Friday, 2 September 2011

Before it is even born

This isn't my shop - more later...........
Next weekend 'Poor Ken' will be driving us to Wolverhampton to pick up a dolls house table and then on to Bracknell to collect a new project - a doll's house/shop.  As that is something like a four hour drive from Bury you can see how he earned his name.  He will then fork out for B & B (and numerous other meals) and the next day drive to Stafford for a Dolls House Show and then on home.  Yes, I know, he is a saint.  I am typing all this because he proof reads my blogs!!! 

As always with me this is something of a meandering tale.  Last year when I bought Wentworth Court it all began by seeing a doll's house for silly money on E-Bay.  I also saw one of these shops (not so silly money) which I bid on.  Neither came to fruition so I ended up buying the Wentworth from Dolls House Emporium.  I have absolutely loved doing it but I can begin to see it being finished and want to do more.  in truth I have never stopped hankering after the one that got away.   A couple of days ago whilst trawling EBay for nothing in particular I came across another one. Even whilst I knew it was totally crazy (no room, no time, no money) I put a bid on it and got it. I am happy to convince myself 'it was meant to be' because the very next evening with only ten minutes to go in the auction I saw a dolls House display table for it and won that too.  Happily Wolverhampton is en route to Bracknell.

Last year when I saw the first one I researched its origin and located it on the Doll's House Man's site. This photograph is borrowed from there as I don't have a photo of mine yet.

I want to try to make more of a model/miniature this time rather than it have the feel of a doll's house about it.  So far that means I will be sticking on a couple of thousand brick slips (one at a time) and individual roof slates; that's just for starters.  I am even more phased by getting the lead trims, guttering and downpipes right; but I am already having a whale of a time researching the period (c1910) and making plans.

Downstairs will be predominately a hat shop but will also offer a dressmaking service and sell gloves, parasols, perfume as well as the hats.  Upstairs will be a ladies' café - yes they did have such things; so we didn't have to sit with roughfty tufty men.

I intended to call it La Belle Epoque but realised that this was a term which was applied to the period retrospectively so it would have meant nothing to its c1910 clientèle.  The name I think I've settled on (as you will have seen) is Le Tout Paris.  Paris fashions were the most desirable around this time.  It is hard to accurately translate 'Le Tout Paris' and has meant subtly different things at different periods of history but at that time it sort of meant the cream of society - anyone who was anybody.  The influences from the continent won't end there as I intend to decorate in the art nouveau style.

The building is decidedly Edwardian so it is too late to be true to the Victorian era.  Even if I wanted to fudge it because Victorian doll's house stuff is easier to get, I'm not fond of high Victorian furnishing and colours so I am very happy to slide into the Edwardian period and the challenges that brings.  It will lend itself nicely to being a (pretentious) height of fashion shop/café in a small town.

I can't wait to get started for all of two weeks before we leave for six months!!  Aaaaarrrgggh!

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