BUST Magazine

The arrows are mine :)
Modern miniatures are featured in BUST Magazine. That's right, BUST. Yes, that BUST. And we are "grown-ass ladies making tiny homes." I didn't know that when I did the interview, but now I do.

That's my photo! Page 60
After doing the interview, I found out that the magazine wanted to send a photographer to shoot me with some of my houses. EEEK. They provided some direction on what they wanted to photograph (3-4 different houses), but we left it pretty open. I decided not to set up any scenes, and instead spent time cleaning and dusting. Good choice.

In the end, they loved the Bodensee, so we focused on decorating there. I used some Breuer dining chairs for the first time, and was also able to highlight Pepper's amazing metal wall sculpture, which she custom made for me a few years ago. It worked perfectly over the fireplace.

Yes, I look COMPLETELY psychotic. Dollhouses relax me, honestly. They don't freak me out.
A scene in my Betsy McCall house
Whoo-hoo, a photo by Megan of Modern Mini Houses!
YAY! The Shopping Sherpa is featured.
My Blue Box house
I was very glad that some fantastic fellow collectors were featured in the piece, such as Megan of Modern Mini Houses and Anna-Maria of The Shopping Sherpa. I loved seeing their work in print, and reading their comments on the hobby. All in all, a nice article. 

I gave some suggestions on artisans, too.


Look Up

Yes, I know, we are often looking "into" or "down" at our miniatures, but I could not resist *finally* using my "Look Up" letterpress print by the very skilled Ampersand Duck.The print was made available as an edition through the Call of the Small exhibit, curated and masterminded by The Shopping Sherpa back in 2010. Perhaps this little shout-out to my buddy will bring her back from blog-silence-land??? Where are you and your minis, Anna-Maria??? Miss you!

I cannot recall ever covering the plexi back wall here in the Villa Sibi, and it was fun indeed. I wanted to mix some grey, black, and creme patterns, so I utilized scrapbook paper from Jo-Ann Fabrics and went at it. The "rug" is cut up along the pattern lines. I just wanted something other than a large square. Didn't really think too hard about how it would turn out. I love the snowy white owl paper -- it's new from the Paper Source, and has lovely flocked texture.

The red ladder was a spontaneous addition, but I think it works. It is from my TOMY Sylvanian house, and it was lying nearby. Sometimes things just work that way!

There are some new Paul MacAlister 1:12 scale pieces in here, recently won on eBay: a dining table, lamp table, and small coffee table. They are as lovely as my other 1:12 pieces, really well-made of fine materials.

The little box is glued on and hand painted!

Hard to see here, but the edges are turned down with an edge

Perhaps it was the dusting of snow we got here today, but this scene just feels wintry to me. Could be those puffy chairs, too. They are ornaments, after all (from Anthropologie)! Hope this winter is a gentle one...I'd take a little more pretty snow, but not too much!

Photo by Pepper of MitchyMoo Miniatures
A final reminder about the Call of the Small/Cubebot Challenge: its ends on this Saturday, December 1, so get your entries in for your chance to win $200 from AREAWARE! There are some really wonderful, creative entries so far in the Flickr photostream, like Pepper's at left. Good luck, all, and thanks for participating!!

Credits:Dining table, lamp table, and coffee table by Paul MacAlister; couch is minimodernistas; hanging lamp is Re-ment; table lamp is vintage German; storage unit is by Dragondee Miniatures; Eames chairs are Reac; ladder is TOMY Sylvanian; puffy chairs are ornaments from Anthropologie; wall hanging is a rug by Fran Made Minis; artwork and couch pillows by Cyd of Mod Pod Miniatures; Look Up letterpress print by Ampersand Duck; outdoor planter is a handmade paper creation by my buddy A.'s talented Mom. Accessories are Re-ment, AG Minis, eBay and dollhouse store finds, Dragondee, Mod Pod Miniatures, and The Shopping Sherpa.

Swap Happy

What a time I had opening all of my tiny packages from The Shopping Sherpa as part of our January-February-March swap -- heck, call it our spring swap! We both were busy bees making things for each other and creating a cohesive bundle of useful mini stuff and I could not be happier with my treasures! She posted on the goodies I sent her in two posts--here and here--and I'm cramming all of mine into one!

I tossed out to her a few requests for stationery, bedding, rugs, etc., and she came up with a Kate Spade-Jonathan Adler theme with bright, punchy colors and strong graphics.What a great idea for me, right on target.

Care to see everything?

It all started here...

That post card is a Shopping Sherpa original! Really lovely!

The tiny packages in string then revealed pillows, a mirror, bulletin boards, and graphic art -- LOVE the iconic design imagery!

Rugs! Stylin'!

Three luxurious bedding sets! They're nicer than my real bedding!

And what's Teddy holding...???

Vintage posters!

And storage boxes, desk accessories, books, and a matching Eames elephant!

A gremlin holds onto his Jonathan Adler design bibles...
Last, but not least, some papers that will definitely come in handy in a number of my houses.

THANKS Shopping Sherpa! 

Another thanks goes to Claudia, who runs a new blog, Lillis Puppenstube. She's renovating some great vintage houses, and I admired the papers in one of them, here. She kindly sent me a few sheets, with some groovy extras! I hope they end up in my VERO soon!

This one has potential for a 70s scene!

Speaking of scenes, I'll end with a quick one in my fish condo, which I have brought out of retirement! I love how all my new items look, along with some new papers from the Paper Source. I am especially taken with the yellow and white one used for flooring. Very mod!

Credits: Chairs are vintage from Sweden; lamp and plant are vintage TOMY; stool and side table are vintage German; clock is Bandai; pillows, storage boxes, silkscreen, and books are handmade by The Shopping Sherpa; apples and trash can are AG Minis.

Japanese Rooms-in-Miniature

These babies need to be cradled!
I am thrilled to now own a lovely Japanese-made miniature furniture set, after what seemed like a long journey!

I first saw the couch and chair and other pieces on Mini Modern's blog back in 2008, when she used them in her Lundby Stockholm, and they were labeled as 1:18 scale Japanese-made "Pacifico." Then, I saw them again on Amy's blog in early 2010, after she found them for $4 in a thrift shop (Amy is a lucky duck!). Then, Susan showed even more of the pieces on her blog earlier this year, when she used them in her Built-Rite house. This time, Susan provided so much helpful information on the set, namely an ad from the 1964 Sears Christmas catalogue that showed the three rooms in miniature for sale ($3.99/room):

Page 71 of 1964 Sears Christmas catalogue - image courtesy of www.wishbookweb.com
This information was great to have, and it was also interesting to see that the pieces (and many accessories) were sold as rooms with interior decorating possibilities, with tracks/brackets, wall panels, and wall-to-wall carpeting. It is no surprise that the Irwin Decorator Set is in the same catalogue, five pages earlier (images courtesy www.wishbookweb.com as well).

My pieces arrived in the original box, but not in a room box as originally sold. I do wonder if anyone has ever seen these original room boxes or the accessories. The box for the furniture features a cool shadowed dot pattern that gives off an optical illusion of three dimensionality:

I noticed a manufacturer's sticker on the front bottom left corner, which says "Imperial Imports Japan":

There was also some writing on the side: "NY-33":

Perhaps this was some notation for Sears? Not sure. Google searches on Imperial Imports did not turn up anything of note.

The inside of the box showed the traces of elastic that held all the pieces in place:

As it states in the Sears ad, the set is closest to 1:24 scale, which is not normally the scale I use, but some of the pieces are transferable to a 1:16 or even a 1:12 environment. All of the pieces are so incredibly well-made and exceedingly delicate. I am glad I decided to unpack them all alone on a table, cleared of other things.

One of the first pieces I was excited to see was the dining room table -- with an adjustable leaf!

The smallest of the pieces are the turquoise-padded dining chairs, with their wispy chair backs and tapered legs -- gorgeous!

The dresser might be transferable to a 1:12 environment, but definitely can work in 1:16. Again, very delicate handiwork, with working drawers:

The wood just glows on these pieces, even after 40 + years!!!

The infamous chair and couch that first caught my eye back in 2008 did not disappoint, although one bottom strut piece on the couch was broken, the only flaw in the set. I paired them with the various white, shiny-topped tables, so modern:

Here's the front and back of the tables -- lovely!

By the way, the paper pictured here is a Japanese paper from the Paper Source, and the store is now donating 10% of all Japanese paper sales to Japan relief through April 30, 2011. Not that you needed an excuse to purchase some of these great papers, but it is certainly a great incentive!

Next, I played with the modular shelving units, which are so versatile and can definitely work in 1:12 and 1:16 scale, for a variety of purposes. There are open units, and a few with sliding white doors and sliding plexi doors.

The bed and chaise are definitely 1:24 scale. The bedding top comes off from the wooden platform, and both pieces have the same stiff pillows as the living room set, but in a lighter flower pattern (not so much to my liking, actually)

You may have noticed some very cool books in the pictures with the couch and chair -- this is a mini preview of my next post, which will feature the goodies in my swap package from The Shopping Sherpa. Here's a teaser:

She showed my treats here and here. Can't wait to share mine with you!

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.