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New guy.... with a confession to make.


MOBrien
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Hello all.

My name is Matt and I am from a small-ish town in Northern California. I have been lurking quietly in the background here for about a week, just getting the vibe of the forum and then joined last night. I had recently joined another forum without doing much research beforehand and found out later that they were based in England...oops. The giveaway should have been how certain words were spelled, but I was too jazzed to join a forum and didn't bother to delve too deeply into the site. Live and learn.

After sneaking around here for a short time, I was struck by just how artistic, innovative and friendly everyone seemed. There is some serious talent here. I'm hoping that some of that talent will rub off onto me if I hang out here long enough. I've already picked up on a couple of things where I smacked my forehead and muttered, "Jeez, why didn't I think of that". In my spare time, I like to build plastic models. Yep... I'm the boy that never grew up. The world of plastic modeling and the world of miniatures are really not that far apart. The goal seems to be the same...realism. The only difference between the two would be that minis are more apt to be "played" with where a static model just sits on the shelf and looks good. Several times I've caught my wife sitting in front of the dollhouse, "rearranging" stuff. She's not foolin' anyone. Nobody sits in front of my collection of WWII airplanes and "rearranges" things.

My immersion into "dollhouse culture" came just about a year ago when Santa brought my 9 year old daughter the RGT "Painted Lady".... with total assembly required (I HATE that guy sometimes). Once the base was assembled and the walls started to go up, I found myself really getting into the spirit of the build. My daughter played "interior designer" while I was the contractor and money man. It took about 4.5 months to build (at least 4 to 6 hours a day), fully electrified and with tons of interior details. I can hardly wait to get my 5 posts out of the way so I can post some shots of it. My wife kept taking a few digs at me during the build, saying things like, "Wish WE had crown molding like that." or "That kitchen is nicer than ours". It was all in good fun....I think. Needless to say, that one build had me "sucked in" to the world of miniatures.

Ok... on to the confession then. When I set out to find forums for miniaturists and dollhouse aficionados, it was purely for selfish reasons. During the build of the Painted Lady, I had created an item that had the owner of "The Elegant Dollhouse" in Sacramento pushing me to build and sell. At first I was flattered but never really considered doing something like that. Fast forward 6 months and I decided to pull the trigger and take her advice.

But here's the deal. I think it would be better to sit back and get to know the people here on this site rather than trying to market something right from the get-go and not knowing a soul. I'd much rather get to know you guys here and hopefully develop some sort of rapport. The Trading Post can wait, in my opinion.

At the moment, I am waiting to hear back from a Craigslist seller who has an incredible assembled dollhouse for sale. I guess my daughter has been bitten by the mini bug, too and wants to begin collecting houses (sigh). The Queen Anne is at the top of her list but that one will come in time. Maybe grandpa can help with that one. If this Craigslist deal goes down, the house will be from Mom and Dad... not Santa. The interior is unfinished, so once again, my daughter will get to play "interior designer".

Glad to be part of the forum and can't wait 'til I get to post pictures.

Happy Thanksgiving to all,

Matt

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Oooh...I'd love to see your planes! I built a Sopwith Camel for my Aero Squadron Lounge last year. :D I, too, started a long time ago with plastic car models and have been building dollhouses for four years now. Welcome to the forum!

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Welcome to the little family, Matt. I had a dollhouse as a little girl, and made stuffed dolls & toys for our sons, but didn't start building dollhouses until I was almost 50 and about to begin Nursing School. DH & I scratch built a simple dollhouse for the eldest granddaughter, then 6; and then I ran across a Dura-Craft SF555/ San Franciscan and built and furnished it for her when she was 12.

I found that making and selling minis took the pleasure out of it for me; I do minis as a therapeutic hobby. Other members do quite well building and selling. I guess it has to do with what gives you the most pleasure and stress relief.

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Welcome Mat! I am more of a scene gal myself, I like creating static builds and let my daughter do the play ;P

Keep us updated with your work, we all LOVE eye candy here ;)

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Hi Matt and welcome to the group. Like the others I can't wait to see pictures of your Painted Lady , and hopefully your new project . I purchased a huge house off Craigslist and am still in the process of redoing her , and several other builds. It is an enjoyable and addictive hobby, so glad you've joined us ! :D

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Welcome, can you give us a hint of what it is you make to sell? Now youve got my curiosity up...not sure if that was your plan all along?! Lol j/k ;-) The Elegant used to be my local shop, its wonderful. If you feel like taking a drive south to the central valley theres a shop in Riverbank called Huntley House Miniatures and they accept artists work on commission as well. If you do facebook, you can "friend" the shop to meet the owner Richard.

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Hi Matt and welcome. It is very easy to get bitten by the mini bug, it's nice that both you and your daughter were bitten and can enjoy minis together. I hope the Craigslist deal works out for you. Hope to be seeing pics of your build soon and like, Karin, you've got my curiosity up too and I can't wait to see what it is you make to sell. :)

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Guest Happy Heart

I had recently joined another forum without doing much research beforehand and found out later that they were based in England...oops. The giveaway should have been how certain words were spelled ...

... Yep... I'm the boy that never grew up.

Same way we here in Canada probably spell the very same words as we use British English. Welcome to the Greenleaf Forum ... Peter Pan!

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Wow... what a resounding welcome. I really appreciate that.

As to the British site, hmmmm, when I noticed things like this: "The centre of the tyre is located under the wings of the motorcar and a spare kept in the boot and can only be accessed by a spanner" THAT'S when I realized I was nowhere near Kansas anymore. Being from a geographic location which butchers the language, let alone the Queen's English (fur shur, dude, y'know?) I immediately realized my mistake. But that led me to here... so some mistakes are good. By the way, the other mini-site wasn't really discussing automotive maintenance. Those words just happened to come to mind when I wrote that. Just thought I needed to clear that up.

So it seems I've piqued WyckedWood's and Kari Lynn's curiosity, heh heh. Sorry to do that. Here's a bit more regarding that (since you are already wondering). When I built the Painted Lady, I noticed a downright silly design flaw with one of the rooms. I’m one for realism and found this to be a glaring no-no in my eyes. I decided to tackle the problem with some math and tools (fire was included too). What I came up with is not something for everyone. But what I came up with DOES solve some problems for people with space issues or design issues. I noticed a gaping hole that wasn't being filled properly by the mini industry. What was offered was rather lacking in imagination. I've seen some folks attempt their own versions, but realism was being sacrificed. So I put my blue collar trade school “talents” to use and came up with a solution.

When I showed the owner of this mini shop near my town, she said these would be easily sold should I decide to make more. I put one up on eBay… a few people watching but no takers, yet. I don’t blame them, though. Nothing has been offered like this (other than in a very expensive kit form) so I can see where folks could be gun-shy to try something new. I’m constantly wracking my brain on how to improve/embellish this item. I’ve come up with a few ideas but they require specialty tools I don’t quite have the budget for.

Ok, I’m sure I’m driving some folks crazy, being vague and all. I guess I’m just trying to establish myself here before I go off and give you all my best “Mr. Haney” pitch (sorry, Green Acres reference). Once I get just a couple of more posts out of the way, I will post “Katie’s Painted Lady” and then you guys can play a game of “what the hell was he talking about?” I think I’ll let you guys try and find the item in the photos I’ll be posting. Mean… I know, but I just want to see if someone notices it. I’m not trying to give this thing a big build-up. You’ll probably walk away thinking “What’s the big deal…”.

Once again, thank you ALL for making me feel like just one of the girls, heh heh. I really do appreciate the warm welcome and hope that I can toss in my 2 cents now and again.

Regards,

Matt

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Considering how mini guys belong to this family of little minds, you can be one of the guys, if you'd rather. When I don't like the unrealistic arrangement of rooms, I figure the rooms that ought to be there are in the invisible half of the house you can't see. I'll be interested to see what you've come up with. Fire, huh? Anything like this: http://www.artisticvision.com/soboleditions/GIFS/HandCanedChest.html ?

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Wow, that chest is fantastic! Unfortunately no, my "talents" are not anywhere close to THAT refined. "Big and clunky" is more my speed. I would need to possess an actual imagination to come up with something like that. I'm a great copycat, though. You put it in front of me and I might be able to figure out a way to make a knock-off of it, though. I can't get over that caning detail... and the inlaid wood... and the turned legs. No wonder it's sold out.

This Craigslist house I'm hoping to get my hands on has a very odd floor arrangement. Walls where they shouldn't be, stairs that need relocation, etc. I think there might be a major renovation ahead. I just hope my daughter will be able to see the forest through the trees.

Matt

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Matt, for a while Ferd and Millie were doing how-to articles for American Miniaturist, and the detail for that fan inlay as well as the caning were two of the articles I recall. I see that they're now doing those tips as a series of DVDs. I can't make furniture that gorgeous, either; but it inspires me to try for a little bit beyond clunky.

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Welcome to the forum, Matt.

I started out with plastic model kits too. For a while I supplemented my income by building kits for customers who wanted the finished product, but didn't want to build it. Scratch-building houses was the next step and I've been doing that for over 11 years (16 if you count the castle entrance I started in 1998). The two houses I'm working on were built to sell.

My wife isn't on board with the mini houses yet (odd, isn't it?) but my daughter is bugging me to build her one.

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Hi Matt and welcome. It doesn't matter if the forum is British or American or anywhere else for that matter in this day and age. I belong to both and learn new things in both too. Dollhouses or dolls houses as we Brits call them, present similar problems wherever you are. Don't restrict yourself, join in with the Brits too and you'll see what I mean.

Your home improvement idea sounds interesting so hurry up Matt, get some posts in and share your insights into construction.

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Hi Matt and welcome. It doesn't matter if the forum is British or American or anywhere else for that matter in this day and age. I belong to both and learn new things in both too. Dollhouses or dolls houses as we Brits call them, present similar problems wherever you are. Don't restrict yourself, join in with the Brits too and you'll see what I mean.

Your home improvement idea sounds interesting so hurry up Matt, get some posts in and share your insights into construction.

Do you have a link to the other forum?

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