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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...

Updates & News

Sep 3, 2012

It's been some time since I updated.  A LOT of time, I guess!  And since then, a few things have happened:

Greenleaf's Fairfield Dollhouse
First, I decided to postpone the "big" dollhouse (Clockwork House) in favor of starting smaller.  I made that decision because it was moving into the rainy months and I didn't want to be trying to cut the wood in the rain, plus we are considering moving, and I really didn't want to have to figure out how to move an assembled 4 ft long dollhouse. But I also made the decision because I wanted to hone my skills and build an even finer steampunk mansion.  Which is why I decided to start on something smaller - a half-scale kit, The Fairfield.  I have liked this kit for a long time and when I found it on ebay for $25, I decided to go for it.  I promised myself that I would just do a straight build - no experimental stuff or kit-bashing involved - and I promised my husband it would cost less because, well ya know, everything is half the size.

Yeah, not so much, actually.

A year later I am utterly in love with the Fairfield.  It's a miniature dreamhouse.  It's huge (for half-scale), with tons of rooms for whatever kind of room you want to build - music room, parlor, second bedroom, library, steam-powered laboratory etc, in addition to the normal stuff like living, dining, kitchen and bath.  The layout adds unique depth to the house which you don't get with front or back-opening houses.  It's designed to give miniaturists a lot of fun, and it comes in a relatively small package which means you don't need a lot of room to display it.

It really should have been big enough for me, but I am now convinced that I do not have the ability to do a straight build of anything.  As soon as I popped the pieces out and did a quick dry fit, the ideas started pouring in.  And you might say the Fairfield started talking.  The box it came in was old and ragged and looked like it had been through the muck and then shoved in someone's closet, to be forgotten, for at least twenty years.  It came out of the box like a sentient creature locked away for too long and immediately started throwing out all the ideas no one had ever listened to. Change the room height here.  Add a room there. Remove a room here.  This will be the library, that will be the dining room, and - oh dear! Wherever will the stairs go?  We are not keeping those stairs, no matter what.

I have to agree. The one thing I don't like about the Fairfield is the stairs.  Not only do they block the gorgeous arched living room entrance, they make the extremely tiny foyer even more miniscule.  They create corners.  Dark places.  This was not a house that wanted to be shut up anymore in a dark place. It wanted grand open spaces scattered with stained glass light. It wanted to be wandered through and wondered at and dreamed about. And so, the first order of business was to figure out what to do with the stairs.

This is partly why I haven't updated things in so long.  I felt like the stair situation had to be remedied before I could move forward, because I had to know where they were going in order to anticipate layout and decorating needs. The Fairfield, of course, wanted a grand and glorious staircase as a centerpiece of a large room, but I wanted to build something easy and I absolutely did not want to build extra rooms just for a staircase. I realized I was going to be building a lot of things on my own,  so finding easy ways to build them was paramount.  I was certainly not going to be building a circular staircase, no matter how much the house went on and on about it.

And so, for the next post, I shall detail exactly how I constructed the Fairfield's circular staircase, which is actually to be two circular staircases, one for the first floor and one for the second...

Because the Fairfield is a popular half-scale house and I've been inspired by all the other builds I've seen on other miniaturist's blogs, I'll be detailing my build here in hopes of providing someone else a little inspiration along the way. The theme of this build is a seaside writer's retreat.  Imagine an old Victorian clinging to a seaside cliff, weathering the storms year after year. Tucked away inside with a cup of joe and a stoked fire, it's the perfect place for crafting a little steampunk fiction. :)


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