Monday, February 09, 2009

The wonderful world in a dollhouse

The Wonderful World in a Dollhouse

Getting there....the little family living in here is almost settled

Many, many years ago the idea of owning a dollhouse very much appealed to me as I was seriously interested in miniatures, those that were made to scale according to the miniature collector's guidelines.

The dollhouse idea became so endearing to me that I began a hobby quest by researching and reading as much as I could get my hands on from the library, and lovingly began to make shadow boxes with wee crafty items I assembled together to use as embellishments within the scene. I was able to pick up a wonderful skeletal dollhouse but never seemed to find time to renovate it as I had desired. It was packed away until ....another season in life.

A friend introduced me to Tasha Tudor well over twenty years ago. When yet another book of hers became published featuring her love of doll making and her incredible humongous dollhouse was showcased, I was more than hooked again. Now that Tasha has passed on, I wonder how loved this dollhouse is to your progeny and what will become of it.

Meanwhile I had already given up my ideal plans for my dollhouse and actually sold it in a garage sale for a song. If I was going to begin anew it would have to be from scratch. But admittedly I was hooked again with the renewed inspiration and ideas for future fun times with miniatures.

With wee babes and college kids all living under our roof at the same time, having "free time" just never seemed to be on the horizon beyond a few moments within e ach day to regroup and stay afloat by continuously tweaking the household organization, the children's schooling and keeping up with the chaotic family calendar.

But I never forgot about my beloved desire to get back into dollhouse fun and just as the thought had rekindled in my brain after drooling all over the pages of Tasha's book, there it sat - a lovely wooden dollhouse just winking and waiting for me at the thrift store upon my next visit. I grabbed it as quickly as possible without second thoughts at all as to the purchase of it. To me, I could see umpteen possibilities both for its inside and outdoor reno-finishing. So much larger than it looked, it barely fit into my vehicle to take it home. Quite soon after, it was adorned with a fresh white coat of paint.

Although the dollhouse sat in a wonderfully allocated spot, and humble beginnings were well on their way, somehow everything made or gathered was very pokey slow in the early years.

Unpacking all the wee little goodies

I've resigned myself to believe my sweet dollhouse will always remain a work in progress because it requires special attention to detail with eventual additions such as room divider insertions, staircases, proper window placements, carpets, wall coverings and I'm sure you get the picture here. I was always hoping some snazzy carpenter would come along and feel sorry for us and help us out...snicker, but none has arrived to this point.

Just like a treasure chest;

wonderful wee items to tempt anyone to touch

Instead, we create, we have fun, and we collect and continue to make wee items to add to the rooms inside creating warmth of home for a family of many living there. The family living here is a large and beautiful family; wooden dolls and smaller dollies made from wooden beads and pipe cleaners.

Many babies and young children live here,

kind of like our own family once upon a time

Talking the prolife talk, there are many babies living in this home and many young children dancing about celebrating special hallmark occasions and liturgical happenings.

Unpacking and rediscovering the world of little people

The dollhouse incidentally does transforms both liturgically and seasonally. Currently the dollies are preparing for Valentine's Day and their special dinner using their placemats with hearts on them. The Christmas lights atop the house have been replaced with valentine hearts, and little wee valentine cards are in progress during craft times for the young ones inside. There are many websites with free downloadable items for use in your dolly houses. One site offered many items for hallmark occasions, and even piano music to place upon our piano book holders. So fun!

The Kitchen; The heart of the home

We have many dreams and much ambition to renovate our little home here, and the rooms featured inside are always changing and renewing themselves to a new lustre after spring cleanings all year round. Sitting nearby and nestled behind the plant are additional furnishings, accessories, seasonal items and the family car which of course is not nearly large enough for the family to fit in to. But, this sweet little yellow beetle bug is a replica of our own vehicle from many years ago, so it just sits there to remind us of those wonderful early days in our own marriage.

Oh we had to have a music room.

Bathroom is definitely a work in progress

Time, ambition and sudden inspiration allow for new creations every now and then, and this week we were thrilled to assemble wee little pictures in frames found at the local dollar store. These are supposed to be used in scrapbooking, but with the brad to hoist them up on paper, we will clip the backs of them and attach them on walls about the home. The pictures were gathered from a favorite ordering catalog from Victorian Traders. Don't you just love these little representations in miniature? So fun!

Dollar store scrapbook frames with brads are used to make hanging pictures for our dollhouse. Imagine the possibilities, changing with the seasons, both hallmark wise and liturgically. Note to self; Buy more (and at 6 for 1.00 - who can complain about that!

Anyway, above all else if there is anything I can implore you to do, or continue doing if you already are, is to enjoy your hobbies and/or your down time activities - and if able, get your family involved with you. It's a bonding time, and the fruits are many. Believe me. It's so heart-warming to find someone sitting in one of the little white chairs before the dollhouse and fall into the imaginative world of miniatures.

At first when setting up the house it was adorned with Christmas lights on top, but now it has a garland of red hearts for St. Valentine's day ahead.

Aside from Tasha Tudor's inspiring ideas for doll-making, dollhouse additions and crafty items, there are many delightful books we love to revisit now and again, perhaps just for the imaginative flair they invoke into our (the children's) thinking.

We also have many books in our family library and favourites available at the library on miniature making, dollhouse fun and dollhouse renovation ideas.

Our current read and dreamy possibilities to more wee things to craft.

This hobby doesn't dissolve over time as a child grows older; rather it's a fun activity for adults as well and I'm loving this sweet world of little people living right inside my own home. In fact, I have yet to meet an adult who hasn't enjoyed a visit to our wee friends here, and if someone has a problem with it at all, As Mary Englebreit would say... "So we like dolls - ya wanna make something of it"

Whenever you might feel inclined to "talk dollhouses or miniatures", now you know that I would be a great listener.