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I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Monday, December 30, 2013

The dollhouse shots

As requested here are some shots of the notorious dollhouse taken by me lying down in my daughter's family room. There is a video of it around somewhere of the whole thing but this should give you an idea.

It was a huge hit and my daughter says the little girls have been playing with it more than any other toy. It is Barbie scale so they have lots of dolls (some with hands that have not been chewed off by dogs even) to put in it.

The main idea is that this is not going to be pinned on Pinterest any time soon.

To be perfectly honest with you my execution was not up to my mental images of how this was going to turn out. My main error was thinking I could Modge Podge on scrapbooking paper to look like wall paper. I was working with my head inside the dollhouse and that stuff wrinkled and crinkled and tore in places and I could not get the cuts to line up with the edges. I realize in the pictures it was even worse than I thought.

I would rather make a dozen bound buttonholes in silk charmeuse (this is the most extreme example I can think of) than go near another bottle of Modge Podge again. I am now going to look at all those women in Michael's aisles with new respect from now on.

But listen. I am not a crafter right? And the girls like it. A lot. As my daughter said when it was unveiled, "well it sure has personality."

Because there are two girls and both my husband and I are the eldest of four in our families, we know all about pushing and shoving around the same toy. So we decided to cut a four shelf bookcase in half and back to back the parts so there would be two rooms each side so they could play without the other guy saying "she's messing it up." My husband also cut a door on the second level so they could still see each other and the Barbies could walk through.

The roof didn't get finished due to time constraints and we will be going back to finish that.

So here it is in all its messy glory:

There is a Barbie curling iron in the drawer of the vanity.

A sleeping mask like Babs wears. The girls like to borrow mine and walk into the walls.

The doll house is now up on a coffee table so they can see it better for playing. What you might be able to see are Barbie and Ken outside on the park bench.

A blender for smoothies like daddy makes.

It is crazy what you can get for $1.99 at Value Village, if you in fact are crazy enough to buy it.

TV remote on the coffee table but Barbie can only watch her shows for a limited time each day. That's the rules.

The biggest hit in the whole house was the toilet paper.
I collected this vintage furniture on eBay from across the continent. There is a turkey and pie in the oven for Christmas. I actually got into a bidding war over them.

The wardrobe is full of clothes I bought in a gas station parking lot from a woman who advertised on Kijji (Craigslist in Canada) the collection includes a wedding dress and leather pants and jacket. All now smelling of Detol.


Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

This is sooooo kewl and so much better than you think! I can see why the girls fell in love with it.

nobody said...

The dollhouse is overflowing with love! You are a fabulous grandmother!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this post, Barb. I've been hoping to see the finished project. Good job!

I have four grandgirls who would love one like that. Maybe for next Christmas. I'll have to start now because I think I may have to make at least three. Maybe the Barbies living under the same roof need a condo!! I'll be in touch for pointers.

Jodie said...

It's awesome!! And someday when those girls are much older they will appreciate the work that goes into that. My Grandma wasn't a crafter but she was a knitter and I have some beautiful things that she's knit me over the years. The work, and care that went into them is amazing - just like the Barbie house you built! Happy New Year!

Rebecca Clayton said...

This is awesome, and it is likely to get the little girls' creativity going around how to make more stuff for Barbie. So clever--you are turning the next generation into DIY home improvement--crafting--sewing--engineers during their formative years when they are too young to notice. Good going!

a little sewing said...

Barbara that is utterly amazing! Now, how can I get back to work after seeing such a fun toy? I want one for myself. Well, that's natural. This is exactly the sort of thing I played with when I was younger, but like you, I can BUY THINGS now that I am grown up. I can have a turkey in my oven, too.

How did you ever let it go?

Colleen G said...

Wrinkles and all, this is so much better than a pink house from Mattel. It brings to mind the project my Dad and Mom built for my sister, a miniature tent trailer that had as many characteristics of our family trailer as possible. I remember a Coleman key ring lantern, film cannister "propane tanks",sleeping bags, wheels cannibalized from my brother's broken tractor. I think the crafters had as much fun as the recipient. YOur grand daughters will still be talking about this house when they have children of their own.

MrsSmith said...

You are amazing! I cannot believe you did all of this!

Marci Milus said...

Dollhouse is absolutely beautiful! And AMEN to your comments about bloggers - I completely agree that the blogs I choose to actively follow are those that are by and about real people as opposed to professionals. I like seeing projects in progress as well as the finished product on real bodies and in action. Have a blessed new year!

Jacq C said...

I think it's fab - you are a great example to the girl's, they'll be making things for that house to add to the decor. Loo rolls an excellent touch - that would amuse my niece too!

Judi Pinkham said...

That doll house is better than any ready made!!! The "wallpaper" looks just fine. Barbie never had it so good!

Anonymous said...

I think that it is just great. The detail in it is something else.
They will be talking about this for a long time,

Karen in VA said...

The dollhouse is just great....it's soooo obvious that it is totally filled with love...better than pink plastic any day...I can see why your grand-daughters are playing with it more than anything else....

BetsyV said...

AMAZING! I love the wallpapers!

Scenic Route said...

Well done!! It all looks great--so no obsessing! The love put into it shows

Patty said...

What a great gift of love, and now I want one for myself ! I'll be on the lookout for the right bookcase from now on....

Louisa said...

Oh, I would have absolutely adored this house when I was a little girl! The details are perfect. Hope it inspires many long hours of contented play. You are the best grandmother!

LinB said...

Oh, I love it! Thank you so much for posting all the photos.

Elle said...

Delightful! This is a real toy, one that inspires more creativity, as opposed to a pink plastic toy that inspires nothing. Seems very much like your comments about blogs by and about real people as opposed to blogs of people posing as products--or is it products posing as people?

Letia said...

Makes me once again wish for grand-daughters lol I have 7 grandsons