Sears House

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All Dressed Up & Hyper-Redux

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABetty Bell is READY TO GO. And she will go! Starting Sunday…

I wonder, if I put up a link of her scheduled page, where would it take you…? To some bizarro world, where nothing is real?

Better not, then.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANotice the trim on her dress. Who happens to have vintage trim with the letter “B” on it? Me, that’s who! I just had that little snippet, but could think of no better way to use it than on someone whose initials are “BB”.

I’ve also added a little pom-pom to the tip of her hat. When she saw the photo of herself next to Dot, she noticed that Dot’s bow made her a *little bit taller*. Now, Betty’s King of the Mountain!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAShe turned out really cute. I’m glad I get to enjoy her for a little while longer.

In the meantime, I’m a hypertufa-ing, window-washing FOOL. Today’s my last day! Because who knows what tomorrow will bring?

I know there’s going to be SOME kind of operation in there…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’ve filled in the rest of that section. The repairs are different colors, because, um…Perhaps SOMEBODY didn’t always measure things the same way when mixing!

Or perhaps they didn’t always mix as well as they should!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANo matter! I’m going to paint over everything with “Portland Cement Water”…That I shall mix myself.

*Oh dear.*

Well, it’ll be better than what it was!

This corner pillar at the top of my steps was really bad. I didn’t get a “before” photo, darn the luck, but if you look closely, you can see some of the crumbles yet to be swept a few steps down. It looks SO much better than before. You can also see lighter gray areas where I’ve already painted some smaller cracks with my special “Portland Cement Water.”

Of course, the steps themselves need to be repaired too…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere’s my house this rather blustery morning. Bit by bit!

The final priming and painting will have to wait until after my operation. Hope it’s an outpatient soiree this time around!

However! If I should die before I wake, my love to you all!

And have a happy weekend!

I give and give and give…


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The Art of 13: The Eyes Have It

Chapter 13 The Question & The Quest. Nope, still no color! Which is just fine. We shall go with what we have for today’s post, including corrected sketches from Nina that are currently not in the book. They may never see the light of day because we’ll probably go straight to color! But they’ll see the light of day here! YES, I’m as excited as you are…

First off, my sketch. It’s entitled, “Tell Ruth”:

HT-030 Tell RuthaNina’s initial sketch (and the one currently in use):


Our notes: “Elizabeth needs to be more animated. She’s talking quickly and so excited to be alive again. Hazel should still be surprised. It’s only moments since the first time she’s seen a doll come to life. Ruth’s head should be turned more towards Elizabeth, rather than away.”

The corrected sketch, For Your Eyes Only:


The changes are subtle, until you look closely. If you flash back and forth between the two, it’s almost like a moving cartoon!


Honorable mention, the sketch road not taken (I’d given Nina two choices for the second illustration of this chapter). I called it “The Torch is Passed,” because Hazel is now Elizabeth’s human. That’s the way it should be…:


To that end, I’d climbed onto a step ladder to get a shot of my living room to show what I meant. Note the entryway hall tree in the forefront of both my sketch and the photo I took for Nina:


Why, yes I like color. How did you guess…? (But please note, these color’s aren’t quite accurate. Still, my house is VERY colorful.)

She went for the second choice instead, entitled, “A Milky Brown Eye”:

HT-031BHere are a pair of eyes that SHOULD be a nice, warm brown, but the early plastic has dried out and “crazed”:

13milkyexampleSome doll restorers will replace the eyes. Not me! They never, ever look the same and I can instantly tell they’ve been replaced by their sparkly perfection – which simply doesn’t fit in with an old doll’s face. Besides, the “eyes are the windows to the soul”! They’re the things that have seen so many things over the 70 – 80 years that they’ve been in existence.

I would much prefer to take a little bit of sewing machine oil and drip a drop in, careful to avoid her skin. I’m sure I’ll have an example of before and after at some time. There’s no avoiding the occasional crazed eye. In fact, I see a pair every time I look in a mirror…

Nina’s first sketch:


I decided I really wanted accuracy for my Sears Home, which as you know is Hollyhock Hideaway itself!

I am so very lucky that the book “Homes in a Box” Modern Homes From Sears Roebuck decided to feature my particular, which is No. 146, because they show the extras! Like this page:


Detail of the door knob:

13SearsdetailI sent Nina this photo of the knob for the door to my attic (after removing the bat-proofing pencil that is usually stuck in the keyhole. Don’t sneer! It seems to have worked! I haven’t had any bats this year – knock on wood (oh please oh please oh please, let bat season be over)):

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPatient Nina obliged. Her revised sketch:

Sk_HT_31B-1Both have since been approved to go to color, so we’ll get them soon!

In the meantime, I’ve been sketching away at the next batch. You’ll be as shocked as I am to know: I haven’t gotten any better. But that’s okay! The idea’s the thing.

Until next time! Hope everyone had an EXCELLENT Halloween! Happy November! Have a great weekend!

The Art of EIGHT

Chapter 8: Whirlwinds contains the only illustration that it was possible to reuse from the previous book. I’ve switched computers since then so I can’t find the sketch that I did. Then again, I’m not even sure if I did one for this drawing. *Shudder*:


When I did my earlier sketch of Marlene, I gave her green fingernails – if you recall:


In Nina’s subsequent drawing, she was wise enough to keep Marlene’s fingernail polish color relatively the same. See? Here’s the detail of the “bat” picture :

Ch84And the “Hazel Meets Marlene” noted from the previous Chapter 6:Ch85










But, a-HAH! I have FOUND A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE OLD AND NEW MARLENES! In the first book illustration (with the bat above) Marlene has a SINGLE SILVER BANGLE bracelet. NEW Marlene has MULTIPLE GOLD ONES. Plus, also, a RING. Clearly, this doesn’t mean anything. But, um…I noticed…

Still, DANG. That Nina is good.

I’ve always been enchanted by whirlwinds and I find them to be magical things. My sketch for, “Look! A whirlwind! Fairies!”


Nina did me one better. She actually added fairies. Can you spot them?

HT_20Interesting tidbit: Nina had missed the note that Hazel should be looking at the whirlwind. As usual, she thoughtfully changed it, but not soon enough for the online book. It WILL however, be in the printed book. Here’s the before and after:


Lastly, the pantry. Note the push button light switches, which I do still have in this house here and there. Clearly this drawing was done after a long break from sketching, when it was decided that another illustration was needed. Because LOOK! I went ALL OUT on color:

HT-021 POS

And of course, Nina did too:


And there you have it! NINA.

I forgot to mention yesterday about Ruth’s first noting of the Priscilla windows, a fact I discovered when looking at a reprint from an old Sears Catalog from whence this house came. Ruth seems to be exceptionally fascinated by this little tidbit and will point it out every chance she gets!


It doesn’t take much to fascinate Ruth. Ahem.

Happy Friday to one and all!

April Fifteenth

Every April 15 a tragedy occurs. No, no, not taxes! Although those are no fun either. In this case, I mean the anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. I am a huge Titanic buff and have been ever since I discovered the condensed story in a Reader’s Digest magazine when I was a little girl.

When I first saw my home, I was struck by how some of its features looked as if they were from the same era of the Titanic. I confess to being disappointed to discover it had been built in 1913, one year after the sinking. I would have liked to have been living in something as old as the Titanic itself.

This is my fireplace, an upgrade from the standard offered in the Sears catalog of Sears House Kits from whence it came.

This is my fireplace, an upgrade from the standard offered in the catalog of Sears House Kits from whence it came (see my Sears House in an earlier post).

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