Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Dollhouse

When I was nine years old, I had the the sweetest little old lady as a neighbor.  Mrs. Pickford shared my love of cats and squirrels, and spoiled me like I was her granddaughter.  I brought her hand-sewn cat toys and in exchange, she baked me cookies: it was a good relationship.  One day, she gave me a box of fragile miniature furniture.  I was absolutely in love with it.

I set to work building my own dollhouse by carefully stacking encyclopedias on a table.  I arranged the furniture in my little house and starting looking for other things to use.  In my eyes, everything was a potential decoration for my tiny house.  Two white legged plastic pizza box holders became end tables with lamps made from upside down toothpaste lids on Sorry Game pieces.  So began my love with miniature things.
Over the summer, I rode my bike to the library and checked out every book about collecting or making miniatures.  On my tenth birthday, I begged my dad to drive me to the hobby store.  After careful consideration, I used my birthday money to buy a set of tiny pink baby furniture.  Through the years, friends and family had fueled my quirky obsession by bringing me mini things as gifts.  My favorites are a handmade mini Super Nintendo and a tiny umbrella stand from Nepal, complete with a mini umbrella.

Some of the original treasures from Mrs. Pickford----------->

I was heart broken when I heard that Mrs. Pickford passed away a few years ago.  Her daughter sent a letter informing me that I had a dollhouse waiting for me.  I couldn't believe it.  I am a grown woman, but I was still thrilled to have an actual house for my collection of tiny treasures!  Last month, I finally met up with her daughter, Ann, for a wonderful lunch and nostalgic stop at the home I spent so much time visiting as a child.

Ann explained that the tiny building is a replica of her house, built by her ex husband.  The roof lifts off to expose intricate little rooms with wood flooring and miniature windows- there's even electricity!  I was so touched to hear that the dollhouse was left for me in her mother's will.  Its a treasure, and I plan to keep it forever and pass it down to my grandchildren.  If I don't have any, then I will hopefully find a little neighbor girl with a big imagination to fill it with even more treasures.

Speaking of miniatures:
This morning I woke up to discover that my  dollhouse-sized terrarium DIY has been featured on!

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