Monday, December 28, 2009

New Year's Resolutions in the village.....

Actually, these are new year’s resolutions that I need to work on before my little people revolt, march down the hall and smother me in my sleep….

1. Clean up the village…otherwise known as my dollhouse room. Think back to Nov 29
when Call of the Small blogged about clearing up a corner of her basement for her houses and related possessions…didn't it look fantastic!! LOL. No way will I post pictures of my room that almost always looks like a bomb exploded in it…can I blame it on my peeps?

2. Clean up the Hogarin house. Bathroom is neat (wow), and they can almost sleep in the bedroom! But the rest looks like.... my dollhouse room. This is the only house I have with rooms tall enough for my really tall Asian family. I have been trying to decide if they will live in the house, or if I will give it back to the Hogarin family that came with it. There they are… standing outside…notice granma is standing between grandpa and the younger maid that used to live with my friend Amy . This should be easy to do, and I should be able to keep this resolution!

3. Quit storing furniture in the Wagner dining room. That’s Karen Wagner throwing her hands up at the confusion I left in her dining room. She and Doug would really like to give a dinner party, but until I do some cleaning and moving there is no chance of that.
Evidently she hasn't looked at her spare bedroom upstairs either, or she would be kicking and screaming on the dining room floor!
Hopefully by summertime.....sorry, Karen.

4. Get started on my English cottage.
This is an English dolls house I bought from
Canada several years ago.
The seller stuffed it in a box that was too
small and broke the chimney top into
several pieces, but I saved them…
plus the door and windows are missing.

It looks like it had vines or climbing
rosebushes attached to the front (nice glue
residue!) to match the ones painted
on the side.

I've decided to turn it into an English cottage and
and fill it with my collection of Barton Tudor
Basically, I know how I want it to look, but just
getting started has been difficult for me.

Please advise if you know the maker of this
little house. I have another, with similarities,
that was made by Playcraft.

Will I be able to keep this resolution...I hope so,
as I have always been anxious to work on this project!

5. Put my Wichtel furniture back together. I've had this since last year. I recognized the box from the Puppenhausmuseum website.

What wasn’t already FLAT when it was shipped became FLAT as soon as I opened the box.
I hope I am still good at puzzles!
I need to take one long weekend and attack this collection of wooden pieces!
Will I get this done…I think so!

I think I have finally come up with a list of new year's resolutions that I look forward to fulfilling!
Must be because it involves my little houses.
So what's on your list of resolutions this year! Good luck to all of us!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Buy of the year...Dora Kuhn delights!

Although many of the blogs I follow have an affinity for modern decor, my personal preference is for the vintage dollhouses and dollhouse furniture. I have a total fascination for vintage Dora Kuhn furniture; it must be my German heritage!
And I love it when I have a really great win on eBay. I wanted just the beds in this auction, but of course you can't tell the seller, "I want to bid on just the beds, please!" Evidently not many buyers were interested, because I won this entire set for $42US! (And right after I won this set, a dear friend sold just 2 of the larger scale blue chairs for $44US.)
Several of the pieces in this set are marked Made in Germany US Zone; so that would date them back to at least the 1950's, right? They have a lovely patina, mainly because the varnish has started to yellow. One blue chest is missing a drawer, but I will make that an open shelf....on my list that keeps growing!

I didn't realize until they arrived that they were the smaller 1:16 scale, so I couldn't use them with my other Dora Kuhn furniture. I placed them in a Keystone of Boston dollhouse from the late 1930s and liked the here they will stay.
Dad lost his coat before he came to live in the village, so that is another item on my 'to do' list.

Do you have a really good buy from 2009?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Greetings of the Season....from Texas!

Around my dollhouse village, my little "peeps" (borrowed that term from my friend Amy who promises to start a blog on her Lundby lovelies very soon!) are getting in the spirit of the holidays......

Here we find Alex and Sara and their pup Pookie hanging a wreath on the red door of their Keystone house that was built in the mid 1930s. Looks like they have already decorated the fir trees gracing the entrance.

Rhett (who is a big boy) is helping daddy hang the wreath on their 1950 era Keystone house by staying out of his way. Rhett is hoping Santa will bring him a "two-wheeler" for Christmas!

On the south side of the village, up on a hill, we find Papa Nils waiting for Pia to hang the last ornament on the tree so he can place the new starburst on the top. Little Harald is busy playing with his kitty Kelo while Mama Margit waits in her comfy chair to light the candles on the tree...

Camille and Gabriel Bertrand hung their holiday wreath and are walking to the village store to buy candles for their tree. They are giving instructions to Baby Huey Bertrand to stay close to the chalet while they are away. Papa Bertrand always takes his umbrella with him.

In the middle of the village, Karen Wagner holds the wreath to hang on their door while hubby Doug prepares the reindeer topiaries to place on their front lawn. They are thinking about adding a red nose to one of the reindeer.......

Jeanette Renwal is trying to coax her kitty Titus away from the door of their 1940 Rich Toy home so her dad can hang their Christmas wreath. Titus must be from the same litter as Susan's lovely Darci.

In a corner of the village, Pappa Niklas Karlsson takes a nap in his chair by the tree while his wife Nana Astrid clears the dinner dishes. She is happy they decorated the tree before dinner so Niklas is free to have his nap! She is proud of her new retirement home built by Caroline's Home.

Chloe Hughes brings the door wreath to hubby Rhys while little Sofie waits patiently to help her pop. They live on the upper east side of the village near the Karlssons.

Little Greyson has helped daddy hang the wreath on their front door, but mom needed to make some adjustments.......

Grandma Wuensche wishes she could remember just where she stored the angel tree-topper because her darling grandkids are excited about seeing real candles on her little tree!

And, from one of my favorite cards from 1979, my holiday wishes to you.........

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Saturday nite in suburbia......

Karen Wagner cleans up the kitchen while her hubby Doug smokes an after-dinner stogey on the veranda. She is trying to figure out how to add a dishwasher to her tiny kitchen....
Doug enjoys his stogey while thinking about his single days before he met Karen. He wonders what happened to that cute little blonde he dated while working in Canada. The last he heard she had married and was living in one of Susan's Mini Homes with her hubby and kids. Boy could she put away the vino!
Stogey finished, Doug pops his favorite Art Porter CD into the player...a little mood music, he hopes! He yells at Karen to fix some martinis when she finishes in the kitchen.....
Karen wheels the coffee into the parlor.
Doug: "What happened to the martinis, Karrie-baby?"
Karen: "Oh, Douglas, I thought you would enjoy coffee more. I'll play some showtunes for you while you have your coffee! Off the davenport, Miss Sallie!"
Karen thinking: I wish he would fix that window. There is such a draft on my legs when I play. I really would like to re-decorate this room with a modern flair. Oh, did I miss a note there? Not to worry, Douglas is probably not even listening. I wonder if we could get Oese to come from Germany---I love what she does in her little houses! I would have to watch her closely, however, in case she wanted to put one of those scratchy sponge sofas in here! If I could get Louise to invite us out for a weekend visit to stay at her Welsh Princess cottage with that romantic 4 poster bed...umn....maybe I could convince Douglas to pay to bring Oese here!
Doug thinking: Coffee and showtunes. What a way to spend Saturday nite! Umn, too bad I let that party girl Dianne get away. She married that young Mike Praeger and moved back to Australia. Last time I saw her on the net, she was living in one of Rebecca's homes and still lookin' good! Wonder where that draft is coming from?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Little girls and their dollhouses.....

I collect vintage dollhouses, not the great antique dollhouses and furniture shown by Louise on Grandmas Attic - Toys and Treasures or some of Rebecca's wonderful old houses
on Rebecca's Collections . My dollhouses are the dollhouses of my youth (1940's and 50's) and a few from the 1930's...and for good measure, I also have some from my daughter's youth, the 1970-80's.
I do, however, have a fascination for vintage photographs of antique and vintage dollhouses found in books or on the internet. The photos that fascinate me most also include the little girls that originally played with these wonderful old houses.....

This photo may have been sold commercially as it shows a copyright date of 1896 by a photographer out of Pennsylvania and Missouri. Wonder if the other side of the house was decorated.....does anyone recoginize the furniture maker?

Almost missed the little girl sitting beside this Christmas tree! Baby doll on her lap, baby dolls on chairs, dolly bed and huge dollhouse....what a lucky little girl she was!

This was a miniature model house erected in Bismark Garden for a charity event in Chicago in 1915. But the little girl standing by it seems happy to be there. Love the laundry hanging on the line!

I wonder if this dolls house was a replica of this little girl's real home? It's almost large enough to be her playhouse!

This cutie-pie looks happy all bundled up and getting her picture made with her dollhouse on the roof of her house/building....1910? If you can date any of these pictures, please help!!

Another photo that may have been sold commercially. Really big dollhouse; really big furniture sitting in front; really flat dog, hope it's just a picture. Something to their left is holding the attention of both little girls....wonder what it was? With the "stars and stripes" there in the background, we can assume this in in the U.S.

What a fantastic dollhouse! Wonder if it is in a private collection or in some museum now....or just lingering and dusty in someone's attic. From the little girl's dress, I would date this 1910...give or take a few years.

I have seen this photo in several different places. One site listed it as JohaInnesburg, 1918. Another fantastic dolls house!

Another wonderful old house that could have been a replica of the house where this little girl lived. Wonder what color it was. Probably built between 1915-20; I have pictures of my Mom's little brother dressed just like this little boy...Mom was born in 1915.

This house was listed on eBay last year........

....and with it was this photo that the seller said was taken in 1918. Always great to get some history of your little houses. The house has been repainted ( I hate it when they do that, as I think the original patina best shows the character of the house), but still looks to be in great shape.

An English garden......?
Do not remember where I found this photo; I listed it as "English", that may have been to remind me, but it doesn't! It certainly could be in an English garden with all those lovely flowers in the background.

Two little girls with a really big dollhouse. Dollie carriage looks like 1920-30's, but no way of knowing unless someone recognizes these little girls or this great dolls house that's still in their family!

Was this a lucky dog with his own little house? Old style house that could have been built at any time between 1925-1955 (black and white photographs were common through 1955).

This adorable little girl looks happy to have her picture taken with her wonderful dollhouse. In Antique and Collectible Dollhouses and Their Furnishings, Dian Zillner shows this house sold by FAO Schwarz toy company during the late 1930's (picture below left). The house had a "stucco" finish and metal windows. A pattern for the house was also featured in the Popular Homecraft magazine in the Nov-Dec 1931 issue. The picture on the right is from a 1949 publication that showcased "the best of 20 years" of make-it-yourself plans from that magazine. If anyone wants to make this great old house, I will be happy to share all 5 pages of the plans!

This looks like several of the Rich Toys masonite dollhouses of the late 1930's. I wonder if big sister let him play with this house....or if he just had his picture taken with it?

I love it when I find old photos of dollhouses I have been lucky enough to add to my collection.
That's one of my houses .....

And here is a proud little girl that received an almost exact copy for Christmas sometime in the mid to late 1930's! This dollhouse was made by Rich Toys; I have seen no less than 6 tudor models with this same color scheme made by this company.

Another Rich Toys dollhouse.....

This house dates to the late 1940's. I have one of these houses in my collection also.

This looks like a European dollhouse to me, maybe German? Late 1950's or early 60's. Anyone recognize the furniture? Beautiful beautiful smile on that happy child!

Another big smile of happiness on this cutie-pie. Another German dollhouse?

This is a metal dollhouse made by T.Cohn and first sold in 1948. Wonder if the little girl picked this house for Santa to bring...or if her mom had the final decision? I have one of these in my collection and the graphics and colors are exceptional...I think the best of any of the metal houses made at this time.

Plans for this huge dollhouse are still sold on eBay. These little girls from the early 1950's look happy enough to be playing with this house, whether it was their house or just for the photo.

One little girl is happy, the other not sure! Big dollhouse! Looks like the ones sold in the 1970's when I was trying to decide to buy or build for my own daughter. I built, but more about that later!