Friday, March 30, 2012

Zig Zag Shelving

Patie over at Minisx2 on Etsy is working away creating her miniature marvels in 1:12. You may have seen her work elsewhere and I am pleased to own one of her lovely shelving pieces, a zig zag midcentury shelf with sliding doors.

The piece had a bumpy ride, and despite its secure packaging, it arrived with the top raised level broken off. Patie is sending a new one, but I told her I might not be able to wait! The shelf is so beautiful that you probably would not even notice the flaw!

It's exciting to have more artisans creating in the modern realm, and even seeing some 1:1 people seduced by 1:12. Have you read about Mini Modern's new house by John Bui, who creates mod pod cat retreats? CB2 got into the act with its petite Neville House, and who knows what will come of their new partnership with the Novogratz design team! Perhaps we should start petitioning them now...hmmm....

Credits: Zig zag shelving by Patie of Minisx2 on Etsy; Eames lounger by Reac; Arc lamp is an eBay find; console and stools by brinca dada (top of console is a card from my buddy K); rug is by Fran Made Minis; plant is AG Minis; wallpaper is American Crafts Campy Trails scrapbook paper from Lee's Art Supply; flooring is Con-Tact shelving paper. Accessories are handmade by The Shopping Sherpa, Manor House Miniatures, Lee's Art Supply, Re-ment, vintage eBay finds, and Playmobil.

The time it took me: 23 minutes

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Epoch Play House

I bought this vintage (1973) Epoch Play House last year on eBay. I recall it being a "Buy it Now" for $25 or so, and I was definitely intrigued when I saw it. I have not been very successful in finding out more about this set; I do know that Epoch is a very well-known and successful Japanese toy maker that has been around since the late 1950s. The company makes Calico Critters and many other popular toys.

This set really reminds me of Creative Playthings doll house furnishings -- the profiles are simple and pure with a mid century flair. The well-constructed pieces in this Epoch house are scaled closest to 1:24 and are all wood with some plastic. The house consists of a square tray with a lip and two interlocking wood panels that create four rooms with doorways and a sloping roof. The roof is red/orange plastic with a hole for the chimney. No screws or anything here...just some tabs on the underside of the roof.

I've had the house sitting in its original box on a shelf all these many months and have been tempted many times in the past to try it out. I was doing some work outside today and felt like shooting photos in the lovely natural afternoon light -- the set seemed a compact and hassle-free way to "play" as my steaks marinated for the grill ;)

Here's the front and back of the original box:

Note that the recommended ages for play are "4-8." Ahem.

I placed all the furniture in to complete the setup:

Of course, those nice bare walls and floor called out for some pattern and color, so I pulled some sheets of paper and gathered a few small accessories to animate the spaces.

I had a good time playing and was reminded of my other portable doll houses, such as the "Fold-Away" doll house from the 1940s and the 1960s pop-up house from Winthrop Toys. I might have to bring those out again soon...!

In one of my previous posts, I mentioned my discovery of Lomography mini camera key chains. Well, I am sharing the love with the spring ***FREE ALERT*** on the Call of the Small Facebook page where you can enter for a chance to win your own! Comment on this photo by April 15 and you may end up with one! Good luck!
Credits: All furnishings are by Epoch; bunny wall art are stickers by Shinzi Katoh; bathroom wall paper is Japanese origami paper; living room wall paper is scrapbook paper from Michael's; kitchen wallpaper is Pebbles "Rings" paper from Lee's Art Supply. Accessories are Lundby, AG Minis, Michael's, random eBay finds, and from Lee's Art Supply.

The time it took me: 57 minutes 

Saturday, March 24, 2012


OK, I'm having some fun here. Even though I am being jokey, I did dress up this room a bit in my Kaleidoscope House. The lamp is fancy, no? It's vintage German (labeled "Made in West Germany") and looks like it is from the late 1950s or early 1960s. I checked the puppenhausmuseum website a bit, but did not turn up a picture to help with identification.

The little bot is from a Star Wars mini figure set. I don't know about you, but looks too big to be to be a key chain! The kitties don't seem too scared.

Notice those terrific monogram pillows?? Thanks to Dale of Dale's Dreams on Etsy -- she included them as extras with a recent purchase from her store. Check out her great offerings! Thanks, Dale!!

Credits: Lamp is vintage German; chairs are CB2 ornaments; ball clock is handmade by the awesome Pubdoll; monogram pillows are by Dale's Dreams on Etsy; flooring is Natural Woven from the Paper Source; wallpaper is from the DCWV "Downtown Loft" 12 x 12 scrapbook stack; chaise is PRD; plant is Manor House Miniatures in a Playmobil planter; cube side table is AG Minis. Accessories are Playmobil, Michaels, Re-ment, Manor House Miniatures, and random eBay finds.

The time it took me: 42 minutes

Monday, March 19, 2012

A-Frame Corner

I took my vintage A-Frame off the top storage shelf for some play yesterday. I hadn't really touched my minis all week or weekend, and I felt inspired to go back in time.

The house has been sadly neglected by me; it needs some touching up and renovation. The acetate inserts in the windows have paint drops or markings, courtesy of the prior owner, and much of the wood edges of the house are chipped and nicked. I also stripped mostly all the wallpaper off when I initially got the house, and have not replaced it.

OK, self-imposed guilt trip over.

For the sloped wall in the nook-like space on the main floor, I gravitated toward a remnant of a brown and creme vintage 70s wallpaper from German eBay (not from Claudia, as I had thought!) It's lovely, no?

The pattern is a bit large, but I cut a swath and put in a minimal amount of furnishings. I even economized by using two zig zag Reac chairs as a book shelf, having seen many innovative shelves lately such as these:
Pulseline by Salomonsen Design

Sum Bookshelf
Quad Shelving Unit

Asymmetrical bookcase

Designed by Francesco Passaniti
I'm drooling just looking at these...makes me want to commission an artisan to create one! Perhaps for my birthday...hmmm...

Finally getting around to my scene:

See that zebrano wood flooring piece? That's a gorgeous sample from Amtico International, a company that I found out about from the ever-resourceful Pepper. I got some other samples that I hope to use soon.

By the way, you likely know by now that photography is a big part of the appeal of doing this blog, since it enables me to "bring you in" to my little world. Hence, I have a deep affection for my camera, and cameras in general, especially *mini* cameras!! You can imagine the thrill of finding these wonderful little key chains from Lomography in JaZams, my great local toy store:

Incredible, right? While I didn't use them in any scenes yet, I will soon. They likely will be a bit large for 1:12, but definitely workable!

Credits: Console and stools by Paris Renfroe; lights are Lil' Bratz; bookshelf is made of two Reac zig zag chairs; planter is Manor House Miniatures, and plant is from an aquarium plant set; wood flooring is an Amtico sample, and wallpaper is from German eBay and from an Asian-themed scrapbook paper book from Michael's. Accessories are AG Minis, eBay and doll house show finds, handmade by The Shopping Sherpa, from my Mom, and Manor House Miniatures.

The time it took me: 34 minutes