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