Saturday, May 23, 2009

Scheming to get a doll house

After 15 years together, Brent is used to my projects. He is very patient when I get an idea that I MUST do. He is even semi-understanding of my tornado-like closet of a sewing room that spills all over the study. But, for some reason, I was nervous about bringing up the idea of a doll house.

I began looking online at ready-made doll houses. Way too expensive for what I wanted and really not as much fun as building one. I looked at plans for building, but I just don't have the skill or space to build one from scratch. Plus, I want to do this independently and I don't believe I could use all the tools on my own. I decided to look at kits. My only experience with doll house kits was the one Becky had as a little girl. It was pitiful. You punched out the pieces out of wood and glued them together. It was fine for a 4 year old girl (FYI, Becky went on to get an unbelievable doll house fit for a queen later in life, so don't feel sorry for her.) So, I didn't have high hopes for a doll house made from a kit.

I began to research kits and found a company in Vermont called Real Good Toys. It has a great reputation, and offers over 50 different models. I spent many days looking at the website and dreaming about which one I would choose. Actually, dreaming about which one I could afford. The most expensive kit is $1,125 and as big as a van. About a week into the looking, I decided that I just could not justify the cost of any of the kits and put this dream on hold again for another few years.

Or so I thought.

I was doing my weekly shopping at Hobby Lobby ( I buy craft supplies like most people buy milk and bread.) and I decided to walk through the miniature department. And by department, I mean a 6 foot display. Boo. I could not believe what I saw on the floor. 4 large boxes labeled "REAL GOOD TOYS." 4 of the most affordable models right there in Hobby Lobby! And, get this...about 1/2 of the catalog price! I looked for the trademark Hobby Lobby sale sign, but there was none. There was also no 40% off coupon for the week. I filed this information in my brain under "I HAVE TO MAKE THIS WORK" and went home.

Two days later, the 40% off coupon came out in the Sunday paper. I had yet to discuss this with Brent. How do I tell this dear, patient man the plans I have for another crazy project? I dropped the kids off at school on Monday and headed to the Lobby. I really felt like the Vermont Farmhouse was the model for me. Cute little farmhouse with shutters and a front porch. I put it in my buggy and went to check out..oh wait...the coupon was sitting on my kitchen counter! SHOOT! I sulked all the way to the shelf and put the doll house back.

We had soccer that night and we had to take two separate cars. We ate a picnic supper afterwards and I told Brent and the kids that I need to run an errand on the way home and I would meet them there. Then I headed to Hobby Lobby, 40% off coupon in hand, and bought my Vermont Farmhouse. I left it in the van and didn't breathe a word of it.

I have 30 minutes from the time I get home from work until I have to pick up the kids from school. I rushed home Tuesday and unloaded the box from the van and took it to my bedroom. I opened it up to get the instruction book to read in car-rider line. Oh the pieces! The trims and the shutters and the flower boxes! It was all so pretty and such good quality. I was so pleased.

Brent came home and had to have seen this enormous box in his bedroom. He said nothing. All night. Not a peep.

On the way to work the next morning, I called him and asked if he saw it. His response was, "Well hello, Clark Griswold." (He gets a bonus in May and generously shares it with me and assumed that this was a bonus purchase with a bonus that we haven't gotten yet.) That's it. No questions, no nothing. That night, I was reading the instruction booklet for the 5oth time and he simply said, "I just didn't think doll houses were for grown-ups."

Now, the kids' response was a whole new kettle of fish. They were fascinated. The catalog that came with it was enough to keep them mesmerized for hours. Emily kept saying, "This is for you and me both, right??" I spent the next couple of days checking the pieces and making sure everything was there and labeling all the parts. I really needed to decide on paint colors first, so I did not get started right away. But, I couldn't wait to start my Vermont Farmhouse.


Becky said...

Why you always doggin' my dollhouse?

Elizabeth said...

Remember the windows were all warped? And we always got splinters when we played with it! Ha!

Becky said...

The joke's on you...I have the fireplace now, you know. Possibly the brass bed, too.

Jody said...

This is crazy, but I was looking for plans to build a doll house for one of my grands and this popped up. I am from Columbia...assuming SC, or is this Columbia TN. Used to live in Memphis, actually Germantown, but that was back in the early 50's. Y'all are much too young for those times. Just popped in to say hi, and thanks for the memories these brought back.