Thursday, November 21, 2013

Dream House

Here's one of the birthday presents I got this year this past September. I LOVE dollhouses and have wanted one for years, but ordinarily, I could only afford a kit (which I didn't really want to have to put together) or I would have to purchase one used and ones that were in nice condition on Craigslist were also too cost prohibitive. But, there is a wonderful little shop about 5 miles from our home that I frequent called "Simply Vintage." I love this store, because I love antiques and vintage... things!... and this place is very affordable. The woman who owns the store is a lovely woman and it seems that for the past few years she has been purchasing dollhouse kits herself and assembling them in the back of her shop and then setting them out to sell. I had admired her work because she used such tasteful colors on both the inside and outside of her houses. Well, at least they were to my liking. She does put in wallpaper, but it is lightly patterned and the colors she chooses are nice palettes; she does a good job of coordinating them well.

The weekend of my birthday I saw that she had put this house out in the window. The following week I went back to pick up a shelf I had purchased there and I pointed the house (still there!!) out to Maia. When we spied the 20% off EVERYTHING sale sign in the window, Maia told me I should get the house right then as before the sale price, it was only $150! I have seen houses in poor condition on Craigslist for over $200, so I knew this was a really wonderful price. So, yes. I finally got my dream house. :)

So, I have the house, and it has a tiny bit of decor inside. I'll share those photos with you all another day. The outside, as you can see, has a little bit of decoration for fall and Eve also put some little, tissue ghosts in the windows and on the roof for Halloween. This is precisely why I have wanted a dollhouse for so long; I want to decorate it for the seasons and share the fun with children, whether my own or others that may visit over the years to come. Things are pretty sparse at the moment, but to me, that will be the fun: making and finding things for the house over the years. And the house needs a family too, of course! I have been looking around and haven't seen dolls yet that I want for the house. They, too, are awfully expensive, generally speaking, for nice ones. But the house will be worked on and ready for its occupants when the time is right.

The spot where my little dream house sits is right in the living room of my own, cozy, little dream house. There's Charlotte kitty sleeping in her basket next to the house! This photo is taken from "my" spot - my rocking chair that was never really supposed to be my rocking chair necessarily, but one that I've just kind of adopted as my own over the years, rocking babies back to sleep, sitting and knitting or writing, or reading. In fact, I'm sitting here right now as I write this post. My devotional basket is on the floor next to me with pens, Bible, journals, and current books. My knitting bag is here with the various projects, so though I never really officially decided it was "my" chair, my family rolls their eyes if I try to deny it!

I put my little house there on the table (piano bench, actually), because I want to enjoy it, change it with the seasons as I said, and share the wonder of it with little ones, because that's exactly what I have felt since I was a little girl when it came to the world of miniatures: WONDER! This year, my dollhouse has yet to obtain a Christmas tree, but I do have a wreath for the door and a few other things that I will be working on that will involve some polymer clay. The irony has not gone unnoticed by me that it is now that I have so little time with school + homeschool + graduation responsibilities along with all the other things which = so little time that I have finally gotten my house. But, it just lets me appreciate it all the more when I do have time to add a little something here or there.

Our own Christmas tree will stand in the spot where the house now is, but I've already found a spot where the house will reside during the holiday fun. Do you love the big "holiday rearrange" like I do? I can hardly believe the amount of work we do for one month of decor, but that is exactly what it is. I often find new ways of keeping the house once I've tried something new because of Christmas. But it also helps me to appreciate the ordinary look of our home too.

This past weekend was my Maia's 17th birthday! She chose to spend her day riding rides and spending a bit of her birthday money at the Mall of America.  One of her best friends also flew in from Florida to surprise her and the girls really had a wonderful time! Helping to execute the surprise and then witnessing (and videotaping) the girls shock and utter joy will remain one of the best memories of my life, I know.

I'm generally not a huge fan of malls, but we do come here from time to time as it is the closest one to our house and the girls like to come to look around for special holiday outfits and back-to-school. Truthfully, what they almost always come away with - when it's their own money to spend - is cute accessories, having learned that their money goes a lot farther at the wonderful selection of second-hand clothing stores in the Twin Cities area. But, the thrift stores don't have the amusement park with roller coasters and other head-spinny rides that this mom avoids like the plague, and so here we came and enjoyed the festive atmosphere with all the twinkly lights.

And speaking of head-spinny rides, I took a detour into Urban Outfitters while the girls and their brave dad were enjoying the last one. I wanted to see what was trending with the 20-something set. It's so weird when suddenly you realize that you and your generation are now vintage. *sigh*

So, to the sounds of the 80's and music track playing in the store, songs by the artists of my own teenage years... the Smiths, Bauhaus, Madonna... I noticed that turntables are quite fashionable now again too.

 Of course, these turntables have USB ports in them too. But there was even a small selection of albums being sold next to this display too. I wasn't sorry to see that. I wonder how popular this throwback will become (or already is)? My kids already long for the large headphones that we so happily eschewed ourselves once the lighter Walkman headphones came along and then, of course, the beloved ear buds! Interesting how things cycle isn't it?

Two more quick things:

I hope to find a sweater pattern similar to this one! So fun with all the different stitches. This happens to me all the time: now that I am knee-deep in the gift knitting, I am seeing all kinds of things I want to knit for myself and my Ravelry queue seems to grow by the day. None of it is realistic, of course. I will never knit all that I want to knit. But it's kind of like that with Pintrest too: I will never do or have but a fraction of the things I have pinned to my Pintrest boards in the same way I used to cut and tape beautiful photos from magazines into notebooks for design inspiration. Still, just having the queue there lets me believe it's possible, and that, of course, is half the fun!

In truth, what I am actually able to acquire both with time and money runs a little more along the lines of my girls and their accessories. My indulgences of the seasons never consist of all those things that get pinned or added to wishlists or queues. Usually, it actually amounts to something more like this:

My seasonal holiday soap. :) This Method hand soap in "Hollyberry" scent is deliciously festive and gives me a boost every time I begin a new round of cooking in the kitchen. And the little letters were those I purchased years ago at Michaels and painted. They come out every year and perch on different ledges for a little bit of variety mixed with tradition, which seems just the thing for this time of year!

Thanks for stopping by! Snow began falling this afternoon. There will only be a little this time around, but by this weekend, the landscape is going to add variety all its own! 

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