Finally I seem to have found some time to tell you about my dolls house. I have had it for over ten years now, and shame on me, I haven't done much with it yet. However, I am very grateful to have bought it, because it was just the step that I needed to start this wonderful hobby. I will try and tell you all about it in the next few postings.
It all started with this little armchair on the left in the picture:
It was advertised on TV as the first issue of a dolls house to be build step-by-step by buying monthly issues. As this happened in 1998 a lot of people will remember the house and if you do you may recall that it was a Del Prado house. It's what I still call it: My Del Prado House, for want of a better name. I don't even know what the meaning of it is, since I don't speak Spanish...
My husband called me and showed the commercial on TV. He said: "You've always talked about building a dolls house. This is your chance. So, I bought the first issue. Put the chair together. Liked it so much I bought a second one, and........ never looked back!
I think that happened in June or July of that year. I started to build the house, but sometimes I didn't really know what I was doing, although I tried to follow the instructions to the letter. In September of the same year, on a Saturday afternoon, we were on our way to a birthday party when I noticed a banner informing us of a Dolls House And Miniatures Fair. By golly, a fair? About dolls houses? That I had to see. So we stopped off at the place, went inside the building and there I was just bowled over! The place was full of displayed dolls houses, roomboxes and even a huge castle! We went upstairs and there were traders! One could actually buy stuff! Needless to say that I became a member of the association then and there and since we still had a birthday party to go to we planned to go back the next day, which we did.
So, that's how it all started. It was also the reason why my dolls house didn't get finished as quickly as I had anticipated. For one, I had to wait for every issue to arrive, but by the time I had received enough to started building in all earnest I had lost interest in the building itself. I preferred dabbling in making small items and furniture for the house. I did workshops at the club, we worked on projects, I started on a roombox, etc. etc.
Eventually, four years after I'd bought the first issues, I decided that it was about time to start on the house again. One of the reasons it took so long was that we not only moved house in the meantime, but we moved into a very old house which had to be renovated. At first we hardly had any furniture and we lived out of cardboard boxes, but later I found a little room on the built-in veranda of our house where I could work. Then I started building, but as the whole thing was quite flimsy and some of the walls were warped, I decided that a sturdy base was called for. With the help of my husband we built the base and then I started on the downstairs part of the house:
|the walls fitted loosely together|
|structuring the base|
|me, being impatient, I start to put the kitchen together first|
|everything painted white originally, but that all changed again later|
I was too impatient and started putting the kitchen together, as I had already done the sink, table, chairs and stove. The kitchen floor was done with beautiful paper from a very expensive looking report from some company or other. The right colours and thick paper called for a tiled floor. All I did was paint the floor a dark grey to simulate concrete, and glued the card squares on top. Even after all these years it still looks great.
The step-by-step guide said to paint the furniture white, and so I did, but changed my mind later down the track and repainted and even re-shaped a lot. We'll come across it as we go...
|the base doubled as a glue tray, nice and square|
The kitchen finished it was time to build the hallway and living room, but first I needed the base as a glue tray. ;-) By then I had decided that I didn't like the kitchen cabinet with the sink as it was. I built an extension and since I had learned to work with polymer clay I wanted to make a granite bench on top of the cabinet and extension:
|new kitchen cabinet|
It then looked like this and I was much happier with it. It still needed a curtain, but I was proud that I had at least changed its initial appearance.
There was more that I didn't like e.g. the place for the stove. Anyway, I had little room left for the stove and mantelpiece in the centre of the kitchen now I had extended the cabinet, so I looked for another solution. Which I found. A false wall in the corner, and luckily I had some left over wallpaper:
|a false wall and the stove in the corner|
It looked good, or so I thought, so next I was to build the mantelpiece. This I also changed from its original appearance. I was on a roll now I'd discovered my own input!
|the mantelpiece half finished|
I felt that there was something missing. Wallpaper behind the stove just doesn't look right, so on to building a brick wall (which I made of paper, paint and sand), and a granite floor for the stove (polymer clay):
|the wall and floor done|
|the completed corner|
That, to me, made all the difference and I was happy as Larry with the result of my hard work.
I've grown tired of it now. :-) So, I give it a rest and it's off to bed with me. Hope you like the story so far. See you next time.