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!


  1. You can't have enough dollhouses...or cats in my humble opinion ;0P You must live in a mansion =0)

    1. A mansion?!?! I wish!!! At least I have two houses to spread them over, but the one I live in is a two-bedroom townhouse (terrace house), and the other one is where my sister now lives - 3 bedrooms, with the dolls houses confined to two (including the one I sleep in when I'm there - I usually have to remove one from the bed!) and the garage. Shelving in both houses is a priority!

  2. Hi, Rebecca - I just happened onto your blog and thoroughly enjoyed reading about your unusual doll house collection. What a lot of house-hunting adventures you have! I had time to only briefly skim through some of your older posts, but look forward to a more leisurely perusal in the near future. (The trunk of your car reminds me of my own - but to what better use could it ever be put?) Can't wait to read more…Marjorie

    1. Hi Marjorie, I'm glad you stumbled upon my blog, and are enjoying it. You're welcome to visit it anytime!

  3. I am really excited about the house with the garage! You did really great shopping! Too bad about that store, but you were right to go there and those goodies!

    1. Hi grandmommy, thank you, glad you like it! I think I will be more excited about that house when I work out where to put it, so I can clean it up and furnish it!!! It has lots of great features - but it is very big and very heavy!!

  4. Pepper is right, one can never have enough dollhouses! and how wonderful to have 2 new treasures for your "crazy dolls house lady" collection....you are not alone there.
    I love the wallpaper and the dark stained double doors in your Bathhurst house and also the staircase...OK, love the whole house! And fascinated with the exterior window frames on the Castle Hill house. What good hunting you have had!

    1. Hi Florine, Thank you! The house with the garage is still in the garage - an appropriate spot, but it needs work if the house is going to stay there. The other house ended up on the front porch, which is mostly brick and concrete, while we see if there are any active termites in it!! So they are both awaiting another visit, and a bit more organisation of the real house and garage, so they can be properly shelved!

  5. lol Done that! I don't think I've ever seen a wooden Garage door that goes up and down. Score! xoxo CM

    1. Hi CM, that was definitely one of the attractions in that house for me! I have had several dolls houses in a car before, but usually a hired car that's a bit bigger than my sister's hatchback! Also I've had less luggage myself - it took a couple of goes to fit everything in!