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Blog Entries posted by shamrockgirl18

  1. shamrockgirl18
    I haven't been on here in a while- not because I haven't been doing any mini work, but mostly b/c I haven't even had time to breathe, let alone type a nice leisurely blog entry.

    I've been incredibly busy because I now have 3 jobs: a day job (school librarian), a night job (writing instructor at local community college) and also a weekend job (local history museum).

    I was working this past Sunday at the museum (which is really a small historical village) when they had the Fairy House tour. Here's the link from the event, direct from author Tracy Kane's website: http://www.fairyhous...smouth-nh-2013/

    Towards the end of the day, I happened to meet the lady who arranged these Fairy House events. She told me that every year, there are a few houses that never get claimed, and they end up in the dumpster. I thought that was apalling! Not just the idea of the wasted materials, but also the idea that these beautiful little houses don't get a chance to be seen again!

    I told her that I am a dollhouse/fairy house builder myself, and that I also work in a school library. Our school has a little courtyard that the library windows look down into, and I told her I'd be happy to take any unclaimed fairy houses to display in the school's courtyard. She told me to come back on Monday (yesterday) and just take any houses that were left b/c Sunday night was the deadline to pick them up. So I went yesterday, and ended up taking 3 fairy houses back with me!

    Not to mention- they also inspired me to make some more of my own! I made 2 little ones last night from these little wooden, decorative birdcages that I picked up at a thrift store last year. And now I am working on a 3rd one in a larger, metal decorative birdcage that was also bought at Goodwill.

    I cannot wait to set them up in the courtyard, and then casually tell teachers/students to go out because "I think some fairies have taken up residence in our courtyard!"
  2. shamrockgirl18
    I actually wrote this blog post in my other blog back in August, but since it's about dollhouses it seems appropriate that it should be the first one in my new dollhouse-specific blog:

    It's a Small World After All
    I was pleasantly surprised today to see an article in the New York Times about one author’s somewhat closeted love for dollhouses.


    J. Courtney Sullivan writes fondly about the dollhouse she received for her seventh birthday. My mother tells me that I did have a dollhouse when I was very young, according to her it even had electricity but I sadly do not recall this. What I remember is the cardboard dollhouse I made myself out of a huge cardboard box that had built in compartments. My mom brought it home from work one day and I instantly knew what I was going to do with it.

    I set to work: using wrapping paper as wallpaper, cutting up towels (sorry, Mom) for linens and carpets. I bought dollhouse furniture at dollar stores and made beds out of sponges. It was inhabited by my very large collection of Troll dolls.

    Sullivan refers to her enthusiasm for tiny things as “an embarrassing secret obsession”. I sympathize with her in this way. I LOVE building dollhouses, but it’s not something I just go around telling everyone. I don’t introduce myself by saying “Hi, I’m Erin and I collect dollhouses”. Some people have no idea that I have this hobby. And fortunately, the people that do know think it’s creative and charming (or so they say). My long-time boyfriend should be cannonized because he’s lived among dollhouses for years now and just accepts it without questioning now. Although, I do joke that someday I am going to start wearing black stretch pants, white sneakers, and a T-shirt that says “Love me, love my dollhouses”. (I actually saw a shirt like that once.)

    But today after reading Sullivan’s article, I started reflecting on why I have this love for dollhouses, and why I feel the need to continue this hobby. What satisfaction does it give me? Well, I study children’s literature. I am not in the MFA program like many of my classmates; I prefer to read it, and write ABOUT it, but not create any myself. My classmates regularly get the wonderful feeling that comes when you create your own world. Imagine how JK Rowling must have felt while she was creating the vast land of Harry Potter. They create their own stories, characters, rules, realities, etc, and their writing is a window into the world they have created. I envy their ability to do that. I also enjoy creating my own worlds, but instead of sculpting the workings of my imagination into words on pages, I need to be more visual and tactile, and so I create a physical depiction of my worlds as I envision them. They are tangible and real, but they’re 1:12 scale of the human world.

    I think humans need this ability to slip into other worlds. This is the motivation behind reading stories, watching television shows and films, getting involved in theatre, role playing games and online games alike, etc. We embrace it so openly when we're young- playing with dolls, imagining ourselves to be whatever we want. I never cared when I was little who saw me playing with dolls or pretending to be a Ninja Turtle outside. I suppose as we grow older we suppress this desire, and find socially acceptable ways of satisfying it.

    watching TV shows= normal.

    A 29 yr old running around outside with mask over her eyes using a long branch as a sword= not normal.

    Perhaps my “embarrassing secret obsession” with dollhouses is not understandable to everyone, but I can justify it by explaining the normal psychological need for imagination and creative expression that I think everyone has in them. I am not JK Rowling, but I am happy in my own little worlds.

  3. shamrockgirl18
    I used to build dollhouses and create worlds for them. Decides the place and time period, name the dolls, decide what relation they all are to each other, imagine what their lives would be like, and determine what kinds of 'personalities' they have.

    But lately, I have not been creating worlds, but rather REcreating worlds. I am ecstatic that i was able to build Ariel's Grotto to my own satisfaction because that part in The Little mermaid always made me so happy. Imagine having a secret place of your own where you could just enjoy all your collected treasures, sing to your hert's desire, and indulge all your dreams and fantasies.

    Likewise, I have also built re-creations of Charlotte's Web, Laura INgalls Wilder's stories, a Harry Potter inspired house.. .my current project is the quaint book shop in Beauty and the Beast where Belle goes during the opening song. Similar to my creating Ariel's Grotto, I am making it because it allows me to take an active part in a moment which always makes me happy. I love the way belle is so excited to get a new book, and the passionate way which she speaks about reading; the part where she glides on the rolling ladder across the bookshelf captures the way I feel about being a librarian and helping children find the books they love.

    I am already thinking about which 'world' I'd like to recreate next. . .and I just looked up instructions for how to make stone garden walls, so there's a hint. ;)

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