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Honey and Bee ([personal profile] nid_dabeille) wrote2013-02-02 03:11 pm
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charity house

Long time no post!  I guess I've been busy with other things, but always thinking of you, dear reader!

         

I've had the privilege of being selected to assemble a dollhouse for charity!  The wonderful miniatures.com (Hobby Builders Supply, HBS) decided to donate 60 of its Imagination House kits to charity, and a bunch of us volunteered to assemble and decorate them.  HBS sent us all the kits, instructing us to keep them posted on our progress, and allowing us to deliver them to our own chosen charities.  Mine is going to go to a place called HomeStart, a local temporary residence for homeless women and children.  And then HBS also sent us all $75 gift cards and 25% off coupons to add whatever else we needed to furnish it.  

I'm so excited about the project!  I've been having loads of fun.  The kit itself is awesome (made by Real Good Toys in cooperation with HBS and Home Depot I think?).  I'm definitely a fan of Real Good Toys.  They make such good quality kits.  

And I chose colors based on a beautiful photograph of historic houses at Strawbery Banke Museum in New Hampshire.  The paint color I chose (called "rhubarb") is a bit more pink than I hoped.  (I confess, shameful for a lifelong artist, that I'm not very good at choosing paint colors.  I'm great at mixing paint colors, fantastic, which is a prized skill for the art conservator that I am by trade.  But choosing from paint swatches, I'm always a teensy bit wrong.)  However, this rhubarb color fascinates me.  In cool light it looks sort of magenta, or by dusk almost mauve, and in warm light it looks the most beautiful strawberry color.  I'm not a pink person in general.  I can only think of one pink thing I own, a wallet (in almost this same color), but I love this rhubarb paint.  I'll have to find something else in my house I can paint rhubarb once this house is gone, because I love just staring at it.  The buttercream trim and dark chocolate brown roof make it not too baby-girly sickly sweet.  (Though strawberry, buttercream and chocolate does sound like a very sweet confection.)

Here it is in progress, before I painted the roof (with my polar hut looking on).


  

(It is now Feb. 2 and I still have my Christmas tree up, in part because I've been loath to get rid of it, and also in part because the dollhouse is blocking it in.  I must do something about that this weekend - finish assembly, clean up the mess and finally haul the tree out.)


Somehow I ended up choosing a Victorian era theme for the house.  The style is actually very similar to my own house, the section built in 1820, one room deep with two downstairs and two upstairs (though I don't have those attic rooms).  But I wanted a diverse set of people living in it, and lots of dolls for lots of kids, and my favorite families that I found turned out to be Victorian.  (So many modern dolls have uninspiring clothes.  Kids want dolls with silky lacy dresses!  At least, I did when I was a kid.  Though I also loved my girl doll with trousers and a cute knit sweater.)  These two families have removable and interchangeable clothes, and that should be fun to play with.

The whole project is making me remember a lot about my own dollhouse playing as a kid, and what I liked.  It's also fun that I don't have to be as perfectionist as I usually am, because kids don't care quite as much about decorative details (like wallpaper and fancy flooring) or anachronisms, they care more about interactive play.  So I've been stocking up on furniture with movable parts (opening doors and drawers, bunk beds that can detach and become two singles) and interactive accessories like hats, dishes, toys.  I just hope I'm not choosing unwisely and that everything will get broken immediately.  Ah well, I also know from experience that a kid can have fun in a completely empty dollhouse, as long as there's a little doll (or the child's own fingers) to move around and walk-walk-walk up stairs and through doors.  And my nieces came over to help me paint and assemble the house, and they approved overall (though one of them said she would like to be homeless if it meant getting a free dollhouse.)

Here are some very simple curtains I made for the windows (which don't have glazing, but that's ok.)  I just gathered them on a thread and glued them to the window frame.  I didn't hem them or finish them in any way, and they'll probably get ripped off eventually, but oh well.  It's just for play.  Play play play!  And isn't it sweet fabric?  I was going to use some wide lace, but then I spotted this stuff in the bridal fabrics section.

   


Here are all the fun goodies I bought with the HBS gift card.  The stove and sofa are my favorites.


And if anyone would like to donate more things to the house, that would be most welcome!  I used the shopping spree from HBS right away, and added some of my own old things I don't mind parting with, and a few items people have given me, and I'm making more, but I also keep thinking "They can't possible manage without such-and-such!" and buying more stuff.  It's rather addicting!