Saturday, April 28, 2012

Something to be happy about

Just look at that happy face - makes you smile right back at her.  Can't wait to hear the baby chortle that goes along with it - 5 more sleeps!  Another thing that makes me happy is that Spring is finally here.  The tree we planted our second summer here at the cottage is bursting with bright green leaves.  I wonder what season it will be when Charlotte's house is finally completed and ready for the road trip to deliver it?


The other happy thing is that the dollhouse kit arrived - all 43 pounds of it.  All 252+ pieces of it.   114 of those are just in this one little bag.....   

I didn't even think about trying to count all the pieces in this bag.
 Let's just say there are LOTS!
(update - yup - LOTS - there are 1400 shingles)

I guess I best get busy - have 25 pages of instructions to read through with a very small font size.  Yay.  The main structure will go together pretty fast.  If you're going to choose a dollhouse kit, you can't go wrong with the quality of a Real Good Toys kit.  

So Karalee - this is a heads up.  Once the main structure is together it'll be ready for priming and then for the exterior colour scheme.    Do you have any thoughts on that yet? 

What  do you think of these combinations? 
 Darker tone on the shingles?


I know - lots of decisions - style and now colours too.  Your job will be easy after this though.  You can just sit back and watch the progress.  And maybe do the odd shop to find the perfect fabrics.

You think on that and I'll get out the wood glue
 and my trusty square.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Update: The Cottage kit has cleared Customs and should be here by the end of the week!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Breaking it Down

It's actually amazing how many choices there are for the exterior of a home even when you've decided on a certain style.  Colour has a huge impact but so do the various components used. Since we want to bring a bit of life into our little house what better way to decide on this than by looking at real houses for inspiration. 

These are all photo's of actual Arts & Crafts homes that I found on    Hopefully they are enough to help us envision what we want for the foundation and porch on Charlotte's house.  Look past the colours for now.

Do we want all wood?  Shakes or strips?



Do we want brick?  Natural or painted?




Would we rather have stone?  River rock or flagstone? 



What about a combination?



Do we want the porch railings to be solid or do we want them open?  What about the posts?   Which one appeals to you as a whole?  Which separate components do you like best?  Once we've figured this out we'll talk about possible colour combinations.  

So?  What do you think?  Will be interesting to see if we're on the same wave length with this part....

Friday, April 20, 2012

Never doubt the power of Curb Appeal

Had a great conversation (if you can say that when it's completely done through text messaging....I love text messaging) with Karalee this morning.  We're off to a great start as it sounds like we're on the same wave length for interior colour schemes!  It's kind of scary how we do that sometimes.  I mentioned to her that I've been really drawn to the aqua's, robins egg,  soft sea blues and greens etc while browsing for inspiration on Pinterest.  She said that sounded perfect because they'd just finished painting Charlotte's bedroom at the Princess Palace what Kalista calls "Tiffany Blue". 

(I know....some of you are very surprised that I'm not going with the Canuck's Blue & Green.....)

Everyone has their own way of approaching a project.  I'm a Planner.  I like to spend a lot of time just thinking about options and possibilities before I even bring out my favourite x-acto knife.  This method works well for me as I'm able to envision every step with any possible issues and think them through.  This avoids expensive problems  in both  time and $$.  Usually the planning stage takes more time than the actual construction. With the planning done, the really fun part can start - the shopping!  Once all that is pretty much settled, the actual construction goes along pretty quickly.  

I know it seems like I'm harassing her about choices before the ink's even dry on the Visa slip on the kit but there are reasons for that.  Really - there is.  For one thing, we want Charlotte's house to tie in with the decor in Karalee's house.  Trust me on this - she's a detail perfectionist so it's important.  I'm not sure where she picked that trait up from...also, I know she'll enjoy this part of the process every bit as much as me.

Another important detail to consider is that the exterior colours of the house should compliment the interior but without being matchy matchy.  Matchy matchy is not good. 

Some of you are thinking...all this for a dolls house?  Yes - and more.  Dolls houses are sweet and  very appealing but cutesy play things that end up given away when outgrown is not what we're after here.   Oh no - we're after SO much more.  Charlotte's house will not be like either of these perfectly sweet little houses.  

So Karalee - we have 10 more sleeps until Grampa Kim & I arrive and can finally have our turn at cuddles with baby Charlotte.  We have an idea in our heads about the interior decor but need to nail that down by choosing what the exterior will be like to compliment those choices.  Tomorrow I'm going to upload some actual Arts & Crafts bungalows for inspiration.  Start thinking about whether you like the look of stone or brick or wood or a combination and then what mix of colours to set that off.  

After we arrive and Grampa Kim is finally getting his turn with Charlotte we'll be ready to do one of the things we enjoy doing together (drink wine) and make some plans.  Then we can do the other thing we really enjoy doing together (shop) and get this ball rolling.  I have a feeling Kalista will enjoy this second part as much as we will :)

Chintz & Co. and Maria & Tomas - here we come!  

House Hunting

So the first step was finding a house - one we could both agree on....

It couldn't be too large for two reasons:
1. Not require a moving van and four strong men to move it.  2. Be completed before Charlotte turns 30.  

It needed to be a style we both could have fun with - Karalee's home is called the Princess Palace and ours is known as The Cottage.  And it needed to be a design that can be played with while Charlotte is young yet follow her into adulthood. 

We didn't need to search for long or far as the perfect little house was in the April Fool's Internet sale from HBS/     A charming Arts and Crafts styled bungalow from Real Good Toys.  

34 3/8 W x 26 1/4 H x 22 3/4 D
Interior walls can be easily moved or adapted to fit our vision
So it's ordered and on it's way to British Columbia, Canada all the way from Atlanta, Georgia for a mere shipping charge of $72.95.  The estimated 3 to 4 weeks that it will take to arrive will give us plenty of time to decide on exterior colours and porch style.  Will it be brick or stone or wood or........will definitely have to have wicker furniture!

I'm so excited - haven't had a chance to do any miniatures since we downsized & bought our own little bungalow  (The Cottage) in 2006 and began the extensive renovations.  My workshop and studio area's are finally all set to play in now though  and this is the perfect first project to immerse myself in.  Having Karalee's input with her flair for style and design  makes this project even better. 

The fun part starts now Karalee!  Ready to make some decisions?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

So...this all starts here...with the arrival of  Charlotte Zimre Lawson on January 31st, 2012.  

Actually it started in the spring of 1987 when we moved across the street from a little girl named Karalee who soon won our hearts and became a much loved member of our family.  A precious daughter so graciously shared with us by her mom &dad.   Over the years that bond has grown and strengthened as life had us sharing both special times and sad tears. 

When Charlotte arrived we were stumped.  How do you choose a lasting gift that says without words - we love you.  Something that takes the little things that tie us together and showcases them.  Breaking those things down made it easy.  What is important - family.  What says family?  Home.   What do we share?  A love of creating, of design & style, of order...of shopping :)  What better way to tie all that together than with a dollhouse?  And how fun it will be to have a project to work on together even though we live too far apart.  

So that's why the blog. It will be a place to share idea's and inspiration for colours and design etc, so that it can be a seamless blend of our different styles and  a way to keep tabs on the progress.  Hopefully one day Charlotte will cherish the little house that her mom & Gramma Deb created for her.