In two weeks I am giving my traditional Christmas party, and I anticipate that my guests will want to see my dollhouse. For a number of reasons, I didn't have this party last year, so the last my guests will have seen is this, two years ago:
The shell is not glued yet, there is no back, nor roof nor fronts, the doors and windows are not properly inserted, the stairs are leaned-to, the wallpaper is white-tacked, and most floors are simply covered with paper.
Yet my guests thought it was the most wonderful dollhouse they had seen.
Maybe they hadn't seen many. Or simply weren't looking closely.
If you don't look closely it does look cute. Small cute rooms full of small cure furniture and objects and dolls.
But this time, even if for my guests it may look the same, most of the superficial work is done. There will be plenty of things for them to admire, things I am proud of. Floors, stair railings, back corridor lights, flickering fireplaces, Adam ceilings, pleated curtains. Some may pay attention to the Chippendale furniture. Some may notice various details. Some will count cats.
Some will ask me how I made this or that. Most won't.
In anticipation of this visit I must make sure that everything is as much as it should be. That all pictures hang straight. That candles in chandeliers don't fall off. That all tiny objects on tables and chests are there, not lying on the floor around. That books are neat in bookcases (except those deliberately spread on the floor). That the door knobs haven't fallen off. That pots and pans and jars in kitchens and larders are stored away or arranged in an interesting disorder. That all dolls are upright, except those asleep in their beds.
That there is no ball of white tack in front of the grand stairs. Nor full-size tools left somewhere.
That lights work. That fronts still close and open (I must put in magnets!). That all unfinished spots I once left for later are finished.
Preferably, I should make five more sets of curtains, but I doubt I will have time. I may re-arrange the furniture and hang some more pictures.
The more I look at my house the more glad I am that I didn't postpone it until retirement.