Repurposing Christmas decorations as dollhouse furniture

There is almost always a tab open in my brain to keep an eye out for appropriately sized dollhouse things, and this time of year in particular can bring some gems.

Last month I was in our local Canadian Tire hardware store when I saw these gold chair Christmas ornaments and I immediately thought they’d be perfect for my dollhouse. I bought one to see if it would be to scale. I tried it out in Cora’s dollhouse and it was a perfect 1:12 scale! The next time I was in our local store I bought 4 more [that had since been reduced in price as it was just ahead of Christmas]; one to keep as an actual Christmas decoration on our tree and four to use in my dollhouse.

I’ve shared a lot of the updates I made to Cora’s Lower Town Dollhouse over the past 3 years [see all the exterior updates I made to it ahead of giving it to Cora as a Christmas present in 2018], and soon into decorating Cora’s dollhouse, I immediately wanted to have a dollhouse of my own. In May of 2019 I found the perfect secondhand dollhouse, except it was completely unassembled. It’s taken me this long to get around to it, but I’m hoping to get a huge part of the dollhouse assembled over our Christmas holidays this year [since we’re in another heavy lockdown and are home all the time] ahead of returning to work on January 4th.

I’m really excited to start, and even more excited to make it my own and decorate it with my new golden chairs [which I’m undecided if I’ll paint in some way]. I will of course post updates as soon as I’ve made them! Hold me accountable!

One Room Challenge Spring 2020 – Week Five

With all that has happened in America [and Canada, and around the world] this past week, the usual weekly link-up for the One Room Challenge won’t be happening this week out of respect of the Black Lives Matter movement. I’ll be sharing my Week Five progress quietly here on my blog, but I won’t be sharing anything on social media as it would feel flippant.

We’re also starting the conversation about race and colour with Cora. I’ll be honest that we’ve never consciously brought it up with her before, but after much reading this week I’m realizing that is not the right way to go about it. In my innocence, the colour of someones skin is not a factor for me [not in a I don’t see colour way], but again I’m realizing talking about it with Cora is a much bigger deal. I’m researching and educating myself as a white person as how to best bring this conversation into our home to make our three-year-old understand what’s happening in the world in a way that is appropriate for her right now.

Regarding this weeks progress with my ORC, above is where I left off last week, right as I was realizing I’d have to pull everything down and start over again. Why? Because …

  • The wood slats on the walls weren’t deep enough to sufficiently house insulation nor strong enough to hold drywall
  • There needed to be another layer between the brick and the insulation. Despite my best efforts to Google “should I put stuff on brick before I insulate my super old, wonkey house?” didn’t advise I need to put a Tyvek breathable barrier up first, as advised by Dad DIYer

So down everything came [as seen below] and I started over again. I wasn’t upset about having to start over as I prefer to do things the right way, even if it means taking longer. But I was mentally exhausted as just to get to this point took a lot of work.

There was a surprisingly large amount of work between then and where I am now. First of all, I had to rip the wooden supports off the wall. It was easy on the front wall, but the side wall proved tricky as the slats extended all the way up to the first floor. My reciprocating saw came in handy and with a dose of PMS last weekend, I blasted the supports off the wall.

Next I had to deal with what I now refer to as The Trench; the wooden floors you see are new [about 7 years old], and whoever put in the wood floors placed them ontop of the old wooden floors and butted them up against the original skirting boards. So when I removed the skirting boards [using brute force, rage, a giant crowbar and a reciprocating saw], there was a 4-inch gap around the room which was about 2 inches deep. It was all filled with solid plaster, so that had to all be dug out and despite wearing hardy gloves, I still have plaster under my nails.

Once the plaster and old skirting boards were cleared out, I reused the old wooden slats that were on the exterior walls and placed them in The Trench to level out the floor ahead of creating a stud wall for the exterior walls.

I applied the Tyvek using construction adhesive in three bands across the two exterior walls and used red Tuck Tape to help secure the seams. Over two nights I made the stud walls for both exterior walls and anchored them in place. I had done all the measuring and rough sketches for the design of the stud wall, which Dad DIYer perfected for how best to place the drywall in a way that wouldn’t have even occurred to me #InfantDIYer.

After finalizing the second stud wall last night [I’m thanking my habit of getting Cora used to loud noises when she was a baby as she slept through my excessive hammering and sawing], I had some energy left so I added one behemoth pack of insulation to the room before calling it a night.

Your eyes are not deceiving you. That window is crooked AF. The stud framing accentuates it.

It kind of looks like I’ve done nothing, but I’ve gotten so much done this past week. I’m quite proud of myself, if I’m allowed to be that honest. I’m especially proud that I didn’t fail miserably with constructing the stud walls and put them in place all by myself. Just me. MEEEEEEE! I feel I can actually claim the title of Interior DIYer now. I’ve been waiting so long to be able to work on projects like this.

My Week Five feeling summarized into one photo:

Week One – Week Two – Week Three – Week Four – Week Five
Week SixWeek SevenWeek Eight

Oh, I have a blog

I almost forgot how to login to my blog … It’s been a while! While 3 months isn’t that long of a blog hiatus, a lot has happened for us since my last post in August. The biggest thing being, we bought a house! A real live house! And it’s a Victorian house! It’s charming and has its quirks and we’re still trying to figure it out getting to know it.

Begin blurry dream sequence flashback …

It was a Sunday in August and after being online for a while, I was about to log-off when I decided to quickly check the real estate website I had checked so many times before; we had been looking at houses for months, viewed many, fell for a few houses but they were either were in too bad of condition for us to take on with a toddler or they went into a bidding war, so we were feeling really disheartened. I hadn’t checked said real estate site for a few days, so I gave myself a 5-minute limit to browse to hopefully avoid the overwhelming sense of dread it had been giving me at the time.

I logged in and there was an adorable Victorian house. It had an open house that day and in a few hours time. I sent the link to Robert. The time it would take to drive there aligned perfectly with Cora’s afternoon nap [parental bingo], so we got ready and left. We arrived at the house, Cora woke up, she was extra adorable to the real estate agent [she was actually dressed as a cat that day] and within moments of entering the house, Robert and I were basically like:

… and in every room. It was the first time we were both excited about a house. Deliriously excited.

Within 20 minutes of viewing the house we were emailing our agent. The next morning we made our offer and after some back-and-forth, they accepted. We had ten days to sort out our conditions, which was the most stressful part and a phenomenal amount of paperwork because Robert isn’t a permanent resident yet. The stress was like a hot ball in my chest. It was all worth it when we found out everything was approved.

We packed, and moved [kind of – I had to still work in Ottawa so we were living between two places which was really awkward and awful] and thanks to a very busy work schedule, I’ve not been able to enjoy our new home just yet. But I’m working on it 😉