Friday, 13 October 2017

LOTS and LOTS- an Update on Villa Leone

I KNOW that it has been nearly 3 months since my last post, so 
just in case you were wondering where I've been all this time, and what's been happening with Villa Leone I shall answer you in 3words: LOTS and LOTS! 

I've actually been working steadily on the villa since the beginning of summer, the exception being the entire month of September which was for preparation as a vendor in the 2017
which was held Sunday October 1st and which was an 
All Around Success! 

A HUGE SHOUT OUT and CONGRATULATIONS to my dear friend FATIMA whose dollhouse "VITORIA" was voted 
♥♡♥♡♥♡♥♡♥  BEST IN SHOW!  ♥♡♥♡♥♡♥♡♥

Fatima had been working on her GARFIELD Christmas House for over 11 years, and in the course of building it, she made some UNIQUE Alterations to the kit, which has set it apart from other Greenleaf Garfield builds not to mention that it was Packed from the top to the bottom, inside and out with the all the anticipation, excitement, comforts and joy of 
A Night Before Christmas
So BRAVO to my very Dear and Innovative friend, Fats :D

And also at this year's Show, there were a variety of Marvelous and Very Creative Displays by many members of  M.C.B.C, as well as hosting plenty of Vendors, some old and some new; so there was a good mix with not only lots to see but also lots to buy- which means, that a good time was had and shared by all! :D
                         ✰ ♥✰♥ ✰♥✰  ✰♥✰ ♥✰♥✰

                        And now about theVilla:

    My first purchase at The West Coast Miniature Show was a white cat from the personal collection of an M.C.B.C. miniaturist named John. 
John was a first time vendor at The Show as well as a new member of the Miniature Club of B.C.  
This white cat of his which I "adopted",  is painted metal and it is heavy.  I couldn't resist its lazy sprawl which I knew would work well, draped over the edge of the console table in the entry hall of Villa Leone. 

I have shown you this entry hall many times already, and  although I promised a few posts ago, that there would be "no more stairs and/or the entry"-
well, I lied.
 There will be a just a few more photos a little further along in this blog. 


In the pictures above and below I'm showing the first and second floors of Villa Leone as it was last June
My long range plans are to turn the upper right side of the 2nd floor, into a library/ music room.  
The left side of the second floor will be a powder room with a sink and toilet. 
A second flight of stairs will lead up to the 3rd floor bedroom, and 3 piece en-suite. 
On the main floor right, will be the kitchen leading out to a patio and an enclosed garden, such as they have in Venice. 

My greatest concern regarding the house, is the distribution of electric light as well as trying to find a believable balance between the OLD and the New.
I want the house to have an "ancient history" yet I also wish it to look inhabited; 
with all the the 
mod cons of today, 
whilst still giving a respectful nod to the villa's past.

 When I took the photos shown above, 
nothing was glued in, since I kept changing my mind all the time. 
I had to work up my nerve to actually commit to gluing things in.  
I began with the tile floor in the main entry, 
after that, I glued the staircase into position. 

Of course there were gaps to be filled in between the staircase and the outer wall, which meant squeezing more putty into tight spaces, 
then more sanding and more painting so it would match the rest. 

Matching the different paint finishes,
 proved to be the biggest challenge in 
 getting them to look 'right'. 

Once the staircase was finished, I aged the walls of the upper hall and then I needed to install 
a handrail. 

For the handrail, I remembered a length of steel 
scrap metal which I'd found during a morning walk with my dog.
I LOVED its faded blue painted patina 
but let me tell you, 
it took all my strength to cut
 and then to bend and shape the steel around the corner and down the length of the staircase. 
Nevertheless, I eventually I got it done, 
it's not done perfectly,
 but it's done. 

an Oct.18th p.s.

In reviewing the photos once again, I can see a couple of significant errors with the handrail which are now bugging me,  
 I am going to leave the handrail alone because attempting to correct it at this stage will spell nothing but a series of
Bigger Problems 
for something which will become less and less visible as the rest of the walls go up.
and hopefully by then I will have forgotten 
all about my mistakes.
well maybe not, but it IS
  what it is, anyway!

Hanging Pictures

Earlier this year, I had received a package of gold frames sent from 
Jean-Claude: Maison Francaise 1/12
for a giveaway which I had won on his blog. 

I decided to use a couple of the frames in the upper hall, to display some of the 'ancestors' of 
Villa Leone. 
I also installed a HUGE framed religious painting, which I hung over the staircase window. 


With the handrail installed and the pictures hung on the wall, the main entry was finally ready to be enclosed.   
Yet I didn't do anything more on the Villa
until about the middle of July. 

The Morning Room
and the fireplace wall

I had previously changed the color of the fireplace from dark brown to blue.  Over time, I darkened the blue and added gold highlights to it to make it look a bit more interesting.
After I was satisfied with it, I was ready to secure the wall in place.
Before I did that, I needed to add the wall sconces which had been salvaged from another dollhouse.   
 As I carefully threaded the delicate wires through the walls, one of them snapped off, right at the base. 

This set back prevented me from installing the fireplace wall until I could decide on 2 new replacement lights.  

              In the meantime I'd built a couple of
                                    Chair Kits

I ordered these chair kits from
They were very easy to assemble, although I opted to eliminate the arms and modify them a little.

 I plugged the holes with putty

I added some gold paper strips to the front edge of the seat, to seal the seam between the seat base and the frame for the seat cushion. 
 I also glued on 3-D nail decals to sections of the chair frame.

The gold paper was the right width for wrapping around the front base of the chairs to hide the seam.

The chairs were then painted with my liquid stone mix, which helped to bulk them up a bit.  Then I sanded and stained them with layers of colors to tie the wood in with the frame of the sofa.

I upholstered the chairs and the sofa with silk from a men's tie which I'd bought at a thrift store.  
The subtle pattern in the silk is of entwining flowers and leaves.  The colors are shades of mouse brown, dull gold, burnt orange with a touch of green. 
I'm usually not a matchy-matchy person, but with the chairs and sofa all finished the same, it made the room appear more unified. 

I made new cushions for the sofa from a print of an orange toned persian rug.
The doily (pictured below on the back of the sofa) is from 
Jean Day Miniatures

The lute began life as a flat-backed fridge magnet and was a gift from  Fatima.  
I formed a rounded "lute-ish" back for it right over top of the magnet, using fimo and then I cooked it in place with a heat gun. I used a wood furniture Touch Up felt pen over both the fimo and the sides of the lute to blend the two together, then gave it a spray of acrylic sealer to set it.  I also installed the fretwork insert from a section of a sandalwood fan

The insert was so thin and delicate that I had to glue it into position first and then carefully level it flush using an emery board, trying not to  scratch the lute's lacquered surface.  
The round table is a HoM kit, which I had assembled years ago and had already painted gold and royal blue.  
I had also decoupaged a royal blue zodiac print onto the surface of the tabletop, 
which I no longer liked. 
The only way I could remove it, was to sand it off with a coarse grit sandpaper.
As I began sanding, and as the layers of paper were being removed, the top of the table began to look rather interesting, so I opted to leave some of the original print in place. 

To remove the fuzziness from the remaining paper,
 I rubbed and buffed white wax onto the surface of the table top.
Then I used brown shoe polish to age and tone down the whiteness of the waxed paper which I buffed to a soft sheen.

I went over the brown shoe polish with a light application of gold wax applied very sparingly.

And this is the end result
It may not look like much in the photo but I find the effect interesting and unusual.
It reminds me of shards of ancient pottery or a section of   a crumbling wall mural.

New on the table top
are  Fabulous pots of orange striped tulips
  by a Canadian artisan
Lin Morrison Miniatures
( no website yet
which I also purchased at the West Coast Show
Lin sell well-priced mini flower kits, an makes her own mini pottery too.
just recently she has started making 
Orchid plants 
which I Absolutely LOVE! 


I think that I made the light fixtures for both the main entry and the Morning Room sometime during the month of JULY

They were constructed from ethnic earrings from the thrift store, beads and plastic novelty baby shower rattles from the dollar store.

The main entry flush mounted light fixture is in place on the painted and peeling plaster ceiling.
After the fixture was in place, I suddenly decided to frost the "glass",
so I went over it with 
Revlon Matte Top Coat.

The hanging fixture for the Morning Room was made much the same way as the first one, using a portion of heavy costume jewelry earring parts, and clear glass bugle beads. 

And although I like this fixture, I won't call it finished yet since I can see that I need to make more crystal drops for it.  Meanwhile, it does cast a lovely golden glow over the entire room.

The new candle sconces, which I purchased on- line from Victoria MiniLand 
were finally installed 
and then the fireplace wall could be permanently glued in! 
HIP HIP Hooray!!!

I made the half- shades for the wall lights modeled after some which I saw in a book of 
Italian Interiors

Dressing the fireplace mantle

After much changing and re-arranging, 

this is the way the mantle looks today.

I like it because it has lots of character
it looks full.  

The sweet little Blue and white platter depicting an
Italian country side came from
A Lavender Dilly

 The Rose patterned plate  shown below, 

is another lovely piece
by Carrie Lavender.

I set a table for a summer afternoon tea featuring a 
decadent chocolate layer cake topped with strawberries 
and  2 Amazingly flaky croissants 
both by 
Valentina of
Pink Cute Sugar!

 Love Love Love! 

So I spent most of the month of August working on the Villa.  
In September I was getting ready for 
The West Coast Miniature Show.  
There was so much to do and to prepare for, that the month sped by and before I knew it,   
it was  
 October and Show Time
The following Sunday after The Show was over,
 it was our 
Canadian Thanksgiving 
which involved a week of cleaning, shopping, preparing, cooking, entertaining, eating and then more cleaning.
I was very busy, not to mention

 But now I am back and working again on the Villa, 
and after fooling around with it some more and making corrections and adjustments 
 this is what is left to do in the :
Morning Room
1)the interior window frames , 2)hang the lace curtains
3) installing the valance over the curtains
4)  add the window "glass"  
5) installing the iron grills to the exterior windows  
6) add more crystal drops to the chandelier
In the front entry I need to :
7) install the missing wood trim on the stairs in the main entry, 8) paint it, 
9) make new shades for the hall lamps.

I thought about waiting until all of the above items were crossed off my list before I wrote another post,
with half of the month of October already gone, 
and people asking me for an Up-date on Villa Leone,
 I figured that if I waited any longer, this post would stretch to 
Infinity and Beyond
as you can see
 it is already
V E R Y- L O N G

 but no worries
 I'm nearly done.

The rooms continues to evolve, even as I write this. 
I have recently added 
Linda Park's 
Red and Gold embroidered  "V L" cushion to one of the side chairs, along with a dainty china tea set by 
Jean E Yingling
it's always those little extras which I love to add
 and which seem to change everything

I will conclude this post by saying that I would NEVER have thought that any of these rooms I would look as they currently do. 
Each space has become a pleasant surprise to me as the Leone family 
begin to make more of their presence felt and 
their wants and wishes known. 

hopefully during the process
it looks a bit 
to you 
but more important to me
that none of it looks
too new! 

And now that the sun is setting on 
The Morning Room
  it's time to say goodbye.

I hope you have enjoyed this catch up post 
and although I know that it was 
to take in 
all at one time, 
I did warn you 
right from the start.
My next post should be all about 
The Kitchen

 until then
I wish you all...

buona notte



  1. Hi Elizabeth
    Villa Leone is looking great. I love your lights. Who else but you would look at a toy baby rattle and think "light fixture"?? It is all looking so atmospheric. Bellissimo!

    1. Gooday Linda! :D
      Thank YOu for enjoying the lights as well as over-looking their humble origins. ;P
      As it happened, I had to reject my first hanging hall light which also used a baby rattle part, in favor of the current flush mounted one which I like much better!
      I also enjoy "the atmosphere" which I find is always enhanced when the interior lights are well placed, however I am still working on finding that balance between "too much" light and "not enough".

      elizabeth :D
      p.s. keep my posted re: progress of your French Boudoir

  2. Wow, Elizabeth, wow. Villa Leone is a sumptuous dream. I love that you share your thoughts and process. So much goodness here!

    1. "A sumptuous dream"
      What Beautiful words for me to enjoy and to savor
      THANK YOU Nancy! :D


  3. Dear Elizabeth, The photos are wonderful, as is the atmosphere and tone of the villa. Fatima and I were lucky to receive a peek preview looking at a few of your photos on your camera but seeing them enlarged is simply fantastic.
    I love what you have done but I cannot wait to see the kitchen.......
    hugs Janine

    1. Hi Janine! :D
      Thank YOu for enjoying the photos again, now that they are "All Growed Up" :D
      I REALLY enjoy taking pictures and trying out different angles, lighting etc. The camera is sets me straight about what I wish to see as opposed to what is actually there!
      oh my....

      elizabeth ;D
      p.s. I am looking forward to starting on the kitchen too, and also hoping against hope that I'll be able to fit the majority of my ideas
      (and accessories) in!

  4. Que maravillosa ambientación has creado en la villa,has trabajado mucho en ella y el resultado es espectacular,por lo que no puedo esperar para ver más avances,esa cocina,que estoy deseando descubrir....

    1. Thank You Very Much Pilar! :D
      I have spent a lot of time on this villa, although a lot of it was devoted to trying to solve its many problems, therefore any tangible advancements felt slow in coming.
      But with most of the hard stuff behind me, I am looking forward to starting in on the kitchen too, and that it will go together Faster and with few set-backs. I have LOTS of kitchen accessories AND FOOD and a Leone in residence who LOVES to cook! ;D


  5. elizabeth, using costume jewellry for these lamps is a great idea! They look perfect in this setting. I am impressed with everything..

    1. Hi Marion! :D
      I was/AM a regular visitor to several thrift stores and I am always searching for just the right color, size and shape of costume jewelry to use for potential ceiling lights.
      I find that ethnic east asian jewelry has more substance to it, as it's generally more ornate with a brighter gold finish which suits my intended purposes to a "T"
      So Thank You Very Much! It is always Gratifying to know that ones ideas and efforts have been appreciated :D


  6. Elizabeth...what a marvellous world you have created! Filled with atmosphere, and such realism...unbelievable! I am a loss as usual with all your creativity and how you transform a card stock chair to a marvellous masterpiece. he Lute found just the perfect home. The lights...OMG! T The everything OMG!
    Villa Leone - I want you to be my address!
    PS: took me long to post a comment as I went through every single detail at least twice. Was the perfect remedy for my "aftershock" mode. (you know) and I can't wait to see it......sooooonnnnnn

  7. Please forgive the errors above...can't figure out how to edit now that I have posted...but fingers were racing to keep up with my brain. And Thank you for your kind words re my house.

    1. Hey there Fats! :D
      After seeing first hand your BEST IN SHOW "Vitoria", I feel that my Italian Villa appears Very Lean by comparison, and now I want a Christmas Tree in it too!!! :D
      I hope that you put photos of it on your BEAUXMINI webpage so that it can be linked in.
      Meanwhile, the chair kits you mentioned were a breeze to make and I don't know if you have already paid Melissa a visit but she has LOTS more AMAZING kits there.
      I am Really happy with the way the lute looks and so Thank You Fats for passing it and the columns my way, because I think that they have helped to make this American house kit; MORE ITALIAN. ;D

      talk again soon :)


  8. *MAGNIFIQUE ! *Cette villa a tout d'une grande*
    En plus d'être d'une grande beauté, elle est vivante, on s'attend à voir les personnes qui l'habitent, arriver d'un moment à l'autre.
    Quel travail impressionnant Elizabeth !


    1. Thank You Joce for each one of your Wonderful Words but specifically for your comment- "it is alive", which is Always my ultimate goal and what I continue to stretch and strive for. Knowing that it feels alive to you, makes me feel Very Happy indeed :D


  9. One could get lost in the pictures, looking at all the detail in those rooms. I love the lampshades!

    1. Hi Megan! :D
      I Really Appreciate your comment because I enjoy taking the pictures almost as much as I enjoy adding the details to a room, in fact, when it comes to how to compose the rooms, I would be LOST without the assistance of my camera.
      So Glad that you like the lampshades, because I'll soon be making more! :D


  10. I just love how you make it look so worn and old. And at the same time inviting and cosy. And the details you add, amazing. Greetings

    1. Greetings Kleine Vingers! :D
      And Thank You for your Lovely comment about the sense of its "looking worn and old". I LOVE the look of age on anything- but ME! heeheehee
      But seriously; I often have to make myself STOP making things look so old and remind myself that there are "people" living in the house and who wants to see black mold creeping up their walls, even if it's fake?
      That's when I undo some of the age, so that I can focus more on the inviting and cozy :D


  11. Bonjour Elizabeth, je suis très honoré que deux des cadres que j'ai dorés se retrouvent dans votre somptueuse villa. Vous arrivez à créer dans vos maisons une ambiance unique. Merci aussi de partager vos "trucs et astuces" et le nom de vos fournisseurs, c'est très généreux. Générosité qui se retrouve dans vos photos par la profusion des objets, couleurs, matières, formes,...splendide!

    1. Hello Elizabeth, I am very honored that two of the frames that I gilded are found in your sumptuous villa. You get to create in your houses a unique atmosphere. Thanks also to share your "tips and tricks" and the name of your suppliers, it is very generous.
      Generosity that is found in your photos by the profusion of objects, colors, materials, shapes, ... splendid!

      The Honor is All mine Jean-Claude! :D
      I found that when I placed your gold-leaf frames in the hall that the entire atmosphere changed- for the better! They made a positive improvement and promoted the story of a family's past fortune and glory, a mix of old world marrying the new.
      And Thank You for commenting on the "profusion of colors and shapes", because with so many hard and "cold" surfaces, color and shape were the only way to warm the Morning Room up! :D


  12. Dear Elisabeth, as I saw you have made a post I just made myself a cup of coffee and sat Down to enjoy your post. I simply love how you make every room in order out of Chaos. I love that you are so true to the stile, and your lamps. Omg I wish I could have them. They are so beautiful. Can't wait to see the kitchen.
    Hugs from Farmor

    1. Hello Farmor! :D
      Reading your Sweet comment was such a Great Pleasure- Thank You! :D
      I hope you were able to finish reading the blog before your coffee got cold, because I know how long it was to take in all at one go! ;P
      About the light fixtures; they were LOADS of Fun to do especially since they actually turned out right; which isn't always the case.
      When the lights work they are GREAT; but when they stop working, then you want to tear out your hair and CRY!
      and so it's forward- and into the kitchen➠ ➠


  13. As my mom would say - crikey Elizabeth you are a dab hand with a paint brush. Your finishes for every surface are just wonderful. You really do need to be teaching classes so zillions of projects could be made massively better - sign me up for the first. I try to be good and not envy your talent too much and just let myself wander round Villa Leone soaking in all the beautiful things. So, so beautifully done. Brava. Marilyn

    1. Crikey! and Thank You Marilyn! :D
      Since so much of the rooms are put together piecemeal and are composed of many elements and materials, they need to have interesting finishes to disguise their origins.
      Sometimes the finishes begin and end with deliberate intent, but more often than not, I am adding layers ad hoc until an item looks right, which would be as difficult to teach as it is to remember. ;D


  14. I enjoyed your post very much, there are so many things to see. you managed to create the right decoration and atmosphere for such a house. You've achieved your goal a balance between old and new. It reminds me of some houses I visited with my grandmother a long time ago and it made me dream. I love among other things all the pictures in the upper hall and the fireplace mantle with all the accessories.
    I wonder how you're going to deal with the kitchen, especially how you're going to give it an Italian touch.

    1. Hi Genevieve! :D
      I enjoyed reading your comment very much and I am sooo glad that you can relate this house to some which you'd visited with your grandmother. :D
      I believe that much of the pleasures we derive from this hobby, is the way in which it allows us to revisit the past or play out our dreams and daydreams in miniature.
      I enjoyed assembling some of the past residents of Villa Leone and displaying them on the walls as well as composing the mantle, and it makes it feel even more special knowing that you appreciate and are enjoying them too! :D

      p.s. ideas are steadily forming regarding the kitchen, but I too am curious about how to give it that "Italian touch" and visually balancing it with the Morning Room next door.

  15. Oh my! You've gotten so much done. It's amazing. All the detail and it looks so nicely aged and real, like its been in the same family for years.

    The lights remind me of the type you'd find in knob and tube wiring houses.

    1. Hi Sheila and I Thank You! :D
      Although it didn't really feel like very much as I was doing it, as soon as I began composing this post it dawned on me that I had made a lot of progress.
      However what I would really like to acknowledge and respond to from your lovely comment, is that "it looks like it has been in the same family for years" - Those Words are like music to my ears!!! :D


  16. Replies
    1. Thank YOu Very Much Eloisa! :D
      I have tried to make it beautiful as well as livable, although I don't think that I would ever choose to live in a villa in Real Life, no matter how beautiful it was! ;D


  17. Dear Elizabeth,
    your creativity knows no boundaries. It is a dream !
    Every scene, every picture touches me and I enjoy your miniature world.
    Hugssssssss from Pipi

    1. Thank You Very Much Pipi! :D
      Your comment is Very Encouraging to me since there were times I felt as if I had bitten off more than I could chew, as far as knowing how to construct an Italian villa.
      However, repeated viewings of "The Merchant of Venice" proved very helpful in making my little dream a reality. :D


  18. I can't express how delighted I was to see your progress post this morning! I am in awe at your ability to see the potential in ordinary things and turn them into extraordinary miniatures. Villa Leone is taking your artistic abilities to new heights!
    The photographs are beautiful and have renewed my inspiration to play, explore and create!
    Can't wait for the kitchen post!!!

    1. Hi Jodi! :D
      I KNOW that you Know that I think the Same Things about you and your work, so Thank YOu for your Sweet comment! :D
      This project has given me hours of grief as well as hours of pleasure, so now I am feeling renewed by all of the positive feedback regarding my progress thus far, not to mention feeling more ready to tackle The Kitchen.
      And by the way Jodi, I am looking forward to seeing another post on your New Orleans house soon, because YOU have a kitchen project waiting in the wings too! ;D


  19. The Villa is just amazing, I can't find the words! It is magic and harmonious and absolutely charming! I can't wait to see more...

    1. Thank You Very Much Ingi! :D
      I love your comment and for your use of the word "harmonious", because having everything work harmoniously together as a whole, is for me, what makes the "magic" happen. :D


  20. you are a real Fairy Elizabeth, you transform the least thing into patined object. The villa is delightful with its warm and bright tones. You have created a fantastic universe, I am admiring!

    1. Thank You Claude! :D
      Your comment has made me grin from ear to ear! But I think that you enjoy experimenting and transforming things, just as much as I do! ;D
      Regarding the warm bright tones: I found that the villa was becoming far too somber and so making the Morning Room a cheery and inviting space served as a contrast to the more brooding entry. Trying to maintain a balance between the two, is still an ongoing concern.


    2. harmonious and warm, it is really splendid!

  21. Hello Elisabeth ..... the cat .......... I love the cat on the table !!!!! :O)
    The idea with the lamps I find great! I always make my lamps myself ... the bought ones are not so beautiful.
    At all, I like your whole house. Everything made with love and very realistic.
    Have a nice Sunday!

    1. Greetings Sigrid! :D
      I really appreciate you Wonderful comment and for taking note of the cat on the table. I LOVE that cat there too. I have decided to name her "Portia" after a character in 'The Merchant of Venice".
      And I agree that making your own lamps is very rewarding but to honest, I like purchased ones too, yet the ones I really want, I can't afford so making my own was a Good Alternative. :D


  22. I just can't think of enough superlatives for how wonderful the villa is. I LOVE every single tiny detail and thank you for all the fantastic pictures. And now I'm going to look at the blog again...and again!

    1. Thank You Very Much Robin! :D
      I REALLY enjoy taking the photos ( which is why there are so many) and experimenting with the lighting, which I find contributes to the character/ details in a room, just as much as a table or chair. :))


  23. Esa habitación tiene vida . Es acogedora y preciosa. Te felicito por el trabajo

    1. Thank You Very Much Isabel! :D
      For you to say that this room has "Life" means a Lot to me! :D
      This wasn't the case initially but took place over the course of several months, nevertheless, for me it was worth the wait and I am Happy that you feel the Life in it too! :D


  24. Elizabeth,

    Your villa is just beautiful! I am so impressed with so many things you have done with it. The light fixtures are fantastic! Your creativity is limitless. What I do love the most is the atmosphere you always infuse in your rooms. They are so cozy and welcoming. Well done as always! I love everything! Great pictures. ;-)

    1. Hello Catherine! :D
      I Thank You for each of your Very Encouraging words! :D
      There are always plusses and minuses to everything, and so to see the rooms all come together after many Many setbacks is quite Gratifying then to have such positive feedback in the comments makes it all feel worth the effort.
      And trying to get an atmosphere which suits the spaces, continues to be high on my list of priorities, since a preponderance of rock, tile, and marble have made "cosy and welcoming" a bit more of a challenge. ;D


  25. Wow - great post and great photos. You have truly created a masterpiece with so many little details to study. You work is very inspirational. I like your painting techniques and adding layers to create age and interest on practically everything and I am going to have to study everyday items more closely for light fixture parts! Keep up the good work. I am looking forward to seeing your progress as you check of items on your list. Troy

    1. Hi Troy! :D
      I Enjoy adding layers of paint and glazes to most items as I like the effects of a "depth of field", even when it comes to the furniture. :))
      The light fixtures were LOTS of fun yet after reviewing my photos, I had to add more crystals on the chandelier to fill in of some empty spots.
      I should say also, that it took me awhile to build up the courage to make a chandelier for the Morning Room since I knew it would be front and center. Constructing it wasn't difficult to do, but it WAS difficult for me to decide to do it.


  26. Villa Leone is amazing. Everything is perfect and refined. I love the white cat on the table.

    1. Hi Faby! :D
      Thank You Very Much for your Lovely comment and for liking the Villa! :D
      I knew that the white cat would be Perfect on the hall table and since I have placed her there, she REFUSES to ever move! ;D


  27. I love love this look of aging grandeur that you are going for Elizabeth. It's wonderful! It reminds me of a trip to Argentina I took, if you love aging crumbling grandeur that's the place for you! It's gorgeous. You have really created a such a wonderful "full" scene which means we get to pour over your photos and discover little details. I love that. :) I have to say the lighting you create is spectacular. You have inspired me to be more creative with mine. :D Thanks for sharing and glad you are back in Blogland. :)

    1. Hi Sam! :D
      "Aging Grandeur" is such a perfect description for this Villa so Thank You Very Much Sam! :D
      I am only an Armchair traveler but your description of crumbling architecture in Argentina sounds intriguing to me, and I shall google some images and check it out, since crumbling always appeals to me. ;D
      I love working with lights since they add the ambience to a room but finding a balance between too much light and not enough is the key.
      After I had installed both ceiling fixtures, I found that the light in the hall was too much light and it overpowered the chandelier in the Morning Room, which was one of the reasons I decided to frost the glass. Then I found that I needed to cut the glare of the hall light so I built a bridge between the two columns so that much of the hall fixture would be hidden from view. Such a headache fixing one problem and then be faced with another, yet in the end it all worked out and I can honestly say that I am happy with BOTH lights now. :D

      p.s. and Thank you! I'm glad to be back in Blogland too! :)

  28. Everything is beautiful and so interesting! Love the hand rail, the lute is very convincing, and the table top, I love it that way :) You have very good ideas and sometimes much good luck! The lights, very creative! The Villa is stunning, so visually appealing.

    1. Hi Linda! :D
      Thank YOu very much for commenting on the handrail. It is an interesting piece of metal all on its own, although I am still fretting about NOT bending it correctly, especially now that I can't do much about correcting it; ah me...
      But I am Really Pleased with the lute and the table top, and I would agree that it must have been Providence regarding the table since the way it looks now, wasn't my original idea. :)
      I appreciate your keen observations and ALWAYS enjoy reading your comments- Many Thanks! :D

      And a further update: I can now cross item #6 off my list ;D

  29. It is quite a long post but I enjoyed every bit of it. Love all your wonderful, original ideas. The lamps' soft lights enhance the elegance and old age of the villa. The white cat looks perfectly comfortable where she is.
    Thanks for all these beautiful photos.
    Hugs, Drora

    1. Thank You Drora! :D
      So much time had gone by with so many changes happening inside the Villa which is what made this post time consuming to write and then to edit; in other words, you should have seen how long it was before! ;D
      I Love your words re: "the soft light of the lamps enhance the elegance and old age of the villa", which all sound soooo romantic and I am sure that the Leone family would agree with you because they are ALL born romantic at heart! :D


  30. Buongiorno donna Elizabetha,
    I am always so amazed by your incredible work! Where to begin? The pictures of the finished rooms are amazing. You have captured the Italian feeling and aged the elements to perfection. It looks like a really well kept 100 year old room. It is superb. The cat was such a great purchase and a really nice touch. I also thing the handrail and the paintings you chose are just the right touch for the villa. Everything feels right. The tabletop looks like an antique piece from Pompei. It is lovely. Once again you have confirmed your reputation as the queen of atmosphere. It is so elegant, so rich, so welcoming, so perfect. I love it!
    Bravissima cara mia!
    Big hug
    N.B. Congratulations to Fatima!

    1. Mille Grazie Don Giacomo! :D
      It makes my heart Glad to hear that you see and feel that this villa looks 100 years old! (You certainly know how to sweet-talk a lady Don Giac ;D )
      I found though, that the impulse to make it look old was gradually taking over and so to make it look less of a relic; a little more TLC was necessary, and so it is gratifying to know that it shows and that feels right when you see it. :D
      BIG Hugs back cara mio

      p.s. I am CERTAIN that Fatima will appreciate your "Congratulation" just as much, as I do! :D

    2. Hello Giac. Thank you. It is hard not to be inspired to create when two of your good friends are so good at what they do in the mini world. They paved the road and I am grateful!

  31. So that's what you call a long post??? According to me it was not long enough with not enough of your beautiful pictures... ;O) You've made wonderful progress and additions - and of course a few fantastic sales like for example the white cat that found the best place to be. Wonderful work, a true pleasure to look at... although in the end I sit here wondering... what more than handrails could be found while walking the dog? *LOL*


    1. Greetings Birgit! :D
      Yes this WAS a long post and it would have been LONGER, if I hadn't cut it down to size more manageable. ;D
      I agree that the white cat was Meant to be on the table and she made all of the difference in the world to the entry hall, I was so glad to have found her.
      And re: finding things while walking the dog- you would be surprised Birgit, at some of the foltsam and jetsam which I have retrieved, I am sure my neighbors must think me Mad as a Hatter, sometimes. I once came home dragging a 7ft tree limb behind me- needless to say, I stopped traffic ;D


  32. I am really impressed. I have seen the photos a few times already and every time I discovery something new. I LOVE all the details that make this house so unique. It looks definitely very italian, with lots of character, a house with history. I cannot pick a favourite thing as there are so many wonders. I would say that my favourite thing is not an object or a corner of the house. It´s the character that this house has in abundance. Can´t wait to see more, no pressure :). Love it!

    1. Hello Alexandra! :D
      Thank You Very Much for taking the time to revisit the photos of the villa since I realize that there IS a lot to see! :D
      I love to pack my rooms with accessories yet they are always changing as the story of the villa is being fleshed out, so Thank You mentioning the character of the house because it took me a while to understand who it is that lives here and what they are all about, because as I mentioned in the text, the Leone Family are finally speaking up! ;D


  33. Dear Elizabeth, I say it again and again.... but you are AMAZING!!! The mood you have created in this house is just enchanting.... yes, it takes us far far away from the troubles of the World... lets us sit by a warm and elegant fireplace in delicate antique chairs listening to the playing of the lute and dining on cake so decadent it could only be imagined! The sun streams across the worn patina of the table and chairs and strikes the glowing gilded walls and falls softly on the aged and worn carpet.... while the metronome gently tic-tocs the day away.... can we imagine a place we would rather be??? *Sigh....*
    As for the front hallway.... I know Perfectly well your anxiety about finally gluing those walls in place.... and I also know that at some point one just has to do it! I think your additions of the hand rail and the ornately framed pictures is just what the space needed! The family would hang pictures and leave them forever.... without a doubt telling the tales of family members long gone every time they pass up the stairs! Bravo for Making the decision to glue!!!
    The sheer amount of detail you have added to each little part of this house is what makes it so outstanding! There is no-one else who can make gorgeous light fixtures from beads and jewelry findings from the thrift store!!!! I am in AWE of what you can do.... and DO to ordinary things.... making them unique and unrecognizable from their humble beginnings!
    I think I will spend the rest of the evening drinking tea and eating cake and listening to the lute while the sun lingers as long as it can in this beautiful room! :)

    1. Oh my goodness Betsy! After reading your Splendid comment, I am now wondering how to deflate my BIG head, but Thank You Very Much!:D
      But you are right about the anxiety which comes from KNOWING that you can't proceed until you commit to gluing things in place, especially with this house kit although I did install some very small but very powerful magnets into the four corners of the door frame which not only holds it securely in place but is easily removable so that I can get inside from the front albeit with limited accessibility.

      I'm glad that you are enjoying the picture gallery thanks in large part to Jean-Claudes gilt frames, which set that ball in motion and gave faces to some of the ancestral Leone clan, but reading your opening paragraph about the listening to the playing of the lute whilst sitting by the fire, was so dreamy Betsy that it put me in mind of a bit of music which I think you'll enjoy as much as I have, so have a listen and see if it doesn't conjure up the same romantic images for you as your lovely words have for me.
      Incantevole! :D


    2. Dear Elizabeth, now I am swooning!!! :)

  34. Привет, Элизабет! Я с удовольствием читала твое новое сообщение. Я благодарю тебя за прекрасные фотографии интерьера. Твой дом выглядит так реалистично. Я очень люблю твои игры со светом и тенью.
    Свет падает на колонну и на диван. Отражение от золотой чаши на вашем фантастическом столе, притягивает взгляд ! Я чувствую уют и теплоту твоей виллы. Все говорит о том, что это жилое помещение. Теплый свет ламп и камина приглашает сесть на диван и послушать музыку. Хозяйка положила лютню на диван и на минуту вышла из комнаты. Легкий шепот воды слышен за окнами...
    Твои новые стулья меня убили наповал. Ты гений метаморфозы. Я попытаюсь сделать такой стул из фанеры. Это очень стимулирует. Что я могу сказать про новые светильники и свет? Удивительно и поразительно! Это твоя фишка! Я уже второй день наслаждаюсь твоим сообщением. Спасибо. Я хотела сказать, что очень рада за твою подругу. Это очень приятно.
    Хорошей недели,


  35. My dear Tatiana! :D
    What a lovely comment! I think that both you and Betsy must have the same visions regarding the occupants of the vila as I have because your words,"a slight whisper of water is heard outside the window" ; is what I hear too!:D

    And I am Very Happy that you like the way the side chairs turned out, but these were easy to do because Melissa's kits are Easy to Assemble as well as, Easy to Customize, and she is always adding new kits to her website, so do take a look Tatiana. I can't build from scratch although I know that YOU can, so for me the easier the better which was why these kits were Perfect!

    and Thank You for being Happy for my friend Fatima! I shall definitely forward your words on to her! :D

  36. O my Elizabeth, I am awestruck. You have created such a magical realistic Villa. I would expect it in a real life interior decorations magazine. Your eye for accessoires, decorations and design touches is impeccable.
    I love the metronome! And the blue and white plate and of course the tulips! Wow those tulips!
    Can I come and stay?

  37. Greetings Veronique! :D
    Thank You Very Much for your Lovely comment especially about the Metronome. It used to reside in Green Dolphin Street and I won it
    in a giveaway from Magda's blog : 17-17 several years
    ago. It was good to bring it out to where it can be more easily viewed and appreciated. :D
    And I would agree that the tulips are 'WOW" - l LOVE tulips and I am LOVING these orange ones on the table too.
    and OF COURSE you can stay;
    and for as long as you like too! ;D


  38. Good to read that you've had a good and lovely show, Elizabeth, your works deserve it! You say that Fatima is inventive, but I think you are too, dear friend ;O! You've done a lot of new changes in your Villa Leone and I love each one of all new additions, thank you for sharing your how-to's with us! I think you are a hero regarding the lighting, the results of making your own lights look very well!
    This room now looks elegant, stylish and so warm and cozy, very well done!!
    Buona notte from me, as it's evening here;)!

  39. Buon giorno Ilona and welcome back to Blogland! :D
    Fatima is Indeed very Inventive woman and I am VERY PROUD of her and her work and only wish that she had photos of her house with the BEST OF SHOW ribbon which I could link you to.
    Nevertheless, I Thank You for your Sweet comment and am Really Happy that you have enjoyed the how-to's and the lighting.
    Shortly after publishing this post I stopped being LAZY and added more crystal drops to the M. R. fixture so now it finally looks just as it should, however I am still being Lazy about cleaning up the mess everywhere in my R L garden but then,
    you can't win them all. :/

    elizabeth :D

  40. Hello, Elizabeth - I am, of course, completely in love with Villa Leone - and I know that it's only going to get better as you move on with the work throughout the remainder of the rooms. The Morning Room is a masterpiece of muted color, aged elegance, and an artistic array of lovely details. You've applied your usual magic touch to create the beautiful chairs - who would have believed that a cardboard kit could become a thing of such perfection! The "accidental" table top and the light fixtures made from odds and ends are enviable examples of your creative ingenuity. I also admire the scrap-metal handrail for the stairs; I can only imagine the hard work involved in shaping that metal to the turn in the staircase. Congratulations on that as well as your choice of pictures for the stairwell wall. You've proved that even a utilitarian space can have its own unique character and beauty. I love the sense of quiet and peace that Villa Leone possesses already. I'm planning to be the first visitor on the doorstep when this work of art is finished!

    1. I Really enjoyed reading your comment Marjorie, Thank You! :D
      I have been finding this build to be an ongoing challenge and a surprise, since as the rooms develop they will often go off in an unintended new direction which I'm not always prepared for, but no doubt you are finding the same thing to be true when working on your Tuscany villa.
      It gives me great pleasure that you have enjoyed the transformation of the chair kits- they were also a bit of a surprise. For a little while, I was tempted to leave them white but then I thought better of it or perhaps it was the room which spoke up and objected! Either way, they are now what they are supposed to be. :)
      I'm still having a love/hate relationship with the handrail but I Am very happy with the presentation of the wall of ancestor since it helps the house to look inhabited even in its raw condition.
      Thank you for saying that the villa has a "sense of quiet and peace" and for the time being you are correct, however all that flies out the window, once the rehearsals begin! ;D


  41. Hi Elizabeth,
    as I'm coming back to "Miniature Life" again - I had to visit your blog! Villa Leone is another one of your master pieces. It's absolutely wonderful - as always:)
    Best wishes

  42. Greetings Andrea and Welcome back to Blogland! :D
    Thank You for taking the time to visit and Thank you for your lovely comment too! I am sooooo glad that you are getting your second breath and that you are feeling ready to pick up and get back into making mini things again.
    Everything in its proper time. ♥


  43. Oh, Elizabeth, it's so great to see an update on the villa. The thing that struck me most was the atmosphere, and this is what makes you stand out from others. The layers of detail and subtle colours and textures all combine in one magical effect. Your lights have certainly added to this and the round table is a triumph! Those tulips are incredible and tone in perfectly with the overall impression of the morning room.
    Well done on another wonderful post, packed full of eye candy pictures.

  44. Hi Simon! :D
    Thank you Very Much for both your comment and your compliments! :D
    I must admit that I LOVE adding layers of texture and details, which makes up for my lack of skills in construction. Nevertheless, I will agree with you 100% that the resulting atmosphere is where I think it now should be so again Thank You! :)
    Indirect lighting makes such a difference to the general atmosphere but the overhead lights were an absolute necessity to add light to the profoundly dark corners and deep spaces, and so I am relieved that they work.
    I too LOVE the orange tulips and what is interesting to me, is that initially this was going to be a Villa with an attached summer garden but now that I have these Marvelous potted tulips on the table, I am leaning towards the late spring Venetian garden instead. Or better yet, a villa of FOUR SEASONS ;D


  45. Oh my goodness, when you get back to blogging you come back with a bang!! How magnificent, I love your Villa so much and all the details. Wish I could have made it to the show, sounds wonderful. Love the cat, he looks so comfortable and I'm sure he is the real owner now. The railing is terrific and such a great find and colour. The frames and furniture kits worked out so well and I love that you have made them your own and added you own creative touch.. Everything you purchased works so well too. Can't wait to see more. Hugs, Jean

    1. Hi Jean:D
      The Show in its new venue was a Bonus for both the vendors and guests and I hope that it will continue on at that location. :)
      Thank You for enjoying the Villa and for your compliments regarding the cat and the railing. :D
      I am in total agreement that this cat ( "Portia") has taken to her new home with very little effort on my part; it was a smooth transition for her to travel from England, to Canada, and then onto "Italy" ;D


  46. so decadent! It's old world opulence with lots of coziness thrown into it. A perfect conglomeration of exquisite taste on your part! Fabulous! I can't stop staring at your photos.

    1. Thank You for each of your Very Kind Words Caroline! :D
      I have enjoyed working on the decoration of the villa most especially trying to maintain a balance between the fancy and the cosy. I has been an enjoyable journey, albeit in a roundabout way, and I really appreciate your encouragement. :D


  47. J'adore votre salon !! C'est stupéfiant !! Beaucoup d'authenticité et de charme. Votre talent est grand !!

  48. Bonjour Thierry, and Thank You for your Lovely comment and compliments; they are Very Much Appreciated! :D
    This living room is not quite finished as there remains more fiddly work yet to do, however what's left won't alter what's shown that much, so I am Really Pleased that you like it too! :D


  49. Hi Elizabeth!!! Your work is as always awesome and inspirational and always makes me wonder just how do you do it!! I admire so much as how you can make something amazing out of bits and bobs. Thank you so much for the mention. I am truly honoured. Bless you and be well! Carriexxx

  50. Hi Carrie!
    Thank You! :D
    It is Always a Great Pleasure to hear from you and I am Very Glad that you are approving of the way I've displayed your Marvelous work in the Morning Room! :D
    I have more of your mini merchandise waiting patiently in the wings, which are slated for the Big kitchen reno. That project is next on my list of rooms to do and I hope that you'll be just as pleased then, as you are now. :D


  51. Hi Elizabeth! What a gorgeaus post! I admire how you always attain the warm atmosphere of yours. This is so inspirational I have to come back in better time.

  52. Hi Riitta and Thank You Very Much for your comment and for the comment regarding the "warm atmosphere". I worked hard to make this room feel Welcoming although I must admit, the light streaming through the windows helps promote the feel of a warm sun in a warm climate. :D


  53. Your new house is so fabilous!

    1. Thank You Very Much, Minna! I had loads of fun working on this house and it is so nice to know that you have Appreciated all of my efforts! :D


  54. Love the cat, very familiar pose! Any imperfections you see in the handrail were caused by subsidence (my own fireplace is wonky because of subsidence :D) Personally don't see any mistakes but I know how I look at my own minis. Oooo I'd love to spend a day in the shops with you and see what the alternate miniature side of everything is, the rattle makes a fantastic light fitting! P.s You're doing ok with 3 months, what was I, a YEAR! :D x

  55. HELLOOOOO Sarah! :D
    It is Great to see you on the blog again and yes it was A Year since you posted but then, whose counting? ;D
    I enjoyed making the light fixtures and fiddling about with the beads and stuff, trying to stretch my budget there, only to completely blow it on other mini things. :O
    But I Thank you for giving me your "thumbs up " on the lounging cat. I couldn't resist that posture as it Accurately Represents my own. :D


  56. It seems so weird to see both floors at once - I get so used to seeing individual rooms that it's really easy to forget it's a doll's house and not a full scale abode!

    The handrail looks great to me (how good are those random street finds?! It's like fate when these kind of things just appear in front of you!) and if you don't feel it fits in perfectly, just say it's a relatively modern addition from a previous owner of the house who wasn't quite so good at keeping the original aesthetic! :P

    I love the tie fabric on the chairs! I've got a small stash of ties with nice patterns, including some properly scratchy old tweed ones that were inherited from my grandpa, but I just can't settle on what to turn them into so they're languishing at the bottom of one of my (many) fabric drawers. XD

    Oh I LOVE the decopauged table! It looks like one of those heavily distressed old tables you see at auctions that end up selling for pennies because of all the work they'd need to be restored! It's also got a really nice 'roman mosaic' feel to it which suits the Italian theme. Loving the ceiling lights too - it looks like such a hotchpotch of bits and pieces until the light's on and then it's just perfect!

    For once, seeing your miniature food doesn't make me hungry...only because I made a full size chocolate cake today and I've already scoffed enough of it this afternoon to be sated! XD

    1. Hi Christine! :D
      I am an active scavenger and I often find and bring home random junk I find as I am walking my dog. I do like the way the handrail looks I just don't like the way I bent it. In retrospect I now see that it should better follow the shape and configuration of the staircase rather than the more simplified version I wrestled into shape. Fortunately the parts that are the most irritating are the parts which will be nearly impossible to see especially once the walls are all up.
      But Thank You for singling out the decopauged table. I LOVE the way it looks too and your naming it as a "roman mosaic" sounds perfectly apropos.
      And I have since added some additional crystals to the ceiling fixture which has filled in the bald spots and made it look more interesting when it is "off" as when it is "on". ;D
      Valentina made a Scrumptious looking chocolate layer cake which STILL make my mouth water when I see it. ahhhh me- there is nothing like the "taste" of chocolate- even in mini! ;D


  57. I have on words... amazing, beautiful

  58. Thank You Very Much for each of your Encouraging words Eija! :D
    I appreciate your lovely comment and hope that you will also enjoy the evolution of the kitchen which I hope to be posting about very soon! :D


  59. Elizabeth, your morning room is magnifico! It looks like its right out of the pages of Tuscan Style magazine! I love your ceiling lights . . . they are so pretty and unique. The whole room is gorgeous. It leaves me feeling quite relaxed!


    1. Thank You Teresa!
      I've still got some work left to do to the Morning Room (drapes) but have left it for now while I focus on other parts of the Villa, but I am Very Glad that you've enjoyed what this room is thus far, which makes me Happy! :D