For years one of our guestrooms served primarily as a playroom for our grandchildren, with a twin bed pushed against one wall so that they had most of the floor to play in.
Two or three years ago I began the process of purging toys and playthings they had all outgrown, keeping only the old standards, most from my own children's childhood. To help control my impulse to keep everything - again - the rule became, If it doesn't fit in the toy box or under the bedside table, it goes.
Not only did I eliminate toys, I went through every single thing that was stored in a large wall shelf unit, trying to downsize my mini collections and containers for future projects that had grown exponentially over the years. It took a long time to make up my mind about things; I spent considerable time just sitting in that room, looking around and thinking.
Now, however, it is once more a bedroom, with a full-sized bed, and it pleases me to walk down the hallway and glance through the doorway and see how it looks.
On one side of the bed facing the doorway is a chest of drawers with a shelf unit above, where I keep special pieces.
The standing doll on top of the unit was a gift years ago from my daughter Dana, who said it reminded her of my granddaughter Jenna when she was taking ballet. The kewpie doll sitting in the twig chair belonged to my sil when she was a little girl. When she was getting rid of her doll collection, she gave it to her mother, who passed it on to me eventually. The glass box on the left side holds a corn husk doll. I used to have quite a collection of corn husk dolls, and made little shadowbox vignettes to hold them, even before my miniatures days.
The top shelf holds collections of small houses, among other things.
I like to check out the import shops and other places that sell special holiday food items. In the after-Christmas sales at Pier 1 or Ross or Marshall's, etc., I have in recent years found greatly reduced wood or bamboo gift boxes, beautifully finished, with dividers. One had jams and honey; another various coffees and teas; others chocolates and cookies, etc. You get to eat the goodies, and then have a readymade box to put your special minis in. These can be set upright on a table or shelf or window sill, or hung on a wall, and most of them already have a plastic lid that slips over the box top.
This is an example of how I used one of those boxes. The plastic cover is the one that came on the box. For other such boxes I have made my own covers out of plastic.
I have also bought a whole slew of little decorative boxes and tins over the years for next to nothing. They are good to put Christmas or birthday gift money in, but also work as display pieces. Because their lids are solid, I cut tops out of plastic covers for Christmas card or similar boxes with about a half inch extra, cut the corners, crease with the dull side of my craft knife and a steel ruler, and fold and glue to form a lid. For the round ones, I just cut the circle, lay it over the top of the tin and tie a narrow little silk ribbon around it. It looks pretty and you can see past the ribbon easily. These small containers look nice tucked among your perfume bottles on a window sill in the bathroom, or wherever you have a free spot ....
Now that I think about it, some of those little boxes might be arranged inside a larger box to form dividers. The altered art people are always doing things like that....
In this closeup at one end, you get a clearer picture of how this box actually looks most of the time, without the glare and reflection from the camera flash.
Here a small shadow box from Michaels holds some of my varying scale Raggedies.
The plastic chest, which is probably 2 inch scale, was given to me by my sil Paula, from her childhood dollhouse. The little bell Christmas ornament in front reminds me of the tiny honeymoon trailer where we lived for four years when my husband was in college.
The teapot and cup on the tray on top were part of a set handpainted for me for my birthday by the mother of my best friend Pat. I used another cup to hold a plant and the sugar bowl and creamer as a tureen and pitcher in a twelfth scale miniature setting.
My mother gave me this little decorative thimbles holder years ago. It works perfectly for another collection of small resin houses. I added the plastic across the front. It looks much better in real life without the camera glare.
The chairs are two inch scale; don't remember where I got them.
This is the middle shelf.
Standing at the back behind the small flower arrangement is this special hand mirror, a handmade Mother's Day gift from my daughter Dana when she was in elementary school. Its frame is made from corrugated cardboard, edged with yarn trim. She painted the flowers and antiqued and varnished it.
For years it lay on my dressing table, but the handle was becoming quite fragile, so I moved it to this shelf.
This is another special gift from Dana, which she cross-stitched for me when the grandchildren were still using this room as a playroom.
This litle bench is part of my full-size Coca-Cola collection. I bought the little Amish doll in Tennessee. I don't recall where I picked up the little cloth doll with her kitten doll. The little dome at the back is intended for displaying some tiny baby items one of these days. It is cushioned in foam, which I need to remove, I see ...
The teddy bear in the sunflower rompers was also a gift one year from Dana. That's my collection of Harry Potter books, along with other children's books, some from her childhood. The little Amish man and woman on the right are iron bookends; a gift from my mil many years ago which she brought back from a visit to Pennslyvania where my sil Paula was living at the time.
This unit, designed to hold records, serves as a bedside table on the left side of the bed.
The jack rabbit was the last stuffed toy I purchased for the grandkids to cuddle with when they were small.
I love the cow doll. Some time after I purchased her, I found the little one, which works perfectly as her baby. The teddy bear in the fur hat with rose was a gift one year from Dana. The little teddy in the hat was one of my impulse purchases quite a few years ago. There used to be a fancy feather in the hatband.
I found this teatable-turned-teapot-lamp in Tuesday Morning several years ago. It serves as a reading-in-bed lamp.
One of these days I plan to refurnish the wallhanging McKinley which hangs above this chest. Then I can call this room redo finally finished.