Bobbye Gorrell – Miniaturist of the Month

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016

Bobbye Gorrell

Meet Bobbye Gorrell, our Real Good Toys Miniaturist of the Month. She hails from Beavercreek, OH which is near Dayton. Bobbye hasreal Good Toys Miniaturist of the Month been building dollhouses and miniature displays since 1980, with at least 30 dollhouses Bobbye Gorrell, Miniaturist of the Monthand miniature scenes under her belt. Bobbye is very good at taking an unlikely container and turning it into an intriguing miniature scene.  She took an old cuckoo clock apart and made it a little miniature cottage. Bobbye also took an old silverware chest and turned it into a beautiful outdoor wedding display.

Bobbye A FrameBobbye Gorrell Miniaturist of the Month

 

Bobbye built two Imagination Houses for her granddaughters and a Lilliput Kiwi Cottage that she says, “…everyone who sees it loves it. ” She also had a custom one of a kind A-Frame dollhouse built for her, and at present, she is working on a Front Opening Country Victorian.  Bobbye really enjoys building Real Good Toys dollhouse kits.

 

Bobbye's dollhouse replicaI had a lovely conversation with Bobbye and she gave me the lowdown on how the dollhouse replica of her real home came about. At a miniature show in Dayton, Bobbye met a man from Old World Craftsmen Dollhouses in Oconomowoc, WI. He was also a cabinet maker and used his leftover materials to make dollhouses. So when Bobbye and her family moved into their new home, she contacted this fellow to build a replica of her new home. She sent off the blueprints for him to work from and after two years, the dollhouse was ready. To take it a step further, Bobbye sent pictures of her real furniture to a fellow from Mayberry Miniatures in Parma OH, who made replicas of her furniture for her dollhouse. Then came wiring, finishing and landscaping. To say that this project has been a labor of love is a bit of an understatement. I believe it may be the dream of every miniaturist to have an exact likeness, or replica, of a structure near and dear to their heart.
Bobbye 5Bobbye 6Bobbyes replica 1Bobbyes replica 3

 

 

 

 

 

Bobbye gets building help from her husband. He helps her put the dollhouses together and then lets her put the finishing touches on the dollhouse, such as paint, wallpaper and decorating. He also helps her out with shingling.

Bobbye has recently retired from her job, which she described as a one person accounting department for an engineering firm. Now that Bobbye is not working full time, she would like to refurbish old dollhouses and donate them to local charities. She also likes to travel with her husband, seeing the country and going to miniature shows. When she is not working with miniatures, Bobbye enjoys playing bridge with her friends.  She also sews and creates counted cross-stitch furnishings for dollhouses.

Thanks so much for sharing your dollhouses and miniature scenes with us Bobbye.  We love your unique pieces and how they came about. 

Would you like to be our next Miniaturist of the Month?  Just email your information to [email protected] 

I want to let your talents shine!! sunshine

 

 

Miniaturist of the Month – Sabrina Turner

Monday, January 11th, 2016

“If you can’t have it in REAL life, you might as well have it in MINI.” That’s the motto of our Miniaturist of the Month, Sabrina Turner.  Sabrina is originally from Charlottesville, VA and now lives in Waldorf, MD, where she works as a paralegal with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington, D.C. When she’s not busy with her miniatures, you might find Sabrina riding her motorcycle or studying for her Master’s Degree in Legal Studies.  Amid all of these interesting things, Sabrina also is the proud mother of 2 sons and 4 grandsons.

RGT 3200 Series shell

Le Reve Estate, a custom RGT 3200 Series Shell

Sabrina built her first dollhouse in 1995, but she didn’t have the opportunity to build a Real Good Toys dollhouse until 2003.  She received a 3200 Series Shell Dollhouse Kit for Christmas. Fast forward twelve years and look what she’s done with this shell kit!  Sabrina calls this dollhouse “Le Reve Estate” and the mansion measures just shy of 7 feet long.  It has three extensions and a garage.  She considers it one of her prized possessions, and as most miniaturists, she is still decorating the interior.  Sabrina5Sabrina6Sabrina7

RGT Foxhall Manor

Sabrina’s Foxhall Manor with conservatory and custom garage

RGT Thornhill

Sabrina’s Thornhill

 

 

 

 

 

Sabrina supplied us with many wonderful interior shots of her “mini mansions”, so I chose just a few to share. Her interior work is just as spectacular as her exterior work! Over the years, Sabrina has collected many miniatures in her travels and she says Le Reve Estate has a significant place in her home, regally sitting on its own custom built table with wheels. You’ll notice a couple of snazzy looking vehicles in her pictures, such as the miniature versions of a Lexus LS400 and a Range Rover Sport.  Sabrina has also built the Foxhall Manor and the Thornhill.  Next up is the Newport with two extensions and on her wish list is the Queen Anne. The Windsor, Victoria’s Farmhouse, Alison Jr. and Victorian Cottage Jr. are some other dollhouses she has built. She is an expert on Real Good Toys dollhouses!

 

RGt General Store

Sabrina’s Gucci store

Presently she is working on a General Store and has turned it into a Gucci store.  All of these beautiful creations make up her Real Good Toys Millionaire’s Row. Sabrina is hoping to add more shops to her “mini millionaire neighborhood” and says that each of her dollhouses has been, and will be, built in honor of her four sisters and herself. As Sabrina says, “What better way to own the most prestigious mansions without having to worry about mortgages, electric bills, association dues, etc…!”

I am a TRUE RGT fan!!

All we can say is “WOW”.  Thank you so much for sharing your exquisite work Sabrina.  Keep it up. We can’t wait to see what you have up your sleeve!!

Would you like to be our next Miniaturist of the Month?  Email me at [email protected] for all the details!

Miniaturist of the Month – Dena Buehring

Wednesday, November 11th, 2015
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

Friday, October 16th, 2015
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

Miniaturist of the Month – Renee Orvis

Wednesday, August 12th, 2015
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

Miniaturist of the Month – Lawanda Swearengin

Thursday, June 11th, 2015
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

Monday, May 18th, 2015
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 – Donald Jenny

Monday, February 16th, 2015
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 – Carole Risteen

Friday, November 28th, 2014
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

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