Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Look Up

Yes, I know, we are often looking "into" or "down" at our miniatures, but I could not resist *finally* using my "Look Up" letterpress print by the very skilled Ampersand Duck.The print was made available as an edition through the Call of the Small exhibit, curated and masterminded by The Shopping Sherpa back in 2010. Perhaps this little shout-out to my buddy will bring her back from blog-silence-land??? Where are you and your minis, Anna-Maria??? Miss you!

I cannot recall ever covering the plexi back wall here in the Villa Sibi, and it was fun indeed. I wanted to mix some grey, black, and creme patterns, so I utilized scrapbook paper from Jo-Ann Fabrics and went at it. The "rug" is cut up along the pattern lines. I just wanted something other than a large square. Didn't really think too hard about how it would turn out. I love the snowy white owl paper -- it's new from the Paper Source, and has lovely flocked texture.

The red ladder was a spontaneous addition, but I think it works. It is from my TOMY Sylvanian house, and it was lying nearby. Sometimes things just work that way!

There are some new Paul MacAlister 1:12 scale pieces in here, recently won on eBay: a dining table, lamp table, and small coffee table. They are as lovely as my other 1:12 pieces, really well-made of fine materials.

The little box is glued on and hand painted!

Hard to see here, but the edges are turned down with an edge

Perhaps it was the dusting of snow we got here today, but this scene just feels wintry to me. Could be those puffy chairs, too. They are ornaments, after all (from Anthropologie)! Hope this winter is a gentle one...I'd take a little more pretty snow, but not too much!

Photo by Pepper of MitchyMoo Miniatures
A final reminder about the Call of the Small/Cubebot Challenge: its ends on this Saturday, December 1, so get your entries in for your chance to win $200 from AREAWARE! There are some really wonderful, creative entries so far in the Flickr photostream, like Pepper's at left. Good luck, all, and thanks for participating!!

Credits:Dining table, lamp table, and coffee table by Paul MacAlister; couch is minimodernistas; hanging lamp is Re-ment; table lamp is vintage German; storage unit is by Dragondee Miniatures; Eames chairs are Reac; ladder is TOMY Sylvanian; puffy chairs are ornaments from Anthropologie; wall hanging is a rug by Fran Made Minis; artwork and couch pillows by Cyd of Mod Pod Miniatures; Look Up letterpress print by Ampersand Duck; outdoor planter is a handmade paper creation by my buddy A.'s talented Mom. Accessories are Re-ment, AG Minis, eBay and dollhouse store finds, Dragondee, Mod Pod Miniatures, and The Shopping Sherpa.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Brio "Chalet" Renovation Begins

I bought a 1963 "Chalet" style doll house by Brio more than eighteen months ago, and it has been patiently awaiting my help. I do have another Brio in my collection, and it is very similar, although it was made in 1966. I fell in love with my Brio, and decided to "go to the source" to find another to add to my collection: Sweden, of course! I was lucky to find one (with some expert help) on Tradera, the Swedish eBay. The price was right but the shipping predictably high, and it had an incredibly tough journey from Sweden. The house was not properly packed and it arrived beaten and bruised. It completely separated from the base and cracked in a number of places. See?

This is the extent of the packing...just newspaper

I was quite discouraged for some time, especially since I had to file a claim with the USPS, which I was told would be a fruitless process. Amazingly, after some persistence with a lovely lady at my postal branch, I was reimbursed for the shipping, which made me feel a bit better about the whole thing.

Now that my work table is in a clean state, I was able to take the house off its shelf and get a closer look at the all the flaws. Since the house had already come loose from its base, I was able to gently flip it onto its back and get full access to the floor and walls.

I have never had a dollhouse in this "flipped" state. Pretty cool!


I think I will be able to close some of the breaks in the wall, but not completely. The toughest challenge is going to be the top staircase railing. It should look like this (these photos were pulled from another Tradera listing):

But instead, the owner decided it needed to be cut in half and placed at an angle, leaving a big, unprotected gap for some unsuspecting inhabitants to fall down to the first level! Not sure how I am going to approach this yet. I will likely try to replicate the railing in wood and paint it.

There are also some ripped and stained spots on the wallpaper upstairs and downstairs. I am going to try to make high quality printouts of photographs of the paper and glue it over the problem areas. Luckily, the second floor bedroom is in good shape!

I hope you will follow my progress as I repair this house. It will take some time, but I am sure I will be motivated by the fact that it is crowding my work table!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Hogarin Play Set

Introducing...a new acquisition! Presenting a Hogarin play set from 1973, purchased recently on eBay. Hogarin is a brand of Modisa, a now-defunct company based in Spain that produced a range of doll houses, play sets, furniture, dolls, and accessories in the 1970s.

First, a little background...

I first became acquainted with Hogarin when reading a 2007 post by Mini Modern a few years ago, which included photos about an eBay sale of two Villa Hogarin houses and many boxed sets. I was completely taken with the design of the houses, which resembled German bungalows from the 60s. Then, in 2010, I read about Florine's Hogarin on her blog (including her humorous take on the house's inhabitants!), and really enjoyed looking at all the detailed photos.

Photo courtesy of My Vintage Houses

Photo courtesy of My Vintage Houses
About a month ago, there was a GORGEOUS two-story Hogarin on eBay within driving distance (Florine tipped me off), but the Buy-it-Now price was incredibly high and out of my reach.So, it went to someone else :(

Photo from eBay listing
Photo from eBay listing
Photo from eBay listing
So, for now, I will have to console myself with my first Hogarin play set and hopefully one day I can add a house to my collection. It came intact with its plastic cover, and is a toy store with brightly colored walls and shelving. The colors and lines reminded me of Modella room boxes, and I recalled that blogger diepuppenstubensammlerin, who has an amazing Modella collection, wrote an article in Dolls Houses Past and Present in 2011 about the history of the room boxes. She notes that the "die-casting machines, molds, and other patents" were likely sold to Spain, because the Hogarin play sets and room boxes look quite similar to the Modella sets. You can see this in the fabrication of the chairs, credenzas, and tables.Check out diepuppenstubensammlerin's Flickr stream of her Modella sets -- worth a look!

Here are some photos of my set. I do love the miniature room boxes on the side wall shelves, the shape of the main shelving, and the Saarinen-like Tulip chair.

The set also came with the original catalogue, and it was great to see pictures of other sets available in 1973.

For more Hogarin eye candy, look at El Cuartin de Juguete's blog. Great photos and information, and the blog has photos of the same set

Photo courtesy of El Cuartin de Juguete
It has been very interesting for me to find out a bit more about Hogarin, and I would love to hear more from anyone! 
Share some pictures and information about your Hogarins!

Tick, tick...! Time is slipping away to enter the Call of the Small/Cubebot Challenge, which ends on December 1. Get your entries in for your chance to win $200 from AREAWARE! Good luck!