F.A.O. Schwarz School Room

Who knew that school room boxes could be so addictive! I already have one, purchased last spring on US eBay, and I have now acquired another, also from US eBay ($30). Unlike my other school room, this one came in its original box, which was a complete surprise! It is odd the seller did not mention this, but I was happy to see it.

Here is the box, and then its original price tag:

You'll see that it is clearly from the legendary toy store F.A.O. Schwarz, in New York City, which was founded in 1862. I am not sure what the "19-69" is -- I doubt it is for "1969," since this school room looks like it dates earlier, but I am not completely sure.

When I opened the box, I saw that the room box was a fold up variety, which is very neat indeed, so clever! I immediately saw that the condition of the item was pristine, also a nice surprise.

The bottom pieces is clearly stamped "Made in Germany."

As I was doing some more research about F.A.O., I noted that the store's founder, Frederick Schwartz, was a German immigrant, so it is not a huge surprise that the store imported German items. I have read this before, and I even suspected that my other room box was of the same type, as it is stamped "GERMANY."

The pieces easily fit together, and I also figured out how to incorporate the window sill with the flowers, which the seller said she could not set in properly. The piece comes apart and then the dowels fit into the sill area.

I love the flooring...

This particular school room has inhabitants -- a school teacher and two young students. The dolls are Caco with plastic feet, and also in very good condition. Teacher even has her original label.

It says "Made in Germany" and "Biegsam" with the Caco logo. I am sure some of you are familiar with this name...? She is lovely, and she will keep her wrist tag.

Other items that came with the room include twelve Bodo Hennig books, as well as a watering can (also Hennig?), three glasses, four student desks and chairs and the teacher's desk and chair.

The map on the wall is in English, as is the wording on the front...

Please share if you have any information on this school room and I will also keep investigating links to this piece (which is also not a real estate hog in my progressively cramped doll house room)!

UPDATE, 12/31/10: Reader diepuppenstubensammlerin has identified my school room as one made by Bodo Hennig in the early 1960s for F.A.O. Schwarz. Please see the comments for her full response. Thanks, diepuppenstubensammlerin! I have learned a lot from you this year, and appreciate your expertise and your informative blog!

Small Packages

Layers of snow have buried our vacation plans to fly and visit with family, an unfortunate kink in life's plans that has me looking on the bright side. I have so much to be thankful for this year -- family, work, health -- but this year was also truly amazing for its big surprises. Complete serendipity reigned. From the New York Times article, to the Design Within Reach event, to meeting fellow bloggers, to continuing to find inspiration for mini scenes and the rehab of houses...these happenings, events, people, and things all have been  incredible experiences in their own way, and I am utterly grateful for them.

I look forward to another year of creating and sharing, and I have gained so much from others who too have shared their vision of things small.  I am also very appreciative of my followers, who now number 335 -- thank you!

By the way, the picture in this post is my way of sharing that I am now engaged in an exciting project that just emerged in the past few weeks. I'll be able to share more in the next few months if all goes well. I also hope to post on a new house and some other interesting acquisitions soon, but if it is not before the new year, best wishes for a happy, fun-filled 2011!

Silver and Gold

My first fireplace makes an appearance here. I've been meaning to buy a fireplace for some time, but was struggling with what type, size, color, etc. I received this particular one as part of a lot of vintage items that I purchased from Oese. Oese tells me that she made the fireplace with a pink box she found at a flea market...she painted it and used a keyhole cover for the screen. She left it a bit unfinished, and I decided to complete the work.

Here you can see what it looked like:

I like the grey Oese painted it, and decided to add a thicker coat of silver acrylic paint. I then used the same paint for the keyhole screen and then used a small cameo charm, also painted silver, for a decorative cover for the hole:

I like the results! I tried it out in the small room on the lower level of my VERO house, and added two small topiary display trees ($4.99 for a package of four) from Michaels and two glass icicle ornaments from the clearance bin (.99 each) at Crate & Barrel as decorative elements on the sides.

As I was photographing the scene, I looked over at my progress with the main living area at the entrance to the house. I had papered one of the walls and added a wood panel to the ceiling.

I love the textured retro paper, but it is looking a bit stark to me, especially in contrast to the original blue floors. Now a am reconsidering using this paper and am at a standstill. You can see the original wall papers -- it looks like they were a shade of white with a wavy blue striped design.

Any ideas??

Credits: Fireplace made by Oese and finished by me; icicle accents are ornaments from Crate & Barrel; topiary trees and logs are from Michaels; chairs are vintage Petite Princess drum chairs; vase is from Fridas Fancy dollhouse store.

A-Frame, Framed

Yes, I have been neglecting my A-Frame. While it is nestled nicely alongside my Brio house, I have not done any setups in it since I received the house in August. It has become a 70s parking garage for a few of my cars, too.

One of the main reasons for the inactivity is that I still do not know how I will rehab it. I received some great feedback when I initially posted on it, and subsequent to that, I got a hold of the original plans for the kit (thanks, Dev!) and also saw an image of the box when it came up on eBay recently. I know Chibipulse got her hands on one -- perhaps I am waiting for her to build hers??? :)

photo from Chibipulse

In any case, I have some ideas and will turn my attention to it in the new year. In the meantime, I love this little corner of the house with sisal wall covering and decided to set up a quick scene (do you forgive me, A-Frame??).

If anyone has any additional thoughts on rehab, do share!

Credits: Chair and ottoman are Reac; side table and shelving unit are vintage German pieces; sideboard is vintage Creative Playthings; bench is vintage LISA; hanging lights are Lil Bratz. Accessories are Re-ment, Lilu Shop on Etsy, AG Minis, Lolly's, bead from Pubdoll, bag from Oese, and a wood carved basket from a work friend (thanks, J!).

Work from Home

If I did work from home, I'd want a space like this. So light and airy, and it looks productive. My husband sometimes telecommutes, and he might wish for this space too; instead, he's in the basement looking at my dollhouses, which lie in view just beyond his computer monitors!

The desk unit is from a lot of vintage German items that I purchased from Oese (thanks, Oese!). I don't believe that this particular piece was meant for work, likely sleep. It appears to be a headboard with built-in side tables for night reading. I could be wrong, but this is what struck me at first glance. It it is very sturdy and well-made, and I love the look of the wood.

I had fun accessorizing here with books, knickknacks, and office items, but it took a bit of time. The plant was quick -- made with a Playmobil pot and a new aquarium plant! I've used the drawer pull before, but this time it is a peaceful perch for a lunch of delicious noodles.

I decided to throw in a picture for scale with what looks like my giant hand. I never do this, and it never occurs to me to do so because I am wrapped up in a much tinier space, but people do sometimes ask me about the scale in this house.

Now if only I could shrink my workload... :)

UPDATE, 12/13/10: Rebecca and other fellow bloggers have kindly identified the desk piece as a headboard unit by Bodo Hennig, so I have updated the credits below accordingly. My desk, which has been in my collection for a while, is also Bodo Hennig. Please see the comments for links to other pictures of this lovely piece. Thanks, all!

Credits: Desk unit and desk are Bodo Hennig; lamp is vintage German; chair is Reac; bench is a drawer pull; plant is a Playmobil pot with an aquarium plant; rug is made by Oese; wastebasket is Re-ment; bead sculpture next to green file folders is by Nancy Tobey. Accessories are Bandai, Re-ment, beads from Pubdoll, AG Minis, Hallmark, Bozart, handmade by me, Barbie by Jonathan Adler, and random dolls house and craft store finds.

Re-ment: I have written about the Re-ment in this scene with one exception. The three files and holder are from Girls in the City #6, "Office Supply 101," and are good for 1:12.


This scene is courtesy of the lovely Maureen D. Maureen wrote to me a few months ago to say she had seen the New York Times article on modern miniature design and was inspired to jump whole hog into the hobby. She now has a Kaleidoscope House and is swiftly accumulating many fine accessories. One of the things that has made me most happy about the article is when people are inspired to collect and create their own "art," while enjoying the perspectives and creativity of others.

As a very generous (and unnecessary!) thank you, Maureen sent me this AG Minis room box earlier this fall. It was such an incredible surprise and I was really touched. And pretty excited too, since I had not owned one! If you have never seen one, they are quite well-made and heavy, and are outfitted with magnetic ceilings and walls. I've used a ceiling piece for flooring before, but now I was able to use it where it was intended. The floor has tiny outlets for the lighting fixtures and other accessories. I have not tried them out yet, since I need to get a transformer, but I am curious.

It took me a while to get around to setting up a scene, but I finally have. It was a lot of fun, but a bit challenging too, due to the sloped walls. I used some silver "pebble" paper from Kate's Paperie (I papered with the creme here), which complemented the ceiling.

But what to do with the black magnetic squares? I improvised with some letterpress cards from the Paper Source ($2.50 for a pack of ten of each letter, on clearance) and the squares worked well in framing the cards.

Anyone use AG Minis room boxes? What do you think of them? Do you use non-AG Minis furnishings? I'd love to know!

A big shout-out to Maureen -- thanks again!

Credits: Chaise is by Paris Renfroe; plant is vintage TOMY; credenza is made of two vintage German side tables; small side table is Re-ment; Eames elephant is Reac; "light" is an ornament from Crate and Barrel; "ART" lettering is comprised of three letterpress cards from the Paper Source. Accessories are Re-ment, Lilu Shop on Etsy, and handmade by me.


The Villa Sibi is the first house I purchased (or rather, it was purchased for me as a gift), and it has a place of honor in our living room. The rest of my houses reside a floor below. It's actually more of a place of necessity, since the Sibi is quite large and could not fit elsewhere. Sometimes the house becomes a dumping ground for minis, which is not good for a variety of reasons. And sometimes, the people around me get a bit fed up with its appearance.

So...the perfect excuse to whip up a quick scene with a few new things! You will see that a few of these pictures feature a ceiling light -- it is actually a battery powered "flameless" tea light that I picked up at West Elm this weekend, along with the porcelain origami squirrel ornament. The squirrel's a bit odd, I know, but I think its lines are pure and beautiful. He inspired me to go (almost) all white. Scurry over to West Elm if you have one near you -- lots of interesting things for 1:1 and 1:12!

Credits: Shelving is Re-ment; squirrel and tea light are from West Elm; couch and pillows are AG Minis; luscious white rug is hand knitted by The Shopping Sherpa; coffee tables and chairs are Bozart; TV is by LiLu Shop on Etsy; wall divider is from the Villa Sibi; lattice wall covering is a Chilewich placemat; toilet is IKEA; "hot tub" is a soap dish; wine rack is actually the base of the coffee table from the Kaleidoscope House Living Room set. Accessories are Bozart, Michaels, Manor House Miniatures, Playmobil, Re-ment, Mighty World, and random dolls house store finds.

Keeping House

An older style iron inspired this scene, along with its compact flowered ironing board. I decided to use the bathroom in my large VERO for a cleaning room, complete with a sewing kit, a chair for knitting, and a vacuum should the need arise for further tidying up.

Some flowers brighten things up while keeping house.

Speaking of keeping house, I wanted to share a very neat set of Keystone Village houses, purchased on eBay recently ($29). This set appears to be complete, with trees, grass and cobblestone squares, brick walls, and a complete complement of houses: cape, garrison, colonial, etc., as well as a garage, church, and restaurant. Charming, right?

Have you seen Rebecca's post about her Keystone mini houses? They are slightly different, but equally lovely, and she even paired them with some N scale Preiser figures. Rebecca also posted a very interesting and thorough history of the Keystone company, here.

On that same scale....a custom mini train display in a larger train display in a "pop up" Lionel Train store in New York City. The train was motorized!

We visited there for Thanksgiving, and did a lot of walking with the kids. The train store was a major highlight, especially for my littlest. We all love trekking along the city streets, with the towering buildings, and gorgeous scenery, like this lovely tree by Wollman Skating Rink:

New York City is also home to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, which in all my years a city kid I had never seen it for real, just on TV. For those of you who may not be familiar with this event, Macy's department store sponsors huge parade of MAMMOTH balloons that fly uptown, along the New York City streets, on Thanksgiving morning to the joy of many, many onlookers who line the sidewalks 15 deep! The balloons are often popular cartoon or book characters, and they are held by trained string operators. Marching bands join the fray, and their ordered lines look fantastic from above.

This year, my brother and his family invited us to watch the parade from their apartment roof, which was a treat. Now that I look at things a bit differently through mini eyes, the whole experience struck me as both amazing and...odd!

On a final note, my sister-in-law and brother are in the garment business, and I could not resist photographing the lovely spools attached to their home sewing machine, by one of their windows.

Credits: Ironing board, iron, flower pot, watering jug, cleaning supplies and basket, and vacuum by Re-ment; clock is Bandai; cabinet, sewing box, table, and chair are vintage German; pillow is by minimodernistas; basket is by Peppercorn Minis; light is AG Minis; folded shirt is a dolls house store find; "rug" is an envelope from the Paper Source.

Re-ment: The ironing board and iron are from Nostalgic Household Goods #8, and are large for 1:12. The flowers and watering jug are from Pure Flower, Pansies, and are slightly large for 1:12.

The Blues

The holidays have come early for me this year. I went into a Hallmark store recently, and was reminded of Mini Modern's tip about Hallmark Keepsake Christmas ornaments and their possibilities. And lo and behold, I managed to drop a little dough on this popular enterprise. I had NO idea how elaborate ornaments had become! In my day, we'd untangle yards of Christmas lights and put up the same silver or gold balls year after year. Some garland too (if my Mom was feeling festive...and patient!).

Ornaments today have detail, sound, and reflect current trends, pop stars, and just about anything someone wants to hang off a tree. And for some of these, you need to have a substantial tree. They are not for the weak! Some ornaments work for 1:12 or larger. Not many work for smaller, at least not the selection I saw at this store.

The turquoise drum kit in this scene is an ornament; I actually had to cover the front with some black glitter paper. The Jonas Brothers smile from underneath!

The little vintage Harley was a good find -- perfect as an accent piece in 1:12.

I decided to put a few charms from Michaels in the window panes and then couldn't stop. All became filled with something, and it turned into an exercise of not knocking things off from their very narrow perch!

Let me know if you get and/or use any ornaments in your dolls houses!

Credits: Flooring is Japanese folding paper; drum kit and mini Harley are Hallmark Keepsake Christmas Ornaments; chair is Reac; coffee table is vintage Petite Princess; side table is vintage VERO; plant is vintage TOMY; little plants by the stairs and light are Re-ment; guitar is a Japanese toy; black rug is by Peppercorn Minis; picture is Lundby. Accessories are charms from Michaels, Lilu Shop on Etsy, AG Minis, Re-ment, made by me, beads from Pubdoll, and random doll house store finds.

Re-ment: I have written about the Re-ment in this scene with one exception. The shoes by the stairs are from Oriental Season "Spring," and are good for 1:12.


After addressing the bath in my VERO house -- the room in the worst shape by far -- I moved to the adjacent living area. I made some good progress, but then had to wait for some glue to dry. I turned my attention to the upstairs windowed room, where the floor is down to its original wood, the original papers mere scraps. The wall has no surviving papers either. This is a picture from when I first received the house -- you can see some sticky adhesive faux wood paper that used to be there.

After feeling a bit discouraged (again) by its broken down state, I decided to do something about it. I bought a brown place mat some time ago, thinking I could put it to use at some point, and this seemed like a good opportunity. Here's what $4.99 gets you...

After some sizing and trimming, I fit it in like a puzzle piece onto the floor, and I like the effect. It is very durable, has a nice texture, and I don't even mind the white inside that shows through on the sides.

Next came the wall, and I decided to use some nice paper I bought on UK eBay. I love the pattern, but it is extremely thin and was therefore challenging to cut and paste neatly. I think it fits the house, so I am happy.

The progress feels good!

What doesn't feel so good is the mess I made on the roof...

Credits: Barcelona chair by Reac; side table is vintage VERO; lucite bench is a drawer pull; Eames Hang It All and globe lamp are by minimodernistas; plants are vintage TOMY; moss pot is Manor House Miniatures with moss from Michaels; silver book holder is from Fridas Fancy. Accessories are AG Minis, Re-ment, beads from Pubdoll, Manor House Miniatures, and random dolls house store finds.

A Quick Study in Orange

I was walking past my large VERO and the orange patterned curtains in the bedroom popped out at me. I had just received two vintage Bodo Hennig Panton chairs in the mail and thought they might make a match with these retro curtains. In went a new green psychedelic lamp and some accessories to show the contrast of a sunny inside to a cloudy outside :)

Credits: Chairs and table are vintage Bodo Hennig; credenza and couch are vintage German; stools are vintage Lundby; plant is vintage TOMY; boots, umbrella, bowl, and crate are Re-ment; table lamp is an eBay find. Accessories are Re-ment, AG Minis, LiLu on Etsy, and Manor House Miniatures.

Re-ment: The crate and rain boots are from Storage Beauty # 9, and they are large for 1:12. The umbrella and change purse on the credenza are from Oriental Season "Spring," and are good for 1:12. The yellow bowl is from Grandmother's European Dinners #7, and is large for 1:12.

More Complete

I finally got to address the double-height wall in my Citadel, the last to get renovated in that part of the house (the room on the bottom right, formerly the kitchen, still awaits an identity, and there are still rooms on the other side). I received a lot of great feedback in the spring on the wall, and the ideas I kept coming back to related to adding texture.

On my great adventure with Pubdoll, I found some "pebble" paper in a rich creme color at Kate's Paperie. I also bought a few sheets in silver. I decided to go with the creme and then went about setting up the space with the large window and sliding doors in place. Here's a closeup of the paper:

My DIY moment this time around involved the art display on the overhang. This started as a key hook from the clearance bin at Bed, Bath, and Beyond!

The living area shows an arc lamp -- not my favorite one from minimodernistas, which I am attempting to touch up a bit, but a vintage chrome one I bought on eBay recently. It's neat, but I was disappointed to see that the head had some yellowed glue residue. I wonder if it was handmade. Hope it doesn't come across too much in the photos.

I decided to use yet another drawer pull from that thrift store in Chicago. This one is larger.

I flipped a AG Minis couch for a little eating area. I did this once in my Lundby Stockholm for a bar. That Chilewich placemat continues to come in handy. Please try to ignore the utilitarian mess in the background...!

Upstairs is my first attempt at a bath in this space -- searching for some serenity.

I may still change this double-height wallpaper if I find something different, but I think I'll stick with it for now. I intend to move onto my VERO next!

Credits: Arc lamp is an eBay find; couches are Bozart; side table is an artisan-made piece from Frida's Fancy doll house shop; rug is embossed felt from Michaels; coffee table is by Ryan's Room; lucite bench is a drawer pull; moss pots are made by me with craft items from Michaels; table is an AG Minis couch upside down; tulip chairs are Reac; pharmacy light is minimodernistas; art display is a key hook turned upside down with charms from Michaels; bath tub is a dish with a Mighty World funnel as a spout, and bath platform consists of two coasters from Crate and Barrel; bath throw is handmade by Oese; sink is an eBay find; pixel side table is by minimodernistas; clear plastic chairs are from FAO Schwarz; pouf is Lundby. Accessories are charms from Michaels, beads from Pubdoll, Gigi N Studio, Chrysonbon, Barbie by Jonathan Adler, Re-ment, and Tynies.

Re-ment: The bath flowers in the white bowl, four plastic bottles on the ottoman, and Burt's Bees-looking container on the sink are from I Love Hawaii # 7, "Looking for Souvenirs," and are good for 1:12. The black mirror on the sink and the purse on the chair are from Oriental Season, "Spring," and are good for 1:12.


In a lot of ways, my newest house purchase does not make sense. But in other ways it does. When I first got back into miniatures in 2008, I was completely taken with modern, but also was curious about the history of houses, especially American ones, leading up to the more modern styles. Houses produced by Louis Marx and Company, which manufactured its first metal dolls house in 1949, kept coming up, and I enjoyed looking at the colorful lithos and different structural incarnations--split levels, ranches, colonials. Marx even produced a (now very hard-to-find) skyscraper!

Skyscraper photos courtesy of Barbigirl's website

So, Marx metal houses in many ways were an important avenue into the hobby, but I never purchased a house...until now. While I enjoyed looking at the Marx houses, none of them really appealed to me as an acquisition, until recently, when I came across a 1953 "L" Ranch, a 1/2" scale single level house with great 50s detailing. This house differs from the other Marx houses, in that the children's room style is original to this house. Many Marx houses have similar room designs, but this room was never reproduced in another house. The house originally came with a weather vane and an antenna, but neither of mine survived.

You can see more about this house and other Marx houses at Barbigirl's website.

I have worked with two dimensional settings before, in my 1949 fold away dollhouse and my"instant" doll house from the 1960s, so I decided to give it another try here. I used 1:24 and 1:16 furnishings, and they work for the most part.

Note the neat shelving insert between the kitchen and living room.

Some TOMY kitchen items fit right in!

A Petite Princess chair and ottoman face the fireplace with its funky accents, and an occasional table sits by the window.

Next to the door, a side table is home to a phone...and a cigarette.

A vintage Lundby bed worked here...

The bath has a vintage Strombecker bath and sink, and are paired with a modern Kaleidoscope House toilet!

A Barton side chair and Fisher Price bed in the children's room.

Does anyone play with Marx, too??!

Credits: Sink and stove unit are vintage TOMY; living room chair/ottoman and table are vintage Petite Princess and plant is vintage TOMY; side table by door is vintage Barton; bathroom sink and tub are vintage Strombecker, and toilet is Bozart; bed and stool are vintage Lundby, and basket is Re-ment; child's chair is vintage Barton and bed is vintage Fisher Price. Accessories are AG Minis, IKEA, Petite Princess, and random dolls house store finds.

Fall in the Large VERO

The trees in their fall glory and a full moon inspired me pull together a quick autumnal scene in my large VERO. When I last worked in the house, I shared its new wallpapers, but upstairs. So, downstairs we go into a kitchen/living area.

See those lovely glass pieces? These were custom made by artisan and teacher Nancy Tobey. Aren't they stunning??? Nancy wrote to me about how she was inspired to create work in 1:12 or smaller scale for her new Keystone dolls house, and wanted to share with me some of her first pieces. These are truly gems...you may be on to something, Nancy.

By the way, if you are like me and are always on the lookout for nice retro or modern wallpapers, please check out this new resource, Doll House Retro Mania, run by Madeleine. Justin A., whose house you project you may have seen on Modern Mini Houses, clued me into Madeleine's treasures (thanks, Justin!). She has a wealth of designs, for both 1:12 and 1:16 scale, and also offers flooring, rugs, and wall art. Here's some of my favorite wallpapers:

And here's some great 50s flooring!

Sign me up!!!

Credits: Living room: couch (VERO), chair (VERO), clock, bookcase, lamp, sideboard, and leaves in vase are all vintage German; boomerang table is by Paris Renfroe; glass vases by Nancy Tobey. Kitchen: table is vintage Bodo Hennig; lucite chairs are eBay finds; MCM shelf is by Paris Renfroe; copper pot and small side table are Re-ment; logs are from Michaels; cat and hanging lamp are Playmobil; cat dish is a dolls house store find; rug is by Peppercorn Minis; flower vase is vintage German; glass piece on table is by Nancy Tobey. Accessories are Re-ment, AG Minis, Manor House Miniatures, Barbie by Jonathan Adler, and random doll house store finds.

Re-ment: I have written about the Re-ment in this scene with some exceptions. The apples in the glass bowl are from Grandma's European Dinners #1, and are slightly large for 1:12. The copper pot and canned jam on the bottom shelf are also from Grandma's European Dinners, but from # 7. The copper pot is large for 1:12, and the jam is good for 1:12. The blue jug on the top shelf is from Megahouse Pop 'n Kitchen #4, and is a bit large for 1:12. The two blue sugar and flour canisters are from Kawaii Kitchen #7, and are a bit large for 1:12. The blue biscuit package on the top shelf is from Black Cat Italian Restaurant #8, and is good for 1:12. The blue fish-shaped dish on the second shelf is also from Black Cat Italian Restaurant, but from #4 and is good for 1:12.


This is a scene of transition. I did not quite know I was creating a scene of transition until I looked through the images tonight. As I uploaded them, I thought that this place belongs to a young person, perhaps in his/her late teens who wants to hold on to childhood (video game, soccer ball), but knows growing up is inevitable (coffee, iPhone, books).

And then I realized that this whole scene likely was a subconscious commentary on losing my dad as an eighteen year old. The anniversary of his death was Friday, and while I think of him often, that date always has an extra weight. A lot of great things have transpired in the past two decades, making his absence all the more sad. Miss you, Dad.

Not wanting to end on a totally somber note, I share a picture of the vintage Brio Mobilia bed in its package, purchased on eBay as a lot along with a dining room set from the same era. I hope to show that in my Brio house soon.

Credits: Video game is Re-ment; bed is vintage Brio Mobilia; "lights" above bed are actually two vintage Fisher Price chairs flipped upside down; wallpaper is scrapbook paper from Michaels, and the rug is embossed felt from there too (thanks, Mini Modern!); desk is a plexi case from Oese; standing light is vintage Lundby; chair is Reac; mid century couch artwork is a birthday card from my sister-in-law; bird artwork is a postcard by Nikki McClure; iPad and iPhone are two new purchases from LiLu Shop on Etsy. Accessories are Re-ment, Japanese erasers, beads from Pubdoll, AG Minis, Ryan's Room, and toy stores.

Re-ment: The video game is from a really neat Megahouse set, "Amusement Rides" #1, and it works for 1:12. The detail is amazing.


I fashioned two different duplexes out of two of my room boxes, one from IKEA and the other from Crate and Barrel. This gave me a nice excuse to share some of my goodies from the wonderful Pubdoll, whom I met last week in New York City. We got each other some gifts, and mine was a set of furniture from the new Lundby Stockholm 2010 line! I had seen it online, but this was my first real look.

Cute, right? Pubdoll did mention that she had to go through a bunch of sets to find a couch with good corners, so I am not sure if this is an early commentary on the quality. Anyone have any sets yet? What do you think?

Here is the couch and table in action...you will see a glittery hanging sculpture, which is a re- purposed Christmas ornament. While I am trying to evoke an electrical light, Oese actually made a light with some decorative silver mesh spheres and they are lovely; see them here.

Speaking of Christmas...I know Halloween is still some weeks off, but Michaels has its Christmas stuff in full swing! They had a train display and I picked up some nice topiaries, as well as some firewood stacks that will go well in 1:12. Keep your eyes peeled the next time you are there.

Here is another duplex with the boxes reversed, featuring my treasured Arc lamp by minimodernistas.

The lovely white soft, cozy rug was a gift from The Shopping Sherpa. While I have not yet checked with her, it looks like the rug is hand knitted by her. Love it! The "Look Up" letterpress artwork is by Ampersand Duck, and is an edition of her work on display in the recently closed "Call of the Small" exhibit in Canberra, curated by The Shopping Sherpa. Having it is almost as good as having seen it in person!

Credits: Stockholm Duplex: couch and table are Lundby Stockholm 2010; shadow boxes are 1:144 room boxes from restless61a's eBay store; hanging sculpture is a tree ornament from Crate and Barrel; Empire State Building on wall is a scrapbook piece from Kate's Paperie; deck is a trivet; "grass" is a piece of green glitter card from Michaels; plants on top are vintage TOMY; deck chairs are vintage Lundby; table is Mighty World; fish tank and elephant are Re-ment; car is Lil' Bratz. Accessories are random finds from craft and dollhouse stores. Arc Lamp Duplex: Arc lamp is by minimodernistas; rug is knitted by The Shopping Sherpa; bed and side table are AG Minis; table at foot of bed is vintage TOMY; artwork is by Ampersand Duck. Accessories are beads, Lundby, and Mighty World.

A New View

I had an inkling when I purchased the chair and couch in this scene that I would be able to find out their maker. For some reason, I just felt I had seen them before. Well, I happily discovered mention of them in two of my Dian Zillner books that they are by Hall's Lifetime Toys, and were likely made in the mid-1960s as part of a few different lines of 1:12 furniture (Hall's also made larger, 1:6 scale furniture for Ginny and comparable dolls).

The Zillner books -- International Dollhouses and Accessories, 1880s to 1980s and Antique and Collectible Dollhouses and Their Furnishings -- are slightly confusing on the line, however, since in one (International) it states that these pieces were part of a finer "Cherry" line, and in the other book it states that the set was a cheaper boxed line of simple/economical furniture, which also included a coffee table and television set. By the way, the current value put on a boxed set is $50-$75, making my two un-boxed pieces a pretty decent buy at $8.50. I think the pieces are very well-made; the fabric is like a raw silk and the wood very smooth and fine. I have a hard time believing these pieces were part of an economy line.

I am glad I was able to I.D. them, though!

I entitled this post "A New View" primarily because I recently experienced a view into a dollhouse collector's world in the book Dollhouse Living by Beauregard Houston-Montgomery, published in 2000. Have you seen this book?

It features very dramatic, moody, and powerful photographs by and of Houston-Montgomery's super extensive dolls house collection. The photos are accompanied by personal text about some of his life events, primarily about growing up gay and finding joy and comfort in dolls houses in his young and adult years. A short film about Houston-Montgomery premiered in June -- you can see a (very short) trailer here.

I love seeing glimpses in his Marx, Rich, and TOMY homes, just to name a few.

And I saved the best "new view" for last! I met the wonderful Norway-based Pubdoll this weekend in New York City! It was a great treat. After exchanging some goodies (more to come on that), we went to the Japanese bookstore Kinokuniya, where we scored some Re-ment and stationery treasures, and then bussed it up to FAO Schwarz to the dollhouse store there, where Pubdoll purchased some lovely furniture and accessories. Even Polly had a peek into the Emerson on display, with a tall dark handsome stranger by her side...she tried out a Reac zigzag chair, too!

(By the way, definitely buy your Emerson online -- FAO's store prices were $100 above their website.)

After a yummy lunch at Le Pain Quotidien, we had a nice stroll around Kate's Paperie and left with some amazing papers and other related goods. We did a lot of walking and talking, took in the city sights, and I am so glad I got to meet this lovely gal. I only wish she lived closer! We talked about the idea floating around about a modern miniature meet-up, and hope that happens in one form or another.

Here's a final, funky, imperfect view of two:

Credits: Chair and couch are by Hall's Lifetime Toys; boomerang table and side tables are vintage German; lucite table is a drawer pull; hanging light is vintage Lundby; plant is vintage TOMY; rug is AG Minis. Accessories are Re-ment, Mighty World, beads from Pubdoll, and dollhouse store finds.

Drawer Pulls

On a super quick family visit to Chicago this past weekend (we were barely there for two days), I managed to pop into a little antique shop for a look around. Do you ever make one loop around a store and not find anything, and then circle back? I usually find something on that second loop, something I did not see the first time for whatever reason.

In this case, I spied a crate full of heavy vintage lucite and porcelain drawer pulls under a table that second time around. The screw bases actually drew me in first, since they were a shiny chrome that I thought could serve as a table base or "legs" for a bench.

Then I looked for smooth, flat surfaces; some were lovely, but curved, so I did not think they would work as well. I came away with four of them ($15), and have included two here. I originally only used the clear one, but I really wanted to utilize the brown and creme one as well.

I like recycling them for this purpose -- I could also see using them for their real purpose, too!

Credits: Daybed by Reac; benches are drawer pulls from a Chicago antique shop; computer and keyboard are by Lilu Shop on Etsy; moss bowl is by Gigi N Studio; book in bag is handmade by Oese; light by minimodernistas; artwork is Bozart; flooring is made of two sheets of silver Japanese paper by the Paper Source. Accessories are by Re-ment.

Lazy Sunday

I know, it's Monday, and frankly I really don't have any lazy Sundays. But, after putting together a quick scene in the Stockholm it just looked like a lazy Sunday.

If I had a lazy Sunday, I might dip into my Scandinavian dream sauna, perhaps like this one I just saw in Dwell's Tenth Anniversary Issue...

photo courtesy of www.dwell.com

Heavenly, right?

Instead, I have a nice new (vintage) Lundby one to help me dream.

Notice my new Lundby lamp? I bought it in its package last week from the famous toy store FAO Schwarz ($12). While a lot of the items are more traditional and pretty pricey, their racks have finds like these.

Next door to the sauna I decided to unpack another doll furniture find, this time some vintage Lisa of Denmark furniture (purchased on US eBay). The box is in bad shape, but the furniture is in good stead. The back of the box is interesting, as it shows pictures of the furniture available for a variety of rooms.

I WAS lazy in setting up this scene (no artwork or many accessories) and it WAS Sunday, so perhaps my post title qualifies!

Credits: Sauna: sauna is vintage Lundby, as is lamp and wooden side table; bench is a thrift store find ($1); statue is vintage Petite Princess, and its base is a Japanese eraser; plant is a rummage sale find and its pot is from Manor House Miniatures; tea accessories and lamp table are Re-ment; pillow is by minimodernistas; mat is from a window shade sample card from Lowes (free!). Living room: chairs and couch are vintage Lisa of Denmark; side table and lamp are vintage Petite Princess; stool is vintage Lundby; TV stand and table are vintage German; vase is by me, made with two crafting beads; plant is vintage TOMY; rug is from a window shade sample card from Lowes (also free!); accessories are Elf Miniatures, Mighty World, Re-ment, AG Minis, and my local toy store.

Re-ment: The tea treats in the sauna are from I Love Kyoto #9, and are good for 1:12.


My house has been a "Plasticville" lately, and I wanted to share some smaller scaled finds. Do you know Plasticville? It is a brand name for a line of plastic buildings for train layouts made by Bachmann. I recently purchased two HO scale buildings and one O scale building and they are really charming. Even the boxes are charming.

There is the Frosty Bar (O scale, 1:48), which dates from 1954

And the smaller HO scale (1:87) post office and supermarket, with some N scale Preiser figures; not sure about the date, but perhaps from the 1950s as well

Aren't the colors and styling fun? I cannot do scenes with them per se, but it was fun to set them up with my son, who actually helped me figure out how to snap some of the pieces in together. I like these because there is no glue required and they can be easily disassembled.

They came with the original brochure, too.

Anyone else collect vintage Plasticville? I'd love to see your finds.

Another plastic acquisition -- the Lil' House Wonderfull by Galoob. That's right, Wonderfull.

What an odd house! The furniture pictured on the box is not the same as what comes with the house, and the people (which the owner said were original) are way too large. This made for some weird pictures of them lurking above the furniture in the house!

Still, fun to play with and very easy to put together. A breeze to store, too.

My last recent plastic find, a Blue Box writing desk, which is super mini in size, 1:24 scale. I like the box and the midcentury lines of the piece itself. You can get a sense of the size from the 1:12 swan chair juxtaposition.

Will I use this for anything? Probably not, but there's always the chance of finding a Blue Box house!