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The Haunted Dollhouse

This post isn’t funny, and I apologize for that, but it’s not sad either, so I think we’re even.

If you don’t like Halloween, miniatures, or horror books you should just skip this post.  Seriously.

If you’re a long-term reader you already know that I’ve been slowly building a haunted dollhouse for the last eleven years.

It’s filled with references to horror/fantasy books and movies that made me the possibly-twisted person I am today, and every year around Halloween I give an update showing the latest pictures.  This year, however, I’ve been fighting off a bit of depression (which is exactly why I love to make tiny bottles of bezoars or miniature Victorian vampire killing kits, so I can escape from reality when I need to) so I haven’t been up to writing anything about it yet.  Luckily, I didn’t have to, because other sweet people did it for me.

Click here to check out the slideshow on Kirtsy featuring all of my very latest dollhouse pics.

And then click here to see even more on HGTV.

Happy Halloween, y’all.

PS.  I have allusions to hundreds of books and movies in the dollhouse, but I always worry that I’m missing some.  Leave me a comment with the horror/fantasy books that made your mind change in fabulous ways and I’ll check them out.

RATS.

You guys.  Just…NO.  Okay, I started this on twitter a few minutes ago but it got too long so I’m moving it here.  Twitter is backward so go to the bottom of the image and read upward until you’re caught up.  I’ll meet you at the bottom.


So of course Victor is out of town because that’s what happens when a plague of rats strikes so I called our exterminator and was like, “I think I have lawn gerbils?” and I described them and she was like, “Girl, you got rats” and I was like, “THIS NEVER HAPPENED WHEN OBAMA WAS PRESIDENT” and she was all, “Um…ma’am?” and I apologized and told her I had a lot of other things going on and she was like, “Whatever, crazy” but in a nice way.

So she said that they could help but that it’s hard for them to catch rats outside and that I might want to try it myself with rat traps and I was like, “But I don’t want to kill them.  Can’t you just live trap them?” and she was like, “For rats?  No.  We do that for squirrels and skunks and such, but we’re not going to trap and relocate rats.  That’s just going to cause problems for someone else” and that’s true but it would create more business for them although in a shitty way, and I applaud them for being ethical but still wish they could remove these guys without hurting them.  Then she told me that there was a poison that dehydrates the rats and makes them leave to look for creeks, but they’re in a bush right next to the pool so basically I’d have a lot of plague rats swimming in my pool and frankly that seems worse for everyone.

Also, she was like, “Do you have any birdseed out there, or nuts that are attracting them?” and that seemed like victim blaming but I explained that I didn’t and she explained that THEY EAT DOG POOP.  WTF.  And that both super grossed me out and made me really reconsider luring them inside to train them and put circus clothes on them because ew, but also it seems sort of beneficial?  Like when you find a snake in your yard and you don’t kill it because it eats worse snakes?  So I asked the lady if I could just let them stay and she was like, “NOOOO.  THEY WILL GET IN YOUR HOUSE AND CHEW UP YOUR WIRES,” but probably not if I give them a dollhouse filled with food on the back porch and I could hear the lady shaking her head and she was like, “Listen. Just get some traps and see if you can catch them.  For some reason rats really like cherry starbursts” and I was all, “I REALLY LIKE CHERRY STARBURSTS” and they just got even more human to me.  But then I remembered that I actually like strawberry starbursts and the cherry ones taste like poison, so then it was less awful, but then I thought that if I did make friends with the rats they could eat all my cherry starbursts.  You can see my predicament.

PS.  The pest control lady could not see my predicament.  I assume because she doesn’t have my imagination or my access to tiny rat-sized clothing.

PPS.  This sucks.

PPPS.  This post brought to you by Starburst!  Kidding.  Don’t sue me, Starburst. The rats started this.  Not me.

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Creepy doll challenge…phase 1. (UPDATED WITH PHASE 3)

A couple of weeks ago I challenged my friend (and fellow collector of creepy dolls) Bonnie to see who could rework this doll into the creepiest thing possible and now I’m ready to share my first variation.

In fairness, with the right lighting and filter it was already a little creepy:

But I thought I could go further.  So I added a few things.  Like a claw made of old erasers, a hand made of bark, another doll I repainted for her to hold, and a cat skeleton.  And some ruffles.

Work in progress…

Not a real cat skeleton. Thought I should clarify since I’m me.

Antiqued it a bit.  The end.

Then Victor and Hailey were like, “Not really creepy enough.  You didn’t do anything to her face” but I think that’s the creepy part.  They disagreed so I decided to make a stop-motion video to convince them.

Victor and Hailey think I should go creepier. #creepydollchallenge Details on my blog.

A post shared by Jenny Lawson (@thebloggess) on

They still don’t think it’s creepy enough because I think maybe I’ve immunized them with repeated exposure to weirdness so I’ll keep working on it and keep you posted.

PS.  I’ve seen other people talking about doing their own so if you decide to make a creepy doll post it in the comments because I totally want to see it.

UPDATE:  Consensus is that the face isn’t creepy enough so I’ve tried again:

#creepydollchallenge Details on the blog.

A post shared by Jenny Lawson (@thebloggess) on

Concensus on #creepydollchallenge is that she needed a face makeover. So here we go.

A post shared by Jenny Lawson (@thebloggess) on

What do you think?  Better?

UPDATED AGAIN:

Several of you noted that her hair was too “perky” to be scary so now one of my other dolls is bald so this could happen:

DONE.

Also, several of you have pointed out that she might always look a little too lovable to some of us because (as a misfit toy) she fits in our community very well and the more broken I make her, the more relatable she becomes, turning her into more of a mascot than a massacre.  Others would like me to stop posting creepy doll pictures so that they can start sleeping again.  Fair enough on both counts.

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And now…time for the weekly wrap-up!

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Shit I made in my shop (Named “EIGHT POUNDS OF UNCUT COCAINE” so that your credit card bill will be more interesting.):

Shit-you-may-or-may-not-want-to-see:

This week’s wrap-up is brought to you by Story Worth, which is a pretty awesome idea  I’m going to try myself.  From them:”This year, give Mom a StoryWorth Book to preserve her stories. Each week, we’ll email her a question about her life – asking her to recount her favorite memory of her grandparents, or whether she’s ever pulled any great pranks. All she has to do is reply with a story, which is forwarded to you and any other family members you invite. At the end of the year, her stories are bound in a beautiful keepsake book your family will cherish!”  Check it out here.

Sometimes it’s easier to just burn down your house and start anew.

You know what you should do when your house is messy?  Burn it to the ground and salt the earth so nothing can ever grow there again.  Or just get a second house.

I can’t afford either of those things so instead Hailey and I built a tiny house.  And by “built a tiny house” I mean we went to park and made a house for fairies.  But just the outside because architecture is hard when you’re squatting in what might be poison oak or might just be really itchy leaves you’re allergic to.  Regardless, my house is still a bit messy but at least it’s not built on poison oak or giving me a rash.  So all things considered, things are pretty good.

before

after

AFTER.

Click here for the video tour.

PS. Some of you have asked for a tour of the real, haunted dollhouse I’ve been making for the last 12 years.  Working on it.

Leaving magic behind. Or litter. Depends on who is looking, really.

If you’ve read here before you may know that I often leave handmade, tiny ferris wheels or miniature houses on sidewalks or in trees for kids to find, like a lazy Boo Radley.  Yesterday Hailey and I took this to a new level when we decided to make a small fairy room in the park nearby.  The park is filled with trees and it always seems a bit magical so finding fairies there wouldn’t be out of the question:

Hailey, listening for fairies. Also, playing Pokemon Go. We're mult-taskers.

Hailey, listening for fairies. Also, playing Pokemon Go. We’re multi-taskers.

I pulled out a chair from my dollhouse and a tiny book that I’d made and we came up with this:

Screen Shot 2016-08-14 at 11.11.45 PM

A closer look.

A closer look.

And it went well aside from one guy who came up on us and was like, “ARE YOU TOUCHING BIRDS?” which is a weird thing to say because WHY WOULD WE TOUCH BIRDS?  WHAT SORT OF WILD BIRDS LET YOU TOUCH THEM?  And also WHY ARE WE YELLING?  So we told him that, no, we were not touching birds (because that would be weird and this isn’t a disney cartoon).  We were creating a reading nook for tired fairies who needed to chill.  And he seemed confused (and maybe disappointed?) and left.

The tree is on the backside of a hiking trail and not very easy to spot but I assumed it would be gone (or smashed to the ground by angry squirrels) by today but this morning we hiked into the woods and instead we found that others had added to it.

Screen Shot 2016-08-14 at 11.12.31 PM

The thing on the left is a seed pod, I think?

And it reminded me of the magic of small things, and of hope and silliness, and made me feel a bit brighter so I thought I’d share it with you.

PS.  Don’t touch birds.  I don’t even know why I’m having to clarify this but if you  can touch a bird that’s a pretty good indicator that the bird is very sick and doesn’t want you poking at it.  Except once my uncle found a talking bird that followed him around the backyard while he was mowing and turns out it was someone’s pet parrot who needed help.  So I guess it’s okay to touch birds if they can specifically ask you for it.  Or if the bird is being a real asshole is attacking your dog.  Then you can hit it with a shovel.  That’s why I carry a shovel when I walk Dorothy Barker because suddenly there are birds of prey all over my neighborhood and my dog isn’t your snack, birds.  I mean, I super love birds but I will take a motherfucker down if they fuck with my puppy.  That’s just how I roll, birds.

PPS.  Sorry.  Got off on a tangent there.  Stop thinking about birds eating dogs.  Go back to the happy, whimsical fairy thoughts.  Much better.  Sorry.  Those birds are assholes.

PPS. A few people were asking how to make the tiny books so I made a tiny tutorial here.

Check-Out-This-Shit-I-Made-Tuesday

So on Black Friday you’re supposed to go shopping, but for people like me who panic in crowds that’s like saying you can get 20% off a sweater but the sweater is stored in a big box of live spiders.  Then there was Small Business Saturday which everyone ignores because small businesses don’t have enough money to promote themselves.  Then yesterday was CyberMonday when things online go on sale but it’s never what you want.  I don’t know what today is supposed to be so let’s call it Check-Out-This-Shit-I-Made-Tuesday and you can promote anything awesome you made in the comments.  Link to the best thing you’ve ever written, or to your book that needs more eyes on it, or to your art that you sell on etsy, or the taxidermied mice you dress in clothing, or the painting or photo you created but never showed anyone because you weren’t sure it was worth showing.  If you made it, put a link or picture in the comments (with a sentence telling what it is so people will know what they’re getting into).

I’ll go first.  I made a haunted dollhouse filled with allusions to my favorite stories years ago.  It took me a year just to build it and another five to furnish it and it’s still not done.  Some of the stuff in the house is bought but at least half I made myself or broke apart, bastardized, repainted, etc.  I created secret tunnels and tiny books and stitched tiny rugs and learned how to make miniature wigs and sculpt dragons.

dollhousebloggess

Your turn.

PS.  Also, five seconds after I posted this I read on twitter that it’s also Giving Tuesday, so after you check this stuff out then maybe consider giving to a worthy cause.  Or give someone a compliment.  Or give me a fist-bump.  Whatever works for you.  Have you checked out World Builders?  Because it’s awesome and worthy of your attention.  I’m buying a goat in your honor right now.  I don’t know if we get to name the goat, but if so I say we call him “Mr. Pumpernickel” because it’s fun to say.

Well, *that* doesn’t bode well.

So, this is going around Facebook:

page 45

I decided to try it, and the book next to me was the German translation of my book.  The sentence is:

“Der Familienlegende zufolge schlug der Mann meiner Ur-Ur-Grobtante, als die schon Über dreißig war und eines Tages am Frühstückstisch saß, seiner Frau von hinten einen Nagel in den Schädel und begrub sie anschließend im Garten.”

This, of course, translates to:

“According to family legend, when my great-great-great aunt was in her thirties, she sat down at the breakfast table and her husband drove a nail though the back of her skull and then buried her in the backyard.”

And that’s why I’ve hidden all the hammers on the roof, Victor.  I’m saving you from yourself.  And I’m also saving me from yourself.  We’re both benefitting.  Stop asking about the hammers.  The hammers are gone.

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And in other news, it’s Sunday, which means its time for the weekly wrap-up:

sid

What you missed in my shop (Named “Eight pounds of uncut cocaine” so that your credit card bill will be more interesting.):

What you missed on the internets:

This week’s wrap-up is brought to you  by the lovely Helen Pellet, who has a brand new show on cable access called “Here’s What I Like And Now I’ll Tell You Why.”  Watch her describe what she likes, assisted by her hapless maid, Nora Marbles.   My personal favorite: “Green: The Bluejean of Nature.”  I recommend.

Is it better to post a pathetic update, or is it better to just shut up? Let’s hope it’s the first.

So, I’m still trapped in moving hell, but it could be worse.  I could be moving and also be on fire and covered in eels.  I did, however, just get access to my computer for the first time in almost a week which is both a terrible relief and also reminds me of just how many deadlines I’m missing.

I’m tired.  I’m sticky.  I’m panicked about all the work that needs to be done just to bring this house up to code and I’m trying not to just hide in bed or start a bonfire in my office.  I do have stories but I’m too drained and inappropriately whiney to do them justice but I promise they’ll be worth it.  Probably.

BTW, this is a live shot of my office directly behind me:

I feel like an episode of "Hoarders" except that the cat is still alive so far. Also, he's fucking useless at unpacking.

I’m not moving again unless it’s in a coffin.

PS.  In brighter, non-witty news, Hailey LOVES her new school, the cats have discovered the excitement of leaping on unsuspecting strangers from the top of the stairs, and I just found the original, dusty  blueprints for this house which apparently included a “magic corner”, a panic room, and an enormous space in the attic labeled “GUN ROOM“.  I can only guess that the original owners were necromancers.

PPS.  Victor just read this over my shoulder and was like, “You think the original owners raised people from the dead?” and I was like “Oh, wait.  No, not necromancers.  What’s that other secret society?  The Freemasons!” and Victor just shook his head, and then I was all “Magic, the Gathering?” and then Victor just walked away in disgust, and I screamed “THE ILLUMINATI!” right as the doorbell rang.  It was the mailman and he looked very disconcerted, probably because he now thought I was expecting the Illuminati at the door, or possibly because the foyer is currently home to a haunted dollhouse, a five-foot paper-mache pig, half a bobcat, and a life-sized statue of Marie Antoinette holding a taxidermied cobra.

We are totally classing up the neighborhood.

This isn’t a real post

This isn’t a real post.  It’s just something I tweeted about that was met with so many questions I decided to answer them all here instead.

The tweet: The newest addition to my haunted dollhouse. #dontblink

IMG_2884

Answers to questions: Yes, I do have a haunted dollhouse. You can read more about it here. It took me over a decade to build and it’s still unfinished.  It’s 1:12 scale and I either built, repainted or distressed the majority of the pieces in the house. The weeping angel, however, I just bought.  I need to rework it with paper clay to camouflage its joints because you can tell it’s plastic if you look hard enough.

I would add something witty here but one of my eardrums exploded yesterday (true story) and all of the cleverness leaked out of my ear.  At least, I assume that’s what was leaking out of my ear.  Could have been brain fluid.  Hard to tell at this point.  I probably knew what it was before all my brain fluid oozed out.  That’s the problem with exploded eardrums.

I think I’m part Vogon

In my spare time I read, watch Doctor Who, build haunted dollhouses, and write bad poetry.  Like, THE WORST poetry.  In fact, the poem I wrote today was so bad I had to run after Victor to get him to listen to the end of it and then after that he went directly to the doctor.  And that’s a record, so I thought I would share:

Nothing Rhymes With “Episiotomy”

Janie and I went to Marcia’s shower
expecting some pre-baby fun.
We arrived at her house at the agreed upon hour
and immediately wanted to run.

Marcia’s round belly was surrounded by girls who
regaled her with tales of their labor,
while Marcia grew paler and tried to grab onto
her wits, a life raft, or a saber.

“I pooped on the table,” said plump, old Aunt Pat,
(She made it sound like a boast).
Said Tiffany-Sue: “Oh, everyone does that.”
Marcia turned white as a ghost.

“For shame, now girls,” said reserved cousin Flo,
“Who cares ’bout your old lady bits?
Babies do much more damage as they grow.
Good heavens, just look at my tits!”

Within a half-hour I needed a shower
and Marcia and Janie looked faint.
“Why, that’s nothing” said gran, who fluttered her fan,
“You should see what they did to my taint!”

Of blood and of bile they prattled on blindly,
(By now Marcia was starting to heave.)
They showed c-section scars (a little unkindly).
It was clear that we needed to leave.

The talk of the girls
caused great twisting of pearls
and left us all thinking of options.
Janie’s decided to stay on the pill,
And I’m looking into adoption.