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Everything posted by Kells

  1. I've read a few horror stories over the years, on here and on various blogs, of people who've had some real OMG experiences buying or selling miniatures and dollhouses. Most of those people have reached the point of being able to laugh about them. Care to share any of yours? I'll start. So I bought a dollhouse. A few months later, multiple postings on Craigslist started popping up from a woman across the country asking if anyone knew what had happened to it or who bought it? She posted pictures and it was very obviously the one I'd purchased. Her mom was downsizing upon retirement and had sold it to get it out of her home. Apparently she'd been hanging onto it for years. It was the daughter's childhood dollhouse and she wanted it back. Well, I can totally sympathize with that so I contacted her. BIG MISTAKE. She demanded, and I do mean DEMANDED, that I return it to her mother. I said I'd be happy to return it for what I paid for it. I was not seeking a profit, I was willing to just call it all a wash and drive it back to this woman's home and get my money back. Oh no, her mother needed the money, she couldn't REPAY me, god forbid. This woman kept saying it was HER house. "BUT IT'S MINE!!!" Well no, it's not, not anymore. But okay fine, I get that this was precious to her but... Me: "Just to clarify, what you're asking me to do is to return this to your mother's house and be out what I paid for it, no refund, just give it back, is this correct?" Yup, that was correct alright. "I HAVE TWO DAUGHTERS! I CAN'T AFFORD TO PAY YOU FOR IT! NEITHER CAN MY MOM! MY DAD MADE THAT CUSTOM AND IT'S MINE, I WANT IT BACK!!!" I'm sure her dad did build it for her but it's not a one-of-a-kind house. I sent her the picture below and gave her some links to Ebay and Amazon, telling her those plans were still available and maybe she could find someone to make it for her. Goodbye, we're done. Of course, that was after I deleted my first reply before sending, which included a lot of words I can't repeat here. Y'know, if she'd just have been fair about it, I'd have happily given it up. Ask me how guilty I feel about still having this house? *YAWN*
  2. I hope all you talented miniaturists sign your creations or else 20, 30, 50 years from now someone will be wondering, "Who could have made this?" I'm up with insomnia finding there is no signature on my mom's childhood home. I remembered the man I thought must have built it died in the 90s so he couldn't have done. I had my suspicions previously verified on a house I've taken to calling the Not da Marcus because of a misleading plaque someone put on it. I emptied that one out to turn it over only to find it's not signed either! The builders of both of these are lost to posterity. I shrug and half-heartedly reassure myself that if they didn't want to identify their craftsmanship, why should I struggle to do it for them? I don't know, it just makes me a bit sad. I'm too sentimental for my own good and will probably feel really stupid about this in the morning! Please tell me you sign your creations?
  3. If you could snap your fingers - or at least if money and space were no object - what would be your dream dollhouse project? I have three, none of which are ever gonna happen. For me, in no particular order . . . Gull Cottage from the 1947 movie "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir." I've always thought it just the most charming house, inside and out! Lots of pics on this link: My childhood home in Colorado. Not that I have the best memories of growing up there, god knows, but I have always loved the house. First pic below, the red brick with the sandstone trim. The last one is the house we lived in for a few years in Santa Fe after my mother finally got rid of my awful father. Some of the happiest memories of my life were in this house and in Santa Fe itself. I feel like my life really began here and everything before it was just a bad dream, lol. It's not a grand home but was just so warm, inviting, and homey. My mom also really came into her own here, and we both sort of transformed into different people. If I ever won the lottery . . .
  4. I add -Pinterest to nearly all of my Google searches. Removing the clutter of that site always proves helpful in finding what I need.
  5. Grand Denver tour for miniaturists

    Thompson's is a good old-fashioned hobby and craft shop that happens to carry miniatures. I don't know if you'll find anything unique there. I don't know what's available in Australia, though. They might have things you can't get at home. Both it and the Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys are not far off Sixth Avenue - the route you would take to get to Rocky Mountain Miniatures in Georgetown - so both are worth a stop. The museum lost its beautiful location near City Park and is now in sort of a strip center. That's a real shame because the house where it had been located was as much worth seeing as anything in it. I'm not sure they're fully set up in their new location but surely will be by next year. They have some beautiful dollhouses. Some of the miniatures and dolls in their permanent collection were donated by my mother. I've considered donating some of my own but they aren't accepting donations (other than money, of course!), and sadly I doubt they're going to have space for any more large dollhouses in their new location. Rocky Mountain Miniatures is not huge but she (I think her name is Gale?) buys collections, so in addition to newly manufactured pieces available anywhere, she frequently has one-of-a-kind and vintage pieces. I've purchased a few rare Reminiscence pieces there (my favorite miniatures to collect) and some artisan-created pieces. Be warned her prices are all over the map. Some things are a bargain, others are, "Can you hold this while I apply for a second mortgage?" She'll haggle a bit if you're polite about it. Even if you don't find anything to buy at her shop, Georgetown is absolutely worth the trip. It is considered Colorado's best-preserved and most authentic mountain town. Only about an hour from Denver, it is a popular day trip. You may want to ride the Loop Railroad while there. Be sure to wander a lot and see the lovely Victorian homes all over town. Wear comfortable shoes. Once you get off the main street, many roads are dirt or gravel and the sidewalks - where they exist at all - are a horror.   While not strictly dollhouse-related, the History Colorado Center has a newly restored diorama of Denver as it looked in 1860 that is worth seeing. It's about ten-feet by ten-feet (I'm guessing) and is incredibly detailed. I think it's 1/35th scale? They have amazing dioramas of Mesa Verde too, but I don't know if those are currently on display as I haven't seen them in ages. They may be undergoing restoration. You may want to ask a docent about them if you go. If you need any tips on non-miniature things to see and do in Denver, I would be happy to help you create a uniquely Coloradan experience without sending you traipsing all over the state, lol.
  6. Ebay, Etsy & Craig's List Links

    Thank you, I do love it but it is a real thorn in my side. Open to the sides and to the rear, it almost requires a room of its own to view it unless I shove the facade up against a wall. :(
  7. Poppy Fields.jpeg

    Impressed by all of them but like Shareb, poppies are a personal favorite so I really love this one.
  8. I will be leaving you guys at the end of September!

    The extra details do ease my mind. I guess I conjured up images of you living like a bag lady out in the woods where no one would find you for years if, god forbid, something should happen.
  9. Ebay, Etsy & Craig's List Links

    All the suggestions for how to get this by my husband are good ones, and I've actually tried some in the past. "It's a bargain and I can sell it for a profit!" He knows I never will, lol. I would love to claim the high ground and say I could never be devious and deceive my husband but this is miniatures we're talking about. All's fair! If that house weren't open to the rear, the only post I'd have made would have been, "Look what I got!!" If a house can't sit flush against the wall, I can no longer consider it. Sucks, I know, but leaving walk-around space to view a house just isn't possible for me anymore. :(
  10. Ebay, Etsy & Craig's List Links

    Can I ever identify. The expanses of roof on this one have stood un-shingled for a good eight years or more. I just can't bring myself to tackle it!  
  11. Ebay, Etsy & Craig's List Links

    I'll be kicking myself if I don't; my husband might kick me out of the house if I do. I can see it now. Me, wrapped in blankets, pushing a shopping cart down the street with a Lace House sticking out of it. A passerby kindly remarks, "What a cute Victorian dollhouse." I scream angrily in reply, "IT'S CARPENTER GOTHIC!!" as I continue shuffling away, muttering to myself. It's a tough call but I do like living indoors . . .
  12. I'm posting about this "I'll probably never get to it" project only because we're going to Santa Fe next week for the Burning of Zozobra (the original Burning Man festival, now in its 95th year), and then later to New Orleans for Halloween (so fun!!). Anywho, I love obscure facts like I'm about to share. Since it involves a dollhouse, what the heck, I'll post it here! Warning: turn your sound down before you click any of the links I'm embedding. Some of them are really loud. So, little known fact, the same craftsmen who built St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans also built the Basilica of St. Francis in Santa Fe. The current cathedral on Jackson Square in the French Quarter was begun in 1850. About the time it was getting finished, construction on St. Francis in Santa Fe was ready to begin. Bishop Lamy of Santa Fe wrote to the bishop of New Orleans and basically said, "Hey, don't send your workers back to France; we need them out here." So westward they went. Here are the bells of St. Francis tolling out the news when Francis was selected as the new Pope. If you click that link, pay attention to the stonework on the cathedral; it comes up again in a bit. To make extra money, both in New Orleans and in Santa Fe, those workers did side jobs and built homes. Look around the Garden District and Uptown in New Orleans and you'll see their handiwork whether or not you realize it. They did the same in Santa Fe. Interestingly, although they were in New Mexico, they built in the style that they already knew: French Louisiana Architecture. They just did it in adobe since that's what was available. Few examples survive but one of them is the Francisca Hinojos house on Palace Avenue. New Orleanians and Louisianans in general may recognize it (pics below) as their style of architecture. That's because it is. The house almost didn't survive due to a fire about eight years ago. The owner wanted to tear it down after it burned so he could develop the relatively large lot it sat upon, but the City of Santa Fe wouldn't allow him to tear down what remained of the house. He left it sitting open to the elements for a few years hoping the adobe would simply disintegrate beyond repair. Luckily, a developer who specializes in restoring historic homes purchased it and brought it back to life. I lived in Santa Fe for a few years not far from that house and I know it well. I was heartbroken when it burned and its potential razing was a story I followed closely. It's right across the street from the La Posada Hotel, which is also interesting. The hotel was originally a huge French Empire mansard-roofed house. The old house is still there, it's just that it is now inside the hotel. They didn't tear down the house, they just built the hotel around it. The old front door is in the lobby and through it you enter the original home. If you ever visit, be sure to request one of the Victorian rooms in the old house. They're fabulous. And haunted. Supposedly. When the Hinojos house burned, I resolved to do it as a dollhouse because I loved it so much. The thought of having it disappear forever just killed me! I have two kits to bash that will recreate it pretty convincingly, IMHO, plus all the necessary components. One of many projects I hope to get to sometime! When we're back from Santa Fe in a few weeks, I'll try to dig out some of that stuff and do a mock-up. I hope some might find those things as interesting as I do. Below are pictures of the house. Oh, and earlier I mentioned to look at the stone that built St. Francis Basilica if you clicked that link. Note the front wall in the last picture below. That is built of stone blocks rejected for whatever reason for use on the cathedral. The construction workers hauled it over to the Hinojos house by wagon and built a wall out of it. I love trivial facts like that. The original house before the fire: I'm planning to do my dollhouse version like this, how I best remember it, with the rusty-red tin roof.   The house how it stood roofless, boarded up, and rotting away for several years after the fire:   The restored house as it looks today: Note the cathedral stones used to build the front retaining wall.
  13. Ebay, Etsy & Craig's List Links

    WHY OH WHY DO I LOOK AT CRAIGSLIST?!? Only $200!! I've always wanted one. I hope someone buys it before I talk myself into it.
  14. Lid/roof on burrow

    D'oh, never mind, I see it on top in an earlier picture!
  15. Lid/roof on burrow

    Love this and thank you for showing the progress of how you got the walls to look like this. Maybe I skimmed too quickly but I am confused by the mentions of a removable lantern?
  16. Purchased bridle

    I have purchased a number of things from Texas Tiny over the years. Never disappointed in their items. As always, your work looks great.
  17. @havanaholly the dolls throughout the exhibits reminded me a bit of the dolls you've made for your creations. They were adorable!
  18. A Very Brady Renovation

    I read that the house doesn't have an attic so they're recreating Greg's attic bedroom in the basement. They're using a fake window with a view to the treehouse in the backyard, I think? Discussions about false windows for dollhouses and room boxes have come up a few times on this forum so yes, I agree, it is VERY dollhouse-like!
  19. I will be leaving you guys at the end of September!

    It sounds like the difference is a savings of $500/month? Is that worth risking one's life? I know we don't know each other and this is absolutely none of my business, but your plan terrifies me. I've read a number of your posts, you have assisted me with several questions on this forum, and you sound like a genuinely wonderful lady. Forgive me for saying, but I am more than a little frightened for you. You will be in my thoughts.
  20. Back from Santa Fe, had a wonderful time. I chickened out and didn't try to get into the restored Francisca Hinojos house. People are running businesses there. The last thing they need is me wandering in, interrupting their day, and asking to have a look around. Visited the Museum of International Folk Art. Here are some pics of miniatures there.
  21. Does anyone know how to make arched windows? See pics of this house: I found the windows I believe my mother intended to use for the dormers, but I have no idea how to do those windows on the ground floor. I can do the sandstone surrounds, that's not my problem. It's the curved sashes inside the frame - the actual windows - that I'm stumped on. Help? I know it seems like I'm bouncing from one house to the other. I'm really not! I've sorted out most of my stuff and all the things I inherited from my mother. Now I'm just trying to prioritize.  Not counting the room boxes, I have 34 dollhouses I'll never finish. THIRTY-FOUR!! That's nuts. Anyway, this is one I'd like to complete and keep (eventually!). Mom had the shell custom made for the Avery House in my hometown of Fort Collins, CO. Aaannnd you know me and historical tidbits, can't skip those, lol. Even if you've never been to Fort Collins, you have kinda-sorta visited my hometown if you've ever been to Disneyland. Fort Collins Influenced Main Street USA, Disneyland The Disneyland / Fort Collins Connection
  22. schoolhouse9.jpg

    The Edward Gorey Gashlycrumb Public School No. 666. Oy, I gotta stop and go to bed, we leave early in the AM.
  23. schoolhouse5.jpg

    Sshhh, listen, you can hear them chanting. "One of us. One of us. One of us . . ."