Monday, July 8, 2019

The New Project.....

Gets Complicated......

I have to confess, Dear Readers, that I Should know by now that my projects are never simple little projects... even when they start out with that intention! You can see above a picture of the little kit I fell in love with back in the middle of the Winter when I was slaving over lilac blossoms and dreaming of Other Things. It is made by Sandra Morris of Tower House Dolls, a UK Dollmaker whose work I have admired and collected for a while. Sandra has been "downsizing" and threatening to retire and when she posted this kit as a possible final home workshop kit.... I didn't hesitate but hit the "buy" button right away! I was lucky to get one of the ten kits which you can see above. The set-up is so charming and includes the parts for making everything you see in the picture, resulting in a little free-standing vignette of a dollmaker's workspace. I just couldn't Wait to get started.... but alas, I had set myself a Goal of a Spring Lilac Shrub in full bloom.... so the kit was put on stand-by while I finished the lilac blossoms and attached them to the shrub. And while Daydreaming of this kit, I realized that it would be sort of Dangerous to leave it an open vignette in my little house... things would fall off and get lost...( I don't like to glue parts in place....) so I started thinking of incorporating it into a closed "room-box".... which would allow me to expand a little bit and add more to the Dollmaker's Work shop! I could include many of the tiny dolls I have been collecting! So, should I make the project a simple room-box, or a store-front type of place.... or perhaps I could start with a small house kit and incorporate the vignette into the house....?... and you can tell what happened next.... I woke up one morning having Dreamt  of the Dollmaker's kit being added to The Sugarplum kit that I already owned... the vignette window would insert right where the Sugarplum kit has a big picture window... and I would add stairs to the attic, climbing up a tower of oatmeal boxes, of course!

Here is the basic Sugarplum kit with the Oatmeal Tower for the stairs......

And starting to put together the pieces for the Dollmaker's Kit.... 
to see how they would fit together....

I love the shape of this window with the shelf....

Here you can see how the two kits will fit together....
I will need to enlarge the opening in the Sugarplum wall....
It will make a lovely alcove in the room.....
And the front porch will become more enclosed
 with the roof extended out over the little porch benches.
As you can see, I think it will work!

But that is not the end of my Great Ideas, Dear Readers,
 because if you know anything about these kits,
 you will know that the Sugarplum is really quite small.
 The main room is 9' x 14".
 And there is only the main room and the attic.
And if you know anything about My House, 
you will know it is small and already quite filled with Dollhouses.... 
and if I were to justify adding another House... 
it might be best to optimize the floor space 
by making it Tall... within a small area!
(This is how I get myself into Trouble!)

So, Of Course, I added a ground floor
 to the base of the Sugarplum kit....

(I've got the pieces propped together here...)

And the Base Room would need doors to the tower stairs.... 
and a bathroom addition off the side next to the Tower...

And a sunny window on the other side.... 
beneath the side window of the Sugarplum kit
 which sticks out  from the side in a bay window.

And then I realized that the opening I had cut was just the size
 of a unique door I had bought from an artisan
 at the Sturbridge Fair a number of years ago.... 
and maybe this was where I could finally use that door?

Here it is propped against the wall.... 
only small adjustments are needed for it
 to fit the opening I have already cut....

The width is right....
 I just need to round the arch at the top 
and extend the opening to the floor!

And then I remembered another window I already had in my stash... 
and wondered if it would serve to upgrade
 the window embrasure on the upper floor.....

Like So....!

So I cut the wider opening for the door....
(I'll take a better picture, I promise!)

And added Hinges to the Tower door and the back door...
(This is easier to do when the walls are still separate!)
And that is as far as I got, Dear Readers,
 Chasing my Dreams down the Vacation week...
 Ever Deeper into a "Simple Little Project"....
Which somehow got quite Complicated!


  1. Oh oh Betsy, I can so imagine your way of thinking/dreaming: from one thing comes another ;O! I think it is one of the best ways to "be rich": by thinking of how to make/create things with less means, isn't it? I LOVE your plans for this new project of the Sugar Plum and the vignette for dolls. I can't wait to see more of we have to wait long for seeing more ;O!? I hope not hehehe.
    Hugs, Ilona

    1. Hi Ilona! I agree... it is very good when you can use the pieces you already have! I hope I can make progress with this project and not forget about the Summer Lilac! We shall see which one wins!

  2. Complicated, for sure, but delightful! That little house is going to be a regular New England rambler!
    Much love,

    1. Hi Mom! It is "growing" as I write this! :):)

  3. It's a beautiful project; and I'm curious to see more.

    1. Hi Fabiola! I think it will be fun! Hopefully it won't take forever to get to the "fun" parts! :)

  4. This. Is. Going. To. Be. So. Friggin'. ~A~W~E~S~O~M~E~! Can you please just quit your day job and get to work on this right away? I don't know if I can stand seeing it BECOME in little weekly spoonfuls!!! Oh Betsy! What fabulous ideas you have!!!

    1. Hi Jodi! I know what you mean.... I have this problem too! LOL! Unfortunately, I can't quit the job any time soon.... so small bites is what it will have to be! But I will try to make them exciting anyway! :):) Stay tuned!

  5. Quelle joie chère Betsy" de suivre ce nouveau projet déjà bien commencé. J'aime particulièrement la porte. Bonne continuation

    1. Hi Jean-Claude! I am so glad you will be "along for the ride"! I am happy to be able to use this door at last! It really will make a statement in this project! :)

  6. What a great combination, you sure have a challenge to confront and already lucky that the beautiful door and window fit in.

    1. Hi Drora! I am really happy to be able to use the pieces I have had in my "stash" for some time now. It is making this project more of an adventure as I keep getting more ideas! LOL! I think it will be fun!

  7. How exciting - but I'm not giving up yet, no way… I mean, this fabulous, stunning, creative, original and outstanding project can still become a Christmassy one! A dollmaker's toy shop at the North Pole!!! *LOL*

    Okay, this was my usual dose of bad joking in a comment, now to the more serious part (well, at least I'll try… *teehee*). What a wonderful kit - and knowing the background of the artist perhaps retiring and a limitation of 10 you've been very lucky to get one. Nevertheless this kit could not have gone into better hands than yours - you're going to make it a part of something awesome. Your plans for the Sugarplum with this kit in the window, the new floor and (hooray!) a new staircase are very exciting and I'm of course looking forward to follow your progress.

    And isn't it great to find matching pieces in your stash?! Ah, this feeling when finally the moment has come for a miniature to leave the storing boxes and become a highlight in a project. This door is terrific - and so is the window. But what I probably love the most is to see you being back in the hinges again!!! Well, after all this lilac blossom and leaf making you really deserve a little hinge-reward! ;O)


    1. Dear Birgit, I am Happy to let you know that I have been having exactly those same ideas... about the Seasonal Nature of this project! I am still reluctant to commit to just one season.... but we will see how things "Develop"! This project may yet run away with me and just become what it wants to! LOL! Meanwhile, I am enjoying the endless possibilities part of the beginning of a project.... where will it lead me? We shall see! :):) (And I will confess, I am enjoying the HINGES way too much!!!)

  8. Hi, Betsy - Well, I was not a bit surprised to see your amazing and ambitious plans for the Dollmaker's Workshop and the little Sugarplum kit! (And on and on from there.) Your plans are so exciting - and so challenging - and it will be such fun to watch this new project take shape. I'm already looking forward to your next post!

    1. Hi Marjorie! I am having fun with this new venture! I am particularly happy to be able to use parts I already had.... and especially that special door which really had no home! It is really satisfying to have it be so clear that it wants to be part of this house! And it really makes a design statement too! The real challenge will be keeping on track with the Summer Lilac! LOL!

  9. I love that door! And congrats on getting the kit. This will be so much fun to watch.

    1. Hi Sheila! I am really happy to be able to finally use this door! And I am sure you can imagine I am going to be visiting your posts about your Oatmeal box tower as I try to construct the one for this project! My last version has the stairs go up the outside, but this time I will be putting them in the inside. :):)

  10. It is so lovely to see your creative process in progress. You started with a lovely vignette and it has grown smoothly into a multistory/multiroomed project. I love to see how you will go on from here. Good luck with the choices yet to make. :-)


  11. Oooooo this is going to be SO GOOD Betsy! You'll have the perfect venue to display some of your own tiny dolls too!

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