Tuesday, November 22, 2011

For The Love Of Doll Houses

Published on Patch Nov 22, 2011

While the shop is now open in Lawrenceville, one event is taking place in Old Town in the final days of my lease there.
Local resident Mary Bentley shares her love of dollhouses!
A collection of tiny treasures by local resident, artist, and gardener, Mary Bentley, proves that childhood dreams never grow old. Mary Bentley loves dollhouses! She has been playing with dollhouses since Santa brought her one in the 1950’s. It is a beautiful blue Victorian gingerbread house with white windows and trim.  Mary kept that dollhouse, and in the 1990’s, decided it needed a facelift. 

“I renovated the house with new carpet, floors and wallpaper.” Mary smiled as she showed me her childhood toy. “But I’ve been remodeling it, and building furniture for it since the 1970’s, when my daughter, Susan, was old enough to play with it. Now Mary’s granddaughter, Haviland, is enjoying this family keepsake.

Mary makes most of the small items in her dollhouses. Her original dollhouse is filled with handmade treasures. The bed in the attic bedroom was made from a kit. The yo-yo quilt, bedding, and dust ruffle were handmade using fabrics Mary collects. Mary completed the needlepoint rug that her mother had started for the house’s sewing room. Visits to antique shops, thrift stores, and specialty dollhouse shops yield many treasures that Mary uses also. Her collection of vintage wallpaper and recycled fabrics turn each room into a one-of-a-kind fairyland. Mary decorates the inside and outside of her houses and adds windows, doors, porch rails and other architectural details.

Each house in Mary’s collection has a story and characters that live there. The blue Victorian house is home to Abigail, her Grand-mama and sister. Abigail spends most of her time in the attic bedroom dreaming, while Grand-mama and her sister put finishing touches on the gingerbread house they are making in the kitchen. The house has a sewing room, where Grand-mama is making a red Christmas dress for Abigail. 

Some of the dollhouses in Mary’s collection (which number ten plus, I lost count!) are for display only, while others are in the playroom upstairs, in the charming attic room, similar to the room Abigail dreams in, for Haviland and her friends to play with.

Another treasure of Mary’s is a dollhouse she entered in a contest during the “National Dollhouse Month” a few years ago. This one room was designed to honor Mary’s mother, Catherine Moye Hatcher, who had just passed away. She designed a yarn and notion shop, one that her mother might have owned, and called it “Kit’s Knits and Notions”. Her mother’s nickname was Kit. Mary used yarn and various items of her mother’s in the house. 

The 2006 Roombox Contest brought forth the “Haviland’s Teddy Bear Tea Room”, named for her Granddaughter. This contest called for constructing the entire house from a kit, including roof shingles. Pastries are handmade from Fimo Clay for the bakery cabinet. Mary has entered the Roombox Contest many times over the years. 

In 2009 her entry was “Driving Miss Daisy To A Special Place”. The “special place” was named “The Quilt Garden” where Miss Daisy went to pick up her fabric order of fabrics for the holiday season. This is the first house she wired for lights. 

Mary loves to share her collection. Recently, over Veteran’s Day weekend, she had a tea party in Old Town Lilburn with a display of her dollhouses in the grey house on Main Street. The Little Shop Of Arts And Antiques had just moved to its new location in Lawrenceville and this event had been scheduled before the location change. Mary, with the help of a few of her friends, held a mother-daughter princess tea and brought many of the doll houses from her collection to share with the local community.

The showpiece of the day was a tall dollhouse purchased by shop owner, Barbara Barth, at a local thrift store and given to Mary to turn into a dream house. For weeks Mary visited the shop and worked to turn the plain house into a storybook house with every room brimming with holiday cheer. The house is being donated by Mary to “The Butterfly House”. Her wish is that children will be able to play with the dollhouse over the holiday season. 

Mary’s spirit and love of life are infectious. Her dollhouses bring magic to everyone who seems them.  Enjoy the photos of the Princess Tea Party dollhouses and some of Mary's other creations.




Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Third Fridays Writers Open Mic

Introducing Third Fridays - A Series Of Open Mics held the third Friday of every month from 7:00 - 9:30. Hosted by playwright, Evan Guilford-Blake. This Friday kicks off our first monthly open mic event. 

For poets, fiction and non-fiction writers, playwrights and everyone else who writes! 

Featured Nov. 18 - Poet Alice Teeter

Alice Teeter is among Georgia's most highly regarded poets. Her published books include 20 CLASS A (Morningstar Media), String Theory winner of the Georgia Poetry Society's Charles B. Dickson Chapbook Contest) and When It Happens To You . . . (Star Cloud Press). She is an Adjunct Professor, Lecturer in Poetry, at Emory University and a founding member of the String Theory Cohort. Teeter and the company created dance pieces using her poems "String Theory" and "The Woman Who Ate Anger." 

Come join us and read your own work, or listen to the diverse pieces. Admission is $5.00 if you'd like to share your work, and only $3.00 to listen. There's a limit of 16 readers, and each will have up to six minutes to read whatever you choose.

Refreshments will be available.

From Patch

Holiday Open House, Jewelry Trunk Sale, Live Music

Christmas Open House 11 am to 8 pm.

Lots of fun, live music, jewelry trunk show. Enter to win a $50 gift certificate.
11 am til...Gilannie Goddess Emporium jewelry trunk show.

Noon til 2 pm - music by Bruce Headrock, guitar, southern rock and blues.

6pm - 8 pm - music by Larry Joe Hall, guitar, blue grass, old rock
light refreshments.

From Patch

Saturday, November 12, 2011

GAB: Antique shop moves to Lawrenceville

LAWRENCEVILLE -- A grand opening ceremony for the Little Shop of Arts and Antiques is scheduled for 11 a.m. Wednesday at 162 Crogan St.

The shop, which moved from Lilburn to Lawrenceville on Oct. 1, sells gift items and antiques.
Writing classes, book signings, art openings, book clubs and open mic nights also are hosted at the location. In addition, the Little Shop of Arts and Antiques is the home of the Gwinnett County Writers Guild.
Started by the shop earlier this year, the Gwinnett County Writers Guild meets twice a month. Lilburn author Emilie P. Bush hosts the club.
For more information about the Little Shop of Arts and Antiques, call 404-326-7306.
Gwinnett Gab appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Gwinnett County Writer's Guild Bi-Monthly Meeting

The Gwinnett County Writers Guild meets the second and fourth Thursday each month. Hosted by Lilburn author, Emilie P. Bush.  Formerly the Lilburn Writers Guild, we have expanded to include all Gwinnett County with the shop's new location in historic downtown Lawrenceville.
Our social meeting is from 7:00 to 7:30 and we get down to the business of writing at 7:30.
The shop offers writing classes and other art events in addition to normal store business!
New members welcomed in our guild. Call shop for details or join through Meet-Up.
Normally we meet on the second and fourth Thursday of the month. Due to the holiday season we will meet just once in November and December. Don't miss our Nov. 10th meeting.

From Patch



Saturday, November 5, 2011

Meet Author Doug Dahlgren and former Disney Artist Julie Burton

Former Disney artist Julie Burton will be drawing pastel portraits from 2 to 5pm. Julie learned the quick sketch method of portrait painting during the years she worked for Disney. Ten minutes for a perfect likeness. Cost is $25 per person. Call shop for an appointment or just come in!

Author Doug Dahlgren, "The Son:Silas Rising" is honoring us with a visit Saturday from 1 to 4 pm. His book has been getting a lot of media attention. It is a political thriller, with a most unusual, but well liked, main character. Jonathan Crane has been called a cross between James Bond and Dexter. Book for sale at the shop. Dahlgren will be autographing copies.

From Patch

Friday, November 4, 2011

First Friday Meet Artist Kim Gerlach

The Little Shop Of Arts And Antiques joins in downtown's First Friday. Meet artist Kim Gerlach. Kim will be painting on site and talking about art and our upcoming painting social groups. Kim will be one of the artists teaching at the shop. Visit meet-up if you can't come tonight and join the Gwinnett County Whimsical Canvas and Art Group.
Kim got her degree in painting in 2007 from Anderson University. Kim currently has an art exhibit in downtown Duluth, Ga. She works as a Recreation Leader at Pinckneyville Park Community Recreation Center.
As a reminder, tomorrow, Saturday, from 2 until 5 pm you can meet former Disney artist Julie Burton. Juiie learned the quick sketch method of drawing portraits, and can do a perfect likeness in 10 minutes. You can have your portrait, or child's portrait done, for $25 each person. Perfect gift for the upcoming holidays.

From Patch