Image Widget

Image Widget

Welcome to a miniature world of possibility...

Join me as I chronicle my progress building 1:12 and 1:24 scale dollhouses full of steam power, stars, invention and yes, clockworks...

The ground floor is built and inspected!

Oct 20, 2011

Inspector Gryphon checks for a level floor.
After a not-so-fun experience gluing my floor together in reverse, it has been reassembled in the proper way.  We shall here-after make a note of paying attention to the blue-prints when assembling the structure and also note the importance of dry-fitting and husbands to the process.  Ahem.

However, I was in luck: Inspector Gryphon was available to drop in and ensure my first floor was up to building code.  He may have received a bribe of almonds, which may have influenced his feelings on the matter, but no one will ever know.

Next...the walls go up!

Stained Glass

Oct 12, 2011

After researching what other dollhouse enthusiasts like to use for realistic stained glass, I finally decided on Gallery Glass.  It's a stained glass paint that goes on opaque and dries to a wavy, glass-like finish, and it achieves my goals of looking realistic and challenging my crafting skills. I bought a kit off of Amazon for $15 which has small pots of just about every color Plaid makes in the gallery glass paint.  These small pots go a long way when it comes to miniature work, so for just a few dollars you get a lot of color choices to play with.  This picture shows my first attempt; in retrospect I probably should have tried a less ornate design but - le sigh - I've never been known to do things the easy way! 

Building from scratch...or a kit.

Sep 1, 2011

My idea was to build a Queen Anne style dollhouse from scratch, but being that I don't know much about dollhouses, I didn't really know where to start on this.  I drew up some plans and considered material choices, wall thickness, ceiling height etc, but I kept losing focus.  Dang, this dollhouse scratch-building stuff is a lot of work!

I began to oggle the kits that were on the market.  How much easier would it be, I thought, if I just bought a kit and knocked out wall here, or put a dormer in there?  Far easier, I imagined.  In fact, there was even a Queen Anne kit, made by Real Good Toys, that would almost entirely fit the bill of what I wanted in a house - and it was giant!  With, unfortunately, a giant price tag.

Then, for my birthday, my husband suggested I go buy a kit that I wanted.  We both agreed the RGT Queen Anne was too expensive, and in reality, the QA was a little too big and just didn't "speak" to me in the way I wanted.  Instead, I kept coming back to an old Duracraft San Franciscan and falling in love with it's two front towers.  The only problem was, the SF was too small for what I wanted!  Do I sound like Goldilocks yet?

What I'm doing

Aug 2, 2011

I started this blog with one idea in mind: to chronicle my progress building my first dollhouse - which also happens to be the dollhouse of my dreams.  And what would that be?  A Queen Anne filled with just a touch of fantasy.  The steampunk genre is growing more mainstream these days in fiction, movies and real life, and I love the idea of marrying Victorian aesthetics with steam power and weird science to create a minature fantasy world - after all, what is a dollhouse if not a fantasy?  So why not dive into the rabbit hole and see how far it goes? 

Also, I'll say it now before it becomes much more obvious: I don't do anything the easy way.  While I am new to dollhouses, I'm not new to the fine arts, so I'm just going for it.  I might have a thing or two to learn, but I'm not too worried about whether the outcome will be as glorious as I imagine it to be.  :)

I likely never would have given a dollhouse more than a passing thought if not for my grandmother, who passed away last year with a half-completed Victorian farmhouse sitting on a mahogany side table in her guest bedroom.  It had been a private dream of hers to have a dollhouse, but by the time she could afford one she didn't have the mobility to work on it.  She'd always wanted me to help her finish it, but I lived on the other side of the country and our visits were always too brief.  When she passed the dollhouse went to another family member, so I decided I would build my own, and in the building of it remember a woman who lived out of her time and who gave me a childhood I will always treasure.  For a lady who was always so proper, she never ceased encouraging me to forge my own path in life.

I'm very thankful for the friends who've given me advice, and for all the mini enthusiasts at the Greenleaf miniature forums for their expertise and amazing miniature work.  Please join me as I work on this project!