Meet the dollhouse lady.

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     As many of you know, I am a latecomer to the wonderful hobby of building and furnishing a dollhouse.  I really did not appreciate the time it takes to build a dollhouse and found myself up against the proverbial wall many times.  This makes me giggle when I picture myself smashed up against one of the tiny walls of my dollhouse…  At any rate, if it had not been for the help of my friend, Mrs. Sandra Geimer a/k/a The Dollhouse Lady, I might have given up a long ago.
    The most important thing Mrs. Geimer taught me was to be patient, the joy of this hobby is the journey.  I quench my thirst for completing this project by telling myself a dollhouse is never really done.  Sounds like an excuse, well it is…kind of, except that I really do love seeing what others have done and learning from them.  Somehow, saying it’s finished seems like defeat.  I don’t want to be done.  I want to add new things, make new things, and share this experience with my Goddaughter and granddaughter for as long as I can.
     If you have ever been to one of my presentations you know I always say that I started writing to leave our grandchildren a legacy of words.  Well, the art of dollhousing (I think I just invented a new word) is also a legacy.  With each strip of that frustrating wiring tape, the hours of sanding and painting the tiny pieces of wood, and the pure joy of sewing tiny items by hand comes a memory.  I have stood in antiques and consignment stores and looked at discarded dollhouses and my heart aches. Someone made those dollhouses for a beloved child and now they sit dusty and unloved.   I look forward to the day when Emerson can help me pick out pieces to add to “her” house and pray the house will never end up lonely in an unknown store.
     I wanted you to meet the woman who helps me and learn a little about her enthusiasm for dollhouses.  Some of you will remember Mrs. Geimer’s house the Rosedawn that was featured in my very first blog.  I am happy to say, the Rosedawn has found a new home and resides with a lady who waited many years for exactly this house.
     If you have any questions about building/decorating/loving a house, please pass your questions on in the “contact” section below and I’ll get the answers back to you.
*Remember, if you simply want to comment you need to click under the date (top left) where it says “Leave a comment.”
Questions for The Dollhouse Lady
Q:  What made you decide to build a dollhouse?
A:  When we were kids we didn’t have the kind of craft stores we have today and when I walked into the first major craft store about 14 years ago my brain exploded with possibilities.  I saw a HUGE dollhouse and knew immediately I had to have it.  Chuck, my husband, did a lot of the building of that first house, but I built or bought  all the ones that followed.  Once you have completed building a dollhouse, the satisfaction is beyond belief – meaning, “my 2 hands did THAT.”
Q:  Give us an example of three things that you “learned the hard way” when building and/or decorating your dollhouses.
A:  1.  Always take your time either building the dollhouse or decorating it – never be in a rush because you will have many re-does,
2.  Be sure to have the proper tools for building and/or decorating – ie:  sharp scissors, a good paper cutter, good wall paper paste, good crafting glue.
3.  Never be in a hurry to complete a project – mistakes will be made and they WILL show.

Q:  How many dollhouses have you decorated?  Please give a brief description of each.
Best way to answer this is to go in order,  including the “name” of the dollhouse.
1.  “The Alexandria” – this house was a Victorian house – this is the house that I learned the do’s and don’ts about painting, wallpapering and basic decorating.  I made a lot of the furniture that was in the house from kits.  I gave this house to 2 little girls.
2.  “The Holiday House” – this house had only 4 rooms in it – each room one above the other.  The first floor was decorated as the Halloween Room, 2nd floor was The Thanksgiving Dining Room, the 3rd floor was the “Christmas Room” and the 4th floor was the “4th of July” room.
3.  “The Haunted House” – probably my favorite of all.  I built this house from a very inexpensive kit and installed lighting in it as well as eerie blue lights for the “scary” effect.
4.  “The Clue House” was already built when I bought it, but I did all the exterior and interior decorating, including the electricity.  This house was made by a company in England and was a high quality dollhouse.  The theme of this house was modeled after the game of “Clue”.  The house was interactive – meaning, you could actually play the real game of Clue in the dollhouse.  I gave this house to a darling little girl by the name of Sally.
front of Clue house 2professor  or Mr. Green in the libraryMs Scarlet in Dining roomMrs. White in Kitchen
This house is so unique.  Please note Professor Plum in the library, Miss Scarlet in the Parlor and Mrs. White in the kitchen.
5.  “The Lighthouse”– this was my first attempt working with a “round” house as well as working with 1/2′ scale.  This was SO MUCH fun to make and  the entire theme was based on the workings of a lighthouse.  I gave this house to my sister as a “thank you” gift because of my many visits to their summer home at the Cape.
Very sorry to say I don’t have a picture of the Lighthouse.
6.  “The Rosedawn” –  This was the biggest house I had (12 rooms) – This house was a work in progress extending into approximately 10 years worth of wall papering, making parquet floors, extensive electrical work, painting, decorating, etc.
front of house  3Bedroom 1
7. “The Forever Friends House” – a cute fun little house that I found in a dumpster that was in complete shambles – it had 2 floors each with only 1 room……I made it into a dollhouse store.
Dollouse store 2 - CopyDollhouse Store 1
8.  “The Cumberland Castle” – I got this house from a company in England and built it myself following very easy instructions.  Once the house was built, I painted it on the outside and then covered the entire exterior with over 2,000 stones.  Although Kings and Queens of early years didn’t have electricity, I installed  electric candles throughout the house.  This is truly my favorite house of all.
castle 1kings bed roomThrone Room 1
Front of castle, throne room and king’s bedroom.  Pretty cool!
Q:  What is the difference between a dollhouse and a room box?
A:  Dollhouses are actually “houses” with separate rooms; ie:  living room, kitchen, dining room, bathroom, etc.  Each room usually has a door from one room to another.  A room box is usually of a specific theme and is only 1 room.  
Q:  Why would you do a room box versus a dollhouse?
A:  Someone would do a room box if they did not have room for a full dollhouse, did not want to commit as much time, or  just wanted to give it a try to see if you really liked the hobby.  Room boxes are done very much the same as a dollhouse.  You can paint, wallpaper and lay carpeting/flooring  and then decorate it according to your theme.  I have several room boxes – all with a different theme.  (Internet cafe, saloon,  The Statue of David has his own room box,  a Christmas room box, a garden green house  and a library room box.
Q:  What is the most important thing you can tell someone interested in building a dollhouse? 
A:  The most important thing is to have patience and to take your time while working on your dollhouse.  Never be in a hurry.  Also, have the proper working tools, good glue and good lighting so you can see while you work.  Don’t be afraid of making mistakes and ALWAYS use your imagination.
This is quite a collection of dollhouses!  Remember, if you send me questions I will forward them to The Dollhouse Lady and get back to you with the answers.
Have fun!

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. notewords
    Jan 29, 2015 @ 12:35:07

    Wonderful inspiration!


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