The dollhouse

I want to tell you a story.  It’s a good one from my childhood.  Trust me on this.

If you’ve read my blog over any extended period of time, you know that I will get involved in arts and crafts projects.  Turning soda crates into tables and chests.  Taking old burlap sacks and embroidering them.  The entire Dream Window concept.

I think it can all be traced back to a dollhouse I built as a kid.

Yeah, Chuck has skills.  Sort of.

Understand that in the early 1970’s, I would spend my summers living in Boston with my Grandma Betty, so that I could get away from the toxic home life I experienced in New York.  And one day, when Grandma Betty didn’t want to take me to the Museum of Science for the seventh time that summer (hey, I loved the Museum of Science, I still do), she asked if I was interested in doing anything else.

I hadn’t thought about anything else at the time.

But in Grandma Betty’s garage, there was an old shipping box – it was about three feet cubed, it probably once held a toaster-oven or something.  And the more I looked at that box, the more I thought about what that box could do…

I came up with an idea.

“I could turn that into a dollhouse,” I said to Grandma Betty.  “Maybe even give it to my sister when I go back to New York.”

Grandma Betty then showed me a nicknack drawer in the kitchen – a drawer that was filled with markers and rubber bands and other materials.  “Whatever you need to build the dollhouse with from that box,” she said.  “Just put everything back when you’re done.”

So for the next few days, I planned my architecture skills.  Not a bad idea when you’re eleven years old.  😀

I cut some lines in the box to make doors and windows.  I used the markers to create a brick-like facade.  Heck, I even created draperies for the windows – I rolled strips of paper around toothpicks, then taped the toothpicks to the inside of the window.  This meant you could pull down the faux shades if you so desired.

When summer ended and I had to reluctantly return to my parents, I brought the dollhouse with me and I gave it to my sister.

I think she played with it twice.  Eventually the dollhouse got damaged or broken or ripped or something and it was tossed away.

But for a summer, I had a crafting project and my little brain actually upcycled an old box into something more elegant.  Okay, it wasn’t fallingwater but I wasn’t trying to be the next Frank Lloyd Wright.

And the crazy thing is … even today, while I have one latch hook rug project complete, a second one partially done, and two other projects I want to start when the weather gets warmer and a third one that I hope gives me one more snowstorm…

I can trace it all back to that cardboard dollhouse I built in the early 1970’s.  Just an old shipping box with some cut-out doors and windows.

Oh, and pull-down shades.  Can’t forget the pull-down shades.  😀