Saturday, March 22, 2014

They Stood on the Porch in Their Underwear...

Many years ago, when my children were small, and Sweetie was in the Navy, and I didn't have a job that paid in anything more than peanut butter kisses and chocolate fingerprints on everything, I was a bit of a bored housewife. I mean, I treasured peanut butter kisses, and I didn't even mind the fingerprints (much), but I needed a hobby. Oh, I was already a yarnigan...and I had been crocheting for more than a decade, but I was looking for something new.

I looked around in the craft stores, and I finally decided on a victorian dollhouse kit. It cost a lot, especially on our then shoestring budget, but even Sweetie knew I needed something to fill my evenings after the kids went to bed. Wine and TV by myself on the sofa when Sweetie was deployed or on duty was no longer a healthy alternative! So, I shelled out the cash, and brought home the kit (and some paint, dollhouse wallpaper, an electrical kit, and a few pieces of upholstery fabric to use for carpeting). Go big or go home wasn't a big catch-phrase in my world back then, but it was apparently my dollhouse motto, in 1:12 scale!

I spent several months working on the dollhouse, and eventually I spent several months creating furniture and draperies in balsa, styrofoam, lightweight quilting fabric, wood glue and acrylic paint. I guarded the house...I had great plans for becoming a great miniaturist, and turning my dollhouse into a showpiece, so I never let my kids play with it. Then they were suddenly too old for it anyway, even before I put the shingles on and installed the electric kit, and I lost interest. A few years after that, I started to see the silliness in keeping it tucked safely away, unfinished and neglected. Eventually, I gifted it to a family with 5 girls who loved it well, and returned it to me just last year. (Thank you Becky, Jaime, Rachel, Sarah, Leah and Erin!)

As I received the house (still sans shingles, etc.), I spent quite a bit of time re-acquainting myself with it...this quite-average dollhouse that I had made from a kit with my own two hands. I dusted the remaining furniture that I had built, and cleaned up the wallpaper and upholstery the best I could. I regret that I was too uptight to ever let Dollface actually play with it. It was never a masterpiece, and I honestly think that it's now used status makes it more dear to me. As a matter of fact, Peanut will be coming to visit soon, and I am really looking forward to seeing if she likes it.

Of course, anticipation of the upcoming visit led me to the realization that a dollhouse isn't much fun without dolls to live in it, so I grabbed some yarn and set to work, creating these two:

And even though the man doll is 7-and-a-half-feet tall (to 1:12 scale, lol!), and his "wife" is just a bit shorter, I took the house down last night to see how they "fit." They walked around inside a bit, checked the mattress, and the sofa, and found that he could easily reach things for her from the top of the refrigerator. I also think I heard her planning a windowsill herb garden, so I think they will be very happy here. :) At the end of the evening, I promised that I would get busy with my needles to make some clothing, but they said there's no rush really...they kind of like the pants-optional prospects of owning their first home. That's what they said anyway, as they stood on the porch in their underwear.

Remember to call first if you're coming for a visit. Apparently my dolls' house is pants-optional, but I'll try to remedy that as quickly as I can. Not that there's anything wrong with that...

Knit in Good Health!

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