Thursday, December 30, 2010

F.A.O. Schwarz School Room

Who knew that school room boxes could be so addictive! I already have one, purchased last spring on US eBay, and I have now acquired another, also from US eBay ($30). Unlike my other school room, this one came in its original box, which was a complete surprise! It is odd the seller did not mention this, but I was happy to see it.

Here is the box, and then its original price tag:

You'll see that it is clearly from the legendary toy store F.A.O. Schwarz, in New York City, which was founded in 1862. I am not sure what the "19-69" is -- I doubt it is for "1969," since this school room looks like it dates earlier, but I am not completely sure.

When I opened the box, I saw that the room box was a fold up variety, which is very neat indeed, so clever! I immediately saw that the condition of the item was pristine, also a nice surprise.

The bottom pieces is clearly stamped "Made in Germany."

As I was doing some more research about F.A.O., I noted that the store's founder, Frederick Schwartz, was a German immigrant, so it is not a huge surprise that the store imported German items. I have read this before, and I even suspected that my other room box was of the same type, as it is stamped "GERMANY."

The pieces easily fit together, and I also figured out how to incorporate the window sill with the flowers, which the seller said she could not set in properly. The piece comes apart and then the dowels fit into the sill area.

I love the flooring...

This particular school room has inhabitants -- a school teacher and two young students. The dolls are Caco with plastic feet, and also in very good condition. Teacher even has her original label.

It says "Made in Germany" and "Biegsam" with the Caco logo. I am sure some of you are familiar with this name...? She is lovely, and she will keep her wrist tag.

Other items that came with the room include twelve Bodo Hennig books, as well as a watering can (also Hennig?), three glasses, four student desks and chairs and the teacher's desk and chair.

The map on the wall is in English, as is the wording on the front...

Please share if you have any information on this school room and I will also keep investigating links to this piece (which is also not a real estate hog in my progressively cramped doll house room)!

UPDATE, 12/31/10: Reader diepuppenstubensammlerin has identified my school room as one made by Bodo Hennig in the early 1960s for F.A.O. Schwarz. Please see the comments for her full response. Thanks, diepuppenstubensammlerin! I have learned a lot from you this year, and appreciate your expertise and your informative blog!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Small Packages

Layers of snow have buried our vacation plans to fly and visit with family, an unfortunate kink in life's plans that has me looking on the bright side. I have so much to be thankful for this year -- family, work, health -- but this year was also truly amazing for its big surprises. Complete serendipity reigned. From the New York Times article, to the Design Within Reach event, to meeting fellow bloggers, to continuing to find inspiration for mini scenes and the rehab of houses...these happenings, events, people, and things all have been  incredible experiences in their own way, and I am utterly grateful for them.

I look forward to another year of creating and sharing, and I have gained so much from others who too have shared their vision of things small.  I am also very appreciative of my followers, who now number 335 -- thank you!

By the way, the picture in this post is my way of sharing that I am now engaged in an exciting project that just emerged in the past few weeks. I'll be able to share more in the next few months if all goes well. I also hope to post on a new house and some other interesting acquisitions soon, but if it is not before the new year, best wishes for a happy, fun-filled 2011!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Silver and Gold

My first fireplace makes an appearance here. I've been meaning to buy a fireplace for some time, but was struggling with what type, size, color, etc. I received this particular one as part of a lot of vintage items that I purchased from Oese. Oese tells me that she made the fireplace with a pink box she found at a flea market...she painted it and used a keyhole cover for the screen. She left it a bit unfinished, and I decided to complete the work.

Here you can see what it looked like:

I like the grey Oese painted it, and decided to add a thicker coat of silver acrylic paint. I then used the same paint for the keyhole screen and then used a small cameo charm, also painted silver, for a decorative cover for the hole:

I like the results! I tried it out in the small room on the lower level of my VERO house, and added two small topiary display trees ($4.99 for a package of four) from Michaels and two glass icicle ornaments from the clearance bin (.99 each) at Crate & Barrel as decorative elements on the sides.

As I was photographing the scene, I looked over at my progress with the main living area at the entrance to the house. I had papered one of the walls and added a wood panel to the ceiling.

I love the textured retro paper, but it is looking a bit stark to me, especially in contrast to the original blue floors. Now a am reconsidering using this paper and am at a standstill. You can see the original wall papers -- it looks like they were a shade of white with a wavy blue striped design.

Any ideas??

Credits: Fireplace made by Oese and finished by me; icicle accents are ornaments from Crate & Barrel; topiary trees and logs are from Michaels; chairs are vintage Petite Princess drum chairs; vase is from Fridas Fancy dollhouse store.

Friday, December 17, 2010

A-Frame, Framed

Yes, I have been neglecting my A-Frame. While it is nestled nicely alongside my Brio house, I have not done any setups in it since I received the house in August. It has become a 70s parking garage for a few of my cars, too.

One of the main reasons for the inactivity is that I still do not know how I will rehab it. I received some great feedback when I initially posted on it, and subsequent to that, I got a hold of the original plans for the kit (thanks, Dev!) and also saw an image of the box when it came up on eBay recently. I know Chibipulse got her hands on one -- perhaps I am waiting for her to build hers??? :)

photo from Chibipulse

In any case, I have some ideas and will turn my attention to it in the new year. In the meantime, I love this little corner of the house with sisal wall covering and decided to set up a quick scene (do you forgive me, A-Frame??).

If anyone has any additional thoughts on rehab, do share!

Credits: Chair and ottoman are Reac; side table and shelving unit are vintage German pieces; sideboard is vintage Creative Playthings; bench is vintage LISA; hanging lights are Lil Bratz. Accessories are Re-ment, Lilu Shop on Etsy, AG Minis, Lolly's, bead from Pubdoll, bag from Oese, and a wood carved basket from a work friend (thanks, J!).

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Work from Home

If I did work from home, I'd want a space like this. So light and airy, and it looks productive. My husband sometimes telecommutes, and he might wish for this space too; instead, he's in the basement looking at my dollhouses, which lie in view just beyond his computer monitors!

The desk unit is from a lot of vintage German items that I purchased from Oese (thanks, Oese!). I don't believe that this particular piece was meant for work, likely sleep. It appears to be a headboard with built-in side tables for night reading. I could be wrong, but this is what struck me at first glance. It it is very sturdy and well-made, and I love the look of the wood.

I had fun accessorizing here with books, knickknacks, and office items, but it took a bit of time. The plant was quick -- made with a Playmobil pot and a new aquarium plant! I've used the drawer pull before, but this time it is a peaceful perch for a lunch of delicious noodles.

I decided to throw in a picture for scale with what looks like my giant hand. I never do this, and it never occurs to me to do so because I am wrapped up in a much tinier space, but people do sometimes ask me about the scale in this house.

Now if only I could shrink my workload... :)

UPDATE, 12/13/10: Rebecca and other fellow bloggers have kindly identified the desk piece as a headboard unit by Bodo Hennig, so I have updated the credits below accordingly. My desk, which has been in my collection for a while, is also Bodo Hennig. Please see the comments for links to other pictures of this lovely piece. Thanks, all!

Credits: Desk unit and desk are Bodo Hennig; lamp is vintage German; chair is Reac; bench is a drawer pull; plant is a Playmobil pot with an aquarium plant; rug is made by Oese; wastebasket is Re-ment; bead sculpture next to green file folders is by Nancy Tobey. Accessories are Bandai, Re-ment, beads from Pubdoll, AG Minis, Hallmark, Bozart, handmade by me, Barbie by Jonathan Adler, and random dolls house and craft store finds.

Re-ment: I have written about the Re-ment in this scene with one exception. The three files and holder are from Girls in the City #6, "Office Supply 101," and are good for 1:12.