So I’m sure by now you are all wondering where and how the girls have spent all their hard-earned summer book club points. There have been trips to the soccer shop (Phoebe bought a Rooney jersey, Abby a miniature black and yellow ball which she has been kicking against the backyard wall nonstop, much to the delight of my neighbors, I’m sure); and trips to amazon (they decided to pool their earnings and go in on walkie-talkies together); and then there was the trip to ebay to buy Abby furniture for her dollhouse. By dollhouse, I mean what you are looking at above — the bottom two shelves of her bedroom’s built-in bookcase. Abby has created little worlds for herself all over the house, most notably in the kitchen, but I think this is my favorite one of all because it’s a work in progress and has been for over two years. Together we’ve wallpapered the kitchen with Old Navy wrapping paper, renovated two bathrooms with leftover scraps of ceramic and marble tiles from our real house, laid down wall-to-wall carpeting (fabric swatches from the store), and created enormous jewel–and-giftwrap-on-felt wall-hangings worthy of MoMA. A lot of the furniture in the two story apartment complex was in my dollhouse when I was a kid, but over the years we’ve supplemented with ebay purchases. It can take Andy and me years to make decorative decisions in our real house, so it’s immensely satisfying to wallpaper Abby’s bathroom with a sheet of origami paper in five seconds. In other words, I don’t know who enjoys this project more — Abby or me.
I always politely suggest that it might be time to start shopping for a real kitchen table, but Abby is committed to her makeshift masterpiece, four tea party plates piled on top of each other. The kitchen is from the dollhouse I owned when I was little. The dolls are Plan. (Christmas present, 2009.) (more…)
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Tags:creative dollhouse·diy dollhouse·dollhouse furniture·make your own dollhouse
People who know me know that I am prone to the superlative. (“Sweet Home Alabama was the best movie I have EVER seen!”) But here’s a statement no one can contest: In the history of the world there has never been anyone who has enjoyed dollhouse play more than my six-year-old. As far back as I can remember, Abby has been creating little worlds for herself — and it doesn’t matter if those worlds exist inside $250 Playmobil Victorian Dollhouses, on top of antique marquetry boxes, or on a restaurant table where the only dolls available for play are fashioned out of sugar packets. (I’m not making that up.)
So she is the genius behind our kitchen’s hidden dollhouse. Last year, I walked into my living room to find her lying on her stomach in front of a row of my favorite magazines — all opened to stories about decorating. There was one open to a photo spread of a sunlit, cheerful kitchen, one open to a Malibu patio with a pool, and one open to a baby nursery. Her paper dolls were hopping from one “room” to the next, lounging on teak patio chairs, cooking on Viking stoves, and cooing with babies sleeping inside Netto cribs. (Yes, ripped right from Cookie’s premiere issue.) In other words, Abby had constructed her own two-dimensional, temporary, composite dreamhouse.
And I wanted one, too. One that might even get her to stick around the kitchen and talk to us while we cook. So we set to work tearing out pictures of rooms from Ikea and CB2 catalogs and old issues of Martha Stewart, Domino, and Cookie. Once she had her faves, I used blue painters tape to affix each “room” inside an accessible kitchen cabinet door. (You know how I like my cabinet doors.) Then I used the tape to outline (more…)
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Tags:cookie magazine·diy dollhouse·domino magazine·how to distract kids while cooking·make your own dollhouse