Dream Haus

Oh, boy, this is a beaut! I first saw Haus Kathrin when I was researching the origin of some vintage German furniture I bought on US eBay. Annina pointed me to a page on the puppenhausmuseum website as she found the source, a stunning DDR two-level abode from the early 1960s with a garage and patio. I love the lines and design touches in the doors and windows. While some of the wallpaper and flooring looks damaged, it otherwise appears to be in nice vintage condition -- even the awning is intact! Sigh. A few shots:

I can only dream on this one, since it just appeared on German eBay and will likely go for a pretty hefty sum; it's already up above 20 Euros. My guess is close to 200 Euros. Enjoy more eye candy on German eBay, while the auction lasts.

UPDATE, 3/4/10: The house sold for a whopping 558 Euros (nearly $765.00)!! It looks like there were fifteen bidders and twenty-two bids. The lucky winner swooped in at the last minute to secure the future of this lovely house. I wonder if it was a museum or another collector.

Images courtesy of the eBay listing.

Another Schoenhut Makes an Appearance

Art Deco love...a rare Schoenhut "Malibu" doll house from the 1930s is up for sale on eBay. Quite a lovely, simple house at a not-so-simple price of $499, not including shipping!

I love the simplicity and vintage lines, and it looks to be in very good condition. Another Malibu sold a few weeks ago for just over $400, but it was a slightly more elaborate style and in somewhat worse condition.

If you grab this gem, let us know!

Images courtesy of eBay listing

UPDATE, 1/12/10: The house sold for $499!

Anyone Else Watching This Gem?

I've been watching this wonderful vintage house on German eBay (currently 204 Euros!) and have noticed with interest how the price has been steadily increasing over the past few days. From the stenciling on the side, it looks like it is "Haus Carmen," and resembles the house styles on this page of the Puppenhaus Museum website. All quite lovely!

The window hanging below resembles one on this page of the Puppenhaus website.

Less than four hours to go on the auction if you are interested!

All pictures from the German eBay listing.

UPDATE, 12/3/09: The auction ended after 102 bids (!) at a healthy sale price of 697.67 Euros! That's about $1,052 in USD! Wow!

When One Door Closes...

another one opens!

My VERO doll house from Germany has finally arrived at my door, just as I mailed out my vintage Brumberger Tudor, which sold on eBay -- the guilt of the VERO was somewhat alleviated and justified by the selling of the Brumberger :)

Acquiring this VERO house entailed a nail-biting bidding process, then a more hellish payment process (wiring funds, trying to locate seller's bank in Germany, etc.), and then what seemed like a endless shipping process. And, perhaps the most expensive package to ship that I have ever received.

Alas, it is here, and quite dirty! After I made myself a nice cappuccino...

I proceeded to carefully unpack it down in my work room in the basement. Here are some pictures of how I "birthed" it from its box, little by little:

Now some shots of what I found:

It looks like the blue and yellow flooring is original to the house. I don't mind them, but they are not in the best shape. One of the downstairs rooms looks like it is filled with ancient frescoes, I swear -- layers of paper and then a cobalt paint. I have started stripping some of the paper and have cleaned the ceilings, which were filthy. The windows on the top corner of the house is actually very thick plastic and it is ripped in places. Not quite sure how to replace it altogether or fix those tears. Any ideas? It's such a nice part of the house.

I set up a quick scene, too. As cool as the wall storage panel in my work room is, it is visible in the background. So, I put up an "awning" of some Marimekko fabric to create more of an outdoor space and hide it a bit. There is likely a large window missing from this part of the house.

Lots more work to do here...!

Credits: Couch is vintage VERO; boomerang table, chairs, and two small consoles are vintage German; coffee table is Ryan's Room; Barcelona chair is Reac; wall painting is original to the house (or at least to this house); ball clock handmade by Pubdoll; lamp and wastebasket are AG Minis; plant near Barcelona chair is vintage TOMY; plant on patio, small frog sculpture, bowl and fruit, and potted plant on coffee table are Re-ment; tea service is vintage MAR Toys; rug is by The House That Jacq Built; fabric "awning" is Marimekko fabric. Accessories are MAR Toys and from France.

Re-ment: I have written about the Re-ment in this scene with two exceptions. The frog scuplture and potted plant on patio are from the Room series, #3 and are a bit small for 1:12, but work.

But I Couldn't Help It!

Yes, I have purchased doll house #8, this time from German eBay (shipping = ouch). I don't yet have a great picture of it, just this tiny one from the listing**:

I truly love this style of house. It is definitely German, likely from the 1960s. The seller could not tell me of any markings on the house, but said it was from the DDR (former East Germany) and rare, but lots of sellers say their items are rare, so not sure. I could see it looks like it needs some rehab, but hopefully is not in too bad a shape. I do not yet have a copy of Zillner's International guide, so I don't have a quick reference to identify it, but will do more looking.

I did see on the Puppenhaus Museum website a Gottschalk house that is not the same, but looks a bit similar:

(photo courtesy of Puppenhaus Museum website)

My challenge, as always, is to find space for it. Right now, we are considering selling our piano (which came with our house) in our living room to create a distinct area for display and storage that looks attractive. But that takes time and money, so for now, the house may stay boxed up after it arrives to me. I have not purchased a house from overseas, so I am a bit nervous about it arriving in one piece! I am also a bit frightened of the work that may need to be done, and the time I do not have to accomplish it!

**10/12/09:Oese sent me pictures from the eBay listing that are larger -- thanks, Oese!

Girly Girl

A girly girl lives here, or at least this is my idea of a girly girl abode (full disclosure: I am not, nor ever have been, a girly girl). She works from home, so takes time to pamper herself inbetween work commitments. She's self-depricating and has a sense of humor and unabashedly likes furry girly things. Her boyfriend gave her the dinosaur, so she likes to keep him close by to moon over while she works. The phone is handy for calls with her girlfriends and her sister and she loves to read trashy mags.

Couch, lamp, large green rug and small bathroom side table by AG Minis; sink from Ebay store Dolly Miniatures; bathroom rug by the House that Jacq Built; living room coffee table by Ryan's Room; dining room table and artwork by Bozart; dining room "rug" is origami paper; plant is from Lolly's; bathroom wall art is by Re-ment; chairs are Reac Japan; accessories by Manor House Miniatures, Re-ment, AG Minis, Elf Miniatures, and Ebay finds; dino is from the store at the Indianapolis Children's Museum :)

Zebra Room

The anchor of this scene in the Villa Sibi is a zebra couch that I bought off Ebay. It is actually a Creative Playthings piece that someone painted, and they also got creative with a side chair. I have been wanting to use the Reac ball chair for a while, and I found it can be challenging to place. I think it works here, though, and instantly creates a leisure vibe. This led me to take out the TOMY checkers set! I do not have any shelving units, but I wanted one to complete the scene. So I ended up taking the frames from a vintage white Fisher Price couch and chair set that came with a large lot from Ebay and stacked them. It's not great, but it's something.

Of course, doing scenes only makes you realize what you don't have yet in your collection. I need rugs; vases and other tchotchkes; books; eating accessories; and then some.

Speaking of eating, I am a pasta girl and could eat it 24/7. I purchased a Re-ment pasta dish and love it. I set up a dining scene using some of the new vintage wooden furniture I got recently from Ebay. The table is really great, as are the other pieces, but they can be tricky to place, since the scale is off. But I think it looks kinda neat.

I couldn't resist a pasta close-up. :)
Other credits: Accessories are Re-ment, AG Minis, and Ebay finds; coffee table and pillows are Ryan's Room; wooden sculpture and leather chairs are Bozart.

Mystery Furniture

I bought a decent sized lot of vintage wooden furniture off Ebay recently and the package arrived today. The furniture intrigued me online because of the mid century lines. The seller did state that most of the pieces needed some gluing of legs and that is indeed the case. Not a big deal, though, and the seller included all the broken pieces. Gorilla Glue is my friend.

I love pretty much everything in the lot, which seems to be sized closer to 1:16, but some pieces are smaller and I think could work well for 1:12. The felt covered chairs are fabulous:

As are the assorted tables:

Of course I'd like to find out more about these pieces. None are marked, with the exception of these little lights, which have just European looking numbers on the bottoms:

The lights are wired, as is the TV set and the fireplace. No transformer though. I have a trusty Dian Zillner book (Antiques & Collectibles), but could not find anything yet. Some of the pieces look Lundby-esque, but I don't collect Lundby nor have any pieces and I am not totally familiar with the catalogue of styles.

I'm all ears should anyone know more...!
I'm off to glue!

UPDATE, 3/25/09: Thanks to *annina*, I have a very big clue on the origins of this furniture. It is looking like the pieces are from Kathrin's House, a German wooden house that dates from the early 196os, pictured on the Puppenhaus Museum website, here. The coffee table, chairs, and side pieces look to be an exact match! Thanks, *annina*!!

This is the house -- very cool:

Kathrin's House photos courtesy of the Puppenhaus Museum website.

TOMY Sylvanian

I've mentioned my like (perhaps love) of vintage TOMY. I bought a TOMY Sylvanian house on Ebay, and was pleased to find it was in pristine condition, as the seller promised. Not a scratch on it. I loved the lines of the house, even though the scale is off. I discovered that the Sylvanian line is the precursor to Calico Critters, so they include all sorts of forest animals on small scale. Not my thing, but I liked the simplicity of their little abode, which dates from the 80s. It came with some heinous furniture, and the seller threw in some miscellaneous items, some of which will come in handy (wooden bowls, cutting boards, etc.) -- the butter churn and oil lamp, not so much.

I did a little kitchen, living room and bedroom scene and liked the effect of the natural light. It was fun to shoot through doorways and windows:

Believe it or not, it took me forever to set up the salt and pepper mills, they kept falling over:

I got some playroom toys so I wanted to create a kid's room:

And some living room and kitchen shots:

Credits: kitchen island and table/chairs and beds from the Villa Sibi; love seat and lounge chair by Reac; two cypress tables by Paris Renfroe; plant and cutting board by TOMY; laptop, saucepan and pepper mills by Elf Miniatures; items on table by AG minis and Re-ment; magazines and holder and toys by Re-ment; toy train by Calico Critters; artwork and kid's room table by Bozart.


This is the first of what hopefully will be many more posts about Lolly's Citadel, which I purchased today on Ebay. I'm really surprised and thrilled to own it, but it is currently 800 miles away in Chicago. Luckily, I have family there and they have offered to pick it up later this month. Now...about getting it to me in New Jersey. I could look into shipping, but I worry how it will fare, given its awkward size (and the cost). I have a very supportive husband who has agreed that it is, in fact, not insanity to take a road trip with the three kids over spring break to PICK IT UP. It's only about 13 hours, and we can visit with family, hopefully see some sights, and feel confident that it will make it home safely and not be used as a scratching post by my relative's cat nor as a TV perch by a substantial 7 year old nephew.

I have to admit that the pics of the house are a bit daunting. The wallpaper and flooring looks horrible and uncharacteristic of the house style. Luckily, the furnishings are not included (save for some kitchen items)! I spoke with the seller, who got it from an estate, and she let me know that the lady who owned it had it made by Lolly's for $3000 in the 1980s and she thought this was one of the early ones produced out of the supposed few. The daughter of this lady originally wanted the house, but she lives in CA and the shipping was over $1000 so she passed. So, she took some furnishings and a "large hanging sculpture light" (!!) that replaced two of the stairwells. I have emailed Lolly's to see if they know anything more about this particular house, and will share the information.

This is also an open invitation to any readers to submit ideas and resources. I've had a lifelong love of miniatures, but this will be a big adventure!

UPDATE 3/16/09: I heard fom Lolly's, and she said the following: My Mom designed the Citadel and my Dad put them together in the shop. We did sell approx. 200 kits. In kit form it sold for $450.00. I still have the original my parents did in the store. We did more of a modern style inside. I plan to visit the store when we roadtrip-it to Chicago to pick up the Citadel.

Jean of West Germany?

It's a whole new exciting world as I educate myself on the range of modern and vintage minis out there. It's been great reading some fantastic blogs, like Mini Modern, Altera's Mini World and The Shopping Sherpa, among others, as they are filled with inspiration and information. The scope of my buying experience has thus far been on Ebay and the web in general; there's really no miniature stores in close proximity. At this stage I've been gravitating to things that look interesting and are (hopefully) the right scale for what I have in mind.

I had not heard of Jean of West Germany when I saw this set on Ebay:

I purchased it for $9.99. It has not arrived yet, but I look forward to pairing it with some of the Miele kitchen minis I purchased from Mini Bijou and Elf Miniatures. Anyone know anything of this maker?

I also bought some vintage Fisher Price minis, but mostly for the table with tulip chairs:

Who knew?? My more recent associations with Fisher Price toys have been pastel, bulky plastic, and noisy.

My husband took our camera on a biz trip this week, so I unfortunately cannot play and post. I hope to get some of my buys in the mail so I can see how they all work out this weekend.

70s Bath

I did this little, simple scene because I have not had uninterrupted time in the bath (or bathroom, for that matter) in quite some time. The kids believe it is acceptable to distrub you at any time and don't quite grasp the concept of personal space (or time).

I bought some vintage TOMY Smaller Homes (Japan) furniture on Ebay recently, and was inspired to do something with the bath -- I love the little gold faucet and soap!  Also, the TOMY potted plant just seemed to fit with it.  The chairs are also TOMY.  The magazines and cup are Re-ment and the rest is from the Villa Sibi.


Perhaps inspired by my ever-depleted budget for minis and the like, I intend to purchase an eco house -- economical and eco-savvy -- $24.95 from the MoMA store. It's the Recycled Cardboard Dollhouse by Peter Henkes and Romy Boesveldt:

Perhaps a collector's item someday...? It may just be fun to place some furniture and photograph the results.

Another eco house caught my eye, but (of course) one-of-a-kind: the Moduralean Eco House by David Baker + Partners Architects. It is truly fabulous. My good friend Fiona is an architect and I might have to press her to expend some extra creative energy and build me something along these lines.

More images are here. Images above courtesy of the David Baker + Partners Architects website.

Speaking of architects, I anxiously await my first Paris Renfroe pieces: two cypress tables, won on eBay this week:

Paris tells me that more designs are on the way, at least 10, and will make it to eBay soon. Nice!

Am I Missing a Head/footboard?

I bought a Kaleidoscope bedroom set on Ebay recently, and just got around to opening it. Everything looked as I expected, but then I noticed that there was no headboard. Anyone know if the headboard and footboard are supposed to be included? It appears as if sold or active sets on Ebay do not have head/footboards in the set. From the little pamphlet that came with the set, it looks as if the beds are meant to have one of two different plaid headboards/footboards. And, of course, I've seen many creative mini bloggers with K houses set up scenes with the beds and head/footboards.

Another Kaleidoscope House on Ebay

Yup, another Kaleidoscope House has popped up on Ebay -- mint condition, but starting bid at $1549!!! Again, making me kick myself for not buying it at MoMA for $200 after it came out! I've slowly been buying the furniture and people, hoping to give them a home one day.

There's also a bunch of furniture and accessories up for sale by one seller. The Adler, etc., accessories are up to almost $65!

Update, 2/21/09: Adler, etc. accessories went for $104.50!!! Unbelievable!

Update, 2/24/09: The K House went unsold!

Vintage Ranch

My vintage ranch has arrived! I saw it on Ebay and was thrilled to see such a unique looking house. It wasn't even a struggle to buy -- no crazy last second bidding. I got it for $45, but shipping was steep at $40. The seller was super nice and even gave me a bit of history on the piece:
The doll house was purchased for me by my grandmother. My grandmother died in 1963 so it was probably purchased between 1958 and 1962. I was 5-9 years old then. I honestly don't think I played with it much - i just don't think i was really a doll person. It has probably been in my mother's attic (covered over) since 1970 or so.

The seller also shared that she doesn't know the maker of the house, but directed me to a My Dream Dollhouses blog post about a very similar one sold on Ebay last year. It looks very similar to me, although does not have the built-in kitchen.

The look of the house is pretty stylin', I think. It's quite large, and the roof hangs over the sides nicely:

The condition of the house is quite good, considering its age. I did do a little "repair" since some of the wood struts were cracked. Check out my renegade wrenching (try not to wince):

The furniture that came with the house is quite eclectic. There are two black and turquoise pieces that the seller characterized as "Pennsylvania Dutch" -- very out of place:

I'd like to repaint them both to fit in better -- any ideas???

Then, there's a lot of Plasco furniture and a fabulous Renwal lamp:

In addition to cleaning up the house, one of my first adventures will be to re-upholster the couch; it's pretty bad right now, but has potential!

There's a Crate and Barrel outlet by me that sells Marimekko fabric by the yard for VERY cheap. I may have to seek out some inspiration and then grab some glue and a staple gun!

The oddest thing was this little lamp (bong?) looking thing made out of metal:

No clue.
Did I mention that I am now scary Mommy in the basement with all my dollhouse things? The Villa Sibi took up most of our living room, and there certainly was no room for the new majestic ranch. So, I cleared out part of the utility room and feign doing laundry so I can play with my stuff.

Ebay Fever...or Sickness???

Ok, I admit it, I'm officially obsessed with Ebay. Can's stop checking, looking, searching, and yes, buying. I am trying to adhere to a budget, but have proceeded to order four Kaleidoscope Dollhouse sets (living room, dining room, bedroom and family of four), when I don't even own the house (boo hoo). I have ordered Re-ment items, some impulsively, and have purchased not just one, but TWO dollhouses in addition to some 1940s wooden furniture!!! I am growing out of my only dollhouse, the Villa Sibi, which sits, somewhat oddly, in our living room on a sideboard. My DH has said that I need a separate room for all my "stuff" and I think I do. Plus, the kids are WAY too curious about my Ebay packages, and want to open them before I do...NOT happening.

In some cases I feel like I get caught up in the bidding fever (and pay too much), and I find myself trying to hone my "final seconds bidding" technique. I'm trying to see the educational value in the Ebay-ing, in that I am checking out sold prices for items of interest, and also discovering cool vintage mini manufacturers, such as Renwal and Marx.

Right now, I am getting a whole lot of joy out of collecting minis. For quite some time, I have been feeling like I am always doing for others and not for myself. It's just too bad it's costing me some green.