Monday, August 29, 2011

Stroke Chair by Diatom Studio

Isn't it great when you can clear your head and focus solely on one task and on nothing but that task? I had a nice half hour of brain task time putting my new "Stroke" miniature chair together. The chair was a "thank you" from the London-based Diatom Studio for donating $25 toward their successful SketchChair Kickstarter campaign, which was for the creation of a free, open source software that allows you to design your own furniture. The concept is pretty great: provide people with a cool digital tool to design and create functional objects, and at the same time, those people share that knowledge with a broader community who can contribute further. And...there is potential for miniature designs as well!

I'm glad that I made my little contribution to help Diatom reach its goal -- they raised over $30,000 on Kickstarter, and I was among 100 + people who got to choose one of five miniature chair designs. You can see all the contributor names on their website -- I am 96, and my chair was numbered accordingly.

I chose the "Stroke" chair for its beautiful, undulating lines. According to Diatom, it is sized to 1:9 scale. I'd say this is accurate, since it is definitely larger than 1:12. The chair comes on a die-cut sheet of wood with instructions, and was packaged beautifully.

I should have paid closer attention to the numbers and letters and worked more systematically, but I was too excited to put it all together. In my eagerness, I had to re-do some of the pieces, and broke a few. Luckily, the flaws are not too noticeable in the final product, and I took it for a spin!






Thanks, Diatom! Any other proud owners of these mini chairs out there? Show your stuff! And THANKS to the wonderful Mini Modern for sharing news of this opportunity back in May (and thanks to Paris Renfroe for tipping her off). See, there's already a community of interest! Just wait, we'll be cooking up our own miniature chairs yet!

You have until 11:59 p.m. EDT this Wednesday, August 31, to win some Re-ment and storage containers! Go to this photo on the Call of the Small Facebook page for the August ***FREE ALERT***and leave a comment for your chance to win!

Credits: Stroke chair by Diatom Studio; round table is vintage Brio; low table is by Mitchy Moo Miniatures; planter is a condiment vessel from West Elm with an aquarium plant; shoes are AG Minis; car is a miniature Mini Cooper from our local dealership (gift from my hubby). Accessories are Lilu Shop on Etsy, Manor House Miniatures, ELF Miniatures, Mighty World, and Ryan's Room.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Shaken, but Sorted

So I finally get shelving up in my doll house room in the basement, and New Jersey goes and has an EARTHQUAKE! In New Jersey???! Yup, the effects of a 5.8 earthquake in Virginia were felt all the way up the east cost today. Luckily, it only lasted 10-15 seconds and all is fine. My first, and hopefully last, earthquake.

There's a few posts in the pipeline -- a review of the "Otherworldly" exhibition at the Museum of Arts & Design and a super-surprise-you'll-never-guess post -- so this one will be brief!

At long last, the shelves and brackets purchased for a song at the Crate & Barrel outlet near me are installed and most of my doll houses now are aloft in the room! I also organized a bunch of furnishings in my (not so) spare time on the shelves and reworked the perimeter storage.




Better, right?

I couldn't resist doing a quick scene in the Kaleidoscope House...a celebratory hurrah for that work! Now I just have to keep it all clean!






A reminder to join in on the August ***FREE ALERT*** on the Call of the Small Facebook page. There's some great Re-ment and storage containers up for grabs. You have until Wednesday, August 31, to comment...give it a whirl!

Credits: Couch is a vintage eBay buy; pillow is minimodernistas; side table is vintage VERO; plant is TOMY; rug is handmade by The Shopping Sherpa; table is a drawer pull; light is Re-ment; wall art is an ornament from Crate & Barrel; wallpaper is scrapbook paper. Accessories are Bozart, Manor House Miniatures, beads, and doll house store finds.

The time it took me: 17 minutes (for the K House scene) and I lost count on the organizing and cleaning!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Bennett House at NYIGF

This week, I made it into the city to take in the August market at the New York International Gift Fair (NYIGF). I was pressed for time, so I focused my energies on the Accent on Design section in the mammoth Javits Center.

The brinca dada booth was among my first stops, and I was rewarded: the final 3/4" scale Bennett House was on display, along with a new line of furniture! Founder and CEO Doug Rollins was on hand to answer my many questions as I stared and stared at the final house (they previously showed a prototype at the Toy Fair in February; you can see my post here).

So what did I learn this time around about the house?

* It's smaller than the prototype, but still opens up to provide many levels of play. There's even a hinged  garage and an elevator (hand cranked)!

* It's a straightforward assembly made of eco-friendly woods...Doug assured me that it would not take longer than 45 minutes (P.S. This is not a lightweight house...definitely has some heft)

* Doug and his partner Tim Boyle, the architect who designed the house, used a completely different manufacturer from the Emerson, and are very happy with the quality. Doug does not foresee any issues and knows he will have happy customers.

* A whole new line of furniture is available with the house and will be sold as a complete set for $399 or by room, and prices will range from $29.99 to $49.99 per set. This new line is a *major* upgrade from the Emerson line...real wood grains, some leather, fabric, hinged details, and working drawers. Doug told me that they were designed by Cecilia Reboursin.

* Unlike the Emerson, the house will not be electrified. Too complex, and eliminates production delays and difficulties.

* The Bennett will be a limited run, only 300 are planned and a portion of that will be shipped to Europe.

* Retail price: $599

* The house is still on track to be available in October, and they will start taking pre-orders in the next few weeks.

How about some photos? The quality is not ideal -- they were all taken with my iPhone. The final flooring in the house will be bamboo, and Doug showed me a sample. I took some of the furniture shots on the sample. He also mentioned that the flooring in the garage will be cement-like.

That's Doug making a sale on a Bennett in the background, one of the few that occurred while I was at the booth!







The garage -- floor will have a cement finish



LOVE the stool, and the lounger is pretty great as well

Fabric topped bed!


That's a leather covering on the office chair


Two rugs come with the set

Nursery furniture also features fabric toppings

Lovely shape!




What do you think??

You might have seen the Dylan lurking in the background. Doug tells me the house, which retails for $149, is doing very well since it launched this spring and started shipping in the summer. The final furniture was on display, and I was impressed by the its sturdiness and style. For $14.99, it's a steal.

Here's some video of the Dylan and its furnishings (excuse crappy video quality):



I'd love to hear your thoughts on the latest from brinca dada. Is the Bennett on your wish list? Is the Dylan already in your house? What shall we ask Doug and Tim to make for us next?!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

An Earring Challenge: Joint Post with Lemon Cadet

Summer days are dwindling...seemed like a good time for a joint post! Lemon Cadet, who runs Project: Project blog, suggested that we do a joint post with one piece from a pair of very cool industrial earrings by Melissa Borrell. We would use the earring however it inspired us. I have no clue what she's doing with it, and vice versa.

I actually first saw Melissa's work at the New York International Gift Fair back in February (I'm headed to the Gift Fair on Tuesday for the August market -- fun!). She crafts stunningly creative pieces, much like wearable art. This particular pair is Deco-inspired and made of metal. The earrings actually pop out of a flat sheet; check out this image from Melissa's site:
Courtesy of www.melissaborrell.com

Neat, right?

I gravitated back to my Cadet Room Box for the scene and knew I wanted to use some new decorative paper from the Paper Source for the wall; the flooring is scrapbook paper with a green suede-like finish. While I originally thought the earring could work as a hanging fixture of some sort, the flatness of it made it impossible to look realistic. I then quickly decided to use it as an ornamental feature on the credenza, much like a trivet or place mat (Chilewich designs come to mind).









Hope you like my take on the earring -- can't wait to see what Lemon Cadet cooked up! Check out her post!

By the way, I launched my August ***FREE ALERT*** giveaway today on the Call of the Small Facebook page! This month, I am giving away a set of Re-ment and storage boxes from Crate & Barrel. Just comment on the photo and you are entered for a chance to win. Comments will be open through Wednesday, August 31, 11:59 p.m. EST. This is open to followers on my Facebook page, domestic and international. GOOD LUCK!!

Credits: Couch and side chair are Hall's Lifetime Toys; Asian screen and side table are Petite Princess; Noguchi table is by Paris Renfroe; credenza is vintage German; lamp and silver bowl are eBay finds; pillow is by minimodernistas; planter is a napkin holder from Crate & Barrel, and the greenery is an aquarium plant; wallpaper is from the Paper Source; flooring is scrapbook paper from Michaels.

The time it took me: 1 hour