Sunday, 8 December 2013

Phase Two Face Lift Complete! (aka: Exterior Complete!)

Remember the original Droopy…?

(Photo © Keystonecrazy 2013)

… and her Phase One face lift from my last blog?

'After' (Now Complete With Chimney)
(Photo © Keystonecrazy 2013)

Well here is her posterior lift (ooh la la!)… 

Rear View
(Photo © Keystonecrazy 2013)

Well, I've finally completed the exterior of my Keystone Put-Away look-alike, good job I wasn't in a race!

Of course the real Keystone Put-Away is actually open at the back so all of this rear facade is made up but I've basically extended the theme from the front of the house.  The rear section of my house is where the rooms from the 'Put-Away' sections of the real Keystone will be recreated.

I have covered one of the rear windows with my masonite (hardboard) facade in order to create a windowless room to house the built-in shower room (located centre top in the real Put-Away).

I like the effect of the French door which will [eventually] lead into a morning room. This will be one of the two extra rooms in my Put-Away as compared to the original because Droopy is an eight room lady whereas Little Loosie's Put-Away (i.e my role model) is a six roomer.  I haven't decided what the other extra room will be yet but it is upstairs so maybe a children's room/nursery.

So now, it's onward and… inside!

Phase Three is to create the inside, I'm REALLY looking forward to this bit - I have no idea how I'm going to do it  but I'm REALLY looking forward to it. Wish me luck! xx

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Phase One Face Lift Complete!

The new look Droopy!

Front All Finished

Photo © Keystonecrazy 2013

And about time too I hear you say!

Yes it has taken me a while but I have now completed the exterior front. Only the chimney missing but I'm planning to make and fit those last.

Very Grand Front Entrance

Photo © Keystonecrazy 2013

The doorway and door took me a while because what do you know, the required mouldings are available in the US but not the UK.  I wasn't going to pay the earth for a little piece of wood from the US so I had to make my own by gluing rounded edge pieces of wood together.  I'm pleased with the result though. 

Phase Two, the posterior lift (ooh la la!) is underway and I hope to be reporting on that very soon!

Monday, 22 July 2013


It's taken me a while but at last I've made a start.

Masonite facade cut, primed and painted off-white.

There was a long pause in proceedings at this point while I plucked up the courage to draw the graphics on by hand. 

Windows bought and first attempt at painting the lithographs.

First I drew the graphics on in pencil and then set to with a fine paint brush.  I started with the shutters which proved to be the hardest part - thankfully they only feature on the top windows - there may not be any on the reverse side of the house!!

Nearly done - the front facade anyway!

Not too bad? I definitely see a Keystone emerging - yay!!

Only three colours used in the graphics for the outside walls; red, green and brown, simplifying things greatly.  At first I thought I would need to use some sort of lining pen but in the end I went for it by hand and the more I did, the more I began to believed that that was how the original illustrator did it as the effect was very similar.  I still have the drain pipe on the left to do but as Droopy is taller and thinner than a Keystone I am missing out the one on the right.

There are some other very slight deviations from the original due to the positioning of the windows and door which are dictated by Droopy - I don't want to make any structural changes to her.

I have used wooden windows from Hobbies but had to adapt a couple for the downstairs.

I'm working on the doorway now... one [door]step at a time!

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Love at First Sight

It all started when I first clapped eyes on Little Loosie's Keystone Put-Away (circa 1949), it just spoke to me!

  Look at these lovely lithos...

(Photograph © S. Schafer 2013)

...and the inside, well! More fab lithos,a fitted kitchen and a buit-in shower!!!

(Photograph © S. Schafer 2013) 
Oddly, the one thing I DIDN'T like about my childhood dolls' house  (Toy Works, 1970's) was the lithographed interior - what could be more annoying than putting a T.V. into a room which already has a T.V. litho'd on the wall? But the Keystone lithos make TOTAL sense!

So how could I get my hands on one??

A quick search on the Internet and a beautiful "1949 Delux Keystone Put Away" was found, for sale on Ebay - hoorah!   Item location: Arlington, Texas, USA - oh dear - over 4500 miles away!

Well never mind - determined not to be daunted by either the distance or sale price (US$395 roughly £260), I contacted the seller only to discover that it would cost US$500 /£330 JUST TO SHIP!!! 

Disaster! Clearly I couldn't justify a total cost of $895 / £590 for a little Masonite (hardboard to us Brits.) house - well not to my husband at any rate, it actually seemed like a 'no brainer' to me!

Neither could I talk my husband into emigrating to Texas and so, being a tenacious and resourceful sort, I decided:

I'll make my own!

(My dolls' house motto has always been; "How hard can it be to make one of those?")

Next thing I know I'm in my local antique shop and the owner is telling me she has an "interesting" old dolls' house out the back that I might like to see. (She'd been putting it out the front of the shop all week, in between rain showers, in the hope that I would pass by and see it - yes, I have history in her shop!)

And so Droopy, came into my life.  She was only £15 and needed a home and some TLC...

I think you can see why I named her Droopy!


I have examined her layout and measured her dimensions and everything tells me she is up to the job.  I have of course, asked her permission and her resounding answer was; 

"Yes, I very much want to start a new life under an assumed identiy - I would love to be your Keystone Put-away!" (All my houses talk to me, same as my dogs).

Oh joy! 

She won't be an exact copy of the original Keystone Put-Away but she will be a good look-a-like with 'Handy Deluxe' modifications (well that's the plan at any rate!).

So, I've now been to my local DIY store and am armed with my 'Masonite' and paint and I'll be making a start on the outside in the next few days.

I'll keep you posted!

P.S. Take a look at Little Loosie's excellent vintage US dollhouses at: