Sunday, January 3, 2010

Reflections On A Dollhouse Built & Delivered.....

The project was probably the most intense I have tackled since leaving employment upon my retirement. Closely following, but a completely-different thing is the year I spent as Secretary of my Elks Lodge. The major variation is...this was my project at my home on my time and with a deadline.

Am I happy I did it. You bet. Did I enjoy it all the way through? Probably not. Parts....when the frustrations of time constraint, parts not fitting just so, etc were involved, I was a bit stressed.

How about the reaction of my little grandchild? Not exactly what I expected, but then I had fairly open ideas of how she would react. It seemed from the start that she was mystified by the whole thing. The furniture she was unwrapping as her other Grandpa, her Dad & I carried the dollhouse in from the rear of my Suzuki jeep-type vehicle...occupied her quite nicely. In fact to the point she didn't realize the house was hers for many long seconds. THEN she was up and about the thing from all sides.

It took her only moments before the furniture/house connection solidified and she began moving furniture into the house. Over the next few hours the grandmas both helped re-sort and move the furniture.

I now sit and wonder what will become of the thing. I have high hopes, of course, of it becoming a young girl's cherished thing. That will probably occur as she ages and realizes what it is in terms of the commitment and time. Then the plaque will also probably mean more, and I am hopeful it makes it down the halls of time to great-grands, and a lot further. The whims of time; the lack of knowledge of what the future brings makes this a question.

I'll not be here. Doubtful I'll see her wedding day, let alone the birth of grandkids. But then I may be just maudlin...having my own version of postpartum as the house is gone and my two bedrooms return to normal use.

I'm glad I did it. I may never do another, but then.....I know I would do a better job this time, and I'd certainly know a lot more about the process and some possible variations...including nice furniture kits of really finished furniture....

Hummmmm Who knows!


Sunday, December 27, 2009

Princess Gets Her Dollhouse!

Pictures in this post....videos to follow when I get a faster connection!

The dollhouse as it looked when delivered to Princess Lauren....
Lauren showing off her upholstered couch, courtesy of friend Lesley. The color scheme of pink-purple-silver-gold was carried out in the furniture upholstery.
The house looking much smaller once the massive collection of furniture was added.
& Looking at this picture I am sure anyone can see why Lauren (Lo Lo to us) is our Princess. She picks out all her own outfits and wanted this regal look for Christmas morning.
The dollhouse has now been moved upstairs in the log home to Lo Lo's room where she is playing with it.

I managed to get the furniture mostly done during the few days here prior to Christmas. I have a few odds and ends to complete now and I am done with "The Princess House!"....

I'll publish more detailed pics of individual rooms of furniture, including the grand piano in the next few days.

For now we are in full celebrate Danish-style mode as "Bedstemore" (the kids grandmother on son-in-law's side, and as pronounced in Danish) celebrates her heritage. Lots of special pastries all the way from a Georgia bakery. Monday we celebrate, a day early, the birthday of Daughter Teri and then Tuesday morn bright and early Roadhouse towing SiderRoad Suzie will begin the trek home. We have a New Year's Party at the Elks and then New Years Day is football and my birthday as I turn a pleasant 67!

Hope one and all enjoyed the holiday as much as we.


Friday, December 25, 2009

Excuses....YesIt Was Delivered, and Yes I have Pics/vids

I have the complete crud for the third time since October....I am really not well!

Dollhouse was a giant success. Granddaughter "Princess" was dumb-founded! She is busy arranging furniture, and I still have more to go.

I will post pics/vids soon as i can....and as soon as I feel well enough to edit and learn more about the vid cam which will post direct to YouTube.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Near The End.....Tomorrow is The Last Day!

DEADLINE.....N-O-W!!!!! Tomorrow Duchess will be reactivating her surgical nurse, not in surgerybutin a support role as Daughter Noelle has an operation. I'll be doing final things on "The Princess House".

The usual reaction I get when someone sees it for the 1st time up-close-and-personal is "It's Huge!"
The house, built as a castle for our 6 year old grandchild has rows of what seem to be small crowns atop the roof...all painted in antique gold.
A closer look shows the chimney with its silver and gold bands and the roof of real cedar shingles (each placed lovingly by "Papa")...all 1300 of them!
The front of the home (depending upon your point of view) has this view of a small picture of our "Princess" Lauren Marie from her red dress of last Christmas in place of one of the oval windows of the castle, plus the embroidered trim I found to accent the house.
Later tonight I'll post a pic of the metal plaque which I ordered and has the declaration of:

"The Princess House
Built for Lauren Marie Little
By "Papa" Paul DeLand, II
Delivered, Christmas 2009"

I should have all done when we leave here in "Roadhouse", our motorhome...towing SideRoad Suzie, our little Suzuki Jeep, with the Princess House in the back of the will not fit through the door of the motorhome!

I still have furniture to build, but will do some in Texas this coming week...the rest to be finished in the next few weeks and sent to our "Princess"!!!

I placed the lighted Christmas tree on the dash of "Roadhouse" tonight and it is cheerily greeting all who drive by our home.


Friday, December 11, 2009

Gingerbread Preparation

I went searching for a crown/tiara for the silver oval on the front entry gable...& found this! Love it! It is embroidered material with adhesive.
Here is the actual crown that was part of the set. Now "The Princess House" has it's title on the front wall below the picture of my princess.
Lots of painting in antique gold and silver as I begin to place the gingerbread which comes with the house.
The doors will be double-layered and with windows in place. These are the front door frames.
Closer and closer, but lots still to do including the main roof (one side), ladder to the attic, front porch railings and trim.

Going to be a busy weekend as I try to finish....Cooking tonight at Elks Lodge; party tomorrow night; cooking at the Lodge Sunday where I am "the egg man" doing eggs, omelets and such.

Tired, but the end is in sight!


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Porch On & Roofing Being Applied!

We Have Porch!...Installed it in a remarkably short time. Of course, there were a few hours of pre-assembly stuff.
Part (the major part) of the pre-assembly was this porch gable located over the main entrance to the "castle". The color scheme follows the castle motif with gold and silver. Trying to locate a small crown to use on the silver disk.
The shingling I am getting much better at than when I began this. However today I have already burned two fingers and one thumb when hot glue hit them as I either fumbled on the way from glue gun to roof, or the shingle buckled in the middle which leaves you with hot liquid plastic on both finger and thumb. OUCH! It is quite apparent my huge "meat hooks" are not too balanced for such small things as shingles with hot glue attached.
However, with perseverance, and at-this-point a beer, one achieves the goal of a completed roof section. I still have another large section of the porch roof, and the gable to complete. They will be done today.
Time is slipping by, but I am convinced i will prevail and get it done.

Oh, and another first today....a blister on my right pointer finger from the hot glue. That was fun peeling the still-hot, but setting up glue off the blistered area. Ah to be more coordinated....In fact i believe I was much more so at age 20-30 than I am at 66!


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

S-H-I-N-G-L-E-S !!!!!

Today was "International Shingle Day" at the DeLand household. I managed to cover all the remaining roof except half the main roof where the large tower is located. That is for tomorrow. Here is a partial picture of the old guy himself setting the individual roof shingles with a hot glue gun.

Only burned about five of my ten fingers and thumbs so far when shingles, freshly-glued flipped in my hand. Nothing like a little melted plastic to get your attention. Then pulling plastic off burned skin is a secondary joy!

Ah well, it is worth it. Of course, just three days ago I ordered 2 more bags of shingles which will now, it turns out, be unneeded. The plans called for 8 bags. I thought that a bit much, and ordered 3 then 2 more. I probably spaced my shingle rows more widely than some would.

Here is a view of the various roofs, except the undone side. Even managed to finish the tower top roof for the kitchen tower.

It now seems I may actually get the house done by my planned date of Sunday. However...That being said I still have the three-section porch roof to install and shingle. It goes around two sides of the house, and has a large gable decoration which I have already completed as a sub-assembly. The porch has a LOT of railings and posts also. Then I still have to build and install the doors (two sets of double doors for front and dining room), and also assemble the ladder which allows attic access, and actually is supposed to be set to fold up into the attic for storage.

The not-likely-to-get-completely-done is the remaining furniture. I plan to do what I can next week, however gassing, loading and setting up the motor home for the trip will take a lot of time and our daughter has a surgery next Thursday, the day before we leave. Mom will be there with her. I will take the furniture with me as I have 5 days in Texas to build in the motor home.

Spent a lot of hours on the house today and now going for a great Glenlivet on-the-rocks so I can relax!