A beautiful blonde in a pink gown sits in the living room of a house created by Martha Edwards.
She stares blankly at an image of two little girls on a television screen. A fire in a stone fireplace shines brightly in the corner, a small dog lounging beside it. The blonde sits perfectly still in a stuffed armchair, never acknowledging her surroundings.
In the adjacent bedroom, a shorter blonde sits upright in bed, a lamp illuminating her face, while another blonde dries her hair in the bathroom.
Edwards, 77, picks up the blonde in the bathroom.
“This Barbie is over 50 years old,” she said. “And look, the blow dryer is made out of a phone cord.”
It's a dollhouse with more than 40 years of history.
In 1972, Edwards became bored while recuperating from surgery. Her husband worked in a box factory and had some cardboard lying around, from which she crafted living room furniture.
Four cardboard walls were erected next, forming the shape of her first dollhouse. A kitchen, living room and a few bedrooms were equipped with working lights and a couple of blond-haired residents. The dollhouse was waiting for her daughter Shelly Coil when she awoke on Christmas morning.
In February 2011, Edwards began creating another dollhouse, this time for her great-granddaughters, Lexie and McKenzie. Over the next year she worked early in the morning or late at night, the only times she wouldn't be interrupted by a phone call.
“If I ever got tired I would just stop so I didn't mess anything up,” Edwards said, “If I did mess something up, I might take a week off and start again.”