Saturday, February 28, 2009

70s Bath

I did this little, simple scene because I have not had uninterrupted time in the bath (or bathroom, for that matter) in quite some time. The kids believe it is acceptable to distrub you at any time and don't quite grasp the concept of personal space (or time).

I bought some vintage TOMY Smaller Homes (Japan) furniture on Ebay recently, and was inspired to do something with the bath -- I love the little gold faucet and soap!  Also, the TOMY potted plant just seemed to fit with it.  The chairs are also TOMY.  The magazines and cup are Re-ment and the rest is from the Villa Sibi.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Perhaps inspired by my ever-depleted budget for minis and the like, I intend to purchase an eco house -- economical and eco-savvy -- $24.95 from the MoMA store. It's the Recycled Cardboard Dollhouse by Peter Henkes and Romy Boesveldt:

Perhaps a collector's item someday...? It may just be fun to place some furniture and photograph the results.

Another eco house caught my eye, but (of course) one-of-a-kind: the Moduralean Eco House by David Baker + Partners Architects. It is truly fabulous. My good friend Fiona is an architect and I might have to press her to expend some extra creative energy and build me something along these lines.

More images are here. Images above courtesy of the David Baker + Partners Architects website.

Speaking of architects, I anxiously await my first Paris Renfroe pieces: two cypress tables, won on eBay this week:

Paris tells me that more designs are on the way, at least 10, and will make it to eBay soon. Nice!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Am I Missing a Head/footboard?

I bought a Kaleidoscope bedroom set on Ebay recently, and just got around to opening it. Everything looked as I expected, but then I noticed that there was no headboard. Anyone know if the headboard and footboard are supposed to be included? It appears as if sold or active sets on Ebay do not have head/footboards in the set. From the little pamphlet that came with the set, it looks as if the beds are meant to have one of two different plaid headboards/footboards. And, of course, I've seen many creative mini bloggers with K houses set up scenes with the beds and head/footboards.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Another Kaleidoscope House on Ebay

Yup, another Kaleidoscope House has popped up on Ebay -- mint condition, but starting bid at $1549!!! Again, making me kick myself for not buying it at MoMA for $200 after it came out! I've slowly been buying the furniture and people, hoping to give them a home one day.

There's also a bunch of furniture and accessories up for sale by one seller. The Adler, etc., accessories are up to almost $65!

Update, 2/21/09: Adler, etc. accessories went for $104.50!!! Unbelievable!

Update, 2/24/09: The K House went unsold!

Monday, February 16, 2009

There's an "I" in IKEA for a reason

Went to IKEA today. Haven't been in at least 4 years. While intrigued by the minimalist aesthetic and mostly cheap prices, I cannot quite deal with the endless, circuitous pathways and smell of Swedish cinnabuns with small folk, i.e, my three kids. I have discovered this: next time I shall go ALONE. As much as I love my family, the majority are under the age of nine and not quite cool with the whole shopping thing with endless choices, nor the (abandoned) 1/2 hour wait time to get into the playroom.

In addition of a short list of items to buy -- sconces for the new sitting area we devised in our family room (with existing furniture! no need for impulse buys!), a kitchen pendant fixture and window treatments -- I had a *secret* agenda: some small storage units for my minis. If I had more clear-headed time, I probably would have spent more time looking for an actual unit, so I decided to start small and buy quickly. I purchased two different FIRA storage boxes -- one with three long drawers and the other with tiny compartments. Now I just have to put them together...

By the way, our new sitting area in the family room is showcasing two "Pratfall" chairs by Philippe Starck we got at Housing Works in NYC back in 2001 or so (the Deco table was my grandmother's):

Would LOVE to find these chairs as minis!!!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

DIY Couch: A First!

So, I've officially completed my first mini DIY (or at least the first one in my adult life). When I was little, I would fix or make stuff for my dollhouse all the time -- it's funny how incredibly capable you believe you are when you're 8 or 9.

I had a bit of trepidation tackling a sad little couch from my vintage ranch purchase on eBay. The couch has nice lines but was covered in some awful green corduroy stuff with stains, dust and grime. I went and bought some Marimekko fabric (3 yds, @ $4.95 each) at our local Crate and Barrel outlet:

I guess I gravitated to green as a bit of a homage to the sad corduroy, and I bought three different fabrics to have options. I decided to go with the dots, called "Tuike" and made by Alicia Rosauer in 2003 for Marimekko. The other fabric did not go to waste; my husband and I were addressing the configuration of our family room and decided to pivot an old mahogany wardrobe against our computer table and tacked up one of the other pieces so as not to stare at the back of the wardrobe:

Back to the couch -- a bit of an adventure. I know nothing about doing this, so approached it as if I was wrapping a present. Fold fabric around the couch and then at the sides. I cut little holes for the legs and used a few little nails to secure things. I did not have a proper *small* hammer, and frankly didn't use a hammer, just the hard blunt edge of some filing tool. I actually used the nails in an obvious way -- they are visible on the front. I may change this, but may not have the same burst of energy as I did this first round.
This is where things started:

And this is where they ended up:

My challenge now is the arms. I have to cover them in fabric and I guess glue them on. I don't have the right glue (no glue, actually) so I have to address that. But, it's a start. It felt pretty satisfying.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Vintage Ranch

My vintage ranch has arrived! I saw it on Ebay and was thrilled to see such a unique looking house. It wasn't even a struggle to buy -- no crazy last second bidding. I got it for $45, but shipping was steep at $40. The seller was super nice and even gave me a bit of history on the piece:
The doll house was purchased for me by my grandmother. My grandmother died in 1963 so it was probably purchased between 1958 and 1962. I was 5-9 years old then. I honestly don't think I played with it much - i just don't think i was really a doll person. It has probably been in my mother's attic (covered over) since 1970 or so.

The seller also shared that she doesn't know the maker of the house, but directed me to a My Dream Dollhouses blog post about a very similar one sold on Ebay last year. It looks very similar to me, although does not have the built-in kitchen.

The look of the house is pretty stylin', I think. It's quite large, and the roof hangs over the sides nicely:

The condition of the house is quite good, considering its age. I did do a little "repair" since some of the wood struts were cracked. Check out my renegade wrenching (try not to wince):

The furniture that came with the house is quite eclectic. There are two black and turquoise pieces that the seller characterized as "Pennsylvania Dutch" -- very out of place:

I'd like to repaint them both to fit in better -- any ideas???

Then, there's a lot of Plasco furniture and a fabulous Renwal lamp:

In addition to cleaning up the house, one of my first adventures will be to re-upholster the couch; it's pretty bad right now, but has potential!

There's a Crate and Barrel outlet by me that sells Marimekko fabric by the yard for VERY cheap. I may have to seek out some inspiration and then grab some glue and a staple gun!

The oddest thing was this little lamp (bong?) looking thing made out of metal:

No clue.
Did I mention that I am now scary Mommy in the basement with all my dollhouse things? The Villa Sibi took up most of our living room, and there certainly was no room for the new majestic ranch. So, I cleared out part of the utility room and feign doing laundry so I can play with my stuff.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Ebay Fever...or Sickness???

Ok, I admit it, I'm officially obsessed with Ebay. Can's stop checking, looking, searching, and yes, buying. I am trying to adhere to a budget, but have proceeded to order four Kaleidoscope Dollhouse sets (living room, dining room, bedroom and family of four), when I don't even own the house (boo hoo). I have ordered Re-ment items, some impulsively, and have purchased not just one, but TWO dollhouses in addition to some 1940s wooden furniture!!! I am growing out of my only dollhouse, the Villa Sibi, which sits, somewhat oddly, in our living room on a sideboard. My DH has said that I need a separate room for all my "stuff" and I think I do. Plus, the kids are WAY too curious about my Ebay packages, and want to open them before I do...NOT happening.

In some cases I feel like I get caught up in the bidding fever (and pay too much), and I find myself trying to hone my "final seconds bidding" technique. I'm trying to see the educational value in the Ebay-ing, in that I am checking out sold prices for items of interest, and also discovering cool vintage mini manufacturers, such as Renwal and Marx.

Right now, I am getting a whole lot of joy out of collecting minis. For quite some time, I have been feeling like I am always doing for others and not for myself. It's just too bad it's costing me some green.