Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Dollhouse Diaries




Gasp, Shannon is writing a blog post!  What on earth is happening?

Hey now, it's not that I don't WANT to write I just don't have the time.  I don't even have time to READ blogs anymore.  It's true, I haven't read a single one in well over a year- unless it's posted to instagram.  Occasionally I'll read those.
I have literally been writing this post for days and it is just now getting published :(.
Speaking of instagram.  That's where I do most of my posting these days since it's fast and simple.
You should follow me HERE, it's definitely more updated than this poor, neglected blog.

ANYWAY, I recently renovated our childhood dollhouse and I sacrificed my fingernails and my sanity for far too long NOT to share it on my actual blog with LOTS of pictures.  SERIOUSLY, this thing was almost the death of me.  It was a major test on our marriage, my sanity, my strength and my stamina but somehow I prevailed and conquered the blasted thing.  Other than the countless (I am talking COUNTLESS) hours of work I truly enjoyed the process- but it was extremely TEDIOUS.  Kind of like a real house but in miniature.

I gave it to Ruby for her 4th birthday and I am so glad I did!

Thank the good Lord that she absolutely LOVED  it.  I would have cried buckets had she been indifferent. BUCKETS people.

Anyway, without further adieu….


The exterior was a royal pain.  I don't pride myself on my detail work so this was super hard for me.  I had to reframe most of the windows and replace the exterior trim.  The goal was to make it look like our house, hence the blue door and dark brown paint.  Painting all of this with a steady hand was incredibly tedious, especially with a bum finger on my right hand  (I broke and damaged ligaments in my middle finger back in December when I decided to sled down my snowy deck steps- it wasn't one of my better decisions.  We even have it on video, perhaps I will share someday?).
I painted the roof a dark charcoal gray since I had to replace some shingles and I felt like I'd NEVER  be able to make it match.
The tiny bunting was made from paper and tiny ricrack that I had laying around.
Here is a before picture just so you get the idea.

Let's just say this bad boy was very well loved.  It was loved to pieces if you will.
My Grandpa Gardner built it by hand and that makes is so special to me.  I don't think I would have taken the time to fix it up otherwise.

This is what the interior looked like when I first received it from my mom.  We had wallpapered most of the rooms and a few walls were crooked.
Once everything was repaired, stripped and sanded I caulked around every edge and corner and painted everything white.  It only took FOUR coats.




I wallpapered the back walls of each room and trimmed each interior window.
Most of the furniture came from ebay.  The fireplace was red brick and we painted it teal.
Other furniture was left over from when we were kids and got a fresh coat of paint (like the pink table).
 I also got some funky accessories, like the cello and the wooden spools from a local junk store that I am obsessed with!  The floral artwork was from an old German greeting card found at the same store.
I made the chandelier out of a toilet paper roll, left over trim and beaded ribbon.

I couldn't resist the red kitchen when I found it. It matches Ruby's  play kitchen perfectly and I knew it was meant to be.  I hung the amazing Naptime Diaries art work over the sink since we have it hanging in our kitchen too!  The coffee cup print also hangs in our kitchen.  Check out this adorable shop HERE.
Each little mouse got their own room with some kind of art work in it.

TThe washer and dryer were a must as well since they match ours!

I haven't touched the bathroom yet because I didn't have the energy to hunt down a tub and toilet.  Maybe I can get those for her for another occasion?

The office ended up being one of my favorite rooms.  I made the table out of old rulers and the lampshade out of a toilet paper roll and shingles.  I found the chair at hobby lobby for $2 and it just needed a fresh coat of paint.







Of course we had to have a teepee on the top floor.  I find the mice in there quite often.

The plan was to put in hardwood floors but I kind of like the brightness of the white.   We'll see if I ever get around to installing them- of if Ruby would even want them!

Either way Ruby loves it and has already clocked a lot of hours playing with it!  I am pleased with the outcome but I do not foresee any more dollhouse renovations in my future!  One and done my friends, one and done.





6 comments:

Shannon Brooks said...

I have a huge dollhouse that I found through craigslist for $20 last year. I'll do a little work on it and then get sidetracked with my soap or the kids. Seeing your progress on IG has really inspired me to find the time to finish mine for our girls. You did a beautiful job, Shannan. Really, beautiful!

Shannon Brooks said...

And how my kindle misspelled Shannon, I'll never know...

Linnea DiBerardino said...

WOW! THis is very inspiring but I am not sure I could even do this. It's perfect!

The Purple Front Door said...

This is stunning Shannon!! Great job!

Carly Ragragola said...

This is the cutest thing I have ever seen! Thank you so much for sharing!

Virginia Wood said...

I love to redo dollhouses! I have a currently-unused porcelain bathroom set you might want. I am Charissa's mother-in-law. If interested in my things, ask her for my contact information.
Virginia Wood