Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Dollhouses


I'll never forget the day I walked in to my first dollhouse shop. I was in college and didn't particularly feeling like going to class. Fortunately, another classmate of mine felt the same and said, "hey, you want to go to my favorite store?".  Cut to about twenty years later (oy, is it really that long?), and dollhouses and miniatures have become a passion. One I haven't been able to indulge in much now that I'm writing full time, but there's a reason I call miniatures the mafia of hobbies: once you're in, there's no way out.

I don't know that there's any way to describe why (or how) this hobby takes hold of a person. I mean, I've always had a very vivid imagination (I think I came out of the womb with a book in one hand and a book store discount card in the other). There's something about being able to create the world you want, in any way you want it, and soon (or not so soon) be able to look at it any time that you want. I've only done one main dollhouse. I chose carefully because I knew I'd probably only ever do one (who has the space for more!). The one I decided on is called the Apple Blossom and the main selling point was that little tower room that (some day) I will be turning into a mini observatory complete with star maps and telescope. The rest of the house, however, is completely finished (dust included! How amazingly authentic is that?).

As you can see, I did a pretty typical room choice. I have the kitchen (classic Victorian meets...See's Candies?) that includes an old-fashioned stove, icebox, and a cat overseeing the construction of a strawberry pie (I'll replace that with a gingerbread house in a couple of months). The living room includes special "family" touches such as the tatted "rug" beneath the coffee table. That rug was actually made by my late grandmother. I have an entire box filled with scraps and unfinished pieces like that that I can include. The bedroom has a little bit of elegance to it, with an classic writing desk that reminds me of my favorite movie, Pride and Prejudice (along with a teeny candy dish for treats while composing letters). The bathroom...well, the cat needs a litter box, right? And then there are my two favorite rooms: the sewing room, complete with that all-too familiar tomato pin cushion I bet a lot of you recognize. The children's play room was super fun to fill and that teeny little black and white porcelain doll lying on the blanket (one of my few attempts at crocheting in miniature) belonged to my great-grandmother. Dollhouses are the perfect place to display all those unusual items passed down through the generations.

Back to that dollhouse store I mentioned at the beginning of this post. I actually ended up working at The Elegant Dollhouse for a number of years. I still go back to visit and fill in when the owner needs a break or goes on vacation. I don't have as much time, or any time really, for miniatures any longer. Over the years, I've done a number of room boxes (you can find pictures on my website www.authorannastewart.com under extras) both for myself and for special friends. That way I can stay in the hobby and not have to find a place to put them.


This holiday season for HEARTWARMING HOLIDAY WISHES (the boxed set on sale for only $.99 cents!), I took a different tact with the hobby and created an entire story around Hazel MacIver, owner and operator of Christmas Town Maine's premiere dollhouse store Plum Pudding Cottage. I actually got to "own" a dollhouse store without having to worry about all the work, LOL. There's something special and magical about Christmas Town to begin with. Adding a dollhouse store, where you can step into miniature worlds you can create yourself? I'm not sure there's any better way to celebrate the holiday season.

No, dollhouses aren't just for little girls (or boys). They're for anyone who loves the idea of creating the perfect house, stretching their interior design ideas, learning a new craft and planning out construction ideas if you want to build from scratch. You can get a kit, buy blue prints...and here's the kicker. ANYTHING you want that your real house has, you can have in a dollhouse. That's right: electricity, hard wood flooring, staircases (no, there aren't any in my house--my people can fly <G>...and stairs take up valuable space). I've even seen one with running water and working doorbells. The sky is the absolute limit and while the hobby can get expensive, there's always a way to make it affordable.

Trust me...take a look online and, if you're fortunate enough to have a dollhouse store in your town (you might be surprised where one lurks), give yourself the gift of exploring...and maybe bringing some of that magic into your holiday season this year.

Happy reading!
~Anna J

USA Today and national bestselling author Anna J. Stewart writes sweet to sexy romance for Harlequin's Heartwarming and Romantic Suspense lines. Early obsessions with Star Wars, Star Trek, and Wonder Woman set her on the path to creating fun, funny, and family-centric romances with happily ever afters for her independent heroines. Anna lives in Northern California where she deals with a serious Supernatural & Sherlock addiction, surrounds herself with friends and family and tolerates an overly affectionate cat named Snickers (or perhaps it's Snickers who tolerates her). When she's not writing, you can find her at fan conventions or at her local movie theater, or building her client list for her content editing services. You can read more about Anna and her books at www.authorannastewart.com.
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This holiday season, warm your heart with 10 connected sweet, clean & wholesome holiday romances set in Christmas Town from 10 Harlequin Heartwarming authors who are USA Today bestselling authors.

This collection of PG-rated holiday romances are all set in Christmas Town, Maine, a location introduced in the 2014 Harlequin Heartwarming release Christmas, Actually.

A Heartwarming Holiday will bring you laughter, tears, and happily-ever-afters (no cliffhangers), for more than 1000 pages.

Santa's Secret Heart by Anna Adams
Merry Christmas Carol by Melinda Curtis
Miracle on Joyful Street by Liz Flaherty
Finding His Fiancée by Christmas by Cheryl Harper
The Christmas Window by Tara Randel
Mistletoe and Holly by Leigh Riker
Gingerbread Girl by Carol Ross
The Christmas List by Anna J Stewart
A Case for Christmas Magic by Amy Vastine
Jingle Bell Love by Cari Lynn Webb

iBooks: Coming soon!

5 comments:

  1. I definitely understand the "mafia" about it. That is fascinating stuff!

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    1. Thanks, Liz. Wish I had more time to spend on it!

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  2. Anna, This is incredible. Thank you for the sneak peek into your "other" passion. I love how it plays a part in The Christmas List. And I absolutely loved your story!

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    1. Awww, thanks, Carol. Back at you on your story! LOVED The Gingerbread Girl. <3

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  3. Thank you so much for hosting me (and my fellow set authors) today!! Great to be with you all. <3

    ReplyDelete

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