My Mother's Childhood Home in 1/12th

12 posts in this topic

Like I say in the description for the gallery, this is one of those "Someday I'll get to that" dollhouses. Figured I'd snap a few pics of the dusty old thing since it was sitting right in front of me while I was searching for something else.

Many years ago my mom commissioned a recreation of her girlhood home in Denver, CO. This is as far along as it got. It's a pretty faithful recreation! I put up some screen grabs from Google Street View so you can see the actual house that's being recreated.

Not getting to this for a long time, but any ideas on how to enclose the front and rear of that basement without recreating the entire front and back yards would be most appreciated!!

EDIT: I believe that Norm of Norm's Dollhouse shop in Centennial, Colorado built this.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lucky you!  I sketched out a front face treatment  for you. I'd use layers of styrofoam, ideally the stuff you get when you get a breakable item from an online seller. Right now I have scads of the stuff in assorted thicknesses. If you have no styrofoam you can try crumpling newspaper, cover it with wire netting, then cover that with paper mache or plaster wrap. I've forgotten what it's called, I've used it & I have some up on the 3rd floor, but I just came downstairs. I'll look and see later if you're interested. Styrofoam would be much easier, though. You can make the front yard treatment short & steep or wider & shallower, whichever you wish.

Something similar to go in the back, but the rear treatment can be quite short in depth, maybe just some greenery like flattened shrubs along the wall to give it a finished look.

Almost forgot to mention, the hatched wall and floor in my drawing are not attached to anything, so the yard can be pulled away to show the basement.

 

FRONT YARD (2).jpg

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, grazhina said:

Almost forgot to mention, the hatched wall and floor in my drawing are not attached to anything, so the yard can be pulled away to show the basement.

"So the yard can be pulled away" . . . OMG this is why it helps to mull over ideas with other miniaturists! I've been completely hung up on the idea of hinging it to the house. I just couldn't figure out how to do that to what would basically be a big box on top of which the yard sat. I was also stuck on the thought that the yard had to taper all the way down to street level.

If I just have the front steps and, like you said, some low hedges that don't interfere with the hinged front facade, that makes it more possible AND more manageable! The front of the "yard" could just be a blank wall. Painted to match the house or yard or something, but just a plain front nonetheless. I could see that working. :D

And FOAM! My older brother is into model railroading. I bet he could figure out how to do a sloped "half yard" with this:

http://www.hobbylinc.com/woodland-foam-sheet-2-x1x2-model-railroad-foam-st1425?source=froogle&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIq-TO5fyA5AIVjvhkCh0GFATREAQYASABEgL5mfD_BwE

I also wanted to do the driveway but I also couldn't figure out how to make that work. Now maybe I can. I already put my husband on notice that I'm confiscating one of his cars if I could manage a driveway. Somewhere in the family photo albums there's an old photograph of my grandfather proudly standing next to his new car. Pretty much exactly like my husband's 1/12th scale version of the one below.

That'd be perfect because I've long wanted to set this house in 1959, the year my mother turned Sweet 16. I came along a decade and a half later, but how nice it would be to have the setting in a happy time for her. Dion and the Belmonts on a tiny magazine cover lying on her bed, Elvis records on her bedroom floor, Connie Francis and Patsy Cline posters on her bedroom walls. How my mother did love them. Actual family photographs lining the walls of the upstairs hallway. So many fun possibilities! Now I just need to finish the two I'm currently working on.

1:12 Maisto 1959 Cadillac.jpg

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep, definitely foam - keeps the weight down but is sturdy.  When I needed some elevation, I've built up landscapes with multiple layers of builders foam and stucco patch (the real life stuff from Home Depot).

http://www.otterine.com/blog/blog1.php/watson-mill-foundation-part-1

 

http://www.otterine.com/blog/blog1.php/milo-valley-farm-base-and-1
http://www.otterine.com/blog/blog1.php/milo-valley-farm-land1


The Artist's Studio has a mock retaining wall to finish off the tall back layers of foam. You could make this wood, stone, anything...

http://www.otterine.com/blog/blog1.php/the-artist-s-studio-landscaping
http://www.otterine.com/blog/blog1.php/the-artist-s-studio-landscaping-1
http://www.otterine.com/blog/blog1.php/retaining-wall-completed


For the driveway, sheet cork painted black is marvelous as blacktop.
http://www.greenleafdollhouses.com/forum/?app=gallery&module=gallery&controller=view&id=115788

 

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Grazhina and Brae, I can't tell you how much I appreciate that you took the time to offer these suggestions. The sketch and the links to photos of the process are extremely helpful.

I had something like this basement front in mind. Removable, not hinged (like I said, I was stuck on hinges!), and not exposing the basement like this except up to the foundation windows. And instead of sloping all the way down to the front sidewalk, just have a flat front like this all the way around with yard and driveway on top.

https://i.etsystatic.com/7636090/r/il/70837f/1025424329/il_794xN.1025424329_5tb6.jpg

I think I can proceed (when I get to it!) now that you've both given me ideas. I've been really stuck on how to move forward with this ever since I inherited it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hardly dollhouse related but what the heck since these were on my computer anyway. Since it's a real house, I figure why not show two of the real people who lived in it?

First pic below is my Granny Anna ca. 1936. She and my grandfather built the house in 1939. He died before I was born. She lived in it until she died in 2002. I believe that is when my mother commissioned this 1/12th scale recreation, when the house was being sold. I guess her way of sort of keeping it in the family. :)

And Mom, who grew up there of course, ca. 1962.

Granny Anna.jpg

MOM.JPG

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You definitely need dolls that look like your mom and gran.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can't wait to see the progress you'll make with this project. Love the old photos! I don't remember my paternal grandmother much, but I treasure one of the old photos I have. She actually looked a bit like that old actress from the Thin Man movies, Myrna Loy.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, blueirishmoon said:

Can't wait to see the progress you'll make with this project. Love the old photos! I don't remember my paternal grandmother much, but I treasure one of the old photos I have. She actually looked a bit like that old actress from the Thin Man movies, Myrna Loy.

Myrna Loy was gorgeous so your grandmother must have been too. I love the Thin Man movies!

Ugh, insomnia sucks. I'm up at 2:30 in the morning quietly turning this house over to look for a signature. Nuthin'. Norm Nielsen couldn't have built this house because he died in the 90s. Why do people not sign their work?? I wonder if I should ask his son David if he built this? Ugh, I don't want to impose. The man is trying to run a business not play researcher to strangers on the Internet with questions about 17-year old dollhouses. Mom was a regular customer of Norm's Dollhouse for years; I can't imagine who else in town she would have commissioned to build this.

It's like the house I've taken to calling the Not da Marcus because of the misleading plaque someone put on it, lol. That one's not signed on the bottom either! I suppose if builders don't care to leave their names for posterity, I shouldn't concern myself to do it for them. It's just that this sort of thing drives me batty.

I hope all you awesome miniaturists on this forum sign your work or else 20, 30, 50 years from now someone will be wondering, "What talented person made this?" I'm going back to bed. Thank you for the nice comments on this. It's special to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, havanaholly said:

You definitely need dolls that look like your mom and gran.

At least have their photos in the house!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now