Welcome Home

Nothing like a new set of doors to call a place home! My large VERO, while in lovely restored condition when I received it from Germany earlier this year, was missing the original front doors. I emailed the very talented Elizabeth Le Pla of Elf Miniatures and she agreed to make custom doors based on a picture of the original.

The original:

And Elizabeth's custom pieces to recreate them -- the threshold is first to go in...

Then the left side filler piece, since the door frame is uneven (some creative holding of the glue bond)

Followed by the top bar and doors (kids' blocks come in handy!) and then the right side filler piece, also requiring sanding and fitting.


Thanks, Elizabeth! They look great and your directions were superb, even for a carpentry-challenged gal like me. I truly hope I did not get anything wrong.

Now that the doors are in, I want to turn my attention to the wallpaper on the second floor of the house; a reminder:

The previous owner used vintage papers, but the flowers are really not to my taste and do not match the nice original papers on the back wall. I have been looking for new (vintage) replacements for a while, and came across two (perhaps from the 1960s) 1:1- sized papers on US eBay that I think will work very well:

Aren't they great? They are both labeled "Eisenhart," which is a wallpaper company that is still around. I can also put them to use in my other VERO, and perhaps even the Citadel. By the way, I received a very large roll of each, so I might be up for a little swap with someone down the road who might be interested in one (or both) of these lovely papers.

Fitting these doors and thinking about changing the wallpapers reminded me to share this wonderful little book, The Doll Family, which was printed by Wonder Books in 1962. Here are a few pages, which show the family of Erna Meyer dolls packing up to move into their new home. I sure like those glimpses of vintage German furniture, lamps, and plants!

Good night!

Ceiling for Floor

I continue to be amazed by the quality of the AG Minis line, and it is a shame it was discontinued. I have a fair amount of the furniture and accessories, but do not own any of the room boxes. I don't think I will anytime soon, but I did come across two of the flooring/ceiling pieces on eBay and they arrived last week.

This scene features one of the pieces on the floor; it was meant as a pressed-tin-looking ceiling for the loft room, but I like the effect for the floor. Of course, the shape of the piece was a challenge, since it is customized for the room boxes, which taper in toward the back. I cut out scrapbook paper sheets for the sides and then covered the walls in another brown metallic paper I had lying around. I like how the flooring picks up on the legs of the sofa and coffee table.

Here's a picture of the whole VERO house, still a work in progress. I hope to attack the room on the lower left next, which I will make a bathroom. I have given up on scraping off all the layers of paper and heavy paint, and hope to paper it over. I also bought some balsa wood to create the balcony on the second floor and have a few flower boxes for the front window.

On that sofa...it is a wonderful creation by Annina and I love it -- thanks!!!

The textured ottoman is piece I cut from a natural sponge from the SFMOMA store (on clearance!). I had seen Modern MC use a few in her blog a while ago and loved their organic look. I should have bought more...

I used the Chilewich placemat again for screening in the back -- it is very handy indeed.

Credits: Couch handmade by Annina; chairs and plant are vintage German; lamp is vintage Strombecker; nesting coffee tables are by Paris Renfroe; postcard (featuring paper cut artwork by Nikki McClure), sponge "ottoman," and screen in back are from the SFMOMA store; silver flooring is AG Minis; scrapbook paper from the Paper Source was used on the floor and walls. Accessories are Re-ment and AG Minis.

Re-ment: I accumulated a lot of Re-ment on my west coast trip, but have not yet sorted it all away, so I am too overwhelmed by the choices to use it right now! But, one coffee cup was at the top of the pile, so I threw it into the scene. It is the cup on the table, and it is from Pretty Placement #2, and is good for 1:12.

MoMA Giveaway: The Winner

A big thanks to the twenty-two of you who participated in the MoMA Play House Giveaway. I appreciate all of your responses and comments.

First, the comments revealed that you really like my Brio and Citadel houses (a tie), with the Vero running closely behind. There were some votes for my K House and Stockholm houses as well! Thanks, and this will make me work all the harder to renovate the Citadel and the Vero, which are in active rehab. And, it will get me thinking creatively about my Brio.

Next, our lucky winner, chosen via the Random Integer Generator. The number chosen is:

Eight!! So, comment number eight is: Deirdre! Congrats, Deirdre! Please pass me your mailing address at call-small[at]call-small[dot]com, and I will send it to the nice folks at Chronicle Books, who will send you your play house!

I hope I can offer more giveaways down the road. Thanks again to all for following!

Modern Miniature Pioneers

For me, one of the most rewarding things about being featured in the recent New York Times article about modern miniature design are the stories and experiences people have shared in person and over email. Those new to the hobby are intrigued, and a bit fascinated in the desire to collect small and wonder how I got started and how I keep it going. Some reminisce about their own doll house days and flirt with the idea of renovating a long-forgotten house or indulging in a new purchase or two.

Others, like Myrna Gopnik and her family, are inspired to share how ingenuity, patience, and imagination can produce a modern doll house wonder ahead of its time. Myrna, a retired linguistics professor, emailed me after seeing the Times article in her Toronto newspaper and thought I would be interested to see what she and her family built from scratch...forty years ago.

What started as a dining room box for her daughter Melissa eventually grew into a veritable townhouse of rooms filled with handcrafted pieces of furniture, instruments, artwork, appliances, and hand-wired lighting. For Myrna, her husband Irwin, and their six children, this became a family endeavor that involved hours of creating intricate modern pieces. Myrna even had some furniture fabricated in a modern style, to the puzzlement of a local vendor.

In Myrna's words:

I read about you in the Globe and Mail in Toronto and thought you might like to see some pictures of a dollhouse that was made about forty years ago. It started as a single dining room for my youngest daughter, Melissa. Then it just grew, with many of my children helping. We inlaid all of the floors with veneer, hooked all of the rugs and made every single piece of furniture ourselves. I bent copper wire for all of the Bauhaus pieces and then took them to a chrome plating business in Montreal (where we lived for thirty years, my husband and myself were professors at McGill University). The man laughed when he saw the pieces and said he had never seen anything like it and chrome plated everything for $5.00. Each room has its own lighting and you may see that there are buttons on the stove to turn on the light in the oven and to turn on red lights under the burners. The harpsichord, which I made with my dear son Blake has all of the necessary wires and each key moves independently-not just painted on. It was great fun to make and many children and grandchildren have enjoyed it. And, of course, as the children pointed out they needed a market so we made one. We were able to buy some of the fruit, but we had to make all of the meat and bacon and hams ourselves. Hope you enjoy seeing it as we did making it.

I love the fun, handmade vitality of the pieces and rooms. The Rietveld-inspired chairs and bed in the child's room and of course the modernist Corbusier and Wassily loungers in the living and dining areas. I am floored by their ability to electrify the house and create artwork. I inquired who had the house now, and Myrna responded:

The dollhouse is at our place now because all of the kids and grandkids are grown up. I had to do some rewiring and fixing up but it is in good shape now. What is fun is that we have most of the pieces in life size, i.e. the Corbu lounge and setee, the Wassily chairs and the dining chairs (though the big ones are canned and the little ones are suede) and we too have stainless steel appliances. If I had made it all at once it would have a more Miesian kind of structure, but since it grew one room at a time the overall structure is more conventional.

I was completely enamored of this story and became more and more intrigued with this family. My interest was further piqued when I saw her last name: Gopnik. My first thought was New Yorker staff writer Adam Gopnik, whose work I greatly admire. So, I asked.

So glad you like Adam's work. He is my elder son and has been writing since he was a little boy. Here is a picture most of the family (my oldest daughter, Alison was off with her boyfriend) in 1973 when Irwin and I were on sabbatical leave and we took all of the children out of school for the year and just traveled around Europe to fifteen countries. We had an apartment in Paris for five months and that was Adam's first taste of Paris which then led to Paris to the Moon.

And there they are at the Parthenon! What a great opportunity to travel abroad and expose your kids to a whole new world. Is it any surprise that they created their own modern mini masterpiece decades ago?! I am grateful to Myrna for sharing this piece of her family history, and for granting permission to share it with you.

Giveaway: New MoMA Modern Play House

The nice folks at Chronicle Books have offered a free copy of their new MoMA Modern Play House, and one of you will benefit! I feel lucky to be able to offer something so cool to my readers and followers.

You may have already seen reviews by petite nouveau and Dream Dollhouses. I, too, enjoyed trying out this great new product, especially since it is well-made, affordable, fun, and compact.

This product is great for adult collectors like myself who want to do something contained and simple, but it also stretches your creativity. Every square inch of the playhouse components are used: the nesting boxes, constructed of thick, durable cardboard, have a glossy sheen and are fashioned with different textures (brick, stone, color) on all the sides. The accompanying flat cards can be used for indoor or outdoor flooring, and the fun decals enhance and animate the settings with lights, plants, clocks, and other accessories.

The furniture that accompanies the playhouse is very easy to construct (my nine year old had no trouble with them at all), and they have wonderful modern colors and profiles. There are also inserts for window-like cutouts in the boxes where you can create an instant painting, fireplace, or TV!

The price is incredible for the quality: $19.99! And it is a snap to store. You may know that I love fold away or pop up vintage houses, not only for their color and vitality, but for their inherently small carbon footprint :) This house has the same appeal for me!

In order to qualify for a free playhouse, please leave a comment on this post by 10:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Friday, May 21, and let me know what house of mine you would like to see more of -- I try to alternate and set up scenes in different houses, but would love to know which one you would like me to focus on and post about! In order to qualify for the giveaway, you must live in the US or Canada (sorry, my overseas friends!).

I will draw a number based on the total amount of comments using the Random Integer Generator (used by The Shopping Sherpa - thanks!), on Saturday, May 22. The number relates to the order of the comments left (so if you were the fifth to leave a comment, and the number is five, you are the winner).

Good luck, everyone, and thanks again for following!

UPDATE, 5/16/10: Apologies in advance, but I will have to reject any comments from overseas, since Chronicle Books will only ship to the US and Canada, as noted in my post. Sorry!! I will read all of the comments and I really appreciate you writing in, but they cannot be included in the total number since that will be used as a basis to generate the random number for the winner.

The Great (Small) Experiment

I journeyed to the west coast for a friend's wedding and have now returned. We saw lots of friends, relaxed a ton (the kids stayed with my Mom), and I had some mini fun. I went to the Re-ment Fan Club meeting in LA (see Robin's report here), and received many wonderful free goodies, and purchased a bunch with some birthday present money :)

Once we were in San Francisco, I made my way to SFMOMA and found some treasures in the store there. One find was a place mat that has a great metallic sheen and a modern lattice-like design. I knew I could put it to good use somehow...

So, an experiment in the K House:

And one in the Citadel:

I really felt inspired to use it in the Citadel, since I received some very creative responses to my post about what to do with the unwallpapered double-height wall. Some folks suggested that I "animate" it with texture. I like the effect.

Another great effect is created by the use of my great new Arc lamp, made with precision and care by minimodernistas. It is delicate and bold at the same time -- I love it!

By the way....my next purchase might just be this phenomenal fish "condo" with room box potential from the SFMOMA store. I did not see it while I was there, but thanks to online commerce, I can get it shipped!

photo courtesy of the SFMOMA store website

I wanted to extend a big "thanks!" to all of my followers, and to the many new people who found me after the New York Times article. I really appreciate your support!

Coming up next...a MoMA playhouse giveaway! Some of my blogger friends have already shared their reviews and giveaways, so you'll have another opportunity to get your hands on one! Stay tuned...

Credits: K House: Amazing Arc lamp by minimodernistas; white sectional couch and coffee table base by Bozart; marble table top is a soap dish from TJ Maxx; base of marble table is a console by Paris Renfroe; chairs at table are from Manor House Miniatures; clear Bertoia chair coffee table top is a coaster from SFMOMA; plant is an aquarium plant from a rummage sale. Citadel (repeats from K House scene excluded): rug by Peppercorn Minis; plant is from Lolly's; plant pot is by Manor House Miniatures; small-scale house is by Tomytec; two gold drum table chairs are vintage Petite Princess; yellow and green chairs and table base for house are vintage VERO; bowl on table by Gigi Studio.


Ok, ok, it's my little pun on "Stockholm." I felt like quickly setting up the Lundby Stockholm from top to bottom, and the result just felt homey. I already had the living area and "garage" taken care of from previous scenes, so it was the bedroom, deck, and roof.

Why so homey? Perhaps it's those amazing red and yellow handmade pillows by Annina?? Aren't they lovely, and do you recognize them from the New York Times article?!? I know I will be using them many times over.

Or perhaps it is the Lego mini house on the deck created by two of my kids, who saw me playing around with the pieces one weekend and decided to take the matter into their own little hands??

Maybe it's the pizza, soda, and popcorn drawing your insides in from the outside!

Credits: Desk is a clear box from Oese; chair is Reac; curved bench is vintage Fairline; table is vintage Bodo Hennig; toy box is a Re-ment storage unit on its side; plant is vintage German; deck table, lamp, pouf on roof, and plant stand are vintage Lundby; deck chairs are Mighty World; Lego house is handmade by two of my bunnies; mini mini furniture in and on the Lego house is by Re-ment and from Three Blind Mice fair; skateboard is a Tech Deck; roof couch is vintage Creative Playthings; two white lounge chairs are eBay finds; coffee table is minimodernistas; plant is Playmobil. Accessories are Re-ment, our local toy store, Mighty World, and Ryan's Room.

Re-ment: I have written about the Re-ment in these scenes with a few exceptions. The soda bottle and popcorn bowl are from Cooking with Mama #10, and are slightly large for 1:12 (especially the soda bottle). The pizza slice is from Puchi Petite Fun Meals # 1, and is also slightly large for 1:12. The toy storage is from Pretty Placement #7, and is fine as a large storage tower in 1:12. The yellow porcupine place mat under the pizza is from Megahouse Pop 'N Kitchen # 5, and is good for 1:12.

Day of a Lifetime

This scene evolved from a moody lounge into one about a dear friend who is taking the leap next week and is getting hitched. She met the man of her dreams and I am so happy for her. And, I am so happy that my husband and I will be on hand for the big day.

Perhaps this captures that moment when she is alone, preparing to dress, contemplating all the good that lies ahead.

How about a close-up of those little chocolates...??!

Credits: Mies van der Rohe daybed by Reac; chairs, sideboard, and plant are vintage German; side table is Lil' Bratz; wooden sculpture, vases on windowsill, and artwork on sideboard are Bozart; pouf is AG Minis; rugs are by Peppercorn Minis; car is by Schuco; lamp is vintage Lundby; box of chocolates, laptop, champagne glass, coffee cup, plant, and black cosmetics box are Re-ment; wedding dress is a scrapbook craft from Michaels; birch painting is a mini original from Gigi Studio.

Re-ment: I have written about the Re-ment in this scene with a few exceptions. The chocolate box is from Elegant Sweets #2 "Chocolate Lovers," and is a bit large for 1:12. The coffee cup is from Megahouse Cafe de Cake, #4, and is a bit large for 1:12. The glass on the windowsill is from Princess Tea Party #3 "You're Invited to a Champagne Party," and is large for 1:12.

My Newest Vintage

Can you guess what has made it into my collection...??

Here's some teaser shots of it coming out of its box.

And then, a telling mark!

Yes, it's a lovely vintage Brio house. I was told by the seller, who had it for ten years, that it is from 1966. The seller intended to restore it a bit, but never got around to it. The house has most of the original details intact, including the wallpapers, stairwell, and banisters. I love the wallpapers and might even scan them for my large VERO.

There were some repairs, dusting, gluing, and cleaning to do...

And then one big flaw that I don't quite know how to address...a fault line in the upper room.

I covered it with a rug for now, but need to figure out how to reinforce it. I tried gluing it, but the crack did not come together enough.

I furnished the whole house -- fun!

Also fun: I just came back from Chicago and made it to Three Blind Mice, a miniature fair, on the way home to O'Hare. I met up with Amy of Amy's Miniatures and Smalls (waves, Amy!) and we made our way around the mostly overpriced vendors. A few nice finds, though. Also in Chicago, I picked up a magazine on my lunch hour that I had never seen or heard of before: Atomic Ranch. It's all about classic mid-century modern (MCM) ranches and how people have decorated them, and love them. Very inspiring photos, and it made me want to set up the whole Brio. Perhaps they'd consider a feature on mini MCM? :)

Credits: There's a lot of vintage German pieces in these rooms: bedroom desk, bed, side lamps, bedding, sitting room chair and side tables, toilet, kitchen sink, and all the flower pots and the two window boxes! The sitting room coffee table is Ryan's Room; sitting room rug is AG Minis, as is the hanging lamp in the kitchen; amazing hanging globe light is by minimodernistas; the living room swan chair is Reac, as is the desk chair in the bedroom; side table and white bookcase are Re-ment; rug is The House That Jacq Built; bathroom sink is from the Dolls House Emporium; bathroom pouf is Lundby; kitchen table is Wolverine; stove, refrigerator, and two chairs are vintage Topper Toys. Accessories are Re-ment, eBay finds, MAR Toys, Three Blind Mice fair finds, Bozart, and Playmobil.

Re-ment: I have written about all the Re-ment in these scenes with two exceptions. The dish soap and sponge are from Is Dinner Ready Yet? #10, and are good for 1:12.

Instant Doll House!

Again, I am swayed by the portable, collapsible doll house. I recently posted on the vintage Fold-Away doll house from1949, and I have added a similar house (in concept), but more "house-like" and from the 1960s. This gem was made by an American company, Winthrop Toys, and is in excellent condition, purchased for $29.99 (BIN on eBay). It is constructed of heavy duty fiberboard that is coated in lovely, vibrant colors with fun designs of the time. The house comes with matching, pop-up furniture and all but one piece looked like it was barely used. I added a few accents and then took a spin around the house.

The sitting room/dressing area...love how the mirror is framed by the recessed objects

A dancing/grooving entertainment room...check out the jiving couple!

And a kitchen...ahhh, the retro clock!

As well as a lovely outdoor area...dig the lamp!

The house came in its original box, too:

So...dress up, party, eat, and rest. And then fold it up and put it away!

Credits: All flower pots are vintage German and accessories are Re-ment, Topper Toys, and from eBay.

Re-ment: I have written about the Re-ment in this scene except for the record in the entertainment room. It is from Natalie's French Goods #5 and is great for 1:12.

Villa Sibi Sitting Room

It always surprises me when larger scale furniture fits into the Villa Sibi. The Sibi is smaller than 1:12, but somehow it accommodates 1:10 pieces...perhaps it's the boxy length or airy open front. It's a puzzle to me, but one that I am willing to live with :)

On puzzles, the shelving unit is actually comprised of wooden blocks from a children's toy puzzle that challenges you to fit them all into a cube shape. I gave up after I saw the potential for a modern piece!

The clear lucite sitting chair was from the bargain bin at FAO Schwarz, and its transparency led me to include the two Petite Princess tables into one, and the chrome Bozart table with the clear top. A standing silver lamp -- yet another great creation from minimodernistas -- provides slim contrast to the broad curves of the vintage German sofa.

Credits: Sofa, dresser, stool, table, and side table are vintage German; lucite chair is from FAO Schwarz; coffee table and striped lamp are Bozart; rug is AG Minis; double curvy table is made of two vintage Petite Princess side tables; shelf is made of puzzle blocks; standing lamp is by minimodernistas. Accessories are from our local toy store; Manor House Miniatures; Re-ment; Mighty World; AG Minis; eBay; and Elf Miniatures.

VERO Green

I believe I answered "green" recently when someone asked me my favorite color. I don't really know why...I've never answered green before. I think I had the green of these vintage Creative Playthings chairs in mind, though. They offset the amazing new sphere lamp I received today from minimodernistas (thanks, Doris!), and create a cool modern feel.

Credits: Bed, bookcase, flower, and side table are vintage German; flower base consists of jewelry pieces from Michael's; sphere lamp is by minimodernistas; chairs are vintage Creative Playthings; plant is vintage TOMY; lamp is AG Minis; book on bed is handmade by Oese; coverlet is Bozart; tiny chairs and table by Re-ment; green pots and white vase from Manor House Miniatures.


I have a few Mighty World sets and they definitely come in handy for accessories or other functional items. The tiny, blocky people go to my kids and I take most of the rest for possible use in a scene or two. Recently, I found and bought two of the Jeff the Mechanic sets on clearance ($3.75 each) and those fire engine red and silver toolboxes said desk drawers to me, likely for a creative type.

So, here is how I used them, with lots of accessories from the set (smaller tool box, paint cans, motor oil).

Bunnies seemed mandatory this day...and they are courtesy of another toy maker, Playmobil.

Credits: Desk top is Bozart; desk drawers, tool box, and boom box are Mighty World; Mac is from Lilu shop on Etsy; globe is a magnet from the MoMA store in New York; globe base is a vintage German plate; Tulip chair is Reac; shelving units and hanging light are Re-ment; plant is from a rummage sale; pot is a craft store find, painted silver. Accessories are Re-ment, Bodo Hennig, Playmobil, Sanrio, random finds from German eBay, and from Pain d'epices.

Tiny Furniture: The Movie, That Is

In the event I need to reevaluate the impact my mini hobby has on my kids, I should get my hands on a copy of the movie Tiny Furniture, which I read about in the New York Times recently. It was written and directed by Lena Dunham, a 23-year old who is actually the daughter of Laurie Simmons, the visual artist who created the Kaleidoscope House along with architect Peter Wheelwright. You can see a trailer here. The film, which is a coming-of-age flick, has gained some buzz because it won the top film prize at the South by Southwest Music and Media Conference.

While I cannot speak to the film's merits, I am intrigued by the fact that it takes place in Simmons' white, pristine Tribeca loft and features the real-life Simmons and Dunham's sister as her movie mother and sister. As the Times article notes, Simmons "makes photographs by moving teeny pieces of furniture around while juxtaposing them with larger human elements that don't seem to fit." Hmmm....

Image of Simmons and Dunham courtesy of Film School Rejects

On the tiny furniture topic, I picked up some boxed vintage Petite Princess (Princess Patti) furniture at FAO Schwarz this past weekend during a quick trip with my family. The store has a doll house shop on the second floor and while most everything was overpriced, there was a bargain basket of deals. My boxed set, which dates from the 1960s, was $10. I used every piece from the set in this scene: the mirror, round table, religious statue in the corner, photo frame and lighter in the credenza, and cigarette (no fooling!) on the desk.

Credits: Credenza, desk, lamp, and couch are vintage German; coffee table, mirror, and statue are vintage Petite Princess; chair is Reac; wastebasket is AG Minis; Ibsen book is handmade by Oese; artwork is a postcard of Fallingwater from their gift shop. Accessories are Re-ment, Manor House Miniatures, AG Minis, Pain d'epices, and a local rummage sale.

Citadel Stop Short

Progress continues on my Citadel House. I have attacked one side of the house with a vengeance...I WILL convert the traditional decor, even if it means many late nights of sticky wallpapering and Exacto-knifing.

I already posted on a ground floor room, with groovy brown and creme graphic paper, here.

Then I went upstairs to the very top floor and went to work there, using the same vintage brown and silver striped papers I used on the main wall that runs the length of the house. Here's a quick scene to test the waters:

But what of the imposing opposite wall that runs two floors high? I decided to use existing paper I had in my workroom -- color printed versions of Annina's fine scans of her own VERO house papers. I like the result.

This paper also made its way to the second floor room. I painted the ledge nice and white, to hide the scrapes and remnants of paint/paper layers. Here's before and after:

Now I have stopped short. What shall I do with the remaining wall, which runs two floors?

Shall I use the matching papers to adjacent walls (so, brown/silver on top half and VERO paper on the bottom half) or do it all VERO? I'm stumped.


Credits: Eames lounger by Reac; lamp is AG Minis; sideboard is vintage VERO; plant is vintage TOMY; rug is by Peppercorn Minis; glass case is a German eBay find.

The Rest of My New VERO

I have set up the other side of my new VERO as a bedroom and kitchen. I definitely know I will replace the flowered wallpaper -- it just doesn't blend with the original paper on the back wall and is a bit too "plain vanilla" for me. I have been searching for vintage papers and will continue to do so. If you see anything you think would work, drop me an email from my profile page!

Here are some pictures of the bedroom:

The kitchen is here; note on the front door -- I am working with Elizabeth over at Elf Miniatures to fabricate one like the original. I just need to sand down the sides to get the frame even enough so that she can do her magic:

And the whole house:

Speaking of wallpapering, I did more in the Citadel, and decided to focus on the interior wall that runs the height of the house. Here is what it looked like before:

I found some very nice neutral brown and silver papers on UK eBay and pasted them in sections, here:

You see my challenge with the remaining walls on this side of the house -- they were painted (over two layers of paper) in a terra cotta that does not work for me at all. I think I might try for a creme or something that picks up on the silvery gray in the new brown papers. Because I had to paste it in sections, you can see seams, which is not ideal. I am somewhat comforted by the fact that the very large three-section stairwell (now in pieces, needing repair) will join to this wall, so I think it will conceal the flaws.

Credits: Bedroom set is vintage German and came with the house; coverlet is Bozart; pillow is handmade by Tarkus; red lamps are vintage German; hexagon rugs are by Peppercorn Minis (thanks, Glenda!); Eames chair and ottoman are Reac; dress form is by Manor House Miniatures; kitchen pieces came with my Citadel House; table is vintage Modella; lucite chairs are vintage eBay finds; plant is vintage TOMY; cat is Playmobil City; accessories are Re-ment, AG Minis, eBay, and DRAP in Spain.

Re-ment: I have written about the Re-ment in this scene with a few exceptions. In the kitchen, the coffee pot and box of coffee are from Megahouse Pop 'N Kitchen #7, and are good for 1:12. The gold mirror in the bedroom is from Pretty Placement #10, and is good for 1:12.

One Room at a Time

It's been close to a year since I brought my Citadel home from Chicago, via a very ambitious family road trip (from New Jersey!). The house sits in my workroom and I get to it whenever I can. I took a big leap this week and applied wallpaper to a small room off the kitchen. The room is likely a powder room, but I saw it as a sunny sitting room.

This is the "before" paper, which was in very good condition, just not to my taste:

I then went retro and pasted on some vintage papers I found on UK eBay; the challenge was keeping it even and the pattern linked into a consistent swath:

This house is HUGE, so this room only represents a mini step, but I felt good about taking the leap. It's a big commitment to wallpaper, but I want to start myself on a roll of activity, even if it means doing it into the late hours and waking up with luggage under my eyes!

Credits: Pixel chair and ottoman are by minimodernistas; light is vintage Strombecker; plant is from Lolly's; rug is by The House that Jacq Built; side table is vintage German; vases are Barbie by Jonathan Adler; book is AG Minis.

Vintage Fold-Away Doll House

Oh, if only we could take our dolls houses with us wherever we go, just like George Jetson and his (flying) car-that-folds-into-a-suitcase. :)

Well, now I can! I found this very neat vintage "Fold-Away Doll House," made in 1949, through a US eBay seller ($5.99). Published by Rudolph J. Gutmann (New York), the book states that the rooms were designed by a Catherine Barnes. Made of heavy cardboard, the "house" is fashioned as a book, but opens into a tri-fold that reveals panels of brightly-colored rooms that prop up into a kitchen, dining/living room, and a bedroom.

Here is the cover and the back:

And the inside:

You'll see from the cover illustration that it originally came with "punch-out" furniture, none of which survives here. A little bit of internet searching showed that ones in very good condition with the furniture go for $120 or so. Given the lack of said punch-out furniture, I had to use some of my own:

It was fun and challenging to work off a two dimensional backdrop that represents three dimensional objects. I used all different scales, but 1:16 worked best. Storage is easy on this one...makes me want to add more to my collection. I'd love to find a similar one from the 1960s.

Credits: Kitchen: table, chairs, and side table are vintage Jean of West Germany; sink is vintage German; plates, dish soap and treats are Re-ment; bowl is an eBay find. Living room: chair is a vintage eBay find; table is vintage Petite Princess; marble bust is my husband's; sideboard and pink pot with flower are vintage German; books are handmade by Oese; vase is Manor House Miniatures. Bedroom: bed and rocking horse are vintage German; cradle is vintage Fisher Price; toys are Re-ment and Japanese erasers.

Re-ment: I have written about the Re-ment in these scenes with a few exceptions. In the kitchen, the treats and white plates are from Bread & Butter #10, "Elegant Muffins and Scones," and are slightly large for 1:12. The flowered tray is from Princess Tea Party #4, and is large for 1:12. The soap on the sink is from Is Dinner Ready Yet #10, "Clean Kitchen," and is good for 1:12.

My New (Old) VERO

I still remember the feeling of coming down into my kitchen on the morning of my fifth birthday and seeing a brand new white dolls house with pink trim sitting on the table as a surprise. I rubbed my eyes, clapped, and jumped up and down in my yellow nightgown. Isn't it funny how we recall the small details of what were such monumental events in our childhood?

Well, perhaps that same memory surfaced when I saw this VERO house on German eBay last month. Unlike my other VERO, this large house came disassembled (as is intentional - it is called "das zerlegbare puppenhaus," or collapsible/able to be taken apart dolls house) and is oriented more traditionally at 1:10 scale. You can see a picture of it here on the puppenhausmuseum website; it is from 1966 and is identified as VERO via a marking in the wonderful green "stained glass" window upstairs, in the picture above.

Here is the front. The doors are unfortunately missing, but it is my intent to try to get them fabricated.

The lovely owner restored the house with love and care, and packaged it extremely well for its long journey from Germany. It is in wonderful condition and retains the original floor coverings and some wallpapers. She replaced some of the papers; at some point, I might re-do the flowered paper as it is not completely to my liking.

The living room scene features some furniture that came from the seller with the house, and they are lovely complements to the flowers in the large window. I am pleased that the window has no tears and is in excellent condition.

Very sleepy = I'll post on the other rooms soon!

Credits: Couch, chairs and credenza are vintage VERO; coffee table is by Paris Renfroe; lamp is vintage German; sink is an eBay find; tub is a soap dish; and toilet is IKEA. Accessories are Re-ment, Bodo Hennig, Bozart, MAR Toys, and Mighty World.

A German School Room Box

My "room box-ing" continues, this time with a vintage German school room box. I actually purchased this on US eBay (for a change!) for a very reasonable price, and it was nice not paying outrageous shipping fees. I have seen similar types of room boxes in the past, but have not yet done thorough research to pinpoint the maker. It is stamped "GERMANY" on the bottom and the orange desks and chairs have a "Made in West Germany" sticker. I was told by the seller that the teacher doll is Erna Meyer. The students are Caco, perhaps? I do not collect vintage dolls, but I know there are a lot of keen eyes out there, so please comment with your opinions.

The room box is in very good condition -- I like the plastic window and the built-in plants on the window sill. The outside is covered in a nice brick pattern. The globe is very large and colorful, and the map in German.

The room box came with four books and pencils, which I love, in addition to a bell and the teachers book. Makes me want to hit the books again! :)

UPDATE, 3/5/10: For diepuppenstubensammlerin, I have added two photos of the inside and back. Thanks for your detective work!