Archive for October, 2014

Miniaturist of the Month – Mary Gavila

Friday, October 31st, 2014
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

Monday, October 27th, 2014
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]