About this blog:

Welcome to my blog about my dollhouse and miniatures hobby. Here, you will find information on items I have made, bought, and sold, as well as some resources on where to find some really cool stuff! Feel free to browse around and follow my blog!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A crazy coincidence

So, I've been looking for a book that I got out of the library a lot as a kid (about crafting dollhouse furniture out of everyday items). I couldn't remember the name or author of the book,  but I could recognize it on sight if I had seen it. I've searched multiple used bookstores, antique shops, and the Internet to no avail.

Well, I was searching the 'net for local cool places the other day and found out that there was a neat used book store in Schuylerville, NY - about a half hour north of us. So we decided to check it out today. This morning, I woke from a dream where we went to the bookstore and I pulled the aforementioned book off the shelf. 'Awesome,' I thought! Then I woke up. Oh well...my brain likes to play tricks on me.

So, we drove up to Schuylerville, had good conversations and coffee from Dunkin Donuts in the car on the way there. There were a few things I was looking for on this trip: some miniature stuff, history, science, good fiction, etc. As soon as we got inside, there was the craft section, so I perused the books.   I pulled a few dollhouse books off the shelf - one I already had, one that  looked somewhat interesting. And then, wait for it, I pulled down a very familiar-looking book (and somewhat familiar title) from the shelf. I exclaimed, "Are you kidding me!?" Lo and behold, it was THE book, the one I've been looking for and just had a dream about not a few hours before.

Now I think I might be paranoid next time I have a nightmare - lol.

Well here is the book. It's called There's a Decorator in Your Dollhouse by Melanie Kahane. She was an interior decorator in the 1960s, I understand. Here's a link to an article about this book and Ms. Kahane (which I found now that I finally know the name of the book!)

This book is great for kids and teaching them how to look at everyday items and using them for crafting. It's also a great idea book for adult miniaturists as well. You may see something here that could spark an idea for a project...who knows! I want to sit down with it and read it like I did so many years ago and hopefully get some fun ideas. :)

By the way, the bookstore we visited was Old Saratoga Books. Here is their website.  (And, yes, we met Sam, their feline mascot! He was delightful!)

PS: Hmm, 97 followers! Only 3 more until I announce the grab bag giveaway! Here's a photo to entice you - a box that's full of crafty goodies that I will be giving away!!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

House of Miniatures!

Who likes House of Miniatures kits?

I think I am becoming a collector! I bought my first one just a couple of months ago at Aunt Katie's Attic in Scotia, NY. She has a basket in her shop (on the second floor) that is chock-full of miniatures (of varying scales) on any given day. I always love to stop in and see what she has (plus there's a lot of life-size vintage goodies, too!).

I then discovered the wonder of shopgoodwill.com about a week ago, thanks to a friend on Facebook. I found a lot of 3 kits for very cheap and bid on them there.

So, right now I have 4 kits: Chippendale Desk, Single Low Post Bed (Chippendale), Chippendale Wing Chair, and Hepplewhite 3-Piece Dining Room Table.

Well tonight, I won 3 more on eBay (2 different auctions) for very low prices (yay!), so soon this collection will grow to 7. I've no plans for them at the moment, but I love having kits on hand in case I get the creative, need-to-build-something-now feeling and am not inclined to work on a bigger project (which happens more often than one would think). And there is a bit of pride in displaying furniture that one has made herself. :) Who knows? I might make a period-specific roombox! Or perhaps one of the dollhouse kits still in their box will become a scene with HoM furniture? We shall see! :)

Oh, I also found this useful site, if you are interested: http://www.houseofminiatures.info/hom.php

It not only lists all of the different kits out there, but includes pdfs of the instruction sheets! :)

(And HELLO to the newest readers of my blog. Just 5 more subscribers until I announce the giveway!)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Dollhouse architecture: Dutch Colonial Revival

I have been thinking about writing short blog entries about styles of home architecture I find inspiring. While there are many, including Tudor, Carpenter Gothic, and Spanish Revival, I would like to start with Dutch Colonial Revival, a style common in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. I finally got around to looking up the style of my childhood home (where my parents still live) about two days ago. I knew when it was built and that there are quite a few styles of this house in PA (and here in NY), so I googled “house plans 1929” which eventually (after a lot of clicking) led me to Dutch Colonial homes. According to antiquehome.org, these houses are characterized by “[a] gambrel roof, with or without flared eaves, and the frequent use of dormers.” Interestingly, since I was little, I always thought my house could be considered a "farm" house because of the gambrel roof (even though we lived in the suburbs and I had no idea what a gambrel roof was at the time).  Below is not a picture of my parents' house, but a sample I found on the web that looks somewhat similar, in order to illustrate this style.

Photo credit: Antique Home Style

Sears and Roebuck, as well as other companies, offered Dutch Colonial plans in catalogs (see links at end of entry) that future homeowners could purchase and have built.

Having reviewed the floor plans for these homes, it seems to be common that these homes have a living room that extends the full length of the house (which results in a very narrow room) with a fireplace at one end or in the center of the room (as is the case in my parents’ home), a dining room and kitchen taking up the rest of the first floor, and 3 bedrooms and bath on the second floor.

Working with dollhouses has introduced me to many new kinds of architecture and has increased my interest in architecture in general. Likewise, I often try to find dollhouses that model a particular style that I like.
Here is what Google has yielded when I searched for “Dutch Colonial Dollhouse”:

I would love to build a scale version of my childhood home and I love how the first dollhouse link shows someone starting such a project in 1/2” scale. It certainly would not be difficult to build (at least a prototype) in foamboard once I get all of the needed measurements. Add that one to the list of things to do!

If anyone has any more information on Dutch Colonial Dollhouses, please feel free to comment!

More Links on Dutch Colonial (Revival) homes:


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