Miniaturist of the Month – Dena Buehring

Dean and her French Bakery

Dena and her French Bakery

Say hello to Dena Buehring, Real Good Toys Miniaturist of the Month.  Dena lives in Tucson, AZ and works as an Administrative Assistant for a CPA firm.  Dena says it seems like miniatures have always been part of her life.  In the early 1990’s, she built her first big dollhouse and Dena now has five dollhouses, two wall houses and several room boxes in her collection.

RR-29 Barn

Waiting for Bobby to get home from school

As with most people that work with dollhouses and miniatures, Dena finds it relaxing. She says she is always on the lookout for miniatures for her dollhouses and she has even planned trips around miniature shows, so she can find the next best thing for her projects.  In the past, Dena has built dollhouses for friends that were physically incapable of building the dollhouse themselves, and has taught dollhouse building classes while working part-time for The Doll House, then in Tucson. She also has built a dollhouse along with her grandson and she built him a Real Good Toys RR29 Ruff ‘n Rustic All American Barn for his last birthday.

Scottish House 2

Dena’s Scottish House

Dena’s work load is heaviest in tax season, so she usually works on her miniatures in the summer, beginning right after April 15th. In the winter months, after Thanksgiving, Dena moves from her miniatures to genealogical research.  She loves to trace her ancestry and compile as much information as she can.  Another love of hers is reading.  She said she reads all the time. Dena is a Real Good Toys Facebook fan and we have seen some amazing work from her on our page.  The most recent is one of the Build Along projects that she finally was able to finish.  She calls it her French House.  It is actually a French Bakery and Dena is going to experiment with making Fimo bread and pastries to fill the bakery next summer.  We can’t wait to see what she does with the interior finishing of her bakery.

Pirates of the Caribbean

Pirates of the Caribbean

Miniaturist of the Month craft project

A Pirate’s Life for Me!

On a trip to Glasgow, Scotland, Dena purchased the dollhouse she calls her Scottish House.  She was able to bring home the dollhouse kit and some special miniatures packed right in her suitcase. Dena is one of those miniaturists that needs to be doing something crafty all the time and is always thinking about what she can make in miniature.  She likes to do unusual, fun projects like her Pirates of the Caribbean miniature scene.  This diorama was created in an old phone box. Dena says, “I find I miss being creative if I don’t have something to work on – sometimes I just like to do furniture kits or make books or little boxes for kits. I have a MINI problem.”

Dena's Favorite Dollhouse

Dena’s Favorite Dollhouse

Miniaturist of the Month

Interior of Dena’s favorite house

The large green dollhouse was Dena’s first dollhouse. She built the dollhouse in the early 1990’s and although it has some similarities to an early Real Good Toys dollhouse, Dena is unsure of the manufacturer. She purchased it from The Doll House before she started working there. Dena has made several of the miniatures from scratch and has spent years working on this dollhouse. She has had fun adding her personal touches to the dollhouse and still adds to it when she finds something special. She says this is her favorite dollhouse because it turned out so beautiful. Dena says, ” I would like to live there and sit on the porch swing in the summertime.”

Thanks for sharing with us Dena. We admire your attention to detail and your ability to tackle any type of miniature project. We can’t wait to see more!

Would you like to be our next Miniaturist of the Month?  It’s really easy!! Just email your information and pictures to [email protected]

I can’t wait to let your talents shine!sunshine


Judi Enins – Miniaturist of the Month

Real Good Toys Classic Bungalow

Judi and Cesar with the Holiday Bungalow.

Welcome our newest Real Good Toys Miniaturist of the Month – Judi Enins of Bensenville, IL, a suburb 20 miles west of Chicago. Judi confides that she has been married to her high school sweetheart and best friend for 45 years.  She and her husband have two daughters and two grandchildren, with another grandchild on the way in December.  Judi’s only baby left at home now is Cesar, her 12 year old West Highland Terrier.

Real Good Toys Contemporary Ranch

Interior of Contemporary Ranch

Real Good Toys Contemporary Ranch

Judi’s Contemporary Ranch

After retiring two years ago from the insurance industry, Judi has, once again, found the hobby of dollhouses and miniatures.  30 years ago Judi built three dollhouses with her husband when their daughters were young.  She said she and her husband really got into miniatures during that time.  Her husband would build them and she would decorate them.  As the girls grew, the dollhouses were stored away.  Judi pulled them out for her granddaughter to play with while she was visiting.  She admits that she had forgotten just how much she enjoyed them, so she decided to build one for herself. Since most dollhouses have a Victorian look to them, she wanted something a little bit different. Judi chose the Real Good Toys Contemporary Ranch. She fell in love with the modern design.  Because her granddaughter’s room is not that large at home, Judi keeps the dollhouse at her house, which just delights Grandma!

Judi’s next project was the Real Good Toys Classic Bungalow.  She decorated the dollhouse in a Holiday theme, Christmas dinner at Grandma and Grandpa’s house! Such a happy little dollhouse. Oh my, she is giving me some gift ideas! Judi did a little customizing on the Classic Bungalow.  With the help of her husband, Judi installed two craftsman style skylight windows in the attic ceiling to break up the broad expanse of the ceiling. Those windows really open up the attic rooms.

Judi's Holiday Bungalow

Judi’s Holiday Bungalow

Real Good Toys Classic Bungalow

Christmas at Grandma & Grandpa’s

Judi is loving retirement and is keeping very busy. She swims every day, and has learned to knit.  She is involved in her church choir and of course, Judi has become a true dollhouse enthusiast. She thinks her next dollhouse will be the Real Good Toys New Orleans dollhouse. Judi says,

“It’s a great hobby and I totally understand how a person could get hooked on building these little works of art. It’s a way to use all of the skills at your disposal (your imagination, design, artistry, etc…) My finished dollhouses have pride of place in my family room so I can look at them all the time – but if I keep making dollhouses at this rate, there will be no room for either my husband or me to sit in the family room anymore. Thanks for manufacturing such good quality, top of the line, easy to build dollhouse kits”.  


Thank you for sharing with us Judi.  Your enthusiasm is contagious and we hope you continue your rediscovery of dollhouses.

Would you like to be my next Miniaturist of the Month? It’s really easy. Just email your information with a few pictures attached to your email to [email protected]

I want to let your talents shine!sunshine

The Healing Power of Dollhouses

Do you ever wonder how people defy the odds when it comes to their health? How do they overcome and bounce back? Building dollhouses can be therapy, and often we hear that dollhouses can erase real life problems by creating a make believe, or fantasy life. People tend to lose themselves in their miniatures. And using your imagination, being creative and having a purpose can be powerful drugs.

Alison Jr.

Thomas Kneeshaw and his most recent dollhouse, The Alison Jr.

Real Good Toys

The Real Good Toys Alison Jr.

Shareen Kneeshaw and her father Thomas recently built the Real Good Toys Alison Jr. dollhouse kit for a fundraiser for the Mental Health Association of Westchester(NY). They took advantage of the Real Good Toys Dollhouses for a Cause program. Nearing 96 years old, Thomas has built several dollhouses. He has made two dollhouses from scratch, using Real Good Toys components.  He has built (7) 1 inch scale and (3) 1/2 inch scale dollhouses from kits. All of these dollhouses were for his granddaughters, great granddaughters, friends, and fundraisers.

In 2014, Thomas became very ill, with the result being an above the knee amputation of one of his legs. He recovered quickly, but then fell ill again in the spring of this year. At this point, his doctors felt he would not recover and sent him home with hospice care.  According to Shareen, as time passed and her father held on, he realized he better get busy and do something with his time. Shareen came across a Real Good Toys catalog and they both decided it might be a good idea to try some smaller dollhouse kits, more manageable and in line with his limitations. Shareen and her sister thought for sure it would take him at least a month to finish the first dollhouse, but he had it done in 8 days!


dollhouse painting

Interior of the Alison Jr.

Alison Jr.

Beautiful painting on the Alison Jr.

“It was an amazing thing to watch. When he started building the dollhouses, he was still pretty weak, but the more he did the better he got. He said he feels like he has a purpose and is being productive, and this is doing wonders for his health. After he finished the first one and we didn’t have a second one ready yet, he seemed to start to feel poorly again, feeling pain, etc… The afternoon the second one arrived, he said he was feeling poorly, but once he saw it he perked right up and got started on it right away.  He works on them every day as soon as he finishes breakfast and works on them until he goes to bed.  He has a live-in aid who gives him a hand when he needs things maneuvered.  We sometimes work on them together, either my sister or I, as a way to spend time with him. He is teaching us a lot. He can’t get to his workshop anymore, so we have set up a work area in the kitchen with various levels of work surfaces, so he can reach what he needs to from his wheelchair. We may run out of friends or family who could use dollhouses, so we are looking to find places to donate them. Needless to say we are thankful for your kits and hope you stay in business for a long, long time.”

With no real medical theory, Thomas’ doctors don’t know quite what to make of his rebound. Shareen says her father is a cat with 9 lives. Thomas thinks it’s a miracle.

We hope that Real Good Toys dollhouses continue to offer Thomas enjoyment and that his health continues to remain stable. No matter the reason, or explanation, we are in awe of the level of determination, and the fortitude that Thomas displays. Thanks to Shareen and Thomas for sharing this heartwarming story. 

Do you have a favorite charity or a worthwhile non-profit organization that needs a contribution for a fundraiser? Since 2009 we have been offering our Dollhouses for a Cause program which allows a 30% discount towards the purchase of any dollhouse kit for the purpose of fundraising. Just fill out the application and send it in…and get building!!

Miniaturist of the Month – Renee Orvis

Renee and her Collectibles Cabinet and Mulberry Lane

Renee and her Collectibles Cabinet and Mulberry Lane

Renee's Display Case

Renee’s Display Case

Real Good Toys welcomes Renee Orvis, our very first home town Miniaturist of the Month! Renee grew up right here in Barre. She is married with two children, an 18 year old daughter in college and an 8 year old son.  She attended Johnson State College for one year and eventually finished her degree in fine art at the Community College of Vermont.  Renee also worked for Joann Fabrics for a few years where she developed an interest in sewing, crafts and needlework. She has worked for 26 years at Vermont Mutual Insurance Group in the Finance Department.

Renee 8

Beautiful Foyer

Renee 3

Custom painted fireplace

Renee 7

Great country kitchen

Renee is relatively new to miniatures, but has jumped in with both feet.  She became interested in dollhouses and miniatures when she was young.  Renee recalls receiving a large Colonial Style dollhouse for Christmas one year. The house was passed on, but she kept some of the furniture thinking she might eventually get into dollhouses. It wasn’t until about a year and a half ago that she bought her first kit. Her first build was the Real Good Toys Build Along Collectibles Cabinet.  That was all it took.  Renee was hooked!  Her next kit was the Lilliput Mulberry Lane. Renee really loves art history, especially the Georgian, Regency and Victorian periods.  She wanted to make the interior of her Mulberry Lane as authentic to these periods as her budget would allow.  She said, “I finally decided that I can’t have an exact replica house with all the details exactly as they would have been… so I decided to look at it more as an impressionist painter would and focus on the subtleties, giving the suggestion of a Georgian kitchen or a Regency drawing room.  A little color here and a little detail there, and not worry so much about making it exactly correct.”

Renee 2

Look at those paintings!

What’s next for this miniaturist?  She would like to create miniatures on her own and not from kits.  Renee would like to try her hand at polymer clay food, and has already tried painting and framing her own pieces. She says, “As a new miniaturist, I am very excited about the many facets and options to explore!”

Renee, your enthusiasm to try new things is contagious, and we thank you for letting us have a look into your projects. We can’t wait to see what’s next for you!

Would you like to be our next Miniaturist of the Month?  It’s really easy!  Just email your information with a few pictures attached to [email protected]  I want to let your talents shine!sunshine

My “Mini” Vacation

Museum of Miniature Houses, Carmel, IN

Museum of Miniature Houses, Carmel, IN

While visiting family and friends in Indianapolis, IN, I had the opportunity to visit the Mecca for miniature enthusiasts and collectors. If you travel through Central Indiana, you must make time to visit the Museum of Miniature Houses in Carmel, IN, just north of Indianapolis. I had the pleasure of meeting Suzanne Landshof, one of the founders of the Museum.  We had a lovely visit while touring the exhibits, winding in and out of the many display rooms full of exquisite examples of early and modern miniatures and dollhouses.  Suzanne’s knowledge of miniature history, her eye for quality and detail, and her commitment to the museum, made the visit worth every minute.

Le Chateau foyer

Le Chateau foyer

Beyond being wowed by many examples of unique miniatures such as a full set of armor for a miniature horse, the magnificent, two story foyer of a miniature French Chateau, and a miniature display of Sherlock Holmes’ office at 221B Baker Street, I was struck by how inviting each room felt.

Sherlock Holmes 221B Baker Street by LaVerne Sullivan

Sherlock Holmes 221B Baker Street by LaVerne Sullivan

the Tower Armory by LaVerne Sullivan

The Tower Armory by LaVerne Sullivan

It was like a treasure hunt.  Each room I entered held something equally, or even more enchanting than the last, with the treasures being the stories that each of the displays told.

The museum offers many programs and events that involve young and old. There is literally something for everyone at this Museum.

The Museum is located at 111 East Main Street in Carmel, right in the Arts District.  Check their website,, or call 317-575-9466 for more information. 

Miniaturist of the Month-Leah Sexton

Leah's Collectible Cabinet

Leah’s Collectible Cabinet  Facebook Build Along Project


RGT's 2014 Facebook Build-Along Project, Collectibles Cabinet

Leah’s Collectibles Cabinet

Interior of Leah's Collectibles Cabinet

Interior of Leah’s Collectibles Cabinet

Meet our Miniaturist of the Month-Leah Sexton.  Leah has been making miniatures for 20 years and she started with the Real Good Toys Simplicity Dollhouse. She has made many projects over the years and has donated most all of them to raffles, fundraisers and toy drives. Her current projects are the Real Good Toys Collectible Cabinet, Hobby Builders Supply Creating Contest and a room box in 1/3 scale.  1/3 scale is for dolls 18-24 inches. Real Good Toys is just about ready to unveil our 18 inch dollhouse.  Hold on to your hats 1/3 scale lovers.  Leah has enjoyed the 2014 Collectibles Cabinet Facebook Build Along project so much so that she would really like another one.  I think lots of folks would like to see that one come back. That project made a very handy, and cute, craft supply storage for me. She is also working on the current Build Along project, The Crafter’s Cottage.  The popular Build Along projects on our Facebook page, Real Good Toys Dollhouses, allow participants to individualize and design their own dream project while sharing creativity and enthusiasm with a whole group of like-minded people.

Leah's Paint Ready Victorian

Leah’s Paint Ready Victorian

Leah's Holiday New Orleans Dollhouse

Leah’s Holiday New Orleans Dollhouse

Even though Leah doesn’t keep many of her projects for herself, she confides that the Christmas themed New Orleans Dollhouse with an addition was the hardest dollhouse to part with, even though it went for a good cause. No wonder she was sad to see it go…it’s spectacular! Leah also did an amazing job on a dollhouse kit that is no longer in production here at Real Good Toys, The Paint Ready Victorian.  Her color choices and painting scheme are true Victorian.  Our Attic Tower Contest didn’t stump Leah. I love what she did with that small space.  Leah really likes the challenge of contests and Build Alongs. She also has participated in several Hobby Builders Supply Creating Contests.

Leah's Attic Tower Contest entry

Leah’s Attic Contest entry


Leah's Wall House

Leah’s Wall House Facebook Build Along Project

Leah’s best advice to any miniaturist is to take your time. Leah says, “For instance, when glue needs to set or paint needs to dry, move to something else in the assembly process so your project doesn’t look rushed”. When Leah is not crafting, she loves hiking the trails around her home in Gladstone, MI, which is in the Upper Peninsula.  In bad weather she loves to curl up with a good mystery book.  She tells me that in order to fund her mini-fun, she teaches at a small local college. Leah says, “I am having fun in different scales making tiny and not so tiny accessories. The challenge of a new kit is always incentive to begin another project”.

Thanks for sharing your work with us Leah. 

We applaud your generosity with your miniatures.

Would you like to be our next Miniaturist of the Month?  It’s really easy. Just email your information with a few pictures attached to [email protected].

We want to let your talents SHINE!! sunshine

Miniaturist of the Month – Lawanda Swearengin

Barn interiors

Barn interiors

Lawanda's All American Barns

Lawanda’s All American Barns

Real Good Toys welcomes our June Miniaturist of the Month – Lawanda Swearengin of Bloomfield, MO. Lawanda is retired from the United States Air Force after 20 years of service.  Kudos are due, as we all appreciate and recognize her service and sacrifice.  After retiring from the USAF, she went to college on the GI bill and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Central Missouri State.  Lawanda and her husband, who also is a Veteran of the USAF, have been married for over 32 years. They have 5 children and enjoy 6 grandchildren.  After retiring from the USAF, Lawanda worked for the State of Missouri for 15 years and just retired last year. As her husband is still working, Lawanda says she now devotes all of her time to making dollhouses. She built her first dollhouse just after retiring from the USAF. As is the case with many miniaturists, their miniature projects get put aside as real life gets in the way.  Lawanda says, “They (miniatures) went on the back burner to raise my kids.” When I asked Lawanda if she had other hobbies, she said she has had other hobbies in the past, but until she retired from working for the State of Missouri, her “hobby” was helping other Veterans fight the VA battle to get their benefits.

Lawanda's chicken coop

Lawanda’s chicken coop

Lawanda's Contemporary Ranch

Lawanda’s Contemporary Ranch


Contemporary Ranch interior

Contemporary Ranch interior

Contemporary Ranch with pool and hot tub!

Contemporary Ranch with pool and hot tub

Lawanda has always enjoyed the assembling of dollhouses over accessorizing, until she built the Real Good Toys Contemporary Ranch.  She has added so much and has plans to continue. She wants to add a pool house and a garage and tells me that she made the chicken coop totally from scrap wood.  She has made other pieces of furniture and accessories for her 11 dollhouses.  She laughingly calls herself an addict. Lawanda has also built the Real Good Toys Ruff ‘n Rustic All American Barn and the Ruff ‘n Rustic All American Big Barn.  Her dream Real Good Toys dollhouse to build is the Foxhall Manor.  She says, “Might be awhile for that one.” When I offered the Miniaturist of the Month feature to Lawanda, she humbly told me, “I appreciate that you feel I am worthy in some way. Makes me feel good about doing what I love.” Feeling good about what you love doing…that’s what it is all about really. To coin a phrase of a previous M.O.M., “Enjoy the hobby.  Being an expert is not required.”

Thanks for letting us get to know you and for sharing your projects Lawanda!

Who will be our next Miniaturist of the Month?  Just email your information to me at [email protected]

I want to let your talents shine!


Miniaturist of the Month – Shelly Temperley

Shelly Temperley, Real Good Toys Miniaturist of the Month

Shelly Temperley, Real Good Toys Miniaturist of the Month

Cleo, Shelly's Assistant

Cleo, Shelly’s Assistant

Meet Real Good Toys Miniaturist of the Month, Shelly Temperley. She lives in Newport, Michigan and is a retired eye surgeon. While a surgeon, she loved to perform microsurgery and she tells us she has always had an interest in all things small and beautiful.  When Shelly was in college, she discovered miniatures and built a Victorian dollhouse kit based on a home in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco.  Shelly also enjoys cooking, baking and riding bicycles.  Cleo, Shelly’s recently adopted puppy, is her workshop assistant.  Cleo had her leg amputated due to an accident, but nevertheless, she loves to hunt around for things left on the floor of the workshop and then hide them.  Shelly also lives with her 84 year old father.  She said he enjoys watching her build her treasures.  Since Shelly has taken over the workshop that was originally built for him, her father says, “I’ll never be able to use any of my own tools again!”

About three years ago, Shellys interest in miniatures was renewed with the building of the Real Good Toys Victoria’s Farmhouse.  Shortly after that initial build, we heard from Shelly just about every week,sometimes more often.  She would place orders for extra materials from whatever kit she was building at the time.  Even though she never gave us many details, we knew this gal was doing some major customization or had some big project in the works. Now Shelly is one of our “regulars”, and it is a pleasure to finally find out what she has been working on.

The Loving Spoonful Cafe and Bakery

The Loving Spoonful Cafe and Bakery

Nancy's Notions and Knits

Nancy’s Notions and Knits

Shelly's village, Victoria's Farmhouse

Shelly’s Village, Placid Hill

Shelly has been creating a village that she calls Placid Hill. It consists of 12 structures that include a lighthouse, general store, ice cream shop, barn, gazebo, bakery, flower shop, church, sewing shop, firehouse and two cabins. 11 of her 12 structures are Real Good Toys products.  Shelly especially enjoys miniature landscaping and has added ponds, parks and a lake to her village.

One of the ponds in Placid Hill

One of the ponds in Placid Hill

Placid Hill Lighthouse

Placid Hill Lighthouse

Although Shelly calls herself an amateur miniaturist, I think she is underestimating her talents. Her favorite projects have been the bakery, which she calls “The Loving Spoonful Café and Bakery”, and the sewing shop she created in honor of her sister that she calls, “Nancy’s Notions and Knits”.  Shelly says, “All the buildings have some connection to family and extended family and represent their pastimes and personalities.  Each person and animal in our family is represented by a doll and we enjoy posing them in various activities to surprise one another.”

A big thank you to Shelly for sharing her creations and her love of all things small. 

Would you like to be my next Miniaturist of the Month?  It’s really easy. Just email your information with a few pictures attached to [email protected] I want to let your talents SHINE!sunshine

Miniaturist of the Month – Nancy Gallo

Nancy Gallo - Real Good Toys Miniaturist of the Month

Nancy Gallo – Real Good Toys Miniaturist of the Month

The love of miniatures and all things small often begins at a very young age.  That is exactly how it happened for Nancy Gallo, our April Miniaturist of the Month. Looking back, Nancy says she has always been interested in the world of miniatures.  As a child she remembers being drawn to all kinds of miniature displays. Every year at Christmas her dad would layout a train set, complete with mini buildings, scenery and people.  She says, “I spent countless hours studying every little detail.  I can close my eyes and still see it!”

Nancy started working at Hobby Lobby, a large craft retailer, once her children were grown.  She loved the Real Good Toys Beachside Bungalow on display and dreamed of living near the ocean in a house just like the Beachside Bungalow. Nancy and her husband eventually relocated to Port Richey, FL and she started working at the Hobby Lobby there.  She was finally able to fulfill her dream of buying a “beach house”. While building this dollhouse, her enchantment with all things mini became her passion.  Nancy says, “Everyone at the store knows if there is a dollhouse question, send the customer to me! If I can’t answer their questions, I send them to the RGT website.”

Nancy's Life Stages Collectibles Cabinet

Nancy’s Life Stages Collectibles Cabinet

Inside of Life Stages house

Inside of Life Stages House


Country Church interior

Country Church interior


Nancy’s projects tend to be reflective of what is going on in her life at that particular time.  She also has been an enthusiastic participant in the Real Good Toys annual Build Along projects. Nancy calls her Build Along Collectibles Cabinet (the 2014 project) her life stages house, where each floor represents a different stage of life.  She is now working on the Real Good Toys Country Church, which she says is filled with passion for her very sick son. Nancy decided she didn’t like the brown pews, so she is sanding them down and repainting them with the teal.  Nancy veered from the instructions on her Real Good Toys Victoria’s Farmhouse by adding a doorway, after assembly.  She learned how to use power tools and now the sky is the limit when it comes to customizing!

Nancy's Victoria's Farmhouse

Nancy’s Victoria’s Farmhouse

Interior of Victoria's Farmhouse

Interior of Victoria’s Farmhouse

Nancy loves to spend time at the beach collecting shells when she is not miniature-ing. She calls the beach her thinking spot.  She also enjoys gardening and cooking.  Nancy is also saving up so she can do dollhouse builds for women’s shelters. When Nancy was chosen to participate in our Miniaturist of the Month feature, I asked her if she had some words of wisdom for new miniaturists. She said, “My goal here is to inspire others to just enjoy the hobby.  Being an expert is not required. Although it is fun seeing the project completed…enjoy the journey.” 

Thanks for letting us spotlight your talents Nancy.  You put your heart and soul in each project and it shows!

Would you like to be our next Miniaturist of the Month?  It’s really easy.  Just email your information with a few pictures attached to [email protected]

I look forward to letting YOUR talents shine!!sunshine

Miniaturist of the Month – Brenda Bourque

Brenda with the Rose House AKA First Lady

Brenda with the Rose House AKA First Lady

Have you ever found a dollhouse in a thrift store or at a garage sale and just couldn’t resist? Maybe it was partially assembled, maybe it was fully assembled but in need of refurbishing.  Brenda Bourque, Real Good Toys March Miniaturist of the Month, was lucky enough to find a real gem at her local dump of all places!

Brenda found a Real Good Toys First Lady Dollhouse partially assembled, with the rest of the kit still in the box. Those of you familiar with Real Good Toys’ history will recall that the First Lady Dollhouse was the dollhouse chosen by the Carter Administration to display under the White House Christmas tree in 1980. Brenda has named this dollhouse The Rose House, because she has added a rose to every room, in one form or another. It takes a seasoned  miniaturist to tackle a project such as this and Brenda says this rehab has been her favorite project, taking over a year to finish.

The Finished Rose House

The Finished Rose House



Brenda 5


Brenda lives in Oxford, CT and has been married for 25 years, raising two daughters.  She tells us, “Ever since I can remember I wanted a dollhouse for Christmas.  I finally received my first kit from my husband and daughters in 1998.  I have collected furniture and little things for a long time…” Brenda says that most of her miniature furniture was made from kits when there used to be a kit of the month club.  She has taught herself to make many of the minis and accessories that she uses in her dollhouses.  Brenda has participated in the Real Good Toys Facebook Build Along each year. These projects give participants an opportunity to individualize their creations while sharing advice, tips and techniques with a large group of like-minded folks, which is right up Brenda’s alley. She says she is always coming up with ideas of how she wants her projects to look, and how to get it done.

Brenda's 2012 Build Along Project

Brenda’s 2012 Build Along Project


When Brenda is not working on dollhouses or miniatures, she enjoys traveling, photography and enjoying nature.  She is especially interested in photographing dollhouses.  Building and decorating dollhouses allows Brenda the opportunity to play around with her other interests of architecture and interior design, just on a much smaller scale.  She feels working on miniatures keep her mind, and her hands, active.  Years and years of assembling and decorating dollhouses has given Brenda the confidence to think outside of the box, adding that special touch or modification…something every miniaturist lives for.

Thanks Brenda for sharing your experiences and your work with us. Your work is inspiring! 

Would you like to be our next Miniaturist of the Month? It’s really easy. Just email your information with a few pictures attached to [email protected]

I want to let your talents SHINE!sunshine