This Old Dollhouse

ThisOldDollhouse-01

My parents got me a dollhouse when I was around 9 years old. I wish I could say I decorated it and played with it for hours on end but the truth is I was never that into it and the only decorations it had were some wallpaper samples on a few walls and one bedroom of Victorian furnishings that came with it.

Recently, I found this old dollhouse in my parent’s basement and decided to take it on as a project. I joked to Paul that I was in the mood to renovate a house so why not start small! As we embark on full-scale renovations of our new house (more details to come) I thought I’d share the after photos of the dollhouse. Unfortunately, since one of my cameras was stolen and my external hard drive broke (don’t ask) I no longer have the before images. Click on the pics above to see larger images.

While Brook is still too young to play with the dollhouse she loves to look at it and name the things she sees. Her favorite thing is the rocking horse probably because she has one in her own room. You’ll notice the dolls are the I Am Elemental action figures from this blog post here. I think they look quite at home!

Some other highlights from the remodel:

  • Miniature books I bought from Jo-Ann Fabrics that I covered with some of my favorite children’s books including Little Women, A Wrinkle in Time, The Phantom Tollbooth, Matilda, and To Kill a Mockingbird. You’ll see the books all around the house.
  • Decorations from board games: Settlers of Catan, Pandemic, Ticket to Ride, Scrabble, Bananagrams, Lotería, and jacks.
  • Most wallpaper is scrapbook paper from Michaels and most fabric I either had from previous projects or I also bought bandanas from Michaels for $1 each.
  • I made the rugs from hand stitching plastic canvas with yarn – took forever but I love the rugs.
  • Framed family photos I created by finding digital images of frames, placing family photos into them in Photoshop, printing them at home on our photo printer, and then laminating. I also recreated my favorite calendar, Massimo Vignelli’s Stendig calendar, printed it, laminated it and mounted in the living room.
  • I found a few other favorite artworks and paintings online and printed them, as well. You’ll see an image from Cindy Sherman’s Untitled series, a painting from an artist I saw in Quito, one of the portraits from Ellen Heck’s Forty Fridas, a Nikki McClure print, and the same hallway image by Nathan Rohlander that is featured on Modern Family (not pictured). Other images I cut out of magazines and design annuals.
  • I made the mobile in the nursery from buttons and I spelled Brooklyn’s name out with alphabet bracelet beads on the wall. I also sewed the beanbag chairs using fabric scraps and a pattern for hacky sacks.
  • The two miniature reproduction designer chairs I splurged buying them on eBay: the Eames lounge chair with ottoman as well as the Eames RAR rocking chair. I also got the kitchen set on eBay. The rest of the furniture I either had from the original set (basinet, bed, lamp, side table) or found the rest of the furniture for free.

Now that we’re starting to renovate a full-scale house I’ll be updating the blog with progress. I hope it’s as fun as the dollhouse!

Enjoy, Mari

A New Year

It’s been a while since I’ve been blogging regularly but I still find myself pondering potential posts (say that 10 times fast). One of my resolutions for 2016 is to get back to blogging since having this record of my life and work since 2010 (!) is invaluable. When I talk to someone about something I covered on the blog I can easily reference it with a link or call up the post myself to fill in the details. When I want to reminisce or remember what I was doing at a certain point in time I have this digital record.

Being a diligent writer and recorder was certainly easier before I became a mother but I find that I miss it. Mostly, I miss the way that blogging helps me to digest my experiences to more deeply understand their impact. So, in 2016, I’m carving out the time and space to be the storyteller of my own life again. I hope you’ll continue to be along for the ride.

Happy New Year,

Mari

She’s the First Panel

I had an incredible conversation with other female social entrepreneurs about women’s economic empowerment. Thanks to She’s The First and Dermalogica’s FITE Foundation for sponsoring this great conversation that was streamed live on college campuses across the country.

Sharing My Grown Up Gigs

I am so grateful to Michelle Ward over at When I Grow Up for having me on her podcast, “Grown Up Gigs.” We talk about creative careers, juggling passion projects, serving in the Peace Corps, and my latest side project: Dear Daughter Love Me. Find the podcast here and while you’re there check out the other podcasts and interviews. I am really proud and honored to be included in this group of amazingly inspirational women!

Enjoy, Mari

Celebrating Five Years!

Wedding Image by Kristen Leigh Conklin

Commercials Leading the Way

Wells Fargo

I recently saw the above commercial for Wells Fargo and after I wiped away a tear, I thought to myself, I wonder how many ads there are that feature gay couples. I looked it up and found that there are quite a few commercials out there representing brands and companies who weren’t afraid to be inclusive, even before the recent landmark Supreme Court decision extending marriage equality to gay and lesbian couples. Here’s some more proof that #lovewins.

Enjoy, Mari

Honey Maid

Tylenol

Chobani

Coca Cola

AllState

Amazon

 

 

Love Wins!

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