Posted in diorama, Olive, On Our Own, roombox

Creating 1/4 scale flooring for $4

After going round in circles for while figuring out how to make a realistic-looking treehouse floor, I finally stumbled on something that seems to be working.

For something to work for me, it needs to be:

  • Easy
  • Cheap
  • Realistic-looking

I’d dismissed the stick-on parquet tiles, because I doubted the girls would install parquet floors in the treehouse, but once I found a grey, weathered parquet floor, I realized I could change it into weathered boards with a few snips.

Here’s part of a vinyl parquet floor tile I picked up at Home Depot for $0.89.

It doesn’t look right in scale as it is, but you can easily cut along the lines using pruning shears (my cutting tool of choice).

And then clean up along the edges using a utility blade.

And then lay out the individual pieces on a solid piece of wood.

And it looks like some old planks of weathered wood that the girls might have found.

Here’s Olive working on laying out the floor.

And here she is relaxing (in a way cool $10 chair from WalMart on top of a $1 placemat from Goodwill)

Covering the whole 21 x 21″ piece took four pieces of parquet flooring, so about $4 altogether.

For 1/6 scale dolls, I recommend the vinyl oak parquet flooring tiles. Here’s one in red oak next to the tile I used:

The wood pieces are much smaller, and the less weathered look is more appropriate for indoor flooring.

I’m really happy with my solution, and I think I’ll start using the 1/6 scale flooring to create some of my second draft rooms for the Mia Fiorello girls.

Posted in doll photography, Dollhouse, Fashion dolls, miniature photography, Photography, roombox, Rosie, toy photography, Wildflower dolls

Rosie is the brains of the adventure

And, we’re back. Lovely week off seeing my family, dancing at a wedding, and all-in-all having a great time.

We’re to the point in the plot where everyone-who-isn’t-Camellia shares a single episode. In the one I’m working on now, Lily and Daisy are rushing around looking at tide-tables and maps trying to figure out what island Camellia could have gotten to, while Rosie is (apparently) dumping piles of flour on her floor.


Which seems like an odd thing to do. But, it turns out, Rosie has an idea about what all those objects in her cupboard are for:

We’ll see how much she’s able to figure out when I finish the episode on Friday.

Posted in Characters, Daisy, diorama, Dollhouse, Fashion dolls, roombox

Daisy’s room ‘o foam ‘n photoshop

The impermanence of Daisy’s current life is written all over her room. Where Rosie has metal and wooden furniture filled with bits of her life, Daisy’s space is all flimsy foam furniture and empty cupboards.


The most obviously flimsy part of her room is the lack of a second wall. I have the materials to put a wall behind her desk (including the 24 inches of carefully cut and painted beadboard), but I just couldn’t be bothered putting it together.


That was a foolish time-savings, on my part, since I spent more time photoshopping in the missing wall then I would have spent creating an actual wall.

Here’s the real view from Daisy’s desk:


and the very fake photoshopped in wall:

annie in photoshop

The desk itself, while nice enough, is also made of foamboard. It’s the remnant of an earlier time (e.g., a month ago) when I was more careful about creating elements for her room. Now, I’m so impatient to get her on her way that I can’t even glue a few beadboards onto some foamboard.

Her window seat is also foamboard:


And her rug is a piece of felt from the local crafts store.

She does have one real piece of furniture – a wooden wardrobe (probably a jewelry box) from Goodwill:


But I didn’t even fix up the shelves for this shoot, and I left the scrapbook paper hanging by a pin behind it.

The *real* action in Daisy’s room is all the stuff piled to the side.


These are all of the characters and accessories from upcoming episodes, including a mysterious stranger in sunglasses.


Meeting that stranger will start her adventure. She’ll pack her suitcases (now carefully stored away with her travel clothing) and leave all this foamboard and photoshop behind.


Posted in Daisy, diorama, Dollhouse, Fashion dolls, My Doll Adventure, Photography, roombox, Wildflowerdoll Ruby

My Doll Adventure 07: Daisy and the mysterious photos

Daisy returns from her shooting the sky photo shoot and begins printing photos and paging through her photo album.







Daisy on laptop





annie in photoshop


Daisy and her photos 2

Daisy and old photos



Rosie holding old photo of daisy




Daisy holding young photo with writing






Rosie holding old photo of nanna









Rosie holding old photo of nanna - secret magnified

Rosie with writng on back of nonna photo

Daisy and newspaper article








newspaper clipping

First shoe dropped. The second shoe will drop next month when Daisy meets a mysterious stranger and her adventure begins in full.

I’ve avoided using words within the story, but the central mystery is complex enough that I finally had to throw a few of them in there.

One wall I’m now banging up against is that I really want something more like a comic book format where you can easily add small panels together and define the flow in a more naturalistic way. I’m just accepting that that’s one skill too many at the moment, but it seems to be what the adventure needs to be less clunky in the storytelling.

A question to those that are following. Did today’s adventure make sense? Does it make clear where Daisy’s journey is going to take her?

Posted in Characters, Fashion dolls, roombox, Rosie

Building a room for Rosie

Rosie’s room has a floor and two walls, so let’s call it done.

Here’s a quick tour through the room.


The central element in the room is the bed underneath the casement windows – this is where most of the adventuring begins and ends. After building the casement window frame, I did the final attachment with a few small, headless map pins. The windows work – they swing out, and they stay closed when closed. I didn’t end up putting in plastic panes for the window glass, because I figured I would just get it dirty with finger prints. In most shots of the room, I end up photoshopping in the scene outside the window.

The bed is part of a set of doll house items from Ikea. I made bed linen – underneath that blanket, there are sheets and a mattress – and a few pillows. The felted bear is from my sister, Melanie, and I made the tiny sewn elephant. I just got the foam play rug from Aliexpress, but it didn’t make it in time to appear in this weeks adventure. Underneath the rug are two 12 x 12 wood laminate tiles from Home Depot.


To the left of the bed is a matching blue wardrobe (part of the same set from Ikea), and a plastic table and chairs, also from Ikea. I have a map of the hundred acre woods on the wall. Also on the wall, again just barely visible, is the fruit of my hours and hours of work creating beadboard. It turns out that one puts things against the walls, so it makes very little sense to spend much time on the *bottom* on the wall. Ah well, live and learn. The walls are otherwise covered in scrapbook paper, which took me about 10 minutes to prepare.


To the right of the bed are a few of my many Goodwill finds (the armoir, jointed rabbit, and teddy bear with blocks). On the wall is a painting I adore from Amber Alexander (on Etsy), who was very gracious about letting me use her art (in tiny form) for my photographs. Forgive the shadows in this shot. I was just too darn lazy to set up the lighting.


Finally, there’s a toy box (who knows what it was originally, another Goodwill find), filled with tiny toys. I have no idea where I got most of these, but they’re just perfect for Rosie.


Right outside the room, backstage, are the cast of characters waiting for their next scene. I love the optics of the big dog (official name, Scruffy) and Rosie, but he’s just too darn big to fit in the room unless I move the furniture around. Maybe they’ll play in the yard.¬† Melanie’s much smaller felted dog is Rosie’s dog for indoors.


This is what the whole setup looks like. That’s Daisy, downstairs, prepping for her November adventure. You’ll see her October adventure next week. Upstairs, Lily is waiting, along with some felted animals who I needed to rescue from my cat.


I’ll be adding some more elements to Rosie’s room for her December adventure. Come back and visit then.

Posted in Characters, diorama, Dollhouse, Fashion dolls, My Doll Adventure, roombox, Rosie, Wildflowerdoll Rosie

My Doll Adventure 06: Rosie’s Doll Adventure, Part 1

Rosie’s first real adventure begins, quietly enough, with trains, dolls, and a bedtime story.









Rosie and toys 2







Rosie and her dolls 2


Rosie and uncle 2




Rosie and the lonely doll



Rosie and the loney doll 2





Rosie is a doll












Rosie is a doll 2






Rosie is a doll 3








Rosie is a doll 5

and then . . . to be continued in about 4 weeks when we return to Rosie’s story.

First, great news! I managed to reattach the head of the severed-head doll so that she can star in this adventure as Rosie’s doll self. More about that in Wednesday’s post. Many thanks to Dovile from DovileDollart for creating an absolutely lovely doll.

Second, I am amused to no end at the idea of a doll turning into a doll. My (oh my god so patient) husband seriously considered my quandary of whether to make one of Rosie’s dolls “real” or to turn Rosie into a doll. And he never laughed, even once. In the end, I turned Rosie into a doll. But, more on that on Wednesday.

I’ll write a bit about creating Rosie’s room on Friday. It’s still not really held together, but it’s real enough for Rosie and far more satisfying then posing poor Rosie on a floor tile in the photo cube.












You might wonder who that is under the top hat. He’ll be back in some of Rosie’s other stories, and his relationship will become clear then. But, the doll itself is based on James Franco in Oz, and I bought him just to get the tiny China doll that appears on the floor in the photo above. Once I took him out of his tophat and tails and put him in a nice turtleneck, he looked very sweet, so I let him join the cast.










Adding a male doll (even as an accessory, as in this case) is big news in doll land, which is almost entirely female with the exception of this doll and Generic Bob. I’m sure there’s lots of psychological depths one could plumb on this topic, but I’m going to stick to the story that girl dolls are just cuter :).



  • Rosie is the creation of Andrea Meyer of Wildflower dolls. If a doll can be a muse (and, I’d argue, it can) Andrea creates muses.
  • Rosemary (in yellow flowered dress) is from DovileDollart . Her work is amazing – each doll handcrafted from scratch.
  • Plastic dolls (4″ China doll and James Franco doll) from Jakks Pacific
  • The Lonely Doll is a real book that we had as kid, written by Dare Wright.
  • Tiny felted dog and felted white teddy bear from my sister, Melanie Allen.
Posted in Characters, Dollhouse, Fashion dolls, roombox, Rosie

A casement window for Rosie

Rosie is the only doll who doesn’t get to travel the world – so I wanted to be sure that the world could come to her. In her story, it flows in through open casement windows. She sleeps under the open windows, and, every night, some new adventure creeps in and rests on her pillow, beckoning her to follow.

So, she needs windows – big windows – that can stand open and let in an adventure on the night air. Rosie would just conjure them up, out of gossamer and dreams. I had to rely on strips of tiny trimmings, a miter box, and a lot of Aleene’s tacky glue.

I don’t know if you’ve ever really looked at a window – I hadn’t. It’s made up of many¬† distinct parts, which all have names. None of which I can recall. Instead, I’ll just show you what I’m doing.

First, there’s a frame all the way around the inside that runs perpendicular to the wall. Something like this:


No one is every going to see this piece, so you can join the wood together in whatever inelegant fashion you like. I’m using a butt joint, which just means that I’m gluing the end of one piece to the face of another piece, like this.


Also, again since no one can see it, you can use any kind of cheap wood you want. One word of advice, which came hard-earned for me – don’t use balsa wood on this piece if you’re planning on making casement windows. You have to drive a pin through the wood (to serve as a rotating point for the windows) and the balsa wood will split at the pin hole.


Any real, soft wood – like basswood – will work fine. Here it is, again, this time in basswood.


Next is the window piece itself – the thing that hold the window pane. There’s a very elaborate way of doing this, if you’re ever going to view the window from the outside, which gives you a clean look on both sides. However, no one every looks in Rosie’s window, so I instead went with my very favorite discovery – something called “tiny trimmings” which they sell for around $2 a yard at my local home depot. Here’s my current store of the stuff.


You can get these in all kinds of different trim – elaborate decorated trim, or rounded shapes – but I just needed a simple angle piece that would create an open space in back where I could glue in the window pane.

Since this piece *is* visible, you want to put nice joins on it. I only know one way to do this – with a miter box and 90 degree angles – like this


Here it is, drying in the frame, with a bunch of craft sticks stuck in to keep the glued edges tight.

For some reason, the angles required for these cuts are beyond my ability to reason. I have no idea why but, every time I cut one of these pieces, I do it wrong three times before I do it right. My head actually physically hurts while I’m trying to figure it out. You’d think I was solving the mystery of the universe instead of putting 4 little pieces of wood together. Here, for your amusement, are an assortment of laughably wrong attempts.

This piece, for example,


would work perfectly if the final window were to look like this.


This piece


is cut right only if the pane forms some kind of mobius strip


and this one . . .


I can’t even imagine in what situation this one might be useful and it makes my head hurt to think about it.

Eventually, you should end up with something like this. Two windows ready to be attached to the frame.


For reasons I can’t explain, I’ve left an enormous gap on both sides. It was supposed to be 1/8 ” – just big enough for the windows to swing open. Instead, I appear to have left a much larger gap on both sides.


For this reason, I have to make the last piece – the trim – extra especially wide in order to cover up these ridiculous gaps. Normally, you’d have the trim overlap the join to the wall, since that’s where the gap normally is. But, instead, I’m having it overlap the inside of the window so that I don’t have to redo my windows.

I’m using the miter box again, to get my 90 degree angles. Since this piece of wood is flat, I have less opportunity for mistakes, but I do appear to have gotten the length entirely wrong.



This is really puzzling, to me, because I measured the thing four ways from Sunday before cutting it. All I can figure out is that I measured the distance to the bottom of the cut instead of the top. Anyway, there’s no way I can see to fix this – the thing is just way too long. So, I’m going to have to cut the bottom off of it and just reglue that piece with a butt joint instead of my miter cut joints.

There’s a few last steps that I’m not going to show (because I haven’t completed them yet). I have to cut a clear piece of thin plastic to use as window panes, and I need to attach the windows to their hinges. With any luck, all of that will be done by the time Rosie has to go out her window.


* Rosie is the creation of Andrea Meyer of Wildflower dolls. If a doll can be a muse (and, I’d argue, it can) Andrea creates muses.