Hopalong Hollow....

Hopalong Hollow, where the Blueberries grow sweet, and the moss feels soft beneath your feet.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Cleaning a tattered old house

 We recently purchased another old house.
 Today was cleaning day.
I had quite a job in front of me. The neglected old house had not been lived in for many years..
It was in a derelict state of disrepair.
Poor old house, the paint was chipping, porch railings were missing and window frames were cracked.
Many  of the window pane wood was lying on the ground in pieces, and you could see where they had once been attached to the window glass.
   But the house had many wonderful qualities. A wraparound porch, a little French door, corbels all around the roofs and over 26 windows!
 The windows were just filthy  but most were intact with no cracked glass.
 The interior of the house had been stripped clean..no wallpaper or plaster or floor molding, floorboards; even the staircase was gone and the interior walls!
   Nevertheless, the house had great possibilities, like a blank canvas.

  The porch has an old slat gray paint,  and steps that need a good scrubbing.
James gathered all the cleaning supplies together.
 Okay, time to get to work!
I started on top of the roof..it was quite a steep roof, but I wasn't afraid of the heights.
The roof cleaned up nicely...it was green underneath all the dirt and all the corbels were intact.
 
It only took 5 minutes to sweep the entire floor.

It cleaned up nicely with a dry paintbrush.

 I got a good start on replacing all the window panes...
  After thoroughly cleaning all the 20 windows..which only took an hour.

THIS is why....
Our new "old house" is only 18 inches tall!
.Next month I turn 62 years old, and this olde house is my birthday present.
Isn't it just marvelous??!
 I never had a dollhouse as a child, maybe I am making up for lost time. I have resisited the urge to purchase one because I know that once you start with a dollhouse, you never stop.After all, a house needs wallpaper, rugs, furnishings, stenciling, curtains, pots and pans, dishes, a kitty, brooms and dustpans, bedspreads, quilts, samplers, a Hoosier, a  pie-safe, and on and on; need I say more?
 
 This one is completely empty. It will take very small furnishings, 1:24 is the scale. What fun it will be to fill it up in time.
 Another reason I never had a dollhouse is that I wanted just the right one. It had to be very old. My guess is that this dolly-house is turn of the century. As an antiques "detective", I have deduced this from the crackled paint, building material, wavy window glass and the style of the house. It was painstakingly built by hand, long BEFORE dollhouse kits were available. I like to think it was a replica of the builder's own house, but it is remarkable how similar it is to OUR  house with it's wraparound porch, long windows and steeped hipped roof...and corbels... And a dormer too!

This little house came from Pennsylvania. It included a small box full of tiny parts that had fallen off, such as mini corbels...

   window frames and broken window pane pieces which I am able to replicate with balsa wood.
After a good house cleaning it was ready to be put in a place of honor.
 in the parlor

  I think it is a real treasure.
Wow, can't wait to decorate!

 But that will have to be put on hold because I am on a time schedule to finish a lot of critters for the next 3 shows..

Foxes, Squirrels, Badgers, mice, rats, buns a skunk and  a possum.
So, I am back to the wool and finished with house work and interior decorating for the time being.
Fondly from the Hollow! Jeri

50 comments:

  1. Wow, what an amazing gift! I love it!

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    1. Thanks! I think it is a grand gift too!

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  2. Oh Jeri, wait...let me COMPOSE MYSELF!

    OK......

    Wait.

    teeehee.....THIS IS MARVELOUS! First of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY as your grand day comes! Shhhh....my husband's birthday is 9/22 and he'll be only two years behind you. HOW TIME takes off like an airplane!

    NOW. You and I both; well, I had three doll houses as a kid. One, my father built in the backyard for me to play in. I will never forget that cottage, totally all out of stucco and was he ever the carpenter. A brilliant man.

    Then I had one of those fabulous steel houses from the early 60s, and then I was gifted a handmade wooden CABIN! Did I ever love that house, but my mum got it into her mind one day while I was away at school to GIVE IT to the Salvation Army! NOOOO!

    So to this day, I want to play. I love miniatures, and I think it's in OUR DNA my friend. We just want to create and organize a little world where things are gentle and perfect, and you are going to make this a grand little home, and yes, she resembles your fabulous farmhouse!

    THOSE CRITTERS....you're killin' me over here...how I would love one NOW!

    Enjoy your week!

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    1. Anita, Turning 60 was rough, 62, not so much. Most of the neighborhood girls had a metal dollhouse too, but not me... I was into horses at the time. It really must be in the DNA, miniature things are so interesting and wonderful!

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  3. Ok,... You gave me a fright! I thought, did she sell the farm, buy an additional house, how in the world will she take care of it all?
    What a great birthday gift ! And just the right size... It is really beautiful Jeri.

    Your basket FULL of critters are simply amazing!
    Have a wonderful day Jeri.
    love ya!
    Penny

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    1. I fooled you Penny! I really had to crop those pics a lot to keep out all of James's workshop stuff in the background.

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  4. p.s HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU! Can you hear me singing?

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  5. Oh that was fun, and I called GarBear over to see your new house too, and he said you did a great job fooling him!! YES IT IS MARVELOUS!!! What a grand house you have!! It is one of the best that I have ever seen!!!
    I just got my first doll house last month too!! At a yard sale (much simpler 30's ) for only fifteen dollars the Mousiekins are so happy!! :-)
    I am so excited for your new house what fun to fill it !! It is wonderful!!
    Joy Joy Joy!! Blessings xx oo Linnie

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    1. Oh, You got one too?! We are lucky. It really is one of the best I have seen as well, and I have been looking for a long time and seen hundreds of dollhouses. The really great ones cost a fortune, but I think I got a really good deal on this house.

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  6. Jeri, you had me there for a moment--you tease! Your dolly house is a treasure. What fun you are going to have decorating and restoring to your satisfaction. I hope you will let us see your process. Happy Birthday, dear one! xo ♥

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    1. Yes Martha< I tried to keep the tease going for as long as possible... it worked!

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  8. Oh, I am so glad you don't have a "for real" big empty house to redo-----a little one is much much more manageable. Even for someone with your efficient use of time it would really stretch you. And there are all those un-put-together pieces of various creatures that really need your attention.

    The doll house is really something and I can imagine how much fun you will have furnishing and decorating it.

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    1. Hi Vic! We have already restored a "for real" old house, I don't think I would ever want to do it again. But this little thing will be a lot of fun for me.

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  9. Oh Jeri, what a find. I love old dollhouses too, but that is my favorite one hands down. At first I thought, oh look, they are going to move that house to their farm and use it as a storefront or studio. What a nice surprise. And, glad you weren't really on top of a tall roof.

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    1. Donna, OOOH, don't give me any ideas! i have always wanted to move a log cabin to our place to turn into a storefront. But for now, I will stay with the mini.

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  10. You fooled me, too! Right up until the paint brush! And I was just getting upset that your husband had YOU get up on the roof to clean it! Ha, ha, ha. I was wondering what you were going to do with a second house....or if you were moving this place must really be in a great setting. I'm so glad it's just a doll house--and it's so tiny. I can only imagine what it will look like once you get the time to decorate it. Can't wait. Now you will have to make tiny animals for its yard.

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    1. Cathy, that is funny, my husband really does hate heights! Me too for that matter. I will never forget when we re-painted our own house and James was up on that 24 foot extension ladder to paint under the roof eaves, it was simply horrible for him! I believe you have a dollhouse, don't you?

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    2. I have a 1:12 Gingerbread cottage I picked up at a yard sale for $15 fully furnished--but it was obviously made from a kit. My other one is 1:6 scale and is just a large cabinet I've converted to house my collection of miniatures. Yours was obviously hand-made with love! I'd love to know the story behind it--who it was made by, for whom, and why did they sell it!

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    3. Wish I could get some history on it. I won it on Ebay and the seller did not have much information, unfortunately. Geez, can you imagine what the furniture must have looked like?! $15! Wow, what a deal, and the 1:12 size has so many choices in furnishings, I just love the little stuff.

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  11. Wow...a treasure for sure!! One has to wonder about the person who crafted this amazing piece. And for whom? Congratulations on this fabulous find, and Happy Birthday!

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    1. Can you just imagine finding that under the Christmas tree as a little girl?!

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  12. I have just discovered your blog and am in awe of your incredible art! I too have an inspired studio that is full to the brim - so glad to find another soul like that. Looking forward to following your blog.

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    1. Thank you for visiting! I love to see other artists studios, especially the ones "filled to the brim", as you say.

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  13. Hip hip hooray! I love your little dollhouse--it's a true treasure, Jeri. Check out Cinderella Moments if you need any ideas to spruce up your new place. She's very shabby chic but her ideas are awesome!

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    1. Hey Roxie, I will check her out, love new and old ideas.

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  14. You sure had me going! So glad your vintage house project is miniature and not life size. At first I pictured you as Wonder Woman as you cleaned that roof until it sparkled in the sun! You have found a true dream house to create and have fun with Jeri. You know we'll all be waiting to see what you do in your new realm of 1/24! Sending you hugs & blessings, Edie Marie & Marie Antoinette

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    1. Hey ladies, I just know your world is filled with miniatures, I remember your Village. It is really something!

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  15. Happiest Birthday to You, Happy Birthday to You!
    Your dollhouse is a beauty! Great post presenation.
    I didn't start to suspect until the roof. lol

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    1. I knew that shiny roof would give away my secret, hah!

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  16. Thank you for your encouraging words, Jeri... Enjoy your day!
    fondly,
    Penny
    p.s. How I love all your critter faces here!!!

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  17. The dollhouse is awesome! I can't wait to see how you decorate. That will be so much fun!

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    1. The floor space is pretty limited so I will have to be very picky about what I choose to place inside. I am already thinking about a little fireplace with Christmas stockings hanging...wreaths on the windows, tiny candlesticks, my gosh.. I have the fever!

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  18. Ha! Mystery solved..... Goes to show you how authentic in detail that treasure home is.... I
    was whispering a prayer that you were safe up on that roof and wondering why James would
    allow you to venture up so far....20 windows cleaned in warp time.....then the grand disclosure... leave it to you, creative Missy..... I figure about 1906 or a bit later... and what
    fun you will have bringing it to life...garden and all...
    A very blessed Birthday, dear one..... you belie your age. Love to James



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    1. Our Mary! So good to see you here. I was studying my many books on old houses and I think you are right about the date, around 1900 to 1915 is my best guess. Oh yes, I will have to have a garden!

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  19. AWESOME! I love it! Would love to go on a house tour when you get it done. Thanks for a peek!

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    1. Hi Wendy, You can bet I will be giving house tours as things progress!

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  20. JERI DARLIN'!

    Thank you so much for hopping on over to Castles to see me. Yep, these days my keypad pals are my best friends. People in close proximity are too busy but at least we are able to connect at our leisure to uplift, cheer up, inspire and encourage each other! AND PENNY and I were both saying that we thought that JERI SOLD THE FARM! teeeheee....oh, you too were into horses as a girl? I STILL AM! My husband thinks I'm insane, but nature is my chill-pill, my inspiration, my dream. Today for Labor Day, no school, so I stayed home and just relaxed, but enjoyed what nature had to offer today before fall sets in. But when fall comes, there will be more delight! On my way to school in the dark last week, I saw a family of SIX deer crossing the street! I saw a family of large raccoons, a posse of turkeys and lots of hawks!

    OK my friend, enjoy your playhouse! XOXOX

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    1. Anita , I was horse crazy from 8 yrs till about 12yrs. Of course, we lived in town and there was no way I could have an animal like that, so I collected horse models and books and pictures, anything to do with horses. I am surprised you see so much wildlife in your area, you must be close to the country.

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  21. Jeri, I am so glad that you didn't save this post for the first day of April. It was a wonderfully amusing introduction to your marvelous birthday gift right now in early September.

    Isn't it grand to see all the details that were incorporated into the doll house my its (I guess) now unknown carpenter. It is definitely grand to know how you will give this house the love that has been missing for a while.

    Is it odd to say that this house has found a wonderful home?

    Birthday wishes to you, Jeri. I've got a large birthday of my own arriving at the next weekend. Numbers are relative, aren't they? xo

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    1. It is not odd at all Frances, to say the little house found a wonderful home. The amount of detail in the house is astounding, the corbels so tiny, each window frame originally had 8 panes. Someone put a lot of love into the building of this house. Happy BIRTHDAY TO YOU TOO!

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  22. What a gorgeous little olde house Jeri ~ I will be avidly following your future progress and it even looks so 'at home' already on your table ~ Rae

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    1. Rae, I am really happy to see you here, I must come and visit you. I can just imagine, with your needlework skills, the amazing creations you could make for a dollhouse.

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  23. Oh Jeri-this is fabulous! I just can't wait to see all the changes you make to your new house! I also love your group of critters all together!! :)

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    1. Thanks Debra, it may take a long time to fill a small house with only the best stuff. There is such a small floor space that I will need to be very picky about how I furnish it.

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  24. Hi I think it is just wonderful....and so well made..much better than a kit. My Daughter has one of those and she has worked on it for years and isn't to the furnishing stage yet....Are you going to put in anterior walls or just make that a great room with the different rooms divided by furniture. You fooled us with the tale, I thought you sure could work fast.
    Mama Bear

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    1. Hi Mama Bear, yes, I will put in one interior wall on the 1st floor. I need to add the second floor because it is missing, Then, I will split it in half with one wall. I think I may stencil some of the walls and paper others. It really is amazing how much delicate work was put into the windows, corbels and porch rail, all done without a kit!

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  25. Love your vision and energy. The doll house I received at Christmas from Santa was a Barbie doll house. I remember my dad taking a long time of putting it together....don't remember playing with it....too young maybe. But loved playing with my brothers old barn with sliding doors for many years that my grandfather who was a master carpenter built.

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