AWARD

Friday, 6 April 2018

Stonewalled by Villa Leone



Stonewalling is a refusal to communicate or cooperate
 Wikipedia
 Villa Leone, has been deliberately refusing to cooperate with me
which means that 
 I've had nothing of interest to communicate
on my blog.

 There's been nothing new
to show you since 
 January 14th
because

I've been busy pouting.

I've been mad at Leone for stonewalling me

I'd suggest an idea but Leone would refuse it. 
So I'd try something else, 
however it didn't matter what I came up with because, 
 the Villa rejected all of my ideas for it. 

This went on
 week after week

and since 
Leone 
stubbornly refused to communicate or cooperate-
 I stubbornly continued to pout

Secretly I knew that the Villa 
was pushing hard for me to make the staircase for the second floor 
yet I continued to resist 
because frankly-
I hate making stairs.

Eventually, I opted for a reconciliation. 

  Reluctantly, 
I resigned myself 
to working on the Villa's second floor staircase 
leading up to a 3rd floor Master Bedroom. 

But I wanted as much floor space on the 3rd level as possible 
so I figured the best approach 
was to install the second flight of stairs 
right next to the first. 
I papered the ceiling, cut the hole for the stairs, made the tile floor for the hallway using 
a STAND IN flight of steps 
as a temporary substitute for those
which I will eventually have to build.

At the same time
I also had to plan out the bathroom which will be 
the room closest to the viewer,
 as well as 
plan the layout for the adjacent library/music room 
on the second floor.  

 Many fine details for the entire second floor
 had to be planned 
simultaneously

Once I had a workable floor-plan, 
and had cut out the opening in the ceiling for the stairs,
I began constructing the interior walls 
for the 2nd floor hall and its future staircase. 

For the dividing stair/bathroom wall,
I cut out a window to provide additional light and interest in this tall, dark stairwell, 
and would look good 
on the bathroom side of the wall, too.  

The "iron" grill was added to the window 
to help dress it up.
I fashioned the "L"shaped STONE WALL to not only enclose the first floor stairwell, 
but to also support the run of the staircase 
on its opposite side.

Since the stair enclosure looked plain to me, 
and since I have lots of cherubs in my stash, 
I decided to add a couple of angelic"carvings" to further embellish the walls.

The musical cherubs were glued in place
 and painted to match the stone. 



The cartouche carvings were a gift from Fatima 
which I cut to fit, 
later I added the extra bit of plastic curlicue 
cut from a doily
 to fill up the space underneath it. 
I found a hanging light fixture in my stash and tried it out in the hall.
(but HOW will they 
(or I) ever be able to change the bulb?)
hmmmm? 
I don't know

moving on

I also made the tile floor for the hall

 from sheets of 
Scrap Book paper 
from THE HOBBY LOBBY



At this stage I was feeling pretty confident about my progress.
that is
UNTIL IT WAS TIME TO BEGIN WORK ON THE ACTUAL STAIRCASE


and this is when I ran headlong into
another STONE WALL! ➽
l
Megan from the blog
"CREATIVE ME"
 http://www.blog.creativeme.co.za/
ran into exactly the same problem.
She discovered that she no room at the top of her staircase for a landing
and 
Whoops!
 neither did I!

Try as I might
(And I did try)
there was no room to step off the top stair.
EVEN WORSE
there was NO ROOM for A BEDROOM 
or 
A BED
 on the 3rd floor!

I did EVERYTHING I could to try to have a bed up there
 but there just wasn't enough room! 
☠☠☠ 
by now, I was 
ANGRY AND FRUSTRATED! 
 I realized that I would have to forfeit either 
the entire bedroom 
 or
 a staircase leading up to it
because 
Leone 
wouldn't let me have both!

 STONEWALLED 

PERIOD!

In theory there's
 SCADS of space in the attic 
however there's also inset interior walls
which support the roof
as well as the 3 recessed windows on all three walls, 
AND
 a long hole in the floor to accommodate the staircase,
so in reality,
there's very little usable wall or floorspace despite it's great size. 


 I realized that I was snookered. 

sooooo,
after some more required pouting,
 I chose to move the stairs 
to the opposite side of the hall 
so I could at least have a landing.
 in fact:
the new position of the staircase is
very
 close to their
Designated Location 
as per the original instructions in the kit.
duh! 
(I guess I should have read them)

Thus, the attic bedroom was moved down to the
SECOND FLOOR, 
leaving enough room on the 3rd floor for it to become 
the library/music room.

I think that this arrangement will work.

and 

Sooooo 
now 
everything 
I had already done
had to be 
UNDONE
Which meant that I had to patch up the hole I'd cut in the ceiling, 

then recut a new one. 
I also had to entirely cover over the old ceiling paper in the hall 
with a new ceiling paper
 to hide my ugly patch job.

I also decided to remove and dismantled the existing stone walls and make a half wall instead.  
When that was done, 
this is what it looked like




I found smaller seated cherub in my stash and glued it next to the ball on the banister,
then tried out the arrangement with
"Isabella"

requesting that she perform the balcony scene from 
"Romeo and Juliet"


but alas! 
she was up-staged!
Visually there was
TOO MUCH STUFF GOING ON

the cherub with the harp 
was 
Stealing the show 
and the view from afar
looked 
really odd

like- what IS all that stuff over there?
soooooo
I pried off both of the angels, ditched the small one and moved the bigger cherub further down the pony wall,
 gluing it in between both of the cartouches.

I left the ball on the banister alone. 

Now it looks like this
and as it happens,
this new half wall will make it easier in the future

 for Isabella
(probably me)
to change the
light bulb in the hanging fixture


Meanwhile 

 a little Shakespeare, 
if you please...

"O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo? Deny thy father and refuse thy name. Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,. And I'll no longer be a Capulet."
Truthfully
I like the look of the half wall much better! 

and now that the angels are out of sight- 

it looks cleaner
The floor tiles haven't been glued down
since there are
electrical wires for the first floor ceiling lights
 directly underneath it.
They will need to be connected 

to the power strips
before the tile are permanently affixed, 
and once the floor is installed I will build the dividing wall between the hall
and 
the bedroom.

FYI
One of the most difficult tasks I had to perform, was getting my hand and arm through a window to apply the drywall filler along the join between the bathroom wall and the exterior wall, 
while working carefully around 
the hanging lamp and the pictures. 
Then I had to clean up the resulting mess.
I also had to paint it with a 
VERY LONG HANDLED BRUSH! 
Whew!

When I told Janine that I had learned to become 
a contortionist 
 I wasn't kidding

 ahhhh

the hoops we'll jump through for the sake of this hobby!
ugggh
After I viewed the above photo 
I knew I needed to install some ceiling trim. 

><
BLAST! 
out comes the tub of wall putty 

and then the paints
 again!

Arrrggh!
 an unsightly
 stray blob of putty,
is found still clinging to the framed painting

how annoying!


Gold gilded frames in the gallery
 came courtesy of
Jean-Claude at

Maison française 1/12

thank you again Jean-Claude! 

Artwork on the narrow wall 
leading towards 
the bathroom,
 are a round brass button cover,
a cherub earring, 

and a coat of arms with a lion in the center of the shield
Viva Leone!   
and yes,
 me and the Villa are on speaking terms again
And so there you have it!
weeks of pouting 

and of doing nothing,
and then 
of doing something
and all for what?-


a pony wall.


 hey,

 that's how I roll
even 
when I'm stonewalled

by the way,
 I still have to make the stairs! >< 

but...

 I think that's h-all 
for now
Leone


elizabeth



81 comments:

  1. You survived everything the villa threw at you and came out a winner! A great new addition to your house. I love it.

    Huibrecht

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    1. Hello Huibrecht! :D
      Your summation is correct! I DID indeed survive the ordeal and I think that I am a BETTER PERSON for the experience! hahaha
      AND
      it feels good to have achieved half a hall; than none at all ;D

      elizabeth

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  2. what a colossal job Elizabeth, but the result is fabulous as always. I love the arrival of the stairs and this landing is extraordinarily beautiful. The cherub is wonderfully weathered. The frames, the lighting, and the skylights illuminate the whole!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Hello Claude! :D
      Colossal is a BIG word for such a minor project but you are so right!
      I like the looks of the landing into the hall too, and once it is all enclosed I know that all that extra effort
      will have been well worth it! :D

      elizabeth

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  3. Me quito el sombrero ante tu trabajo, me encanta, la colocación de los ángeles en la pared me enamora.Buenas noches :-)

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    1. Hello Rosa Maria! :D
      I'm really fond of the angels too albeit, not in their original location. Cherubs always make me think of cupids and of course- love, so these ones with their harp and horn were the ideal choices for a Venetian house and its LOVE for music! ♥

      elizabeth

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  4. Hey you kept trying and managed to accomplish something and didn't end up with a stairway to nowhere. So I'm excited for you!

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    1. Hi Sheila! :D
      To try and fail is better than failing to try, so I suppose the moral of this story is to never give up, especially since I actually prefer the hall this way, than what it would have been if the staircase had been installed as originally planned.
      Now its onward and UPWARDS! :D

      elizabeth

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  5. It looks terrific Elizabeth. I love the way the golden frames glow! I nearly threw out one of those plastic angels yesterday. The Grandchildren use it and I find it all over the place. I think it survived a sunami last weekend.
    Isabella looks perfectly posed on the balcony - anyone who visits would be tempted to quote Shakespeare.
    As always the atmosphere you create has so much depth and is so much realism. So glad that the Villa is allowing you to continue.
    Ciao Bella.
    Janine

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    1. Hi Janine! :D
      I have had the angel with the harp for a very long time but I'm sure that it used to be a Christmas ornament at some point. However I'm not surprised that your plastic angel would take on a life of adventure among your creative grandkids; much like your skateboarding, UNO playing Christmas elf! ;D
      "An angel; or,
      if not
      an earthly paragon" :D

      elizabeth

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  6. "P" for pouting, persistence and perfection! Fabulous work. Glad Leone is co-operating!

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    1. Hi Linda! :D
      hahhaha
      I've had lots of practice in persistent pouting which I've now perfected! :D
      Leone however, IS co-operating
      but with reservation. ;D

      elizabeth

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  7. Dear Elizabeth, Believe me I FEEL your Pain!!! This house kit has so many appealing features that Drive the layout... whether we like it or not! LOL! I think you will be happier to have the bedroom on the second floor and the library/music room on the third floor! (As I have accepted for Hardwick Hall!) The open space of the third floor is smaller due to the mansard roof pushing the walls in.... but if you wanted to you could enlarge those windows quite a bit! And as I have done.... throw out the former roof supports and start over! LOL! I think your "pony wall" is Perfect for the hallway! It would have been too confining for such an elegant hallway to not be able to look over the railing to the stairs.... that open space allows views of that Wonderful Gallery of Ancestors....It would be Criminal to make them impossible to see!!! (Unlike my Moon Maidens of course! LOL) I am sorry you were so "Stonewalled" that that is "Hall" you have to show for weeks and weeks of pouting.... but I CAN Understand!!! At least your Hall is Fabulously appropriate for the feel and mood of this project.... and you have resolved a couple of other difficult situations (stairs location and bed location) without really getting too far down those "Halls" before having to turn back! I so admire your ability to put something together and then tear it out and cut it up and paper it over!!! I am too timid by far to take such drastic steps...! But yours lead you to such a wonderful result... from my perspective it all looks destined to be that way!!! I hope you will keep on keeping on... down the hallways and up the stairs... no matter what! You inspire me to much greater "bravery" in my attempts to create the mood I am looking for.... and I thank you for that! And don't forget...."P" is also for Progress!!! I Love what you have achieved with this property and can't wait to see more!!! :)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Hello Betsy! :D
      After I read your comment I KNEW that you could indeed "feel my pain!" ;D
      Your observation that the features of this kit drive the layout are Spot On something you yourself KNOW with your own Bewitching Hardwick Hall. :))
      I had enlarged the 3rd floor attic windows long ago, however I hadn't actually tried out a bed in the space until last week because I thought that I could somehow FORCE a bedroom upstairs when the time came to make one, but your idea of throwing out the roof supports opens up a lot of new options which I will definitely give some more thought to.
      You are also right about the clear view of The Ancestors now that the full wall has been replaced by the pony wall, so with every minus there is an equal and opposite Plus!
      However, do not mistake my desperation for bravery Betsy, because I am at heart-
      a cowardly lion! :(

      elizabeth :D

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  8. Nothing like one step forwards, two step back.. followed by three steps forward! It might have been a pouting detour but the result stunning. Love, love the little wall - less is more and it works beautifully. :)

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    1. Hi Anna! :D
      "Less is More" is a design phrase which I am Very Familiar with;
      A little less wall allows a lot MORE of a view! :D

      elizabeth

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  9. Hay veces que las cosas se atascan,parece que nada tienen solución y hasta los astros están confabulados con tu trabajo!
    Pero lo has resuelto todo de manera magistral y además de arreglarlo todo,has aprendido contorsionismo! no te puedes quejar jaaa!!
    Me encanta como avanza la villa y como tus avances se van integrando de manera natural con el conjunto,gran trabajo!!
    Besos.

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    Replies
    1. Hello Pilar! :D
      I know that there are times when everyone will get stuck with a project, but their long duration is what causes me the most concern.
      Yet, to have discovered a latent skill as a contortionist during the wait time, was definitely an unexpected BONUS! ;D
      Your words" your advances are integrated in a natural way with the whole" are Sweet Music to my ears! :D

      elizabeth

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  10. Hi Elizabeth - Halleluja two steps forward and 1 step backward. I know the feeling. You are so brave making everything to a finished point before you regret what you have done. The result is as always marvellous.
    I myself am having a period where I am so tired of my house. I just need to finish the roof on the Tower of the house and then the Little music room but I cannot get my energy onto it.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Jette! :D
      I'd made such a great mess of the villa with cutting and patching that I had no choice but to keep trying for the "finish"-line even when the finish-line was moved to somewhere else!
      However I know EXACTLY what you mean about being "tired of your house" having felt that way for weeks myself, so my advise is to wait it out, otherwise you might be taking 2 steps forward and 1 step backwards too! :(

      elizabeth ;D

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  11. I always enjoy reading about your journeys.

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    1. Hi Keli! :D
      My journeys are always easier to write about,
      than they were to live though! hahaha

      elizabeth

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  12. Oh, after reading your post I can really feel your pain, Elizabeth, so much work and finally less progress!! BUT......your persistence to make some progress in this villa. Fighting your 'Leone' and firmly going on with this furious fighting back lion, made you to the absolute winner, who takes it all: you've got alot of clearness in what you wanted (and want).....hurray!!! I guess that probably you've been a gladiator in ancient times, since now fighting with lions has become your speciality ;)!!!
    I like the hall so far, and for comforting you: an Italian villa will get your angels at the time whenever it allows you to put them somewhere.
    I always love to read your messages (I name them the special Mrs. E. stories) about your adventures and especially those, who take place in Villa Leone. Sometimes it feels if I'm invisable with you in this house, giggling about all you do and what than happens........sorry, but this is in my imagination, as you know, and I have alot of this stuff (imagination) ;O!
    After this heavy job I wish you a nice weekend, preferable without stress and dollhouse interior debates. Hugs, Ilona

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Ilona! :D
      I enjoyed your analogy of a gladiator fighting the lions in an arena, because there were times when it felt exactly like that! :D
      This villa has developed a theme of both lions and angels and as I have plenty of both in my stash, it will be interesting to see where the next angel will make its appearance,
      AND that YOU Ilona, will be here for the fun of that imaginary adventure too. ;D

      elizabeth

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  13. Life can be difficult in miniatures as it is in real life. I like very much the pictures with the wonderful frames. The result is a great atmosphere. I'm sure in time you'll manage to create stairs and more details for this house.
    Geneviève

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    1. Hi Genevieve! :D
      You are so right as Art does imitate Life. And I'm finally liking the atmosphere in the hall too. :D
      However, I'm still gathering up my courage, before I dare to tackle those stairs! :(

      elizabeth :D

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  14. It's looking LOVELY! And thank you for the shout out ;-)
    I love your cherubs, would not have had the courage to use them myself, now that they are fewer and positioned correctly, they add a lot to the walls without overwhelming the scene. I look forward very much to seeing what your stairs turn out like. I've put mine to rest for a little while.

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    1. Hello Megan! :D
      You don't realize how much your blog encouraged and inspired me and precisely when I needed it most! AND after I'd read it,
      I once again, found the will to live,
      so you are Most Welcome for the Shout Out! :D

      I agree with your final assessment regarding the angels too, but it took me a while to admit that they WERE over-whelming the scene, however pictures speak far MORE than the naked eye.

      As for my stairs- I was Very Much looking forward to seeing YOURS, Megan so please don't let YOUR staircase rest for too long otherwise like the angels, my courage may take flight! ;D

      elizabeth


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  15. Your creativity seems to be borderless dear Elizabeth !
    I love each of the wonderful made details !
    Hugs from Pipi

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    1. Hello Pipi! :D
      Your encouraging words are greatly treasured Pipi and I highly value each one! ♥:D

      elizabeth

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  16. I enjoyed reading your post and seeing the pictures very much :-). After struggling comes victory: it looks just stunning now! This is a beautiful place. It will be perfect when you are done with it, I'm sure of that, it already is so wonderful. You did great work!

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    1. Hi Millicent! :D
      I am Soooo Pleased that you have enjoyed seeing all the photos, because these ones were a real challenge to take. The angles are very tight and the the lighting difficult, and it will only get worse once the wall on the other side of the hall is installed.
      Even so, I enjoy these kinds of enclosed spaces where hidden rooms can only be seen through open doors and by peeking through the windows. ;D

      elizabeth

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  17. Te ha costado pasar malos momentos pero finalmente tu determinación ha conseguido plasmar el espíritu de la villa. ¡Genial!

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    1. Hello Isabel! :D
      Trying to capture the "spirit" of a Venetian villa has definitely been harder than I thought it would be.
      When I began this project with this kit, I thought it would be easy, but I often feel as though I've bitten off more than I can chew! Determination to get it finished especially when I feel like giving up, is what keeps me going, and then when I do have a Break Through, all of my previous angst, is quickly forgotten. :D

      elizabeth

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  18. It’s all perfect! I can’t get over how perfectly scales and realistic it has turned out. The plaster work is spot on...

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    1. Hi Kat! :D
      I am Very Happy that you like the plaster work since it is what I labored over the longest, and of the 3 surfaces, the 2 sides with the cherubs look the best. :D
      The hall-sde of the pony wall I've continued to struggle with but I think that it is time to move on, since it will be barely visible once the hall becomes entirely enclosed.

      elizabeth

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  19. It is amazing to me how opportunities are so often disguised as problems, and no matter how many of these situations we encounter in our lives we toil so long before we recognize that the answers will come. I ask myself all of the time, "will I ever learn?".
    But time and again you turn the toughest of dollhouse space challenges into incredibly interesting and WOW solutions. I am sorry you have had to struggle in your communications with the LION, but so happy to see the results of your newfound accord!
    I LOVE the half wall, the plaster and stone, the perfectly placed angels, the play of color, texture and finish, I want to stand at the top and lean over the wall to see below and just be in and enjoy the space like Isabel!
    It is truly marvelous, Elizabeth, and I hope the next phase comes easily, inspired and quickly - I want more!!!

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    1. Hello Jodi! :D
      You are Absolutely RIGHT and it is comforting to know that I am not alone in either The Struggle OR the realization that the struggle is often our Blessing in disguise! :D
      I know for a fact, that I'm a Natural Born WHINER, nevertheless I'm going to TRY and learn from your Great Words of Wisdom- sooner or later the answers WILL come!
      The challenges of this Venetian house are many and it is hard to disengage emotionally when I need to, which is why presenting it to the world is invaluable to me; and with such Marvelous Encouragement, I'm feeling more confident about tackling the next phase.
      AND I'm hoping that YOU will soon be feeling re-charged about resuming work on your New Orleans House Jodi, because-
      I'm wanting more of it too! :D

      elizabeth

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  20. Faire et refaire, tous les miniaturistes connaissent ça mais là où certains se décourageraient, chez vous Elizabeth tout devient tellement plus beau. J'adore le palier, le mur en pierre, les anges, le sol noir et blanc et la vue sur les cadres (encore merci de m'avoir fait l'honneur d'y disposer ceux que vous avez gagnés)

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    1. Hello Jean-Claude! :D
      Your words of "Make and re-make" is right on target! My challenge though, is the knowledge that my "making skills" leave a lot to be desired which is why I fully depend on wall plaster not only for the stone but also for filling my many gaps and mistakes! :(
      Nevertheless, despite my recent "un-building" experience, I am Very Glad that your beautiful frames are once again easily seen and appreciated, since they really make the hall wall Shine! ♥ :D

      elizabeth

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  21. It was a very frustrating experience which ended well. This is what helps us keep our neurons on alert in order to think out of the box.
    I love the half wall and that now the changing of the light bulb is possible.
    Hugs, Drora

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    1. Hi Drora! :D
      I LOVE keeping my "neurons on alert" and wish that my neurons would come to understand that once and for all, instead of me having to remind them all of the time! hahahha :D
      And regarding changing the lightbulb- It's now possible,
      but frankly Drora, I HOPE that I'll NEVER have to actually DO it!

      elizabeth

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  22. Love the result of your frustrations, Elizabeth! Great work, cherub is fantastic weathered and I love the little wall!

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    1. Hello Nono! :D
      Adding the cherubs made a lot of difference to the general atmosphere in the high narrow stairwell, as they were a means of visually connecting the 2 flat surfaces together within a very awkward space. It was a Bonus that they were both playing instruments which went so well with the overall theme of the villa! :D

      elizabeth
      p.s. I hope that your arm is healing Nono. I know that it must be quite a struggle to type &/or work using only one hand :(

      Delete
  23. Hello, Elizabeth - I'm so sorry about that stonewalling! But, as often happens, the pain and frustration lead to an even better result than would have been possible had you been allowed to proceed with your original plan. That staircase/landing problem brings back the memory of my villa's original staircase that ended up opening into the upstairs bathroom - a dead end that couldn't go anywhere else! I had to turn the upper section of the staircase back on itself and redesign the entire second floor! I think your decision to make a half-wall instead of the original full one was the perfect choice; the view over the wall to the Ancestor Gallery is too good to miss. I love your use of the cartouche carvings and the cherubs on the walls; and of course your wonderful stonework completes it all to perfection. As much as I loved the cherubs as you initially placed them, I agree that the space is much cleaner and more open as you have it now. You've done beautiful work, Elizabeth, and I love the aged, worn realism of this space. The only negative point of this post is that now I have to go look at the chandelier that hangs over the stairwell of my villa and decide how the villa's occupants will ever be able to change a lightbulb! I had never given that a thought. Yikes!
    Marjorie

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    1. Hi Marjorie!:D
      It is So Nice to have another miniaturist working on an Italian House in conjunction with mine, although YOU are miles ahead with yours AND as I've lately read- you're Almost Finished!!! :D
      Unfortunately, I have found that with each phase of this house I have run into proverbial "dead ends", and have found myself stuck with nowhere to go, more often than not. And like you, I'm having to re-think and then re-design my original plans on the fly, putting my "neurons on alert" as Drora so aptly phrased it! ;D
      Watching the amazing research and progress of your Villa del Vigneto and feeling the warm Tuscan atmosphere which you've so beautifully captured has, kept me fired up about my own Venetian house, whilst trying to seek out the uniqueness and the peculiarities of a culture which I still don't have enough specifics on.
      As a result, the various developments of Leone are more by cautious intuition than of ready information. In other words- its a lot harder than I thought.
      But believe it or not Marjorie; ensuring that Isabella, would be able to change the light bulb was one of the first things I thought about! Initially I thought that perhaps she would have to hook the hanging fixture through the bathroom window -
      however she's been Greatly Relieved to learn, that she won't ever have to do that now; Hooray for her :D

      elizabeth

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  24. It's such a relief that you and Villa Leone started to talk to each other again - for a while I was expecting all of this would end up in a pair therapy... Looks like you're both on the way to come back to being friends trusting each other - Leone can for sure trust you to bring in this special Elizabeth genius into its walls. The pony wall (ah, I love to learn new English expressions... hopefully my poor old brain will remember "being stonewalled") turned out terrific, okay, first it was a stubborn, reluctant pony but now it's just perfect allowing a wonderful view over the gallery, access for changing the bulb and even reciting Shakespeare.

    Hugs
    Birgit

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    Replies
    1. Hi Birgit! :D
      Villa Leone and I were forced by circumstances to kiss and make up, and I am so relieved because it takes a lot of energy to pout and stay mad!
      But Oh My Goodness, what a funny picture you've presented of me taking my dollhouse into Couple's Therapy!!!!
      Absolutely HYSTERICAL Bigit!

      But I get the couch ;D

      elizabeth

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  25. Hello Elizabeth. You should know better than to argue with the house. They can be very stubborn. But your perseverence has paid off in this instance and I love the outcome (although I liked the cherubs!). I love how you stick with one room or area and don’t stop til it is done. I am all over the place! Haha! I am interested to hear the upstairs is very poky. I have grand plans for the third floor of my Willowcrest, and now I am wondering if it will work. I might have to engineer something. Enjoy your week! Looking forward to the next instalment! Xx

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    1. Hi Shannon! :D
      I think that when you decide to work on your Willowcrest that as Betsy has already pointed out, the house itself,
      will "Drive the Layout".
      I've chosen to loosely "follow" the directions, but regardless, the front halls and the second floor staircase will insist that you build them, from the front of the house to the back.
      It has helped me to have seen lots of images via Pinterest of assorted Willowcrest builds AND to see some interesting alterations which have addressed the attic space in a number of very creative ways- some with and some without stairs leading up to it.
      The attic air space is HUGE yet there is very little usable floor space, which is a surprising contradiction with this kit and your word "poky" is definitely applicable. However, with your Amazing skills of dollhouse and kit building, you'll probably find the Willowcrest attic a lot easier to calculate and pre-plan than I.
      And as for my sticking to one room at a time- it is the only way I know how to work, yet it was never so true as it's been with THIS HOUSE!
      Once the second set of stairs are made and installed, the rest of the house should become a whole lot EASIER and a lot more FUN! YIPEE

      I can hardly wait! :D

      elizabeth

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  26. I think the half wall is brilliant! I hope it survives the final cut
    --no pun intended haha! Working through problems is both frustrating and inspiring at the same time I guess. The Villa is coming along wonderfully and I love your posts :)

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    1. Hi Linda! :D
      Yes indeed! the half wall is there TO STAY! :D
      The next thing on my TO DO list will be to hook up the electrics so that I can glue down the floor, and then install the staircase and since I suffer from perpetual commitment phobia, (PCP) I am slowly working up to it-
      one step at a time! ;D

      elizabeth

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  27. How much patience in doing and redoing... I admire you very much. And the result is so realistic and pleasant as always

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    1. Hello Ersilia! :D
      I have done and re-done each space inside the Villa so many times, that at the current rate, I could ( possibly) be finished by 2025! :D

      elizabeth

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  28. I struggled to understand what your problem was (I have a problem picturing 3-D spaces in my head *grin*) For your description I am sure it was one of those problems that drive us crazy! But, as always, you have come out a winner! I love the staircase, the little balcony and all the elements that combined create such an unique atmosphere. I can´t stop admiring your ability to transform and age things, those angels and all the mouldings are terrific! It was worth the effort and now you have one more skill to show: contortionism! ha! ;)

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    1. Hello Alexandra! :D
      I have trouble picturing 3-D spaces too, which is why I usually have to do a mockup. It is the only way I can see and avoid future problems, although in this case, I was only looking at the solutions on the second floor and neglected to look at the problems on the 3rd floor until it was almost too late! YIKES!
      But I LOVE aging things especially as I'm not very good at perfection. Aging allows me a lot of latitude and so most of the obvious mistakes I make, become much easier to assimilate. ;D

      elizabeth

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    2. It is difficult to imagine that you have that problem too, your creations are so incredible. It encourages me to see that difficulties can be overcome. You are one of my role models in this world, I am making an old garden at the moment and my first source of inspiration was that wonderful one you made. Thank you for being so inspiring.

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    3. You are VERY KIND to me Alexandra, and I am Very Flattered especially that you are using my Dolphin Street garden as a source of inspiration for your current project- which I think is Really WONDERFUL!!!
      I can now begin looking forward to seeing your "Old Garden" in miniature Alexandra and I already know that I shall become Inspired by Yours! ❤

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  29. Buongiorno Donna Elizabeth,
    It is great to see a new post. The landing is stunning. I love the separation you made and the cherubs and grill were such wonderful additions. IThey add so much architectural detail and look perfect. The floor paper works really well...love that pattern and color combination...and the hall looks fantastic. I also love the idea to put the library music room on the 3d floor. What a wonderful, if not temperamental, Villa Leon will be. Hang in there for the staircase. I know you hate it, but I also know you will do an incredible job because that is what you do.
    Un grande abbraccio amica mia,
    Don Giacomo

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    1. Buona sera Don Giacomo! :D
      I could see the time slipping away- week after week, and so Giac it was a relief to me to be able to put out a new post before the Summer arrived! ;D
      I feel Greatly Encouraged by your words.
      I had visions of having an entire 3rd floor as the bedroom with cross breezes and a SPECTACULAR VIEW of the canal from all directions, but since it is not to be, instead I am going to envision strains of Vivaldi and Propora pouring forth from the attic, floating gently down to passing gondolas below... *sigh*
      And after reviewing my original mockups from my blogpost last year, the bedroom originally WAS going to be on the 2nd floor, looking out over the garden. So it appears I've come Full Circle my friend!
      Now ONTO THE STAIRS!!!
      Un grande abbraccio, Indietro! :D
      amico mio

      elisabetta

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  30. Ha valido la pena tantísimo trabajo, porque el resultado como siempre, es espectacular.
    Me encanta tu casa !!!

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    1. Hello Eloisa! :D
      In the end the work is always worth the effort, but it feels the Most Gratifying when it is also so Well Received by your peers,
      and so Your Lovely words have definitely made my day!!! :D

      elizabeth

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  31. The colors, the light, the finishes and the architecture… it all looks just right, Elizabeth! I think many villas may have been constructed in just such a manner :)

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    1. Hello Nancy! :D
      It feels Quite Wonderful to read your comment regarding the colors and the light along with the architecture.
      Personally, I have a particular fondness for the photo of the light streaming in from the lower stair window, bouncing off of the color of the sea-green wall and gold frames in the hall. That photo feels the most Venetian to me.
      But I figure that although I continuously struggle with the general construction, the this Venetian villa, that the
      overall atmosphere should help to counterpoint the otherwise, more obvious discrepancies. ;D

      elizabeth

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  32. Bonjour Elizabeth,
    Questions, doutes, faire, défaire ...
    Mais, une fois de plus, tu es parvenue à faire des merveilles! j'aime énormément ton travail !
    A très vite ! Bises. Joce

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    1. Hello Joce! :D
      You are quite right about the constant questions and ESPECIALLY the doubts, because second-quessing oneself takes up a lot of valuable time as well as materials. And although I don't begrudge the work; I do hate the waste.
      Yet I'm Very Glad to know that you like the looks of all of my efforts too, Joce! :D

      elizabeth

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  33. Hi Elizabeth. :) I for one love your pony wall. :D The villa stairwell is looking lovely. I always love many paintings on a stairway wall. It looks so rich and luxurious. I know this feeling of being stonewalled by your build well. I seem to have a never ending punch list and no plan to complete it. However, I do think you have made good progress even if you think you don't have much to show for it. The great thing is, you have solved your floor plan issues and that should go a great way to fixing the road block. Love watching this build. Keep the posts coming. :) Sam

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    1. Hi Sam! :D
      Your comment regarding your liking the "many paintings on the stairway wall" is significant because of the general lack of wall space throughout the villa.
      I originally had grand plans to cover the walls with classical artwork but found to my chagrin, that display space was/is in short supply, which is why I chose to max out all the available vertical space in the stairwell as I could.
      It has proved to be a good solution for the villa, and with the pony wall in place I can continue to see and enjoy them. :D
      Yet, Isn't it interesting how things eventually will work out even when they don't start out that way?
      and I'm always Amazed by that

      elizabeth

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  34. Hi Elizabeth, I had started to wonder what you were up to! It’s great to see you were able to make some progress on your build. You are always so great at faux finishes! I love how you transformed the little cherub into a stone piece and agree that the final arrangement works much better. I’ve learned that as long as you put in the time eventually you’ll figure out a solution. I wish you all the best and send hugs as you work through the rest!!

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    1. Also I know how incredibly hard it is to change a layout once you have your heart set on it!! ;)

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    2. Hi Kristine! :D
      hahahah Yes I thought I'd better come up for air on my blog after being submersed and under water with the villa for so long. ;D
      I'm Definitely feeling more positive about the new layout, and I am greatly encouraged by your wonderful words of support! :D

      elizabeth

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  35. Wonderful, wonderful work and such patience. I know it was a trial and a heck of a journey but it led to a lovely place. You really do end up with the very best of solutions and it all looks delicious. M

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    1. Hello Marilyn! :D
      The journey from point A to B, was indeed a trail however, most of it has already been forgotten now that it is behind me.

      Kinda like childbirth ;D

      elizabeth

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  36. Я рада, что спальня и библиотека стоят в очереди. Это значит, что у читателей вашего блога есть возможность наслаждаться еще долго. Красота рождается в муках! :) :) :)
    Я прекрасно понимаю, когда нет сил двигаться вперед. Полная потеря сил. Но.... Некоторое время проходит, и ты возвращаешься к поставленной задаче. Неведомая сила не дает отдохнуть. Ваши три последние фотографии являются наградой за эти мучения. Лестничная площадка выглядит очень реально. Солнечный день за окном, а в доме прохладно..

    Татьяна

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  37. Hi Tatiana! :D
    I agree with your entire assessment and LOVE your comment "Beauty born of Agony"- much appreciated! :)
    But you need not fear about this Villa being finished too soon because there is still a long and winding road ahead, however as you have already observed "Some time passes, and you return to the task" and now I am feeling re-charged and eager to take on the challenge of the second floor!
    And I would like to add how much I enjoyed your closing statement of "A sunny day outside the window, and the house is cool .. " because you are Exactly Right! :D

    elizabeth

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  38. Oh Elisabeth! Im so sorry for my very late comment, I've been caught up with things since I read your post and didn't get back to say hi!
    I loved this post, packed full of your usual exciting problem solving and inspirational crating. I loved how you tackled the landing and staircase.
    Have a great week
    Simon x

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    1. Hi Simon! :D
      I Always enjoy hearing from you Si, be it early or late-so No Worries! ;D
      In this post, I have been trying to put into practice some of the various lessons and techniques which I've learned from You Sir, and adding reliefs to the walls was one of them!
      However I know that l still need lots more practice so please keep blogging Simon because YOU are a Very Good Teacher! :D

      elizabeth

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  39. Elisabeth - I'm so sorry it's been so long since I've commented on your incredible work. The last 6 months of 2017 were very difficult for me and I am only now getting back to doing anything dealing with minis. My first stop was to visit your blog and catch up on everything since last fall. I'm so glad I started my return with your incredible inspirational work. Your talent is amazing and your good friends (and partners in crime) are so wonderful, talented and generous as well. No wonder you're all such good friends. Villa Leone is incredible and I can hardly wait for the next post. - Marilyn D. (Charminis)

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    1. Hello Marilyn! :D
      No need to apologize for not visiting my blog, because I am ALWAYS Happy to see you! :D
      However,I am sorry to hear that you've been going through a rough patch for the last 6 months of 2017-
      I hope that most of your concerns are are all being worked out to the good. :)
      Taking a break from this intense ( as well as fun) hobby is often good for the renewing the soul, depending of course, on the circumstances.
      Yet I'm glad that you are bounding back into it again, all fired up and rare'in to go! -
      Welcome Back Marilyn! :D

      elizabeth

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  40. Hi Elisabeth. I have so enjoyed this post and you have given me such a chuckle. I have long thought that part of the enjoyment of this hobby is how to overcome challenges to get to an end result, and I have made many miniature cock ups over the years! But weirdly has resulted in some of my best work:) Your work is truly lovely and utterly inspirational. Celia

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  41. Hi Celia! :D
    I agree with you whole-heartedly, that the overcoming of challenges in this hobby form a great part of the enjoyment! :)
    I often think of it as a giant 3-D jigsaw puzzle which requires as much time thinking about as it does in putting it together.
    Not having the one crucial piece when you need it most, is what continues to frustrates me, yet when it IS finally found, then many other missing pieces soon fall easily into place.
    But I know what you mean Celia, about our mistakes often resulting into some of our Best Work, because when I think about how different projects WOULD have looked had I been able to carry out my original plans,-
    I become quite Thankful for all of those "cock ups" too! ;D

    elizabeth

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