Thursday, February 28, 2013

Little House project- One Room schoolhouse props


These are some recent scores on ebay. The little schooldesks are about 3 1/2 inches high 4 inches wide. I have a third one coming en route for the one room schoolhouse dio I want to do, and these will be for the smaller students. With squeezing, Laura and Mary fit, though it is a tight fit where their legs go- I have not tried Kelly or Chelsea yet. The company who made them is Determined Productions in 1972 in Japan do a search under collectibles or miniatures for that brand name. I actually stumbled across them when typing in 'doll desk' by luck.

The teacher's desk is by Enesco and is incomplete, part of a 'school daze' named collectible and very cheap on ebay, but the correct height for a teacher's desk or a desk for the 'big boys or big girls' (teenagers) who would sit at the back of the room in larger desks that fit them. As the diorama enlarges, I will look for more of these for teenager Laura, and her friends from Little Town on the Prairie and the smaller desks will be for Carrie .

I haven't had time to continue much on Poppy and Ryan's love story, they are busy working just as I am, lol. I don't foresee much doll time this week or the next to be honest, hopefully I will be able to get together a little diorama for the schooldesk/ one room schoolhouse diorama I am planning on setting up. THe better pics are taken with my phone- my camera still works but is limping along- hence the grainy pictures at the top. The last four pictures were taken with my new phone, and uploaded to photobucket.
Enjoy, and hope to get something together soon-

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Bargains at the Capital Club doll show today...

Today I met some friends at the annual Capital doll club show that was held at the Showplace center, same place, same time in February every year. My Va. Fashion doll club always rents two or three tables and alot of the ladies donate older items to sell for their own profit or the club's profit. The show didn't have the deals it did last year- I was in diorama heaven. But I did find this beauty for $10 underneath three huge stuffed animals. One of the pluses of this show is some of the doll club members rent tables to clear out their collections, some items hardly worn or used and some never removed from the box.
This dollhouse I believe, correct me if I'm wrong everyone- but is the Happy Family foldup dollhouse. It looks like it is missing a few pieces like furniture inside. But it still works.
Here is the first floor, entrance/living room, doors still work with the built in washer and dryer, and then the kitchen nook with fireplace.If this thing has sounds, I haven't had a chance to see if they are present &/or work.
Bathroom is intact even down to the shower curtain.
This is a side view of the outside exterior.
This is a view of the bedroom with bath. A few pieces may be missing as far as furniture, but it is a toss up now to see who will get this house.
Ann Marie, however, the local real estate agent in Barbietown (she hung up acting when real estate became more profitable in Barbietown) thinks it will sell or even rent quickly!
She does a walkthrough of the house, pleased that the flip crew will not have that much to do except painting and flooring!
A little tile cleaner, a little paint!
 Ann Marie is pleased the furniture is in good condition as well- if they rent the place they can charge more because of the furniture! (always thinking of a way to make a quick turn around on her investment!)

Basically, this bargain $10 dollhouse, some doll stands from the stand guy (he comes to all the shows and has booths at some of the antique malls in Richmond) and a pair of French fashion doll shoes from Tarheel Creations by Sylvia Butler who sold me Annabelle and makes the most incredible period fashions , and that was it for my spending. With Barbie Collector having a great sale, I was more rigid in my purchasing, as I have some other extra expenses this month. I am also currently working on acquiring props for the one room schoolhouse diorama I am planning on doing for Laura and Mary Ingalls for my Little House diorama project, so I have found the perfect schooldesk props just waiting for the auctions to finish. So will have alot of dolly purchases coming into the blog soon. I'm thinking that Nicole and Darren might use this house, since they are new to town, though Poppy and Ryan might need a place too. Or some of the other new families coming to the town too.

Friday, February 22, 2013

A Victorian tea in town...

Let's go back to the late 1870's, when ladies met together for tea, dressed in their finest velvets and hats with gloves, and visiting day was a set day to 'receive' ladies of your acquaintance. Thus it is with the ancestors of the dolls in Barbietown, when the town was just growing and quite small. A few of the most prominent ladies of the town are visiting with their children dressed in their best, and all are enjoying tea and cakes.

Mrs. Towers, can I have some cake? asks Janie Johnson. 'Of course dear," said Mrs. Powers

uh oh, below is Nellie Olsen, and she is heading for the sideboard as she sees cake!
All of the ladies are discussing topics such as the weather, the new bustles that have just come out in Godey's Lady's book, and whether or not hoops will come back into style.
Nellie cannot resist- and decides to try and reach for the plate of teacakes out of reach....
However, Mrs. Olsen sees her and scolds her soundly. 'Shame on you Nellie! In company!Your manners!"
You can't blame Nellie for giving into temptation- the sideboard is soo tempting with so many sweets and cake!
Everyone is enjoying the afternoon visiting and sipping tea. The ladies rarely are able to get together so much.

The room becomes quite crowded as some of the smaller children are brought in from the nursery where the nannies have been letting them play.
Some of the tea treats are scrumptious looking!
Anja Nelson, is new to the town and misses her neighbor, Mrs. Caroline Ingalls who was not invited at this time. She smiles as Mrs. Tower offers Janie some cakes

And so here is my quick little Victorian tea diorama, using some of my dolls that I have collected off of Ebay as well as made the clothing for- (Anja's dress was handmade by me.) Today I didn't have any pressing orders to do, and thought it would be fun to play with some of my props and take an inventory as it were.
Nellie Olsen- Mini American Girl Nellie purchased at Barnes & Noble bookstore children's section
Tiny doll in carriage- Holiday Victorian Kelly bought on Ebay
Little red haired doll- Madame Alexander Red Riding Hood doll purchased at CVS 9.99
Victorian sideboard, chairs, tea tables all - Bespaq
Rug- Sanatka rugs
carraige- Rose bud carraige- vintage from the late 70's
Teasets- various Ruetter Porcelain items, Re-ment. Tea set next to Spring Tea Barbie came with that barbie.
Cakes- three tiered cake on silver platter made by me, out of paperclay. Cake next to Spring Tea barbie made by seller on ebay in the UK
Picture- from the souvenir shop of the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller museum in Williamsburg Va
Door- Houseworks Jamestown door 1:6 scale, stained and painted
wallpaper- four sheets of 1:12 scale floral wallpaper taped to foamboard
floor- dark wood grained shelf paper from Big Lots stuck to foamcore sheeting Royalty Anja- seated(Mrs. Anja Nelson) dress made by me
Victorian Lady Barbie (standing in velvet dress, Mrs. Tower)
Spring Tea Barbie (seated to the right)
Mrs. Albee Avon Barbie 2nd edition (standing in pink & yellow dress) Ebay
Jane & Michael - Mary Poppins set
Mrs. Albee Avon Barbie/Frank Sinatra Barbie- hybrid- purple dress and hat (doll is Frank Sinatra barbie head on Mrs. Albee body. )

Forgive the small pics, I have a new phone but no new camera yet, so these pics were taken with my new droid. Enjoy!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Video- Tasha Tudor dollhouse tour!

Today I am working on uploading old pictures in slideshow/videos for YouTube. I have a YouTube and have uploaded regular videos to it, just a couple, but never a slideshow type of thing. I am waiting to get my new camera (the old one is working on getting me by for now) but am also going to plan to buy a video camera as well.

The above video is a tour of the Tasha Tudor dollhouse from photos of my visits when it was on display at the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller museum in Williamsburg, Virginia. It is no longer displayed since Tasha Tudor's death two years ago. This was a dollhouse display built by the curators of the Williamsburg foundation to house her incredible miniature collection, some of which was antique or commissioned by leading miniature artists, or made by Tasha herself. She was an incredible artist and children's author and one of my alltime favorites. The book, 'the Tasha Tudor dollhouse: a Lifetime in Miniature' is one of the best books you can buy as its photos are much better than mine in this video. The dollhouse was built on a scale as best as I can figure from my measuring of the house at the museum between 1:4 scale (Tasha's dolls were 15 and 17 inches high) and almost 1:3 scale. sort of in between if you ask me. My biggest fascination with this house was the working doors and the staircase. They were so very perfect! As well as the goat barn.
Enjoy the video- I hope to be adding more of the dolls soon once I get the format and script done.

Friday, February 15, 2013

A phone call to a friend..

Well, Valentine's day certainly ended with a surprise for Ryan and Poppy!
The scene: It is Saturday morning, and Poppy has not slept much- in fact, after leaving the diner late last night for home, she stayed up thinking about what her answer of 'yes' means...and finds she needs to talk, to her best friend, Cindy Sometimes.

It is Saturday morning, and Poppy has not slept. After grabbing a bagel at the bakery in town early, she makes a call to her best friend, Cindy Sometime. She needs to talk.

Ring, ring ring...Cindy's cell starts vibrating on the coffee table next to her latte. 'Oh what now,' she mumbles grumpily. It is Saturday morning, when Cindy is sitting about her condo and surfing on the web for deals.

'Hmmph, what do ya know, it's Poppers, ' says Cindy and answers the call

"Yo, Poppers what are you up to?' she says happily into the phone.
'Hey, are you up yet?' Poppy asks hurriedly

Cindy laughs.'I answered the phone didn't I?'

"LOOK Cindy, I really need to talk. I want to come over, is that ok?"

"Well sure! Hey is something wrong? You don't sound all that good!" Cindy knows something is wrong now,

"Thanks Cindy, I'm on my way now, I'll be there in a few.' and snaps the phone shut.

"What????........the other end of the phone goes dead. Cindy puts the phone down, and waits for Poppy to come over.
***********Meanwhile, at McDonald's diner, Saturday morning rush is busy!****

                             Tina is busy waiting on Patrick, who has come in for an egg omeltte sandwich.
Ricky waves hello to Mrs. Greene, and her elderly parents, Mr. and Mrs. Sunshine

Hi Mr. Sunshine- yo you brought Mrs. Sunshine! Hey Mrs. Greene! I;ll have your coffees ready in a bit, and Ryan's fixing your sausage biscuit now!" Ricky waves at Mrs. Greene

Mrs. Greene is busy helping her elderly parents with her mother's wheelchair.
"Thank you so much, Ricky, take your time!'

Meanwhile, Darren and Kara are speaking to Janelle. They have stopped by to have an early breakfast, as Nicole has just finished an emergency call at the hospital, and Darren has brought Julian and the baby Kara  along for breakfast.
'Hey, where have you been? Haven't seen you for ages!" Janelle says
"I just gotr off from work! Darren brought the kids and we're having an early breakfast!"

Janelle fills in Nicole on all the gossip. Darren smiles as his wife and Janelle pick up where they left off. Nicole has been working extra hard in the last couple of weeks, and has not had much time for her friends.
"...and then, do you know what Agnes did? She CANNED the photo shoot!"
Nicole is puzzled." Your BIG shoot here in town? WHY?"
Janelle shakes her head.'Photographer wouldn't say why. Something to do her changing her mind."
"What about your big chance?' Nicole is worried for her friend, who depends on modeling and acting to make her living.
"Oh, I will get paid for my time. But the shoot is still on, just in another location. Agnes changes her mind ALL the time. Ok for me, I still get paid!" Janelle laughs

Nicole is relieved for Janelle. Darren smiles uncertainly, as he is not used to Janelle's carefree manner. 'Janelle, I'm so glad. I know how much this meant to you."
Meanwhile, Poppy has made it to Cindy's condo.
Poppy knocks onthe door, and Cindy answers it as soon as she does.
'c'mon on in Poppers,'

   "you sounded weird on the phone girlfriend. Is this about your date last night with Ryan??" she asks

                                     Cindy has a seat, while Poppy throws her hands up in the air and puts her purse on the coffee table. "Cindy, you just won't believe it!' she says.
"What??? KILL ME, I'm dying to know!" Cindy says exasperated.
" He popped the question ! He asked me to marry him!" Poppy says.
Cindy jumps out of her chair. 'POPPY, THIS IS GREAT!" She squeals.

                               Poppy explains. 'I know, I know. And it's what I have been hoping for all of
            these months Cin. You know that. But he hasn't even met my screwed up parents yet!'
          'And wait till you get aload of what he gave me last night. ' so saying she takes the chocolate
           ringbox out of her purse and gives it to Cindy to open.
 Cindy carefully opens the ringbox from Poppy's favorite chocolatier. She gasps.
'How romantic, Poppers. He went there??that place is expensive...' she hestiates as she says this, since she knows Ryan has limited means.
Poppy glumly shakes her head yes.'AND he bought me a dozen red roses, plus a box of their I LOVE YOU chocolates- the ones in the pink box that we looked at, remember?' Poppy says.
Cindy nods, whistling.
'Must have cost him a bundle!"

Cindy looks at the ring again.'So he also asked you the big question?"
Poppy breathes a big sigh.'Yes, and I said...yes.' Poppy replies

                             "Then what's the big deal....let's be frank. So he finds out your dad is a doctor, and your mother is related to Agnes Von Weiss, Baroness in residence. BIG whoo. Whose family doesn't have problems? Look at Ryan. We got out of school, went to college, you are a photographer now, working int he family firm, he took night classes in business and runs a restuarant and takes care of his kid brother and sister. What's the big deal?' Cindy asks calmly, stating the facts.
                                      Poppy doesn't give in that easily.'Yeah, I know all about that...but...'
                      Cindy impatiently interrupts. 'But What?........"
Poppy hesitates. 'I just don't know how to explain to  Mother, and Dad. AND PATTY. ' she sighs in exasperation. 'You know my mom and sis. "
'Look Poppy, you're going to have to face this. Why not ask your parents and sister to have Ryan over for a family dinner to introduce him? That's a good way for everyone to get to know each other, and then go from there.' Cindy says sensibly.

Poppy is silent, so Cindy decides to explain more."Ryan doesn't know your parents from Adam. Introduce them! Your dad might really respect Ryan, the big brother, good son- he's a guy to be proud of Poppers! You know how many chicks in town have had their eye on him!"
Poppy is unconvinced.'Yeah, I know that but---"
"But nothing. Now you're being unfair to Ryan, just because of your family's so called snobbiness. And that is ALL on your Aunt Aggie's shoulders!'
"I guess you are right. ' Poppy smiles a huge smile. 'I can hardly WAIT to start planning the wedding!" She grins

                    Cindy beams. 'NOW that's what I was waiting for. There is the newest little poshest designer here in town, I discovered her myself!" the two continue talking about bridal gowns, shoes, and dates.
************Meanwhile, back at the diner, Ryan is accosted by Hannah and Ricky..............

Hannah has just arrived at work during the morning rush. "Ryan, how did it go with Poppy?' she asks
"Great!" Ryan smiles

                                       "WELL,???" Hannah asks knowingly. Ryan grins and pretends to not know what she is referring to.'Well what?' he grins
At that moment, Ricky has come from the front seeing Hannah has come in.
"Yo, bro did you pop the question??" he yells gaily.
Hannah laughs.'Rick!'
"Ryan looks at Ricky and replies,'Yep.'

Both Hannah and Ricky are speechless.
'Ryan, you did? you asked Poppy to marry ya?" Ricky is shocked.
Hannah just continues laughing.

"Well, what do you two think? "Ryan demands.
'I think Poppy is COOL! She's a photographer, and takes photos of all those cool models, and maybe she can introduce me!" Ricky jokes.
Hannah laughs.'Ricky, be serious!'

                          Ryan turns serious.'You know Rick, we're not married yet. And Poppy's parents, well, you know. They're kind of well off.' Ryan says hesitantly.
Ricky explodes in laughter.'WELL OFF! You're kidding, right?"
Ryan looks at Ricky puzzled.'What are you talking about?"
Ricky explains.
"Popper's parents are related to the big time Baroness who lives in town at the Manor house.'
Ryan snorts.'Get out of here. Poppys' parents aren't---"
Ricky interrupts.'yes they are. Brie told me all about it. Her mom is the Baroness' aunt!"
Hannah laughs.'Ricky, REALLY? Brie told you that??"
Ryan looks thoughtful, thinking. Suddenly everything makes sense, and causes him to see why Poppy was so tense about him meeting her parents.
However, he doesn't want to worry his brother and sister.
'Rick, thanks for telling me. I guess there is more to Poppy, and she'll probably tell me soon, she just didn't want to brag about her family. "
And there, our story stops for a while. More to come soon!