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Spring Cleaning

March 23, 2014

Well, the sun has FINALLY shown its vibrant face here in southern Ontario, and while the temperatures continue to hover at the near-freezing mark, I’ve been bitten by the spring cleaning bug. I couldn’t wait to get underway, but I thought it would be prudent to start slowly – you know: ease in, clean a room at a time, see how it goes.  I decided the best approach would be would take everything out of one room, vacuum, dust, damp mop, polish, etc. and then put it all back. If I was still feeling good, I’d go on to the next room, then the next, etc.

And believe it or not, I finished the ENTIRE HOUSE in no time at all! So I went ahead and did the other two houses as well. The end result had me beaming. I got so much accomplished it was absolutely amazing – especially for someone on … the other side of 55.

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House 1

House 1: My sister and I played with this (obviously handmade; my mother bought it at a secondhand store for $5.00) dollhouse when we were little. In the mid-1990s I stripped off all the old wallpaper and floor tile we’d glued on and ‘redecorated’ the house (with the help of my then-eight-year-old son). The living room furniture is original 1960s plastic (which is now considered ‘collectible’); the bedroom and kitchen are from a ‘Woodland Creatures’ toy line; the rest (including the ‘family’ who lives here) is ‘Playmobile’. NOTE: The two Playmobile people and the red motorcycle on the left were the ‘toppers’ on my wedding cake in 2003.

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House 2

House 2: I picked up this dollhouse at a garage sale at the boys’ school in the mid-1990s. It’s clearly in need of some redecorating but I liked the fact that it sort of ‘matched’ my original dollhouse. The lower level is decorated in ‘vintage’ Playmobile (the ‘family’ and their six cats, the dog and the parrot are Playmobile as well); the master bedroom is ‘faux antique wood'; the child’s bedroom is ‘Woodland Creatures'; the two pink plastic baby cribs are from the 1960s.

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House 3

My mother built this classic Victorian dollhouse from a kit in the 1980s and decorated it with a variety of ‘antique’ metal and wooden furniture she found at flea markets and dollhouse accessory stores. The ‘bear’ family who live here were a gift to Mom from me when she’d completed the house. I also gave her the realistic ‘antique’ tea wagon and high chair, because they are almost identical to Mom’s tea wagon (which I now have in my living room) and the highchair we used as kids (which our own children later used when they visited Grammy’s house). All three dollhouses have ‘pride of place’ in my living room.

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19 Comments leave one →
  1. April 10, 2014 7:48 am

    Pretty neat to have stuff from childhood, I don’t think I have anything. I always loved dollhouses though. I recently built miniature furniture from tree limbs in my yard. I’ll hang on to those.

  2. April 6, 2014 9:47 am

    Did you remember to polish the tea set?

  3. March 26, 2014 8:36 am

    Now that’s my idea of cleaning house! :D Such cute dollhouses, especially the one your Mom built. Sends me back to childhood memories because I had a dollhouse too back in the 60’s. I don’t recall what became of it though.

    • March 26, 2014 10:00 am

      I’m so glad I kept some of my childhood ‘treasures’. I still have my very favourite teddy bears, several dolls (including my very first Barbie), and the dollhouse. It might seen overly sentimental, but the memories associated with these items are precious and ever-lasting and I can’t imagine being without them.

      • March 26, 2014 10:37 am

        I have my first teddy bear too and my Barbie as well. My girls never could figure out why I wouldn’t let them play with my Barbie doll but kept her in a special suitcase along with her clothes and doll friends. Now that the girls are adults, they understand. :-)

      • March 26, 2014 11:39 am

        OMG – how strange! My sister and I kept our Barbies and their friends and all their clothes in a little black suitcase. Unfortunately, at some point many of the dolls disappeared (although, thankfully, not my original or my sister’s original) but I still have most of the clothes and a dozen of the dolls! I don’t have daughters so I’m the only one who plays with them!

  4. Melody DeBlois permalink
    March 24, 2014 10:08 am

    What a hoot, spring cleaning in miniature—I love it! It brings back memories. Years ago a neighbor gave me a dollhouse he made. I filled it with handmade furniture, and by this I mean items like a bed made of a matchbox, covered with lace and tiny pillows. This was a Christmas dollhouse that the children looked forward to it all year. It became a tradition in our family to ring in Christmas with the setting up of the dollhouse. I miss those days.

    • March 24, 2014 10:57 am

      We used to decorate dollhouse #1 for Halloween – I bought a half dozen Playmobile ‘characters’ and we found tiny little pumpkins and skeletons at the craft store. That was a lot of fun. I also have a tiny Christmas tree that I put in it each year. When I ‘houseclean’ the dollhouses, I’m ten years old all over again!

  5. Cathy Hendrix permalink
    March 23, 2014 2:45 pm

    Love your doll houses Margo. But you had me sweating bullets before I realized what you were talking about. I always feel so guilty about spring cleaning.

  6. March 23, 2014 1:17 pm

    lol! This is great. I was ready to bow down to you as a super hero.

  7. March 23, 2014 1:16 pm

    I love doll houses! We had several when the girls were younger, a couple that I made from kits and some picked up at garage sales and thrift shops. I’m working on one now that I bought at a sale and two waiting to be restored, that my eldest daughter purchased at estate sales.

    • March 23, 2014 2:01 pm

      I had two ‘cardboard’ Barbie houses and I desperately wanted a ‘real’ dollhouse for them. I saw one about 20 years ago and it took all my willpower not to buy it. :)

  8. March 23, 2014 12:47 pm

    You had me when you said, “…take everything out of one room,” until “… I went ahead and did the other two houses as well…”

    Lovely dollhouses. I do adore them. I’d bought a kit for my daughter when she was small and had a guy put it together because it was a Victorian mansion. Turned out it was too delicate for little hands. What a shame. It was a lovely house. Finally had to give it away because it took up 36″ square surface.

    • March 23, 2014 12:59 pm

      The first two are ‘play-able'; Mom’s is more delicate and strictly ‘hands off’. I’m (still) waiting for a granddaughter who wants to get her hands on them.

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