Wednesday, November 29, 2006


It's not that I haven't been working on the dollhouse. It's that my reliable amazing rechargeable camera batteries have finally given up the ghost. So--no pix, no post.

But I thought I should at least state that work is ongoing and going quite well in fact.

The family room now has a wood floor, with each plank individually laid. No wall treatments yet there.

The mystery room on the ground floor turned out to be a dining room once I realized that there were actually two doors--one in the middle and one to the largest room. So the largest room became the family room, the middle one became the farmhouse kitchen (see the previous post) and the little one is a charming dining room with roses on the wallpaper and a plate rail up high.

I have new camera batteries charging right now and photos soon to follow...

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Farmhouse Kitchen

List in hand... samples present and accounted for...measurements firmly in mind...brain on board...

The girly-girl pup and I returned to the craft store. This time I checked that I everything I bought and paid for made it into our Forester before I left the parking lot. I enjoy the craft store, but I didn't want to make another trip anytime this week. Also, did you know that Michael's holds packages you've paid for and accidentally left behind for only twenty-four hours? Either they have an awful lot of absent-minded customers whose packages would take up too much space, or they have found a great way of increasing the bottom line. Hey, I'm just saying...

Moving on, I'm learning the intricacies of Modge Podge when applied to dollhouse walls and scrapbook paper then adhered. There are lots of bubbles that arise when the paper gets damp. The paper somehow mysteriously stretches without being touched. I'm trying less Podge, longer drying time on Podge, Podge more evenly applied. I'm not trying to be a perfectionist; I just want the walls and floors to be fairly kidproof when Santa brings to the dollhouse to Southern California. Just trust me, wallpaper is a whole lot easier and some rooms may be covered in fabric (my original inclination until detoured by some very cute paper.

I have to say I like the way the rooms are going together. This photo (needless to say, but for some reason I'm saying it anyway) is the kitchen--who would have ever guessed that it would turn out yellow? Like it's my favorite color or something...

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Kids' Room

It seemed appropriate that the children's room in the dollhouse be pink. I was fortunate enough to find the sweetly striped "wallpaper" which coordinated well with the "linoleum" that caught my eye.

There is always a down side of any redecorating job, and this one has turned out to be the standard size of paper versus the actual dollhouse dimensions. I'll be going back for enough flooring to finish this room. It works out in the end because of the absent-minded decorator who left half her supplies in the cart and who will be making a trip back to reclaim them.

So nothing is "installed" yet since the Modge Podge is one of the items I left behind, but I really like the way it is coming together. It's so fun to decorate for girls and use pink! I suspect that any dolls who live there will be both female and appreciative.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Attack of the Merry Maids

The house as Itself.
Dirt as Itself.
The dual role of Merry Maids and Bubble Girl will be played today by moi.

Act 1

House: Clean me! Clean me!
Dirt: Heh heh heh.
Merry Maids (knocking at the front door): Hello, Merry Maids, anyone home?
Dirt: No, no, anyone but Merry Maids.
Bubble Girl: Hi, I brought my Goo-gone and a nice soft cloth to make those windows shine!
Dirt (moaning pitifully): Too much shine, too much soap and water, too much perkiness. I'm going down the drain to find someone who will appreciate me.
Merry Maids and Bubble Girl (waving): Have a nice trip!
House: My heroines!

I love the before and after shot--the fingerprints show how truly grimy it was. I still can't figure out how the inside could have been dirtier than the outside. Did they turn it inside out to store it?

Anyway, it's completely clean and ready for the decorator who even as we speak is measuring for the new blue-and-yellow rubber ducky themed bath...

Tune in tomorrow for Episode 3: Will the decorator save the bathroom? What will the mystery room become? Where did the door go?

Monday, November 13, 2006

Fixer Upper, Nice Bones, Great Potential

Handyman's Special Older, 2 bedroom, 1 bath home in need of TLC. Large bedrooms and eat-in kitchen. 1020 square inches of living space does not include bonus attic room. Sturdy construction, needs updating. This could be your dream house!

It's a spacious 1020 square inches of doll luxury. At fifteen dollars, it was irresistable. Unfortunately I have no girls. However, there is a young Princess in the family who would be the perfect landlord for a deserving family of dolls. And I'm the lucky one who gets to play HGTV so that Santa can deliver it on Christmas.

It took thirty minutes, four women and a roof removal to finally find a way to fit it into Grammy's car for the trip home. It took thirty days for me to finally haul it inside to begin work. I realized I only have ten days to remodel it before it changes hand for the trip south. Happily, I've already bought some wallpaper for the bathroom and have the glimmering of an idea for one bedroom. I've made a good start in just one afternoon. I've vacuumed and washed it down. There are no spider webs, dust bunnies or stickers from the previous owner.

The first level has an entry that's 15x12. It's flanked by a large 15x13 room and a petite 15x9 room. The second level has a nice 15x13 bedroom, a 15x9 bath and a second bedroom that's 15x12. There's also an attic that is more apparent with the roof on--it's 15x34. It's currently off-white and cream--some might call that a blank canvas or a neutral interior. I call it just plain blah. Jen likes color as much as I do, so it won't stay white for long!

So...a kitchen/eating area to occupy the largest room downstairs. The entry will become the family room. Don't know what the third room will be. As a good responsible decorator, I'll have to consult my clients.

Stay tuned for daily updates--feedback and suggestions welcome!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Baying at the Moon

The soccer season may have ended for the Wolfpack, but the memories of a wonderful season linger.

I know that I can always count on meeting friends when I arrive at Mackay Stadium and head for the bleachers at midfield. Midseason, my coworker asked me who I was going to the game with and was surprised when I told her I was going alone. I grinned and told her I always met friends at the game. It evolved without planning. I've always encourage my team to attend, because I believe a lot of learning comes from watching good players. My line has always been, "Look for me at midfield!" So my players and their parents come, and they begin bringing friends. They are frequently my ex-kindergartners and they are usually surprised to see their teacher exhibit a different side of her personality: sportsmanlike, but noisy! We've built a camaraderie.

Our group has enjoyed cheering for the Pack whether they've won or lost. Building a successful team takes time. We've watched the ladies progress from losing seasons, to an occasional draw and now to regular wins that bring an unexpected satisfaction. Winning the WAC tournament and advancing to the NCAA championships was an exciting way of capping a fantastic season. Surrounded by a large and raucous home crowd, I cheered till my voice was hoarse and my hands were red from clapping so much. Mostly, those of us who met regularly at home games are now bursting with pride at how far the women's soccer program has come in five short years.

Home games are now more fun because we get to cheer for Naomi, as one of our own. When she goes on the field, we become her own personal cheering section. She has frequently arrived at our team practices tired from a hard practice of her own and then worked with the girls, encouraging and correcting them as a good coach should. She has added immeasurably to the quality of their technique as well as given them someone to emulate and admire. I can't remember what it was like to coach without her there! I can only say my appreciation for her is heartfelt.

Having most of the Chicks turn out as ball girls for the Pack vs. the Aggies was a memorable day. (Wendy and I may be alums but we cheered the Pack on!) Our girls did a great job and look fantastic in their official Ball Kid t-shirts.

So, a winning season for the Pack. I loved watching Sammy, our #5, speeding downfield with the ball and Randee showing both quickness and strength on defense and Caitlin making save after save. Each game would seem to showcase the talents of yet another player until I knew them all well. We'd track the away games online to see how they did. Naomi would tell us about getting in late due to plane troubles.

Yes, I admit I'm a little jealous of the fans that travelled down to Santa Clara for the NCAA regionals. I didn't really want to brave the fickle weather over Donner Pass, and I'm happy our house is more organized after an intensive effort, but I would have loved to spend one more evening cheering a team I've come to respect. Our ladies may not have won against a tough Stanford side, but they made a respectable showing: 2-1. I've looked at the stats for the game, but I can hardly wait to hear about the game from those partisans who saw it firsthand. I'm full of Pack Pride with a smile that just won't quit.