Thursday, March 24, 2011

Dad's Dollhouse

Hi! I thought I'd share a little about what has led me to my interest in handcrafting cute small plushies. One of my inspirations has been my dad's dollhouse. When I was eight or nine years old, my dad took me aside and showed me some plans for a dollhouse that were published in the then-latest issue of Sunset magazine. He asked me what I thought about him building me the dollhouse for my birthday. Of course I was thrilled! A dollhouse of my own!


So my dad lovingly built me the dollhouse, and I picked out the color (I wanted wedgewood blue for the outside). Both my parents helped with paint, wallpaper, and carpet for the inside. The kitchen, livingroom, and master bedroom wallpapers were from the same rooms in our real house! And the attic wallpaper was from my grandparents' bedroom.


Mom took me to a miniatures shop, where I purchased my first dollhouse chair. It was a Victorian spring rocker with maroon velvet upholstery. I was hooked! After that, I dreamed about dollhouses, I read dollhouse books, visited dollhouse shops, and purchased furniture and other household items for my dollhouse whenever I had birthday or Christmas money.



My interest in dollhouses and miniatures kept on for several years, and even after I had moved on to other diversions, miniatures always had a special place in my heart. I kept Dad's dollhouse, with the miniatures inside, even when I thought I was beyond ever using it again. It moved with me several times--not easy, as it is very heavy, made from thick, solid wood.

Most recently, it was stored in my basement in a nook next to the laundry area. I had started making plushies and wanted a low-cost way to display them with props. Then suddenly it came to me: Dad's dollhouse! I'll pull out the miniatures and set up little vignettes (more here and more here) with them!

Now this is what I do. I make cute plushies from recycled soft wool and other fibers, I make vignettes for photographing them in my lightbox, and I blog about what I do. And I love it! :-) xoxo Jennifer

P.S. If it isn't obvious already, I really treasure this dollhouse, for so many reasons. First, because my dad lovingly made it for me by hand, and also because it is a family heirloom now, a solid record of places and people from my past. xoxo

Update: Check out Dad's Dollhouse: An Update for more recent pictures of the house.

18 comments:

  1. This is great. I loved hearing the history behind the house!!
    One time my in-laws family decided we should all do a hand made gift exchange for xmas - and my brother-in-law made me a beautiful Victorian doll house! So I can totally relate!
    Thanks for sharing.

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  2. Thanks Jeni! Thanks for sharing your story too. I love the conversations that can happen on blogs! :-)

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  3. Nice house. I like your plushies too.

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  4. Thanks so much, supahcute.com and Glenys! I appreciate your comments! :-)

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  5. Thank you for visiting my blog. The house really is a treasure.:))

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  6. Mirja, thanks for visiting MY blog and for taking the time to comment!

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  7. that's an awesome doll house!would love to make one like that myself :)

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  8. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment, Agata! :-)

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  9. Que recuerdo tan hermoso de tu padre... entrañable!
    Un abrazo

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  10. Rosamargarita--Yes, it was very loving of my dad to build the house for me. He even hand cut the shingles for the roof! So sweet! :-)

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  11. this house is the best gift a father can do to his own daughter! You have done well to keep it, a day will come to your grandchildren! :))
    Caterina

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  12. Hello Caterina! Thank you for your comment--so sweet! :-)

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  13. So cool to read about the house an what you do :)

    *Nicola

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  14. Hi Nicola--Thank you for the lovely feedback! Come and visit here anytime!
    Jennifer

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  15. Thankyou so much for posting this. !!! My dad made me the same dollhouse when I was 6 yrs old !!! Because of your pictures , my librarian found the plans on record for me in Seattle !!!! I had to give mine away 17 years ago and have missed it terribly !!! Thank you so much !!!!

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  16. Hi volvogirl! Wow! Thank you so much for letting me know. It makes me feel so good to know that my post helped you! Are you going to build another dollhouse using the plans? I'm thrilled with this news!
    Jennifer

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  17. Hi Jennifer,
    I found it, this post about your Dad made dollhouse! I can see why it is special to you! Your plushies are so cute!
    I'm off to check out some more!
    Gina

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Thank you for commenting! I LOVE comments! And I read every one of them. :-)