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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Monday, January 16, 2012

Real Life intervenes & some frames for artwork

Well, I had plans for all sorts of progress last week and this but I have to deal with some unhappy-making dental problems for at least this week coupled with my usual sinus problems. I keep trying to concentrate on the little people but my thoughts keep drifting and my nerves keep being jangled. Oh, to be a "cool cumcumber"!

I did lay out the cutting scheme for the Abner Raleigh house so now I have no excuse not to order the plywood. I am still working on the wiring diagram.

HBS had a 25% off sale last week and I did manage to keep my head together long enough to order a few things.

I am still searching through magazines, art books, and the internet for pictures to hang in my dollhouses. I have come to the conclusion that I will have to make my own frames if I want to have paintings of the sizes of my choice. I like to keep the aspect ratio of the originals when I make them miniature. Of course, this may not always work out since I did buy a number of empty frames through the years and I would like to use at least some of them. I have bought some "official frame stock" from HBS and some imteresting trim from Home Depot in small dimensions. Also, some of the miniature mouldings can be used for picture frames as well as for the intended purpose.

The tricky thing is, as expected, making perfectly mitered corners so that the frames corners meet at 90 degree angles. These corners will be on close display so all inperfections in the corners (and the frames in general) will be seen. Besides using something with perfect 90 degree corners as a gluing guide, I have found that if I make an "underframe" of 1/16 thick x 1/4 inch wide strip wood by cutting the four pieces straight across (easier to cut) and then glue them together at right angles (using the gluing guide), I get the best right angle I can make.

Then still using the gluing guide, glue the mitered top strip wood to the underframe. Now, I can still get a right angle and let the miter be a little off if needed. The imperfections can be fixed when the frame is dry with gesso, spackle, or wood filler, and then sanded and painted or stained. I will take some pictures the next time I do this since a picture should be "worth a thousand words"!

More on framing, with pictures, in another post.


  1. Iris, I just saw your comment about French Art Deco on Ray W's blog and had to find yours. I think you are a kindred spirt. I'm fairly new to minis but love Art Deco which you don't see very often. I am envious of your living room wallpaper - it is to die for - such a find. I will eagerly follow your blog to watch your progress. All the best.

  2. Hi Penny, nice to meet you.

    I love Art Deco too, unfortunately, there's not much of it out there in the mini world. I just looked at Webshots for my Art Deco house, La Malcontenta, and realized that I haven't uploaded any of my latest pictures!

    Yes, I love that wallpaper--my sister found it somewhere. I have never seen anywhere, so I am glad to have it.