Fun with (Artist Trading) Cards

Since I started moving to modern miniatures, one of my biggest challenges was the decor. Notably wall decor.

Will admit I relied on the stylings from other modern miniature blogs like Mini Modern where I got introduced (and hooked) to displaying mini Rex Ray paintings and what not.  Or lately, I do enjoy randomly using laser cut beads and arranging them to look like installation art.

Living room in the ARC III.

Living room in the ARC III.

Or using my Photoshop/Illustrator/Fireworks to resize existing work. Vintage travel posters are always a reliable standby.

But again, I didn’t want to rely too much on these options. Hence my discovery on Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) and ACEOs (Art Cards, Editions and Originals).

I didn’t know much about them – but I remember seeing these cards for the first time at a local art festival where BK and I used to live. I initially thought these cards (they’re about the size of a baseball card, about 2.5 x 3.5 inches) were business cards advertising the artist. Until I saw they had price tags – price tags that imho, were WAY more reasonable than the actual life sized pieces.

Jerry’s Artrama gave a good definition of what ATCs are:

“…Artist trading cards (commonly referred to as ATCs) are miniature pieces of art that are traded around the world. Artists create, trade and collect art at organized “swap” events, either in person or online. The only official rule for ATCs is the size: 2.5″ × 3.5″.

Essentially (if I’m understanding it right), the intention is to give artists another means to trade and collect works from other fellow artists. Which is a pretty darn cool idea. Even cooler for a miniature dork like me? They’re another source of artwork to grace my miniature scenes. Especially if I wanted something big.

So whenever I can get a chance, if I see an ATC card, I usually try to pounce on them and buy copies if I really love the design. One such artist is Poxodd – definitely fell in love with the ATCs for not just how colorful they are, but it had that delicious mix of the weird and fantastic that I couldn’t resist.

My first ATC cards from Poxod. Initially purchased from Etsy, but available at shop.poxodd.com

My first ATC cards from Poxod. Clockwise from top: Communications Operator, Swamp Dweller,  Cactootsy – Poxoddland Band #2, and the Bellmeister – Poxoddland Band #3. Initially purchased from Etsy, but available at shop.poxodd.com.

I had initially planned to use some ATC frames (D’s Miniatures and Collectibles on eBay carries some nice ones that can fit them nicely). But I was worried having something frame them these prints would detract the eye from the card’s overall design.  Guess this meant another trip downstairs to my (just recently cleaned) dining room for a quickie project.

My implements of war for this project...and a sorta assembly process. Just work with me people.

My implements of war for this project…and a sorta assembly process. Just work with me people.

Again, didn’t bother with taking step by step photos because (a) was winging it overall and (b) it happened pretty quick. I prolly banged this out in about 30 mins….way less than it’s taking me to write this blog entry. (“Slow and steady wins the….nope, still plodding along”).

But basically what happened was this:

  1. I measured out the dimensions of the ATC card – as stated earlier, they’re about 2.5 x 3.5 inches.
  2. I used some 1/8×1/8 inch wood strips and cut out pieces needed to make a frame that’s the same size as the ATC. To make it faster (since I had 4 cards), I used about 1.5 wood strips to cut out 4 pairs of the long sides for the frame….then when made another 4 pairs for the short sides. Cluelessness Laziness Airheadness Efficiency at its best I guess.
  3. Once the pieces were cut, I group them into four sets (each set having 2 long and 2 short ends). One set at a time, I sanded/wiped down before getting some beeswax woodpolish to make them nice and shiny.
  4. After all the sets were prepped, I used my corner tool (the thing in white) and started assembling them one set a time. I’d glue one long/one short together using Tacky glue, let it set a few minutes, then attach the remaining long/short pieces to form the frame.I used a fast grab type of tacky glue so the pieces would set quickly for me to gently slide them off the tool onto my work mat so I can work on the next set.
  5. Once the sets were dried enough, I attached an ATC onto a frame using GlueDot strips along the back edge of the card before pressing it onto the card. I ended up putting a pile of heavy books atop the framed art cards to make sure the glue strips had a chance to bond onto the frame…and for the frame to stay nice and flat.

End result? I got my lovely ATCs from Poxodd set to look like they’re artwork on a canvas frame…and I got to a chance to display the back of the cards (to show the artwork’s title and the artist’s name. Win!).

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Was pretty happy at how this on the fly project worked out. So much in fact…I actually had extra pieces that made the frames. Ended up bagging them so now I’ll have a template to use the next time I decide to do this for future ATCs/miniature artwork.

Let's hope I don't lose this...I really don't want to waste my lumber supplies figuring this out all over again.

Let’s hope I don’t lose this…I really don’t want to waste my lumber supplies figuring this out all over again.

In the meantime…looks like my new roombox’s new occupants made dibs on a couple of the prints. I’ll think about it. Right now, the place still looks like a disaster zone! (shudder)

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Hey! What are you doing??? Put those back – no never mind, they left the cash on the table. My bad!

 

Move In Day

Now with the Lundby roombox done (I haven’t figured out a name yet…BK and I are still doing rock-paper-scissors-Spock to determine who gets naming rights), it’s as my mother and sister love to call “funsies time”. AKA decorating time.

Thought maybe this might provide some (hopefully) giggles from my readers (seriously, thanks for your patience not going after me for being absent putting a decapitated horsehead on my bed) …figured a scene for a not so fun time in our lives would be in order. Also known as moving day.

Holy crap, the %$@* just happened here?

Holy crap, the %$@* just happened here?

Will have to admit, moving doesn’t bother me so much. Mostly because I seem to have a weird fondness for cardboard boxes, the smell of storage units (is there a candle scent for it? No?) and the rustle of tissue/packing paper.  Though I definitely don’t like driving a moving truck (BK doesn’t mind it thank goodness. Again, another reason why I married the man).

Of course, for every move…you gotta have moving boxes. I didn’t have any, and at the time I decided my scene needed said item (at around 1:00 am Sunday morning), I was determined to make some. After all, I had a pile of shipping boxes stacked by the recycling bin. So why not wing it?

I didn’t take pics of how I did it, but I did chicken scratched scribble down some notes. This was what I was able to read from my handwriting.

  1. If using actual cardboard from shipping boxes, use the flaps (that make the bottom/top of the box). They’re thinner and easier to work with.
  2. Use a sharp blade. Box cutter is deal, but larger X-Acto knives are easier.
  3. Score lightly on areas you need to fold. Makes it easier/folds look neater.
  4. Pay attention to scale. No one ever uses a moving box that’s 50% of their height. (yes, I wrote this apparently. Stupid insomnia)
  5. Use actual packing tape. It’ll hold the cardboard together during assembly. Cut into thin strips so it looks believable/to scale.

In terms of a pattern, it was roughly like this. Basically, I stuck to the general rule that the top/bottom flaps of your box should be 50% of your overall box dimension. So for example, if you’re assembling a 1-inch square box, then the flaps should be about 1/2 inch.

Moving box pattern.

Moving box pattern.

Once I got the hang of the pattern, it was actually pretty fast and easy. And so long as I stuck to the ratio, I was able to assemble good number of 1 inch square and 1.5 inch square moving boxes (a reasonable size for 1:18 scale). Most of the boxes I sealed shut with tape, but the ones I left open I filled with crumbled bits of tissue paper and kraft colored origami paper to simulate packing paper…or the crumpled up remains of it.

View of the chaos.

View of the chaos.

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BK suggested rolling up the rug and stacking it somewhere. I took the rug I’m planning to use, wrapped it tightly around a pen before tying the ends with some snipped up rubber bands.

The “plastic sheeting” around the credenza is actually from those plastic bags you use to hold produce at the grocery store. I had to cut out the back part (that didn’t have the store’s logo on it), and wrapped it around the furniture. Not bad right? And the big box I created to house some square wood frames.

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View of the wrapped credenza using plastic grocery produce bags. Framed artwork a gift from Monsiuer Z, Mme KP and Mlle Luna from 3StarStudioArts. Thank you all for it – I LOVE IT!!

And of course, moving day won’t be complete without some groceries…didn’t have time to create 1/18 scale groceries, so made do with the ones that came with the Lundby kitchen set...

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Well, I’d better beat feet before the new occupants come back. I’m guessing they went out for some pizza and beer to celebrate. Or steel themselves in cleaning up this hot mess…

New Year, New Distractions

Good lord, what a year 2016 had been…and given what most of us are seeing in the news, it seems like the new year will be a doozy as well.

Yes, it has been awhile. 2016 got crazy both in the work front and home front, and to be honest, I just didn’t have time for anything short of sleep and using the bathroom. Not exactly the life I wanted to enjoy daily, but let’s just say certain things popped up in life that I had no choice but to answer.  So with the new year…all one can hope for is to start where we last left off. Which in my case, a buttload a lot.

Figured for the new year, I needed to start something small. In this case, I decided to tackle a roombox to display some Lundby pieces.

The finished product.

The finished product. Roombox was a custom pruchase from RoomLotus. Lundby Stockholm kitchen unit purchased from Little Citizens Boutique.

And in pure, Miniature Obsession fashion, I didn’t exactly take pics of the actual construction. It’s hard to describe but the moment I sat down in my dining room and started working on the roombox…it’s like you’re in the zone. You don’t want to stop until “oh, let me finish cutting this last piece of trim” or “almost done sanding these guys…y’know I might as well roll into painting the trim”.

However, I did take pics of what I did from converting the Lundby Stockholm Kitchen Set from this…

Stockholm Kitchen Set. From the Little Citizens Boutique website.

Stockholm Kitchen Set. From the Little Citizens Boutique website.

…to this. Mostly because I wasn’t exactly going all ga-ga at the turqouise/white tile backsplash. Luckily, it wasn’t as complicated as I feared it would be.

A little better...don't mind I fudged it a little bit.

A little better…don’t mind I fudged it a little bit.

For starters, I had to use one of my X-Acto knives to free the upper cabinets and the range fan/hood. The entire thing is essentially glued to a MDF board which made it easy. The not so fun part was making sure I didn’t scratch the cabinets in order to cut away or loosen the glue.

Hah! They're freed!

Hah! They’re freed!

Once the items were freed, I used the blade to scrape the “tile” background. It was basically one huge plasticky-sticker, so about 75% of it peeled off easily once you scrape up a corner to pull on. Anything that was left behind took a few quick scrapes to remove. Once the backboard was done, I started doing the same for the upper cabinets.

Bare as...babe's bottom. That's PG enough right?

Bare as…a baby’s bottom. That’s PG enough right?

Didn't realize the white "backing was really just a paper sticker..with really sticky residue. :(

Didn’t realize the white “backing was really just a paper sticker..with really sticky residue. 😦

All cleaned and purtified. Of all things, a rubber eraser removed the residue.

All cleaned and purtified. Of all things, a rubber eraser removed the residue.

From here…was kinda winging things along so hopefully the following makes sense. Because I wanted certain areas of the now bare backboard to display the file, and others to be the new backdrop for the cabinets, I traced the area where the cabinets would need to be positioned.

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Ignore the stupid chicken scratch on the upper left corner. I started thet habit of having Post-It notes on hand to scribble dimensions and stuff.

Once that was done….it was time to cut some tiles. I used these Victorian tiles since they were all I had on hand looked small enough to pass for Lundby scale.  I only had two sheets on hand, and because they were just a wee bit short on the width side (so I couldn’t use say one whole sheet to cover the background), I had to piece things together to make it look as seamless as possible.

From here, I cut some white cardstock for the cabinets’ new backdrop but trimmed off about 1/16″ all around. I wanted the cabinets to have the background, but be able to actually attach them directly onto the MDF backboard. For glue, I ended up using some GlueDot strips to hold the cardstock and tiles, and a thin smear of tacky glue to put the cabinet and range hood back in place.

Tiles installed.

Tiles installed.

For fun, I wanted the kitchen and sink units to have some fun drawer liners. I dug through my desk drawer and found my pack of origami squares. Kinda wish I had these in my kitchen cabinets now – something about the yellow and blue makes me chuckle for some disturbing reason.

Silly, but a little distraction didn't hurt anyone.

Silly, but a little distraction didn’t hurt anyone.

All in all, I guess this wasn’t such a bad endeavor for one day. I revamped a furniture, and was able to turn a barebones roombox into something that was ready for move in. *gives mental high five*

 

 

Die 70er Jahre roten Puppenhaus

(According to BK, the title says “The Red Dollhouse [from the 1970s]”. No wonder I ended up taking French in high school! This makes no sense to me at all!!!)

After gaping drooling taking inventory of my newest vintage acquirement (did I use that correctly? Hope so) – and after sleeping poorly during the night because I couldn’t stop coughing – I pretty much knew what I need to do in the next couple of days.

That’s right folks – das roten Puppenhaus (as BK suggested I use if I want to use German) is gonna get a cleaning. At least to give me an idea of the overall condition of the house. Plus, it felt like I was kicking up a cloud of dust when it was being unpacked last night.

To begin, I started with the furniture. And in true fashion….this village idiot forgot to take pictures until near the end. But hopefully the following paragraphs will give an idea of what I did.

Batch 1 cleaned and drying...

Batch 1 cleaned and drying…

For starters, I split up the furniture into two groups. Batch 01 consisted of furniture that was entirely made of plastic. Or in the case of the living room chairs – majority of the parts were plastic and the rest was something that I could salvage somewhat easily. The second group (Batch 02) were furniture that had something that I absolutely must not allow to get wet. An example would be the master bedroom’s white wardrobe – the front and sides are plastic, but the back uses some kind of particleboard. Which I was afraid would fall apart if it ever comes to contact to water….

With the furniture split into the groups, I began to work on Batch 01. In terms of materials, I tried to use just warm water, some dish washing soap, and paper towels (yay for my grocery store having a crazy sale on these – I loaded up big time). But the dust was so thick, it seemed like I was simply wiping the topmost layer and pressing the bottom layer into the plastic.

So as a solution, I mix a small amount of baking soda, dish soap, and warm water to make a paste. Then with some paper towels, cotton swaps, and a nail brush I got at the dollar store (these suckers are really useful), I started to rub a little bit of the paste. And it worked like charm!I was pretty happy to see the dust/grime get scrubbed off.

Once all the pieces were rubbed down, all (except the living room chairs) got dunked into a bowl of warm water to rinse the baking soda paste, and rubbed down with an old towel. Then I used one of my dish drying mats to set them all down to air dry.

In the case of the living room chairs….since I didn’t want to soak the fabric, I just used a wet paper towel and slowly wiped off the baking soda/soap paste off the plastic as much as possible. I ended up cutting up a new kitchen sponge and using that instead (was going through my paper towels quickly). 😦

I did notice that the drawers had a bit of a musty scent to them. I ended up tossing them back into a plastic bin, filling it up with warm water, and tossing a bunch of denture cleaning tablets in it. Once the fizziness disspiated, I rinsed the pieces and air-dried them once. No more funky smells.

(Got this tip from a coworker actually – but it was more on how to remove the food smells you notice after cleaning your tupperware containers…)

dasRotenHaus-02

Woot! Nice and clean!

I did the same with Batch 02, except I didn’t soak/rinse anything under water. I had to painstakingly wipe each piece down of the cleaning paste before letting them air-dry.

Once the furniture was done and drying on top of my stove and counter, I turned my attention to the house itself. At first, I thought a quick wipe down with some damp paper towels would do the trick. But I had more leftover baking soda/soap paste, so I figured why not try it on the dollhouse floors. Especially since whoever built it, used contact paper for the flooring and walls.

I’m not gonna lie, I was partly horrified/fascinated when I tried the cleaning paste on the hallway/staircase area first.

Well this was totally unexpected.

Well this was totally unexpected.

I thought the darkish brown floor was the color of the contact paper. Not contact paper + god knows how many years of accumulated dust  and grime.

With a long sigh, I donned a new face mask and starting cleaning. I used a damp paper towel to apply/lightly scrub the cleaning paste on the floors. Then used a dampened kitchen sponge to wipe away the residue until the floors didn’t feel gritty to the touch. Think this took about a good 2 hours…but all the floors are now clean.

Man...yeah, TOTALLY unexpected.

Man…yeah, TOTALLY unexpected.

As for the walls and ceiling, I did do a wipe down with damp paper towels (then followed with a wipe down with dry ones). I’m a little nervous about the walls because actual wallpaper was used. And there was a little part of me that was worried about damaging them. Which would mean figuring out how to replace the wallpaper. Not like I can find exact matches at my local stores and what not. 😦

The good news though is that it looks like the first floor walls are okay. I might need to trim or reglue any corners that are not sticking to the walls. But that’s not a big deal. The upper bedrooms however, were pretty grimy. And the wirings for the lights are so damaged, I’m starting to consider removing them and opting not attempting to restore them.

Anyone have any advice on vintage dollhouses? Should I look at replacing wallpaper and possibly flooring? Or just leave it as is, torn wallpaper and all? Given this is my first “vintage” dollhouse, I’m seriously torn.

 

Deutschland Goodies (Part III)

Finally! I can write about the last item from my delivery last week. And I had to save the best for last.

In all honesty, I actually found this on Aparello.de – which I guess I can best describe as an online antiques/vintage store that’s based in Germany. I found it by accident during my search for German mid-century mod miniatures, and upon finding this item, explored the site some more….and found the two sets I mentioned in Part I and II. But seriously, even if the other sets didn’t exist…I still would have found a way to bring this home.

After talking with BK about this (he was totally game with it thank god), I initially tried to purchase them through the Aparello website – but for some reason, it wouldn’t allow me to complete the transaction. I was so close to giving up until BK suggested that perhaps the vendor is selling the same merchandise on eBay. That was such a brilliant idea – becuase it turned out the seller not only had listings on eBay…but he was also selling all three miniatures. And even better – I had the option to submit a best offer!

Not sure about you all, but apparently the mini gods decided to smile benevolently on this village idiot.  Because I did put my offer on each item, and they were accepted a few hours later. [imagines a huge yellow arrow pointing above her head going “AW YEAH!”]

Now if anyone (at least those in the United States) is thinking of hunting for miniatures in Germany for the first time, I’ll pass on the following advice:

  • Keep an eye on the currency exchange rates.  When I bought my items, the exchange rate was 1 USD = 0.901 EUR.  If it had been the other way around…I would have been forced to walk away from these goodies because it’d be just too darn pricey.
  • Be prepared to not just possibly pay alot for shipping but also expect to pay for the VAT (value added tax). And customs fees.
  • And be prepared to wait for a bit. Found out that my shipment arrived almost a week late because my shipment stayed in a warehouse in Frankfurt before it was shipped to New Jersey (as port of entry) and handed to the US Postal Service for delivery.
  • If you don’t know German…use a good translator. Or in my case, bribe my husband to read and translate German for you. And use Google translate on days he’s too busy/annoyed to help.  Now I owe him several dinners at his favorite Thai restaurant. 😀

Okay, I’ve rambled enough….let’s get to the finale yes?

So the last item was pretty big….well, it was large enough to begin with. But the vendor made it even bigger thanks to the…I dunno, several yards worth of bubble tape and shipping tape used to wrap this mysterious beauty. I tried to be careful but after 10 minutes for frustration, BK saved the day by procuring some scissors and cutting at some strategic locations.

Once the wrappings were removed, BK and I moved the item to our dining room table, where he left me alone to gape (and drool) at what’s to come. Prolly a good idea too – because once the wrappings were removed, I started coughing at the amount of dust that was disturbed. I ended up going upstairs to get a face mask before resuming.

After removing the bubble wraps...this is what I was presented with.

After removing the bubble wraps…this is what I was presented with.

After removing the papers, more of the mystery item was revealed. Wow, the vendor did a really AWESOME job packing it.

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Left side exterior. Check out the huge windows!

Left side exterior. Check out the huge windows!

Exterior right side view.

Exterior right side view.

Am sure you guessed what it is at this point. This is actually a handmade dollhouse that was made sometime in the 1970s. But the sweet part about this house? The vendor was selling not just the dollhouse, but all of its contents. And I mean EVERYTHING.

But before I could show you the contents, I pulled out the wrapped items because I wanted a closer look of the house. The vendor provided pics in the original eBay listing which were lovely and all. But it’s definitely different seeing it as the new owner…

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Overall view of the rooms.

We’ll start with the living room….I was surprised that the wallpaper was still intact. And the curtains were still in almost perfect condition.

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View of living room.

Moving onto the next room – the kitchen. I didn’t realize how small the doors were….and how they were framed with red electrical tape! Similar to the living room, it looks like the ceilings were covered with some kind of white vinyl contact paper….I might have to look at either trimming the loose edges or possibly stripping that off and replacing it. (still mulling)

The kitchen.

The kitchen.

As weird as this sounds…this room captivates me. Not sure if it’s the wooden stairs, of the flower pots glued on the window sill….or the yellow wall lamp and plug on the wall. I’m gonna have to figure out if these light fixtures are working! *crosses fingers*

The hallway/stairs leading to the second floor.

The hallway/stairs leading to the second floor.

The second floor was set to display two bedrooms. The first room is pretty huge. Sadly, I was bummed to find out that the wires for the wall lamp on the far right wall was cut. Hopefully I can figure out a way to rewire it.

The second bedroom’s ceiling light was in just as bad a shape. You can see whoever installed the lighting used strips of white contact paper to hide the wire leading to the wall….which was also torn in half along the wall. Looks like I got some seriously pondering to do in terms of fixing this…. 😦

Bedroom #1

Bedroom #1

Bedroom #2.

Bedroom #2.

With the rooms inspected, I started the long but ridiculously fun process of unwrapping the contents of the house and putting them inside my newly acquired property. Huh, guess there’s a color them going on here….

Das rote haus (I think that's right)...

Das rote haus (I think that’s right)…

The (furnished) living room

The (furnished) living room

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The kitchen.

The kitchen.

View of the kitchen units. Check out the pattern on the table!

View of the kitchen units. Check out the pattern on the table!

Once I started placing the furnishings for the bedrooms…I was wondering why the white parts were looking gray and dingy. Only to realize that all the furnishings were covered with a thin layer of dust. And my fat-ass sausage-like alien-shaped clumsy fingers were smearing them everywhere! 😦

(To do list #1: Clean the miniatures alongside the Modella and Crailsheimer sets)

The children's room.

The children’s room.

(To do list #2: make mattress and new bedding. The “bedding” the pieces came with….smelled really funky. Enough to make me not want to find out what it is)

The master bedroom. Need to figure out a better configuration.

The master bedroom. Need to figure out a better configuration.

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In my excitement, I forgot to take pics of the accessories that came with the furnishings. It was actually funny opening up drawers and doors and having mini cups, lamps, pots and pans, etc., spill out onto my dining table. Or in most cases, on my lap. And like the furnishings, they were all dusty.

(Update on to-do list #1: clean up LOTS of vintage minis)

And of course…what’s an apparently loved and cherished puppenhaus (or puppenstube) would be without its miniature occupants?

The dollies of das rote haus.

The dollies of das rote haus.

If I’m right, the mother and father (and the baby on the far right) are Caco dolls from Germany. The other dolls I’m sure of, but I did find them wrapped with the children’s bedroom set.

Close up of the kiddie dolls.

Close up of the kiddie dolls.

While the children dolls look like they’re in good condition (they’ll need a good dusting/washing I think), the Caco dolls were in not so good shape…

Uh-oh.

Uh-oh.

I’m gonna throw this out there to my dear readers: anyone interested in giving these dolls a home and possibly a makeover? The father and mother doll’s necks look like they’ll break at any second, and the father doll’s head/neck is completely seperated from the body.

I was tempted to borrow a soldering iron to maybe connect the head/neck to the body (since they have a wire skeleton inside). But I’m worried that even the slightest bend will cause them to seperate once again. So again, if anyone thinks they can fix these dolls, let me know and they’re all yours.

That’s it for now. I have to think of a name for this vintage beauty. And I got a pile of minis to clean in the next few days. And prolly cough my lungs out from all the dust.  But hey, totally worth it yo!

Deutschland Goodies (Part II)

High from the excitement of inspecting my vintage Modella sitting room set, I did go back and pulled the next item I could reach inside the large shipping box. Plus, I know the darn shipping box was occupying space in our living room. I’m sure BK is gonna be so relieved once I get the contents out and he can break down the boxes for recyling (laughs).

Speaking of BK…apparently he said I looked like this when I was rooting around the shipping box (see this link). Granted, I laughed….but I will exact vengeance later tonight at dinner time. Brussel sprouts are on the menu, and I know there will be wailing and lamentations when he sees his plate.

Since we covered the introductions from the last post, let’s cut to the chase and scope out item #2!

German miniature goodie #2 - aw yiss!

German miniature goodie #2 – aw yiss!

As you can see in the photo above, this set was manufactured by a German company named Crailsheimer. I actually found about this company by accident in December when I purchased (as a holiday gift) a vintage living room set by this same company. I’ll write about this set (and another Modella set) at another post, but it basically  reinforced my search to collect vintage German miniatures. So when I found this set online, I knew I had to have it.

(Yeah, I’ve pretty much kissed my tax refund goodbye from this purchase…along with other things. But that’ll be told later. Prolly much, much later *shifty eye action*)

Okay, rambling once again….let’s dive in shall we?

Contents of the Crailsheimer set.

Contents of the Crailsheimer set.

Given my grasp of German is pretty much a despondent zero, and BK admitted his command of the language is basic at best (hey, better than your crazy wife imho), the box didn’t exactly indicate what was inside of it. I’m hoping back then, you had a chance to open the package to see what’s inside before you buy it. Luckily, the seller described the contents so I knew what I was getting….and man, this is a really gorgeous bedroom set!

Close up of the twin beds.

Close up of the twin beds.

Like the Modella set, this bedroom set is also made of plastic with “wood” panels made of contact paper, and plexiglass “glass” tops. While the box was in better condition (as in it was held together by a rubber band….and sans prayers apparently), it did jack to protect the pieces from this weird layer of dust that caked everything. I had to do a quick wipe down of the pieces with some damp paper towels before taking pics.

(Itinerary for the weekend: clean these pieces apparently)

Another view of the beds.

Another view of the beds.

I took this photo because the first shot didn’t exactly show off the “glass” top of the nighstands. Man, is it possible to have this in real life size? This would look really awesome for a guest room or something.

Other pieces in the Crailsheimer bedroom set: 2 wardrobes and a dressing table..?

Other pieces in the Crailsheimer bedroom set: 2 wardrobes and a dressing table..?

The next pieces in the set are a pair of wardrobes and what I’m guessing to be a dressing table. BK and I are currently in disagreement about what it is. My dear husband thinks it’s a desk. However I’m adamant it’s a dressing table since the set has what looks like a stool (which I didn’t take a pic – sorry, laziness took over I guess). Either, way, they all look gorgeous. Sadly, you can see the wardrobe on the left is missing a handle on the right side door. The seller indicated that this was missing, and sadly, he was right since I checked the box to see if perhaps it’s still in the box.

Extras in the set.

Extras in the set.

Alongside the main pieces, the box did have some extras to it. In the photo above, you can see there’s two sets of bedding which I’m assuming was supposed to be part of the set. Am not gonna lie….I didn’t like them one bit. Mostly because instead of fabric, the bedding has this weird plasticky feel to it. To be honest, it reminds me of the crib mats. Or those plastic sheeting you use to cover a child’s bed to prevent nightly accidents. Kinda creeped the bejesus out of me for some reason. I won’t toss them away mind you. I’ll store them lest someone wants them (just lemme know).

The remaining pieces look like whoever owned the set tossed them in for good measure. One appears to be a green “glass” table lap – the plug is in great condition, but when I peeked inside the shade, there’s no bulb. (insert long sigh here) And lastly, the plastic baby doll….kinda freaked me out as well. But not to the same extent as the more bizarre plastic bedding sets.  Seriously, if someone wants these do let me know. So long as I don’t think about them, maybe I won’t shudder as much huh?

Huh….am now down to one item in the shipping box. Is it bad that I’m starting to feel sad that I’m reaching the end of my goodie box? But hopefully, once I pull this last item out, it’ll be worth the wait for you all. 🙂

 

Deutschland Goodies (Part I)

Yes, I’ve been an absolutely terrible blog writer. I was hoping 2016 would give me a break after enduring the various fiascos that peppered 2015. But apparently, that wasn’t in the cards at all. Work was demanding more of my time, which meant whatever free time I had, I really had to choose between spending quality time with BK, family and friends.

In short, adulting just freaking sucks. Granted, being an adult has its perks. But man, what does it take to win the lotto so we can do what really makes happy right?

Anyhoo, I refuse to stay in the ranting/venting/gnashing of teeth. This is a miniature blog, and I know you (my dear reader), want to peruse the goodies. And in the case of the title, I DO want to share my victorious finds in the most unlikely of places.

While I love dabbling with modern miniatures, around October 2015 I started to look into the more vintage mid-century miniatures. I started checking out the site Dolls’ Houses Past & Present to get an idea of what was in the market during the 1950s-70s. I had heard of companies like Bodo Hennig (which I recalled took alot of begging to my parents to purchase a metal cook stove for my first house. I still have that stove under lock and key). But soon, I found that there were manufacturers like Crailsheimer, Qualitats, and Modella that produced mid-century style dollhouse furniture.

Curious as hell, I started doing random online searches. And lucky me, BK took German in high school and college, so he gave me some terms to use like “puppenhaus” or what I found out later, “puppenstube”.  And yes, I will confess, I used Google translate ALOT.

Eventually, I found (and after much negotiation with BK) and bought a couple of miniatures from eBay. And after almost three weeks of waiting…the package arrived. And holy crap, was it a huge box!

Uh, this was unexpected...

Uh, this was unexpected…

Apparently it required BK and our local postal delivery dude (thanks Mr. B!) to bring it inside the house. The freaking box was almost up to my neck when I saw it after coming home from the office.

Later that night, BK helped me open the top of the box….and quickly stepped back as I almost pounced inside to start pulling out contents. All of these items I got from the same seller, and the descriptions did warn me that the packages were gonna be in poor/crappy condition. But hey, that’s a fair trade so long as the contents inside are in great condition.

First item!

First item!

The first item – yeah, the seller wasn’t kidding about the package. I think the box was being held together by a single rubber band (and probably a bunch of prayers).

However, once I removed the band and lifted the lid, I gave the first (of many) happy squeals.

Woot! Crappy condition of box + awesome contents inside = totally worth it.

Woot! Crappy condition of box + awesome contents inside = totally worth it.

The first box (by Modella) contained what the listing described as a “sitting room set” – a credenza with sliding doors, a pair of side tables, a coffee table, a sideboard with a yellow “glass” sliding upper cabinet, and four arm chairs.

GermanGoodies-04

The pieces I was most concerned about were the armchairs. Given that all the pieces in the set are made of plastic, I was worried if the chair frames had snapped during shipment. To my relief, each one was perfectly intact. Sadly, the “seating” components were long since gone or intentionally removed. But I guess this just means I have to work on putting new cushions and fabric right? 🙂

GermanGoodies-05

Because the box contents weren’t exactly in place, I seriously got surprised to find accessories hidden under the tables when I pulled them out of the box. The radio and alarm clock were in perfect (albeit dusty) condition. BK and I however got a good giggle when we saw the rotary phone….and mused how we probably would be clueless on how to use them.

GermanGoodies-06

The storage pieces of the living room set. And yeap, that’s ARC III in the back!

The final two pieces (the credenza and the sideboard/upper cabinet set) are gorgeous. Despite being dusty inside and out, everything was intact and working. The handles were a little loose, but hopefully a pair of tweezers and some glue might help reinforce things.

Oh man…one set down, two more to unopen. Stay tuned for Part II – I need to go back to the big box o’ mystery goodies and pull out the next vintage miniature goodie from Germany!