Tuesday, April 28, 2015

A Crazy House Lady

I love cats, but don't qualify as a crazy cat lady - I only have one cat now, two until late last year ... but a crazy dolls house lady, yep, I definitely qualify for that!

I spent last weekend in Sydney with my sister. This is her car, packed for our trip from Sydney to Bathurst yesterday (Monday) morning. On the right is a dolls house I drove to Castle Hill to collect on Sunday morning, and on the left is a model house frame I bought on Saturday afternoon. My suitcase (brown) and carry-on (black) hold lots of dolls house furnishings I brought down from Darwin for the dolls houses I have in Bathurst.

I found the house frame at Recycling Works in Annandale, where I've previously found dolls houses. My visit this time coincided with a hail storm over Sydney and the Central Coast, which was accompanied by torrential rain. Recycling Works has a corrugated iron roof, so the hail was very noisy. I was out the back looking at this frame house, which one of the guys there had just lifted down for me, when the rain started coming in - I'd picked up a few small things as I went, and I grabbed another I'd been looking at and retreated to the front section of the shop. Just as well I did, as this is what the back section looked like after the storm:

My sister's photo

In Bathurst, I had another house waiting for me, which is so big I have no idea where I'm going to put it! For the moment, it's still in the garage on the pallet it was delivered on -

It's huge - 1.6 m wide, 80 cm high and 60 cm deep. I didn't realise how big it was when I bought it - and I stupidly hadn't asked until I was booking the freight. But I was intrigued by it - here's the best shot I could get of the front at the moment:

I bought it from someone on the South Coast of New South Wales, near Jervis Bay, who said that she had picked it up a few years ago from an elderly couple - the husband had made it for his grandchildren. I don't know when he would have made it - it sounds like it couldn't have been much earlier than the 80s. The design looks a bit older, with the dormer windows and small panes in the main windows - perhaps he modelled it on a real house?

The garage has a lift-up door:

The handles on the internal doors were placed quite high, as they were in the 1920s and 30s - and the dark stained wooden doors and architraves are reminiscent of that period, too.

The hallway

The landing upstairs

Upstairs right - like the hallway, this seems to be the original wallpaper

Upstairs left - there seems to be some wallpaper under the contact

Downstairs right, with a bay window and more original wallpaper

Downstairs left - the kitchen, behind the garage - more contact!

This house came with original dirt, spiders, etc, included. I probably won't clean it until I sort out somewhere to put it - which I think will mean some remodelling and reorganising in either the largest bedroom (now a spare room) or the garage.

Here is the house I picked up in Castle Hill, in Sydney:

I forgot to ask the seller what she knows about it. It does look genuinely old, ca 1920s or 30s, I would say. The roof lifts off:

It doesn't look as if it has been papered at any stage - if it has, it's been very cleanly removed. It came with homemade 1930s style furniture, some of which is also stained wood, and some which is painted. When I have cleaned it all up, I will take photos of the furniture in the rooms - first, though, I need to treat the termites which have been eating some of the base!

The left side

The back

The right side

Detail of the front porch

While I'm in Bathurst, I hope to spend some time on the other dolls houses I have here, cleaning or stripping some, and trying out the furniture I brought in others. Then next weekend I'll be in Sydney for the dolls house fair! I had hoped to display some vintage dolls houses (I was thinking about my cardboard houses, as being the easiest to transport from Darwin), but I didn't get organised with display cabinets etc, so that will have to wait for another year.
I'm still looking forward to seeing fellow collectors and bloggers there - if you're going too, I hope we can meet up!