Monday, June 28, 2010

Summertime and the living is easy

You could say... it's blissful. The East Coast
The Beach House
Most Bliss dollhouses were made around the turn of the century of lithographed paper.

But it really annoys me when people walk into my house and say "Oh, I really like your bird house!" and point to this Bliss Veranda house!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Summer of Love

Where were you in 1967? " 'Scuse me while I kiss the sky"  Jimi 

Our Victorian in San Francisco also lived through the summer of love 1967. Man there is always room for one more!
Good Day Sunshine! Some days were out of focus a little bit.

Credits: Dolls Fisher Price? current imports? but you know all dolls are welcome regardless of manufacturer. Beds Bozart, Conservatory contemporary, plants, granny rocker and white wicker chair Tomy, Caftan Blythe, poncho ebay artist, speakers Tomy. Antique lace crocheted rug.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

It was the Roaring 20's

Little Katie was no longer little and went by the new jazzy name Kay, She cut her hair and learned the Charleston. It was bathtub gin and Jazz clubs for her. Corsettes were a thing of the past!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

On a Hopeful note..

When I started this month's story of my Victorian dollhouse I was worried that it would not be of sufficient interest. I posted a picture of this row of Victorian houses in Alamo Square know as "the Painted Ladies of San Francisco" .
Today while going through pictures from 1906 I found this one of those very same houses.

How many disasters have we as humans survived, and I just want to send out thoughts of hope to our friends in the Gulf region of the United States today and to everyone else facing hardship at this time.

Thank you Rebecca, of Rebecca's Collection for giving the story  a real historical dimension. You can find her blog in the blogroll next to these posts. (My daughter just said, "Mom...really? Can't you hyperlink?
I said, "Sometimes...)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

They caught the ferry just in time and debarked in Oakland.

 Well, for heavens sakes! Aunt Agatha had the croup so the three guests did not feel they could proceed to the lecture at Berkeley. As it grew darker Aunt Agatha convinced the three to stay the night as she was feeling poorly.
At 5:12 AM everyone was jolted from their beds. Katie was actually thrown off the couch in the livingroom onto the floor. An earthquake began that continued with several after shocks.
The women were assisted by Aunt Agatha's caretaker, and the wooden house shook but not being made of brick, it held together with the timber passing off the tremors.

As they stood on the porch in Oakland only when they saw plumes of black smoke rising above downtown San Francisco did they become alarmed.
Ferry service was suspended as all ships sailed to aid the devestated city

Go to  .  for San Francisco Virtual Museum of the City of San Francisco for pictures of the City and refugee tent cities in Golden Gate Park and the Presidio.

The day before the Great Earthquake of 1906

Stereoscopic view of the San Francisco Ferry Building. from
View looking west to San Francisco from Berkeley at the turn of the century. Notice the absence of the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges

"Katie! How could you" said Charlotta. "Now we are too late to take the Car to Carmel." Katie replied out of breath "I'm sorry, I forgot!"
Carolena was suprised for very seldom did the mother and daughter have words. Though she was tired she spoke up, "Well good, then we have time to catch the ferry to Oakland and go with your Aunt Agatha to a lecture at that new school in Berkeley!"
Neither Mother or daughter wanted to see Aunt Agatha THAT much, but Katie loved being on the water, and Charlotta was interested in seeing the new college. "OK, let's see if we don't miss THAT ferry" agreed Charlotta slightly peeved

Historical note about the San Francisco Ferry Building from

Brown included a 245-foot-tall clock tower modeled after the 12th century bell tower in the Seville Cathedral in Spain to serve as a welcoming beacon on the Bay. Construction was started in 1896, and the Union Depot and Ferry House—quickly shortened by public use to the Ferry Building—received its first scheduled arrival in July 1898. Passengers off the boats passed through an elegant two-story public area with repeating interior arches and overhead skylights. At its peak, as many as 50,000 people a day commuted by ferry.

(A.Page Brown, architect of the Ferry building tragically never got to see his completed building as he was thown from his horse and died in 1896. I love my car) C

Monday, June 14, 2010

Dual posting...

Dual posting... ok with MYSELF! Why? I wanted to share my logo for my other blog with you, Left Coast Mini.

Why a logo... for fun. I used Hatchwise as Call Small suggested and it was so much fun. There are a lot of creative people out there!

When I told the designer I wanted something representing Northern California, ( and I can see the bridge from my studio). I said I wanted something edgy... like close to the edge of design. BUT I wanted to make sure it didn't look like I was ready to go over... it says "as close to the edge as I can get..." 

I need to play with color, Orange maybe. I don't know... who knows where anything leads?  xoxo C

Oh P.S. I am feeling kindly to Carolena and family (today) and will resolve their dilemma shortly. :) C

Friday, June 11, 2010

The day before the Great Earthquake of April 18th,1906 San Francisco

It is April 17th, 1906. Charlotta waits anxiously for her daughter Katie to return from High School in the City, They are going to make a special trip to Carmel, a little colony by the sea to visit an artist friend. If Katie is late they will miss the connection to the car they are taking. Charlotta wants her mother Carolena to come too, but she says she prefers to stay home and rest.

Arnold Genthe's famous picture of looking at the fire from Market Street

Arial photographs taken by kite weeks later showing the devastation of the city.
There are many links about this disaster. Wikipedia, California Historical Society and the Library of Congress even has movie footage of the aftermath.  C

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The turn of the century

The turn of the Century was an optimistic time. Cars, planes, telephones were being developed. Cable cars began to give way to electric trolleys. Bicycles were all the rage AND every historical account mentioned how great it was not to have horse manure in the streets!
Food was more plentiful in Califonia than the rest of the country because of the climate and the Central Valley. Women were freed from the burden of sewing all the clothes for their families
by new readymade clothing in stores. People ventured out of their homes for entertainment. Golden Gate Park was considered the Disneyland of it's day. Katie Van Ness went there as often as she could cajole a family member to take her.

With Opera, Theater and burgeoning public arts projects, San Francisco dared to call itself the Paris of the West.

This is the Kitchen in the Victorian house.

The cook is grumpy and bullies the maids. Not every room in a house is a happy one.
I am not inspired by this room. It has old 1970's version of victorian wallpaper and small yellow tiles one the floor which makes the house heavy. It needs a stove appropriate to the era and the sink it too new, I think sometimes it is best to leave a room fallow and wait for another person to come along when they are inspired to redo it. I like the dolls, especially the maid's costumes.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Variations on a theme. Come on in the water's fine!

Nicola, you inspired me! Bring your suit! Thank heavens we don't have to wear bloomers anymore. On the other hand with my figure It might not be such a bad idea. This is the pool to the Marx 1950's colonial house. I think it would hold water, but mostly it collects dust!

I hope those teenagers are watching the children carefully.

So dive already, we're watching!

I love miniature pools. How about the one that was supposed to go with the K house? Like a shark tank in the Hamptons. See it here from Mini Modern's blog .
There was this killer one mini Dork showed a while ago, she tells me it's here 3/4 down the page. Love you new blog, Mini!

I think Paris Renfroe shows a newer one in his new collection. If you know where it is please tell me. Love the modern mosaic ones in the newer Lundby houses. The heat is on! C

Thursday, June 3, 2010

I agree wholeheartedly with Pubdoll who said,

(Illustration from New England Miniature's blog about Victorian Interiors.)
Victorian houses are boring for the most part. I thought so and I think current opinion agrees. One reason is because the Victorian style is overdone. Just the opposite of what we like today (Hello Ikea). Another is because they are just so hackneyed. ( ya gotta love that word...) BUT this may change.

Though I have visited New England Miniature's site for years I just started reading their new blog. If you go to it is where they discuss Victorian interiors. I found it amazing. There is information about every aspect of Victorian life taken from historical documents. We know it was the time of the Industrial Revolution and growth in the Sciences with the discovery of germs. I learned that the reason canopy and curtained bed styles disappeared (like in the Colonial dollhouse) was because the Victorians realized they were dirty and began to turn to fresh air and wooden and metal framed beds without drapery.
I also like the social information I learned there such as that servants were not trusted and EVERYTHING was kept under lock and key. Visit the website for much more facinating information. It is changing my appreciation for this month's dollhouse.

You are probably familiar with The History of Dollhouses complied by Jennifer McKendry. It is a pictoral guide to dollhouses from 1890 to 1990. It is my Bible for buying antiques. Jennifer if you are out there THANK YOU!!!!
I have spent many hours lost in the incredible illustrations and pictures.
She has beautiful illustrations like this.

and this of the McLoughlin cardboard folding house from 1980. I had these in my side bar then realized I wanted to keep them forever with the posts.
Perhaps Katie Van Ness played with one of these! Cheers CM

I wanted to save this picture of Italianate style Victorian houses in San Francisco and I think my Italianate dollhouse could benefit by more detail on the trim. Add to to do list...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

And what about Carolena?

She grew to love living in San Francisco and joined the new Opera Guild.

She heard Charlotta calling from the garden and went to the window. She called to Katie to get down and come to the upstairs salon.

Grandmother Carolena reminded Katie that today was their visit to the Conservatory of Flowers.

Katie loved the exotic plants.
The Conservatory was started in 1878 and by the 1990's had a thriving collection of plants.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Charlotta is all grown up now and guess who she married?

I guess Clyde eventually must have made a good impression on her as when he asked her to marry him, she said yes!

She is now Mrs. Clyde Van Ness of San Francisco.

And who is this peeking over the front steps? It is their daughter Katherine Charlotta Hacker

Mascabesa Van Ness!

I need to put a patina on the wall behind the couple.

It should look old, perhaps with some ivy curling up it. Oh well... put that on my to do list!

"Get Down, Katie"

Goodbye to Grandmother Mascabesa and young Carolena. They are back in the female doll basket.

Grandfather is back in the male doll basket with that scoundrel Fillipo.
Sailor suit and pink dress Charlotta are stored in the box of children and body parts.