Productive, on a Large Scale

It's been a long time! I have had a ton of distractions that have prevented me from blogging, but mostly all productive. I have missed communicating with my readers and the larger "mini" community, but the time provided me with some clarity about my collection and its organization -- it's difficult to create scenes and work with your houses when things are in complete disarray.

One huge obstacle was flooding in our basement, which is where my collection lives. Our hot water heater decided to break and we had a real mess on our hands. Luckily, very little of my collection was affected, but it did impact the entire basement space. So, we've been spending the past few months on cleaning, mold remediation, painting, and reorganizing. This work forced me to *really* look at my collection and how I was maintaining the houses and accessories.

The results are really nice so far...I'll have more to share once we complete the last room, but here are a few snaps:

Ignore wire

New Worktable!

 Yes, lots of sorting...

This process has provided a nice opportunity to reconnect with my collection, too.

While my work continues, I managed to set up a quick scene in the Loft to Love house from Target.

See those stairs? I made some carpeting from remnants of FLOR tiles that my husband used in his home office. They work pretty well!

Hopefully, more soon!

Credits: Chair is Reac; table is by MitchyMoo; wall shelving is by Dragondee; rug is a dollhouse plant is by AG Minis and it is in a napkin holder from the Crate & Barrel outlet.; wallpaper is from Paper Source. Accessories are Re-ment, Dragondee, Manor House Miniatures, Paris Renfroe, AG Minis.

Vintage Children's Book DIY

There's probably nothing I love more than a straightforward and easy DIY, especially when inspired by a charming vintage children's book.

One of my youngest son's favorite books is How to Make Flibbers, etc: A Book of Things to Make and Do, by Robert Lopshire (Random House, 1964).

The book is filled with easy crafts with simple materials -- mostly paper, scissors, and glue. It charmed me from the first read, and my son and I even shared some of the simple to-dos with his preschool class. But, the mini potential did not occur to me until recently, and I was able to give the "Limp Lamps" activity a go!

Here are the pages from the book for the lamp:

Super easy, right? I figured it would be simple to replicate this activity on a smaller scale (I chose to eliminate the handle), and indeed it is. Here is my mini tutorial (not that you need it!):
Choose a paper. I used origami paper with a pattern, like these sheets.

Cut the paper into a rectangle shape, measuring about 2-3/4" x  3-1/4", but feel free to experiment with different sizes

Fold in half and score

Cut strips from the score and stop just before the top

Unfold and glue at the tops, with the score oriented along the center

I used other papers as well and tried out the activity in different sizes -- works!

The sofa is a new acquisition, purchased on my trip to Denver in July

I even used one of my flameless tea lights from Pottery Barn as a base -- neat!

Let me know if you do your own "Limp Lamps!"

Two other crafts from the book that have mini potential are these: "Party Mats" and "Stickit Picture"; I might try them next!

By the way, one of the reasons I was able to see this craft through was because I cleaned up my entire mini space. Remember my "struggle with clutter" post? Well, I just got in the right frame of mind and did it! We took some vacation time at home and I had a four-hour block of time to myself and just powered through. The only thing left to do is un-box and sort about 40 sets of Re-ment, purchased over the past two years! Yes, TWO years!

Here's some pics of my newly organized dollhouse room...hope it stays this way for a while.

Shaken, but Sorted

So I finally get shelving up in my doll house room in the basement, and New Jersey goes and has an EARTHQUAKE! In New Jersey???! Yup, the effects of a 5.8 earthquake in Virginia were felt all the way up the east cost today. Luckily, it only lasted 10-15 seconds and all is fine. My first, and hopefully last, earthquake.

There's a few posts in the pipeline -- a review of the "Otherworldly" exhibition at the Museum of Arts & Design and a super-surprise-you'll-never-guess post -- so this one will be brief!

At long last, the shelves and brackets purchased for a song at the Crate & Barrel outlet near me are installed and most of my doll houses now are aloft in the room! I also organized a bunch of furnishings in my (not so) spare time on the shelves and reworked the perimeter storage.

Better, right?

I couldn't resist doing a quick scene in the Kaleidoscope House...a celebratory hurrah for that work! Now I just have to keep it all clean!

A reminder to join in on the August ***FREE ALERT*** on the Call of the Small Facebook page. There's some great Re-ment and storage containers up for grabs. You have until Wednesday, August 31, to comment...give it a whirl!

Credits: Couch is a vintage eBay buy; pillow is minimodernistas; side table is vintage VERO; plant is TOMY; rug is handmade by The Shopping Sherpa; table is a drawer pull; light is Re-ment; wall art is an ornament from Crate & Barrel; wallpaper is scrapbook paper. Accessories are Bozart, Manor House Miniatures, beads, and doll house store finds.

The time it took me: 17 minutes (for the K House scene) and I lost count on the organizing and cleaning!

Sunday Night Blues

We joke in my house how I suffer from the "Sunday Night Blues." This means I get a bit gloomy when Sunday night rolls around, because I am sad the weekend is gone and I wonder what I accomplished. The weekend always goes; accomplishments are not as certain!

So, blue was my color today and I gravitated toward the Lundby Stockholm bathroom. I've used it as a bathroom and laundry room, but not a bedroom before. I got some new vintage German bedroom pieces and decided to put them to use here, in addition to some girlie accents. I tried two different kinds of light: incandescent (more shadows) and fluorescent. I think I prefer the latter.

This weekend I actually did accomplish some major organizing in my doll house room. We bought a lovely wood dresser from a Crate and Barrel outlet recently - it was marked down from $799 to $59 (!!), so I figured why not. The catch was one drawer was missing and there were no drawer pulls. I purchased some drawer pulls and filled the two drawers with Reac chairs and some plastic organizers.

I also got some smaller boxes that came in a pack of four...the colors were so similar to the K House, I had to get them.

I was able to re-package and sort by volume and chair all of my Reac, so they are better protected and inventoried. I also filled the organizers (mostly Re-ment) according to some logic. Now I feel I have a better handle on what I have, and it was actually easier for me to put this scene together.

I cannot believe how much stuff I have accumulated over the past year - it was just over one year ago that my husband gave me the Villa Sibi for Christmas. I think he regrets that decision every day! :)

Credits: Bed and night table are vintage German; torchiere light is Playmobil; egg table, globe, lava lamp, pink filing boxes, and pink purse are Re-ment; chair is Reac; backpack is a Japanese eraser; rug and wall organizer are AG Minis; artwork is Bozart; clock is Sanrio. Accessories are AG Minis and Mighty World.

An Aerie, Below

What a weekend of cleaning! I have finally cleared out a corner of our basement for my houses and related possessions. Four homes have been living upstairs and now three have made their home in the new (old) room. The Villa Sibi had to stay upstairs for the time being. I also have a workroom where the VERO and Citadel live (I moved the vintage ranch out), since they are in active rehab.

I started organizing furniture and other items in a large shelving unit that we were using for assorted tools, wires, paint, you name it. Do others store their stuff like this? Usually mine is literally one on top of the other, but I am now trying to sort them so things are easier to find. My tiny items are still in little drawers or in bowls awaiting sorting.

I cleared off a shelf in my workroom for my growing collection of 1:144 and railroad houses, so I feel they are a bit safer than crammed in a box.

As I was clearing out, I made a little scene inspired by the K House roof being absent from the move (by the way, my little, apparently very strong daughter was the one who helped me carry the house on its somewhat perilous journey downstairs - unbelievable!). Wouldn't it be great to have a colorful little patio like this for a nice bite or perhaps to gaze at the stars (or bark at the moon)?!

The small house is actually a discontinued Re-ment item made only for the Japanese market - it is actually a Donut shop (see below), but I saw some minimalist potential!

Credits: Picnic table and chairs, dogs, elephant, light, "rug," small house and furnishings, laptop, and Thai wooden piece and stool by Re-ment; wooden cubes under house by Paris Renfroe; cafe table and chairs by Mighty World; plant below is an aquarium plant; pot is from a craft store; plant on patio is vintage TOMY; accessories are Re-ment and from my kids!

Re-ment: I have written about the Re-ment in this scene with some exceptions. The two dogs are from Dogs Enjoy Life, #8, and are a bit small for 1:12, but work. The Thai stool, wooden piece, and elephant are from the Room Series, # 3, and are also on the small side for 1:12, but can work nicely. The house is the Donut Shop, and works as a doll house in 1:12.