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Today Maisie is 4- and earlier this week my dad was 76- What we’ve been working on for her bday (Instagram)

 

It’s a busy birthday week at my house- today Maisie turns 4! I don’t have any pics of her yet this morning, but wanted to update everyone on our projects (and my dad’s bday) this week.

Pic of Papa wearing Maisie’s hat 🙂 –

Maisie on my dad’s bday- she dressed as a ‘cowgirl ballerina’:

We build ultra realistic log cabin dollhouses for fun. I love doing miniature things. Maisie complained that her dollhouse cabins had no bathrooms- so my dad made an outhouse out of poplar, barn wood, and cedar shingles- he even made the handle for the door out of copper wire he hammered and aged!

I did the ‘poop’ and a snake to go in the 2-holer, out of polymer clay- and we have teeny antique (readable) Sears catalogs in there!

R made the base, it revolves- and painted it with milk paint.

R put the static grass down, but I did the rest of the landscaping and painting and stone crafting out of egg cartons- and I made ‘weeds’… it is a marvelous collaboration! I can’t wait til we surprise her with it later this afternoon!

She’s also getting an ant farm, which she asked for 🙂

Will update more later! xo

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(Pictorial) Log Cabin Dollhouse- Adding a Front Door To Cabin and Link to the COOLEST Real Cabin EVER!

Recently, my dad showed me a news article about the coolest REAL log cabin ever. It was an old, fallen down building purchased for 100 bucks in Missouri and took 10 yrs to restore/rebuild. The builder, Richard Aiken, did a fantastic job restoring this structure.

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http://sfglobe.com/2015/01/02/retired-mathematician-renovates-a-log-cabin-from-the-1800s/

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I particularly loved his door, which I based our log cabin door from.

We put the hinges on the outside (yeah, not correct), because it was easier. I also prefer the look.

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(Pictorial) Log Cabin Dollhouse- Copper and Pewter Ware DIY

I bought a ton of pewter dollhouse 1:12 scale miniature cookware and plates, etc recently for the cabin.

I wanted some to be copper, so I painted some of them.

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I love the way they look in the cabin!

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(Pictorial) Log Cabin Dollhouse- Making A Colonial Style Tilt Table and Rustic Benches

Daddy and Maisie playing peekaboo in the log cabin

The cabin definitely needed a table. I decided on a tilt style colonial table and found a vintage House of Miniatures kit on eBay that I wanted to use.

We are SO happy with how it turned out!

Tilt top tables were a space saving innovation in those days, used mostly in poorer (but obviously not dirt poor) homes where space was at a premium.

I distressed and stained it using existing photos found online as a guide.

The table has no chairs, so I cut out some shapes to make benches. I ended up making two- when not in use (cmon, they’re never in use), I push one on either side of the fireplace. Also pleased with how these turned out:

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not easy to see, but the benches are on either side of fireplace

We also got a teeny Maltese china dog in that we named Ruby after my aunt’s little Maltese. Ruby lives with Gabriel, our resident log cabin Labrador Retriever. Maisie loves them so much. She takes them for ‘walks’ before bedtime.

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(Pictorial) Log Cabin Dollhouse- Adding a floor to loft and decorating updates

Because I was running out of room in the cabin, the half loft had to be extended to a full loft. I stained and glued temporary boards to the ceiling rafters in such a way that if I had to remove them, it wouldn’t damage the original structure.

It’s not perfect, but it works in a pinch!

I also added a fireplace trammel to hang pots from in the fireplace

and a few other eBay finds:

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(Pictorial) Log Cabin Dollhouse-Making Braided Rugs

The old rug in the house was actually an antique crocheted pot holder that I put in there when I was 12. I decided it was time to make a ‘real’ rug for the cabin.

I used antique embroidery cotton that I had (Yeah, I stockpile old sewing stuff and linens *sigh*).

First, I made a ton of strings to braid. Did I mention that I DETEST braiding?!

Sewing this took FOREVER- probably over a week or more, so my sister, who is staying with me during her cancer treatments, took over the sewing of it and finished this rug in a couple of days. She even sewed it when she was in the hospital- that’s dedication!

It turned out a little bumpy, but I don’t mind. I glued a cotton backing on the thing after it was done being sewed together. I love it 🙂

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(Pictorial) Log Cabin Dollhouse- Building rope/trundle beds

We started building and designing period furnishings for this cabin.

Historically, a cabin this size would have housed (on average) a family or up to 11 or more!!!

Trundle rope beds were in order… a single sized bed like that could have slept (I’m not kidding) 2 grown people or quite a few children!

I made all of the bedding out of vintage linens and stuffed it with ‘straw’ (actually, tea leaves).

We tried our hand at a stool with a woven rope seat, but cut it wrong (too tall) and now it is a side table.

I also made a teeny ‘fire’ for the fireplace

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PART 1: 35 yr old Log Cabin Dollhouse Revamp!

One thing that has kept me occupied all month (and away from blogging, etc) is this:

 

35 yrs old-ish, nearly an antique now!

My dad made this for me in 8th grade for my Michigan day project (I helped).

He got an A.

Took it out of the basement for the first time in 15 years to fix up and decorate for Maisie (well, that’s the official story).

 

 

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Maisie’s 1st Doll House: Fisher-Price Little People Happy Sounds Home Review

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Maisie’s rather skimpy toy collection was due for a boost. She’s been really into independent play lately, so I was in the market for something that would amuse her and was a little less ‘infant’ like.

A lovely friend suggested the Fisher-Price Little People House. Amazon had it on sale for $25, so I bought it immediately- and thanks to my Amazon Prime subscription- it arrived in 2 days with free shipping! I use my Prime almost daily. Best subscription EVER.

What could be in this big box?

What could be in this big box?

The packaging was perfect, as I’ve come to expect from Amazon shipments. Her little eyes opened wide in awe when she saw the house.

Maisie and Dibble the Cat check out the packaging...

Maisie and Dibble the Cat check out the packaging…

The house itself came with a couple of screws (to screw the front piece together) and a long screw (for the hinge). The screws required a phillip’s screwdriver. It was simple to assemble. It had a couple of yellow pieces that were a bit confusing and just attached to the sides. The baby was able to rip them off in seconds- they didn’t make much sense.

these pieces made no sense and the baby was able to rip them off every time I tried to attach them. I can see them getting lost very easily.

these pieces made no sense and the baby was able to rip them off every time I tried to attach them.
I can see them getting lost very easily.

Another minor complaint was that the front of the window looks like something attaches to it, but nothing comes with it from what I’ve seen.

see the little holes in the window?  they drive my OCD bit mad. Apparently nothing attaches to them...

see the little holes in the window? they drive my OCD bits mad. Apparently nothing attaches to them…

Other than what I mentioned above, this is a really clever little starter doll house. It has sounds in almost every room- you push a button and the toilet flushes, the stove makes cooking sounds, etc.

A video of the sounds the house makes- please disregard my horrible, chipping manicure:

Maisie loved playing mostly with the doll family that came with the set. It includes the daddy, mommy, and baby. It also comes with a car, baby bed, and dining table.

mommy and baby in their beds

mommy and baby in their beds

the new Little People have holes in the bottom like the old ones did

the new Little People have holes in the bottom like the old ones did

Daddy in the bathroom

Daddy in the bathroom

The new Little People are much bigger than the ones from my childhood and made from a child safe type of plastic. They still have holes in the bottom. She enjoyed sucking on their heads, just like kids used to with the original Little People.

I miss the old style wooden and plastic head-ed Little People of my childhood.

I miss the old style wooden and plastic head-ed Little People of my childhood.

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She’s loving this

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a happy Maisie playing with her new dollhouse

I can see her playing with this toy for a long time to come. The reviews on Amazon are nearly 5 stars.

My rating: 4.5/5