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Hello Everyone, Complete Newbie here

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I’m from Atlanta, GA and I’ve decided to start on a lifelong dream of mine of having a miniature dollhouse.  I’m going to start small with the Orchid because I don’t know what i’m doing.  When I see all the beautiful houses out here and custom furniture, accessories and stuff, I’m in awe.  You guys are so talented! I’m not a crafts person so all of this looks extremely difficult and looks like it requires a special gift.  Kudos to all of you.  Wish me luck.  I’m going to need it. :) If anyone would like to share any words of wisdom, I would greatly appreciate it.  I really am starting with no knowledge at all. 

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Hello CJ Sumlin ... I welcome YOU as a newcomer too (of sorts).  I am working on a dollhouse I started in '87 or '88, but am determined to finish it this year.  Everyone on this site is so welcoming... you will hear from them soon!  I am not an expert by any means, but I would share any of my ups and downs of building with you.  My newest adventure is buying a jointed 5'5" (in 1:12 terms meaning one inch equals one foot) doll. She is naked and wigless, so will be great dressing (going to try and make her clothing).  I just bought 2 wigs (hard to find) so that I can change her appearance.  Wish me luck on that!  Good Luck in your building, and listen to the experts on this site... they have the experience and knowledge that leaves me in awe.  galena gal

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Hi, Cerelia, and welcome to the forum! Several of us cut our teeth on Greenleaf's Orchid. It's a lovely little house, very versatile.

What part of Atlanta are in in? I'm in Hiram, NW of the city. There is another forum member not too far away in McDonough, south of the city.  We have a great bricks and mortar dollhouse store in Lawrenceville, also not too far away.  Miniature Designs.

If you have been hanging about on the forum for a while you may have already come across our first three recommendations for newbies:

  1. Read through the directions several times before you start punching out pieces. You may not want to follow the directions precisely. That's okay. Many members do not install windows and doors until the decorating is finished inside and out. Being able to reach through the openings can be handy, plus no paint or glue on the window panes. :) 
  2. When you are ready to begin building, do a dry fit --- fit the pieces together and hold them in place with masking tape or blue painter's tape before gluing. This gives you the opportunity to adjust the fit by shaving tabs or enlarging slots. You don't have to do the entire house at once, but do dry fit as you go along. Even a piece a little out of whack can cause problems later on.
  3. Don't use hot glue. The instructions were written a good while ago. We've learned that hot glue will eventually shrivel and dry up, causing the house to fall apart. Use a good wood glue, like Titebond to glue raw wood to raw wood. Aileen' Tacky Glue or any white glue (except Elmer's School glue) that dries clear will hold painted or stained surfaces together and is great for gluing in plastic window panes.

Ask all the questions you like. Keep in mind that you can't make an error that can't be fixed. Somebody here will have done the same thing and know how to meet the challenge. :) 

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4 hours ago, CJ Sumlin said:

...all of this looks extremely difficult and looks like it requires a special gift...I really am starting with no knowledge at all. 

Welcome to the little family, Cerelia.  First of all, my  favorite words of wisdom from Tracy Topps, one of our admins:  Inch by inch it's a cinch, but by the yard it's hard.  I have no special gift except stubbornness; except for the embroidery my grandma taught me and the crochet my momma tried to teach me and a couple of beginner painting classes in college, I had no knowledge, either.  If I can play with this hobby, I think anyone else who wants to can, too.

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Welcome, I'm a newbie too. I've been reading through the forum posts and looking at albums....I'm tackling Beacon Hill, but the basic tips and hints will help us all. I think Kathie B has a blog with great tips....enjoy the process bit by bit


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7 hours ago, CJ Sumlin said:

Thanks everyone.  I will keep you posted once I get started.  I’m definitely going to check out the big miniature store in Atlanta.  

Miniature Designs is in Lawrenceville. 

Whereabouts in Atlanta do you live? I'm northwest of the city in Hiram.

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