Thursday, July 26, 2012

Miniature Accessories for the Granddaughter's dollhouse.

When Rosalind and I renovated the doll house for my granddaughters (her grand nieces) we decided not to get too elaborate because their fine motor skills were not yet developed, so all the furniture is pretty sturdy, and we only let them have a few accessories.  Two sets of silverware and dishes, and two pots and pans, and only three little books.  

Much to our surprise, they carefully followed the instructions to never take anything out of the dollhouse.  They could move things around inside as much as they liked, however, which they did endlessly.  Only one little chair was broken in the weeks they were playing with it and I suspect it was dropped on the floor by a little cousin during the family reunion.  It was easily re-glued.

They left on Monday... and Tuesday evening I came down with the cold they caught right before they left.  Not feeling like cleaning the big house which badly needs it after three weeks of company, I decided to make some lamps and hang some pictures in the dollhouse, which lead to painting some of the furniture, and cutting out some tiny little sculptures from magazines.  Most of the things I made will be put away during their next visit and saved for when they are older.
Rosalind, who is the queen of dollhouses, also has a stash of tiny little accessories which will be added as they are able to handle them. 

Doll house before the twins went home...
And the doll house now.

Stored in Rosalind's attic is a stunning dollhouse styled after the homes in colonial Williamsburg.  At some point, perhaps I can persuade her husband to climb the ladder to retrieve it so that I can show it to you.  She spent months and months finely crafting furniture and accessories for it and it is definitely not for tiny little hands!

In the meantime, let's take a closer look at this less impressive house.  Since lamps started this whole process, here is the first lamp I made.  The space is somewhat limited in the living room and we don't have an end table, so I made a floor lamp with a skewer and some beads.
Propped gingerly against the wall until I can figure out a more sturdy base which I suspect means a trip to town
 Next I tackled a table lamp for the bedroom...
Also made with beads and a tiny little copper perfume funnel for the base. On the wall next to the lamp, the little charm with my first daughter's photo finally found a home now that she is in her late thirties!
   For a tutorial on making lamp shades, visit Pat Carlson's blog.  I had trouble getting her pattern to print, so did a free hand copy...should have used a ruler!
Another great tutorial for making lamps is here.  The lamps are way too fussy for my taste, but the construction details were helpful. 

Which led to painting the dresser which had been stained a dark mahogany.  Also in the master bedroom are a painting from the pages of Martha Stewart Living Magazine and two from Better Homes and Gardens, and a rug from the pages of House Beautiful. All of these cut-out pictures were attached to tag board with Elmer's Craft Bond multipurpose spray adhesive so that they would not wrinkle and would look a little more three dimensional.  This lazy crafter chose not to actually cut little tiny frames with my sister's miniature mitre box, but just use the photographed frames. 

The next room will eventually be the bathroom and its contents will move to the attic (which will be divided into two spaces for a play room and a music room.)  For now we chose not to risk the girls breaking the porcelain fixtures and made it into the music room.

This room's artwork was stolen from both Steven Shubel's cottage (the little cherub on top of the piano and Susan Lyne's Manhattan apartment which includes works on paper by Gaston Lachaise.  For help with updating the interiors of this apartment (featured in the April 2009 issue of Martha Stewart Living) Lyne chose Kevin Sharley, who painted the rooms with various shades of yellow.  So of course this little replica will soon be yellow as well.
Here is the original....
Susan Lyne's Manhattan apartment via Martha Stewart Living

In the living room are more rugs from the magazine pages of House Beautiful.  And, as I was very taken with Steven Shubel's updating of his California Cottage (page 70, July August issue of House Beautiful),
Photo via House Beautiful
 I stole his fantastic mirror for over the mantel. Not yet placed, because I haven't started the landscaping, are impressive plaster casts of marble statues and fragments. 

 From the same issue came the fabulous light fixtures from architects Bill Brockschmidt and Richard Dragisic's shared 600 square ft. loft apartment. I also purloined their little plaster statue for the top of the bookcase and some of their blue and white porcelain collection.  I wonder if they have missed them?

New York apartment of Richard Dragisic and Bill Brocksmidt via New York Social Diary

Could use a more impressive chair for the foyer desk! Steven Shubel's mirror flanked by two brass beads turned into candlesticks.
Close up of the bookcase...
In all these photos, you may have noticed the peeling walls.  I understand that is very fashionable these days.  For a hilarious post about this trend, visit Steve's blog, An Urban Cottage.   Bye for now, off to play with my...opps, I mean Sara, Caroline, and Eliza's dollhouse.  And possibly order some of the miniatures I have pinned on Pinterest.

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