mainly because I have a short attention span. Which is why it’s nearly two years on and the Cape house is still uninhabitable for any person or persons tiny enough to fit therein, highly unlikely though that may be. I’ve been doing things like HO scale train modules (I completed a replica of a ranger station set amid stately Ponderosa pines and sparkling waterfalls), Monster High doll repaints (epic fails – the poor girls look like victims of botched plastic surgeries done in the back room of a mechanic’s garage) and sewing stuffed animals (well, ONE stuffed animal…OK, just the HEAD of ONE stuffed animal).
And I briefly interrupted the Cape house once again by cheating on it with another house. This one:
Last summer, my boss cleaned out her attic and found this house. Apparently, it had been sitting up there since 1993. She immediately thought of me and my penchant for taking in homeless dollhouses. It smelled musty, was littered with mouse poop and was accompanied by a bag of dollhouse furniture and accessories. My husband and I carted it home, and put it in the back yard where we cleaned it out and sprayed it down with vinegar. A few sunny days, and it was fresh and clean.
Here’s the inside:
It’s a very solid, heavy house. I think it’s either a RealGood Toys or maybe a Tom’s Mill. I wasn’t crazy about the design, honestly. I really love me a recognizably American colonial house and this thing looked sort of…dunno…early Victorian? Or some vague, nondescript, generic dollhouse design? I ripped off the shutters and the plastic chimneys, knocked out the narrow, cranky little staircases and popped out all the windows. Then, for good measure, I pried off the dormers and the front door.
Then I did some research. The house’s asymmetrical face disturbed my Georgian sensibilities. A door with one window on one side and TWO windows on the other? Horrors! Who would do such a thing?! Finally, my internet creeping was rewarded. I discovered that I’m the proud owner of a First Period house. “First Period houses have steeply pitched roofs, are asymmetrical due to having been built in phases, and feature large central chimneys.” This is a First Period house in the flesh:
First Period houses were all the rage from 1626 to 1725. Then, apparently, at 12:01, January 1, 1726, everyone then started building Georgian houses. Now, if you woke up in 1726, crawled out of bed and found yourself still living in a First Period house, you had two choices. You could either a) suck it up. It’s only a house, right? It keeps you warm (sort of) in the winter and keeps the wolves out. ‘Nuff said. You could even congratulate yourself on being 18th century retro. Or you could b) add a wing onto your First Period house and upgrade. This option was called Keeping Up with The Georgians. That’s a true historical fact, and you heard it right here.
Once I had determined its historical value, I cozied right up to that First Period house! As we cuddled, it wistfully whispered that it had always longed to be a bed and breakfast. On Nantucket. Oh, joy! I promised it faithfully that I would do everything in my power to make its dream come true! My first effort was giving it a name: The Dancing Whale Inn. Inspired by this:
I did some more minor reconstruction: I plugged up the staircase holes. No staircases! The one in the Cape house nearly sent me around the bend. All those little balusters that won’t stick and the whole things shattering into a million pieces if one of my rabbits sneezed upstairs. Ugh. I need to take a heat gun and some vinegar to a couple of the interior walls to move them, and need to build new dormers, fireplaces and exposed chimney. All in time! I’m committed to finishing the Cape, but will be nipping out from time to time to visit the Dancing Whale. Just to walk around the rooms and kick around a few ideas.
In the meantime, though, I found a few little things that will be perfect for the Whale!
Like a Shackman bed I got on eBay. I don’t usually like Shackman stuff – it seems a bit bulky, but I thought this bed was really cool. I like the worn, antique look.
I think the graduate student working at the Inn for the summer will like this bed in her staff quarters on the third floor.
I found a terrific chair on Etsy, a signed artisan piece, which will look quite nice in the common area:
With maybe a picture hung above it? I found this picture on the internet in an article about the New England Puritans. I bought a stash of plastic “gold” frames, sanded the paint off and repainted them with Martha Stewart gold metallic, then printed off the Puritan portraits and put them in the refurbished frames. Here’s the lady:
And here she is with her old man:
Aren’t they a cute couple? Don’t they look like they’re peering at you to see what sinful shenanigans you’re up to now? Like smiling? Or being happy? To the stocks with ye, ye shameless wench!
And how about this lantern? I made it with the tutorial on YouTube by We Love Miniatures. I think it will do nicely for the Inn.
Concern yourself only with this artistically posed tableau. Ignore the debris next to it and the empty egg carton behind it.
OK. I’ve done all I can until the Cape is ready for occupancy. A LOT has been going on and I have a great deal of catching up next time. I will try to keep on the straight and narrow and get the last brick and nail into the Cape before I pack my bags and take the ferry to Nantucket!