Silver Chair

I'm enjoying a few days with a dear friend in Denver, so this will be a quick remote post! Before I left, I had a little fun with a can of Valspar silver spray paint and six CB2 Reed ornament chairs (no longer available from CB2, but I got them at my Crate & Barrel outlet for .50 each). I've been accumulating the chairs, and wanted to try out a new color from the fire engine red. Here are the results!

What do you think?

I set them out on a CB2 shelving unit, which I bought a few months ago on clearance ($23) with aspirations of turning it into a cool beach side apartment complex or a mod townhouse. This project has not yet materialized and sits dormant in my garage, but worked nicely as a perch for these freshly painted chairs. They photograph quite nicely and were a cinch to do.

Have others painted these chairs? What colors?

Credits: Table and arc lamp are eBay finds; pillow is minimodernistas. Accessories are Re-ment and beads from Michaels.

The time it took me: 10 minutes to fully paint all sides; a couple of hours to fully dry

Jennys Home

Is it any wonder I am grooving on my new (vintage) Jennys Home, a neat little room box scaled for 1:16, which was masterminded as a modular set of rooms by Tri-ang (and its subsidiary Spot-On) and the magazine Homes and Gardens in 1965? Apparently every young girl then needed her very own series of Jennys Home rooms, where she could create her own tower of a home, or perhaps a chic, compact apartment, or even a delectable sprawl of rooms by the could be anything you wanted!

Honey, I'm home!

Tri-ang manufactured small and large versions of these plastic rooms from 1965-70, as well as a series of dolls, furniture, and accessories. I've been doing some reading and web searching, and have loved coming across information tidbits about the rooms and, of course, PICTURES!

**By the way, I have to mention that I have been resisting the impulse to add an apostrophe in "Jennys" throughout this post. I am going by the wording on the original box and materials (as difficult as it is!)**

First, an original leaflet, which came with the rooms, from a blog post by Celia of KT Miniatures (warm wishes to her as she undergoes surgery):

Here's another leaflet in color from a blog posting on a V&A site (the links are all sadly broken, but you can still read the main post). This shows some furniture options and is obviously giving us girls the hard sell!

It's no wonder girls wanted to collect up the rooms and decorate them to their heart's content! Here's more images of some of the original boxes from the Spot-On Collector website:

I love the tag lines, "A room of your own! A house of your own!"

This photostream by short_paws is pretty incredible and shows her (or his?) extensive collection of Jennys Homes. Here's a picture of short_paw's dream tower - WOW!

Pretty endless options for layouts and decorating -- I find these charming.

Rebecca of Rebecca's Collections has a Jennys Home, as you can see in this blog post from 2009. I hope she does not mind my sharing some of her photos here of her Erna Meyer dolls keeping house:

My own large, unfurnished Jennys Home was bought with the original box on eBay for less than $25. I have unsuccessfully bid for a number of Jennys Homes on UK eBay over the years, to no avail. This one popped up quite by surprise and I was the only bidder. I really do love when this happens -- it kind of justifies all of those hours spent on eBay late at night looking for a treasure!

How about a little tour? First, the original box. 

Then, the "naked" inside of the box, which looks quite good for its age. There are a few flaws: the original door has a small corner piece cracked off (still to glue), and one of the two roof panels has a crack. The sliding window to the front is a bit scratched, but other than that, it is in nice vintage condition.

Mine did not come with curtains, but it did come with a red/orange rug. The rug helped to set the mood for my first scene in the room, which features an original Jenny lamp that came with the box. I decided to completely cover the three walls to pick up on the rug's color and add some warmth with the wood "paneling," which is actual thick wood paper from the Paper Source.

As I was working on this scene I was reminded of a prior small room box experience, with my Miner Room-in-Miniature set, which is 1:24 scale -- you might remember this:

Same era, too! I love the continuity.

Do you have a Jennys Home...or a few??! Let me know!

Credits: Table is Dol-Toi; chairs are Reac; chair and ottoman are vintage Petite Princess; sideboard is vintage German; plant is TOMY; stool is from; patterned wall is DCWV scrapbook paper, and wood walls are wood papers from the Paper Source. Accessories are Tri-ang, eBay finds, Michaels, Lil' Bratz, and AG Minis.

The time it took me: 57 minutes

No House is an Island

Well, here's an interpretation of the well-known John Donne quote "no man is an island." I know I cannot thrive without my houses and they likely would miss me too, so...I arranged some of my vintage mini homes in my Citadel and enjoyed playing with them again. I showed some of them in this post back in 2010 and was reminded how fun they can be to photograph. I got most of these from US and German sellers on eBay and always keep my eyes open for them. They were mostly made for railroad scenes, and are HO scale (1:87).

See me in the reflection??

The coffee table is vintage LISA!

This is from a Paper Source 2012 mini calendar -- it's the month of July :)

Incredible detail in the long windows

The fantastic lemon yellow midcentury couch was purchased from Patricia, who is now selling her wonderful German room box; see the photos linked here on the Call of the Small Facebook page. The room box folds and is really lovely.

Pat is the original owner and hates to see it go, but she'd love to find a nice collector's home for it. If you are interested in the house and the remaining furnishings, email me at call-small(at)call-small(dot)com.

In addition to the awesome vintage LISA coffee table (love the pattern!), another new piece making its debut is the round table in the middle:

The table is from an eBay seller based in Israel, Avi of abm.models. His pieces are quite nice and affordable. I will be watching his work!

Alert: Keep your eyes peeled on this space for an awesome giveaway from Safari Ltd! 

I know I have some blogging pals out there who have grooved on TOOBS and other mini replicas by Safari. Their products are high quality and super fun and the nice folks at Safari will be giving away a few goodies to my readers! Stay tuned!!!!

Credits: Couch is vintage German; coffee table is vintage LISA; arc lamp is an eBay find; Barcelona chair and Eames elephant are Reac; plant is AG Minis; all mini homes are vintage eBay finds; bike is Maisto; round table is by abm.models on eBay; carpeting is scrapbook paper from Michaels. Accessories are handmade by The Shopping Sherpa, Miniatures by Annina, and eBay finds.

The time it took me: 52 minutes

Dog Digs and DIY

While I did not intend for this mini environment to be for canines, it all came together as such once the grass "carpeting" made it onto the floor of my IKEA Lekman room box. This Schleich puppy seems quite content in his doggy pad. We now have a (real) doggy, a four-year-old PBGV named Layla, and she is definitely a loving little couch potato.

One of her favorite poses!
Cute, right?

The benches here are my form of DIY. I am always amazed by those out there who offer wonderful tutorials on their mini creations--such as MitchyMoo, Otterine, Meagan, and so many others--and do great things with their hands. My DIY is *way* simpler and does not merit a tutorial, but rather a series of simple photos that hopefully tell the story!

In this case, the benches are metal tissue holders from CB2, purchased at my Crate & Barrel outlet for $7 each. I used some cool grey crosshatch fabric from Jo Ann Fabrics, and wrapped it around a foam insert from a recent box delivery. I cut the foam to size, sealed the fabric together with a little fabric glue and stapled it down. Nothing to it.

My sister-in-law gave me these amazing Dragonfly scissors for cutting fabric

A little Fabric Fusion goes a long way

The lamp is made of craft store Styrofoam balls, stuck onto a memo clip (with the clip removed), also from my Crate & Barrel outlet. It's space age and fit for this doggie's pad, no?

The coffee table is a puzzle box, and the profile works with these low benches. See that magazine and carved elephant on the table? They are from Rosa of Minismodernas, as a thank you for entering their anniversary contest. Megan of Modern Mini Houses took home the prize for her awesome setup. Congrats to her, and thanks to Rosa for her sweet gesture!

I chose the back wallpaper from the "Serenity Stack" by DCWV. This one looked like a dog collar or chain, so up it went!

By the way, if you think this pad is fancy for a dog, you should check out some of the custom dog abodes featured in a recent New York Times article. Bow WOW.
Courtesy of the New York Times website

Credits: Benches are DIY tissue holders, foam, and fabric; table is a puzzle box; chair is Reac; plants are vintage TOMY; round side table is Mighty World; lamp is a DIY memo clip and Styrofoam balls; flooring and wallpaper are from scrapbook paper stacks. Accessories are mini gifts and Michael's.

The time it took me: 1 hour, 15 minutes, including DIY

Subconscious Intent

My last post spurred some very helpful comments and discussion about clutter and how you might approach it. Thank you!!! I loved reading all of the ideas and commentary, some of which made me laugh, some of which impressed me, and much of which made me realize that I have some work to do!!

On the topic of mini clutter, the newest issue of Dolls Houses Past & Present is out, and in addition to developing very interesting reads about collections and storage, Rebecca asked if she could include in the issue what I have written over the past few years about my collection, and in particular about my storage triumphs and challenges. It was fun to see it all compiled into one article -- read it if you get a chance and please check out the rest of the issue!

This scene tumbled out of my brain. I was on autopilot most of the time and it was a lot of fun to do. What I can tell you is that my very dear friend D. was heavily in my thoughts, since she was in labor with her second child, a girl born late last night. Perhaps that is why I was drawn to a new free downloadable wallpaper by Herman Miller (read more about it). There are eleven, but this pink geometric one caught my eye and ended up on the floor of my IKEA room box.

A little background on the setting and accessories. The colorful wall squares are magnets from Staples. See?

Happy coincidence that the back wall of the IKEA box is metal, so they stuck right on! I randomly placed them above an AG Minis shelf (also magnetic) and accessorized from there. I love the little matryoshkas! And the girly boombox is from an eraser set by Kid Robot

There's another little eraser bear tucked in the crib, too. About that womb-like  "crib" -- it is a votive holder from the Crate & Barrel Outlet that had a previous life as a base for a fire pit in one of my other scenes. The bottom of the crib is made of two napkin ring holders, which I got as part of a *free* bag of "junk" at a recent estate sale:

It may not look it, but this crib is soft and comfy, I swear. :)

Welcome to the world, little J.!

Credits: Wall art consists of magnets from Staples; shelving is AG Minis; light is minimodernistas; chair is Reac; "crib" is a Bambu votive holder from the Crate & Barrel Outlet, with a base of estate sale napkin holders; planter is Playmobil. Accessories are from Housing Works Thrift Shop, Jazams, random doll house store finds, and Kid Robot.

The time it took me: 28 minutes

Floating Desk

This desk floats in my world.


Well you can't see it here, but my houses and collection are in complete disarray right now and I wish I could float above it all. I feel so guilty about the sad state of my things, and really need to buckle down and clean it all up into some semblance of organization.

Any good tips to get me started?? It's not like I haven't done this before, but I think I need some new ideas. How do you motivate to clean it all up?

The precariously slanted desk is courtesy of Staples, specifically a clear plastic business card holder...see?

The desk rises above a neat little floor, created from a cut-up place mat from Marshall's. Once I snipped off a few of the strings holding it together, they cascaded down, dashing my hopes for a neat little square.

So, I picked up pieces randomly and quickly laid them out, hoping they would fit neatly. Notice the random assortment of stuff lurking outside the house. Yup.

Wish me luck as I conquer the mess.

Credits: Chair is Reac; desk is a business card holder from Staples; credenzas are vintage German; light is a vintage Lundby floor lamp; plant is an eBay find; side table and wastebasket are Re-ment; flooring is a cut-up place mat; large wall artwork is a key holder turned upside down with charms from Michael's. Accessories are Re-ment, Manor House Miniatures, handmade by The Shopping Sherpa, ELF Miniatures, dollhouse show finds, and beads from Michael's and Jo Ann Fabric.

The time it took me: 35 minutes

Contemporary Dollhouse by Doll Domiciles

Just because I have absolutely no room for another doll house probably means I should commission a 1:1 scale house instead of a 1:12 one. Unfortunately, this is not practical in the least! On somewhat of a whim, I asked some carpenters to build the Contemporary Dollhouse by Doll Domiciles using an original copy of the plans. (I actually have two copies of the plans -- one bought on eBay after searching for a long while, and one purchased at a dolls house store, found under a pile of dusty plans for $7.50!)

I expected them to laugh me out of their shop, but they were intrigued by the design and offered to take it on at a leisurely pace. The house has been in their shop for over a year now. I know, crazy. They work on it when they can using scraps. So it's totally green project! ;) 

I wanted to share some photos of this wacky house as it is coming along. These first photos show it in the very early stages. I was quite surprised when I saw it because it was closed off on the sides and did not match the plans. Lots was wrong with it. 

That roof trim has no place here, guys

The doors to nowhere...??


I pointed out all the problems and then left them alone for a while. Nothing like a crazed doll house lady and her house ideas!

I visited the house again last weekend and it is now coming along in the right direction.

The roof raises on each side for additional access

Here's the other side!

I want to do different flourishes on the front balcony as in the plans, and of course none of the finishing elements are there yet. I'd love to use actual stone for the bottom portion, too. Certainly a ways to go, but it's been a fun ride so far! I'll be sure to post additional updates and photos when I can. Maybe next time I'll bring some furniture for a test drive.

I'd love to hear your advice, feedback, and comments! Also, please let me know if you have ever seen a completed house, or if you know any more about the plans, the company, etc. I've done lots of web searching and have not turned up much.

IKEA Lekman Box

At long last I have gotten around to opening my IKEA Lekman box. I bought it a very long time ago and it has patiently awaited me. I was inspired to shoot outside today and was able to run out after dinner, when the light was growing low and lovely. Scrapbook paper fits well in here and I gravitated toward a wood pattern for the floor and then a complimentary floral for a backdrop.

I found the Lekman quite airy and light, and you can really make it look quite spacious.Next time I think I will try to hide more the fact that this is a box, especially the joints around the perimeter. Oese has used hers a lot and comes up with creative ideas to change up the space. Lots of possibilities here -- anyone else use a Lekman lately?

Credits: Tootsie Roll couch is minimodernistas; chairs are Reac; table is vintage Bodo Hennig; light is a floor lamp from my Mom's childhood collection; plant is AG Minis; baskets are napkin holders from Crate & Barrel with a natural sponge; flooring and wall covering are from a scrapbook paper pad, "Downtown Loft" by DCWV. Accessories: pillow and water bottle is Re-ment, bowl is vintage German, and magazine is handmade by The Shopping Sherpa.

The time it took me: 11 minutes (not including the setup of the box, which took about 10 minutes).


Sometimes I start a setup and then abandon it for one reason or another. In the case of this one here, a few weeks ago I was inspired to use an old-fashioned claw foot tub from my childhood collection in my Lundby Stockholm with a soap dish from west elm as a decorative backing. I started to set it up, but then got distracted and left it until tonight.

As I was pulling the scene together I was reminded of some happy days playing around with this tub when I was ten or so...I had much less stuff and my taste has grown, but I had the same fascination with moving tiny things around and getting lost in them. I'm glad that has not changed!

Have a happy week!

Credits: Tub is from my childhood collection; backing is a soap dish from West Elm; "rug" is a coaster from Crate & Barrel; bench is a lucite drawer pull; stool is vintage German; planters, towel holder, and lighting are Re-ment; artwork is Bozart; mirror is from Jo-Ann Fabric. Accessories are Michaels, Manor House Miniatures, Re-ment, Barbie by Jonathan Adler, and AG Minis.

The time it took me: 46 minutes


Whenever I get sidetracked -- by life, work, the dog, my birthday, kid mishaps, you name it -- sometimes my blog suffers and I am not able to regularly post. The past few weeks have been filled with such events, and I have missed sharing my minis with you. Last night I finally was able to steal a few minutes to put together a little scene with a jewel of a table -- a lovely kitchen round from the 1960s by Petite Princess. I have used the table before, but not in the petite Neville House from CB2.

Working in the house is a bit comical, because I need to fit the furniture in through the side and then squeeze my hands through to try to manipulate everything into place. It's much funnier afterward, believe me...objects tip over and get out of place, and sticking things on the walls is a feat in itself. But, it's worth it at the end; this little house is really a jewel box. And it is still available at CB2, on sale for $49.95.

In the midst of getting sidetracked, I cracked 600 followers on my blog!!! I cannot believe that I started out with just one back in 2009. It means a great deal to me to have your enthusiasm and support. THANK YOU!

Photo courtesy of
For my birthday, I received a little jewel of a book that I have been eagerly anticipating for quite some time: Yvette Wadsted's Scandinavian Design in the Doll's House. I have just started to dig into it, and it is a real joy to read. There are  many lovely pictures that provide close-up views of countless vintage furnishings and is  my dream book. You can purchase your own here and also keep up with the latest on the book's Facebook page.

My last little jewel to share is a neat cardboard dollhouse furniture set from MUJI, a Japanese company that I absolutely adore. The whole company aesthetic is simple and minimal (MUJI means "no brand") and I love their well-made and affordable products. MUJI is my go-to source for a wide variety of things, including but not limited to pens, notebooks, cotton facial cleansing pads, blazers, and storage containers. You name it, they have it! Recently, I saw a Tweet from the awesome Linda Gavin, the graphic designer who created the Twitter logo (she collects and styles dollhouses too!), about a book of pop out cardboard dollhouse furniture made by MUJI and available for sale on Etsy. I had not seen this before and jumped at a chance to own a set! The book is not available on MUJI's US site nor in their New York City store, so perhaps this was only sold in Japan.

Given how hectic the past few weeks have been, it won't surprise you to find out that I have not yet made any of the cardboard furniture, but I did take some photos of the book.

Neat, huh? I hope to create some pieces soon. Until then, do share if you have this set and have played with it yet! It looks to be 1:16 or 1:12 scale.

Credits: Table is vintage Petite Princess; chairs are eBay finds; credenza is vintage German; rug is a dollhouse store find; plates on the wall are by PetitPlat; plant is AG Minis. Accessories are Re-ment, Manor House Miniatures, Playmobil, eBay finds, and Mighty World.

The time it took me: 33 minutes

Second Time Around

Ever go to rummage or estate sales and look intently around for a buy? You do a loop through the aisles and weave through the tables and think you've seen all that is there...but then you think to take a second look, and poof! You've found a little treasure!

I'm getting to my point here: this desk in my Gottschalk room box. It's actually not really a miniature desk; I  cannot tell you what it was intended for, though. Perhaps some sort of napkin holder, or other household contraption? I found it at a local church rummage sale this weekend and picked it on that second time around the housewares room for a cool quarter (half off the original price of fifty cents)!

I've used the humble little "desk" here with a very sophisticated piece by Patie of minisx2 on Etsy. You might recall from this post that my first Zig Zag shelving arrived broken...I used it anyway because it is so awesome, but Patie whipped up a replacement one with an extra set of gray-greenish sliding panels! It is lovely, no?

Do you like to mix "high" with "low"?


Credits: Couch is minimodernistas; shoe shelf is vintage German; desk is a rummage sale find; chair is CB2; zig zag shelving is by minisx2; plant and lamp are AG Minis; planter is from West Elm; filing box is by The Shopping Sherpa. Accessories are Re-ment, ELF Miniatures, Nancy Tobey, The Shopping Sherpa, AG Minis, Michaels, and random doll house store finds.

The time it took me: 27 minutes


Our lilac bush has come back to life this year after some careful pruning and love from my husband, who has done an amazing job of keeping our yard lovely. He gave me a little clipping this weekend and it really smelled heavenly. I felt inspired to use a few sprigs in a scene.

Odd that they would end up in a somewhat dark A-frame cabin, but then it all made sense. I still had lilac-colored silk papers on the upstairs walls, and the earthiness of the place helped to bring it all together.

Curious about the bed? Well, lots of soap dish magic here -- the base is a marble soap dish (you can see it more exposed in this scene from a while ago), and the headboard is a modern chrome one. I covered the middle section of the A-frame window with a card illustrated with tree branches that came as packing material in a large shipment of books at work. I saw them when I unpacked a few boxes and knew I could make use of them eventually, and then a colleague passed along some too, thinking I might find them useful for my minis! The "crest" above the headboard is a neat little object that I got with a vintage set of furnishings some time ago. I don't think it was ever intended for minis, but obviously the seller saw potential...!

You'll see that I like to change furnishings and other accents around when I am shooting my photographs; in this case, I changed the bedside lamp from a brass one to a silver and moved around the little "baskets" by the bed (they are actually napkin rings stuffed with cut pieces of natural sponge). I couldn't quite figure out which configurations I liked best, so you'll see my thought process at work here ;)

Credits: Bed is made of a marble soap dish base and a chrome soap dish headboard; coverlet and pillows are handmade by The Shopping Sherpa; round side table is Re-ment; crest is a vintage find -- not sure what it was originally meant for; brass lamp is vintage Petite Princess and chrome lamp is vintage German; baskets are napkin rings from West Elm, filled with natural sponge; side table in corner is Concord Miniatures; red couch is vintage Brio; cork side table is from Michaels; desk is made of a vintage Lundby table top with a piece of soap dish packaging as a top, and base is a napkin ring from Crate & Barrel; desk chair is Reac; rug is Peppercorn Minis. Accessories are AG Minis, Re-ment, Manor House Miniatures, ELF Miniatures, and eBay finds.

The time it took me: 48 minutes

Vintage German Gone Wild

A nice little vintage German living room set arrived to me last week from eBay, and I felt compelled to set it up against an unexpected backdrop in my Lundby Stockholm. The set is sized closer to 1:16 than 1:12. Here it is in its original box. The overall box is likely missing -- all I have is the base and dust cover.

$3 -- seriously??? I did not pay $3.
I especially LOVE the profile of the chairs and their pattern.

The tapered plant is quite lovely as well, and I don't have one like it. I tried to use only the set in this scene, but did end up adding a few extras.

The wallpaper is from the Paper Source, but I cannot locate it online. The quality is truly amazing. The colors are so crisp and vibrant. I love how the green matches the green of the existing house walls. You might think it would clash with the furnishings and lamp here, but they all "pop out" the way they should. It's a bit of a wild combination, though!

Credits: Chairs, table, plant and bookcase are from a vintage German set; stacked unit is also vintage German; mirror is by Annina; plant stand is AG Minis; rug is by Dale's Dreams on Etsy; lamp is vintage Lundby. Accessories are Michael's and from eBay.

The time it took me: 37 minutes

Tea House

I have been extremely busy these days with work and family, and have not had much time for my minis. The level of disorganization here is pretty high, and I feel like none of my houses have a tidy spot for a scene!

Perhaps that is why I chose to do a setup in my IKEA room box, which was (basically) empty. I had a day off on Friday with my two older children, and we had a great time together. One of our stops was the Crate & Barrel Outlet store in Cranbury, NJ, which always yields something for mini play. In addition to lots of Reed chair ornaments for under $1, I scored a silver teardrop ornament that reminded me of the 1:1 scale ModFire fire pits, which were reproduced amazingly in 1:12 by Pepper of MitchyMoo Miniatures. My approach was far lazier than Pepper' attempt whatsoever to craft anything with my hands! Instead, I placed it in a Bambu votive holder (on clearance for $1.50), and built my scene around that.

The tea kettle stand is a condiment bowl, also from the clearance bin ($1.95). The flooring is from a sheet of the "Maze Pool and Papaya" paper from the Paper Source. It has an Easter palette so I felt inspired to use it here. The black shelf is a throwback to my childhood -- it was given to me by a family friend, who somehow ended up with a box of my dollhouse stuff from when I was a kid. I initially brushed it off as something I wouldn't use, but then I reconsidered for this scene.

Happy creating!

Credits: Fire pit is an ornament from CB2 and its stand is a votive holder by Bambu; chair is vintage Lundby; planter is Playmobil with an aquarium plant; light is minimodernistas; tea kettle stand is a condiment dish from Crate & Barrel; shelving is from my childhood collection. Accessories are Re-ment, random eBay finds, and Lomography.

The time it took me: 40 minutes

Zig Zag Shelving

Patie over at Minisx2 on Etsy is working away creating her miniature marvels in 1:12. You may have seen her work elsewhere and I am pleased to own one of her lovely shelving pieces, a zig zag midcentury shelf with sliding doors.

The piece had a bumpy ride, and despite its secure packaging, it arrived with the top raised level broken off. Patie is sending a new one, but I told her I might not be able to wait! The shelf is so beautiful that you probably would not even notice the flaw!

It's exciting to have more artisans creating in the modern realm, and even seeing some 1:1 people seduced by 1:12. Have you read about Mini Modern's new house by John Bui, who creates mod pod cat retreats? CB2 got into the act with its petite Neville House, and who knows what will come of their new partnership with the Novogratz design team! Perhaps we should start petitioning them now...hmmm....

Credits: Zig zag shelving by Patie of Minisx2 on Etsy; Eames lounger by Reac; Arc lamp is an eBay find; console and stools by brinca dada (top of console is a card from my buddy K); rug is by Fran Made Minis; plant is AG Minis; wallpaper is American Crafts Campy Trails scrapbook paper from Lee's Art Supply; flooring is Con-Tact shelving paper. Accessories are handmade by The Shopping Sherpa, Manor House Miniatures, Lee's Art Supply, Re-ment, vintage eBay finds, and Playmobil.

The time it took me: 23 minutes

Epoch Play House

I bought this vintage (1973) Epoch Play House last year on eBay. I recall it being a "Buy it Now" for $25 or so, and I was definitely intrigued when I saw it. I have not been very successful in finding out more about this set; I do know that Epoch is a very well-known and successful Japanese toy maker that has been around since the late 1950s. The company makes Calico Critters and many other popular toys.

This set really reminds me of Creative Playthings doll house furnishings -- the profiles are simple and pure with a mid century flair. The well-constructed pieces in this Epoch house are scaled closest to 1:24 and are all wood with some plastic. The house consists of a square tray with a lip and two interlocking wood panels that create four rooms with doorways and a sloping roof. The roof is red/orange plastic with a hole for the chimney. No screws or anything here...just some tabs on the underside of the roof.

I've had the house sitting in its original box on a shelf all these many months and have been tempted many times in the past to try it out. I was doing some work outside today and felt like shooting photos in the lovely natural afternoon light -- the set seemed a compact and hassle-free way to "play" as my steaks marinated for the grill ;)

Here's the front and back of the original box:

Note that the recommended ages for play are "4-8." Ahem.

I placed all the furniture in to complete the setup:

Of course, those nice bare walls and floor called out for some pattern and color, so I pulled some sheets of paper and gathered a few small accessories to animate the spaces.

I had a good time playing and was reminded of my other portable doll houses, such as the "Fold-Away" doll house from the 1940s and the 1960s pop-up house from Winthrop Toys. I might have to bring those out again soon...!

In one of my previous posts, I mentioned my discovery of Lomography mini camera key chains. Well, I am sharing the love with the spring ***FREE ALERT*** on the Call of the Small Facebook page where you can enter for a chance to win your own! Comment on this photo by April 15 and you may end up with one! Good luck!
Credits: All furnishings are by Epoch; bunny wall art are stickers by Shinzi Katoh; bathroom wall paper is Japanese origami paper; living room wall paper is scrapbook paper from Michael's; kitchen wallpaper is Pebbles "Rings" paper from Lee's Art Supply. Accessories are Lundby, AG Minis, Michael's, random eBay finds, and from Lee's Art Supply.

The time it took me: 57 minutes 


OK, I'm having some fun here. Even though I am being jokey, I did dress up this room a bit in my Kaleidoscope House. The lamp is fancy, no? It's vintage German (labeled "Made in West Germany") and looks like it is from the late 1950s or early 1960s. I checked the puppenhausmuseum website a bit, but did not turn up a picture to help with identification.

The little bot is from a Star Wars mini figure set. I don't know about you, but looks too big to be to be a key chain! The kitties don't seem too scared.

Notice those terrific monogram pillows?? Thanks to Dale of Dale's Dreams on Etsy -- she included them as extras with a recent purchase from her store. Check out her great offerings! Thanks, Dale!!

Credits: Lamp is vintage German; chairs are CB2 ornaments; ball clock is handmade by the awesome Pubdoll; monogram pillows are by Dale's Dreams on Etsy; flooring is Natural Woven from the Paper Source; wallpaper is from the DCWV "Downtown Loft" 12 x 12 scrapbook stack; chaise is PRD; plant is Manor House Miniatures in a Playmobil planter; cube side table is AG Minis. Accessories are Playmobil, Michaels, Re-ment, Manor House Miniatures, and random eBay finds.

The time it took me: 42 minutes

A-Frame Corner

I took my vintage A-Frame off the top storage shelf for some play yesterday. I hadn't really touched my minis all week or weekend, and I felt inspired to go back in time.

The house has been sadly neglected by me; it needs some touching up and renovation. The acetate inserts in the windows have paint drops or markings, courtesy of the prior owner, and much of the wood edges of the house are chipped and nicked. I also stripped mostly all the wallpaper off when I initially got the house, and have not replaced it.

OK, self-imposed guilt trip over.

For the sloped wall in the nook-like space on the main floor, I gravitated toward a remnant of a brown and creme vintage 70s wallpaper from German eBay (not from Claudia, as I had thought!) It's lovely, no?

The pattern is a bit large, but I cut a swath and put in a minimal amount of furnishings. I even economized by using two zig zag Reac chairs as a book shelf, having seen many innovative shelves lately such as these:
Pulseline by Salomonsen Design

Sum Bookshelf
Quad Shelving Unit

Asymmetrical bookcase

Designed by Francesco Passaniti
I'm drooling just looking at these...makes me want to commission an artisan to create one! Perhaps for my birthday...hmmm...

Finally getting around to my scene:

See that zebrano wood flooring piece? That's a gorgeous sample from Amtico International, a company that I found out about from the ever-resourceful Pepper. I got some other samples that I hope to use soon.

By the way, you likely know by now that photography is a big part of the appeal of doing this blog, since it enables me to "bring you in" to my little world. Hence, I have a deep affection for my camera, and cameras in general, especially *mini* cameras!! You can imagine the thrill of finding these wonderful little key chains from Lomography in JaZams, my great local toy store:

Incredible, right? While I didn't use them in any scenes yet, I will soon. They likely will be a bit large for 1:12, but definitely workable!

Credits: Console and stools by Paris Renfroe; lights are Lil' Bratz; bookshelf is made of two Reac zig zag chairs; planter is Manor House Miniatures, and plant is from an aquarium plant set; wood flooring is an Amtico sample, and wallpaper is from German eBay and from an Asian-themed scrapbook paper book from Michael's. Accessories are AG Minis, eBay and doll house show finds, handmade by The Shopping Sherpa, from my Mom, and Manor House Miniatures.

The time it took me: 34 minutes

Blond Contrast

I was going for a refreshing contrast of color here in the upper "loft" space of my Citadel. The new roll of Con-Tact paper (I used the darker wood here in my Villa Sibi) was the starting point, and the everything else fell quickly into place: shiny stainless, red, white, and brown. I tend to try to accessorize accordingly, so you will see those colors/materials in the new shelving unit I purchased from the recent miniature show I attended.

BIG fan of the Con-Tact! Easy peasy.

Credits: Couch and planter are vintage eBay finds; chairs and Eames elephant are Reac; shelving unit is by Bruce Dawson; pillow and rug are by minimodernistas; "coat rack" is an ring holder by UMBRA; artwork is handmade by me (pretty poorly!); mini knights by the door are by Accoutrements; outdoor tree is from a miniature show, and its planter is by Manor House Miniatures. Accessories are AG Minis, Re-ment, handmade by The Shopping Sherpa, beads, from JaZams, and Nancy Tobey.

The time it took me: 17 minutes

Dol-Toi Vintage Table

You might have seen me post on Facebook about a new vintage Dol-Toi table that I purchased from UK eBay. I missed the table the first time around (forgot to bid -- don't you HATE that?!) and it went for asking. I emailed the seller to see if she had any more that she was going to put up, and she did! This time, I did bid, but ended paying up. I found out later that I was actually bidding against my blogging friend Rebecca of Rebecca's Collections. I would have been sad to lose it, but much less sad if I knew she got it!

There is a book on Dol-Toi by collector Marion Osborne -- does anyone have this? It sounds like a great resource. I had never seen a Dol-Toi table with this mid century profile, so I would welcome any information about it and any companion pieces. It worked nicely in my Swedish Brio...I went a little wild with the colors, but I think it "flies."

This is the first time I've used this vintage set of Lundby curtains. They really do help enliven the window, and look like real fabric in the picture (actually molded plastic). The other burst of color is a lovely mod plate by PetitPlat -- she has a whole selection in her store. Check them out!


Have a great week, all!

Credits: Table is Dol-Toi; chairs are Reac; shelving units are Miner Industries; light is vintage German, as is the window flower box; plant is TOMY; curtains are Lundby; mirror is by Annina; rug is by The Shopping Sherpa. Accessories are by Petit Plat, vintage German finds, and Re-ment.

The time it took me: 37 minutes