Monday, February 7, 2011

The square of the hypotenuse is equal to...

...the sum of the square of the other two sides. Ah, don't you love geometry! Well, this little mouse has had it up to her round little ears already in three-dimensional geometry. As my husband puts it, solid geometry is visual, and not analytic. sigh At least he paused a moment to help me get the proper dimensions for the roof of the wee Lettie Lane Dollhouse.

As I'd mentioned, I was going to build it first from cardboard, and then attack the wood pile. Seems I'm having difficulty with my old Jarmac table saw, but I did (pat, pat, pat myself on the back) get the angles right to make the pyramid roof. Of course, last night's cardboard image you see in this photo does not have the basement on it. I only got to the point of creating the proportions of the rooms and floor of the house - enough to tackle the cardboard roof and beg for help from the inhouse mathematician.

I'm posting right away because I had a wonderful visit with my darling father-in-law on the phone today, and we were discussing my new project. I steered him to my blog so he could follow my progress and see the photos as the project continues. Ray is turning 90 next month and has been my dearest supporter in all my endeavors. So today's blog is in his honor so that he can see the Ladies' Home Journal page of the original Lettie Lane dollhouse, and see just what I'm trying to accomplish. More to come!

Miss E. Mouse

Saturday, February 5, 2011

I'm just a lonely doll, lonely and blue...

February is upon us and thoughts turn to hearts, flowers, valentines red and pink. January, was a busy month and one of the pieces I finished for a dear customer was a special gift for her stepmother.

A few years back I'd made a miniature storybook trunk set, Wee Edith the Lonely Doll, and the stepmother saw it on my website and fell in love with it. So, I was asked to do another. Goodness me! This is alot of work. I'd forgotten how much. But, it was fun to recreate it with new bears, and with my skills in better shape to handle domed trunks - although the first came out lovely, too. Thank goodness I never throw out fabrics as these were handy for covering the trunk and dressing another little doll.

Wee Edith II is 2 3/4" tall, hand-sculpted and painted, and the trunk, if my mousey brain still remembers, is about 3 1/2" tall. Wee Edith in pink makes for a perfect valentine for the collector. Don't you think?

And, now we are in the Year of the Rabbit. The Chinese Lunar New Year was celebrated on the 3rd of this month and we can hopefully look forward to a kind and gentle year. Although, as much as I love rabbits, they tend to chase me if I'm out in the garden.

Currently my paws are turning towards a tiny Lettie Lane doll house, built for an 18" Daisy doll, complete with the furniture and tiny doll. The original was for a child to play with and was 17" tall, built of cardboard, as was the put together furniture. If my calculations are correct, the house would be 5.1" tall in scale for the 18" Daisy. This house would be built of wood and hand painted...the furniture of wood as well, although since the original was all just cardboard sets, I'll paint the details such as plates in the cabinet on the piece.

This project has been twitching my whiskers for a few months now and I finally decided that the best way to approach it is by building one of cardboard first to get the angles and sizing right. Why I hadn't thought of this earlier, who only knows! But, this blog is about the making of etrennes and the creative process, so I will take you though this wee adventure with me.

A bit of history: The Lettie Lane Doll House was offered through the Ladies' Home Journal in the early 1910s. It was for a child to play with, was a 17" tall bungalow house, and a 3 1/2" porcelain doll came with it. Because this is Daisy's 100th anniversary year, her birthday falling on March 15th (that being the issue date of the magazine), and that Daisy was Lettie Lane's most beautiful doll, an 18" doll children could own and sew for, I thought it would be sweet for Daisy to have her very own Lettie Lane Doll House. It will be one-of-a-kind. Not another will be made!

And, so the wee mouse is off on another adventurous project! If you don't hear from me because I'm paw deep in sawdust, Happy Valentine's Day!

Miss E. Mouse