Last night I finished tearing the carpet out of the bottom and middle floors of the dollhouse, and I removed all the old window trim and baseboards and wallpaper. My next step is to rip up the attic carpet, which I am somewhat remiss to do since it is still perfectly intact, but it won’t match what I have planned. After I’ve done that, I’m going to sand off all the remnants of wood glue and carpet fuzz, knock out all the windows and finish filling the lines in the walls. Once that’s done, it will be time to prime the walls for painting and measure for the paneling that will go on the lower half of the walls. I am going to use those same measurements to do some moulding up top, I think. There’s a lot of work to be done to finish getting the place ready to be furnished.
Today I sat down and went through the box of old dollhouse furniture and accessories that I haven’t opened in years. I’ve noticed as I’ve been going through the beginnings of this project that I’m missing my Grandpa an awful lot. The wood glue beneath the carpet still shows the circular motions he made with his finger to smear it well enough that the carpet would stay down. I remember watching him with a child’s fascination as he put together every piece with painstaking effort. It says a lot for my Grandpa’s craftsmanship that the gutting and removal of pieces has been so difficult. But I expected the physical difficulty, not the emotional. In fact, when I was in Hobby Lobby the other week picking up pieces I started to cry for the sheer weight of the memories.
And again, today as I sat unpacking furniture and remembering fondly, I realized that this project isn’t really just a hobby, it’s me trying to say goodbye to my Grandpa. For those of you who don’t know, I never had a solid relationship with either Grandmother, and Grandpa…he always just loved me for who I was. His only granddaughter, who he taught to fish (and gut and clean them, too). He taught me that giving my time to others is not only fun but necessary to remember how it feels to -be- helped. He also instilled a love of photography in me, as he was one of the most prestigious photographers in the Vietnam war. His work has been featured in several books on the subject.
He died a couple years ago. I regret my teen years where I thought his excitement about photographs and coin jars was boring. I am exceedingly glad that I sent a letter for him with my parents when they went to see him in the nursing home shortly before his passing. I am so happy I got to tell him how much he meant to me, and that he knew that I am happy. I wish he could see this blog, though, and know what I’m doing, because I feel like he’d be happy to know that I care enough about what he made for me to restore it to it’s former…maybe even above it’s former…glory.
Mush aside, when I went through the furniture today, I found several pieces that could not be salvaged. The entire child’s bedrooms, bunkbeds, dresser, most of the outdoor furniture, and sadly my entire little plastic family (they were played with a bit too roughly, I think). But, I did manage to rescue the bedframe from the parents room, both sets of couches (I don’t remember why I had two), the crib, part of the kitchen, a buffet, and some pictureframes, as well as all the little accessories. I believe I am going to take the couches and chairs apart if I can and re-upholster them because both patterns look like something my Grandmother would have enjoyed.
I would like to put them in something a bit more modern and lovely, that will go with my chosen color scheme, which will be dark blue and white, and the lovely mahogany brown you’ve seen so far. Some of the stuff needs to be repaired, minor repairs, mostly, nothing a bit of wood glue can’t fix. Here are some photos. 🙂
The kitchen sink and stove, which I am going to keep and use after I fix the stove door so it stops falling open thanks to gravity:
Speaking of the kitchen, there were a few hilariously vintage things in my collection, including this baking shelf complete with what I think is a flour dispenser. Sadly, this piece is too broken to repair (you can tell by the crookedly hanging doors) and is getting tossed, but I thought I’d share it anyway:
This chair was always my favorite piece. It will NOT be getting reupholstered because I am afraid of ruining it, so it will simply stand out as being the only piece of furniture without matching fabric. That’s okay…I’ll call it an heirloom. 😉
This fireplace will also be getting saved. I thought about building one and I may yet do that for another room of the house, but this one is still in really good shape and it matches and it’s PRETTY!
The living room furniture that will all be getting re-upholstered, the second picture is only one piece of a set:
Extra dining chairs and bathroom pieces that I will be selling:
All that’s left of the deck furniture:
My collection of tiny accessories. 🙂 Including some awesomely old stuff, like the tiny little tv and the brick cell phone, haha! Good times. There’s also a firewood cradle with tiny logs that were cut by my Grandpa. Those aren’t going anywhere:
That’s it for now! Next step is to finish removing the carpet and sand down the floors before I fill all the gaps in the walls and so on and so forth. 🙂 Thanks for reading.