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Zoolabees Dollhouse Miniatures Blog

August 28, 2010

How to Decorate your Dollhouse for a Victorian Halloween

Filed under: Dollhouse Decorating Tips — Zoolabees Dollhouse Miniatures @ 10:38 pm
Falcon Miniatures Dollhouse Jack-O-Lanterns Set

Falcon Miniatures Dollhouse Jack-O-Lantern Set

As the weather slowly turns and leaves change color and begin to fall from the trees outside our windows, it occurs to us that it’s time to begin thinking of the upcoming holidays. Among the holidays during the Autumn season is of course, Halloween. To ensure your Victorian era dollhouse doesn’t lose its period authenticity, here are five helpful tips to keep in mind as you design your perfect Victorian Halloween.

1. Remember the Ghosts: During the Victorian era, ghosts were present on Halloween and October 31st was a time to be afraid. Nightfall meant darkness and quietness as the distractions of modern technology had not yet become available. Candles, gas-lit lanterns and moonlight conspired to create eerie shadows on the walls and the dead leaves danced like delirious spirits in the dark landscape. Neighbors lived far apart and Halloween was a time for mischievous pranks.

Halloween Decorating Tip #1: To instill a sense of loneliness and darkness, be sure to have plenty of dollhouse candles or miniature gas lamps on display in your Victorian dollhouse.

2. A Move Towards Family and Friends: During the late 19th century, there was a movement to change the focus of Halloween away from ghosts and witchcraft to celebrations among friends and family. These early celebrations focused on celebrating the harvest, where neighbors could share stories of the dead, tell each other’s fortunes, dance and sing.

Halloween Decorating Tip #2: Have your dollhouse resident host their own festive harvest party. Include other 1:12 scale dolls as party guests and embellish your dollhouse with traditional Victorian harvest items such as miniature wheat and  bread, dollhouse fruits and vegetables and miniature bales of hay.

3. Decorate with Gothic Styles: The Gothic styles from the early 1800′s still remained into the Victorian era. Halloween is the perfect seasonal holiday to utilize this style. Since electricity had not yet been invented, candlelight was prevalent and items such as candelabras and lanterns were  used to play with the shadows to highlight the use of the Gothic style in Halloween decorations.

Halloween Decorating Tip #3: Mix the Gothic style into your dollhouse by adding Gothic elements with dark colors, wrought iron and aged stone elements. For example, consider swapping existing dollhouse pictures for Gothic-inspired wall art to help bring a mystical layer into your dollhouse.

4. Don’t forget the Jack-O-Lantern: The traditional carved pumpkin is a symbol of Halloween and has been so for centuries. It originated as an Irish myth, but has become synonymous with Halloween.

Halloween Decorating Tip #4: Make sure to include miniature dollhouse pumpkins and carved Jack-O-Lanterns  in your Victorian era Halloween scheme.

5. Make it a Formal Affair: While informal harvest parties became popular in Victorian times, many party goers preferred a more formal celebration. Indulgent dinner parties included silver, china, and tablecloths. Delectable foods including roasted meats, fancy breads, pies and salads graced the elaborate dining room tables of the era. Beverages such as wine and cider and desserts including elaborate sweet cakes were also common at such celebrations.

Halloween Decorating Tip #5: Your Victorian era Halloween scene can mimic an indulgent dinner party with elaborate dinnerware and prepared foods. We encourage you to look at some of the miniature food dishes crafted by Small Wonders to help bring a scene such as this to life.

August 9, 2010

Choosing the Perfect Pet for your Dollhouse

Filed under: Dollhouse Decorating Tips — Zoolabees Dollhouse Miniatures @ 11:38 pm
Dollhouse Miniature Schnauzer Dog

Dollhouse Miniature Schnauzer Dog

It’s no secret that we love our pets. Pets are an integral part of our lives. We play with them, cuddle them, care for them and they fill our lives with joy. While accessorizing a dollhouse, there will come a point when you will be faced with the decision of whether to add a cuddly creature to your dollhouse or leave it animal-free. Here are some things to consider before choosing a miniature animal for your dollhouse:

Type of Pet: Before you are able to select a pet, you have to decide which type of animal you would prefer in your miniature home. For dog and cat lovers, this is a no-brainer. You may find yourself drawn to a specific breed or size of pet. If you did not plan to add a miniature dollhouse pet, perhaps a lower-maintenance pet such as fish or bird may be a better alternative.

Consider the Era: This is very important if you are attempting to build a period-authentic dollhouse. For example, in Victorian times a small pet miniature dog was as indispensable as an opera box or presentation at court. The women of this time were fickle in their attachments to their lapdogs dogs as these were traded out as often as gowns and bonnets. Alternatively, you would not want to have a breed of pet in your dollhouse that would not appropriately fit into the era. If you were decorating a dollhouse for the Georgian era (late 18th century to early 19th century), a Golden Retriever would not fit into the period as this breed did not become popular until well into the 19th century.

Past Pals: Think to your past pets for inspiration. Perhaps there’s a pet from your past that’s in your heart, your memory and should be in your dollhouse too. This is a great time to add a miniature version of your pet. It can be satisfying to have something symbolic to remember your special friend. Current pets also make great additions to dollhouses too.

To complete the look of a home with a pet, be sure to add dollhouse pet supplies including a miniature pet bed, food dishes, pet toys, leashes and dog bones to help bring a sense of realism to your miniature creation. Whatever type of pet you decide to place in your dollhouse – dogs, cats, birds, fish, hamsters, rabbits or guinea pigs – it will make a special statement about both you and your dollhouse.

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