Saturday, 21 September 2013

Random Furnishings

During my last visit to my folks, we'd discussed an expedition into the Dark Unknown of the loft, in search of the furniture that had once occupied the rooms of the dolls house. When next I spoke to them on the phone, my mother had already been up in the loft and had retrieved the majority of the furniture in a couple of old ice cream tubs.

Aside from some of it being a bit dusty and dirty due to long storage in what seems to have been open containers, most of the stuff is in pretty good condition... but it's not exactly consistent. We have plastic items bought in shops, wooden items bought in other shops, some decent-looking 'upholstered' furniture, some lovingly hand-made stuff from one of the grandmothers, and some seriously cheap-looking plastic crap...
The bathroom suite, a strange 'chocolate and caramel' colourscheme, just had
to be seen 'in situ' to fully reveal its true horror. There was even a toilet roll
holder and little plastic cylinder wrapped in paper masquerading as the bog roll.
This is decent quality stuff... though the toilet lid and seat are a bit floppy.
Interesting features of this kitchen furniture: the tap on the sink is made of
metal and joins the worktop with a ball joint, so it can be very freely moved.
The washing machine has a geared drum - rotate the wheel on the side
(just about visible on the far left of the photo) and the drum will turn.
The oven... opens..? Not much of interest in there, to be honest.
The TV is an interesting bit of kit... The bulk of it is a hollowed out  block of
wood, with the front, back and stand made of plastic. The picture is a print
on paper which was lit by a tiny bulb passed through the back. Unfortunately
it was only held in place by sellotape, which had dried up and fallen off.
We did find the cable, plug and bulb, though, so we're going to 'upgrade' it.
Here we have the terribly crappy, cheap plastic furniture that really doesn't fit the
rest if the stuff we have... I mean, the wardrobe has drawers, certainly (one is missing!)
but the doors are solid, and it's hollow at the back! The bunk beds don't exactly
leave much headroom for the lower bunk, either...
A mixture of the wooden furniture, some of it more impressive than the rest.
Some of the drawers open, while others are fixed. The sideboard, for example
is all glued together. Interestingly, the book rack on top of it is filled with
tiny books which one can flick through. There's no print, obviously, but
it's a cool feature for a dolls' house nonetheless.
The 'upholstered' lounge suite has seen better days - compression in storage
means the cushions are at odd angles.
And, good grief, there was even a piano! The lid was once attached by a
rubber band, but that has long since perished and crumbled away. Might
be difficult to replace, too, since it was glued into place underneath a
of bits of wood on the interior. It's also lost its pedals but, in all other
respects, its in fairly good condition.
And in this cute little cot rests a little plastic baby, wrapped in (and glued into)
a little night dress. The face has become squashed and distorted (or maybe
it was always like that?) so it looks particularly ugly.
This bed and the duvet were hand-made by one of the grandmothers.
The duvet is perhaps a little large, but it was hand-knitted with some very
nice wool, and is in excellent condition. The bed is slightly warped, but still
looks pretty good... and, as you can see, it fits the existing figures well.
Along with this rather random treasure trove of proper furniture, there were all kinds of odd little plastic bits from the kitchen, a small miscellany of china and metal pots, kettles, vases, etc... and a truly bizarre selection of 'pets' - two china dogs, some (plastic?) cats made in varying degrees of realism, a couple of wooden mice, and even a plastic squirrel that had once been a pencil top.

We also found the whole family who had once 'lived' there, but I shall spare you photos of those, gentle reader... Naturally they're a little worse for age and wear, but they're also just plain weird. The 'parents' have gangly, barely humanoid bodies with large heads and tiny, chubby hands. The 'kids' don't scale very well, possibly because they came from different lines of dolls' house people, and they're painted in a rather disturbing way.

I'm not sure how much of this existing furniture - if any - will survive this refurbishment. I know we're going to try to fix up the TV and give it a new picture, and some of the stuff is in a good enough condition... but it might be more interesting to minimise the furniture and see how the niece wants to fill the place up.

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