Artply Highland Update

I love when I am able to share a renovation update on one of my houses. Makes me feel like a less neglectful parent! :)

My Artply Highland patiently sits in my work room and I have been tinkering with it since I got it over a year ago when I bought it on Craigslist for a cool $20. I have renovated one room so far, but it does need lots of TLC. I really cannot tolerate the muddy brown color of the exterior and hope to paint it soon (any color ideas? send them my way!). I took off one of the roof pieces to gain better access to the top room with the lovely rounded wall. I had been looking for wallpaper for quite some time; I knew I wanted a bold pattern, like the room I renovated next door, and was leaning toward a green or creme. I then found this Lokta design from the Paper Source, and was confident it would do the trick.

First, a view into the space, which I dubbed the "Mickey Mouse room" for obvious reasons:


Once I put the Lokta paper on one wall, I realized that I needed to break up the pattern with the curved wall. I liked the dark shade of the existing wood wall and decided to experiment with a 12 x 12" birch sheet, also from the Paper Source. I had a walnut colored paint marker and tried out the hue.

I liked the combination and painted the whole sheet. I also cut out long holes for the windows. I did not permanently adhere this piece since I might be able to completely scrape off the Mickey Mouse papers and show the original wall.

The remaining Lokta paper fit nicely on the other side, and the room was done!

I do not like the carpeting, but I did not have a good "cover up," so I left it for now.

It was fun to try different pieces of furniture in the room, but I couldn't decide on the couch: orange vintage Bodo Hennig or green "tootsie roll" by Minimodernistas. Do you have a preference?

As I was finishing this work tonight, I finally got around to opening today's mail and was surprised by a lovely little envelope. Inside was a gorgeous handmade metal firescreen by the amazing Fran of Fran Made Minis. She thought the fireplace in my most recent scene was lacking proper flowery coverage and remedied it with this!

I love it -- thank you so much for your thoughtful gesture, Fran!

Credits: Round table, Panton chairs, and orange couch are all Bodo Hennig; green "tootsie roll" couch and both globe lamps are Minimodernistas; shelf is by PRD Miniatures; coffee table is comprised of a napkin holder from Crate & Barrel and an acrylic block; cowhide rug is by Oese; flower pot is Playmobil with an aquarium plant. Accessories are Re-ment, JoAnn Fabrics, AG Minis, Michaels, The Shopping Sherpa, Minimodernistas, and Crate & Barrel.

The time it took me: 42 minutes, not including the wallpapering!


It's been a crazy few days with Hurricane Sandy here on the east coast, and my home state of New Jersey got hit pretty hard. We consider ourselves very lucky, because we only had a downed tree (and many lost branches), and lost power for a day. Many are still without power, and the temperatures are now going down, so folks are scrambling to stay warm, fed, and entertained.

All schools have been closed this week (and my work is as well), so it has been an unusual time at home -- the kids have been helping to clean up the leaves and stay civil with each other, but when there is this much idle time, fights and other unappealing sibling behavior is bound to happen.

Of course, Halloween is today, and while NJ Governor Christie has officially postponed it until Monday (!), we plan to carve a pumpkin and do some baking. Here's a little scene that I brewed up, too...enigmatic and creepy. My Artply Higland is an ideal environment for such a scene, with its plentiful broken plexi, dust, and cobwebs. No cleaning was done in this room, to ensure it was a moody as possible!


See the curtains? I cut two swaths from a Chilewich place mat and hung them with a metal crafting sticker that looks like a curtain rod.

They work quite well!

The hanging lantern is also a crafting find from Jolee's Boutique-- fun!

I also wanted to share a few new items I found that might come in handy for your doll houses: LED-lit trees by Philips, purchased for $5.99 each from Target (I might get rid of the large star topper), and "Tangle" finials from west elm, on clearance for $6.99 per box (these could work as industrial light fixtures with a little Deco tape wrapping -- still experimenting).

I also picked up some minimal white napkin holders, also on clearance from west elm ($1.99/each), which show some promise for modern shelving.

I also have my eye on a lantern ornament from Pottery Barn (at left, without the monogramming!) that could have a second life as an outdoor fireplace. Speaking of ornaments, each year, Hallmark comes out with new Keepsake Ornaments...I haven't fully checked them out, but it's worth a look at those too. Make sure you check the dimensions before you buy, and let me know if you find any good ones!

A last tip: refrigerator magnets from Acme International. I bought up a few this week, including a cappuccino maker and wine rack, a copy machine, and an arcade-style video game. Worth a look!

Photo courtesy of Acme International
Photo courtesy of Acme International

Hope your Halloween is still happening, and you get lots of candy!

A quick update on the Call of the Small/Cubebot Challenge: the first entry is in: Nick James of the UK shows his Micro Cubebot wreaking havoc in his daughter's dollhouse! Naughty bot! Hope you are working on yours, too! Submit your entries (No more than five images, ideally 1 MB or under each), to minibotchallenge(at)gmail(dot) com for your chance to win $200 from AREAWARE. Full contest details are here.

Credits: Table is ELF Miniatures; male doll is Jasper from Twilight, and I got him at a $5 store; the female doll is from DHE; chairs are eBay finds; trees are from; table runner is from the Paper Source. Accessories are lots of Re-ment, Manor House Miniatures, and eBay finds.

The time it took me: 1 hour, 53 minutes, over three days