In the late ’90s my grandmother built me a Willowcrest Dollhouse from a Greenleaf kit. She was new to the craft and put a lot of literal blood, sweat, and tears into the effort. I remember her fingers often being bandaged from working to cut out the pieces.
She had taken my sister and me to the hobby store to pick out a kit for each of us, and we got to choose the paint colors for the finish, too. I loved the Victorian Mansard style and deep, rich colors. Nana built the whole thing and finished the outsides, leaving us the interior to optionally finish at a later date.
She often took us shopping for dollhouse furniture, and I had no idea at the time the value of all these things. As my interest in dollhouses has renewed this year, I am certainly learning the physical and monetary costs for myself.
The house took a bit of damage since we moved at least a half dozen times since its construction, and I had to remove all the roof shingles since so many were pulling away. Earlier this year I wired it, my first time working with dollhouse wiring. I've primed all the rooms and am oh-so-slowly trying to paint the staircase hallways before papering the rest. Of course we didn't know it would be so difficult to do after construction, and any sane person would probably leave those crevasses empty, but I have tiny hands, an artistic heart, patience, and no small bit of stubbornness on my side.
Unfortunately, life has been quite hectic all summer with marathon training taking up most of my free time, and I've not made any progress in two or three months. That's why I started a small room box project in the meantime: I can work on it on the coffee table and complete significant pieces in a small amount of time, compared to hauling the Willowcrest to the dining table, tipping it and propping it upside-down or on its side, relying on a hand mirror to reach the stairwell, and waiting hours for many coats of paint to dry. But hopefully I will find time again.