After a break from working on the restoration of the dollhouse my grandfather made me I am working on it again. Here are a few photos of what’s been done. For Christmas I received several great items for the house. The plants, the planters, the dollhouse, and the birds decorating the tree are several. I also received a refrigerator made from paper from my friend Michael! You would never think it was put together from paper to look at it. I have work to do on the kitchen, where the cupboards below will be installed. And the windows, lights and some other curtains have to be completed. Not to mention artwork, a mirror and photographs for the walls have to be done.
I didn’t get much work done on the dollhouse over Thanksgiving. Yesterday I started back to work. I had to move things around back to the living room work area from the office. I did more work on the fireplace and finished the first floor wood installation. The tile in the kitchen turned out to be too fine and exact for my mat knife so I extended the wood floor. The fireplace is not going to sit in the middle of the room, I just wanted you to be able to see it. Still much to be done but I put some of the furnishings in to impress the family on thanksgiving.
|Outside still needs windows, trim and shutters.|
|Roof on and first floor finished.|
|Small lantern on table to left was specially made by Mike. He is making a bigger one to hang from the ceiling.
The quilt on the bed still needs to be quilted. The table is from my father’s English Leather aftershave long, long ago.
|One of my granddaughters claimed this as her bed and added an acorn for a pillow.|
|The granddaughter also saw some tissue paper on my desk, tore some off and showed me how it
would make a good fire in the fireplace. Still need to finish the inside and the hearth.
|Attic wallpaper = mini-newspapers, and another aftershave table and some future pie pans.|
I spent some time today cutting up several 12 X 12 inch self-stick “wood”vinyl tiles in to small strips and sticking them on the dollhouse living room floor. Voila! A hardwood floor. I have a “ceramic” vinyl square for the kitchen. I should cut it up into different sized pieces and lay it our like our floor is, but I might leave it as one piece. I am going to panel one wall in the front room, so tomorrow I’ll cut longer pieces for that.
The roof is going up. The stairs are ready to go in. The plexiglass for the windows has to be cut and the molding that goes around them cut to size and painted. Shutters have to go up. A few interior walls and half walls need to go in. A few walls need to be painted, some touching up and then the furniture and curtains can go in. I still have to make the dolls that will live there, a pleasant older couple with a bunch of children and grandchildren who live in a box and come out for birthdays and the holidays. Maybe someone will live in the attic.
This dollhouse is turning out to have features from several of our real houses. Yesterday I made a fireplace modeled after the fireplace in our Idlewild house. I still need to add the mantel and the picture of the Virgin of Guadalupe and logs, of course.
I used a modeling compound made from toothpaste, white glue, corn starch and water. I got the color with food coloring added to the compound and then rubbed some paint that we used to do the dollhouse roof to make it look more stone like. And threw in a few real ashes for realism.
Jim has been painting and cutting and nailing and there will be more photos soon.
Hopefully it’ll get a coat or two of paint tomorrow. Maybe Monday the floors will get done. I’ve got to decide where the inside walls and the stairs will go.
It looks like the brass bed that Poppy bought soon after he married. He was, the story goes, he was walking down the street when he saw a brothel being evicted and the belongings being set out on the street. This wonderful brass bed was among the items and he bought it on the spot. Growing up we – sister and cousins – spent many happy hours playing in my grandfather’s room. We used to be able to slip between those brass bars at the foot of the bed. My sister Pearl has the big bed now. That’s my mini brass bed on the pillow.
The dollhouse Poppy, my grandfather made me in the 1950s when I was 9 years old was the envy of my sister and cousins in it’s prime. A few days ago I read on The Magpies Nest about her project to fix up her daughter’s old doll house and it inspired me to do the same with mine. I asked my husband to dig it out of the long, narrow closet where it has been for the past 4 years. Poor house! It went through my childhood and then my children’s childhoods and being stored for years and years and it is much the worse for wear. Right now the poor dollhouse looks like one of those falling-to-pieces houses. Houses with a grand past that have been divided into rooming houses or just left to rot.
I have started my rehab by tearing off the contact paper wallpaper and removing the third story where the wood was rotting and scrubbing the whole thing down. I want to keep the gist of the house but make some changes I’ve always wanted to make, like adding stairs and returning it to the two-sided access dollhouse it used to be. I will post more photos as the work progresses.
Other posts on the dollhouse