Sunday, October 31, 2010


In a lot of ways, my newest house purchase does not make sense. But in other ways it does. When I first got back into miniatures in 2008, I was completely taken with modern, but also was curious about the history of houses, especially American ones, leading up to the more modern styles. Houses produced by Louis Marx and Company, which manufactured its first metal dolls house in 1949, kept coming up, and I enjoyed looking at the colorful lithos and different structural incarnations--split levels, ranches, colonials. Marx even produced a (now very hard-to-find) skyscraper!

Skyscraper photos courtesy of Barbigirl's website

So, Marx metal houses in many ways were an important avenue into the hobby, but I never purchased a house...until now. While I enjoyed looking at the Marx houses, none of them really appealed to me as an acquisition, until recently, when I came across a 1953 "L" Ranch, a 1/2" scale single level house with great 50s detailing. This house differs from the other Marx houses, in that the children's room style is original to this house. Many Marx houses have similar room designs, but this room was never reproduced in another house. The house originally came with a weather vane and an antenna, but neither of mine survived.

You can see more about this house and other Marx houses at Barbigirl's website.

I have worked with two dimensional settings before, in my 1949 fold away dollhouse and my"instant" doll house from the 1960s, so I decided to give it another try here. I used 1:24 and 1:16 furnishings, and they work for the most part.

Note the neat shelving insert between the kitchen and living room.

Some TOMY kitchen items fit right in!

A Petite Princess chair and ottoman face the fireplace with its funky accents, and an occasional table sits by the window.

Next to the door, a side table is home to a phone...and a cigarette.

A vintage Lundby bed worked here...

The bath has a vintage Strombecker bath and sink, and are paired with a modern Kaleidoscope House toilet!

A Barton side chair and Fisher Price bed in the children's room.

Does anyone play with Marx, too??!

Credits: Sink and stove unit are vintage TOMY; living room chair/ottoman and table are vintage Petite Princess and plant is vintage TOMY; side table by door is vintage Barton; bathroom sink and tub are vintage Strombecker, and toilet is Bozart; bed and stool are vintage Lundby, and basket is Re-ment; child's chair is vintage Barton and bed is vintage Fisher Price. Accessories are AG Minis, IKEA, Petite Princess, and random dolls house store finds.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Fall in the Large VERO

The trees in their fall glory and a full moon inspired me pull together a quick autumnal scene in my large VERO. When I last worked in the house, I shared its new wallpapers, but upstairs. So, downstairs we go into a kitchen/living area.

See those lovely glass pieces? These were custom made by artisan and teacher Nancy Tobey. Aren't they stunning??? Nancy wrote to me about how she was inspired to create work in 1:12 or smaller scale for her new Keystone dolls house, and wanted to share with me some of her first pieces. These are truly may be on to something, Nancy.

By the way, if you are like me and are always on the lookout for nice retro or modern wallpapers, please check out this new resource, Doll House Retro Mania, run by Madeleine. Justin A., whose house you project you may have seen on Modern Mini Houses, clued me into Madeleine's treasures (thanks, Justin!). She has a wealth of designs, for both 1:12 and 1:16 scale, and also offers flooring, rugs, and wall art. Here's some of my favorite wallpapers:

And here's some great 50s flooring!

Sign me up!!!

Credits: Living room: couch (VERO), chair (VERO), clock, bookcase, lamp, sideboard, and leaves in vase are all vintage German; boomerang table is by Paris Renfroe; glass vases by Nancy Tobey. Kitchen: table is vintage Bodo Hennig; lucite chairs are eBay finds; MCM shelf is by Paris Renfroe; copper pot and small side table are Re-ment; logs are from Michaels; cat and hanging lamp are Playmobil; cat dish is a dolls house store find; rug is by Peppercorn Minis; flower vase is vintage German; glass piece on table is by Nancy Tobey. Accessories are Re-ment, AG Minis, Manor House Miniatures, Barbie by Jonathan Adler, and random doll house store finds.

Re-ment: I have written about the Re-ment in this scene with some exceptions. The apples in the glass bowl are from Grandma's European Dinners #1, and are slightly large for 1:12. The copper pot and canned jam on the bottom shelf are also from Grandma's European Dinners, but from # 7. The copper pot is large for 1:12, and the jam is good for 1:12. The blue jug on the top shelf is from Megahouse Pop 'n Kitchen #4, and is a bit large for 1:12. The two blue sugar and flour canisters are from Kawaii Kitchen #7, and are a bit large for 1:12. The blue biscuit package on the top shelf is from Black Cat Italian Restaurant #8, and is good for 1:12. The blue fish-shaped dish on the second shelf is also from Black Cat Italian Restaurant, but from #4 and is good for 1:12.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


This is a scene of transition. I did not quite know I was creating a scene of transition until I looked through the images tonight. As I uploaded them, I thought that this place belongs to a young person, perhaps in his/her late teens who wants to hold on to childhood (video game, soccer ball), but knows growing up is inevitable (coffee, iPhone, books).

And then I realized that this whole scene likely was a subconscious commentary on losing my dad as an eighteen year old. The anniversary of his death was Friday, and while I think of him often, that date always has an extra weight. A lot of great things have transpired in the past two decades, making his absence all the more sad. Miss you, Dad.

Not wanting to end on a totally somber note, I share a picture of the vintage Brio Mobilia bed in its package, purchased on eBay as a lot along with a dining room set from the same era. I hope to show that in my Brio house soon.

Credits: Video game is Re-ment; bed is vintage Brio Mobilia; "lights" above bed are actually two vintage Fisher Price chairs flipped upside down; wallpaper is scrapbook paper from Michaels, and the rug is embossed felt from there too (thanks, Mini Modern!); desk is a plexi case from Oese; standing light is vintage Lundby; chair is Reac; mid century couch artwork is a birthday card from my sister-in-law; bird artwork is a postcard by Nikki McClure; iPad and iPhone are two new purchases from LiLu Shop on Etsy. Accessories are Re-ment, Japanese erasers, beads from Pubdoll, AG Minis, Ryan's Room, and toy stores.

Re-ment: The video game is from a really neat Megahouse set, "Amusement Rides" #1, and it works for 1:12. The detail is amazing.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


I fashioned two different duplexes out of two of my room boxes, one from IKEA and the other from Crate and Barrel. This gave me a nice excuse to share some of my goodies from the wonderful Pubdoll, whom I met last week in New York City. We got each other some gifts, and mine was a set of furniture from the new Lundby Stockholm 2010 line! I had seen it online, but this was my first real look.

Cute, right? Pubdoll did mention that she had to go through a bunch of sets to find a couch with good corners, so I am not sure if this is an early commentary on the quality. Anyone have any sets yet? What do you think?

Here is the couch and table in will see a glittery hanging sculpture, which is a re- purposed Christmas ornament. While I am trying to evoke an electrical light, Oese actually made a light with some decorative silver mesh spheres and they are lovely; see them here.

Speaking of Christmas...I know Halloween is still some weeks off, but Michaels has its Christmas stuff in full swing! They had a train display and I picked up some nice topiaries, as well as some firewood stacks that will go well in 1:12. Keep your eyes peeled the next time you are there.

Here is another duplex with the boxes reversed, featuring my treasured Arc lamp by minimodernistas.

The lovely white soft, cozy rug was a gift from The Shopping Sherpa. While I have not yet checked with her, it looks like the rug is hand knitted by her. Love it! The "Look Up" letterpress artwork is by Ampersand Duck, and is an edition of her work on display in the recently closed "Call of the Small" exhibit in Canberra, curated by The Shopping Sherpa. Having it is almost as good as having seen it in person!

Credits: Stockholm Duplex: couch and table are Lundby Stockholm 2010; shadow boxes are 1:144 room boxes from restless61a's eBay store; hanging sculpture is a tree ornament from Crate and Barrel; Empire State Building on wall is a scrapbook piece from Kate's Paperie; deck is a trivet; "grass" is a piece of green glitter card from Michaels; plants on top are vintage TOMY; deck chairs are vintage Lundby; table is Mighty World; fish tank and elephant are Re-ment; car is Lil' Bratz. Accessories are random finds from craft and dollhouse stores. Arc Lamp Duplex: Arc lamp is by minimodernistas; rug is knitted by The Shopping Sherpa; bed and side table are AG Minis; table at foot of bed is vintage TOMY; artwork is by Ampersand Duck. Accessories are beads, Lundby, and Mighty World.