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Monday, April 07, 2008

My Pink Dollhouse

The year my daughter was born, 1992, we had just moved into a Victorian style house. For Christmas my husband gave me a Heritage dollhouse kit that he had seen. (It struck his fancy because it looked a lot like our house!) I had always wanted a real dollhouse and was thrilled. As soon as I had recovered from her delivery (C-section on Dec. 10th), I got it out and started working on it.

It wasn't a pre-fab kit that you just slap together in a couple of hours. It was a box full of wood slats, bags of wooden parts, a jillion cedar shingles, dowels, and on and on. It was a "build it from raw materials" --well, almost--kit. With a newborn and a four-year-old I didn't get too far... I worked on it for a couple of months, finished the foundation and put it away under my bed.
Fast forward 10 years. My daughter was looking for the dog under my bed and found the dollhouse box and foundation. Of course, she wanted me to get it out and finish it so she could play with it... So, once again, I pulled out the instuction book and made a decision to finish it no matter what. I bought a tiny miter box and saw and got started. Two years later I finished--building, that is.
After I finished it, I was so proud of my accomplishment and couldn't wait to furnish it. I went to buy furniture at a specialty shop in nearby Dallas. When I got there, the owner was giving a class on wiring dollhouses for lighting fixtures. Wiring dollhouses for lighting?! I hadn't even thought about that. I watched her for awhile and decided I didn't have the skills to do it, bought my furniture (with Christmas money from my husband) and went home. It was only after I had put the furniture in place that I decided I needed to do the wiring. So out came the furniture, back I went to the shop, and purchased electrical wiring supplies. Once the wiring was in, I had to wallpaper and lay carpet to hide the wires. Then came the ceiling fans and lamps. But finally, I finished.

Recently I met a miniatures artist on the forum at MakeMine Pink. She has the most amazingly realistic breads and pastries. We were chatting and she asked to see photos of my dollhouse. I realized that I had never photographed the finished product. (It is on display in my entryway, so I see it every day and never thought to take pictures.) Yesterday, I got out the camera and took photos of my treasure. So, Pei Li, here they are:
I hope you enjoyed your tour and that you will be encouraged to do something similar! If I can do it--anybody can!


Trisha said...

Ahhhhhh! I cannot believe the work that you put into your beautiful doll house and it does resemble your own home. Wow. What inspiration!

Janet Bernasconi said...

Hi Karen!

OMG! What a beautiful doll house! It looks so real I want to move right in! All the detail you put into it is incredible. It really is precious. Oh how I wish I had one of those too! Love it Karen. You truly inspired me to have one too. So I am going to put that on my vision board. Thanks for sharing!
Janet's Creative Pillows

gail said...

I love your doll house. Its sooo beautiful!!! I had one once and started it like you, but over time its disappeared. Something to think about for the future! You did a great job.

Beloved Creations said...

Oh how sweet! I new a lady who made them and had a whole room with the doll houses she had made. She was a high school math teacher and did this to relax.

Anonymous said...

I have a house kit just like that under my bed that I purchased when my granddaughter was one, she is 6 this month. I have had every intention in building it for her but things just seem to get in the way. Yours turned out beautiful and has renewed my commitment to finish it for her this year. Thank you for posting your pictures.

Andie-The Brown Bee said...

Karen, your dollhouse is magnificent! I'm otherwise speechless....;0] Andie

Kathleen said...

Absolutely wonderful! You are so talented!
And ofcouse the women of the house is offering tea!

Joyce Lucas said...

First let me say I LOVE your doll house almost as much as your PINK house! The detail is just amazing Karen. Although your work is always lovely.
Can't you just imagine a granddaughter coming to play?

xxoo Mama B

My Pink Boutique said...

Karen, I love it! It's just delightful! Thank you for sharing it with us.


Lisa said...


I am so glad that Pei Li asked to see pictures of your dollhouse. It is absolutely gorgeous. Your home is breathtaking as well. Thanks for sharing your story and pictures.


Steph said...

WOW! That is astonishing! It is gorgeous!

Marie said...

Hi Karen

What a beautiful doll house. It's easy to see that a lot of love was put into it. Thanks for sharing the pictures.

Anonymous said...

Hi Karen,
Your doll house is wonderful. The big pink house is gorgeous also. Doll houses are so much fun. I left my behind when I left home for my younger sisters to enjoy. Don't know what happened to it as that has been way over 30 years ago. You are such a talented gal. Thanks for sharing the pics.

Susie said...

Karen ~ I am awed by this beauty of a dollhouse and all the hard work and love you put into it for your daughter. What fun! Your own home looks equally as beautiful. Thanks for showing the pictures and letting us know the background.
The Polka Dot Rose

Lori @ Katies Rose Cottage said...

Karen ~ that is an amazing work of art ~ you did a beautiful job !! I always wanted to do a doll house when I had younger girls but never did ~ It does look alot like your house !!

patisserie chef said...

Hi Karen,

Thanks for taking the time to take photographs of your pink dollhouse. I LOVE pink and your dollhouse is gorgeous. Now I can understand why you said the pink rose wreath would look great on the front door :) I started making some roses last night and will assemble another pink rose wreath. Your coffee table looks like it needs some delicious pastries or cakes too!! Thanks for sharing the pics. Appreciate it!

Pei Li

Brenda @Just a Bed of Roses said...

Karen, it doesnt suprise me at all that you could put together such a perfect victorian dream dollhouse. You have the talent to do small things and do them so meticulously. How fun, thanks for sharing.

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

I'm here for the Hospital-i-tea Tour, but I'm so enchanted by the dollhouse that I had to comment. You did a marvelous job and I am sure that your daughter is thrilled with it!

Cathy said...

Wow, I just love it Karen and what an huge accomplishment. I know I would have attempted that wiring, then thrown it back under the bed. You go girl. That is gorgeous beyond belief.

From one pink dollhouse friend to another! xoxo


Michelle M. May said...

First, I LOVE YOUR REAL HOUSE!!! Can I move in???? Second, I LOVE YOUR DOLL HOUSE!!! They are both so beautiful.


Arleen ~ The Tea Room said...

Wow!!! I raised sons and now I have a 3-year-old granddaughter. I've been tempted to begin a project like your dollhouse. You've inspired me to begin. Thank you for sharing this beautiful masterpiece!

kathi~lavender, lace and thyme said...

Your home and doll house are so beautiful, your work on the doll house is simply amazing. What a wonderful heirloom you have created!

Shabby in Pink Boutique said...

Karen, I just love your house. And the doolhouse. My dad bought a dollhouse set when I was little and he never made it for me. I should build the girls one. Just beautiful!
Pink Higs

Kathy said...

What a beautiful doll house and a HUGE accomplishment! It's wonderful...Kathy@ Mimi's Garden

Joyce said...

GREAT JOB!!!!! Your house...and your Doll house are both fab!
I love all the fine "attention to detail" you put into the doll hourse....such love.
It's beautiful.
I saw one of your ads in Tea Time Magazine the other day. I love that cozy that was in it, the one that looks like a lady's dress.
So creative of you!

Yellow Rose Arbor said...

What a fabulous doll house!! I always wanted to do one with my daughters, but never did (now they are grown.) I think it is so special because it is so similar to your house! Thanks for sharing!


Amy at Bunny Rose Cottage said...

KAREN!! I LOVE this post! Your real house and your dollhouse are so beautiful! What a sweet hubby you have. And what a treasure/heirloom that dollhouse is! I just love it!


ceekay said...

Your dollhouse is adorable. I loved playing with my metal dollhouse when I was young. I don't have it unfortunately, but your's brought back memories.