Thursday, July 31, 2014


There's still lots of summer left to enjoy, but I must turn my attention, for the moment, to the business of doll food.  For the upcoming 15th my theme will be Backyard BBQ.

Below is the complete menu list including prices, quantities and now pics!

Per usual, items will be available in my Etsy shop on a first come first served basis at 12:00 noon EST on the 15th.



Quantities that will be available are in parenthesis, followed by the prices

single hot dog  (8)    7.00

single cheeseburger   (6)     9.00

individual sub sandwich   (5)   9.00

note: sub ends will be sold as well

deviled egg set of nine  (7)    22.50

strawberry shortcakes set of two  (4)    12.00

fruit kabobs set of two  (9)    10.00

molded cherry gelatin  (3)    14.00

patriotic molded gelatin  (2)   16.00

rainbow cup popsicles set of two  (8)   8.00

watermelon cup popsicles set of two  (5)    8.00

patriotic cup popsicles set of two  (5)    8.00

twin popsicles set of three  (5)    13.00

single scoop ice cream cones set of two- one chocolate & one vanilla   (4)   9.50

triple scoop ice cream cone (1)   6.50

raspberry & blueberry chocolate torte (1)   18.00

lemonades with straw set of two  (4)  8.00

cherry drinks set of two  (7)  6.00

a selection of summer dresses:

Summer on the Savanna zebra print halter dress  (1)  22.00

Parisian Flowers halter dress (1)  22.00

Dots for Valentina halter dress (1)  22.00

Miss Elizabeth's pretty in pink check print dress

Katie's A Lady floral print dress with vintage lace bow (1)  22.00

Serafina on Safari crochet trim halter dress (2)  22.00


Looking ahead to the months of September and beyond...

Late in August American Girl is rereleasing from their archives one of the dolls that started it all for them: Samantha Parkington.  She's getting pampered with several new dresses, a new bike and other possible goodies yet to be revealed.   I'm personally excited to see what American Girl has in store for her and for the other dolls that are getting makeovers as well.   

I will be celebrating Samantha's homecoming too, offering some turn of the century foods for September to help welcome her back.  Each month I hope to continue the theme, spotlighting one historical doll and offering a few foods for her from her era and her story. Don't worry- there will still be plenty of foods on the menu month to month for the modern girls.


And just for another small addendum relating to my previous post:

Seems my 13 yr old is at it again...

Addy is looking totally fabulous and thoroughly enjoying the gadgets and the finery of the 21st century.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Dollhouse Tour

I have been asked on several occasions to do a tour, of sorts, of the rooms of my dollhouse.   The house has seen several changes over the years, and with each I have thoroughly enjoyed the process: from contemplation to design to completion.  However, much like a real house, the spaces are ever evolving, out of need or just for whim, so another update will probably be in order in a few years!

Collectors of anything, whether it be dolls, thimbles, soda cans or even cars- all have one thing in common: they need a space to display or store their collections. So in my house, when the dolls and their things started multiplying, seemingly exponentially, it was time to start thinking of building a dedicated space for them. And that meant a house.  A doll house.

Of course for dolls that are 18" in height, a less than what I shall call ordinary house was in order.   It would need to be tall enough to accommodate the dolls, wide enough to fit furniture with room to maneuver and deep enough to set up scenes in.  So it would need to have some moderate size to it.   

I started out by making lists of the spaces I could imagine wanting to create for the dolls.   I consulted my girls, who at the time were both under 10. (This project's first incarnation dates back to 2008). They wanted bedrooms and a bathroom.  I wanted a classroom, a colonial kitchen, a living room.  We'd have to do some compromising.

I decided upon four boxes each measuring: 24"D x 48"L x 28" H
And I wanted to add a bonus attic space on the third floor for Kit and her things.  

The boxes were built in the basement, then very strategically and carefully carried up and set in place.   They are comprised of two long plywood boxes stacked on top of one another, thus creating four separate spaces.  The attic was added separately, later on. The house is located in a first floor guest bedroom that also doubles as my sewing room. 

I knew I wanted the rooms to have windows and I wanted a door.  I tried to place the windows in sections of the wall that I felt would best suit various types of rooms, as I wanted to be able to change the rooms and their time periods when it suited me.

Walls were primed and painted and floors were covered in leftover pieces of carpet and engineered wood, repurposed from other real house projects.  The kitchen floor was taped off and painted in the checkerboard pattern.  I added trim around the door and windows.  Later I added interior bars to the windows.

After decorating and adding furniture, for a long time the house looked a bit like the pic below, though not always quite this tidy:

This picture was probably taken back in 2009 or 2010.  My two girls and their modern dolls had their bedrooms, Addy had her bedroom, we all agreed on the kitchen and Kit had her attic space. Everyone was happy. 

But like most houses, through the years, there's been a need for remodeling and updating.   Or maybe just because I love and embrace change.  Notice that the kitchen flooring had been repainted early on, changing from the blue to black and white.  That's me and my ever present need to refine.

Last month I decided that I needed to make some changes, yet again.  Now it's latest  arrangement looks like this:

No grand sweeping changes, just some cosmetic tweaking and furniture swapping.  And I'm happy to have added a 19th century parlor to the mix.  I still don't have my colonial kitchen though.

Now the tour....


                  19th CENTURY PARLOR

Would Addy have had this refined of a living space?  Not likely, but she is of course enjoying it anyway.  

Many of these items here you may recognize from various American Girl collections:  Caroline's parlor and accessories, Rebecca's settee and kittens, Felicity's nightstand and tea caddy, Cecile's desk and Kit's flowers and vase.  The other items are all found or made objects that work well for a parlor setting. The little rug was gifted to my by my mother in-law.  It was purchased by her sister, who lives in Italy.

Look at this little crystal door knob I fashioned from part of a wood finial and an acrylic bead.  I cut the top off of the finial, painted the base gold and hot glued the faux crystal on- and voila- vintage knob! 

                   Addy's a bit curious as to what is on the other side of that door....


                                  SALLY'S ROOM

                             Sally collects Hello Kitty. And loves Japanese anime.  

 The little shelf is just a small piece of wood that I cut and routed then mounted to the wall with wood glue.

I very recently added the door, complete with hinges and tiny knobs.   I had wanted to add a door from the house's inception, but just never seemed to find the time to commit to it.

All the little pieces and parts that comprise her room were collected over a span of several years.  The better percentage are actually not items purchased from American Girl.  They were found or made objects from a host of sources that work perfectly in scale for the dolls and the room.      


                                THE KITCHEN

This is the room that has seen the least amount of change over the life of the dollhouse.  I committed to the two windows, and mounted the cabinets to the wall making furniture placement limited.  I don't mind, as this arrangement makes the most sense.    Kit's stove works seamlessly with Molly's table and chairs and American Girl's Sweet Treats Bakery Case, from a few years back, functions perfectly as a peninsula in the space. 

         Much like a real house, everyone seems to gather together in the kitchen.     



                                           KIT'S ATTIC SPACE

 Kit could't be more happy to have her own space- to share with Ruthie and Grace too, of course!  The walls are constructed of plywood.   I stained and added trim pieces in strips along the walls to mimic an unfinished attic space.

Here Kit sits and types out her newsletters and stories.


My 10 year old claimed this room for her doll Kayla (seated) and went about arranging the furniture to her liking.  I think she did a great job.  

Kayla is a bit of a social butterfly and is always inviting this friend or that friend over to play the Wii, giggle, gossip and eventually raid the kitchen.

The white dresser is a vintage jewelry box that I stripped and repainted.  

 I painted the mirror to match the rest of American Girls McKenna's neon green room accessories.

More eclectic mixing of American Girl goodies and found objects.  

Another view.  For this picture I am standing, or rather shoved into, the far west corner of the room, in an attempt to capture the house in it's entirety.   

And following the theme of change...if you haven't noticed, you can see, my 10 yr old had her way just in the last few days with the kitchen space and was happy to remodel it with the addition of the red Our Generation kitchen.    She had always pooh-poohed Kit's stove and thought an updated modern look would be more appropriate.  I'm not sure I'm sold.  But if it keeps her interest in the dolls for just a little longer, then I'm happy.  

And just for a oldest and her amusing antics...

It appears that someone has slipped through the time warp door and discovered a found object of her own!  I keep removing that darn laptop (don't want the universal laws of time and space to go awry) and somehow I keep finding it again and again seated with Addy. Hmmm... Miss Addy looks innocent to me.  ;)   But my 13 yr old claims her innocence as well, so who to believe??

Have any questions about any of the items seen here or about the dollhouse?   I am always happy to answer.