Friday, February 3, 2012

Poor Neglected Blog

Dear Little Neglected Blog,
  I apologize for being too sick to blog, then too tired to blog, then too bored with my isolated and uneventful life to blog. Lest you think I've done nothing nothing for 3 weeks but sit in my ivory tower by the window wishing I were anywhere but here I will show you a bit of what I've been working on. (Apart from animal care and hauling firewood that is.)

I've made some tiny new pencils.

I've turned a small gift box into a sturdy little bookcase and filled it with books. The lower two shelves full are pretenders, but the littler ones on the top shelf are proper books that open and close. To my surprise this was more difficult than making full sized books. I discovered my fingers are HUGE!

I have looked up and identified all the
Berry Good Friends,  put each in their proper official outfit and found everyone's shoes, so that when they move nothing will be left behind. These are the taller friends, I've got some small ones as well.

I've packed up all the Susie Sad eyes girls and moved three of them to a new home that The Middle
Child calls Hideaway Towers.     It is my Grandma's metal kitchen cupboard from the 1940's, so it is far more mouseproof than their previous home in a bookcase. The metal walls make it easy to decorate because I can make liberal use of double stick tape and magnets, two items I've never used in home decor before. Very handy.
This is the former home of no less than 21 dolls, all of whom lived on the top two shelves. Yes, I owned a dolly tenement. Shameful to admit, I was a slumlord. It started with just one doll, Portland, but then she had a friend stay over, and the friend had some friends......        Now it is the home of a collection of Janet Lambert teenage novels and a lot of children's books.

Here is the kitchen cupboard that was in my grandmother's kitchen as far back as I can remember, and then it was my mother's kitchen when she moved back to the old family house. When the house was demolished to make way for "progress" we saved this cupboard and it stored my kitchen things in two of my apartments  then most recently stored art supplies in my last two studios.   Ten days ago I realized not a single shelf was actually  full, and that all those things would fit in a box in the closet. I also realized the doll families could make good use of all those shelves in that nice mouse-proof cupboard.

It was that realization that made me decide to use some of my winter-in-the-ivory-tower to thin out the doll herd and simultaneously upgrade their living quarters.  I want my grandchildren to say "Let's go to Nana's and play dolls" and not "Let's go to Nana's and play overcrowded derelict tenement slum."

My desk became the work area for making new furnishings. Soon I'll clean it off and do my taxes. Soon.

The upper three floors of Hideaway Towers are the new home of Portland, Willow and Rosevile Here is the livingroom (top) and the bedroom (below). They also have a Tiny Red-haired Tot staying with them who has no name as yet. I am resisting the local custom of naming such persons Red.  The cigar box bed with the trundle bed for aforementioned tot should have a mattress, pillow and quilt before the week is out. Making tiny quilts is quite fun.

            Top level the kitchen is on the left, appliances are in the making. for now the ladies will have to subsist on salads and take-outs. The chairs need covering too, and a bigger table would be nice.
          Bathroom to the right, still needs a toilet and some towels. Towel making is a time issue, it has not risen to the top of the priority list yet. Toilet is a skills issue, I haven't figured out how to make one.I suspect a toothpaset carton and a detergent lid my feature heavily in the design.    I am not thrilled with the little loaf pan bathtub, but it will do until I come up with a better idea.
 Below that is currently the box room, where bits and pieces are stored. Before winter is over this will become another dolly flat for some of the Berry Good Friends (as I call the vintage Strawberry Shortcake gang).
The shelf below that may become a bed-sitter for some Penny Brite dolls if I decide to keep any of them.  The bottommost  shelf will then become the store-room.  Even dolls need some storage space.

It is possible to spend a fortune fitting out a dolls house.  I won't be doing any such thing.
 Back when I got the first Susie Sad Eyes doll I set myself a rule for her. That rule is that beyond her original purchase price she would not cost me anything.
 I reasoned that is is all too easy, even for someone who lives in a fairly isolated place to  go online or order catalogs, and spend, spend spend to entertain oneself.

I decided my dollhouse community could do just fine using things scavanged from around the house and a good deal of creativity to furnish their homes and wardrobes. They make-do and mend on a tiny scale.

Part of this is my instinct for thrift. Part is my sense of adventure and fun. Part is that the dolls and dollhouse aren't meant to be a serious collection.  They're meant for visiting children.  I do not want expensive things that can't be freely played with. I also don't want to teach the grandchildren that the way to have fun is to drive to the mall and buy something. Hideaway Towers is meant to be about homemade fun. 

It would seem that in my desire for a less cluttered home doing a dollhouse is an odd pursuit---but by making it all myself I'm not adding things to the existing number of posessions, just rearranging and repurposing. Kind of like how God is said to have created the universe out of chaos.  OK, not Very much like God....but the same general idea.


  1. Rapunzel - I have this apron looking for a home. It is cotton, cream background with small pink rose sprays all over. Would you like it? Just for a cheerfulness thing, as you are obviously well capable of making your own. If you would, send me a comment (which I won't publish obviously)on my blog with your name and address, and I'll mail it across to you. Just to cheer up the time of year, because by February winter does seem to have been going on a loooooong time. If you'd like it and I send it and when it gets to you it's no good or doesn't fit, feel free to chop it up for other purposes as inspired!!


If you disagree with me try to keep it clean, or I'll wash your mouth out with homemade soap.