About once a year or so, I see art or decor in print or on the web that
completely galvanizes me with its beauty. I’m excited to introduce you to
Caroline Dupuis of Cinderella Moments , who contacted me with a link
As a shy person, I’m quite embarrassed by all the ‘limelight’ my studio
has shone on me – the very sweet comments from my gentle readers,
magazine editors, a pair of big-time design gurus, and getting recognized
at yard sales and stores, for example – but I’m learning to feel worthy of it.
But, when I saw the pictures of my studio on her blog I gasped and cried out
(at work, mind you, that’ll teach me to not goof off) like the first time I was
contacted by some (Cindy of My Romantic Home) for my little studio.
I immediately forwarded the link to my family and closest friends,
and now I share it with you: a dollhouse so realistic I feel like I’m in my studio
just staring at the pictures.
This is art the only way it should be – labored, heartfelt, inspired.
Caroline actually installed the woodwork board by board, just like I did
for my studio, so I know something of what it took to make this.
The best thing about her is she doesn’t stop looking for solutions
when she’s stonewalled.
Caroline graciously granted me an in-depth interview, please see below.
Sandy - What touched me the most was the obvious work you did to get so many details right; the tissue roses, the sachet, all three chandeliers. They bear your stamp of creativity rather than slavishly copying. Can you comment further on that?
Caroline - The chandeliers! I looked around for chandeliers to buy (this is what happens to me with everything!), but I couldn’t find anything like I wanted. So I decided to try making one. First, I looked up miniature chandelier tutorials online and found one to try. I did it and didn’t like it. So I went on my own! Got inspired by looking at Horchow’s site. I just start bending the metal and it takes me wherever it wants to go! This is true of all my art work. I listen to what the piece wants to be. I don’t try to control it.
Sandy - What ‘scale’ is this?
Caroline - This is 1:12 scale.
Sandy - What size doll would fit inside?
Caroline - I think 5 to 6 inch dolls. I don’t even have one!
Sandy - What materials are used on the exterior and roof?
Caroline - The roof is wood shingles, the regular ones you get for dollhouses. The siding is a cardboard box that I cut open to get that ridged part. I used the same material inside, but a smaller scale. When it’s painted it looks like the real thing.
Sandy - The ‘tin walls and ceiling’ are so sweet! What are they made of?
Caroline - The tin is just cardboard and hot glue. First, I cut out the little 2” square pieces of cardboard. I drew a simple leaf and dot design and applied the hot glue. This one gets me a lot of emails! The secret is twirling so you cut those annoying hot glue strings. Then I painted them white and lightly highlighted with silver.
Sandy - Did you cut all the planks for the floors and ceiling out of wood?
Caroline - All the planks are craft sticks that I cut out one by one. I always like when they split or break. It looks so rustic!
Sandy - How long have you been making dollhouses?
Caroline - I have only been making dollhouses since April 2010. I had been making my paper (cardboard actually) cottage models for 13 years. But my Etsy customers kept asking for houses to put their furniture in. So I finally gave in. I didn’t even think I would like it! I don’t…I love it!
Sandy - If someone wanted to get started in this art, how and what would you direct them to?
Caroline - Start with a kit. A simple, little one. I started with the Corona Primrose kit . It’s still my favorite. You want to do one with not too many pieces. One you can see yourself finishing. I use this kit all the time. I just put more windows and doors to customize it.
Sandy - I enjoy making decorative houses for Christmas, but mine look like the influential Coty Foster houses. Do you make anything for the holidays?
Caroline - I love your houses. I saw them on your Christmas post. I’ve tried a couple of those myself! I do have one Christmas dollhouse on Etsy. It’s very whimsical. Red with white polka dots, pink hand-painted interior, and even a Christmas tree I decorated. It’s really in the Mary Engelbreit style. I hope to do more as soon as I get hit by some inspiration!
Sandy - Do you do custom work, for example, if someone wanted a dollhouse of their home, would you take it on?
Caroline - I don’t think I’m quite there yet. I still think I need more woodwork practice. Your little studio was my very first try at copying an existing structure. It was sweet and small. I never want to overwhelm myself with projects I’m not sure I can accomplish. Also, I’m happiest when I work on houses that I fall in love with. I did a lot of custom paper houses for people and I came to the conclusion that I’d rather do projects my heart tells me to do. It makes the work so exciting and fun. Like your studio. I couldn’t wait to get up in the morning and start working on it! That’s what art is all about!
Until next time, stay shabby!
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I’ll be sharing this with:
Come on over and see all the pretty entries!