description of your miniature project, but I would be happy to give you some suggestions once I better understand your request.
    Please contact me at my email address and I shall try to be of further assistance :)

    elizabeth
    bun.e810@gmail.com

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