Oh my goodness i do have big news, yes i do. HUGE, really. I’ve been looking for a house to buy for a while. Shopping everyday, scouring the classifieds, dreaming of all the space i’ll have, talking to my realtor and accountant more than i do Bearcat. There have been a few teases - i’ll put in an offer, think its ‘the one’ and sure enough Zooey Deschanel or Parker Posey will end up buying it. My budget is small, sure, but my heart is full and i’ve been hopeful that the right house would make itself available to me at the right time.
And lo and behold, dear readers, I have indeed bought a house. My dream house It’s in L.A., it has 6 rooms, it needs a lot of work, but its is new construction in a classic style with great bones.
AND at $299, it was within my budget. The second i saw it, i knew it was the one. I could picture my very small children running around and playing in the family room, putting together puzzles, watching The Little Mermaid….. my husband is reading the paper, watching mets games in the man-cave, and then i sit in my huge HUGE closet/dressing room, holding all of my teeny tiny clothing where i powder and perfume myself silly. It’s all i’ve ever dreamt about and i’m so excited to share it with you.
I know. It’s simply perfect. YES, it needs some color, furniture, wall treatments….it sure does, but bless its heart, its my first home and i love every centimeter of it. The inspector was all, ‘Uh there isn’t any plumbing and it only has three walls’ and i realize that can be a problem, but nothing a little bit of imagination can’t fix. Brian is a bit sceptical about where the flatscreen will go, but i’m more excited about where i’m going to put my vintage victorian wicker dining set, hang my capiz shell (capiz button) chandelier and cuddle with my mini-bearcat.
So what exactly is happening, huh? Well, ladies and gentlemen (come one, come all – big and small) here’s the story.
We are having the first annual:
S’right folks. It’s a dollhouse decorating challenge. AND ITS GOING TO BE HUGE!!!!
(you should go ahead and know right now that any and all size references when it comes to this challenge are all intentional, don’t worry).
Let’s talk about the what’s, who’s, when’s, how’s and why’s
Dollhouses are totally underrated, often considered ‘creepy’ but we all secretly like them. We do. Men love their train sets (i do too, thats next) because its hard to deny the draw of a miniature perfect world. But all of a sudden its weird for grown women to play with dollhouses? RUDE!!
So the challenge is to decorate a dollhouse. You can buy one or make something that resembles a miniature space – it doesn’t have to be a ‘house’ per say, it could be a loft or an industrial space or i’m trying to convince my boxing trainer to do a mini boxing gym. It can be conceptual or literal. Whatever you want.
You can spend as much or little time and money as you want. It doesn’t have to last for generations, and certainly nobody is actually going to live in it. Unless mini people exist, or fievel and the rat from ratatoiie decide to move it. It’s a chance to create a mini-fantasy world of your own, don’t worry about function, just bout looks. It’s more of a piece of art and a diarama in a way than an actual ‘dollhouse’.
Me, Emily Von Henderson
Morgan from www.the-brick-house.com
Erin from www.designformankind.com
Orlando (yes from SFAS) from www.hommemaker.com
Corbett (my LA besty) www.girl-domestic.com
Jenny from www.littlegreennotebook.blogspot.com
and Kirsten from www.simplygrove.com
But that’s not all, we want as many of you, dear readers who are probably also obsessed with mini’s, to join in. Take photos of progress/process, upload to our widgets that will link you to us. The more people involved the better and we can take over the world. (read the ‘why’s down there and you will be convinced to do it).
So that brings us to ‘WHEN:
We start this week (don’t rush, you can start next week or anytime really) and we have to be finished by December 15th. We update weekly, or whenever we want (I’m doing weekly, and a pic a day), but the big reveal of the finished house is December 15th. Then in January there will be a gallery/party where everyone who can come to the LA area to show their house does so. And yes, this will be pitched to magazines and we hope to have some of yours in there, too.
You thought Google was big? Nope. You thought Nike was huge? Not really.
The ‘I’m a Giant’ challenge is about to be the Walmart of all internet frenzy, the Proctor and Gamble of the blogland. Or totally overhyped by yours, truly. Either way, a total blast.
Melissa and Doug are giving you a discount if you click the link HERE and use the code DH15. I have the Lisa Kay (above), which i love but there are a lot of rooms to furnish, so i unless you are gun-ho i would get one with 4 rooms. They come unfinished which is great (even on the outside), and they are solid wood so sure to last. I shopped around for a while and you will be absolutely hardwood floored at how expensive they can be. So, theirs seem the best for the price for the amount of detail you get (i.e. the windows and stairs were the selling point for me.)
But you can use anything you want. Used dollhouses, vintage dollhouses or even just wooden crates or wooden boxes. Orlando is building his from scratch out of foam core. ANYthing works. I will tell you this: it can get very, very, very, very, expensive, so making things or repurposing what you already have is a good idea (AKA i am using a big wood button as a serving tray, and an Alexis Bittar big flower broach as wallart, etc). Think craft store, hardware store, fabric store (aka a large free ‘swatch’ is probably enough for bedding) and notions. And obviously thrift stores and flea markets.
Um. This seems like a highly unnecessary question, but fine, here’s why:
1. I have a serious love for miniatures, always have and always will. They are very small and I…. AM…. A…. GIANT!!!! I Like to hold them in my very large hands, pretend to drink out their very small cups, and imagine a world where the details of our world exist, just sooooo much smaller. It’s a fantasy world, nay, a fantastical world for me to be creative beyond constraints of money and function. The space plan doesn’t need to be perfect, the tile doesn’t need to be water resistant, its just whatever you want to satisfy your craftiness and creativity.
2. I don’t have a house and don’t know when i will, but i’m dying to really, really decorate my dream house. If that sounds pathetic to you, then screw you, play with your adult sized dolls, i don’t care. I love the imagination that can go into a project like this, the detail and obsession. And i love to craft and its been wayyyy too long since i did something like this for me.
3. I want something that i can pass down to my children, and they can pass it down to their children. I love all dollhouses, but yes, they can be very victorian, granny, predictable, and even creepy. Mine is going to look eclectic, modern, vintage, colorful with lots of wallpaper, brass, florals, graphic patterns, a mix of old-timey wingbacks (reupholstered, of course) worn leathers, and regency furniture….with a little big of laid-back country in there, too. This is not your grandmas dollhouse, no siree, bob.
4. Because its something to do together. Whether you are doing this with your daughter (or son) or with your friend (like we are in Corbett’s garage which was going to be the ‘man-cave’ but is now the ‘dollhouse-cave’ much to the ‘mans’ severe, and understandable, dislike); or online with all of us – its something that we can all do together, talk about, swap stories, compete for furniture on ebay and not feel ridiculous…..together.
It’s like a virtual Quilting Bee. Just a bunch of people crafting together and not making eachother feel weird. Lets not be ashamed of having a ‘hobby’. Let’s not be afraid to love the detail that goes into miniatures, the workmanship, the obsession. It’s a forgotten craft that we are going to give its full and due respect.
So here’s a sneak peak into mine:
I’m just starting my mood-board and general plan now, soon to be revealed.
I’m like a little kid. In a little house. i’m so excited. And i can’t wait to have you all over to visit for the weekend, although pack light, …..there isn’t a lot of extra space…
So dear readers, bloggers, magazine editors, family and friends…..
WHO IS UP FOR THE CHALLENGE????????? Who wants to make something that will not only be passed on to the next generation but be a detailed sculpture for you to enjoy now? The more the merrier. Tell your friends, tell your bosses. Blog, tweet, facebook and link it the eff in.
LETS GET WEIRD, IN A VERY SMALL WAY.