Friday, January 31, 2014

Dad's Dollhouse Completed!

After much struggle to find a theme for Dad's Dollhouse, the house my dad built me when I was a child from a 1970s Sunset magazine plan, I finally realized something. Dad's Dollhouse is a Mouse House. Whew! Once I figured that out, I was able to complete the project to my liking.

Mavis Mouse bakes brownies in Dad's Dollhouse kitchen.

Some of you may remember an earlier project, the 1920s Lovers Cottage, a romantic honeymoon cottage. That building is now Bluebelle's Cake Shop, but I took many of the items from the Lover's Cottage and made them part of the story in Dad's Dollhouse, a 1920s late-Victorian farmhouse. The people who lived there included a sailor and his new bride. The sailor had to go back to sea after the wedding, and the bride lived there alone, busying herself reading Farmer's Wife magazines, waiting for her man to return.

The only problem with this scenario was that I always seem to get bored with people for characters (except for Strawberry Shortcake!). ;-) So after finding vintage felt Mavis Mouse and her mother (Grandma Mouse) at thrift stores and after more time, I finally realized that I needed to add more mouse details to this mouse house, and now Dad's Dollhouse is basically complete! Yay!

So here's a little tour of Dad's Dollhouse Mouse House. First, the Victorian parlor:

Overview of Victorian parlor with Grandma and baby mouse.

I made the Victorian pump organ from a Chrysnbon kit. I printed the matriarch ancestor mouse image for my own personal use, painted it with Mod Podge, and framed it for some fun "mousiness." I made the curtains and carpet, designed the calla lily arrangement, modified Grandma mouse from her original state, and made baby mouse from vintage wool felt.

The sofa is from my original childhood collection, as are the yellow doilies and the real candles in brass candle holders on the fireplace mantel. The wallpaper is from my childhood home, a real life Victorian house. This room is full of special gifts from blog friends, including the handmade paper flowers, needlepoint pillows, and memory box in the foreground.

Ancestor matriarch mouse painting is a new "mouse" addition.

Next, Mavis Mouse's kitchen:

Overview of Mavis Mouse's country Victorian kitchen.

I made the hutch, table, and chairs from Chrysnbon kits. I also made the curtains and tablecloth. The cast iron stove and dry sink are from my childhood collection, and I recently found the matching vintage ice box at a local miniatures show for $1!

The wallpaper and flooring are from my actual childhood home. This room also contains many special gifts from blog friends, including the handmade paper flowers, water pitcher, salami cookbook, and foods. My husband made the mini loaf of bread on the hutch cutting board.

Mavis Mouse is a great cook. Her husband is a very lucky mouse!

Here's the master (and only) bedroom:

Overview of the master bedroom, showing the new bride's arrival.

I made the bed's canopy from a vintage handkerchief, the carpet and curtains, many accessories on the bed, and a perfume tray on the dresser. Blog friends have contributed many of the pieces, including the gorgeous bedding, wedding dress, books, luggage, purse, shoes, and hat. The dresser looks like the real life dresser in my parents' bedroom. The wallpaper is from my parents' real life bedroom in my childhood home.

The cheese plate on the nightstand is a new "mouse" addition.

And the bathroom:

Someone is trying to repair a plugged toilet!

I made the towels, toilet seat, curtains, and flooring. My husband designed the flooring on the computer. All of the furniture, aside from the medicine cabinet and the footstool, is from my original childhood collection. The pot-bellied stove is one-half of a salt and pepper shaker set given to my by my mom way back when. Blog friends contributed the footstool (kitty's favorite spot) and the seashell wall hanging above the bathtub.

The cat is eyeing that cozy hand towel in the sink as a place to sleep!

The Victorian study filled with Asian art and sewing room are both in the dollhouse attic, with no windows, so they are difficult to photograph. First, here's the study:

The focus of this room is travel and Asian art.

It's full of Asian art from the sailor mouse's world travels and includes a wall map, Victorian photo scrapbook, and several memory boxes. I wallpapered the room and made the calla lily arrangement, the photo scrapbook, many books on the bookshelf, and the memory box on the floor. The chair is my first miniature purchase from my childhood collection. Gifts include the Oriental vase, Christmas cactus plant, paperweight, wall map, and mini Buddhas.

Finally, it's time to show the sewing room:

Kitty plays with his toy mouse!

I made the sewing table chair from a Chrysnbon kit as well as a scissors box. The iron, tiny mouse, and pair of scissors on the sewing machine are from my childhood collection, and the wallpaper is from my real life grandparents' bedroom. The many gifts from friends include the sewing kit, art prints, needlepoint kits and patterns, memory box, and thread holder.

This house has been a collaborative effort from the very beginning when Dad built the house and wallpapered it and my mom introduced me to dollhouse miniatures until today, as the house has become filled with precious gifts from blog friends. Thank you to everyone who contributed to the completion of Dad's Dollhouse!

Thank you, too, to anyone who has read to this point in the post. You are a real trooper! I will keep my eye out for more "mouse" items--accessories that let you know a mouse lives here. Does anyone have any suggestions on what those items might be? Until next time, keep it fun! xoxo Jennifer


61 comments:

  1. si que tienes bien llena la casita , y muy bien habitada

    besitos

    Mari

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  2. How amazing, I love the decorations, my favorite one is the kitchen! Good work!

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  3. I am a trooper, read till the end, I love it, the little cat in the bathroom eyeing up the towel, mind you why he wants to be where there is a blocked loo, I don't know, I especially love the piano, so unusual, this is a lovely way to your lovely gifts. I can see the love that has gone into the making of this. what joy it must give you when you look and see things from your childhood, like the wallpaper, feel like I am gushing now, but hopefully you can tell how much I love this, xx

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  4. Wow, such a lovely house with so many delicate details. What a loving tribute to your dad and the real houses in your family. I do love the tiny mouse in the sewing room. I wonder... a mini mouse in a mouse house... how does that work? :-D
    X
    Veronique

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    1. Hi Veronique! I know what you mean about the mini mouse in the mouse house. I decided last night that the mini mouse is just the cat's "doll." What do you think? Does it work? :-D xo Jennifer

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  5. Que bonita la casa y cuantas cosas. La mesa de la cocina muy bien surtida. Besos

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  6. What a labor of love! The details you've added are so perfect. I love the mouse painting, the cheese, crackers and book on the nightstand, the tools on the bathroom floor. And speaking of the bathroom floor...it looks amazing! I was going to ask where you found it, but I guess it's a Jennifer's husband original. :-) Thank you for giving us the tour of this sentimental project. I really enjoyed it.
    Hugs,
    Lisa

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  7. Hello Jennifer,
    The mouse house is enchanting! The rooms are beautiful and your accessories are perfect and make the house look lived in! I must admit, the kitchen is so welcoming and warm...I think it is my favorite...but all the rooms are incredibly well done! Bravo Jennifer!
    Big hug,
    Giac

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  8. Hello from Spain: Wow, wow, this house is fabulous. I like all the furniture. The canopy bed is very elegant. You have many fine details. I like the loving tribute to your father. I love the little mouse. Very lovely ... keep in touch

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  9. I have been reading blogs since 2000, and this is the best one I have seen. I love your photos. Your doll houses are just precious. Keep up the good work!

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  10. Hi Jennifer, here is another trooper, I love your stories and always read them till the end :)
    I´m so glad for you that you finally figured it out , and you ware able to complete the project, because I know that feeling :)
    I´m realy hooked by your mouse house, it is so warm , cosy and inviting, and every room has its own sweet little story.
    But.....the kitchen is my favorite room, it reminds me off my grandmothers kitchen, and I was always very happy there :)
    You did a great job and I can´t wait to see more "mouse" items :)
    Have a great weekend my frien and enjoy your mouse house !!!!

    Hugs Mieke xxx

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  11. beaucoup de charme dans la simplicité

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  12. You can tell this mouse home is filled with love and life! Such well traveled meece' !

    You have filled each room with such lovely things, I do love the sewing room, seeing the pattern laid out shows a lovely little project in process ;)

    Since you already have cheese and crackers I will just wait and see what mouse items can be found ;P

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  13. О, Дженнифер! Какой уютный и теплый дом! Он сделан с такой большой любовью! И такие теплые воспоминания о детстве! Мне все нравится! Столько деталей, так все красиво! Вы сделали большую работу! Я думаю, что вы очень наслаждались этой работой!
    Татьяна

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  14. Fantastic Dad's Mouse's House! So cozy and pretty! Great ideas, great work! Love it!:)
    Hugs

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  15. Here are really a lot of nice pictures. I love your bedroom, it's a really special treasure you have here, I love your bedroom, it is so cozy with the canopy bed. There are many motifs here for coming cards.
    Hugs and have a great weekend
    Wyrna

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  16. Alguna vez te visitaré para que puedas mostrarme la casa de tus ratoncitos! Un abrazo

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  17. Very well done! Congratulations! I love the upright piano, too!
    embrace

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  18. oh my goodness there is a lot to see here, Im glad you figure out that it was a mouse house but what impressed me the most was all the things you had from the original house I wish I still had mine. I cant think of a thing to add to it unless you'd like to put windows in the attic?

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  19. Hi Jennifer! Your mouse house is so cute it hurts!! You have done a wonderful job in every room, and everywhere is packed full of little details. You have really put your heart and soul into this one and it's perfect!
    I love the idea that a mouse family would have a cat as a pet!
    How about a mouse trap as an accessory? No? Just a thought...!
    Kind regards, Brian.

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    1. Hi Brian, You make me laugh! The mouse trap would be some awful horror piece that they pulled out of the drawer to scare themselves! LOL Thanks for trying, though! ;-) xo Jennifer

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    2. Brian made me laugh, but you Jennifer, made me laugh even more with your comment!! :) :) :)

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    3. Now you've got me giggling, Simona! And Brian, thanks to Birgit, I can see the brilliance of your idea and not just the dark side! LOL Thank you both so much! xo Jennifer

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  20. wonderful Jennifer i love your mouse house! Kiss!

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  21. What a very good idea to have a mouse house! It is really a cute and gorgeous house. Thank you for the tour!
    Geneviève

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  22. Hola!! Una casa preciosa y con todo detalle. Gran trabajo el que has hecho en esta casa del ratón!! Me gusta mucho.Felicidades!!!!

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  23. Desde luego la tienes bien llena con todo lujo de detalles y todos y cada uno de ellos son fantásticos.

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  24. No wonder you have been busy. It's a beautiful house filled with nice memories. I love it that you put a mouse family to live in it. The baby is so cute!
    Great work!
    Hugs, Drora

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  25. Hi Jennifer!
    Congratulations for the super fine idea and for veryfing it!
    Your photos show such an adorable and enchanting House ...! Can I please have a visit in there...if I only could find that minimizing (1/12) powder somebody has been talking about! :)
    Hugs
    Kikka

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  26. Preciosa casita, llena de muchos detalles lindos.

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  27. Oh...you did a great job! I love your mouse home rich of important memories for you.
    Kisses
    Alessandra

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  28. So sweet! I love this little house.
    Congrats, Jennifer!
    Gail Harmon Cason
    The Little House at Pinehaven

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  29. What a great decision - Dad's Mouse House! I really love the background story you've created for this beautiful house filled with sweet memories, talent and gifts from friends. I really like the idea that mice have cats as their pets... and I would like to support the Hairy Caveman - don't give up on Brian's mouse trap idea too soon just because it's scary... what about a memory board with mouse traps for holding cards, keys, photos? And I think mice would like to play with cat dolls... *teehee* and I'm convinced they will like cheesy accessoires... a piece of cheese soap in the bathroom... some cheese holes on the mannequin in the sewing room... and of course a miniature version of the books "The House that mouse built" and "The Mouse Mansion" - these are must-haves (although your story is situated in the 1920's... but if it adds to the fun it's alright to losen things sometimes)

    Hugs
    Birgit

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    1. Truly wonderful ideas, Birgit! Thank you so much for taking the time to share them. I will refer back to your comment for inspiration more than once--I am sure of that! Speaking of books, another mini book I'd like is A Tale of Two Bad Mice by Beatrix Potter. It all sounds so fun! xo Jennifer

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  30. Hi Jennifer! I Love your mouse house theme! It is such a Treasure to have the dollhouse from your childhood... so full of memories and cherished pieces! I especially love the use of the wallpaper from "people" scale! I had wallpaper of the sewing room pattern in my old home!
    I just sent you an email... I hope you got it?
    This post has been a lot of fun to look at!

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    1. Hi Daydreamer! I got your email. Thank you for reminding me to credit my source for the matriarch ancestor mouse picture I printed for my own personal use for Dad's "Mouse House." I updated this post with a link to the source so that Catherine of Ninette and Co. can get the credit she deserves for that gorgeous image. xo Jennifer

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  31. Oh Jennifer,
    This is the place that I shall love to follow and visit!!
    I do believe that Mavis' relatives live at my blog, the Mousiekin family
    Many Blessings, Linnie

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  32. Oh Jennifer,
    This is the place that I shall love to follow and visit!!
    I do believe that Mavis' relatives live at my blog, the Mousiekin family
    Many Blessings, Linnie

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  33. That is really a place filled with warmth. I can see you put your heart into it. And it's so incredibly special that it's your dollhouse from your childhood. It looks sensational!
    hugs♥,
    Caroline

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  34. Oh my God!!! Birgit just gave me an idea with the cat dolls!!....... :) :)
    How lovely that you still have a doll house from the seventy's!! If somebody had not thrown away all the things I had saved from when I was a kid, I would still have a doll house from the '70 and many other things from my past. Anyway, I think Mavis looks vintage enough to fit perfectly in that house. I love even more that the project involved your father and your mother and when you look at the pictures of the house, it does look lived, full of emotions and feelings. I can't believe how many things you made so perfectly and I think they add to the character of the house. You really have a treasure Jennifer, so many lovely and cute things that you never get tired of looking at. I think you have many many new scenes for your cards and everything is so tender and tiny and cute that they will all look great....thanks also to Mavis, grandma and baby mouse! Thank you for sharing such nice pictures and stories, I never get tired of reading what you post and with all the pictures it's always a nice time to spend. Big hugs! <3 <3

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  35. la maison, les personnages sans oublier le chat, tout est superbe !
    Amicalement. rosethé

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  36. Дженнифер, привет!
    Как повезло мышкам, они поселились в таком прекрасном доме! Очень трогательно, что у вас остались детские игрушки, это такие приятные воспоминания!
    С наилучшими пожеланиями из России. Елена.

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  37. que bonito ver alguna cosita mia por ahí....!

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  38. OF COURSE i read the whole story! :) Most has been said already ...so i just add..that on can feel and understand the love you put into this special dollhouse, with so many personal details and memories. It is ever so special and lovely. There is so much to see and smile about. You did a wondrful job with countless cut ideas!!!!:)

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  39. Yeah I am a trooper too, I love your stories, and especially the young bride reading "The Good HouseKeeper" waiting her sailor (which is, like everyone knows, in another seaport, at the tavern, drinking beer and eating crackers with cheese...)
    Seriously, I love the way your tell us all your stories, i just hope i should be a little mouse to come in this wonderful house ^^
    Hugs from France!
    ♥♥♥

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  40. Wow terrific work!! Congrats to you and your father too. I love the Mouse House idea and thanks for all the references.

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  41. How sweet Mouse house you made Jennifer!!! Every thing is so nice and cozy and details...so many and also hilarious. I love your ides to put the cheese plate on the nightstand or repair a plugged toilet. :)
    Have a great weekend Jennifer!
    Hugs, piikko

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  42. A Casa está tão linda, Jennifer! Parabéns por todo trabalho realizado. Sei que você dedicou muito carinho para esse projeto. Cada detalhe é adorável!
    Um grande abraço.

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  43. That's a dollhouse of dreams. A miniaturist dream (and a kid's dream for sure!). I can't get over how elaborate your display is for each room. Very well done! I think the mouse house is probably my favorite now!

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  44. Thank you so much for the tour of Dad's Dollhouse. I love all the incredible detail in the different rooms and their furnishings. I'll be looking forward to more posts set in this house!

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  45. Your mouse house it beautiful! Congratulations on finishing it!

    -Baby Cat

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  46. I love the cheese and crackers next to the bed, that really made me laugh. The perfect snack in a mouse house!

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  47. I too, love the little cheese and crackers detail in the bedroom! That happens to be one of my favorite snacks! (with beef stick)

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  48. Congratulations Jennifer your mouse house is gorgeous. I love all the wonderful details. So many fun ideas. I love the kitchen so warm and inviting. It is always a great pleasure to read your posts. I love your wallpapers and the sewing room is a sewers dream :))
    Hugs Maria

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  49. This is a special house with many fantastic details. The bed is very beautiful.
    I also like what you wrote in this post.
    Hug, Faby

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  50. The word "enchanting" is all I can think of, Jennifer, when I look at your house! It is an absolute success!

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  51. O my, your work is brilliant! I especially love that bathroom -- the toilet, the cat, everything! So glad to have discovered you blog; following you now :)

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  52. What a wonderful house!!! Love everything, every detail, your fantastic ideas, and you know... I love rodents!!!! Ü
    Hugssssssssssss!!!!

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  53. Lovely house! I love the mix of your childhood items and new findings.

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  54. OH WOW JENNIFER!!!! I love all of the decorating, such cute ideas! The wallpapers are wonderful! How did you replicate it from your parent's and grandparent's home? Aren't those Chrysnbon kits wonderful, I have done a few myself.
    I will be looking at your post for weeks, trying to get caught up, so glad I found your wonderful blog!
    Gina

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    1. Hi Gina, Those ARE the actual wallpapers from those homes. Both my parents and grandparents had a little bit of extra wallpaper that I used back then to wallpaper my dollhouse walls. Isn't that fun? :-) Thank you so much for your sweet comments! xo Jennifer

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