Thursday, March 27, 2014

You're Invited

It's Heather's birthday today, our oldest daughter. I dare not say exactly old she is; however, she is the age that Jack Benny always professed his age to be. I am having a surprise birthday party for her and you are invited. So, go find a good place to hide--over there behind the door, or just around the corner, or behind the curtains maybe. Be very quiet. When your hear her log on in just a few minutes, be sure to holler "Surprise" just as loud as you can.

 After the first of the year, she begins reminding us and dropping little big hints that her birthday is just around the corner, along with a few gift suggestions. This year she asked for only one: that I restore her childhood doll house that I built from a kit years ago and never got finished. My immediate answer:
"That old thing? I had intended to throw it away when we cleaned the barn."  Instead I set about the task.

Once she out grew the doll house, it went from garage a to storage unit, where it was hidden way for 10 years or more. When wemoved here and had a barn, we emptied the storage and the little house has only collected more dust in the barn.

The glue dried out and many of the pieces fell off, but surprisingly, I think we had most all of the pieces.

It needed so much work, but structurally seemed pretty sound.

All cleaned up and vacuumed out, the house was ready for work.

Heather wanted a blue house with a yellow front door.

It is very difficult to repaint an old house already assembled. Lots of touch up work to do. Everything required two coats of paint or more. The project took up the entire kitchen. 

I replaced the old, flat  porch pillars with fancy new turned post from Hobby Lobby. The stairs are missing, so we will have to build new ones.

Mother sits on the front porch enjoying a cup of tea.

I don't remember if the original had ginger bread trim; this was an after thought, which really dressed up the little house.

Uncle has just come back from the garden.

Grandma and Grandpa spend time with the new baby. The living room doily also an ARC find.

I hope you have fun. The rest is up to you. I still need to install the front door and the stairs. Right now tape holds them in place.

The bathroom wall needs wallpaper. I used scrapbook paper that was actually cloth downstairs with modge lodge.  Another set of stairs will be in the bathroom.

The maid makes the bed.

Oh, by the way the porch table and chairs are only one loan.

Uncle always has lots of garden stories to tell.

The house also had to have shingles this time. I priced shingles at Hobby Lobby and by the time I bought shingles, dye, and glue--pretty pricey, so I thought time for Plan B--only I didn't have a Plan B yet.

I dug in my closets looking the vintage bathroom fixtures that I knew I had once upon a time. Luckily, I found them.

I have returned to a bad habit: thrift shopping. I come home with stuff I like but really do not need. So one of my trips to ARC, I hit the jack pot. A box of shingles along with the dolls, a modern sofa and chair, and the baker's rack on the porch. All for only $4.99.

There is one room left to finish with furniture, more interior paint, and more touch up work.

I think she just logged on.



  1. Oh my goodness, Ann, I love this!!! Do you know I never had a doll house growing up? My husband was surprised to learn that recently. I had lots of Barbie stuff, though. :)

    You've done a great job on this doll house, Ann. I love the gingerbread trim, the detail on the shutters, the window boxes and the front porch. Also, all the details inside are wonderful. What a special gift for your daughter's birthday; I know this will thrill her!

    Thanks for showing us and I hope you have a great day.



  2. Hi mom and dad: I absolutely love the doll house and my surprise party on your blog. That was just awesome! I am just over the moon thrilled that you would do this for me and I can't wait to have it and start adding things to it. It is truly amazing! I hope that you and dad had fun doing this project. Thank you so, so much. I am so happy!

  3. Happy Birthday Heather! I see her comment above...what fun! And what a sweet young lady! This is a wonderful project and now it can be enjoyed. I'm like you....I bring home stuff that is a good deal but I don't need it or have a place for it. I've had to stop going so much....but oh, how I love to go and hope to find a treasure. Hugs!

  4. What a treasure. It looks so lovely now it has been through the renovation!

  5. What a good idea to do up the doll house. It looks really pretty and fun to work on! Happy birthday to your daughter!

  6. Aw! Happy birthday to Heather! What a lovely little home!

  7. What a lovely surprise for your daughter I am sure she will treasure it - I know I would.

  8. Hi Ann, what a great job you have done on the dollhouse and I am sure your daughter is thrilled! Happy birthday to Heather and enjoy your dollhouse and your Mom, too. She is a wonderful Mom, I can tell! Egretta

  9. My mom and my dad are the absolute best! My sister and our families could not have ever asked for better.

  10. Happy Birthday Heather! What a fun post Ann.

  11. What an absolutely fabulous birthday present Ann. I loved my dolls house but it was never as pretty as this one. Belated birthday greetings Heather :)