cardboard shingles, bunny issues, the sideburn verdict and flea market report

The outside of the cardboard house has been on my to do list forever. Two things got me moving:

I happened upon this house. I love everything about it. I’m not going full on folk art but a little color and graphic detail will be just right.

And I made some space. The actual, available work space on my table has been getting smaller and smaller as all the things in progress and essential items encroach. Spending an hour getting organized and reclaiming most of that space made a huge difference. It’s restorative and refreshing and motivating. A chunk of dedicated time and space for a project is magic.

doll house shingles

The bulk of the work, before the fun stuff (finish painting and maybe some window boxes) is the chimney and shingles. The chimney is done with the egg carton stone technique.

I also used some spackle to add a little texture to the walls and cover some of the tape edges.

find more about the cardboard house here


After way too much thought I went with a kind of haphazard fairy cottage shingle situation for the roof. The cardboard is a thin corrugated- pretty stiff -but easy to cut with scissors. The shingle size varies – but mostly around 1 by 1.5 inches. They are glued on in rows with a generous amount of wood glue.

I’ll finish shingling the roof this weekend, sand the chimney and then everything is ready for paint. It’s all going much faster than expected. I’ll be a little sad when it’s done. I’m a process person. Stay tuned for paint details soon.


two rag doll heads- one with sideburns and one without

the captain charmley sideburn verdict

Sideburns were the clear winner. But no sideburns made a respectable showing. So I think I will include an extra template and the option to skip them in the pattern.

Thanks so much for your input – it was super helpful.

two bunnies lounging in the shade of an in progress garden

the bunny situation

A pair of bunnies have been eating my flowers. And parsley. And the tops of my leeks. A couple days ago I saw them siestaing in the shade. I’ve named them Snakkin and Nappin. They were so peaceful and happy and I watched them from the window for a long time. At one point Snakkin was lounging on his back, feet in the air and he reached for the parsley and pulled it down to his mouth for a little bite. Pretty luxurious.  I went down and a confrontation ensued. You can see it here. Apparently I’m terrifying because they have not been back.

tiny round cream colored vase with mini flowers

I’m super into tiny, miss thistle size flowers this year – forget me knots, oakleaf and pinkberry among them. The bunnies do not seem to care for those. So far. I’ve been making mini ceramic vases to hold them. I also planted some wild flowers for mid summer surprises and, for the first time, “Love In the Mist” Miss Jeklly variety. Hoping to dry them- the seed pods are glorious.

a collection of puppets and or dlls in fairytale character costumes

and a flea market report

The first treasure:  tiny puppet/dolls. They are actually a friend’s estate sale find but I had to borrow them and show you. The costumes and expressions are everything. They are giving me all sorts of ideas for new tiny doll wardrobe items.

 a small wood doll with cotton clothes and a red cap held in my hand - the feeling is dutch 1940-ish

Also in the tiny people department this little man who sits and stands looking eternally guilty about something… Also outstanding in features and costume.

portrait of a gray terrier on a purple backround

And finally this needlepoint dog portrait.  I love it and plan on framing it so the moths don’t’ get it.

Are you making a cardboard house? Any great flea market treasures? Do you have a bunny situation?! Let us know in the comments,



  1. Judith Thomas

    I WISH you would show us how to frame things without paying a zillion dollars to a
    framing shop. How will you frame that little needlepoint dog you found?

    • Dana Lippert

      I did a piece of work that I wanted to cram, and went into Hobby Lobby, to the back section where they sell frames, they have a person who cut my mat the exact size I needed and helped me pick out the perfect frame. Fie less than 40.00.

    • Dana Lippert

      I did a piece of work that I wanted to frame, and went into Hobby Lobby, to the back section where they sell frames, they have a person who cut my mat the exact size I needed and helped me pick out the perfect frame. For less than 40.00.

  2. Catherine Porche

    I love Captain Charmly. I belive he deserves a clean shaven twin brother!

  3. Jane Dupuis

    I’m actually in the process of making a cardboard house myself! I had great fun making a couple of the clothes pin beds and the wood stoves. I’m currently figuring out how to message a tiny cardboard version of my mid-1930s console radio so the ladies will have music.

  4. Ellen Nielsen

    Love in the mist dried pods are gorgeous spray painted gold! Also invasive flowers for sure

  5. Heather Smith

    The expressions on those 7 little dwarves puppets are too precious! I’m also taken by the visual of the garden bunny casually eating your parsley while lounging on his back. I’m both happy that you scared them off and a little sad they’ve lost their magical garden.

  6. I love clearing a workspace, I’ve been lucky enough to find studio space and I make sure I take time before I leave to tidy. It’s lovely to go back knowing I can find everything. The house is looking great, another thing on my long, long list of wanting to do projects.

  7. I also just cleared a surface on the table in my newish studio space (a basement room)!
    Huzzah to cleared spaces & the work it takes to make them. It’s always worth the effort to sort and organize and clear workspace… allows so much possibility and new dreaming to happen, and gives me a spurt of fresh energy.
    All of this frontline reporting is deeply encouraging and inspiring.
    THANK YOU, as usual, ann 🙂

  8. Patty Brenner

    There is something freeing about clearing a work space or putting a little organization to it – it’s like the mind appreciates new blank spaces 🙂 With regards to stone work for the little house, I realize you’ve already done it – but for future, here’s another consideration. Way back in the day (late 60’s-early 70’s?) my sister bought a house shaped purse blank from a craft store. She glued on broken egg shells to mimic stone work, and of course painted/stained them to look more ‘realistic’. They have a nice rounded river stone look. I do love the little puppet dolls, adorable!

  9. Deborah Wire

    I would love a pattern for the doll house. Any chance?

  10. Belinda Paterson

    The dress on one of the lady dolls. I’d like to see a pattern done

  11. Sally B Box

    The roof shingles! They will add so much to the character of the house.
    I love them.

  12. Janette

    Nigella work beautifully for flower pounding. The petals and green fronds transfer really well.
    Looking forward to the Captain, thanks.

  13. Thanks for sharing your friend’s finds from estate sale. They are precious to see. More than that, I love your paper horse project you did long ago. Is there existing posts where I can see more on your paper horse project. I didn’t know of you then. Would like hear story of making those horse project you did one day.

  14. Sharon Stanley

    Your newsy letter is always like a little visit to a fun village where elves are making things in nooks and crannies of secret attics.

    • This is exactly the feeling I get, delicious helpings of inspiration and charm. Luffly!!!

  15. I found a house shaped medicine cabinet on the curb on free cycle day. Currently ratty, a pirate version of your mouse and his wifely wench, a pin doll have taken up residence. The house has 3 floors. I want to paint waves on my house wall and tether the pirate ship alongside, when I mount the cabinet. I’m trying to work out treasure and skeletons in the basement. Their house has some potted woebegone pines, and some cacti. I’m hunting miniature thrift frames for art, and to make a faux window. I found a very old pincushion in a wooden base that makes an excellent bolster. Like you say, things pop up. Now to clean my workspace.

  16. I actually do have a bunny problem it started three years ago. It is a dichotomy of mind for me. I don’t like them in my veg and flower beds, yet hate when the cats find the fur babies and bring them home.

    Your puppet doll has reminded me of a puppet doll my mother made at age 8. It was Mary and her little lamb . She primitively carved the body parts, yet meticulously painted her face and fashioned a dress and a Dutch hat from clothing scraps. The lamb was made from a wool crocheted item. My sister has them now. Is it bad for me to say I wish I’d kept them?

    A lovely post, thank you!

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