Proud to be an Artisan Member of the International Guild of Miniature Artisans, IGMA

Thursday, November 1, 2007

My early dolls house collection

Over the last 32 years, I have had 8 dolls houses created for me by some of the best makers in the business, both in the United States and England.

My collection started off with a semi-commercial house made by "My Uncle in Fryeburg, Maine." Nope, he wasn't really my uncle, his name was Albert Eaton and he made wooden houses in two styles, one a farmhouse style 2 story house and the other was a Cape Cod. I got the farmhouse style which was delivered with a basic finish of white paint overall and a forest green painted roof. I finished the rest of the decorations, wallpapering using fabrics which I dipped in tea to darken, where necessary.

When I got the house, I realized I wanted to create a story for it so I would know who lives there and how it should be decorated. I loved the TV program of "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir," most especially, I loved the actor, Edward Mulhare, who starred in it. That show was the basis for my dolls house residents. Initially, I didn't like the miniature dolls I was seeing at the shows but finally felt the house was missing something without the human presence. Then after I started collecting dolls, I went a little overboard and bought lots of them.

I bought some dolls to represent the family and dressed them appropriately as Captain Gregg and Mrs. Muir, the housekeeper and Mrs. Muir's daughter. Mrs. Muir wears a length of old hand made pulled work that is simply wrapped and sewn around her.

Other dolls have visited them over the years, but they are the full time residents. As I made additional dolls, a bride is in the dining room and a doll in a lovely yellow silk Victorian dress talking with her. I created the doll in the yellow silk from porcelain after learning doll making from Sylvia Lyons and dressed her at a class with Marty Saunders at the IGMA Guild School in Castine, Maine in the mid-1980's.

The Guild School is a wonderful experience and I cannot encourage you enough that it is well worth going if you enjoy making things. More on that in later postings.

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