Sunday, March 31, 2013

Cats in the sun

On this lovely Easter weekend I noticed my cats enjoying the sun and hurried to take a picture before they moved.
It was only after I took the picture that I noticed the dollhouse in the background.
The house is a Keystone cape cod from the 1960's. It is one of my favourite dollhouses. This one was sold by FAO Schwarz and has a sticker from that store.

You can see it in their 1967 catalogue by clicking here.

I hope everyone had a lovely Easter weekend and enjoyed a beautiful Spring day too.


Friday, March 15, 2013

The upper hall at Mindolton Manor - Vintage Dollhouse

The second floor hallway of Mindolton Manor  is where the the family gathers to watch TV.

See more of Mindolton Manor here:
Master bedroom
Dining Room

The TV is the 2012 Beverly Hillbillies Halmmark ornament. You can press the button and it plays the theme song.

The pictures in the frame are of my children when they were young.

The furniture, except for the TV, is Lynnfield.

I talked about the history of this furniture here.

Once again we have four pieces of furniture covered in the same fabric. The sofa is a different style from the ones I have shown you before, but the chairs are the same designs.

The book filled secretary is similare, but not identical to, the ones we saw in previous posts.

The rug is hand done in needlepoint.

Next we will take a look at the front hall.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Tour of The Little Dollhouse Company, Toronto

My local Dollhouse store was featured on the news recently.
I need to get up there soon to check out the latest mansion they have built.

They have lots of finished houses like the Cherry blossom shown here:

And, by the way, they ship all over the world:
The Little Dollhouse Company
612 Mt Pleasant Rd Toronto, ON M4S 2M8
(416) 489-7180

Here is a second video shot at the Little Dolhouse company. I love the animation:

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Barbie is 54 today! Here is my tribute

I got my first Barbie doll in 1963. She was a brunette bubblecut just like the one in the red dress.

For months I saved all the money that came into my hands to achieve my heart's desire. She cost the princely, or should I say princessly, sum of $3.00.

It was hard to accumulate, but I did it. I still remember the thrill of finding a nickel in the driveway and adding it to my stash.

Each doll is wearing a variation of the Vintage Barbie Fashion "Silk Sheath Dress" (1962-1963). This fabulous fashion is made of silk Shantung. It came in seven different colours: Turquoise, green, pale yellow, red, white, and not shown in the picture, black and a bright lemon yellow.

Each dress has a working zipper in the back.

The two lovely chairs were made by craftsman and furniture designer, George LeClerc, who designed many of the early Tynietoy dollhouse furnishings.

The backdrop is from the Barbie Little Theatre. It is for the Cinderella ballroom scene.

This lovely lady has bright red lips and brassy blonde hair. 
Although it may not be obvious to the casual observer each of the dolls is different. There are three variations of blonde hair shown here, but many more exist.

The density, texture and volume of the hair tells the experienced Barbie aficionado approximately what year the doll was made.

The width of the doll's face tells one how old the casting mould was and aslo gives a clue to the year the doll was made. The wider the face the more old and worn the mould was.

This sweet girl has the pink lips and yellow hair of a coveted " White Ginger" doll. The White Gingers had platinum blond hair when new, but the hair often oxidized over the years and changed to a bright yellow.

I have a soft spot for this lady. She has the same innocent expression of my very first  Barbie. I find her face looks different from the others

Recently I have been watching some of the TV shows that were popular in the early 60's Almost every woman in them had some variation of the Bubblecut hairdo. Look at the mother in Hazel, or Beaver's mother. And practically every woman on the Donna Reed show except Donna herself has a bubble do.

Red haired Barbies were referred to a Titian. There weren't as many titians made as blonde and brunettes.

This lady may or may not be a White Ginger. She may or may not be a side part bubblecut, which is very rare.  No matter how valuable she may be, if she is proved to be either of those, the nip on he nose knocks her value back down to ground level. No matter. I love her narrow face and the way it is painted, and I think she is beautiful.

The bubblecut barbie wasn't introduced until 1962, so they can't celebrate their 54th birthday yet. Maybe I can show you some of the Ponytail Barbies in my collection another time. We'll see what happens when she turns 55.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

End of Winter Crafty Blues

Sometimes I get an overwhelming urge to do crafts. No point in lying down until it goes away, I just need to make something. (Note: Mindolton Manor tour will continue soon. I've got to get this craft craziness over first.) This past weekend I had the late winter blues and while I was organizing (read playing in) my dollhouse room I came across a cardboard box marked "Unfinished Kits".

What treasures lay inside! I dug up some paints and tiny paintbrushes and set about finishing a few of the pieces.
First I mixed a green colour that I liked and I painted the wooden pieces.

Then with small brushes and a vague memory of a tole paining class I took decades ago. I decorated the pieces after Tynietoy.

I have never been able to perfect the stain on these wonderful kits so that they look like the picture. Painting them seemed like the perfect solution.
I still need to find a complementary fabric for the chair seats and the bed covers, but that is a project for later.

I am very pleased with how the set turned out.
Who knew I could paint? Certainly not I.
This project was so much fun I am encouraged to try again.

I built these from kits too, but used pieces of a chinese fan as the chair backs, I am thinking of painting the set an off white, maybe with flowers, maybe not. What do you think?