Our lilac bush has come back to life this year after some careful pruning and love from my husband, who has done an amazing job of keeping our yard lovely. He gave me a little clipping this weekend and it really smelled heavenly. I felt inspired to use a few sprigs in a scene.

Odd that they would end up in a somewhat dark A-frame cabin, but then it all made sense. I still had lilac-colored silk papers on the upstairs walls, and the earthiness of the place helped to bring it all together.

Curious about the bed? Well, lots of soap dish magic here -- the base is a marble soap dish (you can see it more exposed in this scene from a while ago), and the headboard is a modern chrome one. I covered the middle section of the A-frame window with a card illustrated with tree branches that came as packing material in a large shipment of books at work. I saw them when I unpacked a few boxes and knew I could make use of them eventually, and then a colleague passed along some too, thinking I might find them useful for my minis! The "crest" above the headboard is a neat little object that I got with a vintage set of furnishings some time ago. I don't think it was ever intended for minis, but obviously the seller saw potential...!

You'll see that I like to change furnishings and other accents around when I am shooting my photographs; in this case, I changed the bedside lamp from a brass one to a silver and moved around the little "baskets" by the bed (they are actually napkin rings stuffed with cut pieces of natural sponge). I couldn't quite figure out which configurations I liked best, so you'll see my thought process at work here ;)

Credits: Bed is made of a marble soap dish base and a chrome soap dish headboard; coverlet and pillows are handmade by The Shopping Sherpa; round side table is Re-ment; crest is a vintage find -- not sure what it was originally meant for; brass lamp is vintage Petite Princess and chrome lamp is vintage German; baskets are napkin rings from West Elm, filled with natural sponge; side table in corner is Concord Miniatures; red couch is vintage Brio; cork side table is from Michaels; desk is made of a vintage Lundby table top with a piece of soap dish packaging as a top, and base is a napkin ring from Crate & Barrel; desk chair is Reac; rug is Peppercorn Minis. Accessories are AG Minis, Re-ment, Manor House Miniatures, ELF Miniatures, and eBay finds.

The time it took me: 48 minutes

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

Seeing Stripes

I've seen some chic interiors as of late with bold stripes on the wall, either painted on or papered. They add visual interest and an elegant boldness, and the possibilities are pretty endless. Apartment Therapy did a roundup post of some striped interiors last year that demonstrates the range; a few pictures from the story:

Both images from Apartment Therapy

Lovely, right? What do you think of the stripe approach? A while ago, I did up my Lundby Stockholm with origami stripes:

I again attempted my own striped interior in the upper level of my A-Frame, this time with some lovely 1:1 scale, violet raw silk wallpaper from my sister-in-law. This paper is currently on the walls in one room of their apartment, and there is some interesting pedigree here. The room was used for a Vogue Living photo shoot featuring actress Rachel Weisz back in 2008, before they owned the place.

I realize that it looks quite different here...! I was not even sure this was going to work, but I liked the contrast of the somewhat gritty house and the more delicate textured paper. For the window, I used a Chilewich place mat for some coverage.

When I review the scene I realize that the space reminds me of our summer cabin growing up, now long sold, which had a tiny nook of a attic space. I loved going up there to read and daydream while looking out the window. Perhaps I am longing for summer??!

Credits: Bed and chair are vintage German; table is LISA of Denmark; night table is Concord Miniarures; footstool and flowered pillow are by minimodernistas; striped pillows and book are by The Shopping Sherpa; light is Lil' Bratz; coverlet is AG Minis; planter is Manor House Miniatures; flooring is scrapbook paper; window covering is a Chilewich place mat. Accessories are from the Tiny Doll House Shop, Tynies, and random finds.

The time it took me: 1 hour, 45 minutes

A-Frame, Framed

Yes, I have been neglecting my A-Frame. While it is nestled nicely alongside my Brio house, I have not done any setups in it since I received the house in August. It has become a 70s parking garage for a few of my cars, too.

One of the main reasons for the inactivity is that I still do not know how I will rehab it. I received some great feedback when I initially posted on it, and subsequent to that, I got a hold of the original plans for the kit (thanks, Dev!) and also saw an image of the box when it came up on eBay recently. I know Chibipulse got her hands on one -- perhaps I am waiting for her to build hers??? :)

photo from Chibipulse

In any case, I have some ideas and will turn my attention to it in the new year. In the meantime, I love this little corner of the house with sisal wall covering and decided to set up a quick scene (do you forgive me, A-Frame??).

If anyone has any additional thoughts on rehab, do share!

Credits: Chair and ottoman are Reac; side table and shelving unit are vintage German pieces; sideboard is vintage Creative Playthings; bench is vintage LISA; hanging lights are Lil Bratz. Accessories are Re-ment, Lilu Shop on Etsy, AG Minis, Lolly's, bead from Pubdoll, bag from Oese, and a wood carved basket from a work friend (thanks, J!).

More A-Frame Love

Apparently I am not the only one who loves A-frames. A lot of comments on my last post revealed your affection for this style of house and I am definitely looking forward to refurbishing mine. By the way, Modern MC of Mini Modern recalls seeing my A-frame in kit form on eBay back in January. While she no longer has the images of the kit, it's a clue! Thanks, MC!

In the meantime, I wanted to share some amazing images of a handmade A-frame 1:12 house, courtesy of Martha B., whose father built it from scratch over a decade ago for her son. Just look at the quality of the craftsmanship, the great architectural accents, and layout. Feast your eyes on this:

Martha gave me some background:

My dad built it from scratch...not from a kit. His inspiration for it came from the old 1960's claymation T.V. show Davey & Goliath. In it Davey and his family vacation in an A-Frame (episode 'A Sudden Storm'). My dad sat through the video several times making notes for the exterior and interior... although he did make some adjustments to fit his own design.

He used 1" = 1' scale...helped along with our son's
toy figurines from the show. Materials...he was very thrifty...using a lot of stuff he had in his work shop. Old plexi-glass from a screen door became the front window, scrap lumber and plywood became the floor, roof and window dividers. He also created and painted the chimney. The interior... he designed the kitchen with a sink (dug out a portion from the wood and painted it white) and put screws for the cabinet handles. A fireplace mantle is cut plywood with colored paper flames.

The IKEA furniture was added several years after Dad finished the house. He had made several original pieces...dining set with chairs and a bed...but much too fragile for our son to play with.

You asked if our son still uses it. No...those days are gone. He's now a teen. But we've set the A-Frame aside for his future family...:)

Neat, right? I adore the faux stone and the interior finishing. I tried to find an online clip of the Davey & Goliath episode to see the inspiration for this house, but no luck. I'll keep looking.

Eager to see some pics of the furniture?? Equally amazing as the house, and made with wood scraps, fabric, foam, and ingenuity:

All house and furniture photos by Martha B.

Thank you so much for sharing, Martha B.! By the way, you must head over to Martha's blog (or as she calls it, her "blogette"), Nibs. She referred me to two recent posts related to dolls houses -- one shows a great book find about modern dolls houses and the other about the wonders of handmade furniture. I know I will continue to follow Martha's posts.

I also heard back from Sandy Buchmann of Buchmanns Toymaker Shop about their A-frame, which I saw on their website:

Sandy says:

It was designed in 1976 and took 1st Prize at the N.Y. State Fair the same year. The idea came to me in a dream to do a A frame doll house with a removable Plexiglas front. At that time I had never seen an A frame doll house and thought that it would be fun to do. So my husband who is a wood craftsman, made the house with scrapes of things around our house and shared in the designing with me. Scale is 1" to 1 ft. The furniture was also made by us except the livingroom sofa and chairs. We have made it once again in different interior colors. Every thing we made from things we found around the house. Our Prize was won in the "something from nothing" category.

VERY cool, no? Another case where scraps and some creative elbow grease results in something new and interesting. I think we can all relate to dreaming about dolls houses! On a final note, the moderator of this Flickr group asked to include some of my A-frame photos. Check it out if you are looking for 1:12 inspiration in 1:1!

Mon Chalet Amour

A vintage A-frame chalet-style dolls house has entered my life...and collection! I purchased it on Etsy and it needs a bit of rehab. I was tempted to both buy it and *not* buy it because it needed work!! The seller told me that it was constructed from a kit and is 1:12 scale, but she did not have the time to refinish it. I did some searching and could not turn up any information on the kit; the bottom has only a fragment of a sticker:

Doesn't tell me much!

While I am eager to dig in to right the wrongs, I am also unsure about the direction. My first impression of the house, after packing it out --

...was that the wallpaper and curtains needed to go. They were easy to remove, but the adhesive papers left a sticky residue. I decided to leave the sisal-type wall covering on the bottom level.

Then, I assessed the condition, and overall it is decent, but has nicks here and there, including in the front.

I am also not sold on the current paint job and color. I picked up some dark brown spray paint and experimented with the color on the curved stairwell and small divider on top.

What do you think? Do I re-paint the darker color or preserve the current hue? Or go completely radical and paint this puppy white???

How about wallpaper or coverings? On the one hand, I think it could look cool, but on the other, I like the wood exposed. The sisal works -- perhaps that approach?

I do like the layout, which diverges from most of my other houses. I did a quick setup in the house to test out scales. There's mostly 1:10 and 1:12, and both work pretty well (apologies in advance for the grubby backdrop of our garage).

As I was researching A-frame kits, I came across this image of a very cool custom A-frame by Buchmann's, a toy shop in upstate New York. Neat, right?

I have emailed them seeking more information on the house and furnishings and will hopefully post on it soon. Speaking of custom, I managed to win some Contemporary Doll House Plans by Doll Domiciles recently on eBay (Mini Dork posted on another set a few weeks back), so I will share some pics of that as soon as I can get to opening them!

In the meantime, I welcome your ideas and feedback on my A-frame!

UPDATE, 9/12/10: Reader Payton tipped me off to an eBay listing that provides a very big clue on this house. It is indeed a kit, made by Whitman and it dates from 1978. I was not able to copy the photo of the box from the eBay listing, but it looks like the front has a porch, which makes sense given the marks there on my house. Another reader, Div, also has the kit and offered to scan the directions for me, so I can share those when I get them! THANKS!

Credits: Kitchen/dining: sink and stove is vintage Bodo Hennig; refrigerator came with my Citadel house; table is vintage German; lucite chairs are from eBay. Living room: couch is vintage VERO; chair is vintage German; boomerang table is by Paris Renfroe; Eames lounger is Reac. Bedroom: Bed is vintage German; console is by Paris Renfroe; Panton chair is vintage Bodo Hennig; rug is by Peppercorn Minis. Bath: Bathtub, sink, and toilet are vintage Bodo Hennig; plant is vintage TOMY. Outside: plant is vintage TOMY; pillow is handmade by Tarkus; and wing chair is an eBay find. Accessories are Re-ment, Manor House Miniatures, doll store finds, and eBay.