Sunday, May 31, 2009

Bagel Buffet

We're big on bagels in my house, and miss delicious NYC bagels since moving down to NJ. It's been six years, but we still pine over the nine-grain and everything from Ess-a-Bagel, our carb purveyor of choice. The Re-ment set featured here reminded me of the size of Ess-a-Bagel bagels, which are pretty gigantic. It also makes me think about the "break-fast" after Yom Kippur, when we get together with friends, line up for bagels, top them with just about everything and down the yumminess with coffee. :)

This also got me thinking (again) about how the size of Re-ment pieces varies from set to set -- they are mostly suited to 1:6 (Barbie), but I have found lots of pieces in sets that work in 1:12. But wouldn't it be nice to know the 1:12 possibilities before buying? I'm all for trial and error, and it's how I learned to do most things, but I wish it were easier.

Which leads me idea. Wouldn't it be nice to have a database of information with input from mini aficionados who have bought Re-ment and tested the items and can share what works for different sizes beyond 1:6? I know there are fan clubs and discussion groups out there and some information exists, but not a comprehensive "sizer" that I have found that can help inform your decision to commit funds (likely including shipping from eBay sellers).

So, in the case of the bagel set, I'd recommend that the cream cheese, bagels (Ess-a-Bagel sized, though), corning ware dish, and salt and pepper are good for 1:12, but the canisters are way too large (check out how one measures up against the refrigerator).

My husband is in technology and can help design a database with a range of fields and ways to input information (and pics), so I may work with him to add a gadget to my page and encourage contributions from the mini community. If you know of a source that already exists -- let me know and I'll abandon my idea. Otherwise, it's to the virtual drawing board and perhaps something useful will result!

Credits: Kitchen island is Bozart; chairs are Reac Japan; accessories are Re-ment and Lil' Bratz.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

From Germany with Love (via US eBay)

I received a set of vintage German nursery room furniture from eBay ($9.99), and it's pretty great. The nice wooden pieces are soft, smooth, and painted a fantastic orange. I even love how everything was packaged!

I set up a quick scene in the Stockholm using a vintage fixture that happened to be the same orange hue. I like the way it contrasted with the green of the walls. Apologies in advance for the picture quality -- I shoot late at night or early in the morning and it's not ideal.

Credits: Green chair by Reac Japan; rug and clock by Re-ment; small table by Lil Bratz; fixture is vintage find from eBay; cow art is from my son's Thomas the Tank Engine set; outdoor plant from a rummage sale; accessories by Re-ment, AG Minis, IKEA, Calico Critters, our local toy store, and eBay.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Serene Scene

I now have my used Kaleidoscope House after a small journey north. After the Citadel trip, my kids have acclimated to my hobby and no longer think it is weird to show up at strangers' houses and pick up a house that rides home in the back of our minivan.  This trip also featured TWO houses, because a fellow Mom was giving away a house she gave up on renovating.  It's a center hall colonial, and my daughter is thrilled to have it to fix up (needs new wallpaper, flooring, and paint).

So, the K house has landed in our living room.  Not too many other options, so I cleared off a low cabinet by the window.  I love the fact that it is near the window for the light and vistas to the outside, but it's not ideal because a) within kid reach b) in direct sunlight, so will have to close drapes everyday c) in a spot where I can't do anything 360 degrees, so I will have to turn it to access the other side.  But, it's mine and I am thrilled.

The condition of the house is really good overall, but it does have some dings, like crayon or other markings on some of the plexi panels and on the great room floor.  All of the plexi is there, and some accessories were included, some of which I already have like the artwork in set #1, some family figures, and dining room chairs. But, I got some new stuff like the large green couch and pink chair, as well as the glass coffee table and toilet and sink.  I actually found some stuff wedged in the fireplace (Mom's arm, rug, artwork), so I had to take it off and then put it back.

I set up a scene in the great room today and it was fun to work differently.  I took off the top and worked from above, and also took some panels off for access and ease with photography.  I love the light and colors in this house -- it makes everything look so real.  

The guy I bought it from (off Craigslist, $450) said he received it as a gift in 2001 from his in-laws.  At the time, he thought it was a cool but odd gift, since this was before he had kids, when he and his wife were in a tiny apartment in NYC.  He kept it until he had kids (2 boys), both of whom used it for their action figures. He said he met architect Peter Wheelwright a few years ago, who told him that a lot of the houses had roofs that were not perfectly flush (I've read about this before), but some ended up settling into place on their own, like this one. 

The possibilities seem pretty endless with this house...where to begin?!

Credits: Couch, coffee table and kitchen by Bozart; orange chair, two white dining chairs, and ottoman on balcony by Reac; boomerang table is vintage German; console and wenge stools by Paris Renfroe; rug by AG Minis; rocking chair is an eBay find; plant on balcony is from Lolly's; plant behind couch is from a rummage sale; antique heads from my husband's collection; TV and abstract painting are Lundby; deco light in fireplace from Dolls House Emporium; accessories by Re-ment, Lil Bratz, Manor House Miniatures, Lolly's, and eBay.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Stockholm Bar

I got some bottles of beer and wine in the mail and decided to set up a quick scene in the upstairs room, which actually works well for an entertainment area, with its connection to the deck.  I was thinking a black and white color scheme, as you can see, with pops of yellow.   The polka dots are like bubbles! :)

Credits: couch is Reac; bar is an AG Minis couch on its side with its cushion; chair is a vintage eBay find; bar chairs are Battat; lights (thanks, Altera!) are Dolls House Emporium; silhouette wall art and accessories by Manor House Miniatures.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

K to the 7th Power

For some reason, I have uncanny luck finding things on Craigslist when I haven't been looking for them.  That's how I found my Villa Sibi for $300.  I was searching the NYC site on Sunday for another dollhouse-related item, and saw TWO Kaleidoscope houses for sale -- unheard of!  I of course went for the one that was 1/2 the price you normally see for used ones and gave a low offer. Which was refused.  Twice.  Until I came up to the asking price. Sucker. There's still a pristine one on there for $2000, by the way.


Anyways, I only have to travel about an hour into northern NJ to pick this puppy up, unlike my odyssey across many states to pick up the Citadel.  The owner sent me some pics today so I have more of an idea of what I am getting into.  No cracks or structural flaws, and even some (somewhat broken) accessories are included.

Now...where does this house go???  I only have until Saturday to figure it out. There's a spot in our living room, but the Villa Sibi kind of dominates there. My "Mommy scary basement" room is already chock full of accessories and three houses (including the Citadel in rehab), so no room there.  Our bedroom is out of the question. Garage is, well, your typical suburban slightly smelly and dark den of motor oil, bent hula hoops, and half-inflated balls.   HELP!

In case you were wondering, this will be my 7th house, hence the title...

Sunday, May 17, 2009

I am Laundry

I don't really use dolls in my scenes and was not going to with this one, but then I thought the Warhol Judy Garland was too strong on its own.  I'm not sure if Judy did laundry, but it's not fun, and my person here is, too, wondering what it is all about.  The dog just wants to get the job done, in the hopes of getting some of his owner's muffin.

Credits: Artwork is by Andy Warhol; doll by Bozart; dryer is vintage Bodo Hennig; chair is Reac; white stool is Lundby; orange side table and light are Lil Bratz; dog is from a game called Lucky Puppy Math; accessories by Lil Bratz, Bozart, and IKEA.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Bachelor Pad

My husband jokes that he had a bachelor pad for about five minutes in his mid 20s.  We got together right after he moved into a sweet studio in Greenwich Village in NYC, so he never really got the chance to rock out a proper pad.  Boo hoo.

So, as our 11 year wedding anniversary approaches, I've created his dream pad in the Villa Sibi, complete with a modern bridge, leading from his Mini Cooper into his chill domain!  

He loves remote control anything, so I had to add in a cool little car (with its own docking station!).  

TV is his friend (and nowadays we never make the time to extract ourselves from the kids to watch it), so that has its place here, along with a ball chair for comfy viewing.  I used yet another marble candle base for a plush queen size bed, which is situated next to a lounging area perfect for a cup 'o joe and a croissant.  He loves art, so a colorful abstract enlivens the wall.

He loves the outdoors, so why not use the patio for a place to relax by the pool...nice.

Credits: artwork and side table by Bozart; glass coffee table by Ryan's Room; black chair by Creative Playthings; "bed" from TJ Maxx; night tables and TV by Lundby; lamp is vintage German; indoor plant is from Lolly's; ball chair and white patio chairs are Reac Japan; "docking station" is Lil' Bratz; TV stand is vintage from eBay; patio table is vintage Fisher Price; "bridge" and outdoor plant are from a recent rummage sale; Mini Cooper was a Christmas gift from my husband;  accessories from Lil Bratz, Bozart, Lundby, AG Minis, Re-ment, Manor House Miniatures, our local toy store and the rummage sale!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


This Viking papyrus artwork is far from modern, but I liked the colors and texture so in it went into this scene. The "table" is actually a marble candle base from TJ Maxx. I've seen how other mini bloggers have creatively used bowls, soap dishes, etc., so this inspired me to look at such things differently. The white veins of the marble look like rushing water to me, so that related nicely to our Vikings rushing along to do their thing.

I love the long window in the Stockholm -- it provides nice options and really adds to the scene. I also experimented a bit and added two hanging Lil Bratz lights.

Love coffee, so...

Credits: Kitchen island and table base and chairs from the Villa Sibi; marble "table" from TJ Maxx; loveseat is Bozart; coffee table is Re-ment; blue ottoman is an eBay find; artwork from the store at the Indianapolis Children's Museum; light fixtures are Lil Bratz; accessories from Manor House Miniatures, Re-ment, Lil Bratz, and a recent rummage sale in town!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Stockholm, Baby

I spent my birthday in Stockholm. Well, not really, but you might say I spent it with Stockholm, as in the Lundby Stockholm.

What a neat house. I love the shape, colors, pull out pool, and it's nice to work in a smaller scale and create new spaces. I was also thrilled to not have a complicated assembly -- just snapping in the railings on the top. I will say that I am a bit disappointed in the quality. I knew it was plastic, but I found the finishing not to be 100%. In the bathroom, the wallpaper does not go evenly around the window, and there were spots on the terraces where I could see glue and other irregularities in the flooring. Small. but noticeable to me. After all, I am all about seeing the small! :)

Here's my first attempt setting up scenes. I definitely need to get used to seeing the outlets in the pictures (haven't gotten to the transformer stage), and I felt that artwork was mandatory in the main living space. It looked so bare without it. The floor sculpture is actually a shell I found in (no, not the beach) the store TJ Maxx ($2!).

I love the serene bathroom space, and I was happy to use my first toilet, from IKEA. LOVE this potty, so clean and simple.

In the upstairs I did a simple bedroom with some vintage furniture. I didn't want to over-accessorize, so it too is spare. Dig the wallpaper and carpet in this room.

All in all, I am very happy with my purchase, but hope I can resist the impulse to amass Stockholm-specific items (I also wonder about the quality).

Credits: Console and wenge stool by Paris Renfroe; desk light is vintage German; folding chair is Manor House Miniatures; Le Corbusier and Mies Barcelona chairs by Reac Japan; rug is The House That Jacq Built; side table is Re-ment; "sculpture" is from TJ Maxx; artwork is Colin McCahon; bathroom sink and toilet by IKEA; plant is vintage TOMY; bathroom shelving unit and white stool in bedroom is Lundby Smaland; bed from Villa Sibi; lamp is AG Minis; dresser and chairs are vintage; accessories by AG Minis, Re-ment, ELF Miniatures, Manor House Miniatures, and IKEA.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Sushi So-So

I have continued to play with the the removable panels in the Villa Sibi so as to make the most of the space. This time I took out the back frosted panel and shifted the slatted one to the middle. I tend to use smaller scale items for playroom scenes, so I decided to try out some new (vintage) Lundby furniture -- the chair is pretty awesome.

I really wanted to use the new console from Paris Renfroe, which actually complemented the new butcher block I got recently as well.

As you may guessed, I do not care for sushi, but it is very photogenic!

Credits: couch from AG Minis; loveseat and couch cover from Bozart; console and coffee table from Paris Renfroe; medieval marble busts from my husband's collection; beanbag from The House That Jacq Built; kid's table and armchair are vintage Lundby; kid's storage unit and wall "artwork" are Re-ment; kid's rug is Ryan's Room; butcher block is from Ebay; table is vintage German; folding chairs from Manor House Miniatures; outdoor plants are Lolly's and TOMY; accessories from Ebay, Re-ment, Bozart, AG Minis, Manor House Miniatures, and our local toy store.