Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Double Fifty-Seven

Today is my birthday. It's not just any old birthday either. It's a doubles birthday. (Warning - Googling probably won't take you to a Wikipedia article for double birthdays, since I just made the term up.) I'm defining a doubles birthday as the one where your age is the same number as the year you were born. In my case this would be 57.

Alexandra came down over the weekend to help me celebrate. She knows me well, as you can see from the gifts she brought me - tea and brownies.


My other gift is something I have been wanting for ages. Of course, this being me, it isn't something that most people would consider to be on the normal end of the gift spectrum. It's not clothes (I only like practical, aging hippy attire), or shoes (hikers and runners pretty much cover my needs) or, heaven forbid, perfume (I think it should be made illegal). 

I have always been fascinated with miniature things. I think this love of all things miniature might have its roots in the charm bracelet I had when I was a girl. I love model railways. And when I'm at museums I'm always drawn to the dioramas. There's something about seeing a historical scene displayed in miniature that gives the rest of the display so much more meaning. I also love tiny knitted items like the ones from Mochimochi. I should point out that I only like looking at these. I'm not so keen on actually making them.

So I decided that since this was the year of my double birthday, this was also going to be the year I finally got a dollhouse. I didn't want to make a big investment since I'm not even sure I'm going to like this new hobby. There was no way I was going to spend hundreds of dollars getting started, only to have a half-finished project sitting in my house, making me feel guilty for the rest of my life. So I decided to start scouring sites like Kijiji and Ebay to see if I could find a deal.

For weeks there wasn't anything of interest. Then two weeks ago a listing came up on Kijiji for an already built dollhouse, and it was at a location only twenty minutes from where I live! It turns out the owner had built it for his mom, who had always wanted a dollhouse. She had passed away several years ago and it had been collecting dust in his basement ever since then. I couldn't believe it when I saw it. It was in almost mint condition! For just $50 I am now the proud owner of this dollhouse.



The only thing on the outside that needs attention is the chimney.


The inside needs quite a bit of updating. I plan on ripping out the carpet and putting in hardwood floors. I'm going to put up new wallpaper, and turn the upstairs loft into something useable.


Then the fun will begin - collecting all the miniature things I need to turn it into a "home." If it turns out I don't enjoy this new hobby I figure all is not lost. I will just hand the dollhouse over to Lucy. In the meantime, you will probably see the occasional dollhouse update on my blog.

Now for a double birthday giveaway! Since it's the Olympics I thought it would be fun to send out a pair of the Canadian Olympic Collection mittens to one of you.


And, since it's a double birthday, the winner will receive a double prize. The second item is a keyring with miniature mittens attached.


I will leave the contest open until next Tuesday. If you are interested in winning this bit of Canadiana just leave a comment on this post. And I do need to say, I have only just ordered these items today. According to the Hudson's Bay website they are still available and my order went through, but there is the slight chance they might already be sold out. In which case this giveaway ends up more like a double skunk. :-)

37 comments:

  1. Hi Kristie
    Happy double birthday - I like the concept (only I missed mine 2 years ago!) What a bargain you got with the dollshouse. I will enjoy seeing you fill it. I won't join your giveaway, but thanks for the opportunity.
    Dawn

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  2. Happy Birthday, Kristie! I had my "double" birthday 13 years ago so I missed out since this phenomenon had not been brought to my attention as yet. As for the miniatures, did you see my two posts recently on miniatures? I had "guest" dollhouses on my Blog--some really interesting links, too. One miniature enthusiast used popsicle sticks to make her hardwood floors.

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  3. Happy Birthday my friend haéfway around the world! I wish we would live closer, and I could help you with the dollhouse..

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  4. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Ah, I hope it's a wonderful year for you, full of lots of dreams met, time with family (Lucy!!) and only small potatoes trouble. I'm so glad you got the dollhouse, especially because it gives you so many opportunities to keep fulfilling your love of miniatures. Sending love and best wishes -- L

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  5. Happy Doubles Birthday! Your new toy is really cute! The hardwood floors and updates are going to look fantastic.

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  6. I like your double birthday. Alas, I passed mine years ago. Got my target on a triple birthday.

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  7. Happy Birthday to you! I love the dolls house and the way that you have renovation plans for it!! Please don't enter me in your giveaway, not because it isn't lovely, but I am not sure that I am a mittens person and they would be better off with another home I am sure! Looking forward to seeing out how the dolls house works out! xx

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  8. Happy, Happy. Love the idea of the dollhouse, have a friend that started about 10 years ago with one and now has 7 at last count, all finished differently. She now enjoys knitting for dollhouses more than anything else.

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  9. Happy Birthday!! And that is a super cute doll, I just love the little roof. I hoped you enjoyed the brownies :)

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  10. What a lovely doll house Kristie. It's nice when you're able to find something like that which you've always wanted. Happy double birthday! I guess mine is in another 5 years. Yay, go Canada!! We have been doing well in the medals so far, so let's keep it up!!

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  11. Happy birthday!!!! What an exciting gift! I love dollhouses and everything miniature too. Dioramas in museums are one of my passions, seriously. I can lose myself for hours in the diorama halls. I cannot wait to see more of your dollhouse. I hope you have a wonderful day.

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  12. Happy Birthday Kristie! That's a wonderful dolls house and a lovely present. I will look forward to seeing you fill up your new home. Sarah x

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  13. Kristie, if you go to Perpetua's site and follow her sister's blog ('It helps to fill the day') and look back a few posts, you'll see what she's been doing. A most splendid dolls house! You might find some ideas from her to add to your own. Yours looks really cute - I love the shape of the house itself. Happy 'double birthday' - mine was an awful lot of years ago (in fact, if my maths is correct, this year will be my triple birthday, having been born in '38)!! Your lot are doing rather well in Sochi, aren't they - more than can be said for ours, although the girls in our Curliing team were a bit spectacular this afternoon. But then, our climate isn't exactly designed for winter sports - we had about an hour of heavy snow here in mid-Wales this morning, but it's mostly gone now. More forecast for tomorrow - we'll be staying in, I think, as we've both got nasty coughs!

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  14. Have a lovely birthday Kristie! Your dolls house looks lovely I do hope you have lots of fun filling it! Love Penny L in Dorset U.Kxx

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  15. Happy Double Birthday! We are the same age!!!
    I love your doll's house. I never had one either .... I would love to renovate one just like that too x

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  16. Happy birthday again, cute dolls house, I'm sure Lucy will be happy to share when the time comes, have fun with it

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  17. Happy Birthday! I'm the same age too, within a few months. I've been collecting dollhouse furniture for a while but it's on display in a glass-fronted cabinet as I don't have a house yet (but I DO have a dollhouse Aga, just saying -- it was given to me a few years before I got the real thing. You'll have to get one!). I love that you plan to renovate your house. Have fun! There's lots of potential for 1/12th scale textiles...I even have a beautiful overshot rug that a weaver friend wove out of sewing thread. It's unbelievable! -- Ruth in Ontario

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  18. A Very Happy Birthday to you, Kristie - I was surprised, you look a decade younger! That is a gorgeous doll house, so many attractive architectural details. So exciting, to plan the renovations and I look forward to the updates, not to mention the fun of collecting furniture and decor. I never had one either, and like you, I enjoy little mini things. Happy to go in the draw for the mittens etc - I watched the Canadian pair ice skating (pink dress), and thought they were so exceptionally talented, even if the Russian couple beat them to 1st. Go Canada!!

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  19. Wow, happy birthday! I would never have guessed your age - you look much younger. Must be all the exercise.

    What a fantastic dollhouse - how fun to renovate in miniature and at much less cost than full-scale! Have you considered underfloor heating? :)

    P.S. Great giveaway, and I would love to be included.

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  20. How did it get to be February again already???? Happy Birthday Kristie! I hope you had a wonderful day. Hopefully there was a leftover brownie to be enjoyed today.

    Miniatures are very cool. My only experience with them in my youth involved the Monopoly game pieces. I hope you and Lucy will both enjoy the dollhouse for many, many years.

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  21. Happy Birthday Kristie! Brownies looked delicious!!!

    My son celebrates a triple this year, he is the age and the year - and on the day as well! (14-14-14) Kind of fun.

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  22. Happy Birthday. I too will have my double this year, when I turn 57 at the end of May. 1957 was an excellent vintage, I think, but then I would say that, wouldn't I...?

    Good luck with hunting for items for your dolls house. I have a large house The Husband and I built this year and virtually everything came off eBay as we live out in the sticks and have no specialist miniaturist shop nearby, but I have redressed most of the dolls myself with help from books and even taught myself to re-wig dolls the same way and by watching YouTube tutorials.

    You will be HOOKED in no time, I promise you, and $50 for that handsome house is a superb bargain. Well DONE!

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  23. Happy Birthday! When my Dad retired, he started making miniature furniture, which was absolutely lovely. Eventually, when our daughters came along, he decided to make a doll's house, which was still a work-in-progress when he passed away. We have it here now, and one day I hope they'll carry on with it and who knows, share it with their children.

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  24. Happy Birthday Kristie! Hope you've had the most wonderful day. Love your dollhouse, it's as pretty as a picture and how fun will it be setting it up. I'm enjoying the Olympics too, even though all this late-night viewing (for us down here) is making me extremely tired :-) Mel xxx

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  25. A belated Happy Birthday, Kristie! If you love miniatures, have you seen the vid of the woman who knit the sweaters for the movie Coraline? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wADZBNvA_s

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  26. Happy Birthday - I had my double three years ago 55. i don't ususally enter giveaways for yarn, because I have too much, but those mittens - yes please! Also, I have always wanted a dollhouse. Have you been to the Art Institute of Chicago? They have a whole section of dollhouse rooms that some wealthy person collected. It made me feel 9 years old again, in the best possible way.

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  27. Happy belated birthday!
    Love the miniature house.

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  28. Many happy returns!
    Following Helva's comment the latest link is here:
    http://ithelpsfilltheday-goldenoldenlady.blogspot.com/2014/01/oh-ok-then-you-have-some-photos.html

    I hope you have as much fun as she does.

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  29. Many Happy Returns of the Day!

    Anne

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  30. Happy double birthday, Kristie. 1957 was obviously a vintage year. I really love your gorgeous, characterful doll's house and you're going to have such fun refurbishing and furnishing it. I see you've already made the acquaintance of my baby sister and her Victorian doll's house. :-)

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  31. Happy doubles birthday! Mine is a few years away yet, but I'll be sure to make a big deal about it. ;0
    Glad you found a great deal close to home... enjoy your new hobby!

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  32. First a huge Happy Double Birthday to you. I love the doll house, what a great present to give yourself, and a bargain, think of how mush fun you are going to have with it. I believe I know a little girl in your life who might like it too when she gets a bit older. Count me in on the giveaway, my Mother was born in Canada, as was all of her family.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  33. Happy birthday Kristie, I'm a bit late but hope you had a wonderful day. Gosh I think my double birthday was about (oh goodness) 20 years ago!! I don't know where all these years go. I'd love to join your giveaway please, I just love those mittens. I'm really enjoying the Olympics and as for your dollhouse, its delightful. Have fun. Patricia x

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  34. Happy Birthday Kristie! I like your choice of present, the doll's house is going to bring you joy for a long time. I am really looking forward to following your renovation project. I bet the brownies were delicious. My double Birthday is ages away, 26 years and a nearly 4 months. Cx

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  35. Happy Birthday and welcome to the captivating world of miniatures. Endless endless joy.

    (I'll pass on the draw, thanks)

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  36. Happy Birthday! I love to wear items with Canada or Canadian symbols on them. Cool giveaway!

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  37. Happy Doubles Birthday! Would love to win. Bought an Olympics t-shirt from the Bay to watch the hockey wearing. Would love the mitts for cold, snowy Oakville, Ontario.

    Kelly P.

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