Saturday, November 17, 2018

Growing A Cottage Garden Part 9

The title of this post should include the words "Cloud 9", because I think I am finally finished with the Storybook Cottage's Garden! Oh, I may add a bell here and a teacup there, but all of the major elements I wanted to include are done!

Due to my wonderful "play day" with Sam's art gallery, and the fact that we'll be flying out to spend Thanksgiving with my parents in AZ, I did not take any "in progress" photos, but I'll do my best to explain the "after" photos as I go. First, a photo of the sides and back...

I don't think I posted a photo with the back window box planted and installed. It is removable so that I can get to the interior without crushing the geraniums!

The gutters and downspouts have also been added...

On the Potting bench side of the cottage, I added a shelf with watering cans above the garden sink.

I also made additional flowers, took some of the leftovers, and made many more pots for the front step.

The front gate is decorated with Keli's favorite wreath.

My attempt at making tiny bees for the bee skep only resulted in my fingers becoming yellow, black and having wire stuck to them. I wanted to get these amazing bees on Etsy, but $12 each was a little more than my budget could justify. I settled for nail charms at 10 for $3. This way, I had enough to place a few on flowers, too. The birds got teacup feeders. They're not Barbara Meyer birds, because I forgot all about her wonderful birds until Keli reminded Sheila about them for her dovecote pigeons last week. Maybe I'll replace the Falcon birds with Barbara's in time.

I had a black wire hanging basket that I picked up at Aunty Em's in AZ. I painted it with copper leafing pen, lined the bottom with reindeer moss, squeezed in a Squeeze Me bush then planted some clematis flowers and leaves into it.

I had a little cottage kit from Michelle's Miniatures that was intended to make a purse. I think it makes a great mailbox! I added a knob instead of a handle, added a little working flag on the side, then used stucco and copper roof to simulate the cottage. I mounted it on a base to give it some detail. I just love to add cute little details like this to my miniatures. It makes me feel like a kid again!

Of course I had to plant the flowers on the inside fence planters before I could get them installed on the landscape base. I used up a good deal of the flowers I had left, I used purple coneflower, cosmos, daylilies and ground cover. I hope you're not allergic to bee stings!

With the inside planters finished, I was able to attach all three fence sections, then plant the exteriors. I ran out of flowers and had to stop and make more!!! Zinnias, marigold and more daisies. My flower kit supplies are now pathetic! :/ All I have left are red flowers! I did not want any red in this garden. Red does not like to share the limelight!

I kept a count of the number of flower stems I made, and it's a little insane. Hey - my blog is all about my miniature madness, so I do give you fair warning!

55 Coneflower
59 Aster
26 Black Eyed Susan
27 Ageratum
18 Dandelion
51 Geranium (plus 140 leaf stems)
16 Daylily
24 Dahlia
41 Daisies
15 Chamomile
9 Lemon Balm
9 Spearmint
9 Peppermint
10 Bee Balm
12 Lavender
12 Rugosa Roses
7 St. John's Wart
34 Cosmos
72 Roses
12 Mums
144 Camellias
18 Zinnias
9 Tulips
18 Marigold
24 Clematis

Grand total? 734!!!

After the exterior fences were finished, I affixed the rose arbor. My grapevine tree trunks did not want to play nice and get into their pots without lifting the arbor up off the ground. So, to solve this problem, I cut them off just above the height of the pots and made rose tree trunks out of air dry clay. They looked okay, and I could have done a much better job it I wasn't having to work over the top of the fence and around the back of the arbor. But as usual, problems are really just opportunities in disguise, so I had a little fun with camouflage.

Using a couple teapots that were just too large for 1/12th scale, I covered them in glue, then in fine ground cover to made topiary out of them. I glued them to the top of some more grapevine and added another Squeeze Me bush below. Now the rose tree will share a pot with the teapot topiary!

There was just enough room left to squeeze in a chair and a couple more pots, and still be able to walk down the path..

And so, my friends, the Olympic flower making saga has come to the end! Now I think I'll sit in the garden, smell the fragrant air, and nap for a while...

I thank you all so much for your encouragement as we moved through this epic journey together! For without you, your comments, suggestions and friendship, the cottage would have sat upon an empty lot!

xo xo,

P.S. You know what this means, don't you? We get to move onto the inside!!! Yippee!!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

So Thankful...

As those of us here in the United States prepare for Thanksgiving on November 22nd, we're reminded to stop and take stock. Not just of the things we've put up from harvest, or the holes we need to fill in the pantry, but of all of the things in our lives that make us happy and look forward every day. I have many, many blessings to count, but one that I am most especially grateful for are my inspiring, creative and incredibly talented mini friends and followers!

Last winter I was working on a number of miniature bathroom sinks and vanities, and Samantha from Blueprint Minis was beginning to learn how to paint in miniature. Somehow, we worked out a swap. I'd make a vanity for her San Franciscan's basement tenant and she'd make an autumn painting, destined for a future fall themed build, for me. I definitely got the better end of the deal, because Sam's paintings are extraordinary! And because she sent me ~E~I~G~H~T~ of them, I thought she deserved her own mini gallery opening!

It is astonishing to hold these little paintings (the largest measures just 3-1/2" w x 2-1/2" h) and see all of the detail, each tiny brush stroke, the shading, the way the light plays on the trees. Gobsmacked is what I am, and so incredibly happy that they are all mine!!!

This one is titled "Country Lane", and that peek of purple sky set against the vibrant orange foliage makes my heart sing with joy! I'm going to imagine that
road leads me home...

This one titled "The Dog Walker" was one of Sam's first tries at autumn landscapes. She's been trying to improve it, but there's no need - it's perfect!!! Can you see and then imagine painting a person and dog so tiny? Look at the color of the tree shadows! This Is what Love feels like!

This one is called "Falling Leaves".  Sam has managed to capture the sunlight lighting up the path and making the leaves sparkle in it's brilliance! I can hear the birdsong of the last holdouts, enjoying the morning and all the splendor fall brings!

This moody treasure is titled "Autumn Trail". Sam has incredibly captured the low light and damp forest ambiance. I can hear the leaves crinkling under my feet as I pick up my pace before the last light fades.

Sam has named this one "Backwoods Track", and says it's not her best work. Now I know she's being too critical because I truly love those fiery leaves! And look at that blue sky and how she makes a path look as though it wanders off into someplace!

I literally sucked in my breath when I first saw "River Walk" Those colors! The sunlight! That bridge!!! The tree shadows! That awesome crooked tree! I want to be in that place right now!

Look at the perspective and the mist rising from the lake in "Morning Mist"! The orange and yellow set against the blue sky and the mountains in the background! This one strikes a chord, because I live within 2 hours, as the crow flies, from three different volcanoes! I Love that tree and it's delightful branching!

This incredible piece is titled "Fall Forest", and aptly so because look at those gorgeous pine trees! The splash of blue is so unexpected and yet elevates the landscape into frolicking forest merriment! Just look at those amazing rocks and the reflections in the water!

Sam, you have really knocked it out of the park with the landscape, the colors and the settings! If I saw these at a miniatures fair I would have bought each and every one!!!

Sam also just got a Cricut, so she made mats for each painting and a lovely card adorned with fall leaves and a poem!

The poem reads...

As the warmth dissipates
and the winds herald
the upcoming cold
As trees wither
and sigh their last breath
We'll bask once again
in their vibrant color

I am going to keep the gallery scene just as it is so that I can continue to enjoy (and show off) Sam's incredible paintings! Who know's when I'll start on the Glencroft kit, and how long it will be before I actually have an Autumn House.

Thank you, Sam! ~T~H~A~N~K~💗 ~Y~O~U~! I so appreciate your masterful painting, and feel so proud to own so many of your originals!

To everyone else, and especially to my new followers... I Am So Thankful For All Of You And So Happy You Are On This Mini Journey With Me!

xo xo,