Many of you who have followed my blog for a couple years know that in 2017, my parents, who were both raised in Montana, and then raised their family in the Pacific Northwest, bought a retirement home in Arizona. As a family, we knew nothing of the desert. But through mom and dad's experiences, and on our visits, we've been learning a lot about what seems like another world entirely! Plants, wildlife, climate... It's all so fascinating!
On our Monday and Friday phone calls, mom describes the animals she sees running through the yard as she sits on her covered back patio. She's traded squirrels for bunnies and crows for a family of quail that makes it their home in the spring every year. She loves watching them grow up, and she's also learned to love the many lizards that flee out of holes as she's watering. She doesn't scream at all anymore! The weird flying bugs and the scorpions (rare because the first service she hired was the pest control)? Not so much! She's got a nice collection of potted cactus going, and I get to see when they're flowering via FaceTime. They've got palm trees and date trees and have only killed two orange trees (so far) due to rookie ignorance! Dad got himself a fishing boat and is enjoying his adventures discovering all the honey spots in the rivers that lead into the lake. I just love hearing about it all, and wish I could spend more time there with them. Especially when it's 75 degrees this time of year with sunny skies!
Looking at homes in the southwest, their construction methods and the logic behind them, has really piqued my interest in that style of architecture. I've been craving a mini project where I could incorporate things like stucco, clay floor tile, vigas (wooden beams used in the traditional adobe architecture of the American Southwest), flat roofs, terra cotta "s" roofing tiles, heavy wooden doors with iron hardware, adobe fireplaces - you get the idea! But in researching the styles, I was shocked to learn that there are many! Spanish Mission, Hacienda, Pueblo, Santa Fe, and Territorial just to hit the highlights! Holy buckets what a gold mine! I love elements from all of them, so how to decide upon one? Lucky for me, this is miniatures! I am free to create whatever I can dream! I don't have to pick just one! I can combine all of my favorite elements and build a house which pays homage to them all!
|Traditional Santa Fe|
Now you won't be surprised to learn that there just aren't a whole lot of miniature dollhouse kits out there to work from in this genre. There are a few kits on the market, featuring various SW styles, but all of them are over $200.00!
The Adobe Room & Patio Kit by miniatures.com $229.99
The Adobe Dollhouse from Manhatton Dollhouse $499.00
Ellsworth Dollhouse Kit from Earth & Tree $263.00
Can't afford a kit? It's not a problem - it's an opportunity! Because I am on a budget, and because I enjoy the challenge of making something from something else, I took a look at the kits I have on hand. I was pretty surprised when I looked at my Duracraft Linfield and began to see multiple ways I could bash it into the southwest mini home of my dreams!
I know what you're thinking... "How can a frilly, Victorian dollhouse kit even be a contender for a southwest style house?". Well, let me show you a couple things to convince you!
I know it's hard to imagine now, and I may be creating a nightmare for myself, but challenges are often the best fun! Once I crack open the kit I'll have a better idea of the possibilities. Or the impossibilities! But I do have to try, and I'm awfully excited at the prospect! Working in this genre may just help keep the winter blues (and grays!) away, too!
I hope that you'll join me on this exciting exploration, whenever I get to start on it. I am eager to hear your ideas and I hope you'll help fill in the multiple gaps to my desert home knowledge! This is going to be so much fun with your help!
But first... I really need to stop dreaming up new miniature projects and get my real life house in order!
For those of you in the US - I hope your Thanksgiving celebrations are chock full of things to be grateful for! For those of you elsewhere, my wish is the same. :O)
Back to work! See you soon!