Friday, September 14, 2012

The Dolls House

I've noticed that collectors of doll houses seem to have a fascination with any items relating to doll houses....especially books....and especially vintage books! Here's a little 6" tall shaped book I found on eBay last year. No author, but it was published by Valentine and Sons, Ltd, Dundee, London, and publishing date...but it has been inscribed inside with the name Ellene Reynolds, Christmas 1916.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I have!

The Dolls House

Mr. and Mrs. Dollilkin Wood,
In search of a house they went,--
Everywhere that they possibly could: 
And a lot of time they spent,
Going about by tram and 'bus;
For they said, "What shall we do?
The house we've got is to old for us,
We must have one that is new!"


Their present house
      was a trifle gloomy,
The rooms were dark and small;
They said, "What we need
      is one more roomy,
And one that will hold us all!"
For they had children, so very many,
Merry and noisy and fat, --
I tell you, it cost a pretty penny
To feed such a tribe as that!

Mr. and Mrs. Dollikin Wood
Viewed houses by the score,--
And none of the houses were any good,
And they had to go finding more.
Some were too cheap,
     and some too dear,
And some betwixt - and - between,
Had got the railway much too near,--
Because of the noise, I mean.

At last they said, "Without a doubt,
We have tried the town all round,
We will go in the country,
     a long way out,
And see what there is to be found.
For down in the country
     it's not so busy;
The houses are prettier, too:
My dear, I'm getting perfectly dizzy,
With up-and-down-stairs,
     --aren't you?"

So they took a cab
     to the nearest station,
And got in a train, --express,--
Full of the happiest expectation, --
Six children, more or less,
They also took.  And why was that?
I suppose, to help them choose;
Each of them in its nicest hat,
And each in its Sunday shoes.

They had only searched
     a very short while,
Just forty minutes indeed,
When Mister Wood observed
     with a smile,
"I think we shall now succeed!"
There was the house--
     from floor to ceiling
Just what they wanted quite--
And you can imagine
     their joyful feeling
At finding each room all right.

This perfect house
had a garden green,
Which was full of fruit and flowers--
The prettiest place
     that ever was seen,
Where one might wander for hours.
There were tennis-lawns,
There were arbours and swings,
Which of course the children tried--
     and other delightful things,
And a host of trees beside.

Mr. Wood immediately went,
The house's owner to see
And paid him at once a quarter's rent,
"We'll enter to-morrow!" said he.
The owner's name was Mr. Golly:
He took his books from the shelf,
And said, "You will find
     the house very jolly,
--I lived in it once myself!"

Mrs. Wood, she measured the floors,
And took the length of the stair.
That afternoon she went to the Stores,
And bought new carpets there.
She said, "Our carpets are so soiled,--
And I know the reason of that,--
The children all are much too spoiled
To wipe their boots on the mat!"

The very next day, and that's a fact,
Before it was time for lunch,
The furniture all was neatly packed,
And the Woods
     were as pleased as Punch.
Every one got in the furniture-van,
Nurse and children and all,
And said to the man,
"Drive as quick as you can,
Down to Buttercup Hall!"

This was Wednesday. Now listen.
By Friday,
     the Dollikins were able to say,
"We are now completely tidy,
From garden-gate to stable!"
And they had
     a splendid house-warming party--
With all the fun of the fair,
And wasn't their welcome
     blithe and hearty,--
I know--because I was there!



Sunday, September 9, 2012

Finding the missing pieces....

When I first saw this house, I wasn't  sure if it was a Keystone of Boston . I ticked off the characteristics of the Keystones....roof, chimney, door, and shutters looked like the ones Keystone produced in the 1940s. But the windows were large and empty while most of the Keystones during that period  had the metal diamond-pane double windows that swung open. But it came to live with me, and for several years sat on the shelf with a blank look on its' face and a bit of Nancy Forbes furniture inside.  

Then I saw this house on an auction site with pretty half windows and the original box that indicated it WAS a Keystone of Boston. I was glad that I had guessed correctly! But it still sat on the shelf....unloved...for many more months. Not long after, another collector contacted me through my Keystone dollhouse site telling me she had the same dollhouse and with hers came one of the original card windows. She was able to reproduce the windows/curtains and had them available on her Etsy site, TFTTreasures. Sally not only has the windows, but also the decorative covers for the curved stairs in the 1947-50 dollhouses! I believe she also makes the card insert for the Keystone fireplace for these same era homes, although it is not currently listed on her site.
What a difference finding the missing pieces
makes to this wonderful old dollhouse!

Although all of the orginal curtains were blue,
Sally makes them in red, green and yellow also!

I had fun decorating it....the furniture is by Strombecker, the lamp is Jaydon and the fireplace is Lynnfield-Blockhouse. I used a permanent black ink pen to create "hardwood" floors like other Keystones of the same time period.  And since I had card curtains, I decided to add card pictures too!

More Strombecker furniture is found in the kitchen...

A chair and side table made by Kage sits in the corner, while the rest of the furniture is Strombecker.  And I finally used the  decorative stitches on my sewing machine...!

and Strombecker in the bathroom also! is so nice to find the missing pieces!
Thank you , Sally!