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If you click on any of the highlighted text when you're reading the blog it will take you to the thing it is talking about. Usually in my blog it takes you to some of my photographs which illustrate what I'm saying. Sometimes it might be a link to a site which I think is worth checking out.

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Some home made stuff

I suppose I should learn to call my home made stuff OOAK (one-of-a-kind) as does everyone else who sells this kind of thing for a small fortune.

I spent my last few days before flitting off to the States making bits and bobs in paper and was pleased to discover I had the knack and the patience to do it.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

First Dolls House Fair

As soon as I bought the house I was off shopping for it.  I bought quite a bit of stuff from Dolls House Emporium and found a great doll's house shop in Bolton about half an hour from where I live.  Unfortunately a lot of what I rushed into buying doesn't work for one reason or another.  It has taken me a full six months to realise that you really have to apply the breaks and know precisely what it is you want and look for that.  It isn't rocket science if you think of it in real-life terms.  If you were buying for a new home it wouldn't be any use running around picking up stuff hither and yon because it caught your eye or you hadn't quite made up your mind about that particular room.  If you want to save yourself a lot of wasted money approach the miniature version in the same way.

Even my major purchase - the house itself - is probably not the best choice for me; but it has taken six months to realise it.  I have discovered as I've gone along that I would really like to work on a miniature rather than a doll's house.  The DHE house is good (although perhaps also more expensive than elsewhere) if you want a doll's house.  I now wish I'd bought a more realistic shell which I could clad in real bricks and roof tiles and drainpipes etc and create a realistic 1/12th model.  This is a big consideration before you even start.  I hadn't realised the possibility of it back in September.  Now I am this far down the line (May 2011) I know that everything needs thinking about in detail before galloping on.  This hobby is teaching me patience if nothing else.

On the 12th September I went to my first Dolls House Fair at Stafford.  It is quite a large one and therefore literally hundreds of thousands of objects to look at.  When you realise how long you can spend in a shop and then multiply this up by seventy plus traders you can imagine the time spent there.  Talk about a child in a sweet shop.  Stfford is one well worth doing again.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Job well done

9th September and finally the house and basement were built.

They were HUGE!!

Again it is all about three dimensions.  I am very poor at visualising the volume of an object - having its measurements isn't really enough and this was certainly a case in point.  The plan was for it to live in my office (aka the spare bedroom), probably on the chest of drawers.  It is massively tall and, worse than that, very deep - far too deep for the chest.  We did a quick scout round for the cheapest piece of furniture we could find to go under it.  After cobbling two Argos trolleys together it had a home but quite definitely it excluded any guests from the room.

I then spent the next couple of weeks chopping and changing my mind as to whether it was to be a period Georgian house or a modern one.  I suppose the final decision was something of a compromise.  It is to be a Georgian house lived in by a modern family. The basement is a family room and kitchen.  The ground floor is a formal dining room and sitting room and the family are collecting original Georgian pieces to furnish these rooms.  The next floor up is the teenage children's rooms.  The top floor is the master bedroom and bathroom where some Victorian period items have been kept and added stuff is in keeping - a bit shabby-chic come French country.  It isn't as muddled as it sounds and gives me a chance to work on a couple of historical periods.  I want to do them all but this will be my one and only folly I suspect - cost, time and space being against me.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

In the beginning....

Friday 26th August and the birth of the obsession.

Following a brief conversation with my daughter on how it wasn't completely certifiable to still crave a doll's house at sixty-five and having trawled E-Bay for a couple of days looking for one I decided to go the whole hog and buy a new one from Dolls House Emporium.  Ripley is an hour and a half's drive from where we live so it shows a level of determination on my part and patience on Ken's.

We returned with two huge flat packs - Wentworth Court itself and the free Burghley Basement. I had chosen the ones which are finished outside to cut down on some of the work/time.

For at least the next two weeks much of the real house was overrun with the construction process.

I began with a full size cardboard mock up of how I wanted to re jig the various rooms and staircases which, retrospectively, was a good idea even if it did slow me down.  Being able to see what I thought I wanted in 3D made me realise that it isn't wise to cut up room spaces any smaller than they already are in a standard sort of doll's house.  Most rooms are about twelve inches by twelve inches, representing twelve feet by twelve feet.  In real life these are fair sized rooms; alas in 1/12th scale furnishing them with the minimum amount of furniture can fill them up pretty quickly and if you want to retain any semblance of real miniaturisation you still have to allow room for the inhabitants to move about.

I gave in and pretty much built the pack as it came even though the stair access doesn't make any real sense.  I did leave out a dividing wall in the basement (knocking two rooms into one) and sawed off the stair wall of the top floor to visually open up the bedroom space.

Then came the nightmare of dividing up the various interior walls for decorating.  I thought it seemed a good idea to decorate before the build and then I wouldn't be trying to hang paper and paint walls in squished up spaces.  It seems very simple until I was faced with several pieces of kit and had to work out which surface represented which wall of which room.  A dry build using lots of masking tape and carefully wrapping various surfaces with paper, so the tape didn't mark the outside, helped a little.