This is what the internet does to you. You’re cruising along, minding your own business and then BAM! All of a sudden you have to make a project. First it was quiet books and now it’s a doll house.
When I saw Sarah Jane’s blog post, I thought “darn it! I want one! It will be a perfect prop for little girls and will be so cute as studio decor!” and decided to add that to my Craigslist/garage sale treasure hunting list. Will and I are big into Friday morning garage sale treasure hunting this summer. He loves it as much as I do. He is on the hunt for a pogo stick, which I have promised him I’ll just go ahead and buy at Target when garage sale season is over if he hasn’t managed to find one. I am on the hunt for American Girl doll items, pyrex…and now, a doll house.
We are pretty awesome at garage-sale-ing. We know all the tricks now. Like, if a garage sale says it opens at 8 and says “no early birds” they are fat dirty liars and the Restoration Hardware puppet show will be long gone if you show up precisely at 7:59. And that Ellie can go to precisely 4 garage sales before losing her cool. And that you shouldn’t even bother with a garage sale after 10:30–that’s for chumps. And, if you spy a vintage set of pyrex nesting bowls without a price tag and quiet the thumping of your heart and ask casually about the price of the generic ‘bowls’ the guy holding the cash box might just say $1. Not even $1 each–just $1 for the set. And then the hardest part of the transaction is just holding your victory dance in until you make it home.
So I figured this little doll house hunt would be a fun addition to our summer treasure-ing. I didn’t realize, when I plugged “doll house” into Craigslist 30 seconds after reading Sarah Jane’s blog post, that I would find the doll house of my dreams TODAY at a ridiculously cheap just-get-this-out-of-my-garage price. It was meant to be!
What’s crazy is that now that it’s home, it’s too good to fix up. According to the former owner, the dollhouse was in his wife’s family and built in the 30s (just like my house!). It’s got some signs of wear (the stair railings missing are the worst of it), but the way the paint is worn on the exterior is too cool and crackled to paint over. (But then I start to freak out about lead paint and consider giving the thing a fresh coat.)
It’s the exact colors of our house, green roof and all!
Even the windows are constructed in the same way–right down to the fact that only some of them open!
I feel like if I paint the exterior I’ll be guilty of the same sort of misguided destruction that my poor actual house has seen in its many many many years of ‘remodels.’ Luckily I feel okay with messing with the interior–the paint is a little sloppy and there’s not too many details to ruin.
I’m considering whether to leave the windows empty or fill them in–one window on the house gives a little clue to the fact that they were probably filled in with plexiglass at some point in their history.
So there it is, the fastest find in the history of my treasure hunting. Now to get some dolls for it before my next portrait shoot with a little girl!