Friday, December 28, 2012

Project No. 1: The Jubilee Terrace Shop Front

Other dolls house collectors may share with me the feeling I sometimes have; that maybe a grown adult shouldn't have a guilt-inducing collection of dollhouse paraphernalia, or that maybe I should have grown up and stopped playing with them long ago.

But it has been a love of mine for as far back as I can remember, instilled in me by my fantastically imaginative and creative older sisters who could concoct a dolls house palace from only a chiffon scarf draped across a tabletop (true story!), or a chic miniature boutique complete with feathered hats on stands and dressed mannequins.

Throughout my teenage years I hid the truth, terrified that one of my peers would discover my mortifying love for anything miniature-related or find out that my bedtime reading of choice was the Dolls House Emporium annual catalogue.

Jubilee Terrace Shop
Years later, I finally gave into the obsession and asked for a dolls house kit for Christmas.
My bemused boyfriend obliged and I got the Jubilee Terrace shop unit kit, from the Dolls House Workshop.

But inexperienced and over-enthusiastic as I was, I immediately glued the whole thing together and proceeded to paint it entirely white.

Looking back now I have no idea why I did it; I was left with a character-less wooden shell, like a white bookshelf with doors and windows. The house itself was beautiful, well made and thought-out, with intricate carved newel posts and bannisters, but I had botched it up completely in my haste to put it together.

Feeling utterly disappointed I put the house aside, hiding it in the spare room as a a monument to my dollhouse failure after years of wishing for one.

And it stayed there, hidden away for years until only a couple of months ago.

I don't know what came over me; it might have been the desire to work on a new craft project, the inability to accept dollhouse failure, or my husband (the 'bemused boyfriend' of years ago) being sick of constantly falling over it in the spare room that prompted me to try and attempt it again.

With renewed vigor I attacked the house, intent on 'doing it properly' this time.

I have wallpapered, carpeted, slated a roof, glazed windows and painted a front door, but my vision is far from complete. I intend on recreating the boutique that lingers in my memories from years ago, complete with feathered hats and dressed mannequins, and I intend on documenting my progress here.

If you have ever looked at the BBC's latest series 'The Paradise' and loved the style of the time, the design of dress and atmosphere of the Ladies Department, you will understand the look I am trying to recreate.

It could go horribly wrong or wonderfully right, but either way, would you like to join me?