Saturday, November 22, 2008


In 1994 Hobby Builders Supply started a contest. The company would pick the basic box and the miniaturists would create within that box. There were no real limitations on what could be done, but there was a deadline at the end of December and the company requested that entrants purchase their supplies from HBS, although other sources for materials could be used.

I thought the contest sounded like great fun so I entered. My entry was a Victorian shop and garden. It was made from a basic box from HBS and adapted to resemble shops I had seen in the small town of St. Michael's, Maryland. My husband, Tom, made the roof because the shop I wanted to build has an unusual front roof overhang. The lady in the garden was from The Doll Lady in Pa.

The dog is a limited edition by Gail Morey. He is cute, but naughty for chewing up that plant!! The side wall of the shop appears to have a window, but it is not real. I painted it to seem like a window into the shop. The shop opens on the opposide side. Another interesting addition was the sunflower in the back of the garden. I added that for a special reason. The area of South Miami Dade where we live was hard hit by Hurricane Andrew in August of 1992. Strangely, every yard around my area had a sunflower growing after Andrew; just one sunflower because when it was gone, there were no more. There are two little girls sitting in the garden; one on a bench near the front and the other in the arbor in back. They were sculped by Luci Criswell and they are adorable. I did all of the landscaping in the garden as landscaping and flower making are two of my favorite things in this delightful hobby. Now, let's go inside the shop.

Inside the shop is full of little girls' dresses, lace, flowers, hats, masks for masquerades, hat pins, lots of pictures, decorated plates and all sorts of things many as I could think of anyway. Inside the shop is a Persian cat who is perched on a chair in order to stay away from the mouse on the floor beneath the chair. The cat and Gail Morey's dog in the garden, added that bit of whimsy that I always try to include somewhere in every project. I loved this project; had great fun making it....and by the way, it did not win the big prize, but it did come in third. Good luck to all those entering the current contest which is about to end in December. I look forward to seeing all of the entries!!


I am not even sure why I am writing about the 9th Greenleaf house....which was a Pierce.

It was made for my older daughter, per her begging for a house. She picked out the Pierce and gave me strict instructions that I was to do all of the basic work, and buying most of the furniture was OK too, but I was not to finish the stairway, the porch trim or the roof. Sandy had her own ideas of what she wanted and how it was to be done. Well, that was OK with me and I gave the house to her so long ago that I can't remember the date. She later moved to Charlotte, NC; then to Alexandria, VA , then Orlando and finally to Miami. The Pierce made all of those moves with her and it survived quite well. I was amazed to see that all of the lights worked when the dollhouse finally got back to Miami....and that's my recommendation for soldering light connections...I am convinced they will last as long as the house. I think by now you must have guessed the end to this story, but in case you have not, I will tell you that the Pierce has never been finished. In fact, it looks now as it did when I gave it to my daughter all those years ago. She is a talented seamstress and decorator, but she didn't put any of that into her Pierce. I wonder if she will ever get the house finished or if I should finish it and give it away?



I am about to post the two McKinley Greenleaf houses which were built at the same time. Both were presents for young girls at holiday time; one for Christmas and one for Haukkah.

As you look at the pictures you will see that the two houses are almost identical; it seemed easier that way because they were gifts for two girls who didn't know one another and in all probability would never see the other, nearly identical house. One child was in Orlando and the other was in Miami. The McKinley is one of my favorite houses because it is a wallhanger, yet a complete house. It also was one of the easiest that I have ever wired, not that I look for that in a kit because wiring is a challenge and one of the fun parts of dollhouse building. I have included one picture which may seem like an unnecessary is the second shot of the living room and I included it because it is the only picture that shows the windows. I am not a fan of plain, plastic windows so on these two houses, I got out the stained glass design book and put a pattern on all of the windows. It made them look so much nicer and added to the Victorian feeling of the house. Also note that one house has a clock on the mantel and the other has a Menorah.


As the holidays are approaching, it seems appropriate to show the Storybook Cottage which I turned into a Sants's Workshop.

I don't think the Storybook C. is available in the same style these days, but I wish it would be brought back because it can be turned into many interesting shops and stores.

I removed one window and added a chimney, and I made the second floor much shorter.....after all, the elves were not very tall anyway and there was a ladder to access the area where some of them had to work.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


When writing about my Arthur Antique Shop, I mentioned Joe Andrews from whom I bought many wonderful miniatures, particularly those from a prior era like the strange bathtub and the butter churn in the floor of the kitchen. One thing I forgot was to state that Joe's wife was Jackie Andrews. She was well known for her fabulous collection of dollhouses, shops, souvenirs from NAME conventions and projects from many artisans. She was also known for the loan she took out to buy a miniature house, Wilton. The story was (and I do believe it was true) that she went to the bank, took out a mortgage, but it was for a dollhouse instead of a house for real people. One can only imagine the furor that caused.


It seems that I got ahead of myself when writing about the Greenleaf houses; put the words up, but didn't get all of the house pictures. So much can be said about all of the Greenleaf kits, or any houses for that matter. I find it a bit difficult to get all of the information written where the picture is shown, but I guess that is normal in trying to understand just how to write a blog.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


The pictures shown are those of various Greenleaf kits that we have made. The Willowcrest is a beautiful house, not currently available, but hopefully to be reissued soon. In the house shown here, I built the house, did the flooring, wallpapering and the wiring. The child's mother wanted to furnish the house with her daughter so I added no furnishings.

The next house shown is the Glencroft, one of my favorite houses. I built this one for me. It has an extra garage type room beside the house and that room is used for the owner's gardening tools as well as her laundry facilities. I added quite a bit of landscaping to the yard and attempted to show some of what an English garden might contain.

The next house is the Arthur. I made three of those; one was sent to Maryland to my sister-in-law as a Christmas present. She is not a miniaturist, but she does collect some minis and needed a place to house her treasures.

The second Arthur is mine and I made it into my Antique shop. It is well stocked with artisan pieces, a spinning wheel by Warren Dick is one example. This project was one of my earlier ones so it contains some treasures from past artisans and well known vendors, Joe Andrews being one of my favorite vendors because he always had such wonderful wooden pieces and oldtime pieces like the strange bathtub on the 2nd floor of the shop with the built-in water storage tank.

I can still remember how I debated about what pieces to buy each time that I saw Joe at a show.

The third Arthur was made as a Christmas present for the 6 year old daughter of my "veggie" lady. She had seen some of my miniatures and asked if I would make the house for her child. Making houses for children was something I loved to do because it gave such joy to me and to the child!!

Monday, November 17, 2008


Nearly 30 years ago I entered into a wonderful world of miniatures. For those who don't know, that means that I have a hobby in which I build miniature houses and shops in 1/12th scale. The structures are popularly known as dollhouses. Over the years I have derived great pleasure by making dollhouses and giving them to children of friends and of course to my grandchildren and we were lucky enough to have six grandchildren, four of whom were girls.

I am lucky in that my husband enjoys the same hobby...he has always been a woodworker in full size so now he just makes furniture in small size.

A month or so ago I joined an internet group sponsored by a company that builds dollhouse kits. I happen to like the houses done by Greenleaf because they are appealing architecturally. I was asked by some of the members if I had built any Greenleaf houses and if so, how many. Since I happen to have some pictures of those houses, let me start by adding a few. Then I can move on to other houses and shops.