Saturday, February 27, 2010


OK, I admit it...this scene is merely an excuse to use some amazing little HO scale 1:87 cars by the German maker Schuco. I found them in my local toy store last week and they ranged in price from $6-7, very affordable given the quality. They are so incredibly well-made --the detail and finishings are phenomenal.

I bought three: the Jaguar with the trailer, the VW bug with flames, and the VW bus. There were a lot more tucked away in the back of the toy store, so maybe I can go back and clean them out. I think they had motorcycles, too. Heaven.

I also was able to use the bed from the Kaleidoscope House, which I have not incorporated into any of my scenes before. It's quite large and bulky and does not fit well into the smaller K House rooms, but the plaid drove (no pun intended, hee hee) my color scheme.

The yellow table is actually a candle holder from Crate and Barrel (.40 on clearance!), and I flipped it for the tabletop.

If you haven't guessed, I love a bargain. :)

Credits: Bookcase is vintage German; plant is Playmobil City; plates on wall, mirror, Asian beauty box, teddy bear, strawberry doll closet and table, puzzle, bunny candle, and crafts on table are Re-ment; bed, strawberry coverlet, and chairs are Bozart; side table, lamp, purple coverlet, and rug are AG Minis; yellow table top is Crate and Barrel; table is Battat; cars are Schuco; pig is a Japanese eraser.

Re-ment: I have written about the Re-ment in this scene with some exceptions. The crafts on the table and puzzle on the floor are from Natalie's French Goods # 9, and are all good for 1:12. The Asian beauty box and fan are from I Love Kyoto # 9, and are good for 1:12. The strawberry closet is from Eggs, Beans, and Berries #5, and is good as a plaything in 1:12. The mirror is from Princess Tea Party # 3, "You're Invited to a Champagne Party," and it is good as a large mirror in 1:12. The bunny candle is from Pretty Placement #3, and is good for 1:12. The powder puff is from Flirty Pink #5, and is large for 1:12. The plates on the wall are all from Sushi Bar #9, "Wasabi Makes My Eyes Watery," and are good for 1:12.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Dream Haus

Oh, boy, this is a beaut! I first saw Haus Kathrin when I was researching the origin of some vintage German furniture I bought on US eBay. Annina pointed me to a page on the puppenhausmuseum website as she found the source, a stunning DDR two-level abode from the early 1960s with a garage and patio. I love the lines and design touches in the doors and windows. While some of the wallpaper and flooring looks damaged, it otherwise appears to be in nice vintage condition -- even the awning is intact! Sigh. A few shots:

I can only dream on this one, since it just appeared on German eBay and will likely go for a pretty hefty sum; it's already up above 20 Euros. My guess is close to 200 Euros. Enjoy more eye candy on German eBay, while the auction lasts.

UPDATE, 3/4/10: The house sold for a whopping 558 Euros (nearly $765.00)!! It looks like there were fifteen bidders and twenty-two bids. The lucky winner swooped in at the last minute to secure the future of this lovely house. I wonder if it was a museum or another collector.

Images courtesy of the eBay listing.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Big Buzz, Mini News: Brinca Dada!

After the recent Toy Fair in New York City, buzz spread very quickly amongst the modern mini community about the Emerson, a stunning 1:16 modernist creation unveiled at the Fair. FromDaddy Types, to ohdeedoh, to my fellow bloggers Mini Modern, Altera, and Rebecca, design and doll house aficionados posted with intrigue about this newcomer, designed by the firm brinca dada (that's "BREEN-kuh day-duh"). Modern MC of Mini Modern recalled that a very similar-looking house sold on eBay for over $400 a few months ago, and it was confirmed that it was indeed the Emerson prototype. See this Daddy Types post for more on this.

The house will retail for $299 this spring, and according to the Brinca Dada website, the home has it all: six rooms including a living room, kitchen, library/office, master bedroom, bathroom and child's bedroom; a large, open floor plan and floor-to-ceiling windows; many extras including mitered-glass corners, two fireplaces, sliding glass doors, solar panels, and recessed LED lights; and non-toxic and lead-free wood stains and paints.

A press release on the brinca dada website notes that the Emerson's design was inspired by Neutra’s Kaufmann Desert House and the ultra-modern home that A. Quincy Jones designed for Gary Cooper, here (courtesy of

I was in touch with brinca dada head Doug Rollins, a dad of three, about the house, and wanted to share some more about this welcome addition to the modern doll house scene.

What's the scale?
The scale of the house is closest to 1:16, although buzz early on said everything from 1:12 to 1:18. Rollins says, "The actual size is 3/4" which I think equates to 1:16. When we originally designed Emerson as 1:12 it was enormous and we thought it would be too big for many playrooms and too expensive. We're learning about scale as we go here. The idea for the company is to make toys that adults love to look at and kids love to play with. For the houses, we are finding that there is a significant market for dollhouse collectors as well. So we are quickly learning how best to give them what they are looking for. We developed Emerson House for kids as the primary user and adults (re: dollhouse enthusiasts) as a secondary target."

By the way, I have to assume a level of durability of this house given it is geared for children, who will likely not be deterred by the lack of stairs!

Are there accessories for the house?
There are dolls and living furniture. The dolls have a minimalist edge and in my opinion might resonate more with the kids and may not suit those adult collectors who use dolls in their scenes, but the furniture is more adaptable for collectors. Rollins said of the furniture and pricing, "We don't have prices for the furniture, but we are hoping to keep them in the $30-$40 per room range. More to come on that. We are still in the design phase so we don't know materials etc. yet." The chair is an absolute definite for me, and it would be great if the firm produced a range of rooms.

Where will the house be sold?
The house will be sold on the brinca dada website and in fine toy stores. Rollins said that he is "...pushing for wide distribution of our toys at retail. We plan to be in toy shops, hobby & doll shops, design stores, museum stores, department stores and maybe even some furniture stores." They are currently seeking a European distributor, but will ship worldwide!

Who is brinca dada and what is the meaning behind the name?
Rollins, a toy industry veteran, co-founded brinca dada with architect Tim Boyle, who as Rollins stated has "designed houses for a number of celebrities (which he can't disclose, even to me)." On the name, Rollins shared that "Brinca dada (it's day-duh) comes from the Brazilian term for toy or game. It's a total butchering of the spelling, though. Tim and I both lived in Brazil at different times and we both always liked the term. It has a great ring to it. Brinca is also Spanish for jump and we like the association with the dadaist movement which was so playful and also with the idea of daddy, which Tim and I both are." Boyle is dad to four, and both he and Rollins reside with their families in New York City. The company is so new that as Rollins said, "...when I say new, I mean new. We launched this last Sunday at Toy Fair."

Will brinca dada continue to produce doll houses?
Rollins said that brinca dada will continue to design houses as part of their line and have some ideas for other toys that he did not want to disclose at this time. Regarding additional items, they have a modern townhouse in the works, the Bennet House, that Rollins hopes will be available by October. "It's truly stunning," Rollins said. "I can't wait to finalize the designs so we can get some renderings out."

We can't wait either!!!

The Emerson definitely fills a niche for modern doll house collectors, including those who prefer working in 1:12, but who might be amenable to working in a smaller scale. I absolutely love the use of materials and the warmth of this house. I am impressed by what looks to be fine finishings and a keen level of architectural detail; I look forward to seeing it in person.

I'll keep tabs on brinca dada, and have a feeling you will too.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Room Box

I did a quick run through IKEA yesterday for a few storage things and came away with a vegetable box...a room box, that is! I would not have known that the Rationell Variera was for veggies if you asked me. I saw it for its mini potential and built-in backdrop and windows!

Here's a few quick shots...

Credits: Room box is IKEA; White couch and doll are Bozart; orange stool and hanging lamp are vintage Lundby; kitten is Playmobil City; egg tables and coffee cup are Re-ment; plant is an aquarium plant; pot is from a craft store.

Saturday, February 13, 2010


This scene features my first Mini Modernistas purchase: a pixel chair and ottoman. Neat, huh? The quality is really nice, and the look lovely. It's going to be hard not to buy more!

I have been wallpapering the VERO, trying out different things, and wanted to test it out. Thanks again to Annina for scanning her VERO papers! The flooring is scrapbook paper, inspired by the Pixel chair.

The hanging light was purchased from German eBay and arrived in a very sorry state: cracked and scuffed. I repaired it as well as I could, but it does not look as it should. Here is what it should look like (photo courtesy of the puppenhausmuseum website):

And here's how it actually appears:

It's still a neat fixture, even upside down!

The 1:144 house in the back is also from German eBay, purchased as a lot (thanks again for sending, Oese!). Boy, does it need a good cleaning!

Above the tea and treat in bed are Little Red Riding Hood plates by Re-ment. I have not had a good use for them until now...I asked my son to put them in order, and I think he did a good job!

Speaking of kids, my daughter did a nice scene too today of a tomboy's room -- good work, my sweet!

My next "baby" is coming to me from overseas, and I hope to share pictures of it soon!

Credits: Bed, nightstand, wardrobe, plant stand, 1:144 house, sideboard, and mirror are vintage German; table and light fixture are vintage VERO; pixel chair and ottoman are by Mini Modernistas; tea set, tray, Little Red Riding Hood plates, perfume trays, and frog are Re-ment; fabric hanging in back is Marimekko; accessories are Re-ment, Bozart, AG Minis, Manor House Miniatures, and Petite Princess.

Re-ment: I have written about the Re-ment in this scene with some exceptions. The Little Red Riding Hood Plates are from Fairy Tale Dishes #8, "Trip to Grandma's House," and are large for 1:12, but can work as decoration. The tea set is from Princess Tea Party #2, "The Princess' Late Night Tea," and is large for 1:12. The tray is from Bread and Butter #2, "Free Spirit Bakery," and is good as a large serving tray in 1:12. The danish is from Bread and Butter #6, "Lovely Danish," and is a bit large for 1:12. The red perfume tray is from I Love Kyoto #1, and is good for 1:12. The black perfume tray is from I Love Kyoto #7, and is good for 1:12. The beauty packets on the black tray are from Puchi Drugstore #1, and work for 1:12.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Crafty at Heart

There was lots of Valentine card making for my kids' classroom celebrations today, which ended up not happening. We got hit with mounds of snow (close to 18" by us), along with the rest of the east coast, and the sun shines on all that needs shoveling today. The valentines will still go to their appreciative friends next week, after the snow has cleared.

Here are some pictures taken in the thick of the storm -- can you spot the intrepid squirrel? :)

Credits: Green couch, counter, two chairs, and tomato artwork are Bozart; boomerang table and lamp are vintage German; art mat and accessories, green flowered tables by fireplace, cookies, danish, bread, bowl, fishbowl, bunny purse, clock, and phone are Re-ment; juice is a Japanese eraser; ball chair is Reac; stacked sideboards are vintage VERO; pouf is Lundby; "wallpaper" is scrapbook paper; skateboard is Tech Deck; pillows are AG Minis; accessories by Manor House Miniatures, Tiny Doll House Shop, and eBay finds.

Re-ment: I have written about the Re-ment in this scene with a few exceptions. The cookie box is from Megahouse Pop 'N Kitchen #4, and is large for 1:12. The round bread in the bowl is from Re-ment Bakery #5, and is good for 1:12. The danish is from Fun Meals #7 "Morning Grab 'n Go," and is slightly large for 1:12. The art mat, glue, X-acto knife, tape dispenser, stapler, and tub of glue are all from My Favorite Stationery #5, and are all good for 1:12. The tiny jars of paint are from My Favorite Stationery # 8, and are good for 1:12.