Sunday, August 22, 2010

Large VERO Wallpapers

One little scrape was all it took to let my curiosity get the better of large VERO has been apart these past few months, patiently sustaining the workings of my paint stripper as I attempted to reveal its original papers. I am pleased with the results, but not without a fight on my part!

First, a is what the house (and its wallpapers) looked like when it arrived from Germany last year:

The previous owner did some lovely restoring of the house, but I did not care for the flowered and somewhat plain cream papers. I scraped off a corner in the upstairs bedroom and then never looked back. I could see the original papers underneath and wanted to see if I might be able to repair them.

Here's what I found in the bedroom:

Nice, right? I carefully scraped off the new papers and then used an eraser to reduce the appearance of some of the darker smudges. The partition wall papers are in great shape and needed no repair, which was great.

The papers in the bathroom were unfortunately very damaged, as you can see:

I debated for a very long time what to do and tried a few different things, including scanning the green tile paper and trying some hexagonal tile paper. Neither worked. Then, I decided to use some of the vintage 1:1 papers I bought a few months ago (and blogged about here), and I think they work.

What do you think?

The papers in the kitchen downstairs were too damaged to keep on one side; the partition wall was salvageable:

So, I used some of those great scans from Annina's VERO for one wall there, and also used it for the other side of the partition wall, which was also too damaged as you can see:

Now covered!

The other living room wall is pretty beat up, but I could not bear to cover it. I carefully scraped on and off for a few weeks and decided to keep it with its rips and other scars. You can see the before and after here:

I am happy to have my little gem shining a bit brighter!

Credits: Bedroom furniture is a vintage German set that came with this house, and the clock is also vintage German, but purchased separately; the plant in the corner is vintage TOMY. The bathroom sink is an eBay find; the bath is a dish from Crate and Barrel (the tap in the tub is actually a funnel from the "Mike the Mechanic" set by Mighty World); the shelving unit is by Paris Renfroe; chair is vintage Petite Princess; side table is AG Minis; cowhide rug and book on table are handmade by Oese; white wooden rug is from a window treatment card sample from Lowe's; plant is vintage TOMY; light is vintage Lundby. Accessories are AG Minis, Tynies, Re-ment, made by me, Playmobil, Manor House Miniatures, and from France.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

More A-Frame Love

Apparently I am not the only one who loves A-frames. A lot of comments on my last post revealed your affection for this style of house and I am definitely looking forward to refurbishing mine. By the way, Modern MC of Mini Modern recalls seeing my A-frame in kit form on eBay back in January. While she no longer has the images of the kit, it's a clue! Thanks, MC!

In the meantime, I wanted to share some amazing images of a handmade A-frame 1:12 house, courtesy of Martha B., whose father built it from scratch over a decade ago for her son. Just look at the quality of the craftsmanship, the great architectural accents, and layout. Feast your eyes on this:

Martha gave me some background:

My dad built it from scratch...not from a kit. His inspiration for it came from the old 1960's claymation T.V. show Davey & Goliath. In it Davey and his family vacation in an A-Frame (episode 'A Sudden Storm'). My dad sat through the video several times making notes for the exterior and interior... although he did make some adjustments to fit his own design.

He used 1" = 1' scale...helped along with our son's
toy figurines from the show. Materials...he was very thrifty...using a lot of stuff he had in his work shop. Old plexi-glass from a screen door became the front window, scrap lumber and plywood became the floor, roof and window dividers. He also created and painted the chimney. The interior... he designed the kitchen with a sink (dug out a portion from the wood and painted it white) and put screws for the cabinet handles. A fireplace mantle is cut plywood with colored paper flames.

The IKEA furniture was added several years after Dad finished the house. He had made several original pieces...dining set with chairs and a bed...but much too fragile for our son to play with.

You asked if our son still uses it. No...those days are gone. He's now a teen. But we've set the A-Frame aside for his future family...:)

Neat, right? I adore the faux stone and the interior finishing. I tried to find an online clip of the Davey & Goliath episode to see the inspiration for this house, but no luck. I'll keep looking.

Eager to see some pics of the furniture?? Equally amazing as the house, and made with wood scraps, fabric, foam, and ingenuity:

All house and furniture photos by Martha B.

Thank you so much for sharing, Martha B.! By the way, you must head over to Martha's blog (or as she calls it, her "blogette"), Nibs. She referred me to two recent posts related to dolls houses -- one shows a great book find about modern dolls houses and the other about the wonders of handmade furniture. I know I will continue to follow Martha's posts.

I also heard back from Sandy Buchmann of Buchmanns Toymaker Shop about their A-frame, which I saw on their website:

Sandy says:

It was designed in 1976 and took 1st Prize at the N.Y. State Fair the same year. The idea came to me in a dream to do a A frame doll house with a removable Plexiglas front. At that time I had never seen an A frame doll house and thought that it would be fun to do. So my husband who is a wood craftsman, made the house with scrapes of things around our house and shared in the designing with me. Scale is 1" to 1 ft. The furniture was also made by us except the livingroom sofa and chairs. We have made it once again in different interior colors. Every thing we made from things we found around the house. Our Prize was won in the "something from nothing" category.

VERY cool, no? Another case where scraps and some creative elbow grease results in something new and interesting. I think we can all relate to dreaming about dolls houses! On a final note, the moderator of this Flickr group asked to include some of my A-frame photos. Check it out if you are looking for 1:12 inspiration in 1:1!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Mon Chalet Amour

A vintage A-frame chalet-style dolls house has entered my life...and collection! I purchased it on Etsy and it needs a bit of rehab. I was tempted to both buy it and *not* buy it because it needed work!! The seller told me that it was constructed from a kit and is 1:12 scale, but she did not have the time to refinish it. I did some searching and could not turn up any information on the kit; the bottom has only a fragment of a sticker:

Doesn't tell me much!

While I am eager to dig in to right the wrongs, I am also unsure about the direction. My first impression of the house, after packing it out --

...was that the wallpaper and curtains needed to go. They were easy to remove, but the adhesive papers left a sticky residue. I decided to leave the sisal-type wall covering on the bottom level.

Then, I assessed the condition, and overall it is decent, but has nicks here and there, including in the front.

I am also not sold on the current paint job and color. I picked up some dark brown spray paint and experimented with the color on the curved stairwell and small divider on top.

What do you think? Do I re-paint the darker color or preserve the current hue? Or go completely radical and paint this puppy white???

How about wallpaper or coverings? On the one hand, I think it could look cool, but on the other, I like the wood exposed. The sisal works -- perhaps that approach?

I do like the layout, which diverges from most of my other houses. I did a quick setup in the house to test out scales. There's mostly 1:10 and 1:12, and both work pretty well (apologies in advance for the grubby backdrop of our garage).

As I was researching A-frame kits, I came across this image of a very cool custom A-frame by Buchmann's, a toy shop in upstate New York. Neat, right?

I have emailed them seeking more information on the house and furnishings and will hopefully post on it soon. Speaking of custom, I managed to win some Contemporary Doll House Plans by Doll Domiciles recently on eBay (Mini Dork posted on another set a few weeks back), so I will share some pics of that as soon as I can get to opening them!

In the meantime, I welcome your ideas and feedback on my A-frame!

UPDATE, 9/12/10: Reader Payton tipped me off to an eBay listing that provides a very big clue on this house. It is indeed a kit, made by Whitman and it dates from 1978. I was not able to copy the photo of the box from the eBay listing, but it looks like the front has a porch, which makes sense given the marks there on my house. Another reader, Div, also has the kit and offered to scan the directions for me, so I can share those when I get them! THANKS!

Credits: Kitchen/dining: sink and stove is vintage Bodo Hennig; refrigerator came with my Citadel house; table is vintage German; lucite chairs are from eBay. Living room: couch is vintage VERO; chair is vintage German; boomerang table is by Paris Renfroe; Eames lounger is Reac. Bedroom: Bed is vintage German; console is by Paris Renfroe; Panton chair is vintage Bodo Hennig; rug is by Peppercorn Minis. Bath: Bathtub, sink, and toilet are vintage Bodo Hennig; plant is vintage TOMY. Outside: plant is vintage TOMY; pillow is handmade by Tarkus; and wing chair is an eBay find. Accessories are Re-ment, Manor House Miniatures, doll store finds, and eBay.