I was about to give birth to our second daughter, and we had just bought the kit of the dollshouse that is now my elder daughter's dollshouse. We were very conscious of the fact that she had been an only child for over 7 years, and that adjusting to a new sibling was going to be difficult. So for Christmas we had bought her a doll's pushchair and her Godmother gave her the baby doll Thomas. These had gone down well. However at school that term her class was exploring WW2 from the perspective of children - what it felt like to be an evacuee, dig for victory and live during those times. Her class were making and drawing things to illustrate their understanding of the topic. I wanted to explore it further with her, so we bought a roombox kit (dollshouse emporium), my husband put it together for us, and we collected items together, including buying two cheap dollshouse emporium dolls which I redressed, and sundry other items including a pet food can!
The internet was a great source of information for things like how to construct an Anderson shelter and learn about rationing, especially the BBC schools website. She and I came up with the idea of two evacuees arriving in an English country village with their gas masks and their few belongings, to a world of fresh vegetables on your doorstep and sheep in the fields nearby. I sketched out the background scenery and my daughter coloured it all in and drew the sheep.
My younger daughter arrived (nearly 2 weeks late), then a few days later it was February half term! Any sensible mother would have postponed further work on the room box. Not me (well now at least I've admitted I'm not sensible!). My abiding memory of constructing the room box is sitting at the dining room table with the baby wrapped up in the Kari-me cloth sling, lumps of Fimo and tools, rolling miniature tomatoes, cauliflowers and carrots on a board on the table with my elder daughter. I was doing it one handed until I had the sling! (I've still got the sling, I will not part with it - for my children's children, if I'm lucky). I was very tired from disturbed nights and trying to keep everyone happy and this was my way of spending time with my elder daughter so she wouldn't feel left out.
The path is sand on glue, the vegetable plot is tea leaves and sand on glue! We were very proud of the Anderson shelter - my daughter had a ripple cardboard kit used for giving ordinary paper or card a ripple effect. The main body of the shelter is the pet food can, cut open and trimmed to size, the front and back of the shelter is rippled card coloured with a pencil to make it look like corrogated iron.
The tomato plants are made from coloured wire and green card (my first attempt at making miniature plants). The carrots were the best fun for my daughter to make, and we trimmed the tops with bits from my miniature Christmas tree.
Arriving in the country
Showing the background scenery
Approaching the front door
Close up of the garden
Gas mask and child label on her coat
I made their coats from a pattern from Sue Atkinson's 'Making and dressing dolls house dolls'