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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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Montclaire House & other laggards

Grumble, grumble, grumble …

Well, this year is too rapidly rushing into the holiday season and then it will be New Year’s Eve and there I will come face to face with the resolutions of 2013 that didn’t happen. For example, Montclaire House was supposed to be a one-year project! Unfortunately, with my “this way, that way life”, most things don’t make the deadline!

I did promise the Leaphorns that they could have a Christmas party—and they will—but it will be in a house under construction … oh well …. I will get the kitchen finished and the bar stocked so everyone can party on.

The other area that I was going to get done was to finish up all the loose ends in the houses that needed them. I did get some things moving along, but only for the Wells House: the Original Rowbottom Manse and the Rumford’s 2004 Oddjob Lane. Others still on the list are Sunnybrook Farm (started in spring 2001 no less!), La Malcontenta, MacPherson Farm, Abigail’s Teashop & Bakery, and Casa Lobo.

Fortunately, due to its size, only Sunnybrook needs the most things done—if I would just concentrate on doing one house at a time… The problem is that I get all these wonderful ideas for a different house and off I run hither, thither, and yon!

~~At least we had a wedding—
Max de Winter (Toad Hall) finally popped the question and he and his long-time girlfriend Emmeline di Pietro got married this summer. It was a beautiful wedding at Toad Hall amid the flower gardens. I cried and threw rice and had a wonderful time.

A summer wedding amid the flowers.
Finally, the happy day!!!

Montclaire House—
~~The addition
The addition is coming along and is much larger than the official RGT Montclair 2-story-with-attic addition. I finally decided on the roof line–sloping in front only, and a flat roof with a railing. Now that I could plan the attic room, I couldn’t come up with any room that I wanted, but since I had room, I should do something!

Finally, a FINAL decision for the addition attic!
The addition is taking forever and Joe is still trying to get a cup of coffee!
 ~~ Decision: Bathroom and an Office
The rooms will be simple and I won’t have to buy anything for them since there is still a ton of stuff that I inherited with the house. The back wall of the rooms will have clerestory windows; the bathroom will have a window on the exterior wall. The roof will have a wide front dormer window.

Narrow rooms, but I think it will work out. (Photo crooked, not house!)
~~The kitchen
The room is 12” x 18” X 9“.

The kitchen is finished except for the lights and the endless amount of small items that kitchens need.

This was my first experience with putting together the DIY cabinets sold by HBS—not my greatest accomplishment. At the end, they looked ok but what a job getting there. I have put together House of Miniatures furniture and was pleased with those experiences, but not with this brand. Fortunately, I only had to do the stove top with cabinet and the wall oven. The rest of the cabinets, appliances, and table and chairs came “put-together”! I think they are Concord but the sink looks like a custom-made item.
The flooring is a vinyl tile sheet from HBS. The wallpaper is Dutch Tile by Jackson Miniatures (UK). The window is made by the late, much lamented Timberbrook company. It really is a vertical window but I made it into a faux horizontal sliding window which fit perfectly over the sink. The trim and the “split” door are from HBS.

The kitchen with a window to look out to see the sunshine while doing the dishes!

~~The Guest Bedroom
The room is 12” x 18” X 9“.

I took the color scheme for the bedroom from the bed linens on the designated guest bedroom bed. The furniture is vintage Shackman except for the vintage Sonia Messer chair.

The carpet is Seafoam Green from Mini Graphics. I love the green wallpaper but the pattern just over-powered the room so I used white-on-white stripe wallpaper for the "wainscot”. I think the wallpapers are New Creations. The window is made by the late, much lamented Timberbrook company. The crown mouldings, the chair rail, and the door are from HBS.

Lighting is to be done.

The guest bedroom

We have another dollhouse video on YouTube:

....... 2004 Oddjob Lane .....

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Montclaire House - Library update & other things

The Library - some new comments and photos

The Bespaq revolving library table—
I found this wonderful table on eBay. The only setback was that the room for the books on the shelves required books that were smaller than I had on hand. Thus I had to make a few dozen custom-sized books! I don't mind making books, just not a lot of them at once, but since I wanted to see table AND books, I had no choice.

A closer look at the "custom" bookcase
As I mentioned previously, this a combination of the best parts of two commercial bookcases from HBS. I turned the not-so-exciting bottom into a nicer piece of furniture by adding some narrow trim to "make" drawers and doors. The handles are just jewelry findings, the raised panels are wood wainscot panels #326 from HBS.

To light the books directly, I installed three wall sconces (#2541) from HBS. The room has a 3-Arm Inverted Tulip Chandelier (#78512) from HBS, also.

Finding chairs to complement the Bespaq sofa—
Bespaq did make club chairs to match the sofa, but the material has been discontinued and Bespaq had none, thus no matching chairs. (In retrospect, this was a good thing.) This was a setback because I had wanted that red brocade sofa and that red and gold wallpaper!

I looked at a lot of chairs and none looked right. I also insisted that the chairs look comfortable—the kind a person could fall into with a good book and read or daydream. Finally, I looked at the Bespaq Monticello Campeachy chairs (from HBS) once again and EUREKA— I don't know why I discarded them in the first place! The black upholstery and walnut wood go perfectly in that very distinctive room.


The Addition—

The addition is on the dining room side. It has one room per floor: kitchen, guest bedroom, and an unknown room, perhaps a bathroom.

The kitchen and guest bedroom are coming along nicely, albeit slowly as I have not been doing to much "mini-ing", but have been caught up in real life stuff.

Main house and addition

More on this next time.

We have added more videos on YOUTUBE
...............................Badger's Hollow...........................

..................................  Toad Hall ........................................

We hope you like them!