Thursday, January 16, 2014

Polly Got a Dollhouse

Polly's Doll House
Often when I need a break while working on a project, I look for something fun to do, something that won't take too much effort, but will provide a little restful playtime.  The creative mind needs these breathers, but often they result in inspirations that take me down another path. 

The other day I was browsing Bleuette on Ebay and stumbled upon Jean-and-Ken, Jean Nordquist's Ebay store.  I couldn't believe the adorable new kits she had and began to wonder how I lost touch with her fabulous items.  I do recall she had sold some of her business long ago, and the person who bought it could not deliver items in a timely manner.  Hence, I lost interest.

What fun to play in!
But, Jean's work struck me very early on in my foray into miniatures, tiny dolls, Bleuette and vintage ephemera.  She had it all.  One of Jean's specialties is collecting antique paper toys and images, and reproducing them in miniature kits for dolls to play with, or be displayed with.  Another part of the business she and Ken, her husband, run, is gluing these gorgeous images to nicely cut wood pieces creating game tables, trunks and darling chairs...and doll houses!  Just the thought of not having to measure and precisely cut the wood myself, much less paint miniature images on it, like I used to, was entirely appealing to me.  So I bought a few kits.  Then bought a few more!

Through these purchases, Jean and I began to write to one another and she's not only an amazing creative mind, but a treasure to know.  Any artist that graciously allows another artist to offer ideas, is a dream.  I mean that will all sincerity. 

The Exterior Papers and Paint
I had to try her little 10" doll house that was targeted for Bleuette.  One thing it did not have that her larger doll houses had was room imaged wall paper.  So I asked if she might consider scaling it down for this house.  She offered me the papers and I put the house together.  Isn't it beautiful?!  But, of course the house needed furniture now.  The Mary Frances Housekeeping furniture was too large, so back to Jean I wrote.  In the next couple of days, two pages of folding paper furniture arrived.  I just could not have been more pleased.  She will now be adding these features for her 10" doll houses!  Hooray!

I'd recently acquired two sets of B.Shackman's Dollies on Their Travels paper dolls, and miniaturized one for Polly's doll house.  I guess I'll have to make Polly a dress to match the paper doll's.

Margie's Paper Store Toy
Kit Sample
As you know, this blog is on the creative process.  And, I must impress upon you that Jean's work, whether I realized it or not at the time, was inspiring to me, and must have laid some groundwork ideas for me early on.  As you can see in the little peg wooden paper doll house I made that stored the tiny peg wooden doll and her items, it is similar to Jean's process of cutting wood, then gluing on the paper image. (As I looked and looked for these two images in old files, there were so many photos of things that I'd made it was scary!)  The paper that covered that tiny house was called The Lettie Lane House.  These were images I found on the Internet somehow.  The quality of the image wasn't sharp, but it did make up a cute little house.

Jean's mini kits are super easy and make up in a few minutes.  One is this little folding paper store glued to a base of shiny gold paper.  Margie is thrilled with her toy and it even matches the dress Arlene Hayes made for her. 

Peg Wooden Paper Doll - House Storage With Sliding Panel

Little Red Lettie Lane House
Building tiny doll houses is not new to me, as I'd made one for Bleuette a few years ago.  I don't know why, at the time, that I didn't paint it anything but white, but it could have had to do with all the tiny furniture I'd made for it.  The two tiny dolls in it that I dressed, were made by Nada Christensen.  I'm just not sure I can do such tiny work any longer, but I can certainly cut out and fold tiny paper furniture!  Of course, if I put my mind to it, and it was a commissioned piece, I'd do it, but creating such little luxuries on spec is no longer something I'm inclined to do.

The bead buttons for Katy's gaitors finally arrived today.  Her blue coat outfit is done, save for finishing the gaitors, so I'll be sharing that shortly.  And, I'm working on Polly's Snowshoeing Ensemble right now.  Thank goodness for Jean's sweet toys and kits to give me a break when I need to simply play!  You can also find her work at or The Collectible Doll Company.

Miss E. Mouse

Jean's Sewing Mini Kit
The House that Miss E. Mouse Built


A Doll House For Polly

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