Upscale your Dollar Store Tree for Dolls!


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Hi! 
The dollar store holiday trees are great, but they are a bit big and sparse to look in scale with our  dolls.

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Opal is a 11 1/2" Barbie...and well the branches are big and open..and it's so wide, will it fit in the house?

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These trees come in a variety of colors, if your local store has them in stock. I tried to do a video of this for a Halloween tree....but holding a camera, talking and doing a demo are too hard for my old hands and brain, apparently. So back to photos and text.

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Here is the tree viewed from the top down...it is almost 11" across. Most doll spaces are only 12" deep in Mattel houses, maybe a bit more in homemade displays. This tree would take up more than half the space or depth in a house or display.

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On the right is a second tree I have trimmed. This is an easy project, you need a clippers, a ruler, a low-melt glue gun and glue sticks. Now to make it beautiful and ~!FULL!~

Assemble your tree. Pull down the branches straight out, going around in a circle one branch at a time.  Once that is done from bottom to top, you are ready to trim.


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On the bottom row, clip the branch about 3" off. This doesn't have to be exact, but it helps to be close.

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Keep your branch clippings in a separate pile for each level of the tree.

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The second tier up, clip 2 to 2 1/2" off, and place these in a second pile.

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The third tier, just clip 1 1/2 to 2" off, and place in another pile.

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The top tiers, clip 1 1/2" and put in the fourth pile. The tippy-top branch cut in half and put with the first pile.

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Now you are ready to make your tree full and fluffy. Each branch will have a flatter side. Starting with your first pile and the bottom pieces, place a big squeeze of glue on the flat side at the bottom of the cutting--

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You can see, this is a good gob of glue. 

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Turn it over, glue side down and place the hot cutting half way inside the bottom branch at a 45 degree angle and hold pressing down. Watch your fingers, though cool melt will cool off quickly.

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Turning the tree, apply all cuttings the same way....here is the tree before adjusting the branches all the glued on branches. Adjust by moving the alternate branches up and down by going around in a circle, push down, pull up...go on to next level and do the same.

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Opal standing in front of her full fluffy  tree, that now measures 7-8" across, a good scale and ready to decorate!

Opal: Don't forget to put your lights on first...this is so classy now! And, this gorgeous tree will actually fit in our condo!

Special NOTE: Do not store anything made with hot glue in an attic or garage...the temps will be too high, and you end up with everything a mess. 

Tools and supplies needed:
Dollar store tree
Wire clippers
Cool-melt glue gun
Ruler 


Please Share your dolly holiday DIY's in the comments, links are fine if they aren't advertising!

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My workshop is SO BUSY!

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Hi, everyone!

I'm actually working on Real Life and 

Doll holiday decorations ahead of time! 

The last two weeks were spent on RL outdoor Fall clean up, and indoor china cabinets/dish cleaning, basement cleaning. We are having a real Thanksgiving here, with max 14 people. We will serve buffet, so everyone can spread out through the house with designated football in the basement. I really would love to set the table---but with distancing still ideal--this is the best solution.

Meanwhile, I'm taking some time to get a quick start on DOLL and RL Holiday preparations, now that the big jobs are under control in our RL house.

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I'll have a 'new' old dollhouse that will be added to the HFIM world, I will set up for Christmas. The goal is to have Christmas at Vickie's (basement also) set up for the holidays, Trish's garden center, the HFIM house, the 'girls' town houses, and the GrandView and apartments set up. That means every surface will be covered, in my shop and adjoining storage room. 

YIKES!

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Christmas will actually be celebrated in the HFIM house for the last time as it exists now. Who knows what will happen next year!

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For now, I'm sure the girls will be baking and decorating.

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Vickie and Joe will celebrate, as well as Vickie's Vintage!

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It's been a very busy year for Vickie's.

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My work table in past years...is still a mess now!

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Bits and bobs, I've been working on Real Life tart tin ornaments! 

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My mini's have reached ridiculous proportions---most from thrift stores and of course the Dollar Stores!!!
It's time to use some up---and get them listed in the Etsy store!

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Trees and lights are everywhere.

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My last haul...such cute stuff...? Where to use it all?

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Trish says, "Just save enough trees for the Garden Center---don't forget the lawn ornaments, and the wreaths...and a few arrangements...and...

Are YOU PREPARING for the HOLIDAYS for your DOLLS
and HOW!?

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Serious Meeting and News at the HFIM House!

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(In mid October, the HFIM house owners met with Lara to discuss selling the HFIM house to BMR Ltd. This is just a little bit about the meeting and discussion.)

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Ryan: Well, it's no secret this has been a rough two years for the HFIM house. We, here are the principal share holders responsible for the debt incurred to repair, remodel and run this house. With so many others with restricted incomes during the pandemic, our pool of monies to do maintenance and upgrading of the property were greatly reduced. We have dipped into remodeling funds to meet everyday running costs of the house.

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Richelle: The remodeling budget has been exhausted because of the roof repairs, replacement of windows and walls on the third floor in the guys bedroom, multiple AC repairs and the pipe issues in the basement apartments. 

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Barbie: The original plan of living together to invest in this property in order to  increase it's value has reached a crucial point. Our building fund being diminished,  we can't move forward with anymore remodeling or major repairs. This is Lara Roberts from BMR, Ltd. with an interesting proposal for all us.

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Hi, everyone. First I'm project manager for BMR, Ltd. We own and manage multiple properties here on the north side of Chicago. We have a successful track record of turning properties around and increasing their value. 

The definite upside is this neighborhood has increased in value since you purchased this property in 2017, by 42%. Yes, that much. The downside is, much needs to be done for this property to be ready for market. 

BMR proposes to purchase the property as is, pending successful city permits to upgrade the house for maximum profit for this neighborhood. This would mean you could choose to live here during the rest of the construction under your original rental agreements, but you would no longer be responsible for repairs or debt incurred for the property. Upon completion the property would be sold by BMR.  

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Barbie: Each of us would receive our percentage of the ownership of the house after all the loans are paid. Rent would be a flat fee for cost of living here, and of course your food. We would also each get a very nice check depending our our individual investment.

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Lara: Projected timeline would be after the first of the year, 2022. One section of the house would be worked on at a time. Disruption would actually be limited, to smaller areas of the house, since much of the work can be zoned. The first area would be the kitchen and this room. 

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Patrick: Wow, how do we know how much we would each receive, and how long is the projected total remodeling time? 

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Ryan: The proposed schedule I have here shows completion by late next summer, 2022.  I will have to work up all the outstanding bills and loans, and each of your investments to calculate a ballpark for checks.

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Richelle: Assuming there will be no supply issues. It can go crazy if something is not available for construction. BMR has great resources, and they are flexible. I think the timeline is doable. We've already done all the hard work, except replace the furnace/AC, and electrical on this floor.

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Rory: (whispers) We could get married! 

Nemo: Um......sure...maybe...uh....!

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Mulan: Will we still be required to help with  the construction  projects?

Lara: No, as everything would be done by our union contractors. If you are interested in this as a possibility, may  I have a show of hands of those of you who would possibly be willing to sell their interest in the HFIM house?

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(Show of hands was quite positive.)

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Lara: Well that is great. We will research some comps on other properties in the area to evaluate a fair price. Ryan will analyze each of your investments, and we will work up a possible offer in the next few weeks. Preliminary okay with the city will be needed to adjust the zoning and bringing the house as it is to code with our plans. 
As it stands now---the house has too many unrelated individuals in the existing square footage.

(Upstairs, Great Auntie Barbie visits with Chelsea, and explains to her what is going on downstairs.)

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Chelsea: If we sell, we'd move and I could have my own room without a bunch of adults everywhere???

Auntie Barb: Well, yes, I guess that is one way to look at it. Perhaps we could find a place together. I need to have an house or a condo here in the city now, since I spend so much time here.

Chelsea: Just you  and my sister right? 

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Auntie Barb: Well, you never know---someone might get married? 

Chelsea: Hmmm, well it won't be me.

Auntie Barb: (laughing) It won't be me either!

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Ian: What all is going on anyway? 

Jamie: Seems they might sell the house. 

Stuart: Oh, man---I just finally got a good job. Anyone want to room with me--somewhere? 

Ian: Sounds like it will be at least a year and that we can still stay.

Jamie: Phew, that's good, I need to finish my last semester still.

Ian: Yes, this has been a pretty good deal, I wonder if I have much in the investment fund? 

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Ian: (I get plenty of work now, and I signed a contract for two videos with GerSound Productions). I guess, we have to save our money and hunker down here for as long as we can. Sure Stuart, I'll room anywhere with you. You too, Jamie.

Jamie: I can always bunk at my aunt and uncles. This is just so close to the bakery, but then I want to start my own business.

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Sindy: Your own business, Jamie?  

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Jamie: Well, it will be awhile, Sindy. A long while, I have to finish paying for school.

Sindy: Jamie, when an opportunity presents itself you have to grab it. And you are so talented, just don't open a bakery. (LOL). At least not close by!


(Later on after most have left)

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Lara: I should be able to work up a comprehensive sales list by next week. I just know properties are going HIGH right now. I'm glad everyone is open to selling.

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Ryan: Communal living is great, until you want to live your own lives. Richelle and I have lost three bids on properties, because the market is so hot. If we got our investment out of here, we would have a larger field of places to choose from.

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(Outside the puppies and kitties don't care they may be moving, long as they have kibble and a nice comfy place to nap! )


The big question is... where do they all find Affordable Housing and who would move into such a big house, or maybe two houses? 

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