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What started your miniature love?


***Sunny***
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When I was about 7 or so mom and I went out to my grandma's(the antique dealer). She had a piece of furniture she wanted to show my mom. When we walked into restoring studio It caught my eyes immediately! I museum quality display house. She asked me not to touch it. I looked through windows at the handmade fully inclosed beauty tiny drapes, glassware fabrics and soft furnishings. It was so lovely and the detail beyond anything I had ever imagined. I fell in love right away. Barbie started to get detail in her home. Plato food, handmade pillows. LOL as a teen I got a cottage kit, I saved up for so long and begged the other grandma to take me to the hobby lobby 60miles away. I worked on it for 6 months. I just loved it. That was it for years until I was given a San Franciscan then it all refueled my fire!!! I have had a "tiny" problem ever since. Garage sale,s flee markets, dollar stores, it goes on and on. The amazement I had as a child became a goal as an adult.

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Hmmmm..good question but tough to answer. I played with Barbies alot when i was little, and I remember always loving dollhouses when i saw them in other people's homes or museums or whatever. . . I also read books about them like The Dollhouse Murders and Midnight in the Dollhouse. . .

I think I discovered how much fun it was not just to play with them but to make them when my mom brought home a big box from work that had built in compartments and two flaps that opened up like big doors. Too small for my Barbie dolls, but the perfect size for my troll dolls! i set to work decorating the inside with wrapping paper for wallpaper and making furnishings 9as well as buying some from dollar stores). I kept it until i outgrew my Trolls but in highschool i got the itch again. . .my bf at the time found one on the side of the road and picked it up for me and I've been addicted ever since.

Great discussion topic! :)

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I had a Keystone dh when I was a little girl. It had metal lattice windows and a working wooden door and an electric nightlight bulb in the stairwell. I played with it regularly until I was in junior highschool and my DM packed it away along with all my dolls and informed me I was old enough to "know better". Everything got packed into a leaky S FL garage and what the bugs and critters didn't destroy the wet and mold did.

DH decided to build the eldest granddaughter a dollhouse for Christmas one year and I realized how much I still loved minis. She got that house when she was six. I found and built a DC SF555 and she got that when she was 12 (apparently her mother was like mine, her little sister never knew about any dollhouses). Meanwhile, the building bug had bitten me, although I thought I just wanted my own dh when I got the DC Cambridge and built it for myself. As I've mentioned elsewhere, people discovered I built dhs and things got out of control for a while, and then I was invited to join the GL building team and got to build and go crazy with a variety of styles of house. Along the way the kits began to tell me their stories of what they wanted to look like, who lived in them, etc, and I had to start making everything to go into them to suit them.

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I too, as a child built my Barbie’s massive homes. I used anything I could find, Legos, Lincoln logs, shoe boxes, 2 X 4’s and scraps of material . My “houses” were just walls and floors.

Then when my son was 2 years old, I thought it would be fun to build him an N scale train set. The first hobby store I went into also had doll houses. I was intrigued and hooked! I bought a Pierce kit.

I also found a miniature doll house store that had absolutely beautiful and expensive items. This store had dollhouses that were for sale for thousands of dollars. This was a world I never knew existed!

When my son started school I went back to work and the dollhouse was put in the attic. Now 20years later, I’m probably going thru the empty nest syndrome. But I got that old house down from the attic.

I took over my son’s old bedroom, now I’m not just hooked. I’m obsessed!yes.gif

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I loved dolls as a kid, and always wanted a dollhouse, but my parents were poor farmers that couldn't afford such things. I remember playing for hours with my brother's Lincoln Logs, building houses and using the little short pieces as the 'people'. In the summer I'd spend hours in the sandbox forming houses, roads, and gardens with stick fences. Indoors I'd cut out photos in magazines of different rooms, then cut out the models from the Sears & Roebuck catalog for the family. I'd carefully lay out my "house" on the floor and play with the paper dolls. At some point I recall my cousin let me borrow her metal dollhouse for a time. Later on I was totally into the whole Barbie world! LOL

When my own daughter was around 5 or 6 I bought my first house, the Barrington by Artply. I had intended it to be for her, but the house became such a struggle to build (dang-it, Artply!) and took so long that she lost interest. I quickly-and gleefully took full ownership and proceeded to purchase all sorts of little treasures for it! This was NOT going to be for play! LOL I was totally hooked!

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...I quickly-and gleefully took full ownership and proceeded to purchase all sorts of little treasures for it! This was NOT going to be for play!...
Huh? I assure you, I still play with all my houses!
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Hi Sunny!

This is a good topic, and I have been pondering this all evening. I don't remember when it hit, but I was in my early teens and I remember being with my mother in Joplin Mo (I'm from Carthage) and driving past a miniature store. I made her go back and we went in. That was it! The owner had a huge Victorian house in progress and I was amazed. Right then I bought a plan book and windows and doors to start building my own house. That first creation is in my gallery - the plantation house. Since then I have continued to build other houses and kits these past 30+ years!

Matt

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When I was 4 or 5 my parents rented an old house in Puryear, Tennessee (a tiny town in the NW part of the state). Shortly before moving to Florida, my dad went up into the attic for some reason. He called all of us upstairs to see what he found. If I remember correctly, there were at least 6 houses lined up like cars parked at the mall along the sides of the attic. I remember all of the furniture being made from injection molded plastic. They were considered cheap at the time, but are now collectible according to some mini magazines. I was too young to know if the houses were quality or not, but I remember being fascinated by the idea of miniature houses. We left the houses where they were, and when we visited the town again 5 or 6 years later, the little house had been demolished and replaced with a trailer. 2 years later I built my first plastic model kit. Sometime while in elementary school I read the book "Castle In The Attic" and remembered those little houses. It was one of the inspirations for my first scratch-built miniature, the castle gate that I have in my gallery.

Years later while in junior high in Ocoee, FL my 3 mile walking route to the school took me past an old Victorian house near the center of town. That's when I started thinking about building a house in miniature. At the time I thought I could build it with toothpicks. I'd probably still be working on the foundation if I had taken that route. But again, while I had the idea, I didn't have the knowledge or skills to do anything about it.

Later after college I had seen the MacKenzie house (now the Sweetwater Branch Inn B&B) and a short time later found Raggedy-D's Dollhouses in Gainesville, FL. When I saw the loose Houseworks bricks that little book from elementary school was the first thing that came to mind. I built the castle first, but within a week of finishing it (nearly 4 years after starting), I started the MacKenzie.

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My father made me a dollhouse when I was 4. It was a model of a house he thought he'd like to build for himself, with 2 picture windows in the living room. It had no interior walls. The dollhouse was painted pink, with a brown roof and the windows had real glass, but there was no front door, just an opening for it. The furniture was by Marx. I had the yellow living room and bedroom, and white kitchen, but can't remember if the bathroom was white or pink.

The little people were 2 cellulose baby dolls. After they broke, cellulose dolls weren't very sturdy, I never got replacements for them. Maybe that's one reason I've never been much into dolls to live in my houses?

When I was a bit older, maybe 9 or so, I started to draw the insides of houses. I think what I wanted to do was make floorplans, but I had never seen any, so I drew them like dollhouses, with the rooms all shown in a cutaway view, complete with furnishings.

In my mid 30's, when my daughter was 5, I gave her a Sears dollhouse with furniture, and since we both felt she her house needed more space, I removed the back side of the roof, and built her a third floor with 3 rooms in it, and some family room furniture so her little people could watch TV up there.

When she was 10 I bought a Heritage kit, but I thought it wasn't big enough, so I grit my teeth and built an addition. To my surprise, I found the addition easier to build than the kit. A few years later I decided to try and build a cottage from scratch just for the heck of it.

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I can't remember a time that I wasn't fascinated by miniatures, but my earliest memories of it are while I lived with my Grandparents during the summer months. I made friends with a little girl across the street and we spent HOURS decorating one or two shelves that Grama would let us play on (as long as we put ALL the books back when done!) We used bits and pieces of 'this and that's' to make our little rooms. Grama would let us go through her button boxes, sewing materials, etc., and we made use of any and all matchboxes Grama would let us have. Our 'people' were always trolls or crazy characters out of gumball machines, as neither of us were 'into' dolls. And my FAVORITE day of the week was the day Grama would go have her hair done at Marshall Fields salon. Directly outside of the salon was a HUGE (to me anyway) counter filled with so many beautiful dollhouse treasures. Furniture, mini telephones, glass vases...I would be in HEAVEN whilst Grama got her hair done. I probably drove the sales clerk near nuts, standing with my hands and face pressed to that glass, admiring and dreaming of ALL those marvelous creations. Grama broke down one day and bought me a clear glass vase with yellow stripes (which I have to this day). You'd have thought I just received a million dollars by the joy on my face, and in my heart!! I have saved each and every little bit of 'stuff' I collected back then like they were gold bullion. Now, looking through that small container at all the little 'things' that would be junk in anyone else's eyes, I still see them as beautiful little treasures that made my heart sing all those years ago..and they still do to this day. They are, to me, more priceless than gold.

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Hi Sunny!

I remember being with my mother in Joplin Mo (I'm from Carthage) and driving past a miniature store. I made her go back and we went in.

Local boy huh, Wish that store was still there :( Overland park Kansas is the closest to me now. Isn't it amazing how you get so taken buy it.

I am having so much fun reading these!!!

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When I was 5 yrs old my Auntie read me a story about a tiny Fairy named Poppy.She lived in the toe of a shoe.Everafter I adored tiny things and -it goes without saying- these tiny people need somewhere to live...... :wave:

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When I was 5 yrs old my Auntie read me a story about a tiny Fairy named Poppy.She lived in the toe of a shoe.Ever-after I adored tiny things and -it goes without saying- these tiny people need somewhere to live...... :wave:

I totally agree! We are simply providing homes for the homeless. Nothing childish about that. I can't wait to tell my mother that one. She still asks me when I am going to grow up. I am a divorced mother of three going back to college I need my sanity! I like having a "home" to come home to that is clean and where everything is where I left it. LOL

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I love this topic! I can't remember ever wanting a dollhouse per se while growing up -- but I do remember always wanting to build one... Doesn't make much sense to me still, but last year when my eldest niece went to visit her step-dad's family in NC she came home and talked non-stop about "Zoe's dollhouse." From her first telling of the story of playing with it, made me realize I could finally realize my dream of building one, and actually have it go to a gorgeous little one that would appreciate it(yeah, I'm a biased aunt!) After making the Laurel, well to say the least I got hooked and now build for some of my friends' children, as well as local organizations for kids -- or for example the Victoria's Farmhouse I'm currently rehabbing will be donated to Relay for Life to raffle off for Christmas. Where I live is beyond a depressed economy, and a house such as this would not be a normal gift for any family to give their child. So it's a win/win in my book 1) a child gets a house they would in all likelihood never get the chance of even dreaming of owning and 2) the raffle raises funds for an organization I am proud to be a part of. :thumb:

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I think around 10 hmm.gif& I was kind of a loner...

I built model cars & collected Matchbox cars. And every once in a while my dad would bring home 1/18 scale die cast vehicles - he worked for BH Goodrich.

The Matchbox cars needed a neighborhood to hangout in so I used an old ping-pong table to build a town. The houses were made form 2x4 cut offs (my dad was renovating our home, so there was a stock pile of materials at my disposal.) I put cardboard roofs on the houses and painted the windows & doors on them. The town had, painted streets, sidewalks, telephone poles with black thread for wires, etc. My sister's favorite show was Peyton Place - so that's where the characters for my town came from...unsure.gif

And of course the 1/18 scale cars needed homes...& so the story continues...

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I'm the same way, Kelli. I don't have much interest in owning a doll house (I've never had any interest in dolls, obviously) but I sure do like building them. By the time I'm finished building a house I've seen and had enough of it. I know I won't ever recoup what I've invested in terms of time, but if I could sell them for an amount that would cover the costs invested and fund the next house, I would be in a good place.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've always love small things. The tinier, the better. I think it also comes from my grandmother. She used to take me to doll shows a lot when I was little. I always loved going to her house and playing with her (dozens) porcelain dolls and all of their teasets, etc. She built me a dollhouse one year for Christmas (the Tiffani) that I still have. It has seen numerous renovations ;) I always think of her when I'm working on my minis.

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