Scaled Smaller

When I started collecting, I was pretty rigid on scale. I thought, "I will only collect 1:12!" That quickly changed once I discovered smaller vintage gems from TOMY, Lundby, Brio, Jean of West Germany, and other manufacturers. Furnishings were first, and houses next, and my collection expanded across scales, from 1:10 down to 1:24.

If you haven't noticed, I like to use my stuff, and I try to alternate where I use them. Of course there is never enough space in my houses to show everything, but it is nice to bring things out of their boxes and give them some "face time."

In addition to welcoming the 1:24 scale Japanese Room-in-Miniature set into my collection, I recently acquired a Paul MacAlister patio set, also 1/2" scale--you can read a round-up of the smaller-scaled MacAlisters on Megan's blog, Modern Mini Houses, here and here--and even some new Playmobil (MUCH more affordable). I gave some new pieces a whirl in my diminutive TOMY Sylvanian; a kid's room most immediately came to mind...

Wondering about that building on the table, made with those teeny tiny LEGO-like blocks? Well, a recent trip to my local toy store, Jazams, resulted in a new find: NanoBlocks. I bought the giraffe set and my eight year old put it together for me, but not without some struggles and block-dropping. I used some of the extra blocks for my mock-architectural creation. Here's the finished giraffe, just under four inches high:

In case you were interested in a closer look at some of the MacAlister patio pieces, here you go:

As with the 1:12 MacAlisters, the quality is pretty great. I was able to acquire a 1:24 chair and also snagged a 1:12 daybed in the last of the MacAlister eBay auctions, and I will try to share them soon.

By the way, thanks for sharing your love with me on Facebook. I launched a Call of the Small page last month, and I appreciate my new "likes!" The page is an easy way to keep connected in between my posts, especially when I see something great and mini and want to share it right away. Thanks for tuning in!

UPDATE, 4/28/11: Beth Lemon asked for a visual aid to help see the smaller scale better, and I am happy to oblige! See the Reac egg chair swallow the room and the MacAlister chair!!

Credits: Table and chairs, side table and low long table are all handcrafted by Paul MacAlister; chair is Barton; stroller and cat are Playmobil; light is a floor lamp by Re-ment, flipped; rug, pillow, and wall art are by The Shopping Sherpa; keyboard is Nodamegakki; record player is a Japanese magnet. Accessories are AG Minis, Re-ment, NanoBlocks, and dollhouse store finds.

Time for Tomy

I made some time for my Tomy Sylvanian, which I have not done in a very long time. I had a mini, mini incentive: a Tomy Sylvanian replica doll house for my doll house! It's pretty adorable, and I was able to fit two 1:144 pieces in it.

I have to say that it was a bit easier working in this smaller house than in the K house. There is a straightforward simplicity to the space that makes it very manageable to do a scene! I should come back to it more often!

Credits: Downstairs - Gold drum chair is vintage Petite Princess; wall hanging unit is AG Minis; purse is handmade by Oese; vase is Bozart; shelving units and plant stand are Re-ment; kitchen table is vintage Bodo Hennig; lucite chairs are eBay finds; light is vintage Lundby; plant is Playmobil with a craft store pot; coffee table is vintage German; Upstairs - "rug" is Re-ment; chair is Reac; lamp is Bozart; table is vintage German (Modella?); sideboard is vintage Barton; Eiffel Tower is a laser cut craft from Michael's; mirror came with the house; picture on floor came with my VERO house; mini Sylvanian is a UK eBay find; custom 1:144 furniture is by SDK Miniatures. Accessories are MAR Toys, Bozart, AG Minis, Mighty World, Re-ment, Manor House Miniatures, and Lil' Bratz.


Until I get my Lundby Stockholm (an early b-d gift pour moi!), I am a bit limited in where I can set up scenes. So I keep going back and forth, between the Villa Sibi and the TOMY Sylvanian. I did a quick scene in the Sylvanian inspired by some office furniture I got off Ebay.

It got me thinking about how specific this furniture was to the late 70s/early 80s, and I felt compelled to combine it with other time warp items. So, we have a house with our 70s/80s journalist, joined by a late 50s/early 60s bookworm and a late 80s/early 90s museum curator.

Our bookworm:

Our journalist:

Our museum curator:

One thing they can come together on: food!

Credits: Kitchen island, table, and bases for laptop, 70s/80s phone, and 80s/90s vase from the Villa Sibi; green chair, metal case, and fishbowl table by AG Minis; watermelon rug, striped lamp and peach colored vase by Bozart; wastebasket, bookcases, and white and 80s/90s lamp by Re-ment; 50s/60s lamp by Renwal; Lucite chair from Ebay; white rug by The House that Jacq Built; 50s/60s chair is vintage German; accessories by Elf Miniatures, Re-ment, Manor House Miniatures, AG Minis, Ebay, and our local toy store!

Masked Blogger -- and Origami Paper

Odd, title, I know. I'll get to it.

I've only been blogging since January, so I am new to the whole psychology of opening oneself to anyone who may stumble upon personal writings and pictures. By blogging, you are doing something public, yet I (and many others whose blogs I visit regularly), choose not to be public on identity.

My DH is a bit mystified when I refuse to let him share the fact that I have a blog with family and friends -- "It's private!" I say. Perhaps this has to do with the fact that I am slowly coming out of my dolls' house closet to family and close friends to share that I have reconnected with my lifelong love of minis, intersected with my more grown-up love of architecture and modern design. I'm inherently shy (at least initially), so it's a bit of a leap for me to explain to others why I have various dolls' houses around our real house and drawers full of very small stuff. That I like to play with. And photograph. And write about.

Anyway, I know lots of people are public about the fact they have blogs and perhaps I will be one day too, but I feel at least for now I am not alone in having a small cloak of secrecy...or am I?

OK, so onto the origami paper. I went to Michael's today to pick up storage boxes and saw some really nice looking origami paper that looked like it could be re appropriated for something mini. Rugs or wall coverings occurred first. Rug concept in current house setup was quicker -- this could work!

I'm Game

I'm game for this kind of day -- reading on my new daybed (from PRD!), delectable treats just a step away, and the option to hop upstairs for a nap in a sunny aerie. Chess and checkers are around for more leisure time.

I'm game for a dog, too, but that's not happening any time soon. Not enough love (and hands) to go around with the three kids, hubby, work (and all my minis, of course).

My daughter gets credit for putting the chess set together -- she knows where all the pieces go and has nice small fingers to get everything placed!

Credits: downstairs - accessories by Re-ment, AG Minis and Ebay finds; cypress table and cowhide daybed by Paris Renfroe; kitchen island and table, side tables by Villa Sibi; Barcelona chair by Reac; dog from Lucky Puppy Math game; lamp and vase by Bozart; upstairs - table and chairs and side chair by Fisher Price; bed and side table from Villa Sibi; checkers by TOMY; yellow bed cover by Ryan's Room; lamp from my daughter's collection.

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.