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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Saturday, August 9, 2008

Behind the Build: Toad Hall (GL Glencroft)

(For a complete pictorial chronicle, see the Webshots album listed on the left.)

This dollhouse was built in 2004. It was a "surprise" build to me. On Labor Day weekend, my sister arrived with this kit. She had bought it a couple of years back but had decided that while she loved the house, she could not contend with Greenleaf’s 1/8 inch plywood. Therefore, it was now mine and “we” would now build it. Fortunately, I have always liked this house and I already had a person in desperate need of a place to live, Professor Max deWinter.

Max teaches Botany and is head of the Herbarium at William & Mary. He is a bachelor and is looked after by his housekeeper Agatha Smith. She insists that Max would never have a neat house, nor eat a decent meal without her (probably true).

This dollhouse was built without very much bashing. We decided to do a minimalist-look Tudor Revival exterior and interior, since the story is that the house was originally built in the 1920s and is now being rejuvenated. We left out most of the outside “timbers”. The house was spray painted with Fleckstone “Santa Fe Sand” as stucco. We made our own leaded glass windows: leading tape on acrylic. The chimney is spackle “stucco” impressed with red quartzite chips on a Styrofoam form. The roof slates are made from vinyl tile flooring.

In the interior, we decided that we wanted a larger living room so we left out the fireplace wall with its bookcase and built-in stairs. We left out the door to the kitchen. We added a den addition off the living room. We decided to forego a visible bathroom and “put” it on the forth wall instead.

We made our own living room and bedroom corner fireplaces, and covered them with the same “slate” as is on the roof. We added a standard staircase at the viewer’s end of the living room. This connects to an upstairs hall to allow separate entries to two bedrooms. (The original house has the staircase come up into a room and has another room off of that- no privacy for the little people!) The hallway has a wall with a door to a guest room and a longer wall with a door to Max’s bedroom.

This wall is removable so that one can view the hallway as “hallway” or remove it and have a view of Max’s bedroom.

The wood floors in the house are Con-Tact glued to cardboard, cut into strips, and then glued to the floor.

Since I love to landscape, and since the owner is a Botany professor, he had to have a property with gardens and greenhouse. Also, he likes to entertain, so he had to have a patio. The house was placed on a 2’ x 4’ base and we landscaped every inch of it -- in fact, we had to add a piece for Max's vegetable garden!

Since Max and Iris and Rory (Badger's Hollow - very bashed Ashley+Buttercup) are friends from childhood, we decided that their houses should be next to each other so we made a "neigborhood"! We just love the look and we since discovered that someone thought our idea for the Glencroft and an Ashley-similar house was a good one, but gave the greenhouse to the "Ashley".

1 comment:

  1. I love that you created a neighborhood. The houses are great on their own, but together they are something else again.