Thursday, September 30, 2010

Drawer Pulls

On a super quick family visit to Chicago this past weekend (we were barely there for two days), I managed to pop into a little antique shop for a look around. Do you ever make one loop around a store and not find anything, and then circle back? I usually find something on that second loop, something I did not see the first time for whatever reason.

In this case, I spied a crate full of heavy vintage lucite and porcelain drawer pulls under a table that second time around. The screw bases actually drew me in first, since they were a shiny chrome that I thought could serve as a table base or "legs" for a bench.

Then I looked for smooth, flat surfaces; some were lovely, but curved, so I did not think they would work as well. I came away with four of them ($15), and have included two here. I originally only used the clear one, but I really wanted to utilize the brown and creme one as well.

I like recycling them for this purpose -- I could also see using them for their real purpose, too!

Credits: Daybed by Reac; benches are drawer pulls from a Chicago antique shop; computer and keyboard are by Lilu Shop on Etsy; moss bowl is by Gigi N Studio; book in bag is handmade by Oese; light by minimodernistas; artwork is Bozart; flooring is made of two sheets of silver Japanese paper by the Paper Source. Accessories are by Re-ment.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Lazy Sunday

I know, it's Monday, and frankly I really don't have any lazy Sundays. But, after putting together a quick scene in the Stockholm it just looked like a lazy Sunday.

If I had a lazy Sunday, I might dip into my Scandinavian dream sauna, perhaps like this one I just saw in Dwell's Tenth Anniversary Issue...

photo courtesy of

Heavenly, right?

Instead, I have a nice new (vintage) Lundby one to help me dream.

Notice my new Lundby lamp? I bought it in its package last week from the famous toy store FAO Schwarz ($12). While a lot of the items are more traditional and pretty pricey, their racks have finds like these.

Next door to the sauna I decided to unpack another doll furniture find, this time some vintage Lisa of Denmark furniture (purchased on US eBay). The box is in bad shape, but the furniture is in good stead. The back of the box is interesting, as it shows pictures of the furniture available for a variety of rooms.

I WAS lazy in setting up this scene (no artwork or many accessories) and it WAS Sunday, so perhaps my post title qualifies!

Credits: Sauna: sauna is vintage Lundby, as is lamp and wooden side table; bench is a thrift store find ($1); statue is vintage Petite Princess, and its base is a Japanese eraser; plant is a rummage sale find and its pot is from Manor House Miniatures; tea accessories and lamp table are Re-ment; pillow is by minimodernistas; mat is from a window shade sample card from Lowes (free!). Living room: chairs and couch are vintage Lisa of Denmark; side table and lamp are vintage Petite Princess; stool is vintage Lundby; TV stand and table are vintage German; vase is by me, made with two crafting beads; plant is vintage TOMY; rug is from a window shade sample card from Lowes (also free!); accessories are Elf Miniatures, Mighty World, Re-ment, AG Minis, and my local toy store.

Re-ment: The tea treats in the sauna are from I Love Kyoto #9, and are good for 1:12.

Friday, September 17, 2010


My house has been a "Plasticville" lately, and I wanted to share some smaller scaled finds. Do you know Plasticville? It is a brand name for a line of plastic buildings for train layouts made by Bachmann. I recently purchased two HO scale buildings and one O scale building and they are really charming. Even the boxes are charming.

There is the Frosty Bar (O scale, 1:48), which dates from 1954

And the smaller HO scale (1:87) post office and supermarket, with some N scale Preiser figures; not sure about the date, but perhaps from the 1950s as well

Aren't the colors and styling fun? I cannot do scenes with them per se, but it was fun to set them up with my son, who actually helped me figure out how to snap some of the pieces in together. I like these because there is no glue required and they can be easily disassembled.

They came with the original brochure, too.

Anyone else collect vintage Plasticville? I'd love to see your finds.

Another plastic acquisition -- the Lil' House Wonderfull by Galoob. That's right, Wonderfull.

What an odd house! The furniture pictured on the box is not the same as what comes with the house, and the people (which the owner said were original) are way too large. This made for some weird pictures of them lurking above the furniture in the house!

Still, fun to play with and very easy to put together. A breeze to store, too.

My last recent plastic find, a Blue Box writing desk, which is super mini in size, 1:24 scale. I like the box and the midcentury lines of the piece itself. You can get a sense of the size from the 1:12 swan chair juxtaposition.

Will I use this for anything? Probably not, but there's always the chance of finding a Blue Box house!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Some DIY

I wish I could do more "do-it-yourself" things. I am always amazed at other modern miniature artisans and enthusiasts and what they create. (By the way, have you seen Ann's awesome shelf???) I like to re-purpose things, but I often combine and use what I have, rather than making magic from scratch.

My daughter actually inspired me to go DIY this past week. She was interested in making some items for a "general store" in one of her portable doll houses, and knew Michaels had a whole aisle with unfinished wooden miniature items, and was particularly interested in spools, buckets, and rolling pins. She indeed bought little spools and some friendship bracelet thread and proceeded to make a whole bowl of sewing thread, totally neat. I came home with a few pots from that aisle and found some cool-looking moss from the dried flower section...

and poof! Little moss-filled pots, thanks to some wood finish stain marker and glue!

I had the best of intentions after my minor DIY victory to clean up and store away some new purchases, among them a plexi nursery set from a dollhouse store ($14 for the set):

I originally picked them up at the store and put them down (twice), before snatching them up. I was put off by the pastel decoration but thought I might bring it to a more modern place ;)

I scraped off the pastel as best as I could and washed the pieces in some soapy water. Then, I chose some beloved paper and got to work on the shelf...

and then the crib...

A scene materialized from that. Yes, I know it is not terribly safe to have a child's room at the top of a double-height space without any stairs or barrier from below, but this is really a room for the parents ;)

Did you notice my lovely sea urchin? My son's preschool teacher brought a boxful of them home from her summer vacation in Maine and offered me my pick of a few! I just love their color and texture. And, a Petite Princess table fit right into the hole, creating a clear tabletop! I think it could work as a pouf, too. Perhaps this counts as a DIY??!

I thought I would end where I began, at Michaels. I just read Mini Modern's post about what you can find in craft stores, and she showed some really cool jewelry trinkets and embossed felt. I love how we were on the same wavelength -- I saw her post was as I was finishing my scene, which has some other craft store finds: the fish picture and the modern wall etchings are all jewelry accessories, on clearance ($2 or less). As Modern MC said, those racks are definitely worth a look. I've not only used them for art, but for tabletops and other accents.


Speaking of Mini Modern and utter craftiness, if you should find yourself in San Francisco this coming Thursday, September 16, head on over to the Design Within Reach store on Jackson Street, where a mega modern miniature gathering will be happening! It is from 5-7 p.m. (followed by an after party) and I wish I could teleport myself there from the east coast to attend. I know it will be great, and I cannot wait for the full report! Best of luck to Modern MC, minimodernistas, Paris Renfroe, brinca dada, and also Megan of Modern Mini Houses (her Antrim will be on display)!

Credits: Plexi crib and shelf and wood and plexi side tables (where the tea set is) are from Freda's Fancy doll house store; drum chairs and table top in sea urchin are vintage Petite Princess; whirlygig above crib and lamp are AG Minis; cradle in corner is vintage Fisher Price. Accessories are Re-ment, AG Minis, eBay finds, my local toy store, Barbie by Jonathan Adler, and Bozart.

Re-ment: I have written about the Re-ment in this scene with a few exceptions. The baby bottle, baby jars on the second shelf, and duck pull toy are all from American Kitchen #4, "Cute Little Nursery," and are slightly large for 1:12. The teapot is from Tea Time Collection #5, and is good for 1:12.