Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Coming Soon - Downloadable Book Files on Etsy

So, I used to make dollhouse books to sell using the accordion fold.

They were a lot of fun to do, and it's probably the easiest way to make a readable dollhouse book.

But it isn't how I make my books anymore (I am using double printed pages now, which is a PITA, but with pretty cool results).

But this means that I have files for a whole bunch of accordion fold books that I'm not using and will most likely never use again.

And that's when I thought maybe OTHER people would like to make them!

So I'm cleaning up the files a little bit (I never thought they'd be worked with by anyone but me, honestly) and photographing a tutorial and I'll have them up for sale after a bit! They will only be available in one size (1:12 - dollhouse scale), but if I can figure it out I may include some directions for changing sizes.

I've never shot a tutorial before, so wish me luck! I'll let you know once they're up and ready to sell!

- Wendy

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Some Bunny Likes Books! Happy Easter!

Things have been busy with work, and the garden and stuff, so I don't have a lot to share right now.

Monday, I'm even blowing off miniatures for something big. Like, BIG big. I'm going to visit Blackhawk helicopters! (More about that if it happens, though). :)

Do you think my neighbors would notice if I brought one home? :)

However, I did spy this little fella shopping in C&M this morning.

I guess everybunny likes books! :)

Happy Easter, everyone! Back with more updates and things soon!

- Wendy

Saturday, April 8, 2017

The Buttercup Pt 1 - And Now For Something Completely Different

I gave away the FAO Schwarz house to a great home. David & I talked a lot about it and I realized it was going to take so much work, and the near destruction of the house itself, to make it what I wanted, that it was probably better to let it go and find something closer to my vision for that idea.

Before jumping into the big projects in front of me, like the Joseph Angel and the 1:6 scale house (and possibly a custom finishing job for a customer), I wanted some dollhouse practice. Something to get my feet wet again before jumping right in. Or something like that.

So, I got myself a Greenleaf Buttercup.

Normally, I am not a fan of these kits. The wood is cheap and thin and normally a little warped.

 But for my purposes this time around, it's PERFECT! It's so little, and so CUTE!

Lots of wood glue. 

And masking tape. 

I think it's going to be adorable. I've been wanting to paperclay something, and I think this little house will really lend itself to paperclay. 

So... my current project: The Buttercup.

I have some big plans for this little house (not only do I need to practice my paperclay, but I want to practice parquet floors too). I guess we'll see how it goes. :)

Wish me luck!

- Wendy

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Thurber Thursday #8 - Springtime in the Garden of Thurber

It's Thurber Thursday!

Now that there's finally some sun here in Colorado, Thurber got a chance to go outside and enjoy it. I should too! But I have another building project, which I will tell you about soon... :)

- Wendy

Monday, April 3, 2017

The Joseph Angel Dollhouse - Mini Mansion of Mystery?

I have never met a dollhouse with so many weird rumors and stories surrounding it as the Victorian Times "Joseph Angel" shell.

Picture found on internet

I have talked to people who claim to have seen the real house it's based on.

I have spoken to people who say it's an entirely made up house.

Others have told me that it once WAS a real house, but it's been torn down and doesn't exist NOW. 

I have heard tales about the brave ship captain who lived in the house named for him.

I have heard it was a dollhouse created for the wife of a hamburger baron.

I don't think that even Norm, David's father, who finished the exterior of this Joseph Angel house even knew (and he knew a LOT of stuff about dollhouses and stuff!).

He had a friend looking into it, who had homed in on the Pittock House in Portland because it was owned by Joseph Angel at the time, though I can't say I really see the resemblance in that one.

So, I've researched and read and tried to put together all the sources I could find and here's what I've come up with:

There is no ONE house that is the Joseph Angel. And there never was.

The Victorian Times designers made up the house with elements taken from different houses around Oregon, possibly including:

The Poulson House in Portland, Oregon.

The Captain George Flavel House in Astoria, Oregon.

At least those are the most commonly sited inspirational houses, and I think it's pretty easy to see elements of the Joseph Angel in them.

Victorian Times is long gone. They've not been around for ages. I don't know whatever happened to Clell Boyce or Ronald Clanton.

But what I do know: There will be a Rocky Mountain Woodcrafts version of this house. We already do a historical house kit that actually IS a real house - and of course I mean the Lace House, in Blackhawk Colorado.

Norm Nielsen and a Lace House Dollhouse -  May of 1978

And it will fit right in with the grand dollhouse kits David already makes like the Seaside Villa.

And the House on the Hill

There are so many things that could be done to make the Joseph Angel AMAZING, and a kit (not an assembled shell, as they were originally sold). Things like:

  • Hinging that front bay to make those two rooms more accessible
  • Making it out of the high quality plywood David uses for all of his other houses.
  • Pieces that actually fit together.
  • Windows that don't REQUIRE the nearly $700 cast resin set the original house called for.

Oh yes, we're going to make this a kit, and our own. And it's going to be amazing. 

But we won't call it the Joseph Angel.

I don't know what we'll call it.

The Oregon Mansion?

The Seaview?

The Drama Llama?

Or maybe just the Mystery House?

I dunno. Any thoughts, I would love to hear them. :)

We've started refurbishing the one Norm started, and though it's got some challenges, it really is a beautiful house. It feels so strange to be working on something David's dad originally did. He was the master (and his son has very much followed in his footsteps) Who do I think I AM? Refurbishing the work of someone so talented. It's intimidating and exciting all at once.

 I'll keep you updated on the progress here. Slow and steady... and that's just refurbishing the outside!:)

- Wendy

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Thurber Thursday #7 - Construction Cat

Oh sure, the Joseph Angel might be a construction site right now. But Thurber doesn't care. A sunbeam is a sunbeam, says Thurber the Cat. :)

- Wendy 

("Thurber Thursday" is something I've tried to start on my blog for a while. It never goes very far, but now that I'm back to sorta regular blogging *fingers crossed* maybe it'll happen! You never know! Wish me luck! And if you have any ideas for something Thurber could do on a Thursday, let me know! :)  ) 

Friday, March 24, 2017

The Joseph Angel Dollhouse Follows Me Home

My local dollhouse shop, Norm's Dollhouse , where I have spent so much time and money, closed forever on 3/15/17.

Wightwick Manor, the house in the center of the whole thing, moved out on 3/20/17.

And that was that... or so I thought.

So, this is a Joseph Angel dollhouse finished in Purple (picture found on the internet).

And this is one finished for a Norm's Dollhouse customer ages ago. (Scanned from an old photo)
And here is the one in my HOUSE!!!

Midnight in the Dollhouse indeed!

David's dad, Norm Nielsen himself, finished the exterior of this house, and it sat in the shop window of Norm's Dollhouse for years. So it shouldn't mind sitting in MY window, I shouldn't think.

Hopefully, after not too much longer, it will have some lovely irises out front to keep it company.

David and I have talked about finishing the inside of this for YEARS and now... we can. It's empty, but full of potential.

I can't wait to get started. But step one is repairing the exterior. Sitting in a window, in full afternoon sun for years and years, has let the glue dry out and so some things need to be re-glued and that kind of thing.

And then, I can start thinking about the interior.

Of course, there's still the FAO Schwartz house. It's been here, neglected, for about a year and a half and it could use some love.

Since it's no longer in it's original state (it's been painted and re-wallpapered) I'm planning a lot of changes for it. I think it's going to be amazing. So much potential in one tiny little house.

There's another house here too. A different kind of project. But I'll have to show you that one a bit later.

For now, off to the "real" job that I love and that supports my dollhouse hobby.

Wish me luck with all these houses! So many tiny rooms... so little time. :)

- Wendy

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Farewell to Wightwick Manor - And I Couldn't Be Happier

I know, that title must sound weird, since the last time I wrote about the Manor, it was that I was completely gutted that it was leaving.

But then I got to meet the new owner. :)

I didn't expect to have anything to do with moving Wightwick. I had said my goodbyes and I thought that was that.

But then, David got hurt while taking apart some of the old store fixtures.

When he called, I hadn't realized I would be helping remove Wightwick (I thought I was just whisking him off to urgent care) so these photos are just from my cell phone. Sorry for the quality.)

The Manor comes apart into 5 separate pieces, for ease of moving. All of Grandpa Nielsen's big houses do.

We loaded it into a trailer they had brought with them. David felt the easiest way to move the Manor was to take it apart, then reassemble it in the trailer. So that's what we did.

And then the Manor was gone.

I thought I would've cried my eyes out, but when I met the knew owner, I knew that I couldn't have hand picked a better home for the Manor. She's WONDERFUL! And she just sounds so smitten with the house, and getting it all fixed up. I know that Wightwick is in good hands, and that makes me feel so much better.

I hope it makes you, those who were worried about the Manor with me, feel a little better too.

To my surprise, though, a huge house DID follow me home from Norm's.

This is the Joseph Angel, and I'll have to tell you all about it in another entry. :)

Hope your weekend was amazing too! More blogging soon! 

- Wendy

(P.S.  Many thanks to Lori, the Manor adopter, for letting me take pictures while the Manor was disassembled and moved. And if you ARE reading this, just know that I really am so glad the Manor found a home with you. Have fun with Wightwick! And thank you for giving it a great home!)

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Books, Books, Books!!!

The "Little Show" went GREAT! A good time was had by all, and we learned a lot about how to present David & Wendy's Dollhouse at the NEXT show.

And that we might need more than 8' of table for the show coming up in September. Who knew?

But, lately my life has all been tiny books. Books! Books! Books! And another project that I will have to tell you about a little later...

The books are going GREAT! I am so excited to have gotten together a collection of W.W. Denslow's books. They are so cute and the illustrations are so fun.

Like this one, and illustration from Denslow's "Simple Simon".

I'm pretty sure he was unsuccessful in catching a whale, but I guess I'll have to read the book to know for sure. :)

I'm also about to have "The Little Prince" done. I used to do it as an accordion fold book, but the bulky, double pages of the accordion fold limit how many pages you can have. By a lot. So it was an abridged version. Still cute, but not the full book.

But now that I'm doing them double printed (thanks to some wrestling with my computer and printer and lots of swearing) I can do the full book! I am so excited.

Ever since I was a little Wendy, I have been hung up on "What would happen if I had to live in my dollhouse?" (I blame the amazing children's book "Among the Dolls, which apparently left quite an impression my 8 year old mind.)

So now I make REAL books.

And I guess if I ever DO have a sudden shrinking accident, like the little girl in "Among the Dolls", I'll have reading material, at least. :)

What's the most realistic thing YOU have in one of your houses? Something that, if YOU had a sudden shrinking accident, you would be glad was there for you? Let me know in the comments! 

- Wendy