Thursday, July 9, 2009

Cottage fun

I was up at my sister's cottage in Muskoka where the lake is blue, the trees are green, and the thrift shops often have better junk than those in the city. Mary was lucky enough to find an old dollhouse filled with furniture and contents at the local Goodwill. We opened a bottle of Yellow Tail Shiraz, as is our usual cottage custom, and settled down to take inventory of her find.

The dollhouse has "good bones", as they say. Four good sized rooms with
a front door and four windows. There is lots of potential here. A previous owner had painted the entire outside of the house (including the shingles) a hideous brown. It actually looks like a child did it. The inside walls have that sort of look too, but we decided to arrange the furniture in it anyway since I am too impatient to wait for the renovations.

The house came with some lovely pieces, as you can see by the living room. I recognize the upholstered furniture as kits from House of Miniatures or Realife. I love the buffet with the Marlon on top, and the fireplace is gorgeous.

The kitchen has an interesting assortment of furniture including hoosier cabinet and an ice box in wood. The iron stove is a little small, but thrift shops aren't known for their variety of choices, so you just take what you get. There are lots of other goodies, too, including a Chrysnbon table and chair set and an Irish Granny and a Guatemalan helper. One or both of them has been baking and decorating lots of lovely cakes. Maybe it's for a bake sale, or maybe it's a cottage industry.

On the second floor, the little girls have stolen one of the cakes and are plotting how to divide it up. The dog watches with interest, while the smallest child asks to be included in the group. "You're too small." they tell her to her dismay.


  1. What a splendid find! And a splendid way to spend the evening; with miniatures and Shiraz!
    I do so love thrift stores - but I imagined cities to have more and better stuff? Because of the greater number of people contributing to the selection? I imagined wrong! :)

  2. Well, as you know, thrift shops are hit and miss. I think that the city ones, at least here in Toronto, have more pickers who get the good stuff before it hits the floor. I love the really junky Goodwills where they put out the good old junk that has a value to me, but not to them, so they put low prices on them. My sister paid less than $10 for this house and contents.

    I have noticed that lately that a lot of the Goodwills fix themselves up as 'boutiques' and offer nothing more interesting than last year's blouses. Arrgh! I hate those. Of course I will keep going. It's the thrill of the hunt after all. And who knows when you'll find a treasure like this house. Thanks for writing.


  3. What a find! I've been checking my local Goodwill periodically and apparently it's one of those 'boutiques' as you put it--little more than clothes.

  4. What a find! Any goodwill I have been to only have dishes and clothes.

  5. How precious! Love the little girls and the dog! I'm so wanting a dog for my dollhouse!

  6. Wow.. lucky girl. I would have loved sitting around sipping wine and going through all that treasure. I am a thrift shopper too but so far dollhouse wise I have really only found plastic furnature things. have fun with the new house!

  7. Thanks Kathi and Kibbygirl. We did have fun with the house and it's contents. It's not easy to find good junk at the thrift shops, but it does happen. I collect vintage Barbies too and yesterday I found a perfect skipper from 1963 for $3. I was so happy. I also picked up a slot and tab dollhouse kit (unassembled) for $10. It is small and cheap, but I am sure I can do something with it. I find that when something is inexpensive and lower quality I can take more creative risks because I am not so worried about wrecking it. I have some great plans for this kit.