In the beginning……………………………..
Around May of 2015, I discovered that my mother had never had a dollhouse as a child. She and her sisters grew up in a lower working class section of Edinburgh Scotland and they often went without food and clothing, never mind toys. I asked her why she had never told me that since I would have been more than happy to buy or build one for her. She told me that it hadn’t seemed important enough to bring it up and that she hadn’t wanted to bother me. It wasn’t a bother to me, it was very important to me. When I was 18, my father passed away 2 days after being medically discharged from active duty in the USAF Security Service. I am an only child and, since my father's death, it has always been my mother and me against the world.
After all she and I have been through, my opinion about the matter was extremely simple. She d***ed well DESERVED a dollhouse and I was going to make d***ed sure she got one.
I sat down at my house and was browsing the internet for dollhouses for sale when I received a vision of an old tailors shop somewhere in the early 1900’s. On the front of the shop was painted a sign in old-time gold leaf and the part of the sign that I could see clearly said “Bespoke Tailoring” “Bespoke” at that time meant that an item was designed and fabricated as a “one-off” tailored custom product made solely for one unique person. Needless to say, such work was extremely expensive and could only be afforded by members of the titled class in Britain. At that moment, I decided that my mother deserved no less than a bespoke custom dollhouse that was so unique that it would reflect both her personality and soul. The very concept of bespoke also mandated that the house should be literally built by her son – me. I thought of the Egyptian tradition of the K’a house and so the personality of “Mo” came to me.
“Mo” is my vision of one particular strong woman existing through time and dream. Mo is born of Hestia, “she who came before” all of the Gods in the Greek pantheon. She reflects aspects of both the unique personality of my mother and of the Mother Goddess. To me, Mo becomes a constant personality through the turbulent passage of history. She is eternal.
“The dark travail of ages I see - as through a glass and darkly.
Many names, many faces - but me, always me”
- Paraphrase of G Patton
So, I had to design a unique bespoke dollhouse that reflected both my mother and a Goddess – oh sh*t! How the h*ll was I going to accomplish THAT one? I had never built a dollhouse in my life. What kind of dollhouse did I need to build? What would I put in it? What style should it be in? What ……………. EVERYTHING?
It turned out to be a very simple problem to solve. If you get an originating idea in a vision – seek the answer in a vision. I thought of Maureen as a person, not as solely my mother, and asked for a vision to reflect her personality. I found myself sitting on a sand dune, feeling a gritty wind that smelled of the harbor, and I was looking at a full moon reflecting off the broad swell of ocean surf.
Easy peasy – I would build a beach house and stuff it with everything my mother loves……….
My mother’s original beach house was a base housing trailer on Iraklion AFB (trailer pic),
I thought that I should perhaps make some improvements on the original design………………..
Since Maureen loves the sight and the sound of the surf, let’s build a house that is literally IN the surf. So we need a house sitting up on old piers………..
Let’s see…..Maureen loves the clapboard siding on seaside cottages - so……
We need a high peaked roof to shrug off the storms and how about some broad steps where the lower step is submerged at high tide so she can watch the sunset with a cup of tea and her toes in the water, hmmmmm……………………..
Now we need to add a big old porch where we can have an old fashioned porch swing and a rocking chair…….maybe add in that gingerbread porch trim Maureen loved on the Painted Lady houses in San Francisco.........and paint it sunny yellow………………
with bright stained glass and a tin roof so you can hear the rain …….. got it ….. and plants ….. GOT to have PLANTS!
a big old wicker rocker……some beach sandals…… and a sunbed for Jenny Rose……got to have split half doors so they are an invitation to the interior…..
and you need a welcoming light to light the path for friendly spirits to come and go through the storms………….
and since it is difficult to have a beach house without an ocean....ummmm
an ocean would need some old piers for the seagulls to perch on and maybe one of those old maritime lights………
and the moon that I saw in the vision should reflect off of the front of the house so……….. damn ………… I got me an ocean!
Now add in a sign so there is no confusion that this is a bespoke house…….“Mo’s Tranquility Bay” with a bird on it……… and lookin GOOD!
Okay, I need a ROUND rose colored window above the bed to filter the sunlight and moonlight into beautiful beams of color in the air……
NOW we’re cooking! Let’s see, we need a whitewashed wooden floor, some sunny yellow wallpaper, an old antique rug, and a Chinese screen, and
……a big bed with a big antique light hanging down to cast shadows and a birdcage and some kind of big standing plant and an antique looking bedside stand and…………….
and, since this her K’a house, I need to create a custom framed portrait of Maureen and her sisters, and Margaret, and me, and Edinburgh, and I’ll add the Calton Hill to symbolize dad
And that was that, except for...............??????
Mo had decided she needed a palace...............................................