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Monday, April 30, 2012

One More Day to the Giveaway!

Make sure that you have followed the blog , and also commented,so you can be entered in the Giveaway! Drawing will be tomorrow at 6:30 PM my time.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

See the Tutorial for Making Your Own Fabric to Scale

I have added a page (see the top of the blog) on how to make your own scale fabric. I was having trouble finding fabric both the right weight, and with a small enough print to make a dress for Althea, so worked on making my own fabric. There are three different weight fabrics represented. Check it out by clicking above, or by following this link.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Althea's New Clothes

Now for a new challenge- making clothing for Althea . I made Persis a dress which I am basically happy with, but I have something in mind for Althea's dress that may be a little different .

I don't know if you remember, but as the sisters were getting ready for the family portrait, they had quite a spat, because Althea insisted on wearing her bloomers in the picture! We often use the word bloomers to mean underwear, but bloomers were actually outer clothing , and were named after Amelia Bloomer. Bloomers were trousers gathered at the ankle.

For more information on dress reform and bloomers, see
Dress Reform

Sensible dress for a woman physician at a time of huge skirts.

Less than attractive, but functional.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Poor Althea

I got the bottoms of Althea's legs made, and was excited to put them back on so that I can finish dressing her. Unfortunately , the fabric of her body is too fragile to sew them on. I really , really don't want to put a whole new body on her. You can see why people advertising dolls say "Her clothes are sewn on and I didn't want to remove them"!

I' m going to try adding some fabric stabilizer. If that doesn't work, i'll put new fabric over the top like a second skin. I want to experiment with putting a wire armature on the outside of the body so that she can be posed , so the body needs to be strong.

Interesting - see how her head is attached to the body. She doesn't have holes in her shoulder plate. I'm not sure what is going on with that- i will have to check to see if the twin doll has holes. Doll people say interesting things, don't they!

Monday, April 23, 2012

1/16 Furniture is Much Better!

I've been talking about the dolls being too large for a lot of the half scale furniture, even though I'm happy with the size of the house for them. I ordered some 1/16 furniture, and am in general, much happier, particularly with the chairs. The dressing table however, seems too tall- I think I've figured out a way to fix that. All of it is the red finish, and I'd like to cover the fabric with some antique fabric I have.

The table looks too large for the house , but good for the dolls. I'll just have to play with the sizes and see what works best.

The sofa still feels a bit small for Julia .

The dressing table is very tall for Julia.

The table seems tall for the 2nd floor .

But all things considered , the 1/16 furniture fits better than the 1:24.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Not Chairs - Lots of Well Needed Sleep

If you've been reading , you'll know I've had a pretty crazy month. I think sometimes my body knows that the only way to get me to slow down is for me to get sick- so here comes the bronchitis ! I worked on bits and pieces - I'm having a time fastening Althea's legs back to her body without replacing the antique fabric. I'm thinking I may have to attach them to a pair of pantaloons that sew on... Or maybe suspenders.. I think that is just the frustration talking.

As I took this picture I convinced myself that I am crazy to think I can save this leg fabric! So tomorrow, new fabric for new legs. Oh, her feet are fine!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

One Sixteenth Scale

With a lot of help from Yahoo groups, I found out that my dolls are actually 1/16 scale. There may be a lot of giveaways in the future because I've already bought a lot of half scale .

Some of the furniture I bought will still work, if repurposed and kept in areas not usually occupied by the family.

I found a good book, Dolls's House Do It Yourself Book , by Venus Dodge . I found it on Amazon used, and it has both patterns in 1:24 and 1:16 . So I'm ready to get started on the furniture for the family ! I get tickled , because it calls a water heater a geyser , and has a lot of other terms not usually used.

I'll share soon, because I plan to make some chairs this weekend.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Sharing a tip on the "Prove you are not a robot" Codes

I disabled this on my blog- I still get to approve the comments before they are published. Some people have had trouble with spam without it and some don't know how to turn it off. I have trouble reading the things,and I guess I have trouble discriminating sounds, because the "listen" option is almost impossible for me!

Commenting on the IPad or IPhone can be so frustrating if predictive text is on- it always tries to turn the random letters into a word. After about the millionth bout - the last one being the iPad trying to turn hrtdmec into heretic(!) , I accidentally discovered a trick. I type the code, then other random letters until it stops predicting. Then I erase the extra letters. For example, when I typed hrtfmecsh, the prediction stopped turning up, and I just erased the SH at the end. Probablyas clear as mud, but I hope helpful!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Website for Historic Accuracy

I hope you can tell that my story about the Gammages is based in research. Web research of course. Recent work on the house has attempted to use details from the period, although I am behind the curve because I started with a very Colonial Williamsburg type house. I've tried to use facts, with only 2-3 years leeway. I started this because I wanted learn about this period of time , but then got fascinated by the research itself, and Providence in particular. If you are also into Genealogy and History , I've found a great blog. It even breaks events and sources down by year.

Remember- the Gammage family is not real!

The blog: Nineteenth Century Historical Tidbits
The blogger, Lynn Coleman, describes herself as a novelist who writes contemporary and historical novels . Thanks to Lynn for an incredible resource!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Welcome New Followers! And Thoughts About Commenting

It is always great to have new followers ! Welcome to Keli and Mieke! Keli has beautiful cerulean hair in her profile picture - I have to tell you that my daughter dyed hers fushia for her high school graduation. I actually thought it looked pretty!

Thoughts about comments- I can't remember who told me that dollhouse miniaturists aren't huge about commenting. I try to comment giving feedback when I really like something, but it does get old to always just say why I love something. The comments I would like to get are more about you! Have you made something similar or hope to make something related in the future? Have you got a different technique for doing the same thing? If it is a history post, do you know anything related to the event or item I've pictured? Can you think of a cool idea for me to develop next in the story or the house?

Giveaway! Hoosier Cabinet Kit and extra

Since I've decided I am going with 1/16 for furniture scale (for the most part and wish me good luck!) , I'm going to gradually give away some of the half scale kits and furniture that I can't make fit. I probably could figure out something with this Cassidy Creations cabinet kit, but it is just too good the way it is to mess with it. It is very detailed, and I can see it being a challenge for someone who loves detail. Anyway , to enter comment telling me if your interest is in dollhouses, or history , or both! Of course, you have to be a follower to enter. I'll draw on May 1st, and , you are going to think this is funny, please remind me if I forget!!!

I'm still recovering from my mom's heart attack. I know that sounds strange, but because she is doing better, it is as if I can finally get upset about it. I had to be the pillar of strength , as I am the oldest child, only girl, and my brothers live about 10 hours away.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Quandary - What Scale?

If you have read from the beginning, you know that Gammage House was always meant to be a lot like an antique dollhouse, but more detailed and realistic . One of the things I love about really old American dollhouses is the use of furniture that is not quite in scale. But half scale is way too small, and full scale is way too big . There are of course pieces of half scale furniture that are big enough to serve another purpose- and 1:12 furniture which is small enough to repurpose. When I asked on the Miniature Beehive, which is a DIY Yahoo group, they were very helpful in identifying the scale as somewhere between 1:16 and 1:22. There of course isn't ready made furniture in that scale , so I'm going to have to make furniture, repurpose furniture or get someone to make furniture for me. I suspect I'll end up doing all 3 because I love these little dolls , and this was always meant to be their house. Interestingly enough, the house is just the right scale for them, because the house was built in 1800. Because it is not a grand house, it would have had low ceilings.

Before I made the house the Gammage House, I bought half scale furniture, which I will either save for another house, which will have to be for someone else, because my real house won't hold any more unless they are 1:48 , or modify the furniture to fit the dolls.

Excuse the picture quality. I'm trying not to wake everyone up!

Augusta in the house with a 1:12 scale chest of drawers.

Aunt Augusta in the house with a half scale chair.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

To Church Go the Gammages

Not all the Gammages are regular church goers, but today they all walk down Benefit Street to Benevolent - a sizable journey in skirts. Persis had a good grumble about not using one of the horse cars that went up and down Benefit, but Julia insisted that the day was too beautiful not to walk. Althea hated the straw that lined the floor of the horsecars, which was supposed to be there for insulation. The rumor is that the smelly straw was actually there so that the drivers could retrieve any change or valuables dropped , because it proved impossible to find things on the floor quickly enough upon exit.

The Gammage family, for as long as they have been in Providence , have attended the Unitarian Church . This church was actually the third in Providence , built when the earlier church burned.

Their church was beautiful , and can be seen all over Providence.

Note- readers familiar with present day Unitarian Churches of today won't be surprised to know that women were more involved in the Unitarian Church than in other churches in 1885. They would be advised to learn about the difference in theology at that time, because the Unitarians had not yet merged with the Universalists. A link to wikkipedia Unitarian History

The Gammage's church .

The church that burned . See more at Church History

Quarter Inch Scale on this Blog

It's driving me crazy not to explain this- I really am going to have quarter inch Scale here someday, because the Gammage House will need to be renovated in year 1970 or so, and the house will be reproduced for this purpose in quarter inch. At some point. After I finish the Gammage House, the Inn , the Petite Chateau, and my newest fancy, a Willowcrest housing a modern day Historical Society and Genealogiccal Museum!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Who Have I Welcomed- Who Have I Not?

As a new blogger , I love opening up my dashboard and finding a new follower. But somehow I lost track . I'm honored but a little bit intimidated by the work I see on all of the follower's websites!

Welcome to Jennifer ( we'll have to talk about the use of my name) , who is having a giveaway at

I love the work Elga at The carving on chairs she showed this week is wonderful.

Who else?

The first is Maria from I am so determined to learn Spanish- I am picking up more and more as I read blogs. My family find it interesting that I read blogs out loud- but I think you learn languages more quickly if you say a well as read the words.

Another person who is teaching me Spanish without knowing it is ,Carmen whose blog is at

Linda, at doesn't say what kind of music she plays - is it traditional music. I play ITM, Irish Traditional Music.

I'm overwhelmed, and actually realize I started at the end instead of the beginning, so I'll finish later!

Friday, April 6, 2012

You'd Think They Were an Argumentative Family!

While Althea is banging away in the workroom, the other Gammages have decided to use the delay in Laura's arrival to do much much needed repairs and updates to the house. Remember that the house was built in 1805 by their father Josiah's grandfather, Isaac Gammage.

The current " discussion" came about when Julia wanted to hang the picture of Josiah over the mantel. Unfortunately , hanging the picture would cover the part of the painted wall - Persis and Althea's favorite part of the wall, with a little house on a windswept mountain.

Julia had always been embarrassed by the painted murals. They were meant to be in the style of Moses Eaton and Rufus Porter, but were executed by a much more primitive and unskilled hand . Aunt Augusta had mixed emotions- she loved the murals which of course she had grown up with, but she didn't like the dark cave-like feel they gave the room.

What do you think?

The real thing.

This could almost be miniature, but it's not!

The Gammage over mantel in progress .