Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Silhouette Gifts

 My sisters and I are trying to keep Christmas inexpensive this year, so that means homemade or small gifts.  So I put on my thinking cap and came up with a perfect gift idea that was virtually free-silhouettes of their families!
Last week, we all ended up taking a walk on the beach, and it fell into my plan beautifully- the ideal time to shoot some photos.  However, it wasn't as easy as it sounds... The family with the children were all over the place, and never once held hands with each other!!  So I just shot lots of pics, hoping I could find something to work with! 
When I got home, I did some major cropping and editing on my computer- an arm from this photo, legs from this photo, the faces from this photo, the dog from a different photo, you get the picture!  And I fudged to make it look like they were all holding hands- ha!
 But in the end, it came out beautifully! 
My other sister was a little easier.  She and her fiance just got engaged, so they're still pretty lovey-dovey and naturally held hands!  I did a tiny bit of editing, and it turned out great as well!
I thought it would be fun to do something different in the backgrounds, besides just a solid color.  The stripes worked out really well- fun without being too distracting.  These are done on 1" thick plywood, and are about 12" tall.  I plan to mount them on another piece of wood so that they "float" out from the wall.
I've been so busy lately- working on different Christmas presents, etc.  I'll be sure to show you more once I've finished them!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A Little Art & Family Pics

I've made the time this week to do a couple spreads in Avery's journal.  I've been busy trying to play catch-up with the boys' journals, so I've neglected hers a bit lately.
 First is a spread about writing her name- she's really grown up a lot in the past couple months, and her brain seems to be putting things together so much more easily than it did before.  This includes writing her name.  I was so lucky to find the vintage image of the little girl writing to include in the piece!
And then this spread about she and me.  It's so fun getting to spend alone time with her while the boys are at school- I hope that it's strengthening our bond as being the two girls in the family.  She loves to point out that, "It's just two girls!" when we're together! 
I also wanted to show you the family photos my sister took of us.  I wanted a recent photo to include in our Christmas cards, and also to hang on the wall in our family room.  It was a tough session, trying to get a shot where we all looked decent.  And it got even harder when Avery bonked her head right at the beginning and started crying!  But we got through it and came out with some acceptable photos!
 The one above is what will be on our Christmas card.
And this is the one I ordered to hang on the wall.
Well, in case I don't make it back here before Thanksgiving, I hope you all have a wonderful holiday!  I feel so blessed to have the kind of lifestyle where I can do things like make art, shop for antiques, play with dollhouses, and hang family photos. I'm so thankful for that, and I'm also thankful that I'm able to keep a blog where I can share those things with all of you!  Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

1906 Dollhouse Tour, Part 3

Okay, we are on to the last part of my dollhouse tour- the third floor!  To see the first two floors, see here and here.
If you look at the photos of the whole dollhouse (at the end of this post), you can see that the third floor appears to possibly have been added at a later date.  The size of rooms is slightly different than on the the other floors, and the trimwork is also a little different.  Regardless though, I'm glad to have the two extra rooms, because they are two of my favorites!
 The first is the nursery.  Above you can see it the way it came to me.  Definitely some cute things, but not quite as cute as I'd like.  And so I changed it to this:
I showed you the above picture a couple months ago.  I loved the way the nursery came out; however, it has changed once again!
 Now it looks like this!  I found this pink furniture and fell in love with it.  But it's pretty large in scale and wouldn't fit into any of my other dollhouses.  Since this room is so large, it made sense to move it in here.
 There are two beds up here for the big sisters, a crib for the toddler, and a play table as well.
 I absolutely love that dresser!
 And you know I love those decals on the crib and the rocker!
The last room in the tour is the bathroom.  The bathroom furniture is originally what attracted me to this house- it was the first I had seen of Strombecker furniture, and I fell in love!
 Here it is as it came to me- so sweet!
 As you can see, really the only change I made was to the wallpaper (in this photo, the reflection is a little strong on the paper).
 This is really wrapping paper, but it reminded me so much of the kind of wallpaper you'd see in your grandmother's home!
 Mother is busy pretty-ing up at the vanity table!
 And a cute little toilet vignette for our last shot!
 I thought I'd also show you some photos of the whole house put together. It's so large, it's a bit hard to get good perspective on the whole thing, so I tried to take several photos!
And here are the things that reside on top of the house right now!  It serves as a nice display shelf!
Well, I hope you've enjoyed the tour!   I've had such fun decorating this house- it's nice to have internet friends to share it with, since the people in my "real life" just think I'm crazy- ha ha!

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

1906 Dollhouse Tour, Part 2

Alrighty, we are on to the second story of my 1906 dollhouse tour now.  If you missed it, the first floor tour is here

The first room is the master bedroom.  There really wasn't any furniture that came with this room originally, so I was able to start from scratch- fun!  It was very peach, as you can see!

And here is the makeover!  This may be my favorite room of the house, because I love the pink furniture so much.  So, so cute with the little  flowers painted on!

Mother is holding the baby while another kitten plays on the bed.  The chair Mother's sitting in is a more modern one, I believe, but it matches so well, I don't mind.

The beaded curtain came with the house.
A closer look at that sweet painted furniture!
Next we have the stair landing.  My computer's giving me problems, so I can't crop in on the above photo, but you can see that the original stairwell didn't have much.
This is the only room in which I kept the original wallpaper.  I did add the yellow painted wall beneath though, just so there wasn't so much blue.  For the time being, I've also kept the grandfather clock and bookcase in the back corners.  They are inexpensive pieces from probably the eighties, but they fill the space nicely until I can find some older substitutions.
The room acts as a little sitting room, as well as a play area for the toddler.  I love so many of the pieces in this room- the green dresser, the playpen, and the satin chairs.
Grandmother is watching the toddler while reading a book.  She also has a little sewing basket next to her chair for some mending or knitting.  And yet another couple of puppies are playing in here as well! 
A little closer look!
And finally, we have the outside deck.  Above is the original version.
Here is the update.  Red Sister and Blue Sister are playing out here with one of the dogs. 
While I liked the original deck furniture, I bought these pieces that are a fairly large scale, and they fit really well out here.  So maybe I'll use the original pieces with another house at some point. 
The other big change is that I covered the original plywood floor with this stone-work.  It's very realistic, and I think it looks more natural than the wood did.  Aren't the rose decals on the furniture pretty?
So there we have the second floor of the tour.  Still to come is the final third floor, with the nursery and the bathroom- both very fun rooms!  I hope you're enjoying this tour! 

Sunday, November 04, 2012

1906 Dollhouse Tour, Part 1

 I think I have finally finished decorating my 1906 dollhouse!  I know small things may change, but it's done for the time being at least!  If you'd like to know a bit of the history about this house, see this post.  Because there are so many photos, I think I'll break the tour into two or three posts.  We'll begin with the bottom floor of the house.

 But first I'd like you to meet the family.  I think this family will be named the Sanborn's, because the original dollhouse family that inhabited this house had that name.  So we have Mother, Father, Grandma, Grandpa, Blue Sister, Red Sister, Toddler Girl, and Baby.  There is also the nice maid who works for them.  I know that some of the members of the family are a bit out of scale to each other, but I don't mind!  And as you'll see in the tour, there are also several pet cats and dogs who live here as well.

Because the house doesn't really have a "front", this opening in the fence serves as their front entrance.  Notice the mailbox on the fence and door knocker on the wall behind them. 

The first room in the house is the kitchen.  Here is a photo of how it looked when I purchased the house.  Mostly whites and reds.

 I wanted a more pastel theme to the house, so as you can tell, I revamped it!   Pink walls and shelves with pastel wallpaper to accent.  I made new blue curtains as well.  The maid is busy cooking, while one of the resident puppies looks on and hopes for some scraps. 

 The Strombecker furniture (as well as a couple other misc. pieces) that had came with the house had been painted over white.  I could tell that the original color was green, so I tried to match the color and repaint them. Once they were repainted, it was a bit too much green in there though, so I kept a few pieces, and added another set of offwhite vintage kitchen furniture.  I'm not sure of the maker, but I love it!

  Another puppy sits on the stool across the room, relaxing.  

 Such a cheery little room!

 Next we have the dining room.  Here is how it looked when I got the house.  Again with reds and whites.

 As you can see, I tried to add a bit more color with paint and wallpaper.   

 Mother is getting ready to light the candles.  It looks like it's almost dinner-time!

 Pretty much everything in this room was originally with the house.  I only added the rug and the clock on the wall.  I'm unsure of the furniture's maker, although it seems like it's fairly old, German-made.

 Here's a closer look at the cute clock on the wall!

The last room on today's tour is the living room.  Above is the original version.  Cute, but a little "blah".

 Now it's a little more jazzed-up!  I kept the curtains, but changed the walls and most of the furniture.

 Father and Grandpa like to read their newspapers in here while they have a little tea.  Another puppy sits on the couch with Grandpa.

 And a kitty curls up on the chair!

I love this old piano that I found!  As with most of the furniture in this house, I don't know the makers of the pieces in this room.  But I like the eclectic look that brings the house.  All mismatched and cozy!

And that concludes this portion of the tour-I hope you've enjoyed it!  Still coming are the master bedroom, the landing, the patio, the nursery, and the bathroom.  I'll be back with those soon!