featuring guest authors; crafting tips and projects; recipes from food editor and sleuthing sidekick Cloris McWerther; and decorating, travel, fashion, health, beauty, and finance tips from the rest of the American Woman editors.

Monday, October 3, 2016


Raquel (R.V.) Reyes is a writer living in Miami. She interviews other Florida Authors on her blog, Cozy in Miami. Learn more about Raquel at her website

Rebellious Dollhouses

When I was young, my mother and grandmother were VERY into dollhouses. Of course, they each said their dollhouse was for me. And yes, I had the freedom to re-arrange the furniture and bendable porcelain dolls, but these dollhouses were like antique stores with petit-point oriental rugs and sterling silver tableware. By the time, I was a teenager I wanted nothing to do with miniatures. There would be no more glued together fingers for me. I was done assembling things. Think Ikea but with worse directions and microscopic screws.

Then I had my own child. She got a dollhouse all her own but the sturdier, play-scale kind. Plus, she got to play with “my” old dollhouse when visiting my mother. The tradition continued until my mother died of ovarian cancer. When I dissolved her estate, there was no place in my life for a six foot long dollhouse. We donated it to the local history museum but still my daughter was heart-broken.

After several years of mourning, I came out of my fog and suddenly my heart ached for a dollhouse. The Internet is a marvelous thing. I searched and found plenty of miniature shops online. The possibilities were limitless. I could build or buy it built. But, there was no room for a fifteen-room colonial in my little townhouse. The only display space I could clear up was on top of a waist-high bookshelf. And then an email arrived--- 2 for 1 townhouse kit special. Perfect! I bought them, one for me and one for my, now, teenaged daughter. We both instantly knew what we would do with our two-room townhouse kit. Neither of us wanted anything traditional. We wanted something fun and rebellious to match our personalities. She chose to make hers a Victorian curiosity parlor with jellyfish in jars, books about poisons, and animal skulls. I made mine a feminist cafe and bookstore.

You can see the process if you start at the beginning of my tumblr blog. Since then I’ve made a Kit Tea Caf√©. 

Jeweler’s Mark
Gigi Santos, wedding ring designer and diamond appraiser, is looking forward to her ten-year high school reunion. She is trying to be a better, less gossipy person, but Lourdes, her BFF since forever, has not matured past teenage pettiness. Cover boy–handsome Detective Carlos Garcia comes into the picture to investigate a year-old burglary at Gigi’s jewelry business. They flirt, and sparks fly. Gigi is sure she will have him on her arm as her reunion date. That is, until her BFF becomes the prime suspect in the murder of the reunion's organizer. Gigi knows Lourdes is innocent and she is determined to prove it. When Gigi’s sleuthing puts her and the people she loves in danger, Detective Garcia tries to keep her out of harm’s way. But she wants a date, not a hero. Will Gigi and Carlos dance under the Miami moonlight? Or will fake diamond rings send them all to jail? Find out in the first of the Love and Diamonds mysteries.

Buy Links


Alyssa Maxwell said...

I love this post and your blog, too! My husband and I have recently caught the dollhouse bug. (Well, for me, it's "recaught," because I loved my dollhouse as a child.) He found a small dollhouse at a thrift shop, and we've been "rennovating." We're not quite as creative as you in making everything, but we've been on the hunt for vintage pieces, and now I've decided I need a second, smaller one (one or two rooms) for my office.

R.V. Reyes said...

I'm so pleased to hear that you have caught the bug! It is awfully fun. It gives me a chance to decorate rooms that I will never have living in condo-land.

Radine Trees Nehring said...

Oh wow! I've never posted about my interest in miniatures (specifically doll houses) but here is another author with the same "hobby" (obsession?) At conferences, I lusted after the doll house rooms Camille Minichino donated for auctions and/or purchase at conferences. I had a pasteboard dollhouse as a child (it was WW II). Our play room was in the basement, and my brother set the dollhouse on fire as a "test" for his miniature fire engine. (It pumped a mini stream of water.) Test failed.

Years passed. I created and furnished two doll houses for nieces. One Christmas season I was doing a signing in a local bookstore and her window was decorated with children's books and toys. One was a Melanie and Doug Fold and Go dollhouse. It enchanted me and the bookstore owner could tell. Long a good friend, she said she had paid $3.50 for the damaged dollhouse at a thrift shop and would happily give it to me after Christmas. It's not a fancy house, and the scale is not 1-12 as most, but my husband and I worked over several months to repair it and create furnishings.(Hint, used dryer sheets make marvelous curtains.) Today it sits on a credenza in my front hall, surrounded by the householder's business--"Potted Glory Gardens," tended by 6 garden gnomes. I am about to switch from summer flowers to pumpkins and all fallish things.


Nancy J. Cohen said...

I prefer the dolls to the dollhouse and still have my collection of dolls from around the world. They're in a display case in our living room. How nice that you found a hobby you can share.

Ellen Byron said...

I love dollhouses, and was sad my daughter never seemed that interested in them. Great post.

Heidi Wilson said...

I too love small things, though I write about them rather than making them. A wonderful book on the subject is The Art of Small Things by John Mack. You can get it on Abe Books or Amazon.