Build We Must!

We started building at the end of 2000. My sister decided that we should revisit our childhood dollhouses and "upgrade" them.

Then we started to read dollhouse magazines and realized the large world of dollhouses. We sent for catalogs, went to shows, and found local shops. We were amazed and delighted. We decided to build 1:12 scale houses. My sister bought a dollhouse at Target, we put it together, decided it was too small, bought another and bashed the two! We called the house The Original Rowbottom Manse. With this success, I designed, and we built a "mansion" -- Sunnybrook Farm (see original blog for both).

All our houses have families living in them and a story is built around their personalities and lifestyles. This story is an integral part of the building process, and is included in the blog.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

The Excitement Begins

It took a long time to find a name for this house. Then I remembered a favorite book from my  childhood—The Password to Larkspur Lane! (Nancy Drew was my favorite series.) I don't remember the story, but I always loved that street name!
The house is owned by Abigail and Samuel Spencer and is “located” in Williamsburg, Virginia just outside the Historic District and not far from Abigail’s Teashop (Iris March Creations blog). For previous dollhouses, I always wrote a detailed biography of the owners. There is a partial bio of the Spencers in Iris March Creations. While I am back in the dollhouse hobby, I have not as yet, got back into that level of detail--maybe later, or for the next dollhouse.
This dollhouse will be a simple bash. I am basically following the original except making it a front-opening Colonial.
"Simple Bash" --famous last words
Just 4 rooms -- dining room, living room, and 2 bedrooms  -- just tired of kitchens and baths (except in real houses!)
Picture windows in living room and dining room
I recut the wood from ¼” plywood to make a more stable dollhouse without “patches” and with a more stable wood. The exterior dimensions are 28 3/8 x 16 ¼ x 28” tall. The living room is 13” x 16”, the dining room 12” x 16”, and the bedrooms have similar sizes. The 1st floor has 9” ceilings, the 2nd floor 7 ½“, but sloping. There will be a center chimney.
A word about the lumber:
I used to get good Luan mahogany 1/4" (actually 3/16") and another type (can't remember the name) at Home Depot. No such good stuff this time around, and actually, expensive for poor quality. I did not realize the lack of quality until I started to use it. I have enough usable pieces, and it will work out, but I will never buy it again. 
The house will be brick using HBS brick sheets and the sloping roof will be slates which I will make using the method I developed for 2004 Oddjob Lane (Iris March Creations blog).
The "slates" on OddJob Lane

The fronts will be “pull-away” as opposed  to hinged since this is only ¼” plywood. Of course, I am not sure how “pull-away” works with thin plywood either!
The 1st floor flooring is my old favorite for these small houses: ConTact glued to poster board, cut into strips, and glued to the wood with Aileene’s. I think the bedrooms will be carpeted, I like laying individual strips—but only up to a point!
ConTact "wood plank flooring"
The living room will have a “real” single French door, while the dining room will have a faux door to the “kitchen” and the bedrooms will have faux doors to “bathrooms”. I will make the faux doors.
Because of the quality of the wood, the inside walls are first covered with white poster board and then wallpapered.
That's all for now. As usual, all takes longer than expected!


  1. Hello Iris,
    YAY! You're back. I've missed you! This new project is wonderful. I love the structure and cannot wait to see it evolve. I'm so happy real life is back to normal...or at least less hectic.
    Welcome back

  2. Thanks, Giac--it's good to be back! I have missed you too, although I did look in every once in a while. You do the most incredible things! I decided to start "small", and hopefully I can keep to that and actually finish the house before the new year!

  3. It's nice to see you having fun building dollhouses again.