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!

sunshine

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

Miniaturist of the Month – Donald Jenny

Donald Jenny of Bothell, Washington

Donald Jenny of Bothell, Washington

Real Good Toys is happy to welcome our February Miniaturist of the Month – Donald Jenny. Donald hails from Bothell, Washington, where he is an accomplished freelance artist, designing book covers and illustrating children’s books. When he is not doing that, he builds custom dollhouses. Donald grew up in a family of artists. His father worked for an architectural firm, building scale models as a side job. Donald’s father also built model ships as his hobby. Donald’s mother was once an opera singer. She dabbled in painting while raising her family. His older brother loved to draw race cars. That love ultimately led to building race cars as an occupation. Donald’s younger brother, who once fancied himself a folk singer, is now the proprietor of a business that builds and sells custom electric guitars internationally. It is quite obvious Donald acquired his love of the arts from his family, being creative in drawing, painting and sculpture.  He holds degrees in fine art and computer animation.  Although Donald holds down a daytime office job, he continues his freelance business and custom dollhouse building.

One of Donald's gift houses

One of Donald’s gift houses

In the 1970’s, Donald began building gift houses out of cardboard and other materials.  His intention was to use these houses as a substitute for gift wrapping.  These whimsical creations were quite popular with their recipients.  He didn’t begin building wooden dollhouses until 2000. Donald attended a miniature trade show and was hooked! Beginning with kits, he quickly started customizing dollhouses adding his own special touches. He created, from photos and memory, a miniature version of a Painted Lady dollhouse. He donated his masterpiece to a little girl in foster care.  He tells us the only thing she wanted for Christmas was a dollhouse and it was perfect for her.  If time permits, Donald builds 2-3 dollhouses a year, donating them to various local charities.

Alice before Wonderland Dollhouse

Alice before Wonderland Dollhouse

Donald’s most expensive build so far is his Alice before Wonderland dollhouse, filled with custom made figures and miniatures from the Alice in Wonderland fairy tale. This dollhouse originally was the Real Good Toys #2007 Woodland, with the addition of the 602 Montclair porch.  He tells us, “I have spent nearly 6 years on this project and it still isn’t complete and I doubt it will ever be. This is my baby”!!

Donald's 2014 RGT Facebook Build Along

Donald’s 2014 RGT Facebook Build Along

Donald is one of Real Good Toys most active Facebook fans, always jumping right into our annual Real Good Toys Dollhouses Facebook Build-Along.  He never ceases to amaze us with his creativity and vision. He can take a basic kit and transform it, making it into something truly astonishing. Our Facebook Build-Along projects allow participants to individualize and design their own dream project while sharing creativity and enthusiasm with a whole group of like-minded people.  And that’s just what Donald loves about it.  His Build-Along last year started out to be library and ended up as a brothel. He has already ordered our 2015 Build-Along project, The Crafter’s Cottage, and is anxiously awaiting delivery. Donald says, “I have bought many kits from Real Good Toys because the quality out shines other competitors”.

Donald is looking forward to retirement in a couple of years.  Then he will devote his time to building dollhouses and working on his other love, gardening. Thanks to Donald for sharing his love of dollhouses and miniatures with us.  His enjoyment of the hobby and his creativity inspires all of us.  You can see more of Donald’s work, and much more, at www.donaldworld.com.

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 – Stacy Thibeault

Stacy with her dollhouse

Stacy with her dollhouse

Real Good Toys is pleased to welcome our January Miniaturist of the Month, Stacy Thibeault of Topsham, Maine.  Stacy has been a stay at home mom for the past 14 years, enjoying Maine life with her husband, son and their three cats.  When she is not working on miniatures, she loves to read and be outside enjoying the woods.

Stacy’s love of miniatures began when she was around 8 years old. She tells us she was thrilled when her Dad used to ask her to help paint ceramic figures that he created in a class he was taking.  That’s all it took for Stacy to become hooked.  She says, “To this day I have ornaments we did together and an entire miniature Christmas village”. Stacy also remembers summers on Sebago Lake in Maine and visiting Crickets Corner Shoppe in Raymond, ME.  Although Stacy proudly states that she was a tomboy as a child, she absolutely loved visiting the dollhouse store.  She remembers her Dad would bring home miniatures for her and she says, “…being the packrat that I am, I still have some of those things. Who knew they would be in my very own miniature houses”. Stacy has been seriously involved in crafting since she was 18.  As it is for many people, a life changing event can often launch you in a different direction, and that is just what happened to Stacy.  With her Dad passing away suddenly in 2010, Stacy found herself overcome with the feeling that she just had to build a dollhouse.  So off she went to the nearest dollhouse store with one thing on her mind.  She came home with a Real Good Toys Victorian Cottage Jr. dollhouse kit.  She tells us, “Got home, dumped it out, read the instructions, and an addiction was born”! Since then, Stacy has built many dollhouses and has started making her own miniatures.  She says it makes her feel close to her Dad.  Her words of wisdom for new miniaturists…Home Depot!  She has great luck finding mini lumber and sample size paint containers that are just right for your dollhouse.

Real Good Toys Victorian Cottage Jr. dollhouse kit.

Real Good Toys Victorian Cottage Jr. dollhouse kit.

Stacy has been an avid fan of the annual Real Good Toys Facebook Build Along, and her favorite dollhouse build so far has been our 2012 Puzzle Dollhouse Kit.  She took the Puzzle Dollhouse kit and recreated her real life house inside and out!  The finished product has a prominent home in her living room, so everyone gets to see it every day.  As Stacy bounces back from a year of physical restrictions, she is looking forward to building the Real Good Toys Newbury Dollhouse kit that she has stashed away.  And after that, maybe the Beachside Bungalow…or the Victoria’s Farmhouse…or who knows which dollhouse build lies ahead for her.

Thank you Stacy, for letting us get to know you. Your energy and love of miniatures is inspiring.  

Would you like to be our next Miniaturist of the Month?  Do you know someone who would be a good candidate?  It’s really easy. Just email your information, with a picture or two attached, to [email protected]

I’m looking forward to letting your talents shine!!sunshine

 

Miniaturist of the Month – Carole Risteen

Carole Risteen- Miniaturist of the Month

Carole Risteen- Miniaturist of the Month

Carole just loves cats!

Carole just loves cats!

Real Good Toys‘ Miniaturist of the Month is Carole Risteen of Deltona, FL. Carole is someone every miniaturist wants to know.  For starters, she has been involved with dollhouses and miniatures for over 35 years. Over time, Carole has worked in three different miniature shops, and has built over 300 dollhouses. When Carole was working for Through the Keyhole in Texas, she taught classes and built dollhouses as a Santa’s helper.  She said, “Our double garage never had a car in it, but often had half a dozen or more houses under construction”. Carole has participated in four years of IGMA Guild School classes.  What is IGMA? IGMA stands for International Guild of Miniature Artisans and was founded to promote fine miniatures as an art form.  This organization holds a series of intensive training classes every year at their campus in Castine, Maine.  Carole said she has made many wonderful friends over the years. She considers this hobby her obsession.  She tells us, “There has always been some new technique or skill to learn and many old skills to share with others”. Carole confides, “It has never failed me – lifting me up in sad times and allowing me to help others along the way”.

Carole started in miniatures by making House of Miniature furniture kits. She was a buyer for a retail department store in Tucson, AZ and building the furniture kits was her way to relax.  Carole says she bought her first dollhouse in 1979 from The Doll House, Inc. in Scottsdale, AZ. Over the last 12 years, she has been able to share her love of dollhouses and miniatures with her special needs students through Morning Star School fundraisers. She hopes to continue building dollhouses for Morning Star School fundraisers, with the help of her students and her grandchildren.

Carole's Bossy Bungalow

Carole’s Bossy Bungalow

Carole and Susan with the house  they built!

Carole and Susan with the house they built!

 

Carol is an active fan of Real Good Toys Dollhouses on Facebook.  She has participated in our Build Along projects and was recently chosen as one of our finalists in our “What’s in Your Attic Contest”. She continually fascinates us with her ability to transform and customize our dollhouses in a way that makes them one of a kind.  One project she has shared with us throughout the building process is her Real Good Toys Classic Bungalow.  Carole nicknamed this dollhouse “Bossy”.  She was re-creating a dollhouse she grew up in and throughout the building process the dollhouse seemed to tell her which direction she should take with the customization. She customized the dollhouse with an extra floor and many other special touches.  Her abilities are remarkable and her work is exquisite. Now can you see why every miniaturist would love to know Carole? Not only does she love dollhouses and miniatures, she gets immense joy from sharing that love. Carole says, “…my addiction is complete and part of my retirement is minis, supplies and kits I have stock piled”.

 

Thank you, Carole, for letting us have a glimpse into your mini world and allowing us to get to know a little bit about 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’m looking forward to letting YOUR talents shine!!sunshine 

 

Miniaturist of the Month – Mary Gavila

Mary's Real Good Toys Newport Dollhouse

Mary’s Real Good Toys Newport Dollhouse

 

The Living Room in Mary's Newport

The Living Room in Mary’s Newport

The interior of Mary's Newport

The interior of Mary’s Newport

Real Good Toys is pleased to announce that Mary Gavila is our November Miniaturist of the Month! Mary and her husband live in Ocala,FL. She has two children and two grandchildren. Back in 1981, Mary built her first dollhouse for her daughter, Amy. Due to unfortunate circumstances, the dollhouse was given to someone else, so Amy never got to play with it.  Amy now has a daughter, Avery, age 9, and Mary decided to build the Real Good Toys Newport dollhouse for Avery. It took Mary a year and 8 months to complete the Newport, but she did some customizing. Of course she did…that’s what miniaturists do! Mary added more bathrooms and an attic ladder so the top floor can be accessed from the main house. She also made all the bedding in the dollhouse. Mary says, “I love the way it came out and am very proud of the finished product”. She also miniaturized family photographs for the dollhouse and put one of them on the miniature TV screen. Mary wanted it to look like the dollhouse people were watching a family video.  You can tell creativity and imagination just took over! Avery is one lucky little girl!

The Kitchen in Mary's Newport

The Kitchen in Mary’s Newport

Mary Gavila & Family

Mary Gavila & Family

When Mary is not working on her miniatures, she enjoys crocheting, making paper flowers and basket weaving.  She says, “I love a challenge, so the more difficult and time consuming the project, the better I like it”. Mary also loves genealogy and has created a family tree with over 18,000 members. This project took her 5 years. The culmination of this lengthy project was Mary applying for dual citizenship and becoming an Italian citizen.  She tells us all four of her grandparents were born in Italy. Her children were also able to become Italian citizens, which Mary says, “…opens a whole new realm of opportunities for their futures”.

Mary and her husband are now empty nesters with her son getting married and leaving home. She says she is a bit embarrassed to say that she replaced her son with a Havanese puppy named Ricky Ricardo, which she absolutely loves.  Ricky was recently certified as a Good  Canine Citizen, which makes him eligible to visit hospitals and nursing homes. Mary hopes to do more advanced training with him in the future.

I’m sure you all will agree that Mary is one busy lady.  I love that she has so many varied interests, in addition to her exquisite dollhouse work. No wonder she is so proud. If you would like to see more pictures of Mary’s Newport, check our Facebook page, Real Good Toys Dollhouses. Isn’t it about time for another dollhouse project Mary?

Mary, thank you for sharing and letting us get to know you and your work!

Who would 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’m looking forward to letting YOUR talents shine!!sunshine

The Doll House Shop in Richmond, VA – Under new ownership

Julie Silvester, new owner of The Doll House Shop

Julie Silvester, new owner of The Doll House Shop

Real Good Toys welcomes Julie Silvester as the proud new owner of the The Doll House Shop in Richmond, VA. For many years, Julie was a regular customer of The Doll House Shop and she once told Tom O’Dea, then the owner of the shop, that her dream had always been to own her own doll house shop. Tom encouraged Julie and when he retired, he offered the shop to her.

Julie’s background is in finance and information technology.  In early 2013, she started an online dollhouse and miniature retail store to help with tuition costs for her daughter to attend a school for dyslexic children. Now that Julie has her own brick and mortar retail shop, she’s looking to expand to include space for classes and room for customers to come and work on their projects. She said many customers have been interested in this concept because they don’t have room at home to build a dollhouse. Julie envisions the store to be geared more toward children and plans to expand the store’s inventory accordingly.  Julie says, “When parents with children enter the store, the first thing the parent always says is , “Don’t touch anything!” I’d like to change that to, “Please touch all of these!”.

Julie believes that most people think miniatures is an expensive hobby or that they don’t have enough room at home to build a dollhouse.  She would like to change that perception and show people that miniatures and dollhouses come in every size and in every price range.  Julie says there is something in the miniature and dollhouse world for everyone.

We welcome Julie and wish her success! If you’re traveling through Richmond, VA, stop by and say hello.

The Doll House Shop is located at 8534 Patterson Ave., Richmond, VA 23229.

You can reach the shop by calling 804-285-8484 or by email at [email protected]