Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Dollhouse Project--2012

Almost a year has gone by since progress on the dollhouse has been shown. To make it easier to read later, here are the posts concerning the dollhouse, in chronological order:
The Dollhouse Project-- The Beginning
The Dollhouse Project-- Part 2
The Dollhouse Project-- Part 3
The Dollhouse Project-- Kitchen Painting and Tiling
The Dollhouse Project-- Kitchen Dilemma
The Dollhouse Project--Baby Steps
The Dollhouse Project--The Kitchen is Done, Well Except...
The Dollhouse Project-- Stolen Moments Plus a Weekend
The Dollhouse Project-- The Bathroom, a Rhapsody in Pink and Black
The Dollhouse Project-- Wallpaper, a Quick Peek!
The Dollhouse Project-- Flickering Fireplace

That makes it a bit easier to see the progress! My goodness, how far it has come!! You won't believe the difference now. These photos are from today, though I haven't dusted so you can see a bit of dust here and there... though the dollhouse stays covered most of the time, dust is everywhere.

Since I started on this project, I have learned a few things about dollhouses. One thing that struck me, is that a dollhouse needs to tell a story. The story can be simple, or a bit more involved. Based on the era of the house and decorations, I came up with a story that allowed me to make themes in the rooms. In 1922, Howard Carter discovered King Tut's tomb, setting off a wave of interest in Egypt. So, for the 'husband' of my dollhouse, I decided that he is an Egyptologist. That gives him the ability to collect and display Egyptian artifacts, books and notes. The wife is an artist and naturalist, who can follow her husband on his Indiana Jones like exploits, or she can roam the countryside painting. Of course, she paints horses! And sculpts them! You had to you look through the photos, keep in mind this interesting couple.
 (you can always click on a photo for a larger version)

Let's start with the kitchen, which was the first room that I worked on. As you can see, the Hoosier ended up white with no trim. Trim make it look heavy. Still needs new knobs, something ceramic. The tiny jars with brass and tin lids were hand blown by a glass blower. I filled them with real spices... oregano, pepper, cayenne pepper, corn meal, etc. The canisters have moved to the top of the Hoosier, with a nice teapot. There is a big Magnalite roasting pan inside... I still use my Grandmother's Magnalite which looks just like that! Also a muffin tin, rolling pin, proper 1920's toaster, glass mixing bowl, and more canisters. The table has a chocolate cake and a tea set. See the dog bowls on the floor, with a rawhide chew bone. Under the stove is a rusty enamel pan, and a broom and dustpan lay handy. The light fixture is also new, though it has the original wooden base that my Grandfather put up... mostly because I can't get it off!

Next to the right is the dining room, which is mostly behind the staircase. Though it is unloved now, it will eventually have drapes, and a stained glass window in the window that you can't see from this angle. The telephone sits on an Arts and Crafts marble topped plant stand. A nice 'flow blue' china setting fills the table. In the foreground, the Victrola dominates the entryway, with music and magazines on the table too. Someone has put a bottle of Guiness and a  foamy glass on some sheet music and it has stained! The dog is by a Canadian artist, a needle felter. One of the three portraits she did of my dogs.

Next is the living room, where the furniture was moved aside to let me work on the Christmas tree. The tree was supposed to be done before Christmas, but it took too long... the tree alone took five hours, and that doesn't count the ornaments or lighting! Yes... it does light up. Twenty one tiny little colored lights. And yes, they will flicker. Next year. Must save something to be excited about! The tree needs a skirt and more things around it, which will come in the fall. For now, notice the little china cabinet with the hand made porcelain Asian figures. Limited edition, from an artist who passed away now. I snagged them on Ebay for almost nothing!! Another needle felted dog watches the Capybara, who is warming her little paws. On the mantle, a tiny set of porcelain Kewpie dolls, and three Roseville vases (resin, but very nice) The radio really plays, and the basket is full of tiny, real pine cones.

Usually, where the Christmas tree is, this table stands instead:

See the tiny snickerdoodle cookies, purse, hand blown glass vase, and see where the wife dropped her purse and mail. The table is a numbered, signed limited edition.

This room, immediately above the kitchen, is the Egyptian room. You saw it full of newspaper piles and mess before, see it in its glory now! A Selket sculpture stands on a marble topped table, with an orchid planted on a piece of lava rock. On the wall are two display cases... one has an ancient Egyptian sandal, two gold earrings, and a piece of ancient linen, and the other has a piece of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Both made by LDelaney from Etsy. The big case has a custom made illuminated manuscript book, with Egyptian art. Next to the books stands a God. On top, Anubis, and on the floor, the Sphinx. The little kitty is lying in the sun, on the fine tapestry rug. Here is a close up of the kitty, which looks like my Moms real cat:


Here is the bathroom, with the third dog (Casper) laying on the cool linoleum, with his rawhide bone. The shell decorated mirror hangs above a sink with foamy soap and a straight razor. The tub has a rubber ducky. The toilet has paper, of course, as well as perfume bottles. Don't forget the plunger!  The faucet fixtures need to be painted chrome, they look awful. I still need a handtowel, a rug, and some fancy French soap boxes. Here's a better look at the left wall:

On this floor, the last room is the bedroom. Here is the wall next to the bathroom:

It has a Victorian hair ornament, a portrait, a jewelry box, a hat... and a trunk. The trunk opens and has papered insides with a removeable tray. The armoire opens as well, and has tiny wire hangers.

The bedroom does have a lot of space, it is the largest of the rooms, but it has a lot of large windows. The Secretary is full of books on Egypt, and see the beautiful bird cage in the corner. The little bedroom light is made of porcelain, and lights up. There is a small wooden box under the bed with first aid supplies. The Egyptian throne would be a fabulous place to sit in the morning to tie your shoes.
This close up of the Secretary shows the books, and the tiny correspondence on the desk. These were all made by a Canadian gal (there seems to be a theme here, maybe long Canadian winters spur creativity!) They are so perfect that you can read the letters with a magnifying glass! They are copies of real, vintage letters and envelopes.

Finally, the attic. This is where the museum is, a mixture of the naturalist collections and the Egyptology collections. See the tools of his trade, in the foreground... rope, lantern, pickaxe, crates, and a tiny little knife. The larger Ushabtis were made for the tourist trade in Egypt, but the little blue one is one of the rarest Pour Horse pieces... I sculpted it, made a mold, cast and finished it just for the dollhouse. Notice the items in the case... porcelain, ivory, glass, and another illuminated manuscript, this time a Medieval one.

Finally, the artist loft. Since the wife is a naturalist and artist, she has a little corner just for her interests. The attic, though not full of light, is full of inspiration for her. Notice the tiny sculpture, by Adalee Velasquez, on the sculpting stand. The stretched canvases, and most of the artist supplies, including the easel, are from Marquis Miniatures on Etsy. She also did all of the wooden crates in the house, including the wood box next to the fireplace. Amazing, amazing talent.

A close up of the table, so that you can see the brushes, paints, pencils and eraser.. even the tiny ruler in the art box, which has the artists name on it.
There is still a lot to do in the house, but it has come a long way in a year, don't you agree?

1 comment:

Little Black Car said...

Whoa. That Mission rocker in the museum is amazing.

I mean, the entire thing is amazing, but . . . wow.