Growing up, I was definitely a doll person. Barbies, paper dolls, I loved ’em all. I had baby dolls named Kenny and Pinky who despite their names, were both female and human. American Girl dolls were favorites of mine because they drafted in my love of books and celebrated precociousness.
It had an accompanying stable with horses. Perfect. These set-ups were so fun when I was a kid because the small dolls allowed me to create complex stories. It was easy to have 12 characters involved in a complicated plot line when each player was three inches tall and lived in the same house.
Then came the log cabin. This huge wooden house was even more special. I collected furniture for it over time, and each new piece felt like a real find. I still remember putting a mini piano in the house and thinking, “now we’re in business.”
Last summer, I found the old cabin in my garage and convinced my grandparents that we should restore it. After years of intensely imaginative play, the doll house was in rough shape. It looked sort of like I tried to crawl inside and roll around, taking out banisters and crushing furniture. I was basically an 8-year-old godzilla with a barrette.
Grandpa expertly rebuilt the railing and the front porch. Grandma and I re-stained everything, adding a red-orange roof for good measure. I loved working on this project together. Here’s a picture during the construction:
A year later, friends and family members are still gifting me tiny treasures for the house. Who knew how much fun it could be to receive teeny pots and pans?! A rotary phone?! Floral couches?! My dollhouse even has a dollhouse.
The dollhouse stays safe and sound in my grandparents’ basement, where they graciously agreed to let me store it. I visit it every once in awhile, adding new treasures as I come across them (and to decorate it for the holidays…).
No one is playing with this old house at the moment, but it still has serious imagination potential. Plus, it’s a pretty little thing, and we all need a weird hobby or two.