You are probably wondering why we haven’t finished the kitchen or shown any progress photos. We have a really good reason.
Toward the end of October Atom & I were talking about what we wanted to get the kids for Christmas this year and making lists for shopping etc. Every year we get each child one “big” gift from us and then the smaller gifts are from Santa (although our boys had “the realization” this year but promised to not spoil it for their sister.) We wanted to get our daughter something that she would be able to play with for years to come and something that would be meaningful. Then it came to me. My dollhouse. When we were packing up our old house in San Diego, my parents had given us some boxes from my childhood that were in their attic. One of those boxes contained a complete dollhouse kit that had been untouched since it was given to me on Christmas morning in 1991 when I was 9 years old. My older sister and I both got these elaborate dollhouse kits and my dad had full intentions of putting them together. He literally got about 1/16th of the way through putting my sisters dollhouse together before throwing in the towel. We weren’t upset about it at the time and had other dollhouses to play with so there wasn’t any resentment at all. Promise. The boxes lived in the attic for the next 26 years until we moved.
I asked Atom what he thought about putting the dollhouse together for our daughter for Christmas. He said it sounded like a great idea. He could work on it at night here & there after she went to bed upstairs in the “Egypt” room & could easily get it done before Christmas.
Famous. Last. Words.
The egypt room up on the third floor became the dollhouse building room and Atom quickly realized he was in for quite the task.
This dollhouse kit wasn’t just an easy “glue it together & paint” type of kit. Nope. Not in the least. This was a THOUSANDS UPON THOUSANDS of pieces that were meant for the expert level hobbyist that would probably normally take a solid year to put together. Major props to my dad for even considering trying to assemble this thing when I was 9. Holy cow! There was no way he would of had time back then with working full time and then building TWO of these things?! No way.
Once Atom realized everything that was going to go into this thing he was committed and the renovations slowed to a crawl. So he got to work.
There were eighteen 2 foot by 3 foot planks of wood that had to have all of the sides and hundreds of smaller pieces of wood punched out of them. Then each piece of wood that was punched out had to be hand sanded, and either primed and painted or stained and sealed. There were over 100 individual slats of hardwood flooring that had to be laid down & glued into place, sanded, stained and sealed. 400 individual wood roof shingles that had to be individually glued into place.
Atom was really clever & took our daughter to the hardware store & asked for her “advice” about paint colors. He said he needed her help picking out some paint that she liked that she thought mommy would also like. He said she pointed at a paint swatch with 3 varying muted pinks that were perfect for the Victorian theme. Easy peasy.
I spent many hours up in the Egypt room with Atom keeping him company & helping move clamps around etc. But I take zero credit for any of the work. It was 100% his doing. The details are absolutely amazing. The creators of the dollhouse are something else! There are glass panes on the windows & doors and all of the doors & windows open & close and were individually assembled. Every single wood embellishment on the interior & exterior was individually glued into place. The bricks were a powder that Atom had to mix and paste onto a stencil. This part was an issue because it was so old and will need touching up which isn’t a big deal since Atom is an artist.
Atom worked every day on the dollhouse all the way up to Christmas Eve night when we were glueing the final shingles onto the roof and giving it a dusting of glitter (her favorite thing) and adding the last few pieces of crown molding before carefully carrying it downstairs and setting it next to the tree with a giant bow on top.
I had an old box of wooden dollhouse furniture from when I was little that Atom was able to use wood glue & repair & we also gave that to her on Christmas morning. When she woke up and saw the dollhouse she was absolutely beside herself. She was jumping up & down and couldn’t wait to play with it. She has played with it every single day since Christmas. It will be something she will treasure and pass down to her children someday and she will be able to tell them it was a gift that her Pappy bought for her Mama and her Daddy put it together for her.
How cool is that?
Now that the holidays are over, IT’S KITCHEN BUILDING TIME!