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Doll Talk's Miniatures by Stacey Torres

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The Coventry Cottage Renovation

This house is the epitome of miniature madness for me. It REALLY is my first house, although I finished The Brookfield first. I picked this (poorly) completed shell up from a Ben Franklin. It had been a floor model and was about to be demolished. I decided to take it home and renovate it myself as my initiation into miniatures. Since I knew (and mostly still know) nothing, everything as usual, is totally unorthodox in my undertaking, so purists, forgive me, but this house is strictly a FUN HOUSE!

This is really just a test photograph (I finally bought a new camera); so you really can't see much in this house. Complete pictures will be added during my progress (my DH says this house is regression for me, and since its housed in our bedroom, he skirts his way around it cautiously!). You can partially see the upstairs bath. The tub (a soapdish) is an eBay find. The blue armoire was a dollar store hutch that I painted, mirrored, and embellished with embroidered ribbon. There is a mirror (don't think it's visible in this picture) that I embellished with colored seashells. In the kitchen you can see a Michael's hutch bashed, and hung over the stove. The bowls and dishes inside are wooden ones you can get at any craft store. I painted them with red and black nail polish. The stove, fridge, sink, table & chair are embellished with rose stickers; cherry print scrapbook paper on the walls. The table cloth, is a square cut from a larger piece of fabric. I used fabric stiffener, and draped it on the table to dry. The ceiling is cotton fabric. My buddy, Sherry Glock should recognize some of the resin pieces she gave me in this house! In the living room, there's another Michael's hutch that I bashed with black enamel, embroidered ribbon and tiny mirrors (visible on the front); this is now an entertainment center. In the alcove, you can barely see a vintage dollhouse sofa that I reupholstered with embroidered ribbon and black enamel (I like ribbon). I made the two (working) ceiling lights in the kitchen and living room from condiment tubs from the pizza shop on the corner! Order extra cheese sauce - The one in the kitchen is covered in the same fabric as the ceiling; the living room chancelier has an African print fabric, covered with layers of beaded fringe. I've decided to roundwire this house, since it was already started. I'll just run the 2 ceiling lights (and maybe some upstairs fixtures) through extension cords, and out the back. Oh, the living room has rough plastered walls made from instant spackle. The floor is a vinyl peel-stick tile, cut to fit (well, almost to fit).

breezy.jpg

There's a diva (Ella) sitting in a Take-A-Seat chair having an animated conversation with an unfinished diva sitting on the floor (you can't see her). I forgot that on Thursdays the Diva Book Club meets at the Coventry Cottage for beer, snacks and gossip. I made a tray of snacks and beer, but I believe Mr. Buster borrowed them for his visit to see Tess (you had to have been there). Anyway, he promises to return it to me before the next photo session on Sunday! Ella is made from Super Sculpey. She has human hair and beaded eyes (not beady eyes, beaded eyes!)

This house represents an apartment I once had after my divorce from my first husband in the early 80's. It was housed in an old run-down Georgian in Indianapolis' Old Northside, now a historic area, of course. These houses were turned into apartments for students at the Herron School of Art nearby, and other Bohemians in the neighborhood. They were great fun! Mine was as eclectic as you can get. There was no rhyme or reason for any of the decorating touches, nor are there, or will there be in my Coventry Cottage.