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One wall was copied from the mural that appears in the Tynietoy mansion while the other walls feature scenes from the Delaware Valley landscape where I lived with my husband and troublesome cat on the north side of the Musconetcong Mountain.Now that I am in CT, I have just I was presented with an unusual opportunity around Thanksgiving 2016 when out of the blue, I received an email from the son of the late Gretchen Deans.The foundation plantings were made from over-scaled plastic faux greenery hot-glued into the base.The ground floor masonry was molded from plaster and then painted while the upper floors feature applied half-timbering and textured paint that started out as white and had turned yellow over time.

It was both a first and a last for me, I can assure you.If you are a newer collector, you may not know that Gretchen was one of the three founders of the original Nutshell News magazine back in 1971 and served as the East Coast editor for some years.She was a collector from her childhood and accumulated an amazing collection of artisan furniture, the highlight of which was her outstanding collection of handcrafted furniture by Eric Pearson.Some furnishings had to be tossed away, some things were cleaned and kept, and the entire house was scrubbed and cleaned with disinfectant - more than once.Another issue stemmed from Gretchen's smoking habit.In any case, it arrived safe and sound along with a large container filled with vintage building materials and all sorts of odds and ends from Gretchen's stash, including some components I used in the renovations to the house.Her son also gave me her set of photographs and slides of her collection - they brought back an avalanche of warm memories for me!My primary focus is now restricted to artisan dollhouse miniatures with a few exceptions here and there.In my previous home, many of my houses were displayed in one upstairs room where I painted a Rufus Porter-style mural around three sides of the room.I had corresponded with Gretchen during the last years of her life and I knew she had parted with most of her collection, but I was surprised to learn from her son that she had kept one house and it had been gathering dust in his basement since her death in 2011.Five years later, he thought he was ready to part with it and he wanted it to go to someone who had known and liked her, rather than offer it for sale to strangers.

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