Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Make It - Custom Fireplace For Dolly

Sometimes things aren't good enough for dolly. She's special!!! Here I give my dolly the custom fireplace she's been wanting. Took about an hour. Gee! That's 90 minutes in 3/4 scale land or two hours in the 1/2 scale world! Ha ha ha! Almost like a half hour remodel show on tv! How do they do that???

Grand Fireplace Remodel


Make - It!

I started with this awesome little 3/4 scale Donna Lee fireplace, circa 1946....


I bought some cheap wood planks, thin thin dowels and 1/2" mirrors at the craft store.... 
 Using a gold pen I outlined the mirrors.

 I cut down a plank and the dowels for the size needed. They go on the back of the fireplace.
I stained them to match the wee fireplace.

   I glued the dowels to the sides of the plank...

and used removeable 2-sided tape to attach the mirrors to the plank 
(just in case I want to change them).

I taped one little mirror to the fireplace's mirror....
to give it a kind of deco look!
With removeable 2-sided tape I taped the two together.
I like to leave these vintage pieces unharmed, especially when they're in such good shape!
Hence the double sided tape.

I hope the dolly is happy now! Geeze dolly! You sure can be demanding!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Oh, Life Is Rich: Rich Toy That Is

My Rich Toy Tudor Deco-ed Out
I sorta got this dollhouse by mistake. I didn't intend on being the last bidder, "Someone outbid me already!" And it was the most $$ I ever spent on a dolly house (up until then, ha ha ha!) Lucky me I got it, as it is by far my favorite. The 3/4 scale bones of a home always ready for a redecorating whim! Circa 1946.

Here it is, before I made a few repairs. Mostly repositioning windows and gluing down flaking masonite floors....
and the inside....
 A little water damage, must have been a huge dolly rain deluge from the north!

Well, dolly had a urge for deco and decided to redo the whole place. Oh dolly!!
She decided on the Strombecker make of furniture offered by the 1940's and 50's. She's debating on the window treatments, she thinks she's such a designer and has an unlimited paper budget!

I painted the now bluish furniture of the living and bedroom. I know, I ruined their Strombecker value! But they were a hodgepodge of torn and broken pieces, so I think I did them more than justice. I like to think I started a "new" Strombecker line, the Schafer Blue!

The "Schafer Blue" living room line....

The Schafer Blue bedroom line....
Yep, that's an old refrigerator you see repurposed as a small dresser. And notice the brushed nickel furniture accents. Schafer Blue, tre moderne!!

 Take A Tour

The kitchen, that old world look....
The folk furniture is from Germany I think. Love the bench! And dig that British Lundby fireplace.

The bath, fit for a dolly queen....
The wallpaper is my own doing using a computer (again), and I covered it plastic laminate to give it a tile bit of look. That gold regency screen? Thank you Playmobil!!

The bedroom, shall we retire?
 Look what little pieces of silver paper will do. Just modernize those little pieces of furniture Jack! Make sure to use removeable doublestick tape so they can return to their old fashioned roots!

And finally, the living room...
Dolly is expecting a customized fireplace soon. She got the customized wallpaper from my computer for goodness sake! She's just like those rehabbers on HGTV! Custom, custom!


Well, now I just need to put the roof back on! Dolly didn't even notice. Imagine that!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Happyhouse, Smallhouse, Dollhouse: My Bliss Kit

(Thank you Mom & Dad for this awesome Christmas present!)

This kit was so fun!!! Looks like an old Bliss dollhouse. I did make a few adjustments, but the basic kit was well worth it, the graphics and instructions were great! I found it to be a 1:24 home or 1/2 scale, perfect for Tootsie Toy furniture.

Here is the "naked" kit, a bit before I did much....
I removed the floor that separated the dollhouse. This made it easier to paint the inside as well. Here the house is taped off for the exterior painting.

Below you see the 1st floor mock-up with the wallpaper I made using a computer. The wallpaper was created by scanning a note card graphic and the "wainscoting" was added by creating boxes. I printed it out on cream paper using an old b&w printer cartridge.
I decided to raise the ceiling. "Why should the 2nd floor bedroom have more head room than the 1st floor parlour?" my 1/2 scale porcelain dolly asked. Good point dolly! I only raised it a half inch, but that's a whole foot in 1/2 scale land.

I "installed" stained crown moldings and stained both the floors. The parlour ceiling was painted gold, of course!
 After raising the ceiling, I had to cut down the upstairs porch and its door so that they fit properly. I made the porch wall removable, so I could have full access to the bedroom. Ah, the perks of being your own contractor!!!

I wallpapered the whole kitten kaboodle. I even made wallpaper with "stairs". One has to get to the 2nd floor somehow!
Tip: use removeable double sided tape so you can change out your wallpaper. You can use the "old" wallpaper as your templates, and then stick it onto wax paper for storage to use another time! Man, who needs a real house anyway!

One of the nice things about old Bliss dollhouses and most dollhouses of that era (Turn Of the Century 1900), they had removeable roofs....
The outside graphics are all supplied in the kit. You cut them out and adhere them with Yes Glue. Then you brown shoe polish the whole outside as Jean suggests, buff it all up, and you get that awesome vintage look!

 Here is the finished, decked out interior. 

1st floor parlour....

 + 2nd floor bedroom....

= Happy Home!
 Yep, perfect showplace for dolly's metal Tootsie Toy and Kilgore furniture (1920's). And she had a vintage fireplace shipped directly from England! Oh dolly!

It took me six weeks of self exploration and fun,
that I will recommend to anyone!
She started as a fairy,
but then turned into Mata Hari!

Ha! I made a rhyme!

Goodbye Mata! Enjoy your little home!

* Thanks to Jean Nordquist Designs for this awesome Doll's Dollhouse Kit No.2 and "blessing" for me to use my photos of my little Bliss-like house!