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By Minis On The Edge
So, Monday morning started like all the others. I started writing down things I had to do this week because it was gonna be a busy week full of appointments. Around 11 am I got a email from a friend from the Greenleaf forum. Emily told me that one of my houses that I sold years ago was on Craigslist in Wisconsin. At first, I pictured it to be one of my earlier houses before I was using paper clay. I pictured it to maybe one from when I first started out because I sold a few of those here in Wisconsin and Illinois. I clicked the link and was surprised because it was the McKinley dollhouse kit that I built for the Greenleaf construction blog!! How did that get here from California?!! I sold it to a lady who lived in California in 2008. I remembered a couple of years ago seeing it on eBay. So, I said to myself “before you get excited, send them a message.” The listing had been “Live” for 11 days and it looked like a thrift/charity store. I sent the message and then decided to look them up and call instead of waiting for an email reply. The store was a little over 2hrs away from me. I called and asked about the dollhouse listed on Craigslist. My name was signed on the back of the house so he began to tell me about how it was dropped off in the donation center with a box of other related things. He kept talking about it’s a nice solid built dollhouse. He said he don’t know who Tracy Topps was but that the person dropping it off said he’d come back with more dollhouse stuff he had to get rid of! So finally I asked, was the dollhouse still there, and he said yes it was! I had to pay over the phone because they couldn’t hold it for me otherwise. I told him I was Tracy Topps and I had built this and shipped it to a lady in California 11 years ago! He got excited then and said well now I want to know how it ended up back here and how did you find out since you live so far away from here. So we chatted for a little bit longer. I wanted to go get it Monday so badly because I was worried it might be gone when I got there or damaged more. I got there and it’s still pretty solid. Some shingles are missing or paint is scuffed off. It’s dusty and the insides are scuffed and damaged a little. The staircase and fireplace had been removed and damaged and the lighted fire doesn’t work in it. Several other lights are missing or broken too. I haven’t checked to see what’s working or not because once again, I have errands to run. But, when I got home, I opened the 3 drawers below the house and discovered several dolls and other things along with the box of furniture that has some things from Rhuetter Porcelain & Heidi Ott. A few of the dolls are by Detta’s Darlings (eBay name) some things I’m not sure who made. I got this all for about $100 including a tank of gas! They were just all happy it found it’s way back to someone who could clean it up and fix it. I think several people who worked there didn’t even know it was there because they all were saying how nice it was and asking each other where was it at in the store and how much was it sold for when it made its way to the front of the store. I never find dollhouse bargains at thrift stores EVER so finding my OWN dollhouse was exciting, but finding all this other stuff was really a treat!! I’m not sure what I’m gonna do with it yet. I’ll decide as I restore it but that’s the story of Stone Brair dollhouse (Which was the name we gave it back then and it’s signed as that on the back you can see my photos of some of what I got by clicking here https://flic.kr/s/aHsmJNPf1h Thank you Emily for letting me know and Thanks to Carmen who told her about it! I’m so EXCITED to have this back!
Me again! SO. I've finally created all my custom wallpaper and printed them all out. I also have started cutting down and staining all my individual coffee stirrers for my flooring.
My question is this: for the Fairfield, since the layout is so complex, I can't figure out if it would be better to lay the flooring down before I put up the walls, or to wallpaper and assemble the walls before I install the flooring? I know everyone says it is preference, and that if you dry fit, you'll be able to see tricky spots before you do it, and decide that way...but for me, the whole thing seems tricky hahaha. Also, I am not wiring for lighting, so that component doesn't matter either.
Is there a benefit to doing wall assembly first vs. floor first or vice versa? I am going to paper the walls before I install them in either case, if that makes a difference.
So, back in 2002, I bought a pre-built display McKinley from Country Store miniatures in Vancouver WA. That store is now closed. At the time, the McKinley was discontinued, so I was desperate to have it, in spite of not really having time or space for it. Fast forward 16 years and the dollhouse crossed the US twice, lived in a humid attic and was turned into a squat house for some Douglass squirrels. This past year, my husband built me a little 'she shed' for my authoring and for my crafting and minis business, and I was able to take the McKinley down from the attic, clean out the nests of foam and moss and whatever else the squirrels filled it with, and begin to restore this poor, dilapidated house.
I have a really specific idea what I am going to do to it, and it's going to no longer be a Victorian house. It will be a Georgian/Regency style townhouse. The gables will be taken off (most of the ply has delaminated anyway, and install a hip roof. All the trim was either destroyed or disappeared along the years, so I figured since I'm a regency nut anyway, why not? So this is my project so far. I will keep adding as I go along. To follow my other progress pages, you can also keep an eye on my Feffie's Cottage page on Facebook, or my Pinterest page. I will provide links below.
Some 'background' on what this McKinley will be: This McKinley will become "Huxley House". The home for a seer, sorceress and medium, Miss Violet Huxley. It will have all the proper Regency things going on, but will have a gaslampy, fantasy twist (because that is what I write as an author... Regency with a 'twist'. So, the house will eventually have some supernatural things going on, but it will still be pretty and inviting, and functional for a Regency sorceress.
So here is the poor thrashed McKinley in all her faded glory. But fear not. She will be lovely again!
As you can see, there are already some kitchen cabinets made up in there. I made those in 2003. They were pretty thrashed too, and needed to be restored. I'm a bit of a 'built-in' addict, and I love to make custom cabinetry for my dollhouses. My Feffie's Cottage miniature business will eventually offer up some kits custom made to fit particular houses. And since I pretty much only do Greenleaf, you can count on some of them being customized for the GL line. Anyhoo... Let me zoom in on the kitchen to start, since that room is the furthest along.