Friday, March 19, 2021

Childhood Dollhouse- The Finale

It all started with a book and a Facebook post from a friend. Now, several months later, my first dollhouse is complete. 

It turns out I love miniatures. I love building mini houses, decorating them, and filling them them with mini things. I learned some new skills, including how to use a Dremel. I stocked up on glue and paint and random bits of plastic from the ReUse store. 

Though I made so many things from balsa wood and scrap items, I did discover the joy of Etsy. And OMG so many people selling minis. Now I even have a favorite Etsy shop, which includes a mini thrift store!

I loved imagining the story of the person who lives here. It gave the house purpose and life. It gave me something to work toward.

Working on the house has been a great escape from the pandemic, winter, politics (both local and national), writing and publishing. It's given me something to put my energy into that is unmarred and unfettered by the real world: it is pure creation, pure fun. 

Along the way, I realized there is a whole big world of minis that I knew nothing about. So, I began to explore. I joined Instagram to follow the million miniaturists sharing their work (no clue how to use Insta, btw). 

I found the Greenleaf dollhouse company in upstate NY, which offers a wide range of dollhouses to buy and build yourself. Greenleaf hosts an amazing Forum for miniaturists that contains 20 years worth of conversations about dollhouses and everything related. I joined up and have been asking questions and learning. 

I also discovered Facebook Marketplace. Did you know there are about a billion dollhouses and dollhouse-related items for sale on any given day? 

I also remembered Pinterest. And wouldn't you know it, a trillion people use that platform to post and save dollhouse pictures. Now I'm one of them. 

There are a few more things to work on in this house: a lamp for the bedroom, and globe for the library, a ridge cap for the roof. But all in all, I have marked this house as complete, as I look forward to spring. 

My dollhouse story isn't over. I've been scouring the interwebs for my next project(s), and I've found (more than) a few. I'm ready to take on a full house. One with stairs and windows. One with someone else's lapsed childhood dreams lurking in the shadows, ready to see sunlight again. This house, full of verve and love from my childhood and brought into today, is just the beginning. 

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Dollhouse Bedroom

The last room in my childhood dollhouse is the attic bedroom. It's an awkward space, and if I lived here, I'd be bumping my head a lot. But it turned out cozy and sweet. 

The bed, dresser, and rug are from my childhood. The pillows are newly knitted, but the little Care Bear pillow is a throwback. When I was a child, this room was furnished with pink and yellow Care Bear decor, not unlike my real bedroom at the time. I thought having a memory from those days was appropriate. 

The birds apparently like Takis, which they're eating on the newly sewn comforter that my mother recently made for a housewarming gift. 

Rob said that the inhabitant ought have a pair of slippers next to the bed, so I whipped up a pair. And where would she put her laundry? 

It's been great fun revamping this house and on the whole I'm ready to call this one finished. Stay tuned for one final post about this house!

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Dollhouse Living Room

Even though this dollhouse has such a small space to fill, I struggled with how the living room should look. I kept the red velvet couch and the red fancy lamp from my childhood, and started to work around that. 

Of course, a TV was needed. So I made one from balsa, coated in nail polish for a shine. The birds switched the channel to the 2001 movie Winged Migration.

The cabinet came from a lot of furniture I bought, but it was hideous. The thick wooden doors were glued open. So I cut them off and sanded it down. With a fresh coat of shabby-chic paint, it looks much more suitable. 

I hadn't planned to use the rug from my childhood, but with the repainted cabinet, and the colorful walls, it actually fit right in. A few knitted pillows, more bird art, some magazines, and the vintage telephone make of this house a home. 

I'm almost done here - last room is the attic bedroom. I have been moving on to imagining the next house. Much more to come!

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Dollhouse Kitchen

As noted before, the dollhouse has been taken over by birds. And as it comes together the story of the inhabitant unfolds. 

Here's the kitchen and dining room- open concept of course. The table and chairs, shelf, and trick or treat bag were from my childhood. I made everything else (minus the rolling pin, trick or treat bag, pots, owl, and few other tidbits).

The woman who lives here is an ornithologist. She travels the world to study birds and has even discovered a new species! She recently left for the Galapagos to do more research, and since she left, the neighborhood birds have moved in. 

She doesn't eat super healthy food; she loves cake, cheese, sugary cereal, and Cheez-its, and makes frequent stops at Dunkin. The occasional carrot and watermelon slice does make its way in, and she has a couple great cookbooks!

It still could use some upgrades and final details, but it's a good kitchen, and I'd be happy to do my cooking here. 

Next up is the living room.