This scene is not as I had planned.

I originally set out to use the cute, retro bird paper as a backdrop for a kitchen. Laziness and the late hour prevented me from going downstairs to retrieve some TOMY kitchen items, so I started to play around with these white Re-ment shelving units and a bag of Bead for Life beads I purchased recently. Somehow, a new setup emerged, inspired by the types of hip storefronts that occupy the streets of the east village and NoHo in Manhattan. When I lived near the lower east side in the early 1990s, the area had not yet turned a corner on trendy, and was pretty gritty. As time passed, new apartments and condos cropped up, and soon cute stores followed in these tiny, tiny spaces, which managed to look completely cool and airy, with clothing, jewelry, housewares, and other items.

So, here's my sliver of east village/NoHo life, probably a pottery and bric-a-brac store. You'll see that I named it "FLOW." These vintage alphabet blocks were purchased at an outdoor antiques mart, but were incomplete; my intent was to call it "FLOAT," but alas, no "T" was to be found. There was a "W," though!

By the way, thanks for joining me on Facebook, and liking the Call of the Small page! I just reached 100 likes -- thanks!

Credits: White shelving units are Re-ment; globe lamp by minimodernistas; all vases are Bead for Life beads, made of paper by hardworking, entrepreneurial women in Uganda; vespa is from Jazams, my awesome local toy store; 1:24 scale midcentury chair and boomerang table by Paul MacAlister; vintage alphabet blocks are from an antique mart near Lambertville, NJ; mini origami are made by my son and sit in a top from an AMAC box; pine cone planter made by me; wallpaper is scrapbook paper from Michaels; chair is Bozart; rug under chair is cut from a Chilewich placemat. Accessories are AG Minis, Re-ment, Manor House Miniatures, and handmade by me.

The time it took me: 1 hour, 25 minutes (the beads kept falling down, victims of my clumsy mitts!)

Well, Hello, Mr. MacAlister!

A number of lovely, one-of-a-kind, midcentury modern 1:12 scale furniture pieces by acclaimed designer Paul MacAlister--one of the first to bring "how to" interior design to the masses via his landmark Chicago TV show--were on eBay over the past month, along with some 1:24 sets. Bidding was passionate and fierce, and prices were high, with some sets exceeding $250!

While it was disappointing to have so many sets slip through my fingers and out of my reach, it was interesting to see this level of activity on these pieces, and of course it was great to have a look at this amazing treasure trove of modern miniature design history. The intense interest in MacAlister and his work is certainly a testament to the modern side of the hobby, and makes me wonder that there are a fair amount of mini-lovin' folks out there (beyond the ones I know and love!) who dig this aesthetic. Megan of Modern Mini Houses did a few posts on all of the activity, along with a wonderful archive of photos -- check out her blog out for more information and detail. Also, Glenna of BJD maker DollStories managed to get her hands on a number of sets, and just started a new blog to showcase all the loveliness called Lumimini. Have a look!

I was quite fortunate to get my own set, pictured above, as well as one additional piece that has not arrived yet. I mentioned earlier that there were some 1:24 sets as well, put up by another eBay seller, and I did manage to get one of those. The prices did not go as high there, likely due to the smaller scale. I hope to share these other pieces soon!

First, some detail shots of my new furniture set, an orange painted wood sectional couch set and coffee table. While the couch pieces do not have the appearance of wood, they are indeed just that, and skillfully painted with flecks to appear as fabric. I was surprised at the fine spikiness of the legs, very cool and sleek.

The craftsmanship overall is very fine, especially the coffee table, which is made of dark walnut. Truly stunning.

You will see that each of the couches is labeled "A1, A2, A3," I assume for proper configuration.

I wanted to give my new MacAlisters a test drive in my midcentury modern bungalow. While the house is in very good condition, it did not come with one of the walls that separates the kitchen from the bedroom. I had some foam core lying around, and was inspired to use some new wallpaper received in my swap with The Shopping Sherpa. It's a lovely minimal textured stripe, and worked quite well!


If there are others who are also proud owners of any MacAlister sets, PLEASE SHARE THEM!

Credits: Sectional couch and coffee table by Paul MacAlister; rug is a fabric sample; pillows are by Annina; lamp is vintage Lundby; artwork is vintage German; moss pot (I added the moss) and newspapers are from Manor House Miniatures; moss pot stand is an AMAC box; brass pot on table is an eBay find.