Ask Aunt Bea
By Beatrice Annabelle Minimaker
Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Beatrice Annabelle Minimaker but you can just call me Aunt Bea. I’m the newest member of the Greenleaf Gazette family where I’ll be the new “Answer Lady”. That’s a little bit intimidating since I’m the first to admit that there’s a lot about miniatures that I don’t know…..but despite rumors to the contrary, we all know that no one can know everything about something. The important thing is knowing where to find the answers and I definitely know how to do that.
The way this works is simple. You can send me your questions just by clicking “reply” to the newsletter and type in your question, then hit send. I’ll research until I find the answer and then I’ll publish both in the next newsletter. It’ll go something like this:
Q. What is all this bashing about anyway?
A. The term “bashing” does sound a bit ferocious, doesn’t it. In reality, there’s nothing scary about bashing a dollhouse at all. Bashing is generally defined as making changes to a dollhouse kit. Those changes can be as minor as adding working door and window upgrades or they can be as major as adding rooms or building on a new wing! You don’t have to be an expert to bash a dollhouse either. Take a look at your dollhouse kit and if it tells you that it wants to have a wall moved, or a door added, or the walls cut down so the attic is just a crawl space, then go for it! Bashing can be as complex as you want, or as simple as you like. It’s all about taking the kit and personalizing it to suit your own character. If you ask any experienced basher, they’ll tell you that Greenleaf houses are the best for turning your dream image into reality because plywood kits can be easily altered. You don’t even need a bunch of fancy tools to do it either; even an Xacto blade can be used to cut plywood (just be sure it’s sharp and handle it carefully).
Personally, I think that if you have never bashed a dollhouse, you really should give it a try. I’d recommend the Haunted House kit if you’re looking for an experimental torture house to try out new techniques. The HH is very affordable, is a nice size to handle, and I see it as a perfect blank canvas. With a little alteration here and there you could turn it into any style you like. Oh, and don’t hesitate to try something new and different. I’ve invented all kinds of new “architectural features” that started out as an oops moment.
Q. I’m having trouble getting my colors right on my house. I thought I liked the color combination but when I got it on the house it didn’t look right. What do I do now?
A. Reflect, repent, repaint. Seriously, that Zen philosophy works well on dollhouses and I’ve never seen a mistake that couldn’t be fixed, including paint colors that fight with each other. If you’re re-painting something in a different color, I strongly recommend that you use latex paint since it covers nicely, but you can certainly change your mind about the color of your house at any time. I’m pretty sure that I have at least three houses with more paint than glue holding them together. Fortunately for us miniaturists, hardware and paint stores are selling sample pods now intended for people to splash on their real life walls to see if they like the color. In our mini world, they hold enough paint to do a whole house and they’re affordable enough to change your mind over and over. And the best thing about them? They’re right next to the thousands of paint chips where you can mix and match until you find the right combination. Things to remember: Color has scale too so chose colors and tones that don’t look to “big” on your house. Learn to use a color wheel to find colors that coordinate well with one another. Don’t be afraid to use contrasting colors, but do it carefully to avoid clashing.
Q. I have a mini gopher that keeps showing up in all my dollhouse lawns at random. How do I stop him from running around and keep him in one place?
A. Two words: Glue gun.
Do you have a question for Aunt Bea? Simply hit the reply button to the newsletter and tell me what you’d like to know. I’ll try to fit as many questions as possible into each issue so don’t be shy. Come sit down here beside me and we’ll talk all about dollhouses.
Until next time,
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