Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Mindolton Manor II

The mother from Green Shutters is showing you the front entrance way. The chandelier is real crystal. I don't know how to turn the lights on, but that's part of the exploration.

I placed some furniture in one of the bedrooms in the manor. It needs a little accessorizing but it may not stay as it is. I just can't resist playing with the house while I decide what to do with each room.

The flooring in each room is not fixed and I discovered each room has it designation written in pencil at the front

The front of the second floor hall is designated as the sewing room but I made it a little sitting area for now. The chandelier is on the floor because I haven't had time to figure out how to put it up. The house is fully electrified. You can see how deep the halls are in this shot.
The windows actually work and have real. You can see the one beside the sitting room

Monday, June 22, 2009

Mindolton Manor

Here are a couple of pictures of my new dollhouse. I have decided to call it Mindolton Manor. Mindolton is a contraction of Mini Doll Town. The doll family's last name is Mindolton and if you judge by the size of the house they must be the richest dolls in the doll town that is now being established in my dining room.

I haven't decided which dolls are going to make up the Mindolton family, but I have put the mother from Green Shutters on the top balcony (top picture) so you can get an idea of how big this dollhouse is. She is at least 5.5" tall.

I am so in love with this house that I thought about it all weekend while I was up at my sister's cottage in Muskoka. I couldn't wait to get home to see it again.

I will add more pictures as I work on the house and decide what to put in it and how to finish the rooms that aren't finished. For now I will tease you with a picture of the gorgeous dining room. The house came unfurnished, but I had just won this lovely Bespaq dining room on eBay (for a bargain price), and I thought it fit perfectly.

More soon,



Wednesday, June 3, 2009

My $5.00 house

Remember I said that a couple of thrift shop finds lit the spark that got me into dollhouses? I showed you the house that started it all in a recent blog (http://susanshouses.blogspot.com/2009/05/house-that-started-it-all.html), but I haven't shown you my second find.

This is an entry level dollhouse kit designed for children. It has rounded corners, is not easily tipped over, and is strong enough for the child to sit on. It has four basic rooms and an attic. I was delighted to find it in Goodwill on a half price day for only $5.00 (they had $9.99 on it originally - and I would have bought it for that). I'm just a kid at heart, after all.

The house is shown here with it's new wallpaper, but no floors yet, except the blue carpet that was there when I bought it.

The funny thing is I had been  out 'thrifting' all afternoon and evening, as I had a rental car that day. I got to this particular Goodwill just minutes before closing time. As I drove into the parking lot and I said to myself, prophetically as it turns out, "I need another doll house."  I spotted it through the window before I was out of the car, and I couldn't get into the store fast enough. 

This house is really heavy. I had trouble lifting it into the shopping cart, but I managed. It was one of those thrift shop days where you find a bunch of stuff, and I had to load the cart around the dollhouse. I think I bought a painting or two and some books, but one of the items I bought was a small sturdy table (like an end table) that is the same size as the dollhouse base. The house is still sitting on it just inside my living room.

One of the men at Goodwill helped me put it in car, but when I carried it into the house I hurt my back, and suffered the hells of painful back spasms for a few weeks.  It was not fun, but I was still thrilled about my find.

I decided to decorate it as a 1930s house to go with the nice set of Strombecker furniture I had won on eBay. So, armed with a $25.00 gift certificate my daughter had given me for Christmas, she and I subwayed and bussed it up to the Little Dollhouse Company on Mount Pleasant Avenue, here in Toronto.

Now, all of you reading this know that $25.00 is just a drop in the bucket when you walk into a doll house store. Ah, I was so naive then. I didn't know what treasures were available. I had never heard of Bespaq, or Bodo Henning, or Reutter porcelain. I was about to get an education.

My bargain dollhouse was in the store. It had a price tag of $79.95 for the kit, or $139.95 assembled. Talk about purchase reinforcement. It was very handy to have the dollhouse there when choosing wallpaper and floors. My daughter and I sat on the floor beside the house and tried several options. 

The store staff was great. They hung up our coats, offered suggestions and helpful hints and didn't say a discouraging word as we hunkered down, blocking one of the aisles to make our choices. I ended up spending $145.00, but I enjoyed my first adventure in the Dollhouse store and my first wallpapering job even if it isn't perfect. 

The living room. You can see I had a few papering problems, but I will fix them soon with a new sheet of wallpaper.

I love this little house and have a lot of plans about painting the outside with trees and flowers, and finishing the trim and windows. Until that day comes I am enjoying it as it is, full of the gorgeous Stombecker furniture and a metal kitchen appliances from Marx (I think).

The furnished living room as you see at the top of this blog.

The bedroom with bedspreads cut from an embroidered bun basket cover and real oil paintings on the walls

The dining room. I love this paper and enjoy the parquet floor pattern. Don't you just love the little tea cart? The large cabinet in the background is not Strombecker or old. It just needed a place to live.
Grandmother's kitchen is bright with cherries, a 'tile' floor and 'tin' ceiling

More soon.


Monday, June 1, 2009

Orphan dollies

I walked into my favorite Value Village one day and found a bag of little orphans.

All were antique dollhouse dolls. All bisque except for the celluloid girl shown below in the kitchen. All had original, or at least contemporary outfits. As you can see in the photo above, some were more attractive than others.

I have four babies in Christening gowns. The smaller twins are dollhouse size and the larger twins are Barbie size. I will add their photos another time.

In all there were nine dolls. The $40.00 price tag put me off at first, but I realized that was less than $5.00 per doll and something of a bargain.

Grandmother, from the Big Yellow House, and the small girl pictured in the kitchen below were also in the group. Grandmother was the only adult in the bag and had been run off her feet taking care of all the little ones. Literally, one of her feet is missing.

The three by the bed are still waiting to find a family to live with. I am sure the small boy and girl will be adopted quickly, but the little one in pink may have to wait a while.