The Bellmore

In May 2020, someone local was selling an old dollhouse on Facebook, so I bought it and had my daughter pick it up for me.

With one of my granddaughters in mind, I dove right in, knocked down walls, steamed off wallpaper, and completely renovated it for her.

In the middle of the restoration, I ordered a family online. The box came labeled “Brunette Family,” so I switched the R and U and decided to call them the “Burnette Family.”

I named the house The Bellmore for the town of its origin.

I taught myself how to make picture frames, modern platform beds, mattresses, bedspreads, pillows, calendars, books, and toilet paper.

I was even able to create a window with small panes, track lighting, some sleek bedroom shelving, a bookshelf, and a clothing wardrobe.

My dollhouse cocoon was a welcome fantasy and distraction, but the real-world news was still abysmal.

As I renovated and created inside, the outside was swirling in turmoil.

Destroyed lives, lost jobs, closed businesses, devastating COVID health consequences, wildfires, tropical storms, political unrest, police violence, a fraying democracy, and a news cycle on steroids.

Which prompted me to begin work on THE CAT HOUSE.