A blog about "nothing"!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

A Flashback to Childhood

As a child I had a lot of toys.  One of the advantages of being the youngest, with a large gap between me and the next sibling.  My mother loved Barbie (hence the large collection) but was born too early, so my sister and I reaped the benefits of her Barbie fixation.  Lots of clothes, campers, furniture, etc--I had it all.  Barbie wasn't my all time favorite though.  For Christmas one year my sister gave me a set of dolls called The Sunshine Family and they instantly became my favorites.  I remember playing with them under the Christmas tree, they lived in a suitcase "apartment" until I could save up enough money from presents and allowances to buy them the house.  I don't know what the fixation was with them, perhaps because they were smaller.  I'm a sucker for miniatures.  I always liked Skipper better than Barbie as well.  They were supposed to be a nature loving, back to earth kind of family, very representative of the 70's.  I picture them as Steven and Elise Keaton from "Family Ties". 
As I got older these were the only toys I kept.  I stored them in a box until I finally sprung for a plastic container to store them in.  While doing some renovations on our other house they ended up in the basement and unfortunately were down there when the basement flooded.  I thought the plastic container had done a good job of keeping them safe.  A couple of weeks ago I decided to open it up--phewwwww!!!!!  I spent the next week trying to get everything cleaned and rid of the mildew/mold.  Some things did very well, others not so great.  My dolls were ruined as was the house itself.  I was able to salvage the furniture (which is the hardest part to find, so good thing!).  I decided I would look on Ebay for a set of dolls and lucked out.  I ended up winning this auction:
The Sunshine Family in un-played with condition and two of the Sweathogs from Welcome Back Kotter--Mr. Kotter and Juan Epstein.  I can't tell you how much Lee and I giggled about the Sweathogs.  "Up Your Nose With A Rubber Hose!"  I did manage to flip them again on Ebay, selling in all of 45 minutes to some guy in NY.  I was happy, he was happy, good deal!  The dolls are suffering from minor age issues like many things made of plastic from that era, but otherwise are in perfect shape. 
On to the house--it's a bit harder to find the house sans furniture in decent shape.  So many of them are damaged or the stickers were put on by someone who didn't follow the instruction sheet, so things aren't where they are supposed to be.  The other issue is that the actual wall insides are heavy cardboard, so they can soak up moisture like crazy (which was what happened with mine), so I could in fact be buying someone else's mold problem.  Hmmmmm.............what to do..................?
After thinking about it for a bit, I decided that I am going to build my own house for them!  Yes, that's what those fabric samples and the table I purchased at a thrift store are going to be used for.  I have my MDF already purchased and cut down to size (thank you Home Depot guy!),  I just need to make some slots in it since this is going to be an interlocking dollhouse along the same lines as the original, making it flat for storage if necessary.  I've already started building a couple of furniture pieces that I just need to finish, and I purchased a kitchen set that I modified--I promise once things get a little less hectic I will share some of my progress.  (I did remember to take pictures)  My husband just laughs, he says that in this respect, I am so like my mother, she was in her 80's when she built a beautiful dollhouse (which is in our basement family room), I will have to share some pictures of it when I get it all set up again. 


dan said...

I am a fan of Barbie doll too, and for that reason I enjoyed very much your post. I keep my doll in my closet and sometimes I find it amusing to change her clothes! To build a dollhouse seems to be a quite hard job, but I am sure you can do it wonderfully! I hope you will post it sooner or later!!

Flo said...

I have to admit that I have never outgrown them Dan, I love changing their clothes too. And all the cute little accessories, just too fun!