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‘Punk rock flophouse’ dollhouse wins Calgary Stampede crafts competition

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WATCH: Taking up a fun project can bring a nice boost when you’re off work because of an injury. As Gil Tucker shows us, for one Calgary woman, it’s led to some surprising success in the Stampede spotlight. – Jul 22, 2022

Taking up a fun project can bring a nice boost when you’re off work because of an injury.

For one Calgary woman, it’s led to some surprising success in the Stampede spotlight.

Haley Herrington has spent the past 10 years painting sets for movie and TV productions.

“I was off work because of an injury,” Herrington said. “And I needed something to do.”

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That something turned out to be an elaborately-decorated and extremely decrepit version of a traditional dollhouse.

Herrington was able to put to good use many of the skills she’s developed while helping to create sets.

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It was a project that started with a purchase Herrington made after an unexpected discovery online.

“A vintage 1981 dollhouse kit, never opened,” Herrington said. “Then I just kind of went nuts with it and it sort of became a party house.”

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Rundown both inside and out, the dollhouse features miniature items such as beer cans strewn about, and a fridge full of rotting leftovers.

“Sort of a punk rock flophouse, some squatters living in there,” Herrington said.

A friend suggested Herrington enter it in the annual Creative Arts and Crafts competition at the Calgary Stampede, up against all the more traditional entries.

“Quilts and beautiful embroidery and woodworking,” Herrington said.

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The people running the event had never seen anything like Herrington’s dollhouse before, so it came as quite a surprise to her when she took home a couple of first place ribbons.

“The judges were attracted to the uniqueness of it, the level of detail,” Stampede Creative Arts and Craft committee member Amber Parkhill said. “We all thought it was amazing.”

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Herrington hopes to be back at work soon.

In the meantime, she’s savouring her Stampede success.

“I feel really lucky that they picked mine,” Herrington said. “it was incredible.”

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