Saturday, February 6, 2010

Return to childhood...

Santa brought my first dollhouse in 1948 when I was 4 1/2. It was a Keystone of Boston tudor style dollhouse. It looked just like this one below. :)

I looked like this in Spring, 1949. That's my big sister Charlene on the left and my wonderful mom who picked out this great dollhouse and all of the furnishings for her two girls. Even though it was a gift for both of us, it was always considered my dollhouse.

When I was 13, my dollhouse went to live with some other little girls; I hope they enjoyed it as much as my sister and I did. Mom kept 3 items from our little house....I have 2 of them in this house. Look for the Renwal sewing machine in the bedroom and the pink and blue chair in the nursery. I remember picking out the chair at Woolworths before I started to school; they came in several color combinations, but I liked the pink and blue the best. The other item Mom kept was the Renwal radio; my sister has that. :)

The furniture in this little house is just like I had in my little house. I've added accessories, but otherwise it's just like the dollhouse I played with 60 years ago....OMG I'm old!

In this house live the Ballou family....Mr. Ballou, Mrs. Ballou, Buddy Ballou, Gail Ballou and little Sweetness Ballou (so named to counter-act Evil Baby who lives on Lundby Lane in Amy's Miniatures and Smalls blog).

I see that Mrs. Ballou set the table for dinner before she rushed off to the store to get milk for Baby Sweetness.

Mr. Ballou is sitting by the fire listening to the radio. He wants to have a talk with his son so he calls out, "Buddy! Buddy! I need to talk with you before dinner. I'm in the living room. Buddy! Come now!" Wonder where Buddy is.....

He's not in the nursery with Gail and Baby Sweetness.......

He's not in the bathroom either..........

He's not in his parent's bedroom, but their dog Pug is there. Pug has his ears up. Did he hear mom opening a bottle of milk....better go down and check that out.

Oh look, Buddy is there talking with Dad. Dad tells him, "Son, I don't ever want to see you wearing a lime green suit again! Especially with a red tie!"

Yes, there is Mrs. Ballou warming milk for Baby Sweetness.....and Pug hoping he will get lucky!
Mrs. Ballou hears the doorbell ring and wonders who could be coming to visit. She calls out to Mr. Ballou asking him to answer the door. Wonder who is there....

OMG, it's President Obama!! It's their lucky day!!


  1. Hi Florine,
    I'm sure , Mr Obama will laugh, as I've done, when he will read your little story.
    Buddy is right: what an idea, to wear a lime green suit with a red tie!
    You're very lucky , you still remember all the furniture, which was in your little dolls house, and have found the same, except one or two pieces. Sorry I don't have your missing pieces, or I would have sent them to you.

  2. I shall never understand Google, why did he remember me as Olivia54, it's Bea, who has sent the previous comment, pfff...

  3. What a great house! Lovely staircase - though I'm not sure how anyone gets in or out of the front door?!? And you've furnished it beautifully, there are so many wonderful pieces - the cot in the nursery (I think you would call it a crib?), the table lamps, the marbled effect of the lounge suite in the living room, the double boiler on the stove - and a President who has the power of time-travel!
    I love the photo of you and your Mum and sister, too :-)

  4. Bea....I'm glad you liked my little story! It is strange that your comment was posted under another name; now, if I get a comment from Olivia I will know that it is really from Bea...unless google gives you a third identity!
    Discovering the kitchen furniture on eBay several years ago is what started my dollhouse collection. What fun it has been!

  5. Rebecca...I had to check out that front door/staircase situation. Luckily for the Ballous, the front door opens outward and they have about 4 cm to squeeze into the living room. Whew!
    All of the room sets, with the exception of the kitchen, were made by Ideal Toys; the kitchen set, radio, and sewing machine were made by Renwal. I like the way the "wood" on the lounge set is brown to resemble real items and that the doors on the kitchen appliances open.
    Our time-traveling president was a gift from a Republican friend...I'm sure Sue will be delighted to find that he is visiting the Ballous! :)

  6. Love the old photo. I bet you are still just as cute as back then. Baby Sweetness and Evil Baby would play together nicely. And just when you need a good laugh Barry shows up. I suggest they don't open the door.

  7. 60 isn't old to me, by the way! I also love the crib and the name "Baby Sweetness" ! Too funny.
    The picture of you as a child is wonderful, there is a store listed on German ebay that says " Every woman is a girl again". I love that! CM

  8. You are right, CM , 60 isn't old at all! 65 is pushing it! :)
    That crib was made by Ideal a child I always thought it was too big for the other furniture..
    Wonderful phrase from German ebay store...our collections make us living proof!

  9. dear flo - what a lovely post with a picture of you, your mom & sister and also a very cute and funny story! it´s so wonderful you have the treasures of your childhood back - even when there are just the sewing machine and chairs left from the things you once had. i can imamgine you and charlene playing with the house and picking out the chair with mummy :)

    and i love the idea that you called the baby sweetness!!! but poor buddy is in trouble - how should he ever get this suit of ;D


  10. A great collection. I really love the bathroom with its little boats.

  11. Hi Florine - just noticed the Cornflakes packet on the kitchen table - I love all the little details. :-)

  12. A beautiful house and furniture, I love the kitchen and the dining room furniture. And you're so funny, I laughed out loud both over the lime green suit and Barack Obama visiting :-)

  13. Nicola, it was such a thrill for me to find "treasures" from my childhood...and play with them again! Most of the boy dolls have beige suits, but mine as a child was green...and it didn't seem so odd back in 1949! Thanks for your kind words! Flo

  14. Pandora, I love the stenciled wallpaper on the Keystone houses...especially since the wallpaper I used on my daughter's house in 1979 has yellowed with age. I thought I always had to use the "boat"room as a bathroom until I saw other little houses using it as a bedroom! Using all the little accessories is something I learned from blogs from other countries! It really makes a difference!

  15. Thank you, Pubdoll! Ideal Toy Co made really neat furniture, but Renwal made the best dolls at that time....even if they looked so serious!
    And Barack Obama is welcome in my dollhouse village at any time!

  16. Hi Florine; A week ago I bought this dollhouse at an antique mall near Rochester NY. It came with a houseful of Petite Princess furniture. I am so in love with it. I still have to clean everything - the house and furniture are all dusty from being in the vendor's booth and who knows where else for so long - then I can do a blog.

    I loved seeing yours - your story is charming. How lucky you are to find the house and furniture from your childhood.


  17. Susan, I am so delighted for you! I hope you have lots of fun decorating it!
    Lizzie at The Dolls House Diaries has also shown one on her blog...before Christmas, I think. This Keystone will always be my favorite although I have many more.
    I'll be watching for your blog!

  18. I too received this Boston Keystone in December, 1947 or perhaps in 1948. I was about 2 1/2. I have a huge studio photograph of me on my stomach in front of the house. The furniture in it, I believe, is Renwal, some of which are the exact same pieces as yours. I still have the house gathering dust in my basement. Any idea what I could sell it for? I have no idea of their worth.

  19. OH, I bet the picture is adorable!! I would love to see it!
    I actually have 3 of these...I bought the 2nd and 3rd to upgrade as the first one is in sad shape. All were found on eBay...1st one I paid $185 plus's missing half the windows, door and chimney....but it was the first one I found like my childhood house and I had to have it. For the other two (which are in better and best shape!) I paid right at $100 each.
    I would think that you could get at least $75-$125 for it, it just depends who is buying. The market for Keystones on eBay is good right now if the shipping is kept around $40, which is the average price I have paid (I have 21 different more little houses).
    You might also try selling on Craigslist in your area. Good luck with whatever you decide to do. :) Florine

  20. If I ever get the size of the portrait reduced, I'll put it up for you to see. My house is a little faded, but is in quite good condition. The paint on the windows is a little chipped, but they are all in working condition. The only thing broken is one of the porch railings, but I think I can fix that if I find the right material. I even have the chimmey...not an easy feat since it comes off and has been through many, many moves. Did you buy your house with all the furniture, or did you have to search for it? I have checked the going rate for my pieces and I was very surprised.


  21. Hi Diane, sounds like you may decide to keep your little house! Do you have a blog or a website? The dollhouse sisterhood that has developed thru blogging is a lot of fun...I think you might enjoy it.
    The first thing I ever bought on eBay was the Renwal kitchen that I have in this dollhouse...that got me started...and I eventually found all the other pieces I remembered having so many years ago.
    Two other bloggers I follow also have this same house, Susan's Mini Homes and The Dolls House Diaries. Susan blogged about hers recently, but Dolls House Diaries bloggd last fall so you will have to go back in her archives to find how she decorated her little house....I think you will enjoy both!

  22. Hi Florine, I just bought this Tudor House from the same antique shop in Tenn, that I bought my 1940's Plantation House from in Jan. It is beautiful-I love it. There is one advertised just like it only with a missing window and not as in good shape .For now; $4000,500. the price has fluctuated down three times. I tried to e-mail her with no luck to tell her the price is way out of line. She posted that many people told her it was too high, but she thinks it is very rare. I do not think it is that rare as I have found three in the last week. I paid $250.00 for mine two weeks ago.