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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~~Electricity - Ongoing Trials & Jubilations

Don't stay in the dark ... light up .....

Thank you, Mr Edison ... I think ... hmmm ....

This page will always be "under construction" since I am always experimenting with better (and, inadvertently, worse) ways of electrifying a dollhouse. 

The only thing that is consistent within this endeavor is that it is an expensive part of an expensive hobby.

The first thing that surprised and upset me about the lights in the dollhouse, was that they basically put out "candlelight".  Now this is fine for the houses representing life before electricity, but we build modern-day homes for our modern-day little people -- they need and expect "good lighting".  There is not much we can do about it, except hope that for the mo', the little people will be happy with "mood" lighting.  We are now about to experiment with strip LED to see if we can add some good overall light in the rooms.

~~~LED Lighting~~~

Well, we have not done anything with the LED strip that we bought from HBS. In fact, for the moment, I don't know what I did with it!  Real life has been getting in the way of everything else, so my little people just get some time here and there-- and mostly there!

I did buy some individual LED light fixtures. There are some very attractive styles available. The lights are expensive, but they don't have to be wired in and can be placed at a moment's whim. They use an individual battery. We are paying for convience. The LED strip is also very expensive.

I have a few concerns about the fixture: they are heavy, some of the styles are a little bigger than I would have liked, and the bulbs put out a harsh white light. Solutions: The light may require gluing in place if the sticky pad gives out. The bulbs can be painted with Gallery Glass of some color (amber was recommended). Gallery Glass peels off if one doesn't like the color and one can try again. Perhaps shortly, the manufaturers will use a softer light bulb. With regard to the size of the light--live with it.

I think that this type of lighting fixture should take off like hotcakes! While the light is pricey, and once every couple of years may need a new battery, there is no cost for tape or round wire, grommets, transformers, junction splices, all the other unnamed tools and "paraphernalia", and the blood, sweat, and tears!

Well, I tried painting with Gallery Glass and I guess it is an improvement but ... still not crazy about the light color. I did buy a lovely outdoor LED light for Casa Lobo that comes with an amber colored light. I like this light. I saw some other LED lights that have a softer light.

I finally tested the LED strip lighting made by RGT. I bought the "bright white" color and it is very nice. I will also buy the "warm white" color. In some situations, one color light will be preferred over the other. I like the idea that you can use one or as many LED sections as you need for any given lighting fixture--just "cut on the dotted line", so to speak. I want to make individual "fixtures", and then attach them to the electrical system. That is, I am not using grommets or brads to attach. Therefore, I have attached wire to the strip at the initial two copper connecters and will attached that wire to a plug.

to be continued ...

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