Thursday, June 3, 2010

And The "List" Goes On....And On!

The Confessions of a Chronic List Maker

Some of you may recall (or not!) that I mentioned the list of improvements and repairs that the Lovely Old Dollhouse would be needing. Well, you may have thought that this was a figurative list, or a mental list, or a spontaneous list just for the blog.....and you would be correct as it was, of course, all of the above. But it was also a real pen and paper, hard copy list, started as I was just beginning to finally start working on the Lovely Old Dollhouse. I confess, I make lists at the drop of a hat. It is almost as though the action of writing things down works, for me, as a pacifier does to a fretful baby, soothing because it gives you something simple to do when faced with daunting or overwhelming tasks. It sometimes seems as though my motto should be "when in doubt, make a list"! Yet, I often make lists and never look at them again! I occasionally go back later and happily cross off the accomplished tasks. But more often than not, I just make newer more current lists. It is almost as though having put the thought or idea down on a piece of paper, I have removed it from my mind so I don't have to "keep track" of it any more. I don't have to worry that I might be forgetting a good idea. ( A little like a very muggle form of penseive!) So my life, as you may imagine, is littered with lists. (And my work table, and my books and notebooks and my desks...) I am sometimes amazed to see old lists and realize that every thing on them is now DONE! They become a sort of bizarre reckoning of my life....evidence of the multitude of tiny tasks that makes up my existence! And they remind me that yes, I do get things done, little bit by little bit! Sometimes the lists are very specific in the breaking down of big projects into manageable small "bites". Sometimes they are far fetched wishful thinking dream lists. Those lists are the sooner forgotten and the more surprising when looked at much later and found to have been accomplished after all! I sometimes think there is a mysterious kind of power in writing things down.
So, I make lists. (Where is she going with this? you must be thinking...) Well, since joining Blogland very recently, a new kind of list has entered my life, one which I have NO control over at all, and which is all the more WELCOME for that......the FOLLOWERS list! It makes itself! It grows on its own! It represents treasures unimaginable in the form of new friendships and connections, ideas and gifts! From the far reaches of the earth fellow miniaturists link their lives together, and I am thrilled and awed to be a part of this! So it is that I humbly say WELCOME to all my followers! I will not even try to list you all! I do try (very slowly) to visit your blogs and am slowly adding myself to YOUR "followers" lists! But please, be patient with me as I learn my way around! Thank you all for enriching my life.
As for the other kind of lists.... the ones I DO have some control over.... I have been making some more progress crossing items off the "Electrical Wiring To Do List".
First things first, I hired a good electrical contracting supervisor! Remember the dollhouse scale "Ken" doll I mentioned? The one I was embarrassed to have bought and so I hid him in the closet? Well, he finally came out of the closet! :) Here he is examining the wires that are being buried in the walls of the Lovely Old Dollhouse.
And here you can see the light at the top of the stairs which had to be installed before the upstairs wainscoting could be finished.

And a view of the upstairs light and downstairs light with the stairs removed while the wires get buried in the walls. If you look closely at the front door you will see the door latch plate has been added. And if you spot the reflection of the light in the glass over the door you will gather that I have added the glass window panes! REAL Glass! Cut by ME!

More on the hall wiring.... you can see the path I ran the wires along the left hand wall where the stairs will cover them. They are gouged into the wall and plastered over to make a smooth wall.

And the kitchen with a temporary table well as the burning coals in the fireplace - neither of which are properly buried in the walls yet.... but I couldn't resist showing you anyway! The cupboard in back will eventually get stained and attached to the wall above the yet to be purchased the list grows again!

And before I SHOCK you with the next picture.... no, don't scroll down yet! I must bring you up to speed with ANOTHER list! The "To Be Painted List".
You may recall me mentioning that I LOVE color! And you may remember the reference to George Washington's Mount Vernon when considering the finish for the staircases. You might not remember me mentioning that I always loved the smokey blue color the main hallway had always been, so that it was easy to decide to keep it that color. But you definitely won't remember me mentioning the color of the parlor, because I wasn't sure what I wanted to do there! WAAAYYYback in my youth the walls had been a non-descript beige color. (You will sooner or later realize that while I believe beige has it's place (sand on beaches) it is my least favorite color for walls). So you will not be surprised that I had no intention of restoring it to the original color. In my teen years I had painted the parlor walls a lovely soft pale yellow - the color of butter in winter (for those of you who have ever made your own butter from your own cows you will know what I mean) and the wainscoting was painted white. While I was very happy with this combination in my youth, I have grown to be fond of REAL color, and now that combination just seemed too PALE! I have read that the Georgian era was one where they loved strong colors if they could get the paint... a more tricky thing here in the Colonies where everything the least bit fancy was imported from Europe. But I felt that it would be entirely appropriate to have strong color on the parlor walls....whatever era this house ends up being! So, I just need to decide WHAT color I would use! I was tempted by red..... but thought I would get into trouble with the floors already being such a dark red (which I might NOT change). Yellow was out because the kitchen would probably be yellow, and blue was out because the hallway was blue.....but the color would need to "harmonize" with the blue and yellow.....hmmm, what about green?
Then I remembered the on-line visit I had made to Washington's Mount Vernon site where I had seen the beautiful walnut paneled staircase. They had photos of his brilliant peacock green drawing room that made my heart sing! THAT was the color I wanted to paint my parlor! So I pulled out my piles of paint chips and set about trying to match one to what I was envisioning. When I finally decided on one color and was about to go out to buy a can of paint, I had one of those deja vu moments.... this color was very familiar... maybe I should check over my supplies of paint (purchased over the years for projects too numerous to LIST!) .... which I did. And discovered that I already had the exact color I wanted......just waiting for me to realize that this was what I really had bought it for.....many years ahead!

NOW you may look at the newly painted and electrified parlor!

And a close-up of the fireplace with glowing coals and the settee just waiting for someone to come in and set a while.........

So, before you go, I just need to mention one more list.
The "Other" list that I made shortly after starting to work on re-building the Lovely Old Dollhouse. The one that starts out "Dollhouses I Want To Make"
And goes like this:
Finish Little Victorian Kit House (the Folly)
Re-build Lovely Old Dollhouse
Construct Cupboard house - use kit windows(already own)
Build a European Style Townhouse
Make an Eighteenth Century Venetian Palace
Build a CASTLE Dollhouse!
At this point the "list" turns into sketches of the potential castle layouts and lists of "rooms" it will need......a SURE sign that the Castle is nearer than one might think........

And so,"The List" Goes On....And On!


  1. I no longer make lists on paper. They are either in my head or not on my list :):)!

    My dear Betsy, can you tell me how you cut those glasses? It's been baffling me for ages and I don't know why I haven;t googled the how yet. Maybe it's easier for me to absorb if it comes from you :).

    This house is seriously beginning to look and feel like a real house! Even in the construction stage. Those dangling wires especially reminds me of when my real house was being fixed :):)!

  2. Hi Sans! I too, love how real it is looking and feeling! The photos really add to that mystery - not sure of the scale until we see a reference point! As for the glass....You buy a big pane and a glass cutting tool and then practice a lot! The pile of scraps I cut that did not break off evenly is large! I make a drawing of the exact dimensions I want and lay it under the glass while I am cutting - that way you can see if your "score" mark is in the right place.(The score is the scratch mark on the glass that the cutting tool makes - the glass is supposed to break cleanly along that line when you apply pressure to one side - I place it at the edge of a straight table to do the breaking part) You have to cut the glass to a strip the correct width, then cut tht strip crosswise again to get the correct length - I'm NOT explaining very well! When I did the REST of the windows I took some pics and will post about that soon!

    And I saw your SHOES!! I am as usual just agog at your work! Are you sure you didn't hire some tiny elves? :) I want to try some shoes soon....I have been experimenting with dollmaking recently and will post about that soon too! Thank you for visiting again! I always enjoy your comments. :):)

  3. Dear Daydreamer..Thank you so much for being a new follower. I am so amazed at all the creative people I've met by way of my blog. I'm a doll collector who loves history and art, but I don't have the creativity or talent you have, and I am very humbled that artists like you find my posts interesting. Your doll house is wonderful! it shows all the love you've pour into it, it would be great to see it finished.