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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A One Day Mini Vacation.....

This morning Walter and I went to the Mini Time Machine . It was his first time. He was impressed. He had seen the old, much smaller museum at Pat's house, so this one was a surprise to him. It is huge compared to the old one.

It doesn't seem possible, but tomorrow is the one year anniversary of the opening.

We are not allowed to take photos, but I did purchase three postcards for you to see.

This first picture is the rotunda in the center of the museum. It has a domed ceiling and the stars in the sky twinkle. It is really beautiful. From there you get to the other rooms of the museum.

People go in there and just stand looking into the ceiling. It's amazing.

The second postcard is of a German Kitchen that I restored for Pat. When it was shipped in, it was not in good shape. It had been stored in a damp place and one end of the floor was about three inches off of the table. Can you say "Warped!"? I managed to get it back to level with a lot of work. Some of the wallpaper was also water damaged and I had to re draw whole panels of the paper because there are no papers like that around anymore.

It is a beautiful little working kitchen, about Barbie scale.

The little sink on the left side has a reservoir on the outside wall and when filled with water, the sink works.

The stove is the real prize. It seems that they used to let kids put candles in the oven and actually "cook" things. There was still melted candles in the oven the had to be carefully removed. There are quite a few of these kitchens that have survived. We found out, in our research that, as a general rule, the children were only allowed to play with these at Christmas time and then they were put away for the rest of the year.

The last house that I will show you was the oldest and hardest to restore. It is called the Daneway House. It is from England and was built in 1775. It's a year older than the US of A!

Unfortunately, when Pat got it, it had 8 layers of various kinds of paint on it. They all had to be taken down, one layer at a time. I spent a lot of time with my head in rooms full of paint remover.....No comments about brain damage and talking to five inch witches. Please?

We did find out that the nanny in wealthy families used to hand the kiddies a can of paint and a brush and tell them, "Go paint the dollshouse." That would keep them busy for a while. The thing that kind of makes this sound like the truth is.....The newest layer of paint in the kitchen was lemon yellow poster paint. That stuff is the worst to remove!!! Who knows how long that had been on there. Milk paint was farther down in the layers. That was like iron. It took forever and a lot of elbow grease to get that off. When I got to the bottom of the story, I found that it had once been stained a mahogany color, so that is what we went with for the restoration.

The two fireplaces had traces of faux marble on the surrounds. I put that back where it belonged.

Everything that you see in the house came with it. The dolls are probably a bit later than the house. They are made with carved and painted wooden heads and the bodies are wire, wrapped with thread. Even the individual fingers are wrapped.

The silver on the second floor side table is just that. And it even has maker's stamps on it. It is contemporary with the house.

You can't really see them,but there is a full set of miniature volumes of Shakespeare in the left room downstairs. The paper is tissue thin and they can be read!

Anyway, that was our morning. We took separate cars and I went to the miniature store from there. Walter just called me. He went to the top of Mt. Lemon. No snow....No skiing either.

I knew that I was going to be in trouble when I got back....I was right.

Tessie is in a snit. "Why didn't I get to go to the museum?"

I answered,"Tessie, you have already been to the museum. I didn't think that you would want to go again." OK. So I lied through my teeth. And, "I did stop by the mini store and I brought you a gift."

"It's a mouse with prickly skin!" she wailed.

I had Zar explain hedgehogs to her....I am not sure that she is convinced that there is such a thing. She is warming up to it......Slowly.

I think that she is going to foist it off onto Zar to take care of. She's going back to Geraldo. He is more her style of pet.

I am going to go see what's what with the lights in the townhouse. Enough stalling.

See you tomorrow.


nikkinikkinikki72 said...

I never get a chance to comment much but always check in on your blog.
What a beautiful museum and the minis inside too are amazing. You have such patience to have gone through all that restoration. But they are all worth it and look absolutely stunning.
I was reading just the other day that children had little kitchens they could really cook in with candles, although they were not miniature scale the ones i was reading about. They must have had such fun!
The entrance to the museum is amazing and would love to look up at that sky!
Nikki xxx

Ara said...

Thank you for the post card tour!! Looks like such a wonderful place! Your renovations are beautiful! -ara

The Old Maid said...

Beautiful restorations! Congrats on making the houses alive again!:)

Clara said...

Gracias por compartir tu visita al museo. Así no me lo pierdo.
Besos Clara