Sunday, November 27, 2011

Rad Pad Progress

The long weekend is over and one of my goals was to make some progress on my Rad Pad for the "I'm a Giant" challenge. Well, I wallpapered the exterior and figured out the layout, so I think I am on my way. I need to add wallpaper and flooring to the inside rooms and furnish fully and accessorize, but here is where I am now:

I want to add some level of realism, so I need to figure out a stairwell. A bit stumped right now; would love a lucite one, but not sure I can swing it. I also have a catwalk in progress to connect the two upper levels, using a slab of plywood covered in a Kunta placemat from Crate & Barrel (the Kunta is now discontinued, but it is close to the Jakarta). Will share more on that soon -- wish me luck!

By the way, I am spreading the word about a great dollhouse for sale: a vintage VERO from the 1960s! I actually have this one in my collection, and it is a fantastic find. Mandy from Germany is selling her pristine one, and I have posted pictures on the Call of the Small Facebook page. If you are interested, I can connect you with Mandy. Email me at call-small(at)call-small(dot)com for more information.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Rad Pad, Configured

After much experimentation, I think I have finally arrived at the configuration of my Rad Pad for the I'm a Giant Challenge. I tried so many different things, and got a lot of recommendations for going circular. Circular looked way cool, but I felt like something was missing...perhaps not knowing which was was in! I also wanted more contrast of textures, but could not figure out a way to do a wood roof. I remembered I had two wood slatted place mats from Crate & Barrel and thought they might work. They did not, BUT they did work as the base. Once I saw the rectangle formed by the place mats, I stacked the file boxes, two in each corner. A space formed in between them and I thought "doorway!" I kept it open at the back, like a traditional doll house.

The result:

What do you think?

I used a piece of acetate for the doorway and outlined the frame using deco tape. The flooring, siding, and roof material is still not finalized (in fact, the green paper on two of the walls is the original Staples label!). I experimented using a variety of papers and fabrics, but am still not convinced. I might use a brick paper for the exterior, perhaps on the bottom level, and then mark out some windows on the top using deco tape. The interior layout is also not completely finalized. I know I want the bedroom and office on the top levels and the kitchen, bath, and living area on the bottom, but the bath is a bit of a puzzle. Space is limited and I would like to put a full bath in -- what do you think of my little wooden platform solution?

Time is running out--December 15 is around the corner! What has everyone else come up with??

Credits: Even though this is not fully furnished, I'll share: white couch sectional and coffee table are Bozart; desk is ELF Miniatures; chair is a Crate & Barrel ornament; kitchen units are vintage Lundby; bed is vintage German; bath set is Ryan's Room; ladder is from my TOMY Sylvanian house; indoor plant is Playmobil; outdoor planter is a napkin holder from West Elm with a diorama tree from Michaels; doorway platform is made of two coasters; base consists of two placemats from Crate & Barrel. Accessories are Lundby, Lilu shop on Etsy, handmade by The Shopping Sherpa, AG Minis, random craft store finds.

The time it took me: I fiddled with this for a few hours today, in between cleaning up my work room!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Rad Pad Continued

OK, I now have a magazine file folder holder obsession! My last post showed a scene in a clear plastic one from Staples, and I bought three more to think about the configuration for the "I'm a Giant" Challenge. I do like the idea of circular, but then I started to experiment with how the shapes can fit together and how I might create a more traditional house-like environment.

My latest idea is to square off two together (that you can then open out into "wings") and then position the other two on the sides -- one for a garage and the other for a covered patio area.

I know this is difficult to envision with on a patterned rug, and it may not work in practice, but we'll see.

As I was doing all this down in my dollhouse room, which also includes our home office, I saw an empty file folder from IKEA with a neat pattern and decided to try it out with some Playmobil, Lundby, and Re-ment pieces. Here is the result.

With all this repurposing, I am feeling like I am neglecting my actual dollhouses!

By the way, I was on the radio this week, on the show "A Miniature World with Binnie Klein" on WPKN-FM. You can have a listen here. Enjoy! I am also dressing up one of my houses for the holidays for a local newspaper article...I need to get into the holiday spirit a bit early this year!

Credits: Dining set is by Playmobil; credenza is vintage Lundby; hanging lamp and chair are Re-ment; plant pot is by Manor House Miniatures with a Playmobil plant; side table is a plastic storage box from Crate & Barrel; book is handmade by Oese.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Rad Pad

Maybe I have figured out the idea for the "I'm a Giant" Challenge...a plastic magazine file! Staples only had one, but perhaps I can go back for more and see how they might work stacked or adjacent. I liked the holes and the height of the space when it is on its side. I set up a quick scene with printed felt for flooring, and papers from the Paper Source on the walls: birch and Lokta Olive and Copper Crossed Lines. I cut a thin piece of birch to help frame out a door where the small opening is in the side. I do like the curved shape.

What do you think? Perhaps a few of these could work for the challenge? I might start experimenting...there's less than a month left!

By the way, "non-dollhousers" are kicking butt in the challenge -- read about Morgan's new mini furniture over at The Brick House. Simply amazing.

Credits: Side tables are vintage German; chair is Reac; air plant is by toHOLD; lamp is made of a craft store bead and cork; magazine holder is an eBay find; flooring is printed felt from Michaels, and wallpaper is from the Paper Source. Accessories are Re-ment and dollhouse store finds.

The time it took me: 30 minutes

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Some letterpress scrapbook paper has made its way into my IKEA room box. It is actually a vegetable bin, but works pretty well as a small, decorative environment. I bought it a while ago and should have bought more, because IKEA does not sell it anymore. Boo-hoo.

I love the color and texture of this paper. It prompted me to go for a garden theme. I framed out the room box with cut-up pieces of a Crate & Barrel place mat and Japanese washi tape to complete the look. My new CB2 ornament chairs add some flair, too, and work quite well here.

See that amazing plant? This is a lovely new find from the Etsy store toHOLD. Owner Kara, who makes 1:1 scale terrariums and planters, is participating in the "I'm a Giant" Challenge and was inspired to go green for dollhouses and create a mini line! LOVE her work, and hope she makes even more! By the way, I found out about Kara on Design Milk -- see her article on "greening up" your dollhouse.

Anyone else going green??

The October ***FREE ALERT*** is going on now on the Call of the Small Facebook page. If you are pining for your own bike and skateboard for your mini digs, go on ahead and leave a comment on this photo. Giveaway ends on Friday, November 11, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern time. Good luck!

Credits: Chairs are ornaments from CB2; table is from; planter is toHOLD; pillows are handmade by The Shopping Sherpa; flooring is letterpress scrapbook paper from Michaels; framing is a Crate & Barrel place mat and Japanese washi tape; magazine is AG Minis.