Thursday, 7 April 2022


Once Upon A Time, way back in 1998
 my Glencroft Dollhouse looked like this.

During its heyday in the late 80's and 90's, my GLENCROFT dollhouse won a FIRST PLACE Blue Ribbon🏅 along with The BEST OF SHOW Award 🏆 at The Miniature Club of B.C. Show and Sale. 
Shortly thereafter, 
my friend Janine convinced me to take this dollhouse across the border to the annual Seattle Washington Miniature Show and Sale where it won another BEST OF SHOW Award! 🏆


                I'd named this project: "AT HOME BY THE SEA" and had decorated the interior in a nautical theme, using a repeating colour pallet of burgundy, rose, pinks, and a range of greens from dark to light; intermixed with plenty of white woodwork. I'd even installed a music box which plays "Somewhere beyond the Sea"" a tune made famous by the late, great Bobby Darin . ❤️

The interior soft furnishing, were composed of layers of over-scaled florals coupled with bold geometrics inspired by Real Life interior designer Betsy Speerts coastal California residence, along with the influence of Mario Buatta, the self-styled "Prince of Chintz"! 

the original sofa in 

I also made my very first wrap around miniature garden composed primarily of collected plastic foliage, silk and/or dried, plant materials to fill the garden with.  

I thoroughly enjoyed building this dollhouse back in late 80's and I was really pleased that it'd won the awards. 

THEN, as it happened in the early 2000's, I sold my home and everything was packed up including this dollhouse, which was stored in the garage.  As I put down new roots in a new neighborhood, all of my miniatures were put on hold, and for the next 12 years, I focused most of my time and attentions on my Real Life house and its very large garden.

And as for my Glencroft, I completely lost interest in it.  I hardly paid it any mind as it sat year after year after year, gathering dust inside my garage. 

It wasn't until 2012, that I finally felt like getting back into my miniatures again, but rather than tackle something BIG, I decided that my first miniature project would be to finish a small garden roombox I'd half-heartedly begun back in the late 90's entitled "GOTHICA" 🏆🏅which was immediately followed by #43 Green Dolphin Street 🏆🏆(my Greenleaf Arthur dollhouse); then  Land's End(an HBS Creatin Contest house kit which btw, is still a work in progress); then  Villa Leone🏅(the Greenleaf Willowcrest kit) completed in 2019 ;  then back again to Land's End ; and then another small Christmas roombox entitled Victorian Bliss dedicated to the memory of my mother, also completed in 2019.  

Over time, my Studio E became chockablock full of craft supplies and dollhouse projects both big and small/ past and pending, whilst my old Glencroft dollhouse continued moldering away inside my garage. 

It wasn't until the summer of 2021, 21 years later- that the time had come, to bring her into the Big House.  

Initially, my plan was just to clean it up and remake the  original garden with the multitude of plants I'd made throughout the last 2 years of covid, but then it occurred to me that this was a golden opportunity to redo the entire dollhouse, both inside and out! 

        I'd built this kit when I was relatively"young";
                now I'm a whole lot older and
      I've learned a few tricks along the way-  
       and although my measuring and cutting skills
                 Still SUCK!😫
                  I'm much better at fudging 😜
                           not to mention~  
                        the art of disguise. 😎👀

once I'd hauled it into the house and onto
my dining room table all I did was look at it
for the next 3 weeks.
I didn't know what to do with it other than to gut it,
 so I started with that. 

The first job I tackled 
 was to remove the crumbling garden.

The original flower beds had been constructed from flower foam covered with white glue
and coffee grounds.   
The dried flowers I'd planted 30 years ago,

had faded to the colour of mud and the silk ones were filthy dirty. 
I scrapped everything and 
 wasn't sorry to see any of it go. 

As mentioned:
My new garden would be dressed with the masses of garden plants I'd made
the year before,
but first things first- 


I needed to get serious with the interior. 

Back in the 80's,
I'd covered all the interior walls with printed cotton backed with iron-on interfacing,
 glued directly to the walls.  

Even after all those years of residing in my frigid garage,
it stayed stuck to the walls like limpets to a rock

It required a pair of heavy duty pliers, a paint scraper,
and a dogged determination to get it off 
shred by shred!  
Stripping the walls and stripping the garden were both very messy jobs and
the debris went everywhere! 

all my tools and supplies were being shuttled  into the dining room where
 they began to pile up on the table; then under the table;
  on the chairs; on the floor; and up against the walls.

The mess in the dining room was stressing me out! 😱 

I had to get the Glencroft into my Studio 
where my tools were and where I can
close the door! 

Reconfiguring my tiny jam-packed workroom to accommodate my dollhouse
on it's wide platform base,
 was definitely a challenge, but eventually
 I managed to squeeze it in. 

Whew!  What a relief! 

The old colour scheme of pink, green and white was totally dated and I was ready for a radical change. 
I tried out many different patterned wallpapers
in a variety of different colours 
but in the end,
 I went right back to PINK! 
I guess PINK was meant to be 😅

The sisal wall to wall carpeting in living room had been ideal for my seaside cottage theme,
I ended up replacing it with hardwood flooring since  
I have loads of leftover unused ext. siding
 from the Villa Leone/ Willowcrest project
which will made great wide floorboards
 Waste Not, Want Not 😊

The kits long mantle shelf which runs the width of the fireplace wall- I shaved off along with the gothic fireplace surround,
although I did leave the sealed storage doors
and the painted panelling intact.  

I also removed the handrail, the balusters, AND the upstairs  bedroom wall so that I could rip off the fabric in the stairwell for repapering,
it's STILL difficult to get my big hand inside
this narrow space!

Scraping off the little signal flags was easier than I thought except for the ones at the top of the staircase, 
 but stripping the rest of the house was awful, since most of the interfacing continued to put up a fight! 

Here's what the living room looked like
in November- December 2021
At this stage, I had enlarged the front door opening for a new door and had made a new set of leaded windows, which to be honest, 
I wasn't at all happy with. 
 I've already remade them and will give a BRIEF outline of the entire process in PART 2 of this post.

The above photo was from when I first laid the electrical tape in the 80's

Once the room was down to the bare bones 
I had to tackle 

 Half of the old tape wiring in the living room 
still worked but 

 to get it to stay working
"therein lies the rub!"
It was FINE one minute then shorting out the next-
what a headache!

yet... long before I actually gutted the room,
I organized a floor plan with all the furniture 
I hoped to use
as seen in the photo above,
 then I took pictures to remind myself later as to where
 the various task lamps would go.

I first needed to see what kind of light I could expect from each of their proposed positions. 

 I had a pair of iron look sconces which I'd originally purchased for Villa Leone from
for over the stone fireplace.  
I stuck them to the wall with blue tack 
and hooked them up to a transformer
to see how much light they'd cast

 in the room. 

They produced LOTS of light! 
which meant that 
 the Pole lamp
 which I'd been seriously considering for beside the sofa,
was unnecessary. 

Above and below are the proposed positions of the table lamps along with the illumination coming from the sconces over the fireplace

I still needed to illuminate the left side of the living room so that the secretary wasn't left in the shadows. 
You'll get to see those results in Part 2.

The next phase was to remove everything and begin  hooking up the sconces, drilling through the wood panelled wall and eventually leading the wires down and  out of both sides of the fireplace to be connected to the electrical tape on the floor. 

Above is the finished product

The "fire" in the fireplace is a string of orange LED's from Dollarama,
(look for them right before halloween)
I had to drill a hole from the outside of the Glencroft to feed the wire into the fireplace. 
Later on,
I'll disguise the double AA battery pack under a tidy stack of chopped wood at the side of the house. 

The orange lights are positioned behind a veil
of super fine
red mesh

which diffuses the light and causes it to look like flames.
I Absolutely LOVE the look of this fire! 
I turn it on EVERY TIME I look into this house- 
it's so romantic
but that's all I'm going to write about it
 and the living room for now
as this post is already SUPER LONG

Stay tuned for Part 2 later this month. 

bye for now

                 p.s.  it feels good to be back on the blog!
p.s.s.  If you can't wait - you can see the finished living room of THE DOWER HOUSE on my instagram page- the link is in the Header.



  1. Janine clued me in to the fact that you had blogged so I have just spent a lovely time reading while having my afternoon cup of tea. Just what I needed on ANOTHER rainy day in Sydney. I am amazed at how much you have done already and look forward to the next post. And I’ll hopefully get to see it in person soon!!!

    1. Hi Linda! Yes my reentry into the fold can be equated to a stealth blog post! hahaha I've had a number of drafts waiting in the wings but in the end posted none of them and decided to begin with the Glencroft instead. The others can wait. Other than this one room, I haven't done anything else except continue to deconstruct it. I too am looking forward to us getting together again, however J. is suggesting that it be at her house, but perhaps we can do both! :D

  2. Elizabeth, esto es un grandísimo trabajo de reconstrucción! Has trabajado mucho, retirar todo el follaje del jardín, raspar paredes y suelos, el desescombro...lo más penoso, casi, lo tienes hecho, ahora comienza el trabajo de diseño y decoración, que estoy segura vas a disfrutar! ánimo y a por ello, te seguiré en tu trabajo!!

    1. Hello Pilar! Thank you for your encouraging words regarding the demolition and reconstruction of this dollhouse! Believe it or not, but I found that after having gutted it, I had to coach myself in what to do next; it was as if I was frozen for 3 weeks! Funny how that happened but it feels good not only to be working on it but also to be back on the blog so THANK YOU for coming back and sticking with me- Very MUCH APPRECIATED!❤️

  3. Oh, quel travail déconstruite est un problème (j'ai cassé des tuiles, obligée de refaire tout le toit) ta reconstruction débute parfaitement bien. J'adore le feu de cheminée.
    Ravie de te retrouver Elizabeth !
    A bientôt.

    1. It's nice to see YOU again and to be back on blog again!
      I KNOW that if anyone knows both the perils and the rewards of a major dollhouse deconstruction is it is Definitely YOU! hahhaha
      I've discovered in the process, that it's a lot more difficult that what I'd imagined, but that the satisfaction is greater and therefore well worth the efforts of breathing new life into an "old friend".

  4. I'm so glad to see you back with this wonderful and interesting post. What you have already made is big work, I love the fireplace with the fire so cosy and full of warmth. I can't wait to see more. Thanks to your post I discovered you're on instagram, great!

    1. Hello Genevieve! I'm VERY Glad to be back and to have something of interest to write about too! :D
      Instagram has been a entirely different experience- VERY QUICK and INTENSE so I'm enjoying the slower pace of my blog, which I admit to neglecting far too long.
      You are RIGHT about this being a "big work" as it it much more difficult to rebuild around something pre-existing than it is to build from scratch, especially when it entails reworking tight or awkward spaces, but that's the name of the game isn't it? "No Pain No Gain" as the old saying goes! 😉

  5. Hi Elizabeth what a great pleasure to have you back on the blog. Like you I have a period where I am not in the mood for miniature. Love your "new" project.

    1. Hello again Farmor and I return your compliment right back to you! :D
      It think that for many of us, there's been a prevailing mood in the air right across the globe which has dampened the spirits of many. I thank GOD that the depressing weight of it feels to be lifting as the spirit of hope and optimism revives again.
      Getting my miniature feet wet again by reworking this dollhouse has certainly given me a creative lift again and it feels good to throw myself into this renovation project.
      BUT I must add that I LOVE LOVE LOVE YOUR FRENCH FOLLY and how you are decorating it! Now THAT'S what I call "a project"!!!


  6. It is no surprise to those of us that admire your artistry that you have been winning Best In Show since before the turn of the century! And when I saw that there was a post from you today, my excitement was electric! It has been so long, but I knew you were working on something, and that it would be totally worth the wait!!! And I was right!
    The Glencroft! One of the most charming kits in Greenleaf's line of products, and in your creative and ingenious hands was and will be again a masterpiece! I cannot even tell you how excited I am to see the before and progress photos of this amazing build as you restore her to glory! The living room is already magazine cover worthy, and already draws me in with that twilight mood you're so genius for setting in your rooms. And the tip about the fireplace light - just a peek into that brilliant and clever creative mind of yours!
    I know we are in for more juicy mini goodness in Part 2, and I am going to savor each chapter of this story as it unfolds. And then I am going to binge read it all over again and again as I have done with each and every project you create! You have just made 2022 a memorable year for me with this exciting story of restoration!

    1. Thank You So Much for your enthusiastic comment, Jodi; I Appreciate it VERY MUCH!:D
      I have been wanting to post a blog for months but each time I started on it, I felt I had nothing to say worth reading or writing about.
      Nevertheless, I'd promised a couple of ladies who had taken the time last year, to ask me via email to post again, so I had to push through my self-induced creative coma and just DO IT! and WHOO HOO! it wasn't that hard after all! :D

      Re: The Dower House- I too, have ALWAYS loved this kit which is why I couldn't let it go although I've sold or given away a number of my other dollhouses which I'd lost interest in.
      The Glencroft has an distinct English/storybook quality to it which I find simply irresistible, and so I'm determined that this time around, I'll do it better justice than before.
      Even so, I must say Jodi that watching your work over the years especially lately with your 2 flower shops, has raised the bar for me and for all who follow your blog! My natural inclination is to use my inadequacies as an excuse to settle rather than push myself towards "DO OVERS", so when I read your posts and view the detailed beauty of your work, it energises and inspires me to get off my "turn of the century" duff and go that extra mile just as you do! ❤️
      I believe that this is the beauty of our hobby that we not only get to enjoy each others projects, but that we're also encouraged by each other to continuously improve our own. Often we surprise ourselves by what we're able to produce when we're willing to make the effort to satisfy and realize our own personal visions.
      My aim is to upgrade this house and to make it as good as I can, which is requiring more effort on my part than I'd thought, especially when trying to remember the basics of dollhouse 101! 🧐
      So all that to say that I am enjoying this new/old project immensely AND I'm glad to know, Jodi that you are too! 😘
      So- onto Part 2!

  7. Elizabeth, que valiente has sido de acometer semejante trabajo!!! Pero me encanta tu forma de ver las cosas y de explicarlas. Estoy convencida que esa casa renacerá asombrosa como el ave Fenix. Estoy impaciente por ver la segunda parte.

    1. I think your analogy in equating the renovation of this dollhouse to a Phoenix bird rising from the ashes is totally apropos!:D
      And it was coated with enough dust from 20 years in the garage, to warrant your comparison! hahaha
      Now that I'm back on track with it I think you'll be pleased with the outcome of the living room which is 99.9% completed so PART 2 is right around the corner!
      Thank You for your comment which I really enjoyed reading!

  8. Que bueno de verte de nuevo y poder admirar tu trabajo, es admirable comenzar destruyendo; me parece mucho más difícil que partir de cero pero estoy convencida que será espectacular como ya es la chimenea, con ese cálido ambiente que has creado. Estaré encantada de ver tu segunda parte, buen fin de semana

  9. Lovely to see you here Rosa-Marie! I am encouraged by your comment and Thank You for it! Demolition is always easier than reconstruction and I tend to get impatient with both. Believe it or not, I'm still peeling the old interfacing from off the wall- I can't believe how resistant it is, but I press on!
    Wishing you a great weekend too!

  10. ¡La que has liado! Ha veces he pensado en hacer cambios en mi primera casita, pero finalmente no me atreví. Pero como en todo, tras 20 años de existencia es bueno una remodelación. Estoy segura que estás disfrutando con ello y que quedará genial.

    1. Thank you for your comment Isabel, and like you, I wouldn't have even considered redoing this house had it been more recent. However twenty+ years is a very long time and although I wasn't a complete novice when I constructed this kit, I had less experience and less access to resources, than what I have now, therefor demolition and reconstruction is not as intimidating as it otherwise could have been.
      Also, back in the day, miniaturists were pretty isolated from each other and information and exposure to products were scarce especially here in Canada- but MY OH MY! how time and technology have changed this hobby and taken it to a Whole New Level and it would be such a shame to not take advantage of it now while I can- Yes?😄

  11. It's great to see a new post from you - welcome back, you have been missed.

    And as if you'd never been away I've enjoyed once more your detailed posts and explanations... and as always your beautiful photos spreading so much atmosphere. But unlike other times back ago this time I'm also admiring your courage to start this complete makeover of your award winning project. ;O) I can imagine that it wasn't hard to start the demolition of your garden regarding the dust and dirt after years of neglecting it in the garage. Even more having in mind how much your mini gardening skills developed over the years... But getting rid of the interior... not just changing a few things here and ripping off a bit there... Chapeau, you're one tough lady! But as your stunning fireplace already suggests your courage will be rewarded... and it's so lovely to see the miniature bug managed to bite you once more.


    1. Hello Birgit and Thank You for your "Welcome Back!" 😄It feels great to be missed by those I care about but it also felt necessary to take a break from my blog even though I continued to make minis on the side.
      And after all those years in isolation in my garage, the subsequent demolition of this doll's house, didn't distress me as much as I thought it would: in other words- I was more than mentally prepared and once I got started, I became even more interested in working to make it feel and look Different whilst still maintaining some of its original feeling and character.
      So YUP you're right, Birgit! - I'm smitten AND "re-bitten" 😆

  12. El trabajo de remodelación es sensacional.
    Ha merecido la pena.
    Un saludo

    1. Hello Marian and Thank You for your Lovely comment! 😊 I am SO GLAD that you are enjoying this renovation ride with me.
      I still have a lONG way to go and I expect there will be a lot of twists and turns within each room.
      I don't mind new challenges however, I still wish I could cut a straight line!!!😂

  13. You hit so many cords that we can all relate to: suck at cutting wood, especially. Wanting to get away from pink, but can't. I made it but I'm not happy with it. So as much as we admire your work, we take comfort in knowing that you face the same struggles as the rest of we do. It's a pleasure to read about your miniature journey again, and not just how you go about construction--or in this case destruction, but the way you write as well. I'm not sure that I would have had the heart to tear up an award wining little house, but in my first house, I see so many things that I could now do better.

    1. Thank you for your Understanding; your Empathy and your enthusiastic Support Ann! but I have SEEN your Mad Skills in action AND how Amazing your Multi-media center with built in Fireplace turned out and so I know for a fact, that you're CUTTING AND BUILDING SKILLS are way out of my league!
      And as for not being able to shake the pink... I had hoped that by changing it out, it would move the house into an entirely new direction, but as usual, the house had something to say about that and I'm so glad it did! 😁
      I have a tendency to lean towards darker richer hues on walls, so going lighter automatically took this house in a new direction and yet still be pink! Jonquil of Latchkey and Jonquil blog, pointed out that my mini living room was reminiscent of The Dowager Duchess of Devonshire's Chatsworth house. When I googled her, it turned out that the Duchess's living room is almost the exact same colour pink as in mine-which means that my dollhouse had been RIGHT all along!😊
      MORE PINK!

  14. You have returned to blogland! Welcome back. :-)

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post. It is quite a step to rip out everything and start anew. It will be thrilling to see what you will make of this renovation. And who will be the inhabitants that you build your projects around?

    And on the subject of pink. Pink and pink are totally different colours that can evoke very different atmospheres. I look forward to see what your choices will be for the Glencroft.



    1. I'm still having difficulties with replying to comments Huibrecht and I was right in the middle of writing a response to yours when the entire thing disappears on me so I had to begin again but I want to THANK YOU for YOUR comment AND for being involved in this renovation journey with me!
      I am slowly getting back into circulation both with my blog and within the blogosphere all of my followers and friends so A LOT of catching up!
      Meanwhile, I agree with you 100% re: the colour pink! It is one of the most used (abused) and one of the most versatile when it comes to doll's houses. What has surprised me is that I'd previously thought of the colour as being very young (i.e. nursery) however, I see now, that it can evoke an atmosphere of calm maturity- the psychology of colour an Amazing thing which NEVER gets old... even if we do!😎

  15. It's my version of a "Stealth Return" Huibrecht, so THANK YOU!

    1. And there the earlier comment has magically appeared. :-)

  16. Dear Elizabeth, I join the chorus of "Welcome Back!!!" Blogland has been a bit slow for a while and seeing your Dower House post show up on my bloglist delights me to no end! :) And seeing the original creation followed by the Demolition of that version..... ! Well, I for one am totally dismayed.... and yet intrigued to see what it will now become in your able hands and creative dreams! I would not be able to undo so much of what I had once lovingly done! (I would probably just make Another of the same kit...! LOL!) I am So tempted to unbox the Glencroft kit I have in my pile of "someday" projects.... but am strictly forbidden to start any New builds before I have finished a few of my already started ones! :) So I will content myself with the great vicarious pleasure of watching you work your magic on this rebuild!!! It is so so wonderful to have you back!!! :):)

  17. It's not only good to Be Back Betsy, but also GREAT for me to get reacquainted with those whom I've missed interacting with during my extended leave of absence.
    But I can totally relate to your feelings of dismay re: the demolition of this doll's house however, it was already "a goner" long before I finally brought it inside.
    During its long hiatus inside my garage, rats had infiltrated through the front door; hustled up stairs AND just like the story of the TWO BAD MICE, they tore to shreds, the upstairs bathroom, then peed and pooped all over the main floor on their way out!
    Once I'd discovered it and had effectively dealt with the rat problem in my garage, the dollhouse was emptied, cleaned, aired and then returned to the garage, where it continued to reside in its derelict condition right up until the time I brought it into the house.
    So you see, Betsy, there really was no other option but to strip it right down to it's frame and begin again.
    Of course, I could have put it all back together using the original furniture and fittings which I had stored in a box, but that would have been too easy! I wanted a fresh start so once I'd begun in earnest, there was no turning back! 😛
    And I'm not surprised to learn that you have an unboxed Glencroft waiting in the wings. I think it as one of THE most popular of all the Greenleaf kits with readymade old world charm and built in character which would certainly fit with your Medieval Castle and its surrounding English village! 🤔
    Once you DO get started on your Glencroft, it will be Fascinating to watch because what you do with ALL your projects is to customize them in Unique and Creative ways that goes beyond all imagining and expectations!!! 😲😻

    Meanwhile, my Dower House is slowly making progress- inch by painful inch. I'm having to re-teach myself the building basics all over again (the painful part), whilst the "fun part" of re-decorating has had to wait.... so it appears Betsy dear, that no matter how old I get- some things (i.e. the lazy me) will NEVER change!

  18. It's fantastic to see a new post from you.
    A great job to demolish and rebuild; you are already on the right track. The fireplace is beautiful and makes for a comfortable atmosphere.
    I'm very curious to see the second part.

    1. Hello Faby and Thank you for taking the time to leave such me such a nice comment! 😘
      The demolition was the easy part but the rebuild is taking me longer to do since I am not only doing some major restructuring but also some rewiring which I've already made a BIG MISTAKE with! I currently trying to figure out how to correct it without destroying what I've already done!
      Things never go as smoothly as I want but hopefully I can solve this particular problem SOON! 🤔
      PART 2 coming soon!

  19. Hello Elizabeth, it's so good to see you back. Glencroft is a lovely house, it takes a lot of courage to demolish and start again. I'm looking forward to seeing your progress with the renovation, it's an exciting project. I agree, the fire does look romantic and cosy.

  20. Hi Polly!😊
    Thank you for taking the time to visit and to comment on The Dower House- MUCH Appreciated❣️
    Since writing this post, I have been working on the narrow stairwell which is all but finished so now I'm up to the bedroom.
    However, due to my previous impatience in getting the living room finished, I screwed up my wiring plan for the rest of the house- ARrrrrgggg!😖
    Now I'm trying to figure out how to solve the electrical as I proceed doing what I can in other areas. Renovations are NOT easy!
    Meanwhile, I intend to have Part 2 of the living room online before the end of this month, so please DO come again! 😊 ❤️


  21. Oh Elizabeth, I am so incredibly happy to see you back blogging again. You have always been such an inspiration to me and this post is just as inspiring. The work you tackled to begin refurbishing this dollhouse would probably have stopped me in my tracks but, reading through your post once again inspires confidence in me to tackle those jobs I have been putting off for so long. I am really looking forward to your next post. Big hugs. - Marilyn D.

    1. Hello Marilyn and thank you for your "Welcome Back" AND for your Lovely Comment! I Appreciate both VERY MUCH! ❤️
      I have been working on the stairwell and the bedroom since I posted this and have neglected working on Part 2 of the Living room blog which I'd promised and so just as you've been putting off certain jobs, I have too! But since I've reached a pause in the bedroom re-construction, I will be taking the time this week to complete the PART 2 AND to get it published. Thank you again for your comment! 😘




WELCOME BACK Everyone!   As usual I'm LATE AGAIN!  ⏰😩 Sheesh!   where has the time gone? I honestly meant to have Part 2 published earl...