dollhouse decorated for Holidays at Highfield


My circa 1975 dollhouse is getting spruced up for the holidays. I was asked to bring it over to Highfield Hall and have it on display during their 10 day Holidays at Highfield event (Nov. 29 – Dec. 8, 2013). It’s been a while since the house has been out in public, so I thought I’d fix it up for the occasion. I added some green shutters and trim and decorated the plain pink triangle under the roof with a painted foliage design.


I made this dollhouse one summer vacation, between years in art school. Following a plan in a book, I cut the wood pieces and constructed it in my father’s workshop in our basement. I can remember being so engrossed in the project that would lie in bed at night thinking about how I would decorate the rooms. I remember feeling guilty, because I thought I should be focused on finding a boy friend, instead of dreaming about a dollhouse! Years later, I’m still dreaming about making art.


It was so much fun to make back then and it’s still fun to work on now. The doll house family is new–they will be included in my new book, Felt Wee Folk: New Adventures. As I’ve written before, I can’t show detailed photos of the dolls until 2015, when the book is published and my designs are protected by registered copyrights.

I’ve added evergreen garlands and Christmas lights to the house and the Small family is busy decorating their tree, cooking and wrapping presents. To keep little (and big) hands away, the rooms will be covered with Plexiglas. To see more decorations and who’s come to visit, scroll down to the end of this post.

My Pocketful of Posies tree (see a post about it here) will also be on display during the 10 day event. I hope that some of you will be able to join the festivities at Highfield this season! 



13 thoughts on “dollhouse decorated for Holidays at Highfield

  1. How divine to have an excuse to play with dolls and your adorable doll house….
    I’m sure it will thrill may a little and big girls heart to see it!
    We are the same age so I know how long ago you build that house, it still looks terrific!
    Happy Sewing

  2. Loved seeing these…makes me want to get out my old dollhouse, purchased about 35 years ago and is from the early 1900’s. I would love to add some touches like you did, to make it look even more welcoming and special. Maybe later this year…when things slow down perhaps. I recognized some similar furnishings, and the Santa is definitely like one of my vintage ones. Sure wish we lived closer to Highfield/Falmouth, but I say that every time I comment on your post. Enjoy THANKSgiving, followed by the most anticipatory and promising time of year…Advent. And of course Chanukah has arrived as well. I heard that the combination of Thanksgiving and Chanukah won’t happen again for 79,000 years so it truly is a once in a lifetime experience! And the only time we’ll see such a product as “Mensch on a Bench” available to buy too.

  3. Oh My, dearest Salley Mavor. You’ve done it again!
    Today’s post from you actually brought a great upswell of emotion in my chest, and tears, actual tears, in my eyes! I always marvel at, and throughly ENJOY the feast to one’s eyes and heart and inspiration that your needlework provides. Added to that is the creativity of the scenes you develop, illustrations to respond to and draw so much from. Today I realised that the added element of play completely bowls me over. Of course, I first came to know of what you do through the little people kits, flower fairies to play with, keep in one’s pocket, and involve in one’s home and daily doings. But your dollhouse redecoration and the populating of it with Christmas activities simply takes my breath away. I want to jump up and down and clap my hands with the pleasure you give me, I want to whirl around and dance my arms about, and give you shining eyes and a hug – and then simply sit down and get into the world you have set up to stimulate imagination and such peace, such joy, such humour and sweetness and kindness and light.
    Father Christmas has come to visit! I love him wandering about the house.
    I’m rather relieved I don’t live anywhere near enough to visit your dollhouse – how could I possibly tear myself away. And I am 65 now – imagine what a small child experiences.
    Bless you, dear Salley.

  4. Oh Sally, the lady above echos my sentiments exactly!She is so right about the element of play.Oh it makes me want to buy a doll’s house. I love doll-making too because it takes you into that wonderful playful frame of mind, where anything is possible.I wish I could sit in front of this house and look carefully at everything.Love the leaves at the front of the house too.

  5. What a lovely addition to your doll house! I just love what you did in your decorating!!! Thank you for allowing us to see it. You are always an inspiration, Salley!

  6. I love your doll house, you took me back on a journey back in time. As a little girl my passion was either become a gardener or woodcraftsman, tried both many times but ended up as a teacher of Biology, but that didn’t stop me even now from playing with dolly things 🙂

  7. Ushashi has said it all- that’s exactly how all of your work makes me feel. Such craftsmanship! I’m truly in awe of your work. It makes me feel seven again- in the most delightful way!

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