Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Strategical Vision.

BEFORE: This is how the doll house looked when I  first brought it home.

AFTER: This is how it looks today. 3 coats of fresh paint and a new foundation.

     If you are reading my blog for the first time, you may not know that I took on a new project this year. It is a Second Empire styled doll house. I bought it for myself  as a Christmas Present. It was a kit, but was already assembled. It had lots of issues and needed a major over haul. I have been doing that these past weeks. It is kinda a sad look at my boring life. Living in a small town does not give you lots of options for entertainment. The nearest movie theater is miles away and for other amusements, like the Art Museum, Botanical Garden and so on, one has to drive 70 miles to St.Louis. I have a little gift/antique shop that I go to everyday. It also serves as my office. I have my computer there and do my blog and Etsy online shop there. Some days  I have no customers, on most week days, very few. Weekends are busier and during special events, we do better. Well, as I said to pass the hours away I took on the doll house project.
   I introduced you all to it at the end of December. Since then I have worked like a mad man and have made great progress.I would like to share with you some before and after pictures of the house. I hope you enjoy them, When it is all done it will go to live in the library at, My Old Historic House. Until then it is always  available for viewing at my shop, Richard's Great Stuff, in downtown Historic Clarllsville,Mo..Come anytime and we can also walk one block down the street and see the house. I always have the lights on and Sissy Dog always meets you with a big jump and a kiss. This weekend in Clarksville is Eagle days. people come from far and near to watch, count and study the American Bald Eagles, that come here every winter to fish in the Mississippi River. We hope for large crowds and I hope that some of them will stop by my shop and  spend some money. I have one bus tour of 30, signed up for a house tour on Saturday. I look forward to showing another group my old house. It is very rewarding, especially when you hear that first,"WOW!" And then there is that usual question, some one always asked."Who cleans this place?"

BEFORE: This is the attic bed room when I got the doll house. Ain't it pretty?

AFTER: This is the attic bedroom today. I made the bed spread and canapy from some old lace. All the furniture came from Nancy's shop. Kate's Attic

This fireplace mantle came with the house, it was dark mahogany and I painted it white. I wanted the attic bedroom to have a somewhat Shabby Chic look.Right in style of todays trends.

BEFORE: Library, don't you love the wallpaper job?

AFTER: The library today. I made the curtains out of an old lace handkerchief. My niece gave me the globe and it is actually a pencil sharpener.

BEFORE: This is the entrance hall as it looked when I got the house.  Notice the awful tile floor.

AFTER: This is the first floor hall as it looks today. I removed most of the tile, wallpapered the paneling and added wall to wall carpet in a Empire style.

BEFORE: Attic room.

AFTER: Attic room now.

This dress form came from Nancy's shop. She has more in other colors. Even a wedding dress one. Very reasonable

    My friend Nancy, who I have  mentioned many time before in my blog, has a shop 9 miles up the road in Louisiana, Mo. Kate's Attic and Mini Mall. Nancy is a auction goer. I have no patients for it.  Here while back she bought a lot of doll house furniture at an auction. Must have  been a doll shop, as a lot of things were  still in packages. Most of the furniture that I have for my doll house came from her. It is very reasonably priced. Call her if you are interested.. I'm sure she would work with you and ship. 573 -754 -4544.
    I found my doll house wallpaper and carpet on line. They have a huge selection, especially for those wanting to do a doll house of the Victorian period.
  I hand made all the curtains and bed spread that you will see today. Yes, with a needle and thread. 
  Be sure and pay special attention to the ceilings. This is very typical of ceilings you would have found in a 1870 Second Empire Victorian house. 
   I hope you enjoy my progress. Remember, I love your comments, makes my little life a whole lot better.

BEFORE: Second floor hall

AFTER: Second floor hall. I am still waiting for more of the red and gold Empire style carpet to come. I wallpapered the awful wood paneling. 

This is the formal parlor today. I am still waiting for the carpeting. I am making burgandy velvet drapes for the back bay window today.
I found these little Dresen, gold paper, pieces on line. I used them for cornices. I am wild about them.

This is the finished dining room. I have no furniture for it yet. Waiting to find a good deal on just the right pieces. Notice the ceiling. 

Dining room window, I made the lace curtains and I added the Dresden, gold paper, cornice.

 AFTER: This is the master bed room on the second floor. I still need curtains and some furniture. I bought this little love seat from Nancy's shop. It was red and I re-did it in blue. 


Glenda/MidSouth said...

Wow! You have got a lot accomplished, and with pretty results. I like all the little extra details you are adding.
Thanks for sharing.

Curtains in My Tree said...

Yes you have done a fabulous job on the doll house however I would not expect anything else from you. How nice that Nancy had a lot of furniture for your house

Thanks for the reminder about Eagle days in Clarksville this week end

Curtains in My Tree said...

I forgot to ask when will your house be featured in the Victorian Homes magazine again ?
I want to be sure and get the next copy of when your featured

Beverly said...

Wow, wow, wow, Richard. You are doing an amazing job. I have always wanted to make a dollhouse, but I continue to resist the temptation. I will so enjoy watching the progress on yours.

You definitely need to share this on Pink Saturday. Please link up this weekend. I know everyone will love this beauty.

Pamela Gordon said...

What an incredible lot of detailed work you have been doing with the doll house! Amazing. It's a great way to pass the dreary winter days though. Have a great day! Pamela

Shirley said...

Oh my..this looks so real..I'll have to send it to my sister as she has her house down in the basement.she needs to get will be her inspiration I'm did a geat job..glad you saved 'THIS OLD HOUSE'...

Brigitte said...

you have done so much in such little time.It is definately inspiring to see the before and after pictures.
It looks great already,I can't wait to see the diningroom,kitchen etc.these are my favorite rooms to decorate,especially the kitchen.OHHH Richard wait and see all of the accessories one can get or make......the lists are endless as some of the miniaturists in this group will tell you.I know I am hooked and so will you :-)
Have fun decorating and creating,
PS:Don't forget to get a liitle sissy dog :-)

Charm Bracelet Diva said...

You've been busy! What a nice transformation! Love the "shabby chic" look. Hope you have a successful weekend.

Dreamgoddess said...

Richard, I am totally in awe! What an amazing transformation you've accomplished! I love the gold Dresden papers...where on earth did you find those? I would love to have some for my dollhouse if I ever get started working on it. I can't wait to see what you do next! - Kim

Barbara F. said...

What a beautiful job, Richard. The rooms look like real, full-size rooms with the objects in them. This should be a feature in a magazine for doll houses, or miniature collections. I do hope you put a mini version of Sissie Dog in one of the rooms :) xo

Sherri Farley said...

Oh my goodnes, you have been busy. It's looking fabulous!!!

Lottie said...

Richard! I just can't believe how beautiful all this has turned out! Your work looks AMAZING!!!!!!!!

Olive Cooper said...

Richard, the house is coming along so fast and you do have patience for decorating dollhouses anyway. It is beautiful. hugs,olive

Shelia said...

Hi Richard! You have gone to town on your doll house! It's gorgeous! I can't believe all you've done and what a difference! I love the way you've dressed up the ceiling and the furniture! I almost fell out of my chair when I saw tiny little plates on the wall! I love that!
Keep having fun.
be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

BettyJean @ ShabbyTeaParty said...

Oh Richard, I much prefer your choice of exterior paint color. She is a Proper Painted Lady now. And the inside is just as stunning. You've added such pretty details everywhere. I don't know which is my favorite.. the shabby attic bedroom, the parlor- such a sweet little buffet with china, the dining room is luscious-love the ceiling. The library will be so cozy lined with bookshelves and a reading chair. I'll be back, can't wait to see more progress. Warm Hugs,

mississippi artist said...

You are amazing! It all looks fabulous!It looks like you are looking at a real home-which I always heard meant that you had everything to perfect scale.

Happy To Be/ Gl♥ria said...

Be still my olden heart..Oh Richard I love it..I also got a old doll display case over 2 years ago with all the furniture and I have yet to this day to redo it..I don't even know why I got it now ha ha!! Love what you have done..give Sissy some fur love from me..Hugs and smiles Gloria

Sissysmom said...

Wow Richard, you have made amazing progress. She is beautiful!! I love the gold dresden paper and you made it look so real as a cornice!

I have to go now and read the last three or four post you have made and get caught up. I've been working, working, working and have not had time for reading my favorite blogs!

Hope all is well with you. Give Sissy Dog a pat on the head from me!


Love Of Quilts said...

You have made so much progress..its looking very very nice.

Pearl said...

I'm floored by how good you are
Richard! The furniture you picked out is so me! You are a very talented guy indeed, how the heck do you do the rooms?
Does the roof come off?
Can't wait to see more. Hugs, Pearl

Robin's Egg Bleu said...

Gorgeous!!!!!!!!!!!!What a change,you'd never know it was the same house!

Ann@A Sentimental Life said...

Wow it is looking wonderful!
I love the canopy in you made and the lace for the shabby look.
But the best has to be the entrance. what a transformation.
Sending out good vibes that the tourist buy alot in your store this weekend!

Rose Broadway said...

Richard, I just recently found your blog and I've absolutely read every word of it. I love your home and all you have to say about it.

Over the years I have built three dollhouses. I got tired of them and sold the largest one, and gave the other two away.

Last fall I bought a three-story house similar to yours on CraigsList. It had been played with and treated badly by someone, but was just what I was looking for. Three of my grandkids and I painted it orange and black and made a very neat haunted house out of it this past Halloween. We even put orange lights in it.

Keep up your great blog, and all of your many other things which are a joy to all you come in contact with.

Just a fan from the little burg of Raymore MO. Rosie

Texas Tea Party said...

Richard, You are very talented! The Doll House is beautiful and I love your choices for the wallpaper. I did notice the ceilings and the darling furniture. I certainly will enjoy seeing all your changes and love the before and after photos. Happy Tea Party! Pam

lvroftiques said...

Richard there's no doubt about it (never actually was) that you have a way with houses!! That's an amazing amount of progress you've made on your beautiful baby! I can't believe the depth of detail. It's already fab, but it's going to be a stunner when it's finished!
I hope your town eagle celebration and house tour brings lots of pennies to the coffers! *winks* Vanna

Gary said...


Your continued revitalization of the Second Empire mansion is proceeding along in grand and glorious style. Now I must inquire what name you will be giving this petit mansion. You know all grand homes have to have a name. Like the Elgin / Cottrell House, hmm, wonder where I have heard that name before, lol. Or something a little less formal would be Fox Paw Lodge, lol. Any way you are going to have to name it and have a christening gala. A Ball, or a Cotillion I think would be appropriate. – gary

Butterbean Row said...

this is fabulous! You have lovingly transformed an ugly duckling into a swan.
Did you ever see that Twilight Zone episode where the man fell in love with a doll in a Victorian doll house? At the end, he became a doll and they lived happily ever after. Ha! Don't get any ideas now.


bj said...

Hi,Richard, this is sooo amazing. what a fabulous job you are doing. And, how fun it must be.
When my girl was little, we built a doll house for her and she had such fun, playing with it. It wasn't nearly as fancy and beautiful as yours, but she sure had fun with it.
You are really doing well on this beauty.

chubskulit said...

How gorgeous the transformation is!

Pink Bathroom, have a great weekend!

PS. I am now your follower.

Tina´s PicStory said...

wow! what a beautiful dollhouse :)

Lizabeth @ Infuse With Liz said...

Gee Richard you are a man of many talents! That was a ton of work indeed! Your sewing projects are all wonderful! I am amazed at the changes. I felt like I was going through an abandoned building and seeing it fixed afterwards! Your details are great! The stairway looks a heck of a lot better! Love the little rooms and their wallpaper treatments! I'm imaging you hand cutting those pieces for the ceilings and trim! 5 star job!

Loretta said...

Wow! What a gorgeous doll house. How long did it take you to do all that? I've made one doll house from scratch. It took me over 6 months. But it was sure fun.

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Wow! You work fast! Congrats on the magazine article. You deserve it. The dollhouse is just perfect. Very "Richard" :-)

Big hug

Gabriela Delworth said...


Wow! Are you sure this is a doll house? It looks pretty awesome to me...:o)


Eclectically Vintage said...

That doll house reno looks more intense than the one I did on my house!! Love the globe pencil sharpener.

LV said...

That is unreal. Never saw anything just like it. That is a doll house fit for a queen.

Jil~Say It With Roses said...

What an amazing job you have done! I don't think you have a sad or little life when you can do something like this! The details are wonderful and I admire anyone that can work in such a small scale!
Jil ♥

Jil~Say It With Roses said...

What an amazing job you have done! I don't think you have a sad or little life when you can do something like this! The details are wonderful and I admire anyone that can work in such a small scale!
Jil ♥

That shabby Pink Girl said...

You have just done a wonderful job on your House. Are you going to put lights in when finished. Hope you keep showing your progress to us. Thanks for sharing.
Have a Happy Pink Day!
marian elizabeth

The Dusty Victorian said...

Wow Richard!
You must ask Nancy, or who ever is around, to take a picture of your hands-they can't be human, i need proof. I consider myself pretty handy, but I can't imagine myself working on such a small scale and in cramped surroundings.
That doll house will be as amazing as your own house.
Loved your previous post as well.

Debbie@Debbie-Dabble and A Debbie-Dabble Christmas said...

I so apologize for not coming by earlier than this but I have not been feeling well.
OMG!! Your progress on this beauty has been amazing!! She is just stunning! I LOVE everything you did but the bed and the curtains have stolen my heart away. May I ask how are you keeping the curtains up? Did you use Doll House rods? And I LOVE the dresden like paper for cornices!!
You must have shrunk your hands, sir!! I have such a hard time with getting my hands inside of mine to do something. I am not very good though with fine motor dexterity! There are some changes that I would like to make to my doll house eventually but I will need to find time for that.
I haven't done anything to the ceilings so that may be another future project too.
I bet it was not easy to wall paper those tiny rooms, huh?
Well, you have definitely inspired me to do something different in the way of curtains for my Nelson Crest. And what are you going to name your beautiful Painted Lady???
Hope your tour and this weekend goes well and is profitable for you at the shop.
Don't you just hate when someone walks into your home and says, "How do you clean this?" I always say, "Who cleans??" that usually stops them in their tracks. You can tell the lover's of Victorian style because they are not even thinking of cleaning anything when they are admiring everything, Right??? LOL!!
Have a great weekend, Richard and I am so looking forward to seeing more of your beauty!!


Susan @ Blackberry Creek said...

Holy Cow! What wonders you performed with the doll house. It's beautiful!

Light and Voices said...

Clap. Clapping. Still clapping. My goodness that was a lot of work and what a fabulous job you did on that historic doll house. HPS!
Joyce M

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Hi Richard,

Meant to tell you that I really like the bedroom with the bedding....the shabby chic.... ;-) You are so "trendy" nowadays! :-)

And I remember how hard the tile was in the I said, you did a nice job and so quickly!

Big hug
Elizabeth :-)

bohemiannie! art said...

This is incredible. What a labor of love!

Pam of Eastlake Victorian said...

Hi Richard-

Wow! SO much better!! Totally your style now, lol! You did a great job! Love the new ceiling treatments. The wallpapers are fantastic too. I would love to sleep in that canopy bed!


Barbara Anne said...


You've been wonderfully resourceful in finding bits and pieces to use - like the cornices!


Ceekay- Thinkin of Home said...

Oh it is stunning. Mercy, makes me want to have a little house like that!! You did great with all the remodeling!!


What a job dear Richard, wow! The doll house is looking pretty gorgeous, wish I was close so I can help with little things for you. You were so lucky that Nancy had a lot of furniture from you. You're amazing my friend. Have a super week.

Jillian's Bella Rosa Antiques said...

Fantastic work, Richard! I can't believe how it looked before... you have a lot of patience to work in those tiny little rooms.

We were both working on room transformations....just in different sizes! :0)

Ivy and Elephants said...

Richard this doll house is AMAZING! I love what you have accomplished already.
I dream of having a dollhouse, too. You must be having a blast. Thanks so much for sharing this with us, you are fabulous!

Confessions of a Plate Addict said...

Richard, it's just amazing! You have done a fabulous job of restoring it! Love the teensy weensy plates on the wall! So me! lol Have a great week!...hugs...Debbie

Divine Theatre said...

Gracie and I just visited the Colleen Moore Fairy House at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry! You would love it, my friend!
You have inspired us to get to work on Gracie's house. Come see my post about Ornaments By Pink. Mary made an ornament that looks like Shenanigan...and she is perfect for the dollhouse!
WE have found French furniture for dollhouses on ebay but it costs more than my Andie size furniture! Little by little!

Kisses to Sissy!


thistlewoodfarm said...

Oh my goodness! I LOVE this! You have done such a wonderful job! I would love for you to link this up at our "impossible" party! Here's the link:

Thanks for the inspiration!


Duchess Milianda said...

aaa amazing home! I want to!