Dollhouse Book Reviews

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Decided to open and Pin an Topic about Dollhouse Book reviews. Please give the Title of the book, The Author and the Pros & The Cons that YOU found in the book. Please, NO Other Comments in this topic. We only want the book reviews!

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1.) I love the "Dollhouse To Dream House books" by Dennis Waldron and Sandy Thomas. Each booklet shows building and bashing ideas for different Greenleaf kits. They have great pictures and diagrams and easy to follow instructions. The only drawback to me is that I've heard that there is a third booklet that I've never found.

2.) "Making Dollhouse Miniatures With Polymer Clay" by Sue Heaser. This book has great instructions for making all sorts of minis. The instructions are easy to follow and has great pictures. I can't think of anything negative on this book.

3.) "Making Furniture and Accessories" by Helen Ruthberg. If you like making things yourself, this book is for you. Lots of ideas for making things from stuff around the house. This is an older book so some of the things that they used are not available anymore, but I think the ideas are very adaptable for today.

4.) "Meyer's Florist Shoppe" and "Meyer's Homemade Meals" By Barbara Meyer. These are two seperate booklets. They have great pics and instructions. They both use a bread dough (recipe is in booklet) but I think you could easily use polmer clay instead.

5.) "The Complete Book of Making Miniatures" by Thelma R. Newman and Virginia Merrill. I got this book because it was recommended. It does have great pictures in it to get inspiration from, but I am far from an advanced miniaturist, and I think that is who this book is geared toward. There are a few ideas in it that I can use, but I would recommend "Making Furniture and Accessories" by Helen Ruthberg if you are an average type of miniaturist like me.

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Brooke Tucker's Golden Christmas-Building A Miniature Masterpiece

The pros of this book are the detailed instructions and the beautiful illustrations.I can't think of anything negative on this book

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Make Your Own Dollhouses and Dollhouse Miniature by Marian Maeve O'Brien

I borrowed this book from the local library and I believe it is a fairly old book. It does show some very interesting dollhouses from private collections, but what I like most about it is the detailed instructions on making many different things, from stairways to furniture to metalwork to beadwork to paper work. Instructions also include full-size templates that can be traced and/or dimensions where required.

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The other book that I really love is "The Authentic Tudor and Stuart Doll's House" by Brian Long. I know it's a favorite of Holly's too.
Ah, Deb, I LUST for that book! I don't have it <sob>. What I DO have is Brian Long's The Authentic Georgian Dolls' House, where I learned what provisions were made for houses built 'way before indoor plumbing...

My favorite books are those by Patricia King; I have

Making Victorian Dolls' House Furniture; I have made the hall light fixture, the bathroom, and several of the housekeeping items in the back; and the shower.

Making Dolls' House Furniture; this was a long OOP book I located for next to nothing on line, a badly battered library copy in paperback, but if I want something over-the-top-late-Victorian, it's in there; and her dolls are a hoot!

Dolls' House Bathrooms; Lots of Little Loos; I have made several commode stools since getting this book; my favorites use the "sample" size aspirin bottles, but most small white plastic pill containers will do. "The Magnificent Dolphin" was my first all-polymer clay bathroom fixture, it now graces DS#2's wife's McKinley's bathroom.

Dolls' House Fireplaces & Stoves; I've made a modification of her "Gilette Oven" a few times, and adapted some of her chimneybreast ideas.

THANK YOU for this topic,Tracy! I shall most definitely add to it.

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My favourite is Making Miniature Gardens (1999) by Freida Gray.

It has chapters on everything right from scales and measurements, materials/supplies needed, flower making, garden layouts, walls, ponds and streams.

I've found it the best "complete" miniature gardening book for my needs.

-Susanne

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Paula mentioned one of my earliest favorite miniaturist authors, Helen Ruthberg.

The Book of Miniatures: Furniture & Accessories is the best book for beginners who want to make their own minis, as she predates Patricia King for making nifty minis out of "bits & bobs" & table trash. There are patterns for some furniture pieces, but I think they're 1:16 rather than 1:12; making up one of the items (or measuring against a similar item in 1:12) is a dead giveaway, and the dimensions can be easily enlarged to 1:12.

Miniature Room Settings is in a format familiar in later "how to" books. Helen takes a particular roombox and proceeds to give all the directions, drawings, patterns, etc, to make everything in it. There's even a few paragraphs on making food.

Contemporary Miniature Room Settings is chock full of more directions, sketches & patterns for miniature accessories and furniture and includes such modern furnishings as macrame hanging occasional tables and hanging basket chairs.

These books were all available from Chilton Books (who now publsih motor vehicle repair manuals). Another Chilton Book about making miniatures I have is Early American Dollhouse Miniatures by Gerald E. Jensen. There's a diagram to show how to weave the thread to "cane" a chair seat and a pattern to make a shuttle to do the caning (I use a tapestry needle). He gives directions & a pattern to make jig for contouring a wooden chair seat. He groups his furniture projects by room and all the patterns are for 1:12. In the kitchen he has patterns for a trestle table and benches, a chair table (the table top tilts to make the chair back and to access the drawer under the chair seat), a sugar bin with three smaller storage drawers, a dough box, a ladderback chair (with caned seat), a hutch & base, and an armchair (ladderback with caned seat). The liningroom group includes a cobbler's bench, a spindleback rocking chair (with contour seat) and a spinningwheel among the projects. After the bedroom grouping he has a chapter on accessories that include a violin and a guitar. There's even a chapter devoted to making the Cape Cod-style dollhouse to put all the furniture, etc, you've made.

Another miniaturist I admire is Virginia Merrill, and she and her daughter, Susan Merrill Richardson, wrote Reproducing Period Furniture and Accessories in Miniature. This book gets into some "advanced" projects, but they are DOABLE. There's a Chippendale bed pattern in there that taunts me! and charted needlework patterns for rugs and pictures.

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Has anyone read or tried anything from the Angie Scarr miniature food books? There is another one that is available for preorder through Chapters online and I was wondering if it would be worth preordering? Any thoughts would be extremely helpful. TIA!

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We (as in MIL and me) have the first book of Angie and it is GREAT and we are so looking forward to her next book. Depending on how things turn out might just be able to squeeze in a work shop she is doing here in Sweden....

Hugs

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Has anyone read or tried anything from the Angie Scarr miniature food books?
You mean her first book, Making Miniature Food and Market Stalls? I used it to make cabbages, cauliflower and pumpkins that grow in my Coventry Cottage's garden. I like that even though she gives the approximate proportions of clay colors, she advises to get the RL veggie' food you want to reproduce in mini, to get it "right".

I thought I'd do a quick review of the pile of thin paperback books and booklets I've acquired in my pursuit of mini-making references.

As mini of us know, Dover Publiications puts out books of 1:12 wallpapers and stained glass windows, but didja also know that there are other 1:12 scale books of dh porjects? The four that I have are

Miniature Iron-On Transfer Patterns for Dollhouses, Dolls and Small Projects by Rita Weiss and Frank Fontana; I did the heart & leaf wreath quilt top and the lily-of-the-valley chair seats for the Cambridge.

Miniature Needlepoint Rugs for Dollhouses by Susan McBaine has charts that make up to the finished size using #18 canvas and single-ply persian tapestry wool yarn, and include two animal print rugs.

Miniature Macrame for Your Dollhouse by Marjorie Ames specifies the size cord to use for each project to turn out in scale correctly. All the traditional macrame techniques are nicely diagrammed in the front part of this book.

Dollhouse Furnishings for the Bedroom & Bath by Shep Stadtman includes the patterns for bedspreads, shower curtains and simple furniture to dress up.I have been fortunate to run across a number of booklets in my travels, published at different times as Craft Publications, Inc and Diminutiques and even, at one point, by Plaid; also a few other publishers.

Basic Federal Furniture: volume 9 by Helen Dorsett includes plans and directions for building 20 different pieces of Federal furniture from articles that originally appeared in The Scale Cabinetmaker.

Baskets in Miniature by Grace C. Kabel aren't all in 1:12 scale, but using smaller diameter materials might give smaller results; this is the Plaid publication.

I have two Diminutiques publications, Handcrafting furniture in miniature, by Jean Dickey. One has full-sized patterns to make furniture for the living room, dining room and bedroom, and covers decorative techniques of metallic waxes, tole painting, gold leaf and decoupage. The second one is titled Volume II: Furniture for the Living Room and contains patterns for an Empire sofa, a melodeon, a curio and other items of furniture necessary for furnishing a mid-to-late Victorian parlor.

Amongst the Craft Publications booklets I have include

The Victorian Parlor: Interior Trim Carpentry in Miniature by Margaret M. Leonard. This was the very first booklet I ran across, given me by a friend of ours for whom I made my first "scratch" kitchen table with working drawer. In addition to an ornate fireplace with mirror overmantel she shows how to use millwork trim (from Northeastern Wood products) for ready-made Houseworks windows & doors, but if you can figure out how to make your own the directions will work.

Trim Carpentry in Miniature by Margaret M. Leonard is the book that shows you how to make YOUR OWN working sash windows, panelled doors, STAIRS and casings for everything!!! IMO it makes up for the frustrations I felt with her prior booklet.

Bread Dough Fruits & Vegetables by Barbara Meyer uses the white bread, white glue & glycerin recipe to make all sorts of food items, with very clear drawings and recipes for RL food (inspiration, I suppose?).

A Craft Publications, Inc, booklet I have by Jean Dickey is How to Light a Doll House and is a general guide to round-wire lighting techniques for roomboxes & dhs.

Boynton & Associates, Inc, put out some booklets, and of those I have

Meyer's Florist Shoppe by (who else?) Barbara Meyer adds lemon (or lime) juice to her bread dough recipe and makes all kinds of gorgeous flowers & plants (no recipes this time).

Period Floral Designs in Miniature by Donna Henricks, Judy Otto and Marge Shapler describe how to make 20 floral arrangements from six different historical periods, and uses bread dough, papers and polyclay to make the flowers.

Mini Dressings for Mini Rooms, volume II by Jackie Stephens has full-sized patterns and directions to make six set, two each for kitchens, dining rooms and patios.

Granny's Kitchen by everybody's favorite how-to miniaturist, Joann Swanson is NOT a book of furniture patterns; instead, it's projects to make all the kitchen gear; pudding pan, colander, baking pans, rolling pin, and all that gadgetry we sho love to putter in the kitchen find so useful; Stove necessaries like a tea kettle & coffe pot, among others; sink items like a dishpan & dish mop, etc; cleaning supplies that include a mop & bucket, etc; andlaundry items like an ironing board & wash tub, etc.

Contemporary Living by Helen Ruthberg (how could I resist?) was a Nutshell News Plans booklet published by Boynton includes directions for making & upholstering a two-piece sectional love seat and making the tables and lamp.

I have two of the Houseworks' 1" to 1' Dollhouse Plan Books. One is Townsend Towers and the other is Les Shoppes and both are by Garth Close; I have not built either one. Yet.

Finally I ran across Doll Costume Design (for female dolls) and Tailloring for the Male Doll by Ferbie Fox Claudon. The title stated it was for 1/2" scale dolls, but it's actually a sketchbook for designing clothes, and the templates are 1:12 scale.

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Somewhere in the forums, I heard great things about "How to Make Your Doll's House Special" by Beryl Armstrong. Very nice illustrations and pretty nice instructions for making all kinds of project, namely chimneys/stoves, roofing, wallpaper, flooring, exterior finishes...there is even a really interesting bash of the Tennyson, and some really great ideas for exterior work--and a real "thatched roof" . Although I haven't tried to make any of the projects yet , I don't really have anything negative to say :violin:

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Somewhere in the forums, I heard great things about "How to Make Your Doll's House Special" by Beryl Armstrong. Very nice illustrations and pretty nice instructions for making all kinds of project, namely chimneys/stoves, roofing, wallpaper, flooring, exterior finishes...there is even a really interesting bash of the Tennyson, and some really great ideas for exterior work--and a real "thatched roof" . Although I haven't tried to make any of the projects yet , I don't really have anything negative to say :violin:

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That's where I got the idea for the sandpaper bricks, which I began using on the lower exterior of the Glencroft.

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How exciting! What a great site!! So far, I only have one mini book,"Making Dolls'

Houses" in 1/12 scale-by Brian Nickolls.I love the book-it's mostly plans to build different styles,(Georgian,Tudor,Cottage)but I enjoyed it very much.

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The Doll House Book by Stephanie Finnegan : I love it mostly because its shaped like a dollhouse. Also pictures many charming historical houses,very interesting.

I also love the Making Miniature Gardens mentioned earlier,thats full of useful info.

Colleen Moore's Doll House by Collen Moore,pictures and history of how her dollhouse came to be built,its wonderful.

Architecture for Dolls Houses by Joyce Percival its very useful for reference,well written and interesting,lots of picture references.

Dollhouses to Dreamhouses mentioned earlier is awesome,I just bought that and wish I had had it years ago.

I have the Dover books,they are very nice, and the Making Miniatures with Polymer Clay is great too,but I havent tried out the techniques yet,just like looking at the pictures of things I could make if I wanted too:)

Twilight by Stephanie Meyer.....snuck that one in there......not related to dollhouses,but still necessary reading.....:)Also anything by Jane Austen or Daphne Du Maurier can and will inspire the dollhouse builder.

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This might be a little bizarre..but I bought the book,"The Doll House Caper" by

Jean S.O'Connell. It is a child's book but it was very cute. Someone mentioned this book in another forum-so I looked it up. :)

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1) Finishing Touches by Jane Harrop: This is not a large book, but I really like it because it has 70 projects - some basic furniture, some accessory items. The directions are all simple and I think very doable for anyone.

2) Dollhouse Style by Kathy Dalmeny: This may well be my favorite book in my miniatures library. This covers several period styles, and gives patterns and directions for some insanely cool stuff. It is well written, plus has superb eye candy.

3) Americana in 1/12 Scale by Mary Lou Santovec and Joanne Ogreenc: This book is very simply written and mostly covers cute accessories for American and southwestern items. While I wouldn't rate this one of my best books, I do enjoy looking through it and will probably make some of the little items. None of the projects are hard, so this would be a good book for a budding miniaturist.

4) Architecture for Dolls' Houses by Joyce Percival: This book is primarily a good reference book for researching details that should be on houses of different periods. I find it interesting and useful because it covers things like appropriate styles of trim, doors & windows, and roof-lines. It's not really a "how to" book, though.

5) All About Dollhouses by Barbara L. Farlie and Charlotte L. Clarke: I just love this book. It is chock full of interesting patterns for furniture, and while I haven't had the time to make any of them yet, they look easy enough. Also, it gives nice directions for doing stuff inside the house itself: working with stairs, fireplaces, etc. . . It's an older book, so it's not as full of eye candy as some, but I consider it worthwhile.

6) Make and Design your own Dollhouse Furniture by Headley Holgate and Pamela Ruddock: This is an attractive book with several patterns for some really lovely furniture. I am really looking forward to trying out some of these patterns. Plus, it gives helpful tips on how to go about getting the details that add interest to the pieces.

I have a ton more books (too many to post), and in particular . . . one that I can't find that is excellent about finishing touches for dollhouses and interiors. As soon as I find it (no doubt I carted it off while looking something up), I will post a review on here.

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Tasha Tudor's Dollhouse : A Lifetime in Miniature

I really like the photographs in this book. Tasha Tudor does not collect 1:12th scale - actually much larger - but the photos and the style of her dolls and miniatures are a great inspiration.

The house is not Tasha's original (which I think was just a shelf with miniatures on it) - but it's a professionaly built house that is kept at the Folk art Museum in Williamsburg.

It's definitely worth a look - and it's also a nice book to get photography ideas from - the angles and closeups are great. All very "doll's point of view".

The dollhouse celebrates Christmas and there's a nice discussion of colonial and victorian kitchen items/stoves.

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Make and Design your own Dollhouse Furniture by Headley Holgate and Pamela Ruddock:
I made the kitchen table from this book that's in the pub, it was my first turning project on the lathe.
Making Dolls'

Houses" in 1/12 scale-by Brian Nickolls.

I also have that one, all the houses are front-opening (except the 3-storey Tudor) and he offers a variety of styles, as mentioned. I also have his Making Character Dolls' Houses in 1/12 Scale that includes cutting lists and diagrams for making a cider barn (with different thatching from the cottage in his other book), a forge, an inn, a fancier Georgian house, and a water mill (that someone posted a link to one someone had built, but I no longer can remember where or who...).

Derek Rowbottom, whose dh plans the Fanceys used to include when they published DHMS, has a book, Miniature Dolls' Houses in 1/24 Scale, that includes measured drawings for making a thatched cottage (he prefers Deb's fur method for this smaller scale), a Georgian Town House, a Victorian Shop and a Tudor Manor House; and some furniture items, including a 4-poster bed, a table with tapered legs, a Regency era side chair and a paneled Victorian shop counter.

Carol & Nigel Lodder wrote Making Dolls' House Interiors in 1/12 Scale that includes diagrams for making a gluing jig and also a jig for rolling paperclay (or Das) to a given thickness. The format is a series of roomboxes; the country kitchen includes a chimneybreast (I used it to make a stove surround for the Westville I built) and a glazed (nonworking) window, a kitchen range, a dresser, food safe and cane-bottom (rush-seat) chair (the diagram shows a solid seat, but in the bedroom section it shows a variation to make the woven seat; I used this chair in my pub kitchen and made it in 1:24 by halving all the measurements for La Casita. The projects include furnishings & fixtures for the country kitchen, a scullery, a parlor, a bedroom, a sitting room, a town kitchen, and rooms in Georgian and Tudor period.

The New Dolls' House Do-It-Yourself Book by Venus & Martin Dodge is the revised version of my very first-ever dh how-to book; all my previous copies had al the patterns for 1:16 scale, but this one has patterns in both 1:16 and 1:12. Patterns & plans are included for furniture, houses and accessories.

Venus Dodge went on to put out Dolls' House Needlecrafts: Over 250 projects in 1/12 scale That includes knit & crocheted accessories & toys, knit clothes (the longjohns are 'way too small), needlepoint & crewel accessories, patchwork, quilted and appliqued accdessories, soft furnishings, sewn clothes & accessories, simple furniture & upholstery and crafts & accessories that include mini macrame & basketwork.

Virgina Merrill wrote Needlework in Miniature with Jean Jessop that includes charts and diagrams for petitpoint & crewel projects, mostly rugs, but also bellpulls and stitched upholstery pieces and the cording, tassels & fringes to trim them. There are a few clothing items and a detailed how-to of Virginia Merril dressing a Hepplewhite tester bed with a serpentine canopy (Deb, it looks awfully good...)

The last two are simply charts for stitching rugs:

Making Miniature Oriental Rugs & Carpets by Meik & Ian McNaughton, and

Making Miniature Chinese Rugs & Carpets by Carol Phillpison.

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Brooke Tucker's Golden Christmas is fabulous! Extremely detailed, instructions are very easy to follow and the photos are magnificent. Brooke put a lot of work into her roomboxes and it shows.

Unfortunately, the book is not available in stores anymore. I bought a used copy through Amazon. It was three times the original price that it went for back in the early 90's but well worth the money.

Lynne

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Because of the weather we went to Valdosta to the outlet mall and in one of the outlet bookstores I hit pay dirt!

The Miniature Costumier: Removable Clothing for Dolls' House People by Catriona Hall, using dolls she makes. Includes patterns for mom's & granny's dresses, clothes for an adolescent girl and for a younger girl & boy, a baby and an adult male, including charts to knit the man a Fair Isle sweater. And everything's removable.

Miniature Embroidery: A Foundation Course by Margaret Major includes tips and basic stitches that work best in mini, as well as charts for some nice projects; a good book to get started in mini embroidery.

Making Miniature Gardens by Freida Gray includes using thread, dried real flowers, cut down silk flowers and paper and other materials. Jo, if I find another copy of this one I'll PM you for your address!

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Just got "Curtains" by Sue Heaser. Great book for making dollhouse curtains. Lots of ideas and very clear instructionsand patterns included.

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For Christmas I received three new to me miniature books. What fun.

My favorite so far is: How to Make Your Dolls' House Special by Beryl Armstrong. She is detailed enough to understand, has enough pictures and yet assumes that you have a brain and will adapt things to your own liking. It's a great combination.

Next is: Dolls' House Furniture by Freida Gray. This one has lots of patterns to use which is really nice for my tired old brain when I can't think. Anyone remember that old autograph book saying that went something like: "Can't think, Brain dumb, Inspiration won't come, Poor ink, Bum pen, Best wishes, Amen" ? That's how I feel sometimes. Most of you are probably too young to remember the autograph book signings. In my day, it was still popular at the end of the school year to do with your friends.

Anyhow, lastly I received: Furnish a Doll's House by Michal Morse. This one is a bit harder one for me as of yet. But it has fabulous ideas.

I also received three subscriptions: American Miniaturist, Dollhouse Miniatures, and Miniature Collector. I've only gotten one of each so far so I'm not sure if one is better than another or not - it's just a blast having something miniature related to look at, esp. since I live way out in the boondocks and have snow and ice for inspiration (which is beautiful but not for miniatures).

So, now I have no excuse whatsoever to lack ideas and inspiration. Yikes !!!! That's a lot of pressure :giggle:

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I have used several ideas from Beryl Armstrong's book; chiefly, the sandpaper for bricks. I haven't used anything from Michal Morse's furniture book yet.

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Hi

There's a book called Magnificent Miniatures: Inspiration and Technique for Grand Houses on a Small Scale by Mulvany and Rogers.

They do some incredible work. The book details some of their projects and gives a real insight into their talents.

The photos look like real life interiors and the only tell tale sign that their not full size is the fact that they put in small items such as an egg into the setting. It's a real feast for the eyes!

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