A year or more went by before Liz found she had time in the afternoons,she wasn’t at work and Ross hadn’t yet come home from school;when she needed to be engaged in some therapeutic activity. It was then that she remembered the doll’s house and began to work on it.
It would become her memorial to Ewan and be dedicated to his memory. Later on it also became clear that the now named ‘Ewan House’ would, of course, be situated on ‘Ross Street’.
The stairs were built on a jig: that is a crudely erected structure of small blocks of wood over which were lain the finer one inch strips for the two storey staircase of Ewan house. The jig itself then became the rough and ready stairs that Liz put in a wooden box also inserting an upper floor. This was to be the playhouse for Ross and his friends.
In other words the miniature house with the finer stairway was becoming the ‘not ideal for children’ structure nearer to Liz’s original dream!
Those spare hours in the afternoons became all important to her as she went on to complete the house over the next few years.
Once done it was an ongoing exploration to find and construct the right interior fittings and fixtures. wallpapers had to have the right sized patterns, so too did the curtains and furniture. Liz wanted to make the contents herself rather than rely on Doll’s House suppliers. During that time she did however make some visits to miniature craft makers’ fairs and exhibitions where she picked up some useful ideas.
Keeping the 12th scale in mind, the next years would find Liz looking at everything from that perspective. for example: a large glass bead would make a perfect flower vase, an old wooden cigarette box would be adapted into a bed or a kitchen dresses, a Christmas tree decoration would become the doll’s house in the doll’s house, cheque book stubs would be made into small books and chicken wire cut, shaped and painted into wrought iron railings.
Family and friends became valued contributors to Liz’s house. Ross made posters and a chest of drawers for the teenagers room. Carol Marsh crocheted tiny Christmas stockings and filled them with minute home made treasures. She also made Staffordshire dogs for the mantlepiece. Her mother, Mary Marsh, made an intricate bedspread for the main bedroom. Other family members and friends gave her a variety of luxurious little things. Finally her sister Sarah, most generously, paid for an electrician to illuminate the house!
Each one had things in it of special significance. For example liz made curtains out of her grandmother’s old silk dressing gown; a New York shrift-store shirt became a laquered standing screen; she made a leather coat from one of her father’s old jacket elbow patches and another piece of leather became a miniature replica of the single sofa bed in sarah’s London flat. this was the bed that Ross used to sleep on when he visited his aunt.
Was the house really finished?