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Out of Practice
I have built a bunch of mini homes but I think the last one I did was over 4 years ago. I really want to get back into it, I have tons of kits that I have great ideas for but I am feeling a little panic. I just have not done this in so long I feel like I am going to screw it up somehow. Starting with a Buttercup cottage for a 4 year old relative. Looking for some good tips and maybe a few words of encouragement!
Jen in NJ
The McKinley House is Back Home
By Minis On The Edge
So, Monday morning started like all the others. I started writing down things I had to do this week because it was gonna be a busy week full of appointments. Around 11 am I got a email from a friend from the Greenleaf forum. Emily told me that one of my houses that I sold years ago was on Craigslist in Wisconsin. At first, I pictured it to be one of my earlier houses before I was using paper clay. I pictured it to maybe one from when I first started out because I sold a few of those here in Wisconsin and Illinois. I clicked the link and was surprised because it was the McKinley dollhouse kit that I built for the Greenleaf construction blog!! How did that get here from California?!! I sold it to a lady who lived in California in 2008. I remembered a couple of years ago seeing it on eBay. So, I said to myself “before you get excited, send them a message.” The listing had been “Live” for 11 days and it looked like a thrift/charity store. I sent the message and then decided to look them up and call instead of waiting for an email reply. The store was a little over 2hrs away from me. I called and asked about the dollhouse listed on Craigslist. My name was signed on the back of the house so he began to tell me about how it was dropped off in the donation center with a box of other related things. He kept talking about it’s a nice solid built dollhouse. He said he don’t know who Tracy Topps was but that the person dropping it off said he’d come back with more dollhouse stuff he had to get rid of! So finally I asked, was the dollhouse still there, and he said yes it was! I had to pay over the phone because they couldn’t hold it for me otherwise. I told him I was Tracy Topps and I had built this and shipped it to a lady in California 11 years ago! He got excited then and said well now I want to know how it ended up back here and how did you find out since you live so far away from here. So we chatted for a little bit longer. I wanted to go get it Monday so badly because I was worried it might be gone when I got there or damaged more. I got there and it’s still pretty solid. Some shingles are missing or paint is scuffed off. It’s dusty and the insides are scuffed and damaged a little. The staircase and fireplace had been removed and damaged and the lighted fire doesn’t work in it. Several other lights are missing or broken too. I haven’t checked to see what’s working or not because once again, I have errands to run. But, when I got home, I opened the 3 drawers below the house and discovered several dolls and other things along with the box of furniture that has some things from Rhuetter Porcelain & Heidi Ott. A few of the dolls are by Detta’s Darlings (eBay name) some things I’m not sure who made. I got this all for about $100 including a tank of gas! They were just all happy it found it’s way back to someone who could clean it up and fix it. I think several people who worked there didn’t even know it was there because they all were saying how nice it was and asking each other where was it at in the store and how much was it sold for when it made its way to the front of the store. I never find dollhouse bargains at thrift stores EVER so finding my OWN dollhouse was exciting, but finding all this other stuff was really a treat!! I’m not sure what I’m gonna do with it yet. I’ll decide as I restore it but that’s the story of Stone Brair dollhouse (Which was the name we gave it back then and it’s signed as that on the back you can see my photos of some of what I got by clicking here https://flic.kr/s/aHsmJNPf1h Thank you Emily for letting me know and Thanks to Carmen who told her about it! I’m so EXCITED to have this back!
Do You Believe in Siding After a Build?
Hi everyone! I've had a long quiet period on here, but I've been steadily working away and going to shows/shops (I was at Good Sam in San Jose and was fortunate to visit Dollhouses, Trains, and More in Novato, CA for their closing sale). I will, finally, post a batch of haul and progress photos in the first week of November, when I get settled back into my home in Eugene. I really am terrible with a camera and it bugs everyone I know! In the meantime, I have a question:
Has anyone ever tried adding siding after their build's exterior was complete? Still being a novice, when I finished my first build (the Orchid; the interior is still a work-in-progress) I stepped back and thought 'I think I should have done siding.' Especially with the shingles on, the level of detail on the exterior just varies too much; it's been irritating me for a couple of months now. I'm a bit of a stickler it seems (though I didn't know it at the time)! My window/door casings, dormers, gingerbread, and my custom porch/railings are all already in place. I realize it may be very difficult, but the question is: is it even possible? If so, do you have any tips on how to do this?
Any and all possible mini wisdom is welcome!
P.S. I have the opportunity to snag a very affordable Laurel kit secondhand so I'm trying to decide where I should just start the next building with siding and call it 'lesson learned' or go back and add to the Orchid (and stash the Laurel until after the New Year, space is a very important consideration here). P.S. P.S.: I'm not a Cher fan, but I took a page out of Elizabeth's book (Studio E miniatures) since I'm always charmed by her ability to make musical jokes in her posts/titles!
Hurstwood Cottage Kitbash
I've introduced myself in the newcomers forum.
I received my Hurstwood Cottage kit from Bromley yesterday and I've already started on it.
Here's an album of me unpacking it: https//imgur.com/a/1ITiW6m
This is an intro post basically. This is my first dollhouse build so I thought I'd go for a small one and my plan for this also includes doing three different types of exterior finish; brick, panelling and render.
I'm going to turn this into a nice modern home.
Porcelain doll blanks available
I have a few porcelain castings I can offer this morning. I’m going to the post office this afternoon so these could be shipped out today. Private message me for details.
Unpainted, unassembled porcelain bisque dolls are the most economical way to add beautiful porcelain dolls of artist quality to your dollhouse scenes. Paint them with acrylics yourself. Costume them in good quality cotton or silks, add a viscose fiber hairdo and you have a creation and family heirloom you can be very proud of. There are links, tutorials, patterns etc. available online.
My dolls are cast by me in high quality French Bisque colored porcelain slip which is formulated specifically for doll quality. I take great care in cleaning the greenware for a quality piece, firing them once in my kiln at what is known as a soft fire temperature then I go through the process of cleaning them again and kiln fire one more time to bisque temperature,over 2000 degrees. They are then polished, carefully packaged and sent to you quickly.
This is Maisy, an elderly woman who could be cast in the role of anything from Mrs. Claus to flower seller or sophisticated shopper. She has a very sweet, kindly face. I can offer choice of shoes, from work boot suitable for gardening or the Edwardian strappy heel, or a Georgian style heel. Her hands are cast from a really neat elderly hands mold. I can also offer a white gloved arm if you prefer.
Hallie is my other casting available, she is a gorgeous doll and quite easy to paint. I can also offer her with the arms shown here, a different hand shape or the beautiful white porcelain gloved arm.
If you need the visual of what these dolls look like painted, check the mold makers website Cynthia Howe Miniatures.
Thanks for looking and do let me know if there’s anything you’re looking for porcelain doll wise, I’d love to help.