Dollhouse Miniatures and Models

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Miniature Making is a very interesting hobby to me. For the past 6 years I have been very involved in miniature making and dollhouse clubs. There are always new skills and techniques to learn. Miniature making combines skills in sewing, painting, scrapbooking, sculpting, cadd drafting, planning,fine art painting, photography and working with electricity. Interest in architecture, construction, interior decorating, history and geneology can all be combined in this one hobby.

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I have recently completed the dollhouse replica a house I call the Montebello House. This house is the Engineers House at Montebello Filtration Plant in Baltimore. My Grandfather, James W. Armstong, designed Baltimore's First Water Filtration Plant which was completed in 1915. He was head of the Filtration Division and Supervisor of the Plant for 25 years. My grandparents, my father, and my two aunts grew up there and lived in the stone house that was built circa 1850. I created the dolllhouse because the real house is slated to be torn down. Click on the button below to see the October 2011 Newsletter of the Historical Society of Baltimore County containing the Article I wrote Dollhouses Then and Now - Preserving Architecture Through Miniatures It explains how and why I built the dollhouse.

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Miniatures Exhibits

In 2011, I had the opportunity to coordinate the Dollhouse Show-Dollhouses-Then and Now, given by the Maryland Miniatures Unlimited to benefit the Historical Society of Baltimore County. Vintage and antique dollhouses in the Historical Society's Collection were displayed as well as the creations of the miniature club. Click the buttons below for a pdf of the Show Program written my myself and Melissa Heaver, the HSBC Collections Manager. The show was a success. To read about it check out the article I wrote for the NAME Magazine- Minature Gazette. It includes pictures of people and exhibits.

In 2013 I coordinated another similar exhibit with the Historical Society called Miniatures Through Time , and I expanded my coordination efforts to include more than dollhouse miniatures to include military miniatures, a small train layout and ship modeling to interest entire families. The Historical Society displayed historical houses. We had lots of visitors. Our latest exhibit that I coordinated was in 2018 called Fun with Miniatures . In the MMU section we had several larger train layouts, Legos, military miniatures, weaving demonstrations and demonstration of dollhouse finishing techniques. We had large and small dollhouses,intricate miniature scenes and roomboxes. In all the shows we had a kids make and take table. The program I wrote gave historical context to the exhibit. The Historical Society had a separate exhibit on the second floor that coordinated with ours. Our attendace for the show surpassed previous shows and lots of families attended.

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Dollhouse Electrification and Documentation

Electrifying your Dollhouse Miniature is essential for realism. I have been electrifying dollhouses for years using the tapewire system. I started by electrifying my own dollhouses and miniature projects. I started doing work for clients. The process starts with assessment of the project scope. Then I photograph, measure and draw the dollhouse as it is on Cadd. After discussion with the client on what rooms with be in the house, and what kind of fixtures are needed, I draw up an electrical tapewire or roundwire plan and go over it with the dollhouse owner. Most recently I completed a roundwire installation on my 3 story dollhouse that was exhibited in the 2018 show Fun with Miniatures following these same procedures. The drawings serve as a record of the wiring diagram. When all the planning is done, I add the tapewire or roundwire runs, including folds and splices. I photograph and document the tapewire runs before it is covered by the wallpaper. The next step is wallpapering which is usually done by the client. I complete the installation by adding outlets ,fixture adapters, and ceiling lights. To finish up, I do final testing and corrections as needed and photograph the finished project. If you are interested in electrifying your dollhouse, or dollhouse under construction, contact me.

Work with Miniature and Historical Organizations

  • HSBC-Historical Society of Baltimore County Newsletter Editor. Member since 2009
  • NAME-Wrote articles that were published in two organizational publications, The Tiny Tattler and The Miniature Gazette.
  • MMU -Maryland Miniatures Unlimited President. Member since 2006.