Saturday, December 25, 2010

Happy Christmas!

Happy Christmas, dear fellow bloggers, followers and readers! I hope that all of you have a safe and peaceful Christmas, whether you are spending it with family, with friends, or alone.

In previous posts, I have mentioned the scrap albums which were either made for me, or passed down in the family. The images in this post come from a scrap book which my English grandmother made for me - probably when I was about 5 years old. I don't remember exactly when she sent it, but it contains a lot of Christmas images, so it may have been a Christmas present.

She also included lots of images of northern hemisphere winters, no doubt so that her Australian granddaughter could become familiar with them.

One thing I love about this scrap book is that I could run my finger over the pictures and feel them. The robin at the front of the stove here was cut out of a card and pasted on to the larger picture - and on a lot of pages my grandmother had built up a picture this way, making a very tactile scrap book, as well as one that is visually stimulating.

Love and hugs to you, dear fellow bloggers - see you after Christmas!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Mrs Santa delivers

Santa is so busy delivering presents all around the world - of course, Mrs Santa also goes out on delivery runs.

I hope Santa and Mrs Santa bring wonderful gifts for you this Christmas!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A fancy dress party

To celebrate the end of a school year, the children are having a fancy dress party. Everyone has come dressed up, including the adults!

In one room, there is a game of pass-the-parcel. An older boy, dressed as a sailor, provides the music on his accordion. He stands in the doorway between classrooms, so that the children in the other room can hear the music too.

In the other room, there's a game of musical chairs.

What is a lamb doing, playing musical chairs?

Oh! It's Mary, and everywhere that Mary goes, the lamb goes too.

Back in the other room, the first and second layers of paper have come off the parcel, and around it goes ...

Oh dear! Clown's big feet have tripped up on the lamb's lead! Who will be able to get up first and join in again?

Mary is more concerned about her lamb, so clown is still in the game.
That little bride looks very determined, doesn't she?

It's fun ripping paper off the parcel, and everyone is getting a turn ...

Only five children are left playing musical chairs .... Woops, one little girl sat down on the floor, instead of a seat! Four left now ....

The parcel is getting smaller, but still there are more layers ... Who will find the last layer?

Only two chairs left ..... around they go, and then Mr Tim takes away one chair. Now only one is left - who will sit down first when the music stops, the bride or Little Red Riding Hood?

We've reached the final layer of paper in the parcel, and the chimney sweep unwraps it - it's a mouth organ! He is very happy.

And the game of musical chairs has ended too, with Red Riding Hood getting to the chair first!

Phew! Time for the children who played Musical Chairs to play something quieter - they go into the other room, for a game of Pin the Tail on the Donkey.

Mrs Thomas (dressed as a queen) gives each child a tail, and then a mother dressed as a maid ties on the blindfold ... and takes it off again, so they can see how they did ..

Oh dear! That tail is at the right height, but it's not really on the donkey, is it?

Sally the painter gets her tail closer ...

Clown makes the children laugh - his tail is right in the middle of the donkey's belly!

So Sally is the winner - her prize is a tiny, bouncy rubber ball.

In the other room, the children have been playing Blind Man's Bluff:

Then it's time for judging the best fancy dress costumes.

The couples join up, and the children who brought accessories for their costumes pick them up again. Mary, of course, has had her lamb with her all evening!

There are prizes for the couple with the best costumes, the best occupational costume, the best folk costume, the best fairy tale character, the best nursery rhyme character, the best historical costume, the boy with the best costume, the girl with the best costume, the scariest costume, the sweetest costume, and the funniest costume.

Who do you think should win each prize?

Are there any categories I've forgotten?

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Rosetta Stone Award

The Rosetta Stone Award was created by a committee of My Realitty's dolls in March this year. One doll from each house attended the board meeting, and, after other business, announced the inaugural Rosetta Stone Award, which is given to a dollhouse blogger who has contributed greatly to the information of dollhouse history. The inhabitants of the dolls houses explained that "though these houses started as toys and may have led a perilous life, once they are in the harbor of the collector they have a story to tell. This award is to acknowledge the sleuthing it takes to discover that story."

This award is issued to only one person, must be kept for 6 months then passed on to another worthy recipient.

I was very honoured to be the first recipient of the award. I think the dolls are probably less impressed with my timeliness in passing it on. Although my dolls decided who to award it to next in plenty of time, I have been very tardy in making the announcement. My apologies.

Valerie Smith has been nominated by the inhabitants of my dolls houses as their representative, and is very happy to present the Rosetta Stone Award to:


Valerie would like to thank diepuppenstubensammlerin for her assistance in identifying the designer of her kitchen table and chairs (Bodo Hennig), as well as the original designer from which her kitchen cabinets were copied (probably Modella; this is a more affordable copy by Blue Box). Many vintage photos of Valerie's family, the descendants of Erna Meyer, have also been located thanks to diepuppenstubensammlerin - and other families, such as the Cacos and Hückels, have also benefited from this service. Valerie Smith also recommends a visit to diepuppenstubensammlerin's online photo albums - Valerie says she loves looking through them!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Snow in Summer - My New Baby

I recently bought a new house on UK ebay, with the help of Dolls Houses Past and Present member Linda. It's an old English style brick house, which (based on the lighting and furnishings) dates to the 1930s.

The house is small - 1/24th scale, or 1/2" scale, measuring 8 1/2" (21.5 cm) deep, 13" (33 cm) high (to the chimney tops), and 22" (56 cm) long (including the bathroom and shed).

Every roof surface and window sill has a dusting of snow (cotton wool), so it must have been part of a winter scene at one time.

It needs a bit of work - this is how it looks at the moment.

I'm not really sure which side is meant to be the front - one side has a knocker on the door, while the other side has a door with a porch and a letter flap. I think the side with the knocker is probably the back, as the shed also opens on this side. I love the shed door - it opens top and bottom, and has a wooden latch to close the bottom half. This side of the house opens on hinges - or will, when it is reattached to the hinges.

The front door also needs to be re-hung:

There are also some windows that need replacing:

The back of the roof lifts up on hinges to access the two bedrooms:

There is one set of Dinky bedroom furniture - bed, wardrobe, chest of drawers and stool - in excellent condition.

The roof is kept shut with a little hook on each side, which goes into a hook just below the eaves:

Downstairs is a stone-flagged kitchen on the right:

The stairs go at the front of this room, something like this I think, although the gap at the top doesn't seem quite right. There are steps missing - two are with the house, but I will need to make some replacements as well.

On the other side, downstairs, is the drawing room and hallway, here without the dividing wall:

and here with the dividing wall in place:

The far door opens into the bathroom, which is also furnished with a Dinky set:

The shed contains the electrical wiring and switches:

As you can see, both the shed roof and the bathroom roof lift off. The undersides are constructed to sit on top of the walls:

The dolls house is handmade, and probably a one-off. A lot of work has gone into creating all the detailing - the roof "slates" are made from paper stuck on to postcards, painted grey and cut into individual tiles, which have then been stuck down on to the wood:

The bricks and the flagstones in the kitchen are painted, and pencil outlines are visible between the bricks:

The panels in the doors are marked by pokerwork (or pyrography) and chasing, and I think the functional letter-flap and the door knocker are handmade too.

This photo also shows another thing I need to deal with: woodworm holes, which I could not see on the auction listing!

As well as the two sets of Dinky cast metal furniture, this house also came with 3 rugs and 4 lampshades:

The rugs have also suffered from pests, as you can see clearly from the backs:

There is also a hand-drawn picture of a dog, stuck to what I think is part of a matchbox:

The poor dog has also suffered the depredations of pests, poor thing! I'm wondering if one reason that there are only two sets of furniture is that the rest was wooden, and was eaten. The metal alloy that Dinky furniture was made from also deteriorated, though, so if there were other Dinky sets they may have broken and been discarded. Anyway, I'm delighted to have two sets in very good condition.

So there's a fair bit of cleaning and repair work to do before any dolls can move in! I won't get much done before Christmas, but hopefully I can work out how to treat the woodworm, just in case there are any live ones still.