A couple months ago, I discovered that there was a dollhouse museum in Bennington, Vermont. We weren't able to get there last time we were in that area, but this time I made a point of it. The museum is only open officially for a couple hours a week, but we called ahead and it was opened up early just so we could visit!
Jackie, the owner and creator of the museum, was excited to find that I also build dollhouses and create miniature worlds, and she was eager to share some of her techniques and knowledge with me.
It's basically an entire house that houses a huge collectionThere are a wide variety of dollhouses available to view, in different scales and sizes and ages and themes. They range from fairy houses made of tree bark to grandiose Victorian houses with electric lights.
There is one particular little house I want to highlight now, because it connects my love of dollhouses to my other passions: history, children's literature and art created from found/upcycled materials.
This house was created by the artist Esphyr Slobodkina.
Maybe that name doesn't jump out at you, but most people are familiar with her picture book Caps for Sale.
Once I said that I work in a library, she brought me right over to this house and gave me a little tour of it.
I love incorporating non-traditional items into my dollhouses because it makes the hobby much more affordable, and it also shows newcomers how accessible it is. Not everyone has the tools to create a house with all the trimmings, and not everyone has the skill to transform a unremarkable wood kit into an elaborate Painted Lady, but there are alot of other options which have just as much imagination and charm. This little house has a bed made from clothespins, a stove cut from a tin can and kitchen chairs made from plastic caps and hair pins. The occupants are a family of mice, and the house is adorable.