It All Starts Here

Sometimes our ideas flow from an existing kit to bash, a house style to scratch (aka custom) build, or from an interesting doll who needs a place to live. Our settings are always modern-day (ca. 2001 when we started this hobby). We try to create things that will make people smile and feel good.

We think that if we had to build the same house twice, we literally could not do it! Fortunately, we have very unique little people who have definite opinions and so far, no one has wanted a house “like so-and-so” has.

We work as a family unit: my wonderful husband, my beautiful sister, and I. We don't always agree as to the direction of the build, but I think that we end up with a better dollhouse because of all our grumblings -- and we do have a lot of fun!

The Purpose of this Blog

We needed a place for all we wanted to say about the background of the build and the nuts and bolts of the design and build process. Thus this blog.

All our dolls' homes have families living in them and a story is built around their personalities and lifestyles. This story is an integral part of our building process. We would like to share these stories -- actually, the little people insist upon it!

Many of our houses are located in Fredericksburg, Virginia because that is my sister's favorite place.

Also, we have started a Rouges' Gallery with photos of our little people and information about the dolls.

If you would like to start with the dollhouse that "started it all", it is the Original Rowbottom Manse; if you would like to see the scratch-built Georgian that our first build gave us the confidence (or fool-hardiness) to do, it is Sunnybrook Farm.

Let the stories begin!

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Badger’s Hollow- Home of Iris March and Roderick Alleyn, Williamsburg, Virginia


Historian Iris Sophia March & Professor Roderick (Rory) David Alleyn: Biographical Information

Iris Sophia March is the daughter of Lillian Susan Raleigh (deceased) and Frederick Walter March , Professor Emeritus, William & Mary. Iris has a younger sister Helena a volcanologist working in Hawaii.

Roderick is the son of Jessica Gwyneth Jones and Gerald Henry Alleyn (deceased), and has a younger brother, Christopher, an archaeologist at the U. of Virginia. Jessica recently retired from her position as Head Librarian at the Williamsburg Library. Both Jessica and Gerald were born in Britain but came to the Williamsburg area due to Gerald’s parent's good friend, Jacques de Winter extolling the wonders of Virginia.

Iris and Rory and Max grew up together. (Helena and Christopher sometimes joined them but both preferred to sit in a quiet place and read). Their childhood was somewhat tumultuous since they and their families were all caught up in Max’s great-uncle Jacques’ passion for fast cars and vintage cars. (Fortunately, the adults had business savvy and turned it into a profitable business.)

Even Iris, to her amazement, was a part-time grease monkey and gymkhana enthusiast. While her sister and most of her friends were involved with horses, she was involved with cars. As a result, her parents never had to worry that she would have a date whose car mysteriously broke down in some out-of-the-way place! Perhaps because they were all such close friends, the group never thought of each other as someone to date.

As they went from high school to college, they expanded their interests --Max studied botany, Iris volunteered at digs at Colonial Williamsburg, and Rory discovered the world of literature. When they graduated from William & Mary, they put away their cars and went to Cambridge for graduate studies. Here they meet the very British Harry Holbrook, the younger son of the Marquess of Caterham and an archaeology student. He quickly became a close friend.

After graduation the trio returned to Williamsburg. Rory and Max accepted teaching positions at William & Mary. Iris received a position as an assistant curator at Colonial Williamsburg.

At long last, Iris and Rory “discovered” each other and married a couple of years ago. They bought a house next to Max and then bought an Old English sheepdog named Whimsey (named after Lord Peter) and an orange Tabby named Clementine (named after the fruit). Max couldn’t figure out what took them so long. Now, he too, could have a life of his own!

Besides teaching British Literature, Rory (now a full professor) writes mystery stories, a genre that has always fascinated him. His protagonist is a professor at a Virginia college whose hobby is vintage cars and who keeps finding dead bodies! He is a successful novelist much to his delight

Iris has received a number of promotions and is now in the Department of Historical Research, the lynch-pin for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Here she is involved with evaluating programs and exhibitions, training interpreters, reviewing manuscripts and study guides, and involved with charting new directions for Colonial Williamsburg.

Iris and Rory’s exciting backgrounds and abilities make them popular, and they think there is nothing better than good times with family and friends.

By-the-bye, they still have their love of fast and vintage cars!

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