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Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Dollhouse Distractions. And Why Can't I Call My New Canon so I Can Find It?

Think about it- it always worked with my Iphone.

I've had a new camera, which is delightfully small and takes great close ups , for two weeks, but haven't uploaded a picture yet. Primarily because I take a picture, put the camera down , can't find it for a few days......l I think I'm going to mount it on a tripod and leave it there!

Right now, I'm thinking you should think of this blog as dollhouse distractions instead of the Gammage House. At the end of the school year there are so many ends to tie up, that all that is left over at the end of day is the distractible! I work for 3 school districts , and today was the last day for the first to go.

So I'm puttering, and regrouping , and working on my application for a doctoral program!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Is There Such a Thing as Minis Block?

Do ever feel completely stuck on your work ? As though you can't think of anything or can't make anything work? What do you think blocks you? What got you through it?

I know I've been more productive because I've gone back and forth between two houses, one half scale and one quarter inch scale. I frequently think that if I would just focus on one house, I could actually finish one.

Then I realize that skipping back and forth makes more sense for me. My block is either getting to a step I need to learn to do, or especially having trouble making a decision. Another thing that gets me stuck is doing a really disappointing job on a piece.

I am far from being able to give advice, but I do find that on other crafts, if I decide to put something away because I am frustrated, I might as well throw it away! So working actively on more than one project is probably my best bet. Blogging helps too, because it gives me the , "I need to have something to show for myself! " push.

This my quarter inch house, which I am building completely from scratch.This picture first got me stuck because all of the work looked so bad - and I had worked for months. But then I made one statement in my blog, which was, "They have a lot of plywood at Michael's , and gave myself permission to consider the first cut a pattern since finishing the surfaces badly was most of the issue. I'm working from the inside out this time, and I am able to think about how I will finish each surface before I cut it, which makes an amazing difference. In a kit, they have often thought this out for you, or you able to see the work of others on the house. But since I decided to do such a thorough job of bashing Gammage House, it has been a lot like starting from scratch.

Welcome and Inspiration

I've got to get back to welcoming followers! I identified with Kate, whose profile says that her dollhouse is in pieces , and that she is looking for inspiration to get her started again. That's where Gammage House stood, and even though it is very much still in progress, it has come a long way. It really helped me to pick a story and a place and a year. I love messing around with research and I've spent way too much time looking at websites about Providence, and 1885. But it keeps me going, even though I confess to being a little obsessive about sticking to 1885 .

Welcome Kate!

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Aviary

This weekend , one of our friends was married. The rehearsal dinner was held in the Aviary, in one of the local parks. A victorian structure, it was a delightful place for a wedding dinner.

I started looking for something similar in Providence, and came up with an outdoor aviary which was part of a zoo that was created in 1873. I have to say that it should no longer surprise me that people in 1885 weren't colonial, but I still continue to be caught off guard by details like zoos!

This is the only picture I could find of the Providence Aviary. I guess the Gammages will have to come to Virginia!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Thanks to All Who Participated in the Giveaway.

What a lovely bunch of people, who commented to congratulate the winner, and thanked me for participating.

Some day, I hope soon, I will answer a comment in Spanish. I drive a lot for work, so I downloaded an MPG to learn Spanish in the car. Frustrating, because it teaches all about airports, and numbers. What I need is Spanish for dollhouse bloggers!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Drama - Clothes Again

We thought the commotion that ensued when Althea insisted on wearing her flowered dress over an old pair of trousers was disturbing. She found the filthy pants in the shipmaster's quarters that are now going to be her workshop.

But when Julia found out that , instead of asking the dressmaker to make the agreed upon good dress , Althea had conspired with their usually trusty seamstress to make an outfit of her own design, the tension was almost unbearable.

Inspired by a portrait of a woman in a kimono, and the bloomers that had long gone out of fashion, the suit allowed Althea to work in her workshop without danger of catching a skirt, or even worse, a crinoline, in one of her creations.

Once the tirade paused, Althea fled to her favorite spot outside her workshop. Solitude was usually rejuvenating, but a combination of anger and self criticism brought a swirl of emotion.

Persis joined her not much later. " I don't understand". Julia doesn't wear long skirts herself! "

"If you could just add a skirt , you could wear an apron." suggested Persis. One consultation with the dressmaker resulted in an skirt that met both Julia and Althea's needs. The crisis is over!

Not too tight and not too fancy, Althea can still remove the pink skirt, leaving the original ensemble to be worn for woodworking and her handyman type puttering around the house.

Woodworking lessons for Persis soon!

The Winner of the Giveaway!

Is Maria Ireland!  Maria, please send your address to me at and I will get the kits off to you as soon as possible!

And I wish I had 21 things to give away ! 

A Follower's Dilemna- Who Can Help?

Oh, I do hope I don't embarrass her terribly, but in her giveaway comment, Lucy Q, one of the blog's followers, said she had a 1920's dollhouse still in the box that was given to her by a friend, and was looking for inspiration to get started. She thought maybe winning the giveaway would do the trick.

Why do I keep remembering this, and SO want her to get that house out and get started? Yes, I'm a mentor by nature, and am always looking for a way to help someone meet their own goals. But I know too, that we all have little procrastinations in our lives , and sometimes need a kick in the pants to get started!

A dollhouse though seems to be a relatively reasonable thing to procrastinate on- unless you feel guilty or sad about it.

I bought a good friend a dollhouse kit two Christmas's ago. The real point was to have something to work on together, and I picked the house without consulting with her. We only have room for one house with my huge antique dollhouse in the living room.

I knew she wasn't terribly motivated , but couldn't figure out why until she confessed a year and a half later that she didn't get excited about the Antique Shop kit I bought her. So once I get Gammage House completely constructed, the plan is to shop for a house together, although she fancies building one from scratch.

Some of the things I am using in Gammage House are things that I have had, and have been meaning to use for years and years, What got me started- finding the little dolls, having an idea that they needed a home, then coming up with a story based on my genealogical research.

I have a fantasy that each of us would send Lucie a little gift for her dollhouse. Something to get her started, from the period of her choice.

Or sometimes a gift is a word of advice, some help , a story about your own house and getting started. Who can help?