Sunday, 22 September 2013

My dollhouse journey

OK, the doll house is finally built!

I am extremely happy that it looks strong and sturdy. I find wood working tricky since high school. I dreaded shop class and hated having to do wood projects.

It took me almost 7 weeks to build this house from a kit. The first week was spent on repairing broken components. The doll house kit was imported from America but barely survived the journey. Luckily it was insured. However I had to replace some components and it was sold only in America. I even bought the plan book so I have exact measurements to replace some plywood parts that were old and kept splitting. Luckily my husband helped me bond the layers together again using a lot of glue, clamps and a 24 hour waiting game. A lot of patience is required if you plan to salvage as much as possible.

So much time and effort has been given to build this 1/6 scale doll house and I will debut a photo of it in this blog tomorrow!

I wish I could take photos now but there is masking tape still holding down windows as the glue dries.

Here is a little history about doll houses and miniatures in my life. I must have been as young as 5 when I had my first doll house. I don't have a picture of it but I remember it had a set of baby blue bathroom and toilet furniture. It was 2 storeys and all plastic. There was a family that came with it but they were not so nice since they are just moulded plastic in a set pose.

When I was 7, I discovered Polly Pocket from Bluebird. This was the original Polly Pocket where you have a whole dollhouse in your palm in a little clam shell compact. I thought it was absolutely amazing and my poor mum was bullied into buying so many for me. I had a few compacts, a heart compact(cottage), a square compact, a round compact (vet), a square compact and a few more I can't recall. When I won a big district competition, my mum rewarded me with a big Polly Pocket case that contained a village centre and village green. It was a jewelry case and I could take it along with me everywhere that I went. I also had a pendant where you stash Polly in a little clear dome. I stopped buying Polly Pocket when the design changed. Instead of cases opening up into a tiny world - you split open a house instead. I have nothing against the design but I love the compact case design more. It was suppose to be a secret doll house. Nobody can tell what's inside the compact when it is closed.

At 10, I was obsessed with Legos. There was a Lego exhibition in a shopping centre and I visited it at least 4 times. I saw the potential of these colourful building blocks and had the urge to build my own. I had Lego Basic buckets which allows me to build homes, dismantle it, them build more. Every single house was different and that was the great thing about the Lego Basic range. It is up to your imagination - no rules. I'm not sure if they even sell that range anymore.

I had a few Barbie dolls when I was 12. I naturally wanted a Barbie dollhouse. This was not possible since it retails around £100 at that time. I knew my mum wouldn't spend that much on a toy especially when I'm expected to grow-up. I entered a Toys r us in-store competition which was basically like Supermarket Sweep. I actually had my eyes on the dollhouse so I knew I had to grab one during the competition. It was a failed tactic since the house was huge (I was so tiny, I'm a petite now) and made pushing the trolley quite a daunting task. So I didn't win.

When I was in university, I had a Sylvanian Families dollhouse. The model was 'Beechwood Hall' and I loved the simple style. I had all the furnishings and a family of cats. The house lit up and sat at a corner in my room. It was eventually sold off.

And now - I am the new proud owner of a Playscale Victorian Townhouse by Real Good Toys. It was not an easy decision. I almost bought a dollhouse from the Dolls House Emporium because they kept sending me really good promotional deals through the mail. They were beautiful but I knew I loved my miniatures in 1/6 scale. I collected Re-ment and I make 1/6 scale miniatures since you are able to fit in so many details into it. For me it is just more visually stimulating. Plus, Sadie Sprinkle is a 1/6 scale doll. It would be nice to give her a home.

The only decent doll house kits in this scale was manufactured exclusively by Real Good Toys. The dollhouse hobby is big in the UK but not in the scale I wanted. Since I was determined, I finally bought it. I knew it was a very basic kit but I had the time to do it. I expected that there was going to be a lot of work but didn't expect how much planning and preparation that goes with it. I'm always thinking 3 steps ahead to avoid disappointment during the build.

So tomorrow, I can finally reveal my new doll house.

I can't hardly wait!




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