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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Friday, October 23, 2009

Casa Lobo the 1930's Pueblo Revival Style Retirement Home of Grace and Graham Randolph, Santa Fe, New Mexico.


*******************Grace Jennifer Trent and Graham Edmund Randolph: Biographical Information...

From friends to married life:
Graham and Grace, neighbors in Charlottesville, Virginia, were good friends since the age of five . Their friendship continued into their college years while Graham was studying law at the U. of Pennsylvania and Grace was studying art history, conservation, and restoration at Georgetown University. After graduation, they both rented apartments in DC. Graham was accepted at a Washington law firm and Grace obtained a position at the National Museum of Art. They soon descovered that they had become more than just friends. They married and continued living in the city but eventually they tired of the pace.

Since the Randolph and Trent families have been in the Charlottesville area practically forever, it was easy to decide to come “home”. Graham joked that he always wanted to be a “small-town” lawyer anyway. Grace accepted a position as an art conservator and researcher at the U. of Virginia. They bought a wonderful, spacious older home (which of course, needed work). They named their home Carlyon after the idyliic area in Cormwall where they spent their honeymoon. They immediately put out the Pineapple sign -- oh, that Southern hospitality -- and constantly welcomed friends and family for visits. They also found time to raise five children.

Graham and Grace love music, and Graham's favorites are string quartettes. He thought it would be nice to have his own quartette and offered parental advice to his five children: learn to play an instrument! Of course, he would not have insisted, but his children liked music and thought it would be a fun to give “dear old Dad” his own musical ensemble. Thus Rebecca learned to play the piano, Arabella the cello, Cecilia the violin, and Thomas the viola. Joshua considered the bass fiddle, changed to the piano, but then decided that the harpsichord was more interesting. Thus, the family string emsemble became "strings, etc." Many relatives and friends play, and on occasion, the ensemble includes a trumpet, a bass fiddle, a French horn, a trombone, a harp, and even a banjo!

They are a warm, casual family with a BIG plus: they have an off-beat sense of humor and often poke fun at themselves; besides, how else can a family turn out when parents refer to themselves as "George and Gracie" -- with Graham smoking cigars and Grace playing ditsy redhead to his straight man? Of course, never doubt that this family has its feet firmly on the ground and has a strong resolve.

Eventually, the children grew up and moved away. Rebecca married Derek Rowbottom and moved to Fredericksburg; Arabella married Daniel MacPherson and moved to Georgetown, DC; Cecelia went to work for the Treasury Department and moved to Alexandria; Joshua is a forensic scientist for Homeland Security and shares the Alexndria townhouse with his sister; and Thomas is a member of US Embassy in Rome and spends his work year there in an apartment near the Spanish Steps. However, the house is big enough so whenever the extended family wants to come, everyone can stay at the house.

They retire and build Casa Lobo:
When Graham and Grace decided to retire, they decided to try a very different locale. They enjoyed visiting friends in the Southwest and felt very much at home in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Since they were keeping their home in Virginia, there was no problem trying retirement in Santa Fe. They decided to downsize and look for a small, minimalist, 1930's Pueblo Revival style home. They found some in neighborhoods they liked, but the houses were in poor condition.

Finally, they decided to buy land and build their own. They ended further from town and further into the mountains than they had planned , but they did find property not far from a friend's ranch.

Here they built a home that looks as if it was built in the 1930s, but functional, functioning, and with custom touches. Then they added desert landscaping to give it a nice homey feel. It was so nice to have their son-in-law, Derek, who is a brillliant architect and landscape designer handle everything for them!

They decided to furnish their new home in a very comfortable style and with as many items as practicable that were either made between 1910 and 1940 in New Mexico or looked as if they were made in the Southwest.

Not long after building their new home, they had to build a guest house since their families and friends quickly decided that this area was a great place to visit. It seems everyone wants to be a cowboy ! So much for downsizing!

Graham is setting up an observatory on the roof. At 7,500 feet, the night sky is spectacular! He is now working on how to heat his viewing area because at this altitude, it can be very cold, to say nothing of the snow in winter!

1 comment:

  1. Interesting to retire to Santa Fe from Charlottesville, but sounds like a great change of living style. I like Gracie and Graham.