I had basically decided to not go to the dollhouse festival in Farum this year. How could I justify going when I owe the state 6500:- (£566 /€671 /$731) in taxes? Do not ask me how that happened, when I do not have an income! But it has happened because I receive care allowance for my three autistic boys. As I told “Kitty”: “CSN wants their student loan paid back from that money and now the state wants the money back, which they gave me. So first they give me and then they want it back! I know, it does not make any sense what so ever. What is the point really?”
But not only do I owe that amount because they have withdrawn too little tax during 2016, we also have a garage bill for 7000:- (£609 /€723 /$787). And if that is not bad, the Air Conditioning in the car is still not working, even though we took the car in something like ten times last summer and autumn, for it to be fixed once and for all! And I can not even get the windows down, to get air that way, since the only way to get them down on our “modern” car, is with a button, and the electric cables to those buttons, do not work anymore! And once again the sign for the exhaust system is lit, telling me that something is WRONG. That lamp has basically been lit since a week after we bought the car. I wish we would have understood that this would be a more or less permanent problem. We are talking about our WV Sharan being the worse money pit here.
At the same time, I never get out of the house at all anymore. I drive the children to school, I fetch them, and if I run in to an adult, I might exchange a word or two. But that is it. I go to church on Sundays, but I sit there and try to listen to the talks, while I also try to keep my boys behaving. Then I teach “Boo” the Sunday school lesson, since he refuses to go in to the teacher he is supposed to have and MY students choose to sit in the hall playing mobile phone games instead. The final hour, “Boo” refuses to sit in on, because his brain has had enough by then. So I sit in Primary filling out the numbers of grown ups in there, and waiting for “Gubby” to arrive the final 20 minutes. My social life stinks.
When E. was home from England over Easter, she asked me why I am not working on my dollhouse. First of all, one brick broke off, when I put the house upright, after working on it. So it needs to be laid down again. In the laundry room, so that I can spray the house down with sealer, again, it obviously not having enough on the side of the house where the brick broke off. But my husband uses our laundry room as a general dump, so there has not been room for the house in there, nor do I want laundry sprayed with sealer!
There is also the problem of things missing, for me to proceed. And that was the one and only reason, why I took myself and the MasterCard over to Denmark Saturday. To get a few items, so I can make a little bit of headway on the house. As usual, I was nervous about going since our GPS lives a life of her own. “Jane” of course did not lead me to Farum’s Culture House without detours. She got me going in the wrong direction, told me to make a U-turn on the autobahn, turn right where there was no road… I tried to phone my husband so he could look on a map and see if any of the towns were close to Farum, so I could drive by signs instead, but of course he did not have the sound on, on his phone. He never does, so it really is useless ever phoning him! I got myself off the autobahn instead and drove the “scenic route” through Copenhagen’s suburbs. But I did arrive finally. 30 minutes wasted!
I did not have time to look in any of the fun shops and this was a disappointment, since the entire shopping centre closed an hour before the fair, so I totally missed out on that. I who love to look in the bookshop! But, I did go there to attend the dukkehusfestival and this I did accomplish. I started out with the first shop I had checked out on the internet, which I assumed was going to sell wood for making wall skirting.
Last year when I came home from this fair, I had a contact number to a lady in Lund, who told me she had dollhouses to sell. And I did end up buying one of them. A tall Georgian house decorated to look like a 1900 Copenhagen townhouse. I could take Georgian but not a Danish look, since the scene I wanted to create, was London Blitz 1940/1941. So I worked for weeks, trying to remove all wallpaper, which meant that when the wallpaper came off, all wood skirting by the floors and ceilings also came off, since she had glued them on top of the wallpapers. When I removed the paint on the outside of the house, all strips of window surround came off as well. And nothing could be saved, since these thin strips really are thin! But the lady who has all sizes and thicknesses, had not bothered taking anything like that with her! She was quite rude actually, snapping at me and telling me that she can’t take everything with her. My mistake! I could have decided early on to attend the fair and then I could have pre-ordered things to be collected at the fair. On the other hand, I needed advice on what to get in the first place and how much!
Disappointed, I headed to another shop, where I had seen what I suspected would be perfect 1930s carpets. Only, that shop had not brought any carpets at all. Nor had they brought door handles and door locks, which I had also planned on buying. Same thing with that. I could have pre-ordered and collected. On the other hand, I wanted to see the carpets to make sure the colours were right! At this point I started questioning why I had bothered coming at all. But, I still did end up buying more than I had planned. Unfortunately, not all was needed at this point, in my dollhouse restoration!
This was needed though! For a year now or more, I have looked for the perfect wallpapers for that period in time. But can there be anything worse than ordering wallpaper, paint and fabric over the internet? Most of the time you will be disappointed. The wallpaper I bought from http://www.minimissmattosant.com is PERFECT though and a wallpaper which I have had favourited on Etsy for years. In green and in blue. Unfortunately, the person on Etsy no longer lives in England but in New Zealand, which of course will affect the shipping and also, she has changed the measurements of the sheets to a more easy size to handle for her, A4 that is. Not so perfect in my house though! But you can imagine how happy I became when I saw this Swedish seller having at least the green one! And in A3 size! Best thing of all: Half price off! I do not know why, but I grabbed the matching fabric, in case I will need it for something. And from another seller, http://www.anitas-grote-kleine-wereld.nl, I bought the matching roses which I thought could be kept in a vase in the bedroom, where I will use this wallpaper. It will be the master bedroom, belonging to ROSE. How perfect is this?!
http://www.minaturehuset.dk was the lady who had not brought any building supplies and the few times I walked by her stall, there was not any real interest in it. But two stalls beside her, stood http://www.poppenhuis.com from the Netherlands and to my joy, THEY had brought plenty of building supplies and were willing to help me with advice. I not only bought skirting for the floor but also a really nice kind for the ceiling, all the wood needed for around the windows on the outside and the one piece for one inside window, which had an unfortunate accident. In a way, I am now all set. I only need one more thing and that is wallpaper for Lily’s bedroom. And of course, I have to decide whether to put a panel in the kitchen or not. It would look SO nice but then it would be way more difficult to furnish, since the furniture could not stand flush with the wall. I love paneling though! Deep sigh!
One place I avoided last year, was a stall where the owners were very grumpy: http://www.de-pronkkamer.nl. They were also being overly suspicious of people, assuming that we were all there to steal. I am glad that not all stall owners are like that. I even heard one Dutch woman say that she loves coming with her merchandise to Farum because there are no security cameras and people are honest. Well, this couple do not trust anyone and will stand behind you and breathe down your neck, making sure you do not steal anything. But I decided to shop from them all the same, this year. Not to prove how honest I am but to make “Gubby” happy. I looked at the dog pillows last year, but was turned off by the owners, this year I decided to bring a smile to my son’s face by buying some things for the dollhouse that HE would appreciate: So, I splurged on the Bulldog pillow, since it is his favourite dog, on the little mouse and trap, which was fun and unusual, and finally the cross stitch kit, which was on sale and had a nice message for my WWII family.
I also decided to do something about knitting. Last year I stood and admired all the beautiful yarn shades at http://www.wolwereldje.nl. The owner only spoke German then so I gave up trying to explain that I do not have any pattern to make anything. This year it seemed like he had learned how to speak a little bit of English, since he tried to make me buy ten yarn balls and get one free. I settled for two but still could not get across to him that I do not have a pattern and where can I find one? I want to knit soldiers’
socks which was what most women sat and did during the war. But I also would like to make a cardigan for one of the women. To hang on a washing line or in a room somewhere. In an episode of “Foyle’s War”, driver Sam Stewart had a lovely coloured cardigan on, so I bought the same kind of green. Now where on earth do I find patterns for these projects?
So far so good. Not totally unnecessary items to buy, or? The following, I am perhaps not too proud of having bought:
I am truly sorry about the quality of the photo, but for once we have a spring sun shining! From http://www.miniaturehuset.dk I did end up buying the cheap little picture, which in all likelihood was made in China. But the lady looks so pretty and could post as Rose’s and Lily’s mother! The little iodine and poison bottles were bought from http://www.dukkehusbutikken.dk which was supposed to have had the carpets and door handles. They did have some fun hospital things and I bought some things especially, since I want traces of Rose’s military husband in the house. Not that she has tried to poison him! I was thinking rat poison perhaps, which everyone had at home. And Iodine, for a husband who has been home recovering from perhaps a wound at Dunkirk? Or a RAF/RN combat situation? Haven’t decided which force he belongs to since I am not planning on buying him as a doll for the house. But he will be present in many ways, which you can also see above in the already knitted socks from http://www.kunkelhandmade.dk and the typewriter from ateljelillahjartat.blogspot.se. I have no idea what his pre-war occupation was, but since I have been toying with the idea of a profession needing a typewriter and then standing in front of one at a fair… well I had to buy it!
I must comment on the two-table-stall of that latter place. Absolutely gorgeous! Flowers of all kinds. Pricey or should I say, out of my league as all the Swedish sellers’ items, but very detailed and pretty. Made by the doll Ture! I have not found his story yet on the internet, but the owner’s friend told me that I must look it up and read it. Ture is a cute old man doll and he was present in the hot-house they had on one of the tables. They pretend that everything in the stall was made by Ture or his wife. Can’t remember her name though. She was sitting in a rocking chair, knitting. I was just happy to find the typewriter since the one I have in my watch list on eBay, is too expensive and the shipping even worse. Now I can remove that one from the list!
The little toy car was dirt cheap and in metal, so I bought it for the attic boy’s room, which needs toys! I think I bought it from Danish http://www.d-r-n.com. But I am not 100% sure.
I have left the best bits till last though. At five stalls, I spent a lot of time talking to the owners. Or the owner’s husband, as was, in one case. I of course could not ignore Jane Harrop’s (www.janeharrop.co.uk) stall with all her gorgeous wartime kits. She was not present when I went to look, but I got to talk to her husband for a LONG time. Him telling me how much they have travelled lately and about all the metal pieces he has in his body. Not so much dollhouse chat in other words. But it was nice to talk to him, even though it bothers me that he voted Brexit last year. To me and all other Swedes, Brexit voters stand for utmost xenophobia. Including the rejection of tourists! I ended up buying the lovely Art Deco bookend kit from him. Totally unnecessary item at this point yes, but I am curious to try it out since it should not require pre-owning paints!
An even more lovely stall, or on the same level perhaps, was http://www.iriginals.nl / http://www.inhetpoppenhuis.nl. I fell in love with everything! The house kits! The interiors! The furniture and how the owner had painted them. But I felt that I could not afford everything that I wanted, so I ended up buying the cutest item of them all: An egg-cupboard! It was absolutely lovely. Now, eggs were rationed so I have only bought a few in the past, BUT those will have to go in to this adorable cupboard, when I have put it together. I must say this, if you want to buy kits and well-made sturdy ones at that, this is the place to go. The thickness of the wood makes them well worth the money. I hate when you see wood furniture or kits that are so fragile that they can not take any kind of “abuse”, without breaking. You must be able to handle things without them breaking.
The final kit, was bought from US seller http://www.moeminiatures.com. Since I love playing Chinese chess and learned how to play it from the master himself, my father, I just had to get that little kit. And of course talk about Washington state, my husband’s favourite state of all. Typically my hypothyroid brain fog had to strike, so I could not remember a single place where he has lived nor where his dad lived right before he died. Just an empty black hole in my brain! So annoying and embarrassing!
Before it was time to leave and them all closing shop, I walked up to the big hall and re-visited http://www.stellaquepassa.nl since I had decided to get a little pewter dollhouse from phoenix model developments. But when I got up there, I noticed a little old-fashioned toaster instead! One like I actually grew up with, and naturally I had to buy that one instead and also four little tin mugs
that I will paint in the traditional cream with green rims, because I have seen those mugs in many WWII photos! I was totally excited about those purchases because I always am, when I have bought pewter and things from Warwick/Phoenix… I just love their things the best. She brought me over to the owner of http://www.artofmini.com to discuss painting. I love Art of Mini but it is not the kind of items I can use for my time period of house. But everyone else is mad about the kits and buy lots! Now the stall was empty, since the fair was almost over, but she showed me some of the paints she uses for her displays and told me to go in to the game shop in Lund and demand that they help me. She uses Citadel paints and she totally dislikes Humbrol, which are the paints that Phoenix themselves tell you to use. Even though they are clumsier to use for details and according to her, take forever to dry. I will contemplate Citadel, but since I have already bought a couple of colours in Humbrol, I must try them first.
I must say that I am very impressed with the Dutch sellers! Last year I basically avoided them all, but this year, they were the ones who really came through for me at least and had the most interesting items! And some, like the two last stalls mentioned, had owners who were very, very friendly! That does a lot to your shopping experience and your contentment with the items you have purchased! All in all, a good fair, in other words! And “Jane” behaved on the way home! A miracle!