Passion Projects

Roll top desk in dollhouse.

What’s your approach? Like when you have a project – or a hobby? How much do you do yourself? How much do you flex your creativity muscle? How much do you pay others to take care of some part of it?

I recently paid five dollars to attend the miniature show here in St. Louis. I was expecting to see some displays, visit some booths selling miniature items, and perhaps attend a class. I wanted to learn about lighting options for the dollhouse I am renovating. I thought the show would fuel the passion I already have for dollhouses.

Now, when I looked at the website beforehand, I didn’t see any classes offered. So, unless something was added at the last minute, I thought any classes were pretty much out. Even so, I still wanted to attend.

At the event, I did see a couple of displays, but it really wasn’t much of anything. Just a house or a room here or there. There certainly wasn’t a section of exhibits. Mostly, the Miniature Show was just a room full of tables with different businesses selling their miniatures or supplies.

Perhaps I sound disappointed. I did enjoy looking at the items. Many – or most – were pretty expensive; although, the items were impressive – with all kinds of tiny ornate details. And there were some inexpensive items, too.

Patio Set – Just needs a patio!

I did buy a resin patio set for five dollars. It was such a deal; I couldn’t pass it up. Other than what looked like a few leftover packages, I didn’t find much on lighting. Although, I did talk with one local miniature business about lighting options. She told me to find what I wanted online, and then she could order it for me. Now why would I do that? She did say she could help me with the design of it.

Now this same shop was selling miniature stained glass windows. I loved these! The cost for one small window was about $120. Now you know, I’m not spending that! However, she did say she was going to offer a class in the Spring on how to make these. Now that’s something I could get into. I might take the class in the Spring, or I might just watch Youtube videos. Either way, for right now, these miniature stained glass windows are just going to remain an idea filed away in my brain.

Dollhouse kitchen ready for redo
Ready for Renovation!

I also got excited when I saw a miniature red Kitchen Aid mixer – just like the real one I have! It was about sixteen dollars. Though I’ve done the demo on my dollhouse kitchen, I haven’t even begun the process of rebuilding it. So, having a kitchen counter to put the mixer on is a long way off. I decided to wait on this purchase. It can be a “reward” when I get to that point. The miniature mixer can be the icing on the cake! Ha ha!

Even though I love dollhouses, I don’t think I’d attend another miniature show – unless it had more offerings – like displays and classes. Overall, it ranked pretty low on the “Betty Excitement Scale.” That “Excitement Scale” is how I determine what I’m going to spend my time and money on. After all, those resources are limited. Especially at my age – and with all my interests. I could do a whole post just on my ideas for creative projects I hope to do someday!

I just don’t get excited about buying stuff for my dollhouse. Anybody can do that. All that takes is money. I get excited about the creative process of it. Making siding from vinyl blinds. Even better if the blinds are being recycled or bought from a Goodwill store. I get excited about fixing the furniture I made from a kit forty years ago. I’m jazzed about adding lights to a chandelier I made from fish hooks and beads those same forty years ago.

I’m currently rebuilding the stair’s railings and spindles – which is a very tedious and difficult process. And while it would, without a doubt, look better if I just bought the railings and spindles, I just can’t do that. Yes, it would cost a pretty penny, but that’s not the issue. The whole issue is the joy of being creative, and when my project is done, looking back on it with deep satisfaction knowing I made that.

Roll top desk in the library

For my dollhouse furnishings, I’m hoping to reuse and refurbish the items I have from long ago. I’ll add a few new pieces I make or buy – like the roll top desk I bought in Dallas when I was with my son, Michael. For ideas about design or how to do something, I’ll rely on YouTube and one of my favorite Facebook groups “Dollhouse Miniatures Including Trash to Treasure and Found Items.” The creativity in this group is off the charts.

I did leave the Miniature Show with a renewed resolve and passion. It just wasn’t the kind they were selling.

16 comments

  1. I love that you prefer to create as much as possible, Betty. That’s so much more satisfying to my way of thinking, I did lots of hand crafted things many years ago. Now, my creative passion is photography, photo editing and slide shows. I will pay good money on highly recommended workshops that teach me how to hone my craft. I can relate to “Betty’s Excitement Scale” . I have a similar gauge, but have never named it 😊 Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your photos are truly works of art! And I agree about the workshops or classes. I place a high value on continually learning – something – really anything! The benefits of a workshop/class are many and long lasting. Our passions also have so many benefits – one of which is that our passions give us energy! Thanks for your comment, and I hope you have a great day!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think your creative journey on this project is wonderful! I You Tube most and love a book store. Finds are found on Etsy too, don’t pass that by. What you can’t find pick up some polymer clay and play 😊. Also, some garden stores have miniatures. Have fun. Its all in the hunt.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I’ve thought about polymer clay. I would have to take a class or learn somehow. It’s definitely a possibility someday. My son and his wife gave me a great dollhouse book that I refer to, as well. Enjoy your day!

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  3. Honestly, I can’t see you buying a thing not when you can create it yourself. You have that gift that few have, the gift of seeing “what can be” just by looking at an item. I admire you for that. The dollhouse is a prime example. Keep up the awesome work with it. And have a super weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! You don’t know how many times I pass something out for the trash, and I want to stop and “redo” it. But my other half doesn’t have my vision. Plus, I know I only have so much time, energy – and storage! Thank you for your compliments. Now, that traveling is almost over for the year (one more short trip), I hope to make more progress on the dollhouse. I hope you have a super weekend, too, my friend.

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  4. I’m not much of a dollhouser myself but really enjoyed this, Betty. Your message of creativity and passion extends far beyond the specifics a particular hobby and that really comes through in this. You left me feeling inspired – thank you 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • I really appreciate your very nice comment. This is the kind of comment that really encourages me to keep writing – as my words mean something positive for someone else. Thank you for letting me know.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Good to see the passion is still burning for the dollhouse project. Shows are for selling — whether it be a car show, boat show, RV show, Home Show, or Dollhouse Show. Some do it better than others.

    I go to shows to see what’s new and get ideas, usually not to buy. Sometimes I do though, mostly at our local tool show.

    If you gain just one idea, then it was worth the time. Happy days and safe travels.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do think you are right about if you get one idea, it was worth the time. That is a good way to think about it, and I did get a couple of ideas. Happy days, and safe travels to you, too!

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  6. Great post Betty! It seems the more I shop thrift stores, the more I enjoy the thrill of the hunt. My kids are becoming great thrift shoppers too because they always come with me. My 11-year-old just refinished his first piece of furniture. He bought an old bedside table for $12 a can of gray spray paint $4 and a can of clear coat $4. He’s so proud of his project! He just finished it this afternoon and after it dries overnight it’ll go in his new room. There really is something to be said for putting some work into a thing instead of just buying it brand new 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love it! He is only 11 and has already felt the joy and satisfaction of making something! That is awesome. That table will mean way more to him than anything he could buy. I can only imagine what he might do in the future. Good for him! Good job, mom!!! Hope you have a great week ahead!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Definitely in the “make it” camp these days. It is not only the fun of the work, but also developing new skills and learning new things to enjoy. I think (for me) part of the fun is to not get attached to the results. Every creative idea I have does not always pan out, but some do. When it does not work, I just start over, or if it was too big of a stretch, scrap it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • “Make It” camp can often be more frugal and better for the environment. I also think there problem solving skills are needed – at least for my projects! For a while, I was a bit discouraged because my dollhouse updates didn’t look quite as good as I wanted them to look. Things weren’t perfect. But I have convinced myself to stand farther back when looking at it, and the renovations don’t look so bad. If you never see a close up shot of the dollhouse, you know why. Even if it’s not perfect – it’s still creative, enjoyable and fun. Enjoy your day!

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