Saturday, October 29, 2011

Room Box Unexpected

Yes, another's an addiction, folks. Tell me I'm not alone here, especially when you see something really cool and you didn't have to engage over a bidding war on eBay.

Introducing my new (vintage) German-made room box! I have a bit of a soft spot for German room boxes, but my other ones--here and here--are both school rooms. This is my first home.

It likely dates from the early 1960s and runs larger than 1:12, probably 1:10. The box has obviously been repainted and remodeled by the previous owner, so there were some unexpected surprises when it arrived. The paint colors--a thickly applied creme and mottled grey--do not strike me as original. The eBay seller told me she bought it on German eBay earlier this year, so perhaps that seller had a hand in the renovations.

My favorite things? The wallpaper in both rooms, the box window with plantings, and the terrace. Least favorite? Flooring, sponge-painted base, and orange accent wall by the (missing) stairwell up to the terrace.

What did I do about these things? Well, nothing about the sponge painting and accent wall...yet. I could not control myself and removed the ugly vinyl adhesive flooring. I will give the person who renovated the benefit of the doubt and say that the flooring was probably already damaged, since I cannot imagine why you would cover these cool papers otherwise!

Unfortunately, the adhesive paper pulled mostly everything off with it...

So, I decided to use vintage papers for the flooring, to help keep within the style as closely as possible. The beige one in the living area is from my blogging pal Claudia, who runs Lilli's Puppenstube. I LOVE this paper and I think it works here. Thanks, Claudia!!! The other is from a roll of 1:1 paper that I bought last year, along with another roll, which I used to re-wallpaper the bathroom in my Large VERO. What do you think?

The "rug" under the desk and on the terrace are actually wallpaper samples from KremeLife. They make AMAZING 1:1 scale papers and sent me a few samples to experiment with in my houses! I cannot wait to use the others!

Lamp is made of a planter on top of a vintage German wine bottle!

Mystery stairwell!

Yay! Got to use my new ornaments from CB2!

Wall lamp looks original to house

I also got rid of the ugly lace in the window...I am not a huge fan of the drapes, but I think they are original. Anyone know anything about what the original stairs looked like? I searched online and only turned up two structures thus far that had similar characteristics.

Courtesy of puppenhausmuseum

and terrace...I wonder if the stairwell was that curvy and funky!
Courtesy of puppenhausmuseum
As always, if you know anything about this structure, do share!

By the way, I announced the winners of my UMBRA giveaway earlier this week, Kia and Gingeranna! I have now heard from both of them -- congratulations and thanks for participating! And a BIG thanks to UMBRA!

Credits: Couch and chair are Hall's Lifetime Toys; desk chair is Reac; patio chairs are ornaments from CB2, with handmade pillows by The Shopping Sherpa; boomerang table is by Paris Renfroe; bed and wooden side tables are vintage German; round side table is Re-ment; desk is by Crailsheimer; arc lamp is a vintage eBay find; standing lamp was my mother's, I believe; wire bench on terrace is by Oragon; large planter on terrace is a condiment jar from West Elm; planter in bedroom is by Manor House Miniatures with an aquarium plant. Accessories are AG Minis, beads, handmade by me, from my local toy store, random dollhouse store finds, and handmade by The Shopping Sherpa.

The time it took me: 37 minutes (not including the re-flooring!)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Umbra Giveaway Winners

Thanks to everyone for participating in my UMBRA giveaway! Fifty of you entered, but there can only be TWO winners! Here is the rundown of the names and numbers:

1. Rosamargarita
2. Naran
3. The Shopping Sherpa
4. Mad for Mod
5. Snowfern
6. Eliana
7. Pity
8. M
9. Kikka
10. Tam toum
11. Neomig
12. Carmen
13. Hunky Dory
14. zimzee
15. Mini Dork
16. Maru
17. gingeranna
18. jana maru
19. Patrizia
20. Rocky
21. NarinaNapertaa
22. rechercher
23. monamy
24. Anonymous (Claudia)
25. Allie
26. Anonymous (Melissa)
27. Teruka
28. Fabiola
29. Ana
30. Susan from Florida 
31. Craftland
32. FairyWhispers
33. Rosella
34. gracie
35. miniaturista
36. Mahogony
37. Ascension
38. Sara
39. Lyssa
40. Kia
41. WPZ-Sandy
42. maxmazed
43. beckucca
44. T Fisher
45. Maija
46. isabel
47. Iris
48. Marjorello
49. Anonymous (Paula R.)
50. otterine

I produced the two winning numbers using the Random Integer Generator. The first winning number gets the black FISH HOTEL and the second number a set of TALI WALL TILES, pictured above.
Drum roll....

The winning numbers are: 

40 and 17!!

Which means KIA has won the FISH HOTEL and GINGERANNA has won the TALI WALL TILES!

Congrats to you both! Please email me your full name and mailing address at call-small(at)call-small(dot)com and I will have the nice folks at UMBRA send you your treats!

Thanks again to all for participating! I hope to do another giveaway soon.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


Susan H. and I keep an eye out for each other. She frequently picks up treasures at estate sales and if it is 1:12, she lets me know about it (she works in 1:6). We've swapped Re-ment and other fun stuff over the past year.

Our latest swap involved an Asian-influenced daybed that she found recently, marked "George Spencer Dollhouse Collection." Anyone ever hear of him? Based on some quick we searching, it looks like it's from the 1980s. I was so pleased when the bed is in excellent condition, and has lovely carvings. Since the piece runs a bit closer to 1:10, I decided to try it out in my Large VERO.

I covered a cushion in some nice Asian-inspired fabric from my local Jo Ann Fabrics store and used another swatch for a long bolster. What do you think? The two enormous heads are from a rummage sale. They actually came in a group of four, and I passed them by a few times before circling back and picking them up for less than $1.

These are the times that I say "What the heck" and throw stuff together for kicks. When will I get to use the heads again, right??? And who would have thought they would end up in a German-made house from the 1960s???

The light fixture is part of a string of clear ball Christmas tree trimming from Crate & Barrel. I cut a few off, tied them together in a circle and strung it from a hook that hangs from the ceiling. The floor is new paper from the Paper Source. I go there often enough that I can easily spot the new stuff. I do like this pattern a whole lot, and I think it helped set the scene -- the actual flooring did not mesh well.

So, that's my crazy scene for the day. Thanks, Susan!

Only a few hours to go before my UMBRA giveaway have until 11:59 p.m. EDT tonight to leave a comment HERE NOW CLOSED for a chance to win one of two great products! Nearly 50 people have entered -- good luck all around and thanks again to UMBRA!!

The time it took me: 45 minutes

Credits: Daybed is George Spencer Dollhouse Collection; cushion is AG Minis, covered in fabric from Jo Ann Fabric; carved heads are from a rummage sale; round table is vintage Brio; chair and dresser are vintage German; pillow is handmade by The Shopping Sherpa; planter is a napkin holder from Crate & Barrel, and the fixture are ornament balls from there as well; flooring is from the Paper Source. Accessories are Michaels and dollhouse store finds.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Book Inspired

I am on a big 1960s decorator kick, inspired by a tattered copy of the McCall's Decorating Book, purchased at the book sale at my local library for a cool $5. Published by Random House in 1964, the pictures are dripping with saturated color and pattern. In addition to the groovy photos, there are helpful hints about mixing patterns, hanging pictures, and terminology for popular furniture styles.

Want to see some of my favorite photos?

I'm feeling pretty inspired by the colors, patterns, and textures. Hope this fuels some ideas for the "I'm a Giant" Challenge!

Another new (vintage) book find is Puppenhaus-gebaut + eingerichtet (Dollhouse - built and furnished) by Dietrich Kirsch and Jutta Kirsch-Korn, a wonderful hobby book published by Otto Maier Verlag Ravensburg in 1968. This compact book, which I purchased on German eBay, offers instructions for building your own 1960s-era dollhouse, furniture, and accessories from simple materials.

I dig it -- you? Any good books to share?

My UMBRA giveaway is still going strong, but it ends on Sunday, October 23! Comment on the giveaway post here NOW CLOSED for your chance to win one of two amazing, fun products!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Short Shots in the Neville

A very quick post to share that I finally broke down and bought a Neville House from CB2 this weekend. I was purchasing some awesome modern chair ornaments after reading about them on Mini Modern's blog, and decided to go for this petite house. My package arrived so quickly that I was caught off guard and opened it right up (I am famous in my house for not opening packages right away. I like to be left alone when doing so and I am very popular here...Mommy! Do you know what? Mommy!).

This is a fun, well-made tiny house that packs a mod punch. 1:16 or 1:24 scale works best, and you need to practice being nimble since you have to work your furniture through the openings. Check out Mini Modern's original post on the house here, and she also posted on minimodernistas' creation with two!

Anyone else grooving on the Neville?

Credits: Chairs are LISA; table is by Paris Renfroe; globe lamp is minimodernistas; shelving is by Miner Industries; cat and plant are Playmobil, and his bowl is an eBay find; blue glass bottle and rug are dollhouse store finds.

The time it took me: 27 minutes

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Oftentimes, a piece of scrapbook or handmade paper will inspire me to do a scene. If I like a paper, I usually purchase at least two sheets, but for some reason I did not buy two of this cool Vespa paper from the Paper Source. It might have been the last one, or it was a temporarily lapse of judgement on my part, but either way I only came home with one.

I decided to go radical on the opposing wall and do it up in green glitter paper. I normally despise glitter, by the way, but I loved the way this paper shines and it is very sturdy for cutting and hanging. And it doesn't "shed," which is the main reason I don't care for glitter. Do you like the glow here? I liked using my AG Minis Room Box...the flooring is very warm and imparts a nice texture. The black square above the couch is magnetic, to hang the wall treatments that originally came with many of the sets. I decided to attach some magnets in a clock or gear formation...not sure which.

I went to my favorite Crate & Barrel outlet this weekend for inspiration for the "I'm a Giant" challenge launched by Emily Henderson, and came up mostly empty-handed, but did get some inspiring pieces. I posted my first mood board on the Call of the Small Facebook page -- I decided I am going for a ladylike McCall's decorator vibe. Still don't have a DIY abode, though, and the December 15 deadline is around the corner. HELP!! Emily is encouraging anyone who is participating to comment on one of her recent blog posts, so that she can share all the creativity going on.

A reminder that my UMBRA giveaway is going strong, and you still have a week to enter! Comment on this giveaway post NOW CLOSED for your chance to win one of TWO phenomenal products, like the TALI wall tile pictured here. Thanks to all who have joined in so far!

Credits: Couch is minimodernistas; plant is AG Minis; Arc lamp is an eBay find; ottomans are Concord; pillows and book are handmade by The Shopping Sherpa; Sketch chair is by Diatom Studio; wall magnets are from Office Max; table is my MitchyMoo Miniatures; wallpaper is from the Paper Source. Accessories are Lilu Shop on Etsy, AG Minis, ELF Miniatures, and beads.