Friday, 28 April 2017

The Morning Room/ Villa Leone

 THE above photo is the current "Morning Room" in Villa Leone.  Right now is all free-standing, in that NONE of the interior walls, floors, columns, windows, door, or stairs are secured and/or glued into their permanent position.  
It is good thing too, because I am not finished with the stairs or the entry hall, and to add all of the required finishing trims would be impossible if the walls were glued in place.  So therefore, what you're seeing in the photos is, temporary!
  This will be a rather long post primarily because of the pictorial demonstrations which I've included for the purpose of further clarification.

        The Morning Room of Villa Leone.

This room began with my finding 2 sheets of gold embossed scrapbook paper which changed my mind regarding the original direction of the dining room. 

Because the walls were not glued in to place, I cut the paper to the size of the panels and let it free stand against them to see if I actually liked it or not. 

it had One Tiny Problem which I hadn't foreseen

As soon as direct light hits it, 
it looked like molten gold running down the walls. 
Not good and not pretty.
I was disappointed because it looked cheap and Angry that now I was going to have to look for a replacement.
Upon giving it some further thought, I decided to try to see if I could salvage it.  

I glued the paper onto the wall panels and then coated the surfaces with MATT MOD PODGE hoping that it would flatten down the gold.
If you compare the photo above with the one below, you can see that it did work at cutting down some of the shine, 

and if it still wasn't GREAT, at least it was Better.
I took a picture to see how the light reacted with it and discovered that it although the gold paper looked okay, the aqua paper on the wall in the entry looked as dull as dishwater. 

I wanted the entry to look old but, when positioned  behind the gold, it looked derelict.
After much auditioning of other wallpaper possibilities, I spotted the jacket cover on a book of Italian Art which looked intriguing.
I photocopied it and held it up agains the wall.
This is the jacket from
"The Book of Art"
Volume 2- Italian Art to 1850
the cover detail depicts Botticelli's
"The Allegory of Spring"  

perfectly appropriate for an Italian villa 
I glued it to some cardstock which I sealed with
Matte Mod Podge
I cut out the door opening and glued the print over top of the old wallpaper, secured it with spring loaded clips and let it dry overnight.
This solution was in keeping with the theme of the villa and it was much more interesting to look at than the solid color.
But with every plus there comes a minus, and perhaps you'll spot the problem sooner than I did. 

The left side of the door looks just as I had hoped it would.  I decided to make it look more plaster-like and brushed on a slurry solution to soften the colors and give the paper some additional texture.  
Below you can see both sides of the muted mural. 

And here's the problem
The original print has 3 nymphs dancing together, but by eliminating the 2 in the center to accommodate the door, I now had One Nymph with 2 arms, 

with a third arm sprouting from her ribcage!

This was, 
as Jodi of My Miniature Madness, called it a
"rookie mistake"
I'm still uncertain if I am going to attempt to correct it by overlaying it with another panel, 

leave it be and put something in front of it.
For the time being, I'm leaving it be, because I've run out of Mojo.

Meanwhile, I decided to see if the slurry method would work for the gold wallpaper too.
So I brushed on a thin coat of drywall compound mixed with enough water to make it soupy.
The mix is white-ish when it's first applied, then dries to a hazy transparency.
To set it, I sprayed the panels with hair spray.

Once the panels were dry, I re-positioned them inside to form the room.
The walls no longer appear as if they're sweating gold bullion.

such a relief!
I hung the carved gilt mirror by attaching it to a cord hung over a nail.  This'll keep the mirror from continuously falling off the wall.

The room was morphing from the more masculine dining room/ study which I had originally intended, and was looking increasingly more feminine, so 
I removed the credenza and rethought the furniture placement.
  I decided to play around with some furniture I had on hand and see if I could come up with something more satisfying. 
I found a print of a Persian rug which was the right colors, size and shape.  Later, I will be transferring the rug print onto fabric.
The carved fireplace I've had for a few years, but I painted it dark, and wanted an over-mantle which extended to the ceiling so I had to construct one.

I made the base from heavy card stock glued to a wood frame, as well as thin cardboard and an old window frame from some past Greenleaf kit.

Once I got this far, I left it alone until I knew how to finish the rest. 
 I found a sofa which I had buried in a drawer.  I had reupholstered this piece 20 years ago but never had a place to put it. 
It turned out to be A Perfect Fit, inside the window alcove where the credenza used to be.
I chose 2 of Linda Park's Fabulous needlepoint cushions 

and later I added a laser cut linen doily from 
to the back of the sofa

I took more photos to see how things were working together  

Initially I used the Adorable little barley twist table which I'd won from Pepper's Mitchymoo Miniatures Giveaway
and I was going to leave it at that
because the resulting room was looking very peaceful.
"Serenity Now"

thinking that the room arrangement was 
I got back to work on finishing the fireplace.  
I found a medallion which I'd painted to look like stone which Janine had given me way back in the 1990's.  I have been wanting to use it for the longest time and the fireplace over-mantle provided an ideal location.
The medallion gave me the idea of how to finish the rest of the fireplace.

I wanted to make it look heavily carved, so I went to my storage boxes of metal bits and bobs.
I have a large collection of cherubs and angels which I find periodically in the jewelry section at second hand stores.  I found a pair of cherubs facing each other that would work along with 4 smaller single ones and glued them into position above the medallion and then added metal beads and bits of wood trims; building up the design until I was satisfied.  

I used a cluster of three angels on either side of the panel.

Beads and metal filigree were added to the top and bottom, as well as extra wood trims.
First I sprayed the panel white and then grey.
When it was nearly dry, I covered the entire panel with a chocolate brown water-based acrylic paint.

I adde a layer of Antique Brown oil-based stain with a brush and sponged off the excess with a tissue.

 this is the results.
I would have left it at this stage except that I needed the panel to match the fireplace so it had to be darkened further.

I painted over the oil stain with a water-based BLACK gel stain, sponged it off and touched up any areas with additional color.
To speed up the drying I went over it with my crafter's heat tool.

 I've used this technique of mixing layers of oil stains on top of wet water based paints, for many years. Each time I do it, the results will vary depending on the paints and stains I've used and how wet or dry each layer is before the next one is applied.  For this project, I also used Gold and Silver metal pulvers made by
Eberharb Faber
these are Very Messy powders, especially if you happen to spill some, but they added a fine metallic highlight to this project.

Below is the installed panel

 I chose a pair of blue and white (bead) jars and and Janine-made lacquered blue vase.  These tied in nicely with Linda's embroidered cushions on the sofa.
The orange tulips I made from dried plant materials. The orange repeats the color of the fabric on the sofa.
The trumpet was formerly a broach pin. 

This gives you an idea of how all of it will look with an  LED fire blazing inside.  
A close up of the tulips

To use the"Morning Room"as a dining room, I cobbled this table together by using the cloth covered top from the patio table, and placed it on a night stand.  I've got an HOM round table of the same diameter which I'll assemble as a future replacement.
I set the table for a light breakfast of croissants and coffee.  
I had a plastic violin as well as a cello which wouldn't fit anywhere in the room except behind the table.  I found some sheet music which I placed on the tabletop with the food.
(obviously one of the occupants of the villa is a musician)

Eventually, I would like to scale down sheet music from Vivaldi's " The Four Seasons" but I already had these mini scores in a drawer, and they'll do fine for now.

the foot warmer came from my friend Bettie Smith

This is the table set for morning coffee, 
laser cut linen doilies as place mats

 Time for tea! featuring Linda Park's gift
of a Wonderful needlepoint blue & white tea cosy!

The teacups are Bespaq and the Chinese teapot is by a Seattle artisan from the early 1990's 
Lori O'Halleran 
Dressing the hall table
 with urns
Contented Cat by Sarah Hendry
overview of the unfinished entry

In conclusion, I hadn't expected that
this room would turn out to be as formal as it has.
I'm not unhappy about it either, other than I think I'll need to find a way to Age It Gracefully so that it's consistent with the story.

Still undecided on what to do with the ceilings.
I would LOVE to do a sky painted ceiling such as what Betsy at About My Dollhouses, has done in the living room of her 'Folly', but painted beamed ceilings are also on my list of ceiling possibilities.
ah decisions decisions...

This room has already gone through a number of major transition from what my original intent for it was. 

Below is how the dining room was originally going to look

And this is what it currently looks like

I hope you've enjoyed seeing the changes in the villa. 

Wishing everyone a Terrific Weekend
The 3 armed nymph is also waving you goodbye

ciao for now



  1. Elizabeth!
    Talk about atmospheric! I love everything about it. Please make it pemanent. The lighting is excellent and your photography is wonderful. Your fireplace is just perfect. I would love to learn aging techniques from you. Can't wait to see this amazing work in person. See you in a few weeks. Hugs, Linda

  2. Hi Linda!!! :D
    I am SO Glad that you like the atmosphere of these 2 rooms! It gave me a great deal of satisfaction to FINALLY be able to showcase your Amazing tea cosy along with your cushions so THANK YOU once again for so generously sharing your Extraordinary Talents with me. ♥♥♥
    Taking the photos was A LOT of fun for me because lighting changes EVERYTHING as well as the helps to tell the story. And Thank You for your compliments regarding the fireplace. Although it is a rather long and messy process, it is not in the least bit difficult, and kinda exciting seeing what the end results will be.
    I am looking forward to your visit too and perhaps by then I'll have actually glued in the walls-
    however only Time will tell ;P


  3. Dear Elizabeth, Funny how your besties find your posts so quickly. I actually received a Facetime from Linda in Sydney Australia to tell me you had posted!
    So, thank you for letting us know what has been keeping you up till all hours of the night!
    The gold wallpaper is so lovely and takes the Villa into another direction I think than you were planning. It always seems our mini houses begin to have a life of their own!
    I can see this apartment villa in Venice proper - not in the country as it is becoming wonderfully decadent.
    The Allegory of Spring is great but the three-armed nymph will never do. Fortunately paintings of that era are often similar. I am sure you will find something perfectly appropriate that does not have extra appendages.
    I also like the choice of the settee instead of the sideboard. Oh to shop in your stash of treasures!
    I know you are not finished by far but every step is a revelation in techniques for your followers.
    Keep having fun,
    Hugs Janine

  4. Hi Janine!!! :D
    Yes! Working on these 2 rooms has kept me burning the midnight oil for over a week! Now I am feeling sleep deprived as it begins to catch up with me.
    I'm Sooo Glad that you like the gold wallpaper J, and I agree that it has taken on a rather "decadent" air. ;P
    The 3-armed nymph - "should she stay or should she go" is still undecided because I am too exhausted to make a decision just yet. It would be a simple matter of splicing in a different nymph right over top of this one, but getting it to lay properly over the paper underneath is my chief concern which is one of the reasons why I'm hesitating.
    Glad you like the settee. I don't know if you remember when I re-covered, it or when you gave me the medallion or the urns but it certainly gives me Great Pleasure to be able to use them now after all this time, so THANK YOU once again Janine!♥ :D
    I suppose "everything must wait its turn". So says all of the accumulated mini bits still patiently suffocating in boxes and in drawers
    Sleepy but still having fun-♥


  5. Oh Elizabeth! You are amazingly, incredibly, and brilliantly awesome and you can't even help it! ~W~O~W~ I love, love LOVE everything about it, even the nymph with three arms. Who hasn't asked for an extra hand once in a while? See? You've got that covered, too!

    1. Your Enthusiasm and your Generous comments are infectious and put a Big Smile on my face, so Thank You Very Much Jodi! :D
      and Yes indeed, the mythical nymph of Spring gives new meaning to the phrase "lending a hand" or for that matter "armed forces" ;P


  6. Atmosphere was the first word that came to mind loooong before I read anyone else's comment. You are so good at creating a mood in a room. I always have admired that. It is a real art to be able to do that! You could be a Hollywood set designer. And yes I am serious!

    The hurdles you go through with your painting but you always get the right look in the end.

    I know NOTHING about how to do all of that with paint. I would have said...Hey Elizabeth try some spray matte finish on that gold paper. I have used it with a great result on some metallic things that needed to be toned down.

    1. Hi Catherine!
      You can chalk up my playing with paints to my love of mixing unusual concoctions together, just to see what the end results will be. I tried this method on a RL plastic gilt mirror once and it turned out so well that I have continued to use it for my minis. Some things turn out better than others so if the recipe goes awry, then the time spent making corrections can be quite aggravating, but I'll still do it anyway.

      It gives me Great Pleasure that you have enjoyed the atmosphere of the photos! I like taking the pictures as much as do setting the items into a scene to be photographed, and it is always a Treat to have others enjoy the results, so Thank You for your lovely comment and for your encouragement- ♥
      HOLLYWOOD, here I come!!!!! :D


  7. No sabes como me ha gustado esta entrada,el aspecto de la habitación es precioso,la manera de solucionar el oro de las paredes me ha parecido genial,cada detalle de decoración es perfecto para la estancia,hasta el mural con la ninfa de tres brazos!! no te preocupes,seguro que le encontrarás una solución,igual,simplemente poniendo algo delante,disimule ese tercer brazo!!!
    Por lo demás,la mirada de conjunto es fascinante!!!!!!!

    1. Thank You Very Much Pilar!:D
      I am Very Glad that you like the entrance as well as all of the details and the decor! I am Really liking this room too, and so I'm hoping that by the time I get to glue it all in place, that it will stay the same as what is shown.
      Still not ready to think about the 3-armed nymph problem until I am absolutely certain about what will work and/or if it is even worth the effort.
      We'll just have to wait and see.... ;P


  8. WOW ! Tout d'abord merci Elizabeth pour me permettre de visiter une villa italienne ;)
    Quelle merveilleuse ambiance, le papier peint me plaît beaucoup ainsi que la cheminée et TOUT, car les éléments de la déco s'accordent pleinement! Je ne trouve pas les mots, je suis sous le charme de cette villa.
    Bises. Joce

    1. I am Delighted that you were able to come for a visit to my Italian Villa Joce, and Thank You for your Wonderful comment regarding the ambiance and also for approving the gold wallpaper! :D
      I was Relieved that I was able to find a way to dull it down and still make it work because I think that the pattern looks both classic and elegant, and so I am Very Happy that you have been charmed by it too! :))


  9. Amazing, yoe did a fantastic job! So many details!

    1. Thank You Very Much for both your comment and for your compliment, Mirel! :D
      I find that if I load up a room or scene with many details, it allows me to better see the occupants who live there.
      Now that I know that a musicians resides at the villa, I shall look for other ways to solidify their presence and their passions!


  10. I'm always amazed at how your painting techniques change the look of something. I really need to practice more doing that and your work gives me the inspiration to try :0)

    1. Hi Pepper!!! :D
      Thank YOU for finding my work "inspiring" because that is Exactly how I feel about Yours! ♥
      I enjoy mucking about with paints and stains because of the element of surprise which comes along with it, and since my construction techniques are often somewhat questionable, the finishes help to distract and/or hide any flaws...
      a Double bonus! ;P


  11. Awesome, awesome, awesome! All the detail. I could get lost for hours just looking. Ha ha, the three armed nymph. Scan the picture and phtoshop the arm out, then reprint and repaper. I can assist if you don't know how to.

    1. Hi Megan!!!
      Thank You Very Very much for your Very Generous comments and your compliments regarding the villa! ♥
      I am sooo Happy that you are enjoying the details, because that is the part which I enjoy doing The Most! :D
      Regarding your offer of guidance for scanning out the extra arm from the nymph: I thank you kindly for that suggestion. I wouldn't be able to do it with my laptop since my computer is so old that it is barely hanging on by a thread, however I am thinking of a solution which I could do which might work IF I can work up the energy to do it!
      I'll keep you posted ;P


  12. The morning room looks fantastic! I think it has a lovely Italian atmosfere. And how you paint the fireplace to make it al fit and look so natural together, just amazing. Every time you blog I just take a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy the pictures and the stories you tell! Thank you!

    1. Thank YOu Kleine Vingers for your comment regarding the villa looking Italian!!! :D
      I'm trying to make it look that way but it is still a juggling act , trying to make it fit the area historically as well as still be contemporary for how people live there today.
      And Thank you for your Lovely comment regarding the fireplace.
      I painted the lower section months ago and with so much of a time lag between the top and the bottom, getting them to match was somewhat challenging, but it makes me HAPPY that you've approved
      the final results! :D

      p.s. The last sentence of your comment really made me smile, so I hope that you use a Giant coffee mug when reading my posts, because although they're often lengthy, I would't want you to have to keep getting up and down to refill a teacup. ;P

  13. What great work! I'm glad you found a way to keep the gold wallpaper. The mantelpiece is wonderful and it's perfect for that kind of house. The scenes you've created wit all your accessories are amazing, and to have the detail showing that there is a musician in the house is great, Italians are known for loving music. Concerning thee hall and the problem of the nymph too many arms, I wonder how you're going to sort it out.

    1. I sooo Happy that you like the gold wallpaper Genevieve, Thank You!!! ♥ :D
      For months I have been researching Venice and reading up on Italy and it's Amazing Art History, however I knew that I HAD to be able to reference the Music History somewhere within the villa, and since many people read the paper or check their mail at the breakfast table, I thought that reading over a music score wouldn't be too far fetched.

      Regarding the nymph- I probably won't do anything for a while yet because I'm still trying playing catchup with my sleep and believe it or not, I do most of my mini-work at night! :o


  14. Wow! It is splendid Elizabeth. You have plunged us into a baroque universe that we do not want to leave!
    Every detail is well thought out and wonderfully realized: what happiness!

    1. What a Terrific description " A Baroque Universe".♥
      Thank You Claude for your Very Lovely comment!
      It makes ME Happy that these two rooms, have made YOU Happy too!:D


  15. Hi Elizabeth! I again love the changes you've made ;)! Your technique of playing with paints and stains gives such original efffects, I guess you do have a hidden magic wand for this paint magic ;O! When I look at all of the wonderful pictures, there is so much to see, lots of details, it's amazing!
    Wishing you a nice weekend too, dear friend! Hugs, Ilona

    1. Hi Ilona, and Thank You Very Much for enjoying the changes to the villa and for your Lovely comment regarding the various details! :D
      Like you, I find that details make all the difference and that if you change one thing it then affects all the rest around it.
      And as you know with your INCREDIBLE Plants and Flowers, it is those tiny little details which allow them to 'magically' come to life! ;P
      Wishing you a Great weekend too, my dear friend! ♥


  16. Wow... Okay I'll admit that I didn't see the issue with the mural until you pointed it out.

    Love how your wallpaper looks now that it's not so shiny.

    1. Don't worry about not seeing the problem with the mural Sheila because I didn't either, and not for several days after I had done it!
      It was while I was looking through the camera lens that it struck me that there was something "odd" about it, followed by a Homer Simpson "DOH" followed then by a forehead slap!
      Fortunately, the wood trims are not yet installed so if I DO change the panel it should be easy to do, if I don't stay lazy.
      I am glad that you like the gold wallpaper Sheila, Thank You! :D
      That shine was blinding but now it is a lot easier on the eyes.


  17. Elizabeth....I have no words. I know your abilities and it should not surprise me any longer when I see one of your creations, but somehow you manage to just the same. Thank you for sharing your methods on the antiquing. I LOVE the fireplace. And by the way...."I spy with my little eye something that I love" .....the beautiful chairs. Can't wait to hear to continued story of the people living in this villa....

    1. Hi Fats!!! :D
      I know your LOVE of WOOD and that the chairs in my Morning Room, would fit right in with your STUNNING dining room set in 'VITORIA', however they must remain here on location in Italy! heeheehee ;P
      But Thank You Fatima for your comment and for your compliment regarding the fireplace! ♥
      Of course it always makes me Happy when projects actually turn out right, but there were so many plot twists and turns in the making of these 2 rooms as well as with the fireplace that for a while I wasn't sure what the outcome was going to be and yet- all's well that ends well.
      The story continues..... ♥


  18. A little something sticking out of the top of that urn and you'll never notice the third arm. I didn't notice it until you pointed it out, but now that YOU have seen it you can't unsee it, and it will bother you always. I have no doubt you will come up with a clever solution to hide or replace it.

    1. Yes Keli, I know that you are Right about not being able to "un-see" something and the 3rd arm has already been bothering me, so your right about that too, however for the moment I am too tired and lazy to deal with it. I know that if I put some walking sticks or umbrellas etc., into the urn it will help to disguise that extra arm but I'll never be rid of it-unless I am Rid Of It.
      You and Janine are perfectly RIGHT, however we'll just have to wait and see if I am able to find a "clever solution" to relieve my poor nymphs' deformity. ;P
      Thank You Very Much for your comment Keli :D


  19. You are so talented! The room has a magic atmosphere, it is absolutely charming!

    1. Hi Ingi, I Thank You Very Much!!! :D It gives me a Lot of Pleasure to know that you find the Morning Room " charming"!
      Constructing this room was a new venture since I was stepping outside my normal comfort zone, yet I can truthfully say that I am Very Pleased with the way this room has taken shape. :D


  20. 🌻The mood, the athmosphere in each detail you've created is breathtaking dear Elizabeth !
    I'm diving in these pictures, in these scenes. Fantasic work ! Chapeau Mme ! 🌹

    1. My humble Thanks to You Pipi for your Very Kind and Generous comment and compliment!:D You already know just how much I enjoy your Elegant work and Beautifully composed pictures, so I consider this high praise indeed ♥
      Thank You again!


  21. Me encanta esa sala, es preciosa y está llena de detalles geniales.
    Como siempre, un gran trabajo.

    1. Thank You Very Much for your Lovely comment Eloisa! I am enjoying this stage of the room's development and I am Delighted that you are liking it too! :D


  22. Great photos! I am glad you were able to salvage the gold wallpaper. The fireplace and the mural all look great too. Very creative and inspiring work. I look forward to seeing how the rug turns out.

    1. Hi Troy! :D Thank You Very Much for your comment on the photos which I LOVE to do! :D
      I too am glad that I was able save the gold wallpaper, because once the idea was implanted, it was difficult to uproot it or think about other options.
      The rug will be EASY after all this other stuff! ;P


  23. Un trabajo increíble, la chimenea de lujo ; has dado un toque de quietud y antigüedad perfecto. La entrada muy interesante y seguro que lo del brazo se te ocurrirá una solución. Feliz fin de semana:-)

    1. Thank You So Much Rosa, for your observation referring to the "quietness and antiquity" within these two rooms, because I was
      striving for both! :D
      The idea was to make a space for work, reflection, and quiet conversation, so I'm Very Glad that you have them here too! :D


  24. Es impresionante como está quedando. Has conseguido una gran ambientación. El papel,la chimenea, el sofá o la mesa....todo encaja perfectamente.Los contrates de los jarrones de flores o los cojines me encantan.


    1. I also LOVE Linda's cushions Isabel and so Thank You for complimenting and commenting on them! I could Never do her caliber of needlework but they certainly add to the pervading quiet atmosphere of my Morning Room. The intent is that nothing stands out too much yet pulls together as a team, and so Thank You for thinking so too! :D


  25. Your posts are not only always interesting and inspiring, but funny as well :) 3 armed nymph...serenity now Seinfeld? hahaha! Your gold wall came out perfect, what an interesting "solution"--- Very cool fireplace, love how you got there. Everything is wonderful :)

    1. Hi Linda! That 3-armed nymph is unintentionally funny, but Seinfeld I LOVED, and still do! hahaha :D
      Regarding your comment about the gold walls; that slurry mix works a treat and I've used it often so it was strange that it didn't occur to me to apply it until after I had done the mural; go figure??? :/
      high ho...
      And I'm Very Happy that you like the results of the fireplace. It was fun to compose and then to see how it would end up - because every stage became a new Adventure! :))

      p.s. Hoping that you and your Exquisite Paintings had Great Success at the Tom Bishop show? ♥

  26. As always, you have worked your magic on this room Elizabeth! Although I loved it before as well. This version has really changed the feel for the whole build. Although the wallpaper and the entry fresco are now much fancier, they are also much warmer and so inviting. I love the idea of the painted ceiling beams. Maybe you could do the sky on the bedroom ceiling? I can't wait til you release your own book of miniatures!

    1. Hi Shannon! :D
      It took WEEKS of just sitting and looking at the house and doing NOTHING on it, because I was reluctant to hand over my original idea of a more traditional dining room, in more muted surroundings.
      However, the gold wallpaper was so pretty to me that I felt compelled to give a try and then nothing else would do!
      I am SO GLAD that you like the new mural and find it "warm and inviting" because I do too! :D
      and as to the beamed ceilings- I've been researching Venetian homes and beamed ceilings seem to be the order of the day, but I may have to save them for another room because IF I was to install them, they would interfere with the fireplace over-mantle :(
      BUT- I think I have found an even better solution
      so Stay Tuned! ;P

      no book- only blogs, but Thanks for the thought! ♥

    2. Intriguing. Can't wait to see the ceiling idea! Sitting, staring and stewing is sometimes the only solution isn't it? I am a firm believer that eventually the idea will come. And you say no book now.....

  27. It was very interesting to see your work through these great photos.
    It's really impressing the way you notice and overcome problems. The results are fabulous. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi Drora! :D
      I HATE problems because when I make them they are usually HUGE but that's the name of the game when it comes to miniatures,so what can you do????
      I have to keep reminding myself that they help to keep ones brain healthy, so Thank You Drora for your encouraging comment and for your compliment on my photos, which I LOVE to do because if I have a problem, they are EASY to CHANGE or to DELETE! ;P


  28. Hi Elizabeth, I relly enjoyed the journey. You had made amazing changes in the villa. The result is incredible! The combination of the blue vase and blue and white jars with orange tulips is beautiful. I like also the embroidered cushions and the white laser cut linen doily on the back of the sofa. And of course the fireplace. The shole room is warm and inviting. Thanks for sharing the pictures and ideas with us.

    1. Yes you are So RIGHT Sirkka, it WAS a "journey"! :D
      I hadn't anticipated so many changes until I began and then one thing led to another and before I knew it, I was a great distance from where I thought I'd be but Very Happy to be There! :D
      Thank YOu for liking the blue and white with the orange accents!; I like them too!
      The doily on the back of the sofa is one of my FAVORITE features of this room. It's a tiny little detail, but I think that it makes a BIG impact! :D


  29. The villa is progressing beautifully. Regarding the three armed nymph..Could you make another copy of the cover. Shift the part with all the nymphs over so all the nymphs show? Hopefully that makes sense.

    1. Hi Cynthia! Thank You for your compliment and for your suggestion regarding the "nymph situation" which makes Perfect Sense and I am definitely going to give it a try! :D
      TodayI have been assessing that panel, and how best to adjust it without blowing it and creating a substitute problem- as I've been known to do....
      Looks like another late night for me! :D


  30. You weave magic with your little 'finds' and a paint brush. You really do create painted materpieces but in three dimensions, such an unusual skill. It is like reverse painting....rather than look at an object and capture it in oils on canvas you take the imagined oils on canvas and capture it in three dimensions. Astonishing work. Would your three armed muse and her friends be better if they were scaled down more, she seems very dominant and if scaled down all of her and friends and their various arms might be able to be fitted better??? Failing that - the right idea wrong painting? Marilyn

    1. Marilyn, you Always say the NICEST THINGS- Thank You! :D
      I think that I am going to give Cynthia's solution a try- out; shifting the trio over so that the panel makes more sense, because if I scaled them down I would have to redo the fella on the left and that is the side I like Best so the other ladies have no choice but to remain
      "LARGE AND IN CHARGE" heeheehee :D
      And once the other items are eventually placed into the entry, she/they will visually fade out into the mists .....
      So this time- I had better get their arms right!-
      Right? ;P


  31. Oh Heavens!!! My Dear Elizabeth, I am completely smitten by this room!!! You are so Fearless and inventive and willing to remake what had seemed so entirely perfect.... to something infinitely more perfect!!! And your techniques use the commonest elements (plaster, card, jewelry bits) to create pieces of outstanding beauty and originality!!! I Love the overmantle and the remade sofa and the wallpaper!!! Who else would think to tame it with washes of glue and plaster?!!! I am going to have to build a mini room from scratch just so I can try some of your amazing techniques!!! I simply Adore the new Botticelli hallway.... and if I were you I would simply add a few delicate diagonal brushstrokes of white gossamer across the extra arm... make it look like folds of cloth.... nobody will ever notice it I am sure! You are working Miracles with this House.... and as usual, I cannot wait to see what you will do next!!! I just LOVE it!!! And even though I am not a musician, I am enjoying my morning cup of tea in your Divine Morning Room!!! :)

  32. Oh, and if you are concerned about your painting not being good enough.... age the mural with "faux cracks" painted of course... in just such a way as to hide the arm.... old wall murals do get damaged after all! :) Yes, I am still drinking my tea in your Morning Room and glancing into the Beautiful Botticelli Hall!!!! You are So Awesome!!! :)

    1. My Dear Betsy!
      Thank You for your Marvelous comment and for your Insightful suggestions which I have already been considering.
      I don't think that my skills in Fine Art compare to yours- Not Even Close, so even though I'll try the brush stokes over the 3rd arm, I'm pretty set on re-adjusting the nymph panel to where the tangle of arms are not such an issue, however your idea of cracks in the plaster WILL WORK regardless and I'll Definitely do it! :D
      As always, your Enthusiastic reception of the changes within the villa give me Great Pleasure as well as the Courage to carry on, so Thank You Betsy dear!:D
      and it's No matter if you're not a musician because both the fireplace and the Botticelli Hallway, will always bid you "WELCOME" ♥


  33. Bonjour Elizabeth, comme toujours quand je contemple vos photos je n'en crois pas mes yeux, tout est si beau, si harmonieux, si original, si,....vos créations sont une pure merveille, j'aime tout: le papier doré, la cheminé, le trumeau, la grâce à trois bras ;-) le choix de chaque objet, les vases bleus, le violon, les partitions,...TOUT TOUT TOUT
    Sinon j'essaye de vous envoyer un message privé mais je ne trouve pas la fonction sur votre blog. SVP pourriez-vous m'envoyer un email via mon blog et je vous répondrai au plus vite. Merci

    1. My dear Jean-Claude, Your comment is Beautifully worded and it gives me a Lot of Pleasure to read it- Thank You Very Much! :D
      As a Great Admirer of your work, I feel honored by your compliments and am looking forward to your email :))


  34. Hello, Elizabeth - Well, you've done it again! The surpassingly beautiful things in this post thrill my heart. I love the gold-embossed wallpaper; actually, I even liked it when the gold was melting all down the walls! I'm so glad that you solved the "molten-gold" problem. The paper really is the perfect thing for your morning room. The entry mural is absolutely wonderful. It was a good idea to mute the colors and add texture - but the rib-cage arm does present a problem! (Not to criticize Botticelli, but that particular arm was unfortunate even in the original.) I'll be very interested to see your solution. My choice would probably be to put Something in front of it - unless you can paint an addition to the gauzy garment over it. The morning room sofa, with its print upholstery, and that astounding fireplace and overmantel, add up to perfection. I was so interested in your technique of mixing oil stains on top of wet water-based paints. The end results are gorgeous; I must try that. The overmantel that you've created is an outstanding piece. (Again, it's that layering effect for which you have such genius.) I love the cherub theme, and the medallion and the other bits and pieces that you've added all work together perfectly. Bravo! The touches of blue and orange in the room are lovely, and they fit so well with the sofa, the rug, and the wallpaper. My admiration for this room, and for your creativity, are unbounded.

  35. Hi Marjorie! :D
    I am going to agree with you 100% regarding those "unfortunate arms"- What was Botticelli thinking!??? It is a difficult posture to hold and so the poor models who must have had to suffer for hours in keeping those positions whilst he sketched and painted. YOUCH!
    My solution for extracting the extra limb is going to be 2-fold. First I'll attempt an over-painting, :((
    but if that doesn't work, then I'll slide the print over so that the arms present less of a conundrum. As you've stated, my choice WAS to put something in front of it, but as Janine pointed out and Keli verbalized, what's seen- can't be "un-seen" and it WOULD bug me forever if I left it therefore I shall attempt to make the corrections and if all else fails then it will be back to a POT or a Fern in front :?
    Meanwhile, the oil and water, paint techniques may sound strange and incompatible yet it's very easy and adds depth where depth is needed.
    The oil base coat is important because it keeps it all afloat and having a heating tool will quicken the wait time so that you are not left twiddling your thumbs as it tackys up. You can continue the experiment with inks and oils, mixed with pastels and watercolors etc. etc.... LOTS of Possibilities and lots of FUN! and you stop when you're finally satisfied, but I DO encourage you to give it a try! :D
    Your comments are ALWAYS Interesting and Important to me Marjorie, and I Always Enjoy reading them-Thank YOU! :D

    p.s. If you have any further questions regarding the paint technique please don't hesitate to ask. Enjoy! ♥

  36. Hi Elizabeth, what can I say? There are some people out there who are truly in a league of their own and no doubt you are one of them! Your work does not stop to amaze me. I love your personal style and your generosity in showing how you accomplish so beautiful results. This room is so beautiful and unique, I think it has already that ageing factor but what do I know? I´m sure when you show what have in mind we are going to be amazed again. I must find time to go carefully through your blog, there is so much I can and want to learn. Thank you for sharing. By the way I had a good laugh at the 3 arms nymph, I am sure you will find the perfect solution. I´ll keep around :)

    1. Hello Alexandra! :D
      I believe that every artist has a style of their own and I would consider mine a compilation of all those whose work I've admired and whose style has influenced me over the course of my life beginning with my high school art teacher, who told me to "loosen up" when it came to my art.
      I remember submitting to him a series of very meticulously done pencil sketches and he would quickly flip through them and hand the book back and tell me "You need to loosen up!" . This happened over and over. Then one day in class I was drawing on this huge sheet of poster board and thought " "Ill show him LOOSE!" and started drawing wild and bizarre characters on the sheet then as he walked over, he started flipping out! "AT LAST, AT LAST!!!, NOW YOU'VE GOT IT! "
      What an unforgettable character he was and although I didn't realize it at the time, he taught me to be brave enough to experiment with the familiar.
      So Thank You Very Much for your comment Alexandra-

      and Thank You Mr. Pecknold! :)


    2. Wonderful story!! Thank you for sharing and also thank you for your answer. It is remarkable that you find time to answer each one of the comments you receive and not just with a few words, you really address each one personally. It tells a lot about you. Thank you :)

  37. As always it was great to dive into a new post of yours... so much beauty for the eyes. Somehow it's sad that all of these arrangements are just temporary... but comfort is not far away because this is just the test for some gorgeous end result. I suppose in the end you will come up with even more fantastic ideas and stunning details. So far it was very interesting to see your how-to of the fireplace... and to see your struggle with the gold wallpaper. I'm glad you managed to get this dropping gold effect away, the paper's design fits so well into your villa, it reminds me of those typical silk wall covers. And about your nymphs... well, maybe she has Indian ancestors? *grin* But what came to my mind... can't you just make another copy of the picture, make a cut at the part where the guy ends to the door frame and continue with the picture at the right side of the door, starting with the first of the three nymphs? This way the picture would be cut/divided by the door and the proportions would make sense again... at least I think so... Anyhow, as always I'm looking forward to see more. And before I say bye for today... it made me smile that I could bring you back sweet memories of your Mom with my mentioning of "Kaffeeklatsch" in my last comment. "Kaffeeklatsch" is very German and I am somehow the official ambassador of "Kaffeeklatsch"... really! *LOL* I used to have a "Kaffeeklatsch"-post at my blog every Sunday... with a BiWuBeary entering a huge cup wishing to anybody a great Sunday having a lovely Kaffeeklatsch with one, two cups of tasty coffee and one, two, three, four pieces of yummy cake... ;O)


    1. Greetings Birgit! :D
      Yes it make me sad too that what goes UP, must come DOWN, however it "Will Be Back" since I'm still working on it. :D
      I am in Perfect Agreement with your solution regarding the nymphs and because I don't have much hope in my fine art skills, I am going to try it with my fingers crossed but will probably have to re-paper over the panel applying your suggestion of shifting the missing 2 nymphs over to the right. I KNOW that will work because I have already made the extra copies and have them on stand-by- so Thank You for adding your thoughtful confirmation. :D
      And re: the "Kaffeeklatsch" what a sweet experience that was for me to read your words which triggered a long forgotten memory of my sweet mother. I hadn't heard that word since the late 60's, because after we'd moved out into the suburbs, my mother's "Coffee-Clatch" dis-banded, and to my knowledge she never started another.
      And your Sunday morning BiWuBeary "Kaffeeklatsch", sounds as if it is a Happy Memory for you too, Birgit;
      Whoops!, a thousand pardons-
      I should have said -
      "Madame Ambassador" ;P


  38. It's a beautiful space, regardless of the ups and downs with the finishes. You wrangled them into submission expertly. :] I love the way you create new pieces from bits and bobs. They look so authentic you'd never know they started out so modestly.

  39. Thank You Very Much for your Lovely comment Brae and YES there have been many 'Ups and Downs" with the finishes but thankfully, there were more of the "UPS" this time! ;P
    I like your word "wrangled" and the picture image which comes to mind is of a rodeo cowboy hog-tying an ornery steer which was very much, what the process entails- a Good Call! :D
    What has always worked best for me is the bits and bobs construction method; a.k.a "the poor man's version". It's for those of us who lack any significant wood working skills, but who still wish they had them-
    I call it design on a dime ;P


  40. Привет Элизабет!
    :) :) :) Я не заметила третью руку :) :) :) Атмосфера вашей виллы меня заворожила. Я люблю мягкий свет, который падает из окна на стену, на которой висит зеркало. Мне нравится, как свет падает на пол, красные отсветы от камина. Ошеломляющая салфетка на диване гармонирует с чудесными подушками. Я чувствую прохладу от каменных стен. Атмосфера искусства и покоя царит в этом изысканном интерьере. Я люблю вашу магию с амурами. Это удивительно всегда. Это потрясает и восхищает всегда. Я хотела бы выпить бокал вина и послушать нежную тихую скрипку.
    Хорошей недели, Элизабет!


    1. My Dear Tatiana, once again Thank You for your Wonderful Words! :D
      You phrase your comments in such a way, that it is like reading poetry.
      The rhythm of each sentence is like a dance in slow motion; so Lovely!
      All I can say in response, is that I think that you have missed your calling! ♥♥♥


    2. Дорогая Элизабет! Спасибо за теплые слова. Ваш талант удивляет и восхищает. Я смотрю на ваши фотографии и слова льются сами . :) :)
      Я была отстающей ученицей по литературе в школе.:) Математика была моим любимым предметом! :) :)

    3. It was the exact opposite for me: I did well with literature and was LOUSY at math; and sadly nothing much has changed. :(


  41. Geez Louise if you are pulling rookie moves I must be pulling (whats 7 levels below rookie) moves? I dunno Im just in awe of the whole process watching you work is like watching an episode of Devine Design (love Candace Olsen)only in mini form and affordable cause Im sure those women are putting out big bucks for Candace..yep Im digging the entire scene it reminds me of all those great italian slasher flicks I used to watch behind my mothers back * i was one of those impressionable kids who had nightmares and talked about everything I saw on TV, my mom got tired of it and actually cut the cord but my dad fixed it * (italian horror used a lot of great architecture) one of my favorites was blood and black lace which had a lot of goth scenes, and models being killed (I mentioned my sisters were models right and I wasnt? I wonder...naaa I dont think I was projecting they're my sisters)

    well enough of the crazy talk, and high five for the great entertainment! Im your biggest fan but not in the Misery way cause Kathy Bates really played that scene to death (and she's still doing it with American Horror Story. ok Im going now

    Hugs and Nightmare screams

    1. Hi Marisa! I have to Laugh when reading your comment, Thank You! :D
      Your have a unique and special point of view that is Always Honest and Always Unexpected hahhaha :D
      I have to say that until now, I never knew that there were such a thing as Italian Horror movies? I've seen some Fellini, some costume dramas as well "spaghetti westerns" but Italian horror movies from back in the day; never crossed my radar, so thanks for the enlightenment!
      I'll see if I can google them and get myself up to speed ;P
      I've Enjoyed your comment Very Much-
      you crazy lady, you! :D


  42. Trying to find the words to describe how I feel when these amazing transformations of yours unfold is like waiting for molasses to flow uphill...the words don't come easily enough! You amaze and delight my every sense...I can see the muted colours, I can hear the fire crackling, I can feel the roughened walls and the lovely aged cherubs around the fireplace, and last but not least I smell the delicious aroma of freshly brewed tea before tasting the flakey croissants placed delectably on lovely china. You have drawn me into the scene and surely that is a marvellous sign that the rooms are 'telling a story' that is not only historically accurate but exquisitely romantic too. Each posting that you are kind enough to share teaches how a person shouldn't settle for anything less than what you have pictured in your imagination. I have long admired your ability to 'mess things about' until the vision is is a great gift that you have Elizabeth and I am very grateful that you continue to inspire with your artistry...thank you from the bottom of my heart for your beautiful postings illustrated with photographs to enjoy again and again! Cheers and much admiration, Alayne

    1. oh WOW Alayne; what a Kind and Generous Comment- Thank You VERY Much!
      I am Always looking to make each post of mine worth the time spent by each visitor who reads it, and my aim IS to "draw the viewer into the scene", so that it becomes more personal.
      I LOVE the idea of these rooms being 'Romantic" although I wasn't deliberately looking to make them so. Nevertheless, Romance is beyond a doubt, the perfect word by which to describe Italy!♥

      I am always Gratified when my work strikes an emotional response in the viewer, so once again THANK YOU Alayne, for taking the time to tell me in such a Charming and Eloquent way, that this post has resonated with you! ♥


  43. Wow! Great work! Beautiful, Elizabeth.
    Mini hugs❤️

    1. Thank You Very Much Monica! :D I Greatly Appreciate your comment and I am So Pleased that you like all of the latest work on the Villa! :D


  44. My first thought when I saw your paper was that it looked, to me, like tooled leather - a great look for the period. Funnily enough I had only just that morning opened your blog page for inspiration and here was more! I agree with the others, a cup of coffee, a comfy chair and you know you're in for a treat when your posts arrive. Loving this!

  45. Thank You for visiting my post for "inspiration" Irene! Nothing could please me More!!!! ♥ :D
    And I know what you mean about the paper looking like "tooled leather", which as you've pointed out is perfectly acceptable for an Italian villa.
    But to tell the truth, in full strength, it reminded me of the MYLAR wallpaper which had been all the rage in the late 60's- early 70's and having already experienced it, I can honestly say that I was no longer a fan. :{
    I am finding that now having gone through the process of dulling down of the walls and the floors, that the process must be carried up onto the ceilings as well, since what's given to one must be given to all.
    Interestingly, the results differ radically with each surface, depending on how well it was prepped beforehand.
    I'm finding that this project becomes a new adventure each time I work on it, therefore I make sure that I have a BIG CUP of coffee or tea next to my chair too! ;P


  46. The gold paper looks suitably opulent and antique for the place, I really love the way the light hits it! The dark fireplace is brilliant too but thecherub frame is just stunning - you'd never guess it started out as lots of little bits and pieces!

    Oh god, I had a good chuckle at your three armed nymph - why is it that you only ever spot these kind of things once you've fully committed to the idea? XD

    The photo of the sofa, mirror and barleytwist table honestly fooled me for a moment, the lighting makes it so incredibly realistic!

    I definitely prefer the new look for the dining room - the original idea was lovely but lacked personality, which the new version has in droves!

  47. Thank You Very Much Christine for your Stamp of Approval on the gold wallpaper! :D I LOVE your words "Opulent and Antique", both of which I heartily agree with!
    It is so interesting how a room will start out one way and end in another and as you've pointed out, there is a vast difference between my initial concept and this one, but what I've enjoyed MOST about your comment are your observations regarding the lighting.
    You are an EXPERT on setting the scene with your own dioramas so I realize that I am preaching to the choir but,
    the light really sets the mood, and playing with it and trying to get it to fall naturally as well as allowing it to participate in telling the story, was/is one of my VERY FAVORITE THINGS!
    So Thank You again for your Thumbs Up! :D


  48. How did I miss this latest post??? I could have been blown away by your awesomeness a whole week ago but I just saw it today?? Shame on me!! As usual, I'll say that I am speechless - - but we all know that will never actually happen. However, each of your posts render me as close to speechless as anyone has ever managed. Everything looks so gorgeous, so well-lived in, and so perfectly reflects the elegance and splendour of an old Italian villa. I particularly like how you were able to capture the mischievous, understated Italian humour with the workmen playing a trick on the homeowner when they installed a mural with an extra arm. Knowing the homeowner's incredible ingenuity, I just know they will find a clever way of disguising it so no one will ever know and they won't have to go through the bother of dragging those workmen back to do the job over again. It's much more satisfying to give them a tongue-lashing and dock their pay while sitting back and enjoying the extra bit of whimsy provided by their little practical joke! - Marilyn D., Oromocto, NB, Canada

  49. Hi Marilyn!
    I Thank You Very Much for not only your lovely comment here but also for your recent email too! ♡
    It was Extremely Kind and Thoughtful of you to take the time and trouble of helping me get the 3rd arm issue resolved- :D
    This is one of the many perks of being involved in an active community of like-minded people; the circle of encouragement and support towards the efforts of the others regardless if you're a newbie or an old-timer like myself! ;P

    and p.s. Thank you for the story of mischievous "the laborers". I THOROUGHLY enjoyed reading your tale! ♥

  50. Hi Elizabeth! I simply love your entry and morning room! The furniture and materials you have choosen make real italian effect to the rooms. And the fireplace with frame above are gorgeous!

  51. Thank You Riitta for your comment AND for saying that the 2 rooms are looking "Italian". I am certainly trying to achieve that effect, and it encourages me Enormously when I receive such a positive response! :D

    and P.S. Thank your for the compliment on the fireplace over-mantle. I am quite proud of how that turned out too- Yahooooo!!! :D

  52. Buongiorno donna Elizabetha,
    I am sorry to comment so late...Ozzy has been recovering from surgery and I was too exhausted to follow blogs the past while. . I am just in awe of your beautiful work! First, I think you are a wallpaper transformation genius! The toned down gold looks so beautiful and very realistic. It almost has an embossed leather look. Welld one. I think using the mural was a terrific idea. I think it looks good, but knowing you I would not be surprised if the three armed nymph were to disappear soon. Your overmantel is beautiful and works so well in the room. You really have captured the essence of the Italian villa. that combined with your amazing techniques and your flair for detail and accessorizing are turning this project into a masterpiece. this is one of my favorite miniature projects ever. Keep up the amazing work.
    Big hug

  53. Buon Pomeriggio signor Giac!
    I am sorry to hear of Ozzy, not being well- I understand completely because last week I had a sick pet too, and it was quite worrisome.
    Glad to see you out and about once again and I Really Appreciate your visit and your comment Giac; Thank YOU! ♡
    You are quite right about the 3-armed nymph- she is now nothing more than a myth- hahaha :D
    I am trusting my instincts regarding trying to capture the essence of the Italian Villa. It is a process of "hit and miss" but by adding the gold wallpaper, the direction of this estate has shifted from 'just barely hanging on', to a home with a bright future.
    WHO KNEW????? ;P

    Big Hug Back
    Donna Elizabetha

  54. I Thank You Very Much for not only your lovely comment here but also for your recent email too! ♡

    แตกใน xxx

    1. You are most welcomed Roth and Thank You for your comment too! :D