Thursday, May 5, 2011

the dollhouse - I

I never had one. 
Until I moved to the US and I started to take care of this one. 
It's not actually mine-mine, my husband got it from his mom.
dollhouse - Dec 1943

A funny note: when my husband had his first daughter, he called his mom and said: "it's a girl, can I have the dollhouse?"
...But in an era where 'toontown' and other computer games were more appealing to young girls than an antique dollhouse, after the first few days of excitement, she was left as is, collecting some dust for a while... until I came and rescued her (yes, she is a girl). 

A bit of history about this dollhouse: she was built as a present for my mother in law from her father, in 1940, and it's a scale 1:12.
The dollhouse has all the four walls and the two sides unlock for access and play, because they wanted the "little people" to have a real whole house, three walls were NOT an option!
The whole house (e-ve-ry-th-i-ng) is hand made, it's wired, the lights work and I-love-it!!! 

I know that nowadays you can go to the craft store and buy lots of pieces and assemble them at home, and this would qualify as DIY.
But here is the REAL DIY: during WW2 such scale things weren't available, in fact not much was available at all, so every piece was actually hand made.

See the shingles? 
The corner candy/stationery store would sell cigars one-at-a-time and so would be left with empty boxes.  You could just ask for them and the owner was happy to give them to you, rather than throw them away. He cut the boxes in pieces and nailed down with pins (also cut to fit).
The stones for the patio are made of a piece of a blackboard broken in pieces. 
Ah, and because there weren't many tools, a surgeon family friend's gave him the not-so-sharp-anymore scalpels that were used as wood knives.
dollhouse - the master bedroom
bedding, armchair and ottoman completely handmade by my MIL's mom
...And I could go on and on.
The refrigerator was made by a family friend, it is (of course!) wired, and the light goes on when open. And has ice trays!

When my MIL was a little girl, some days before every Christmas, for many years, the dollhouse would be covered with a sheet and being unveiled on Christmas day, to show the new additions and the improvements.

Over these years, the dollhouse got plenty of furniture, and additions, I made quite few new things.
Stay tunes, I will share pictures and how-tos!

xox, d.

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