Dollhouse Flooring: Lots of Options

In the process of completing my dollhouse, I found that there are many options when it comes to flooring. I think that my Dad’s intent is that all of the rooms would have wood floors, but then when he originally built the house it was supposed to be a early 1800’s house (complete with servants’ quarters). I, of course, updated the style of the house to be contemporary; I likened it to actually remodeling a real house to standards of the day (bathrooms, running water, electricity and a modern kitchen).

One thing I learned the hard way was the doors and door trim. I think even before the flooring goes in the doors should go up. I did it the hard way and now with trying to get the pre-made doors installed, I am finding that the openings are being blocked by high floors – especially where I used miniature tile. Thankfully, The Kid is tackling this job for me.

So back to floors. I have used a wide range of flooring options and even created a few that I didn’t use. Originally, the kitchen was to be a pale shade of yellow, as I had purchased this awesome fifties’ style dining table and yellow chairs.IMG_4157As you can see, there were a number of flooring options, including the checkerboard pattern in yellow. In the end, I used a red and white checkerboard pattern, which is reminiscent of the entry way and living room black and white.IMG_4155The kitchen is laid with samples that I ordered from WilsonArt’s website, but the black and white is actually individual tiles that I got from Home Depot.IMG_4153For the ‘sewing room’ I also picked up some green variegated tile samples and cutting to squares and then laying them in the checkerboard pattern.

I meant to mention this wonderful person’s name that I met in Home Depot and am just now getting around to writing the post. If you’re ever in the Kansas City area, look for Cheryl Lupton, who spent time with me brainstorming about ideas for flooring. She had inexhaustible enthusiasm for the challenge and loved the time we spent together! (Hi Cheryl! Sorry it took me so long!).IMG_3930Anywho, Cheryl was the one who showed me the tile samples that they keep in the store. These are about 2″ x 3″ rectangles and I just cut them into squares and then adhered them with E-6000 glue. I was going to visit several Home Depots so that I didn’t take all the samples displayed, but wonderful Cheryl told me to take all I wanted! Yea! Saved a bunch of time, driving and effort.IMG_3929She was also the one who told me I could order samples of the laminate online as well. And I am going to share that with you here: http://www.wilsonart.com. Just browse through all of the different types of laminate and once you find something that interests you, click the link to order samples.IMG_6154There is a limit of some of the colors or styles and you can only order 50 samples at a time. I think I went a little overboard when I found out, and ordered way more than I could ever use. (I am still trying to come up with a project that will use them!) I had ordered lots of pink samples and one in particular had a woven appearance and the right shade of pink. So, two of the laminate samples made up the nursery floor.IMG_4147So, laminate samples for the kitchen, living room/entry way, sewing room and baby’s room. Somewhere along the way, I had a package of “real wood” miniature flooring from HouseWorks. IMG_4085I wanted the dining room to have a beautiful wood floor and after taking the largest piece for the dining room, there was enough left to piece together for the attic home office. Sort of makes sense that one would do a patchwork of what is available for the floor in the attic. It turned out pretty good, I think!IMG_4149So, for the two bathrooms, they got tile. Some time back, I ran across these large packages of assorted colors of mini tiles to be used for making stepping stones. By buying three of them, after sorting I ended up with a nice selection of colors and about half of it was white.IMG_3967So in one bathroom, the floor and the shower walls are actual tile! Blue and white went on the floor in an everyday checkerboard pattern with a white row of tiles around the edges.IMG_4151

Now, the other bathroom, which is also the laundry room, is done in green and white tiles. I didn’t have enough of any one shade of green, so I used three different shades of green alternating with white. Viola!IMG_9260You have no idea how difficult it is tiling with 3/8″ tile! I had some issues keeping them level and straight!

Okay, that takes care of eight of the 12 rooms. For the boy’s bedroom and the master bedroom, it was always in my mind to use carpeting. Again, I had some packages of dollhouse miniature carpeting from a company called ‘MiniGraphics’ that had been purchased somewhere in the past 25 years. When I purchased it, it was for the living room along with some light blue sofas, so it must have been sometime in the 90’s. I had also made curtains, blue and yellow plaid over sheers. So much different than what I ultimately decided to use.

IMG_4156So, off to one of my many jaunts to JoAnns. I knew what I was looking for but not sure if I would find it. But of course, I did, and the tight weave and low plush made it the perfect faux carpeting. A deep grey color would work as a perfect neutral, although I only needed it for the two bedrooms. Bought enough to carpet every floor in the dollhouse!

IMG_4150So, we’re up to ten of the 12 rooms with the flooring complete. The hallway in the upstairs was one that I hadn’t planned for and the floor plan change ended up with quite a bit of square footage (inch-age?). This was a chance for me to experiment a little and having watched an online video about using Popsicle sticks and so set off to implement this for the hallway. I cut different lengths and then laid them down using the E-6000 glue, then staggered the lengths and used a wood putty to fill in any spaces. I then stained them using a medium oak color and then put two coats of clear polyurethane to seal the color. Turned out better than I expected. If I did this again, I think I would buy coffee stir sticks – they are a bit more narrow and would fit the scale better.IMG_4152(What do you think of my little clip board? Also made from laminate!!)

The last room is actually a storage space in the attic and it will remain without a finished floor, much like real attics.

So, there it is. I hope that this has helped in some way. Sometimes you just gotta jump in and do it and figure it out as you go.

Thanks for stopping by! Come back when I am finished and unveil it! It’ll be soon!

julie

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Dollhouse: Getting Closer to Being Done

I seem to spend more time on the dollhouse rather then writing about the work being done. Much of the work seems pretty routine and, well, obvious, so I am not writing about everything I do. If you ever have questions about something that I’ve done, please ask and I will elaborate. Sometimes what seems straightforward to me is confusing to someone else. And vice-versa.

So much of the work done over the past couple of weeks has been about getting the basics done so the furniture can go in. Of course, the kitchen is primarily “basic”, so a lot of work has been done there. I’ve also done a lot of prep for the doors, floors and trim. I can see the light at the end of this tunnel!IMG_4078The greatest amount of work (and fun!) was the kitchen. I had ordered all of the cabinetry in kits, that is, I had to assemble it all. To make sure it all fit correctly, I made templates for both the walls and floor so that it would fit in like a puzzle.

I used pieces of laminate that I had ordered from Wilson (ordering info further down the page). The way it worked out, that back piece acted as a “plate” that the cabinets could be glued to and then placed into the house. And as a bonus, it became the backsplash, a jaunty little fiftie’s motif in red, white and turquoise.

IMG_4102This was the short “stove” wall… The Kid created the range hood from stainless steel. Initially it was a little short, so I added the little cap at the top.DSCN4896A shot of the long wall with kitchen sink and ‘fridge. I still had to cut the section for the window.IMG_9853The floor is actually another pattern of laminate sample. The only issue I had working with it was weighting the flooring down as it dried. You can kind of get the sense of the air pocket under the floor in the photo above.

IMG_4125With much of the dollhouse complete, I finally moved it off the kitchen island back in front of the fireplace. Much of the window treatments are done, furniture found and purchased, and lots of little details being worked on.

One thing I goofed on was adding the baseboards before installing the doors. I was waiting on the purchased hardware to arrive and just got ahead of myself. Now that it has arrived (and changed from brass to silver finish), I’ve prepared all the doors for installation. I think this is going to be a bigger deal that it should, considering that I think I will need to trim the baseboards to fit the doors.IMG_4124Larger than most starter dollhouses, it requires quite a few doors (and the two IMG_4123inside/outside doors are already installed)! Here I was adding the door knobs. As I mentioned, the pre-purchased door handles were all brass colored. Laying them onto a sheet of poster board and securing them for painting with a glue stick.

You can also see a few of the miniature trivets that I purchased off the internet. Since the kitchen is red and white with a pop of turquoise, some of the trivets had to be sprayed painted.IMG_4128

The doors between the dining room and kitchen were designed to open together, instead of knobs, I made push plates. I cut these from metal-look laminate as well. I had several selections to choose from, here are a couple of the sample tiles.

They really look like metal!

While I was at it, I cut kick plates for the front door as well (to be installed at a later date).IMG_4126Things are progressing and am quite close to adding the details. And then a gigantic photo shoot will occur to show off the whole thing.

Down the road a little ways, I am planning to add clear plexiglass doors to keep the house from getting dusty. Initially I thought I wanted to finish it and then never touch it again, but instead of a single sheet on the back of the house, I decided to construct two larger doors for adjustments or so new items can be added. I am also going to place a clear “wall” onto the back of the boys’ room.

When I started the project of completing this dollhouse, I vowed to work on nothing else so as to not distract me from the task at hand. I have a little bit of crafting ADHD and tend to easily get drawn into other projects and consequently end up with a lot of unfinished projects. Now it seems that I should be finishing up the house at about the same time I will be going back to work! I will work furiously to get all the little details written about in the next couple of weeks.

And please! I love to share my projects and the way I went about doing things. But I love to hear from others as well… comments and questions are the icing on the creative cake!

julie

My Dollhouse: Working on Details

I’ve been spending much of the past couple of weeks working on all the details of the dollhouse. Sometimes when I get up and see the house, it makes me think of moving into a real new house… trying to get boxes unpacked, putting my touch and making the house unique and reflective of my personality. Trying new stuff and techniques, and just plain having fun.

Nothing big to report, but wanted to show you some of my progress. I finished installing the stair cases and the railings. I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but working in the 1:12 miniature can sometimes be majorly frustrating. And on occasion when I look to recreate something in miniature, it can be extremely frustrating! Trying any number of different ways to approach and not having any luck. But so much more has been a positive experience.

Just inside the double doors from the porch, is a curved white staircase.DSCN4906I love the way it plays with the black and white tile. If it weren’t for the lantern sitting there, doesn’t this totally look like a full sized house? And I have to laugh that there is a bathtub in the entry way! In our house in California, there was a few days when during the master bathroom remodel, we had a bathtub sitting in the living room. 🙂DSCN4903At the top of the curved staircase, we arrive at the second floor hallway. The floor is actually Popsicle sticks, trimmed and laid in a variety of lengths and then stained and the coated with two layers of polyurethane. If you follow the hall towards the front of the house, you will be met with the next set of stairs.DSCN4902You’ve now arrived in the home office. Work is still going on here, but the floor has been laid (coffee stir sticks) and the work top has been placed; it rests on two small cabinets, one on either side of the wall. A center shelf has been place to have access to a printer and other necessities. You can also see the wood blinds have been installed with a natural valance. Taking advantage of the light in the dormer makes working in this room delightful.

DSCN4905This is the boy’s bedroom, including it to show you that the floor has been finished – just this room and the master bedroom have carpeting – and that the baseboards have been installed. It seems that so much has been done, but yet so much remains to be done!DSCN4904A shot of the master bathroom. I laid the tile floor early on in the project, and that’s about where it has been for some time. I recently purchased a second bathroom set, as I was not really excited about the original set… but not sure that this is the direction I want to go either. I’d like to do a chest with a bowl set on top, I think. The shower pan – seen in this shot – is going to be surrounded by tiled walls, which it seems I’ve also been working on forever.DSCN4900Using this grout, I finally completed that chore for the walls. I figured it would be easier to lay the tile (on a background of paper) and do the grouting and finishing and then install it.DSCN4899This are the walls grouted, just need to wait until it completely dries and then install it. I have the shower head and controls somewhere in this mess… I know it looks organized, but trust me, it is an organized mess!

Okay, that’s about it for today. I hope you will come back to see progress as it goes forward and gets closer and closer to be completed. I promised myself not to start or work on anything else until this is done. And I saw a fantastic piece on CraigsList today that I would have loved to grab… but I swore an oath to this dollhouse! LOL

julie

Miniature Books: A Tutorial

dThe closer I get to finishing something, the more difficult it becomes to concentrate on getting it done. I think I am like this about a lot of thing, not just this dollhouse. There has to be a concerted effort to take the last steps and do the final details. Always. I almost need to have someone who might be able to pay attention to the details for me!

Today, this is a quick tutorial on making books for your dollhouse. Early on, I did a row of books for these book shelves I had initially intended to use in the living room.IMG_4106Here’s a close up of the books on the shelves. Not independent books, but simply printed rows of books. I think that they look okay for the number of books they represent, but when I tried to do this for the bookshelf in the nursery, it just didn’t look right.IMG_4107So I ended up making a bunch of little books, specifically children’s books. I like the way that they are all different sizes and colors!

IMG_4100I made a little tutorial on how to make these books, I sat and did this while watching a movie – so around 90 minutes to two hours to make these. This did not, by the way, include finding the book images and creating the doc. This, I have done for you!Childrens Books and Childrens Books2  and Childrens Books3.

Just using some scrap poster board of foam board, and after cutting out all the images, I paste half of the book image to the edge, about to the half of the spine, leaving the other half unglued.

Then I cut the foam board around the book image and then proceeded to fold the remainder of the book over and line it up to the edge and glue it. It gets easier as you go.

I attempted to make a video tutorial. I’m a little self conscious about it, but I’m going to put it in this post anyway. Maybe based on feedback from you, I can remake it. If it is any good, I will copy it to my YouTube channel. I’ve not done a lot of these, so please be gentle!

So, once you have the books you need, you can place them in your shelf or lay them on table tops. I just sort of jumbled my books into the bookshelf, perhaps like a little one might in trying to put away her books.

Okay, enough for today. And remember!, I’d love all feedback!

julie

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Tools of the Trade: Working in Miniature

If you’ve been following my blog, you know that I have been working exclusively on a 1:12 scale dollhouse that my dad built many years ago. After completing it, the dollhouse was initially given to my older sister (and oldest child) because she was local to my parents at the time (my theory). It sat in her basement for a number of years and literally did nothing to the house – although, to her credit, she purchased a few furniture pieces and supplies necessary to complete the house. I think it was her that laid out some bucks when it came to electric lights, something that I am not doing or using.

Anyway, I am guesstimating it sat in her basement for at least ten years. When she decided to sell her house and relocate, the dollhouse went back to my parents. At this point they were living in their retirement home, which was much smaller than the home they previously lived and raised their family.

So, eventually the dollhouse ended up with me. And once I had it, I wanted to work on it, but for such a small scale house, it was huge project. I got as far as painting the exterior, as well as replacing all the interior (homemade) doors with six panel/prehung/trimmed doors. This was the first that I realized that I would need some very specific tools (that I did not own) to make accomplish projects. The first tool I bought specifically for this was a Dremel. I have since purchased two more, one cordless and one that came with a shit-ton of accessories.

So, the purpose of this post today is to show you some of the tools that will come in handy in working in miniature. Let me preface that with statement with the fact that I didn’t see the use or need when I worked on the 1:3/1:4 scale dollhouse that I built last year, but working in such a small scale of 1:12, did I find the need for specialized tools.

First, I want to show you my work space. I have a specific room in the house for sewing and quilting and other fabric related projects. When it comes to working on the dollhouse, it went front and center in the living room. At one point, I needed to have it higher for comfort, it has since found its new home on the kitchen island!

IMG_4081Needless to say, the consensus in the house is that needs to go and as soon as possible. 🙂

So the workspace I have is on the right corner of the couch:

IMG_4095I have my computer and access to everything around me. To my left and all the way around to the right hand side of the couch…IMG_4089There isn’t a lot of planning on what goes where, it generally depends on what I am working on at the time. But you see my miniature tool box and glue and some of the bits and pieces in this photo.IMG_4090This is more required stuff. The basket is more miniature required tools (on top is my mini hack saw) and yet another organizer of ‘bits and bobs’.IMG_4091Normally this table is where the house sits. I used a couple of drawers from the basement storage unit for organization. It looks a complete disarray, but there is a method to my madness!IMG_4092This is yet another storage area. I had used it when I was just collecting pieces and it was a nice solution to keep this safe and dry. By the way, the trunk was one of about 20 or 30 trunks that I ‘upcycled’ in my early days of crafting (like thirty years ago). Most were given as gifts to friends and family, but I managed to hang onto two.IMG_4093The right side of the couch. With this much “stuff” it can be a nightmare putting my hands on the specific thing I am looking for. I organize and reorganize all of this a couple of times a week, to refresh my memory as to what I have left to install and remove what I know I know I won’t use in this particular dollhouse.IMG_4099Here are some specific tool sets that I have bought. When you’re working on this scale, it is important to ease of work to have small tools.

In the photo below is a hand drill which enable you to make very tiny holes in very tiny things. Absolutely is without a doubt one of the most useful tools that I have. It also came with another half dozen tiny drill bits.. So worth the $15 I spent on eBay (and I saw many cheaper).IMG_4098And this leads me to three of my most recent and favorite tools. You absolutely need short, well marked rules. My son found the metal ones (I had him get me three) and I love the transparent one for getting measurements within the walls of the dollhouse. And of course, it goes without saying that small scissors are a basic requirement. I have a bunch of these, but then they are the high grade scissors I use in sewing all the time.

IMG_4097This particular area on the floor in front of my couch is lovingly referred to as “my black hole”. Working with the 1:12 scale of objects for the dollhouse means little parts. And I mean little, tiny, small, almost microscopic pieces.  And it can be difficult to hang onto them while working with them. And of course, it never fails to fall and immediately sneaks under the couch.

As you may be aware, I had both knees replaced last year, and with it went the ability to kneel. I have to try and fish the object with a long rule or wood dowel that I might be working with. Usually, it requires The Kid to come down with a flashlight to retrieve it. And no sooner does he do that and head back upstairs, than another pieces drops and disappears! Gah!

Come back soon for an update on the dollhouse work! I hope that this is beneficial and as always, I love comments!

julie

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A Round Up: A Little of Everything

I have been both a) lazy and unable to get productive and b) working like crazy to get things done. LOL

One thing I have been trying to do is to get my photographs in order. Its not easy when I have a multitude of cameras and photo devices and then too, a number of computers that I use on a regular basis. I need a server and then about six to eight months to get everything organized!

This morning, I have already spent a good chunk of time trying to locate my “before” pictures of this sewing machine cabinet I have completed. Its been done a while and just sitting in my foyer. Today is the day I make it a priority to get it ‘gone’.

A while back, I picked up a couple of sewing machines in cabinets… I mostly got them for the cabinets. I have enough sewing machines that need repair, I don’t need to add to that sewing machines that are forty or fifty years old.

This is the last cabinet to be completed. It originally was just the top with the four drawers down the right side, but I enclosed the other half, added a glass holder and an ice bucket and painted it in a festive turquoise color. The black of the cabinet is such a vivid contrast!

I am just going to show the photos I have found and later will update them.

Its funny as the color photographs different in different light. It really is a wonderful, bold turquoise, reminiscent of the fifties.

Work continues on the dollhouse, I’ve opted to paint all the interior walls and lay all the flooring at the same time (instead of one room at a time). I’ve recently ordered the necessary cabinets for the kitchen and things are moving along. I’ll give you an update soon.

And because I can never be without something for my hands to do, I recently printed out an image of Hello Kitty being a bit irreverent and had it to cross stitch when I was watching a movie or television. So, without further ado:img_3944

Another project that I was able to finish was the transformation of these large plastic tubs into Lego storage devices. Me and The Kid love red vines and I have been saving these for something important for some time.

I finally saw this on Pinterest and knew I had to do it. img_3940I had six empty buckets and after a few coats of very yellow spray paint, I simply used my paint pens to draw their faces:img_3941Alas, The Kid opted not to use them (most of his Legos are gone and he’s a bit too old for these cute storage buckets, so they were given to our pizza delivery guy after he commented that his boy would go “ape shit” over them. (And no, it was not his tip!)

So, now on to working on organization and more dollhouse work.

julie

Miniatures, Doll House and Dreams

So having gotten most of the projects that I had started (over the past year) completed, I am going to take advantage of avoiding the cold and work inside. On my dollhouse. With the help of my son and his best friend (my other son from another mother), the dollhouse has been safely moved and placed into its working spot. I expect that I will work on this a long time: until I either get finished or I get sick of working on it. I am finding working with 1:12 miniatures is a lot more tedious and time consuming than the 1:3/1:4 miniatures for the 18″ dolls (American Girl-style dolls).

It seems to take a lot more time and energy to do the smaller scale. Not to mention it seems to cost more! What I have been working on so far is getting a rough idea of how I want to proceed with each room. Originally I thought I would approach it on a room by room basis, but found that as I worked through the furniture and decorating needs, it seems to make more sense to more than one at a time. I mean, like when I pick up the flooring needs for one room, it just makes sense to get what I need for all the rooms that have similar needs.

I have numbered the rooms so that when I write about the rooms, I can also refer to the room number in addition to what I am calling the room.

 

dollhouse-numbered-roomsSo the rooms are designated to be:

  1. Attic Sewing Room
  2. Home Office
  3. Second Bathroom & Laundry
  4. Attic Storage
  5. Master Bedroom
  6. Master Bath
  7. Hallway
  8. Boy’s Bedroom
  9. Baby Girl’s Nursery
  10. Living Room and Entryway
  11. Dining Room
  12. Kitchen

So, yes, this is a large dollhouse and now takes up a large chunk of living room real estate:

dscn4885But is always in view to keep my creative juices flowing. I’ve begun planning floors and colors and the necessary cabinetry for the kitchen as well as stove, refrigeration and cabinet with sink and a microwave. Rough estimates are in the two hundred dollar range! And the kitchen is one of the rooms that requires copious amounts of extras… including a diner style booth and table and food and dishes. I bought a set of flatware tonight for a whopping $1.67! But, WOW!, it all adds up.

I have a couple of furniture pieces that have to be finished and written about still. I just couldn’t resist giving y’all a sneak peak at the project that is going to be consuming much of my time in the next year!

julie

Every Little Girl Needs a Dollhouse or Two… Right?

I don’t think I’ve ever talked about my dollhouses. I was never a very ‘girly’ girl, growing up mostly surrounded by my brothers and their friends. I like to play baseball (not softball), football, climb trees and pretty much anything that the boys did. So, I didn’t have the normal toys that most girls play with – although I did have an EasyBake oven and some Barbie dolls.

So, after I had grown up, some how I did get a bit more feminine. I think I started to maybe wax nostalgic for something I think I missed. About the same time, my Dad was working less and spending more time in his wood working shop, so I asked if he would build me a dollhouse. Many, many, many weeks and months later, he did complete it. He sent me photos occasionally to show me progress, and I started purchasing materials, furniture and anything that might work for completing the dollhouse. He built the structure, I was going to decorate it and furnish it.

The only downside was that I was living in California and this monstrosity that my Dad was building was 2000 miles away in Iowa. I brainstormed ideas until I found out that my Dad had given my dollhouse to my oldest sister! She lived in the same town, so I suppose it was just an easy answer, but I was severely disappointed. I had been the one to ask for it, want it and already buying stuff for it.

So, I bought myself a kit and built a little dollhouse. It wasn’t anything fancy, but it did satisfy the desire to build, paint and furnish one.

I didn’t get a shot of the front of the house, but it was completed in the same style. It sits downstairs in a little alcove on these great drawer stacks that originally were bought for storing my fabric in our house in California.

DSCN3378They are nice enough looking and they have nice deep drawers for storing all my little collectibles.

DSCN3379

Because, you see, after many years, my oldest sister had litterally done nothing to the dollhouse that my Dad built. In fact, it was sitting in her basement and with her kids running through, they had actually broken some of the porch and its railing. I had been visiting for a holiday and made a remark about it and my sister said that I should have it, that she didn’t have the time or patience to work on it.

Now the next hurdle was getting this monstrosity to California. A long story short, my parents drove it out in their van when they came to visit. Yowza!

Believe it or not, we had to turn around and move it back to the Midwest – Kansas City – when we moved in 2004. This time we had a shipping place build a custom crate for it and it went on the moving truck with all of our worldly goods.

It took awhile, but it was finally unpacked and moved into the little alcove. Over the years, I have slowly collected materials, furniture and all sorts of great stuff. I painted the house, made a couple of changes to the setup of the house (like turning ‘servants quarters’ into an additional bedroom.

I’ve been thinking about my pledge to finish all the projects that I have started and I’ve done pretty well. I have spent a couple of days, on and off, looking it over and taking photos and making a mental inventory of the supplies, crafts and furniture that I have. Trying to figure out if I have the umpfh to actually get it finished.

The only issue that I see, is that this behemoth is in the basement and all my tools and most of the crafting tools and materials are on the first floor. And the sewing room and fabrics are on the second floor. That would entail a lot of stair climbing… I am going to have to think about the logistics on this one.

In the meantime, here are a few photos of the house in its current state. It was a little tough to get a shot of the front, but you can get an idea of how big the house really is. Oh, and the trunk under the table is also full of supplies for completing the dollhouse.

Oh and FYI… this house is the generally accepted standard of dollhouses, in 1:12 scale.

DSCN3365Couple of other notes, my Dad had actually built little doors, windows and staircases, which I have since replaced with more modern versions.

DSCN3376

The little photo book in the photo below are some of the original photos my Dad took while building it. I need to scan in those photos and share them with you.DSCN3377So, there lies the project. Will I finally get around to finishing it?

julie

Manners Are Still Being Taught (And I, For One, Am Thankful)

I was touched, today, by the kindness of a mother and her daughter. It would seem in this impersonal age of computers and email and smart phones, something as corny as manners are still being taught. And it warms my insides!

I wasn’t much of a ‘girly’ girl, considering that I really grew up with five brothers (more or less) and so pink and frilly and sparkly was never my thing. As a mother, I had just my son, so I never had the chance to do girly things for a child. Or live vicariously through a daughter.

As many of you know, I have a sister blog. Its all about creative stuff… and to continue to fund projects, I sell what I finish. So, often I will work on pieces that are pink and frilly and sparkly. Last week, I sold a dresser -painted in six shades of pink – to a mom and to my delight, she brought her daughter along with her to pick up the piece.

Lovely conversation followed. (Maybe I am ready to be around more people?) Morgen had an awesome story behind her name and I had remarked what an awesome name it was. I guess her age about 8 or 9, and she wasn’t shy and was quite engaging as well. So, once we had finished the transaction, I asked if she liked American Girl dolls. (And I haven’t found many at that age who aren’t just ga-ga over those dolls. Me, too, I guess, since I had actually built a doll house in proper proportions – that thing was nearly seven feet tall!). But I digress.

I have a sizable amount of inventory to a failed idea about creating affordable clothing, accessories and props for the doll line – called “Dolls and Cupcakes”. I thought it would be a great idea, as the actual American Girl doll line is crazy expensive. A pair of shoes for a doll can range upwards of $20 to $30! I hoped that I could fill that need.

Alas, it was not to be. So with Morgen and her mom standing in my foyer and finding that Morgen was, indeed, a doll enthusiast, I retrieved one of the two remaining beds that I had made and presented it to her. She loved it. I was happy to have a little more gone from the house.

Now, here is the crux of the story. Today, I received a thank you card from Morgen. Hand written on a cute card, she expressed her appreciation of not only the doll bed, but for the dresser as well. I was floored! In a good way! I cannot recall the last time that someone took the time and effort to actually thank me, and especially using the good old USPS and something as archaic as a stamp and a pencil!

What a joy! I loved that her mom went above and beyond to teach her daughter the proper etiquette and for Morgen to sit down and author the note.

Totally made my day. No, totally made my week and month! I am so warmed!

Okay, y’all can make fun of me, but this really meant a lot.

End of rant! 🙂

julie

PS If by chance you read my other blog, you may note that I posted the same story in both places. That’s how much I was pleased!!

Yay! I’ve Sold the Dollhouse!

I had positive feelings that the dollhouse would be sold for this Christmas. And I received an abject lesson in pricing. Starting with the price of $3000 when it was first completed, it dropped considerably when the holiday season ended and it was still sitting in the foyer. A second $2000 price was presented – on eBay, easy.com and Craigslist in KC and surrounding areas – and still no bites. I was beginning to wonder if it would ever find a buyer.

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Then I let the house sit for a while. No ads, no marketing it, nothing. Just sitting in my entryway, taking up valuable space. But I did a lot of projects in the meantime. Even the dollhouse received a couple of extras… you won’t see in the picture above, but a miniature lamp was made (and it even worked!) a carpet for the bedroom and a pretty light fixture to sit next to the bed.

Dolls and cupcakes V3

In the spring, my neighborhood had its bi-annual garage sale and I put out doll items to sell. It was my first push to try the “Dolls and Cupcakes” brand and get some feedback from moms and their daughters. I sold most of the furniture I had made – beds, dressers, tables & chairs and I put a large photo of the dollhouse on an easel… I walked quite a few girls into the entry way to show them the house. All of them, including their moms were amazed by the sheer size of this thing. And the attention to all the details – especially the kitchen.

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I even had offered a discount (I should say “another” discount) and had the house priced at $1500. Still no buyers. Had a lot of interest from people, but I think the price was still more than folks could justify for a child, and if they had other children, there was no way that they could buy something like that for one and nothing for the other(s).

Over the summer, I made another stab at selling, this time setting the price at $1000. A few nibbles, but nothing with any teeth. I had The Kid give it a clean sweep (there were doll sized dust bunnies under the bed!) and took a set of new photos and presented it to my pain management doc, who has 2 young daughters who are both falling in love with the American Girl dolls. I had my fingers crossed that he wouldn’t find it too expensive and might be able to justify it for two daughters. I never heard back from him about it.

Sigh.

So, now we are falling into another holiday season and I was determined to get this house sold. Again, I dusted off the ads and up it went on etsy.com, eBay.com and Craigslist with another new price: $850. Three renews and then finally, an email via Craigslist, someone is interested. The offer is for $750. Yes! I accepted the offer. While driving to deliver it, I figured it out: the sales price was 25% of the original price. But I am more than happy that this coming Christmas, two children are going to receive a gift of a childhood!

And me? I got my foyer back. (The Kid notified me that nothing new can be placed in that are for at least 24 hours!!) LOL!

julie

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