Thursday, July 28, 2011

New Dollhouses: My Shabby Chic Cottage

Remember when I said that I'd found two dollhouses recently? I told you about the 1970s dollhouse that I'm planning to refurbish and possibly sell. Now here's the dollhouse that I plan to turn into a shabby chic cottage-like house:

My husband and I were heading out of our neighborhood a few weeks ago, when I saw an "estate sale" sign. When we got there, my husband headed to the lower level of the house, while I stayed in the first room I walked into, on the upper level.

Within a couple of minutes, my husband came back upstairs and waved to me to follow him. He said that he had something to show me. I followed, and when I got to the bottom of the stairs, there was this dollhouse and a box of furniture, all included, for $50. I was thrilled and mouthed the words "Thank you!" to my husband. In the end, my husband negotiated the price down to $43, so it was really a bargain! Here's the lowdown on this house:


1) It was filthy dirty inside and out. Insects, mice, and something bigger had all lived in it. Yikes! (I have cleaned it thoroughly, by the way. :-))
2) It is covered with wallpaper that will need to be removed.
3) I'll need to wallpaper it and finish it with moldings.


1) It is made from wood, not particle board.
2) It is 1/12 scale.
3) It has a front door (not currently attached), windows, a stairway, and hardwood floors!
4) The outside is covered with siding and a shake roof.
5) Lots of nice furniture and accessories were included.
6) The price was very reasonable! Yay!

I plan to turn it into a shabby chic cottage-like house. It will be fun to "distress" the floors and some of the furniture. Right now it kind of looks like a haunted house, with the torn wallpaper, but that's not really my style, so shabby chic it is!

Downstairs, in what would be the livingroom, I will turn it into a shop, either a book shop or a ladies' hat shop--I haven't decided. Tea will be served in the shop as well, so the kitchen next door will have the accoutrements for serving tea and pastries to the customers. The upstairs I plan on being living quarters for the shopkeeper--fun! All in shabby chic--yay!

Look at all that furniture, including a brass bed--woohoo! Check out the groovy 1970s family I got with this house too! The father is wearing bellbottom pants and a nylon shirt. The mom is wearing an Indian skirt. I love it!

So that's my second "new-to-me" dollhouse. I am really looking forward to finishing the 1970s house so that I can get to work on this shabby chic house. Until next time.... xoxo Jennifer

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Won a Prize in Fabiola's Giveaway!

I learned recently that I was one of three lucky winners in Fabiola's giveaway at Miominimondo. I won these adorable miniature items: a paper towel holder, a napkin holder, a recipe card for making Torta Farcita (written in Italian--fun!), and a bulletin board with a tiny grocery list on it with the words "milk" and "cake." Here they are in my miniature Victorian country kitchen in Dad's dollhouse:

Here's a close-up of the paper towel holder and the napkin holder:

Fabiola made everything so tiny and cute. I just love my prizes! Thank you Fabiola!

In other giveaway news, I was thrilled to learn that both winners of my recent giveaway have received their prizes. One prize went to Sans! in Singapore and the other went to Rosa Margarita in Mexico. I prayed a lot that both packages would make it to the winners, and my prayers were answered! Yay! Until next time.... xoxo Jennifer

Monday, July 18, 2011

Where Have You Gone, Sun? Plus Moo Cards

After a few days of glorious sun, we've had several days in a row of rain, including a hard downpour yesterday morning. Portland is known for rain. I took these photos a couple of weeks ago in our garden, when the sun was here. These photos are for all of you who wish you had some sunshine right about now.

On a fun note, I just ordered some cute business cards and the next card in my line of greeting cards today from You can get your own business cards with beautiful artwork here. Until next time.... xoxo Jennifer

Friday, July 15, 2011

First Attempts with Polymer Clay

On Sunday, my hubby and I ran off bright and early, coupons in hand, to our local craft store to buy some polymer clay (Sculpey) and clay tools. Once home, after breakfast, we jumped in and made our first miniatures using polymer clay.

Hubby asked what I wanted for my dollhouse--he would make it for me--yay! I said a loaf of brown bread for my Victorian dollhouse's country kitchen. He went to work on his project, and I went to work on mine--a new toilet seat for my miniature Victorian toilet!

Yeah, as far as I was concerned, the toilet seat was sub-par on the mini toilet I've had since the late 1970s or early 1980s. The toilet is ceramic, but the toilet seat was made of rubber and was starting to deteriorate a little bit. Here's what it looked like before:

The back side of the seat is yellowing, and the rubber is starting to crack. And here's the new toilet seat (made from ploymer clay that I baked in the oven) on the toilet (with the old seat next to it):

Then I got another good idea. Instead of the standard white painted wood "pipe" on the toilet, I wanted a gold "metal" pipe on it. I didn't think the wood, even when painted in gold, would ever look smooth like metal, so I cut a plastic drinking straw the length of the wooden toilet pipe, painted it gold, and then slipped the existing pipe into the straw. Voila! See what you think:

It looks more like the real thing. Instead of a wooden pipe going down to the floor, now the "metal" pipe goes between the water box above to the toilet below. Not perfect, but better! You can see it here in the dollhouse:

Here's hubby with his loaf of bread. It turned out cute:

And you saw his tiny loaf of bread in the top picture, at rest on the cutting board in the Victorian country kitchen of Dad's dollhouse. That picture is my favorite! By the way, my husband made the spaghetti that was in the previous post with Bella and Bert. Nice job, Brandon!

As they say, "practice makes perfect," and I need a lot more practice using the polymer clay and making miniatures in general. However, it really was a lot of fun doing our projects together, and I look forward to trying it again soon. Until next time.... xoxo Jennifer

Friday, July 8, 2011

New Dollhouses: My 1970s Dollhouse

I recently had the good luck to find and purchase a couple of used dollhouses. The first one was listed on Craig's List, a web site for buying and selling items locally. This house turned out to be a child's dollhouse from 1978 with two shoeboxes full of dollhouse furniture and accessories included.

1) Not a 1/12 scale dollhouse. It's just a little bit bigger, like my Dad's dollhouse.
2) No front door, no windows, and no stairway.
3) Made from particle board instead of hardwood.

1) Unfinished inside, so I can finish it to my liking.
2) Includes two boxes of 1970s dollhouse furniture and accessories worth much more than what I paid for everything.
3) Lightweight and not too big--good size for a simple project.
4) Price. I got it for $30!

As you can see, the outside is pretty clean. There are just a few missing shingles that I'll have to replace. The yellow shutters are cute. I'll add a front door to it.

Inside, I plan to do a white basecoat all over, except in the children's bedroom, which is already wallpapered in a fabulous funky 1970s red and white gingham paper.

After the basecoat, I'll wallpaper the inside of the house with funky 1970s-style wallpapers and cover the floors with colorful matching felt. I even found a brown fuzzy felt that looks like shag carpeting! Super fun!

The furniture and accessories that came with the house are great! I've moved a few of the pieces into my Dad's dollhouse. The rest of the pieces are so 1970s fun and funky!

The kitchen has a ceiling lamp from that era (currently sitting on the table in the picture below), a cute radio on the counter, and a metal painted dish set in the cabinet.

The livingroom has a modern-style fireplace, the bookcase with books that I always wanted as a child (yes, the same exact model!) with separate blocks of wooden books that slip into each shelf of the bookcase, and my favorite find (which actually came with the second dollhouse I'll tell you about later), this 1970s stereo turntable with record and disco record album sleeve. Isn't it cute?!

As you can see, there is a miniature family (mom, dad, two older kids, and one baby) from 1978 too! When I complete the house, I may sell it to someone who appreciates vintage retro style or who has a child who would enjoy playing with it. I'm really looking forward to decorating the walls and floors of this dollhouse in the style of that era. Maybe it takes me back to my childhood a little bit! Fun! ;-)

So that is the grand tour of the first dollhouse I bought, which I'm calling the 1970s house. Next, I'll show you the second dollhouse I bought and tell you what I intend to do with it. More fun! Until next time.... xoxo Jennifer

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A Couple of Changes

Hi! Just wanted to give you all a heads up that I've changed a couple of things on my blog. First, I added a stand-alone page dedicated to all of the various storylines going on at Plushpussycat.

Most of those storylines involve plush critters, such as mice, kitties, frogs, bears, and bunnies. I also put the Dad's Dollhouse series on the "Plushpussycat's Stories" page. Hopefully, this page will help anyone who is interested be able to follow an entire series from start to finish. It might also be a helpful page if you want to re-read a favorite story or series of stories. :-)

The second change I made was adding a dedicated page called "Shop." That page is currently under construction, but as I have time, I will list items for sale. This will allow you to make purchases directly from me using Paypal. Currently, however, my greeting cards, plushies, and (hopefully in the near future) miniatures are available exclusively in my Etsy plushpussycat shop.

Just a heads up! So how to find these dedicated pages on the blog? There are links to them near the top of the blog, front and center. They're just under the name of the blog followed by the paragraph that describes the blog. Just under there! :-)

I hope you're all having a lovely July. I'll write soon with more about my new (to me) dollhouses, I'll show you the work I've done recently on Dad's dollhouse, and I'll have a new story for you very soon. Until next time.... xoxo Jennifer

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Caterina at Le Minis di Cockerina is hosting the international "Holiday Swap 2011." Each person will make a summertime-inspired miniature and mail it to a partner. Each person will give a gift, and each person will receive a gift--how fun is that?!

Check out the link above (it will lead you directly to the swap post on Caterina's blog) for more information. You must sign up by this Saturday, July 9, 2011 to participate. Fun! Until next time.... xoxo Jennifer

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Two More Giveaways Won!

I was so thrilled when I recently learned that I had won two more giveaways! Now, since both of my prizes have arrived at my home, I can show them to you. First, I won a tiny cake from carol's clay.handiwork:

Carol kindly sent the little cake on a paper doily in a pretty pink cake box and included three pretty ceramic dishes to go with it. Very lovely! Thank you Carol!

Most recently, I won three beatiful mini tiles (mini terra cotta roof tiles that have images on the front and are meant to be hung on the wall):

Wow! Aren't these pretty?! Patrizia at le magie di Patty made these little lovelies. The middle tile is turned around, showing the terra cotta side. Thank you Patrizia!

I don't have them hanging on the wall of my Dad's dollhouse, since it is late Victorian in style, but I just bought two vintage 1970s dollhouses in need of refurbishing, and I know just where I will hang the tiles. In a near future post, I will show you my "new" dollhouses and what I plan to do with them. Stay tuned for that update plus a new mini story that is in the works. Until next time.... xoxo Jennifer