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Posts Tagged ‘1970s’

book cover - the dolls' house book - pauline flick - 1973

The Dolls’ House Book – 126 pages
Author: Pauline Flick
Published by Collins – 1973
ISBN – 0001921568

Having been (possibly) unfair to the 1970s in the previous post, I thought I had better try to redress the balance and mention something that I do like from the 1970s.

Having said that: I didn’t know about this book in the 1970s; I bought it in a library sale in the early 1990s.

[And if you ever wonder why there are so many ex-library copies of books on eBay – the libraries in the UK started selling their books and downsizing quite a while ago now. Our small local library is about to close soon and then it will be goodbye to real books and we will only be able to get digital editions. People without computers, or no internet connection at all, (and there are still quite a few of these) are going to suffer.]

But back to the book: it is a modestly sized and I bought it because I liked the various illustrations of the window pelmets that are used above the section headings.

the dolls' house book - pauline flick - 1973 - pelmet illustration

I very nearly didn’t buy it because there is a section devoted to building a dolls’ house from a cardboard box.

the dolls' house book - pauline flick - 1973 - make your own dolls' house

But when I started reading it I was pleased that I had succumbed to the lure of the pelmets and the suggestion that you could build an Australian dolls’ house.

the dolls' house book - pauline flick - 1973 - australian house illustration

The book is clearly written with a juvenile audience in mind:

Grown-up collectors are always on the look out for old dolls’ house furniture…

but it is far from childish in its approach and, in a quiet sort of way, contains a great deal of historical information.

the dolls' house book - pauline flick - 1973 - cardboard chairs from the 1930s

It is divided into three main sections:

The History of Dolls’ Houses – I find this part fascinating as it is full of details that interest me and it is where I first learned of ‘The Girls’ Own Toymaker and Book of Recreation’ (published 1860 and now available on Google Books)

Making Your Own Dolls’ House – this contains a (sensible, if you ask me) description of making a robust dolls’ house from a cardboard box and suggestions of different types of styles of house that you might like to make, with pictures of the differing architectural styles of houses to be found in various British regions.

the dolls' house book - pauline flick - 1973 - timber framed suffolk house

Furnishing Your Dolls’ House – this is a very short section, but it ends with the wise words: “If you’re like me, once you begin collecting you’ll go on and on.”

*** *** ***

Re-reading the final section just now, in particular where the author describes cutting the head off a plastic deer in order to make a stuffed head to hang in her dolls’ house, I was reminded of something that I think might be of interest to someone reading this.

Jane Harrop (her website is here) provided instructions for making a hobby horse, using the head of a plastic toy horse for The DollsHouse and Miniature Scene Magazine (the article is here)

jane harrop - hobby horse

This is part of a series of ‘How To’ published by the magazine and made freely available by them on-line.

Not all the projects mentioned in the ‘How To’ section have detailed instructions, but there are lots of ideas, even when the instructions are non-existent or a bit sketchy.

*** *** ***

Finally, I have had a look and there is next to no information available on-line about Pauline Flick. This is a great shame as I am certain that she influenced the development of dolls’ house books and collecting in the UK.

The best I can do to redress this lack of recognition is to reproduce the biographic details from the back flap of the jacket ‘The Dolls’ House Book’ here.

the dolls' house book - pauline flick - 1973 - biographic details

While I was searching for information on-line I did come across a scanned copy of this book here.

I am not an expert of UK copyright law, but I am reasonably certain that it must still be in copyright in the UK.

Following Project Gutenberg’s reasoning on the matter of book copyright, it would therefore be an infringement of copyright to download this book to your computer.

Just looking at it on a computer screen, however, appears to be another matter entirely.

If you do decide to read it on-line you will be time travelling, so be prepared – there is only one colour photograph.

the dolls' house book - pauline flick - 1973 - frontispiece

This does not stop it being one of my favourite books about dolls’ houses.

 

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Spear’s Project Cards

spear's project cards - build your own dolls' house - 1970

SIZE – just over 6 x 4 inches

At the moment I am stuck, work-wise, in the 1970s.

Fortunately, the end is in sight for this particular project. I am saying fortunately because, although I am certain there must have been worse times to have lived through, there are all sorts of things that annoyed me in the 1970s that still annoy me today.

These project cards, which were published in the UK by J W Spear  are (in my memory at least) typical of the time: the strong, clashing colours, the determination to make something out of nothing, the way that it necessary to have a plywood base for a wobbly cardboard box house, the utterly unreasonable certainty that it is a little girl who will be making her own dolls’ house and that no little boy could be in the least interested.

While I am shuddering at my memories, I hope you will enjoy looking at the cards and marvelling at how things were.

If I think of these cards as an ancient historical artifact, I can almost persuade myself that they are no longer capable of annoying me intensely. Almost, but not quite…

Would anyone, these days, I wonder, suggest cutting off the end of an egg box to make a sofa?

If they did, I hope that at least they would try to disguise the essential egg boxyness of the finished article.

Paint? Beads for legs? Something, anything to make it more like a sofa and less like the end of an egg box…

No wonder I make every effort to avoid ‘How to Make’ books.

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The 1970s Revisited

Betsey Clark - Doll House Card, with figures, full size

Betsey Clark Doll House Card – Hallmark copyright 1975

I have a new camera. It is a Sony Cybershot DSC-W830 and so far it has been amazing. All the photos in this post were taken with it on an overcast, rainy day in June. No artificial lights were used and I haven’t ‘tweaked’ the photos in any way . I have simply cut out the bits that I wanted and, on my computer screen at least, the soft, pearly-grey light in the pictures exactly captures the daylight as it was on the day I took the photos .

If anyone is interested in the electronic wizardry that made this possible, the technical specifications are available (like the camera itself) on Amazon.

***   ***   ***

I am now going to do something mildly naughty. The following cards were produced by companies that are still in business and, as they are copyright to those companies, I suspect that I should not have uploaded any sort of copy of them here.

Betsey Clark Doll House Card – Hallmark – folded size, when detached from the header and with figures removed for use, 8 1/2  x 6 1/2 inches (21 x 16.6 cm)

I have had this card for a long time, but I knew nothing about Betsey Clark until very recently when I did some research on the internet and came across this site: The Betsey Zone

This is the only information that I have been able to find about her on-line, which surprised me as she was evidently well known enough to have her name prominently featured on a card that she had designed.

My particular card was bought in Britain and it seems to vary slightly from the American version in that it is a ‘Doll House Card’ and not a ‘Party Favor Card’.

I only know about this difference because, at the time of typing this there, are a several of these cards for sale on eBay in the US. Apart from the description on the header card they all look identical to mine. (The price of $1.50 is printed on the US header cards.)

Betsey Clark Doll House - Card Header UK Version

I remember this style of illustration so clearly that, when I recently came across this card again, I was staggered that it is now over 40 years old.

As old as the card is, Hallmark is still in business and the copyright is still in place. This brings me to the mildly naughty part and so, before I go any further, I had better make the following clear:

I do not make, and have never made, a miniature version of this card for profit.

If you would like to make my version of this design, please remember that it is intended for your personal enjoyment only and that is not intended for re-sale, in any way shape or form.

That said, please read on –

I have not attempted to reproduce the complete card here. There are only three characters, plus the table. And, at 1 1/4 inches (3.2 cm) tall, it is slightly larger than 12th scale. The image in the pdf is a high resolution one and so, if you would like to make a smaller version, it might be possible to re-size the image without too much loss of detail. Trying to make it much bigger will be a waste of time.

If you do make one of these for yourself, please be aware that the card, paper, ink and printer used will affect the result you get.

I have an elderly Canon Pixmar inkjet printer and I used:

  • Thin, white card (140gsm) – card with a smooth surface is best
  • Water based glue (and a paintbrush)
  • A sharp knife
  • A sharp pair of scissors
  • A ruler
  • A blunt kitchen knife for scoring the fold line

You do need card that takes printer ink nicely, without blurring or bleeding.

 

To make the card:

You will need the pdf
(You don’t need to download the pdf to your computer, you should be able to print it from the screen.)

On the pdf:
The blue lines show where a line should be scored
The red lines show where straight cuts should be made – (there are no red lines around the figures, or under the table)

I allowed the print to dry for at least 10 minutes, as scoring or cutting even slightly damp card can result in a damaged surface or a ragged edge.

I then scored the fold lines across the room setting, as indicated by the blue lines.

Then I cut out the card, as indicated by the red lines – Initially, when I tried to do this without the red lines, I struggled to see where the pale edge disappeared into white background.

The original card folds up in a zig-zag fashion, but if you would like to do something different, there is no reason why you shouldn’t (see photos below).

I folded the table, so that it stood out from the wall, and then stuck it in place over the figure standing on the stool – there are guidelines printed on the wall and these need to be just hidden by the table.

the table goes in front of the girl standing in the stool

If you would like to be true to the original design, the table slots into the wall with tabs. It will, inevitably, not stand up straight without a great deal of coaxing. I have never found a folded paper table that stood straight the first time round.

The figures are small. I didn’t score the fold points in the support strip that is supposed to make them stand upright because I didn’t want to weaken, or damage it.

I cut the lines around the strip using a ruler and knife; then I used scissors to cut out the characters, and only then did I ‘Z Fold’ the strip .

z-fold

As, I have said before, the thing that annoys me about full-size paper dolls is that they fall over very easily.

Putting a ‘Z Fold’ in the support does make them more stable. But I wanted these to be really VERY stable and so I used a tiny amount of glue and attached them to the walls of the room.

I applied the glue only along the surface indicated by the green line, in the photo above.

betsey clark doll house card dolls house size

If you fix the figures to the walls by their support strips, and are careful about where you place them, it is possible to make a card that folds up with the figures inside.

 

Betsey Clark Card House in miniature - figures fixed in place

The way the card is folded and where the figures are positioned can make a big difference to the overall appearance.

Betsey Clark Card House in miniature - walls in Open C position

Betsey Clark Card House in miniature - walls in Z Fold position

***   ***   ***

Just in case I have given everyone the idea that everything in the 1970s was all in the Betsey Clark style, there is another card below which dates from the same era. This one was produced by the Medici Press, in the UK. As well as having the figures to cut out and room setting, it has a very brief story inside.

Inside the card, the pictures and story are both credited to Nicola Pindar. She is not listed on the Medici website of current artists and I have not contacted the various Nicola Pindars who I have found on-line, to ask if this is their early work.

Medici card - designed by NicolaPindar

Size, when folded, 9 1/2  x 7 inches (24 x 17.67 cm)

Nicola Pindar - paper doll card

Back of card

The Medici Press still produce a vast number of high quality cards, including vintage designs by Molly Brett, Racey Helps and Margaret Tarrant. This type of card is rather out of their usual range today, but it is a classic example of the colours and design style that were widely used (in the UK at least) in the early to mid 1970’s.

Finally, many thanks to everyone who voted in last week’s poll. Your answers are very helpful. I am told that the polls (and certain other things) do not work in the Firefox browser. I am sorry about this; unfortunately it is not something that I can do anything about.

***   ***   ***

I must stop now and go and do some work. But before I go, one last picture:

ark from Nicola Pindar, Victorian room setting card - Medici Press

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The trouble is that, although are a great many things that I would like to do, I don’t have a great deal of spare time at the moment. In addition to this, as soon as I make a plan, it seems to me that Fate decides that there are other things that I need to do, elsewhere, immediately, right now and urgently.

So, just in case Fate is reading this, I am absolutely not planning to do anything here. I just happened to have some things scanned and this is as good a place to store them as anywhere else…

The Cards:

Fiddler’s Green (postcards) – all 6 1/8 x 4 3/8 inches

pdf – full size images

The backs of the cards differ:

Antique Shop – Fiddler’s Green Construction Cards (printed by PERCY GILKES Printers, Banbury 4928)

Witches Hovel / Working Narrow BOTH – Boat Fiddler’s Green, 2 Parsons Street, Banbury, Oxon – Fun Construction Cards (printed by PERCY GILKES Printers, Banbury, BOTH 4928)

I always thought of these cards were about as British as could be, but a quick look at the internet produced an on-line Fiddler’s Green paper model making site

The site looks intensely American to me and I admire their Awesome New England Model Village a great deal.

*** *** ***

Shaberay (birthday card) – The Cards with a Difference – Bedford, England. No 0028 – folded size, just over 8 x 5 inches

Shaberay Birthday Crad from the 1970s - House and green house to cut out and make up

I don’t know anything about Shaberay, beyond what is printed on the card, and I have been unable to find out anything about the company on-line. There are a few more examples of their cards on Eric’s Vintage Card site.

pdf – full size card (house only)

pdf – dolls’ house size card (interior and exterior of card)

To make a dolls’ house sized card please use the pdf above:
First, score along line A, then cut out the card.
Fold the paper in two, along the score line, and glue it together.
Let it dry and then score and fold it along the original crease line;  then trim as you feel is necessary.

saberay_happy_birthday_card_house_resized_not_to_scale

A (short) explanation:

Very briefly, I am rather busy at the moment and it takes a fair amount of time to produce a blog post that includes photos, scans, pdfs, text etc.

One of the reasons for writing this post was to estimate how much time it takes me to do certain things.

(Yes, it would shorten the blog writing process considerably if I did not digress and comment and try to explain everything  🙂 )

Bearing in mind that I do not spend much time in front of a computer, I would like to use that time wisely and try to upload things here which are useful and of interest to you – which brings me to:

The Poll:

The poll below is anonymous to use. It will end, automatically, in one week.

It is there because I am trying to get a feel for what sort of printable items you, the reader, would like to make (either with or without explanations and instructions).

One reason for doing this is because I am planning to delete the contents of the printables page at the end of this week, in order to make way for some things that I have tried out and I know work well.

This just a plan and as such it may never happen.  🙂

 

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