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*

 

 

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.

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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? 🙂

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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.

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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!

The Neville’s Done! Woot!

Today was a bit busy. With my brother and sister-in-law coming to visit us in a few weeks, I spent most of Saturday cleaning the house. Mostly packing up more things to put in storage, and begin the long process of scouring things from top to bottom. Figured it’s best to break up the tasks into manageable chunks versus trying to do everything at the last minute.

Luckily, I finished what I wanted to do around lunchtime. ..which was perfect because (a) I need to take pics of the Neville because (b)….I was officially done in its modification. Well, from a technical sense I was complete. Whether or not I’m satisfied with the outcome is a subject of debate.

For starters, I finally completed the “glass rail”.

The Neville House with its new "glass" rail.

The Neville House with its new “glass” rail.

If you look carefully at the above pic…yeah, you can see some fudge ups on my end. The big one are the rails….if you look closely, the top rail looks bowed in the center. And on the bottom rail….you can make out where the glue seeped out. Ugh, the more I look at the railing, the more I’m mad at myself. It just seems….sloppy.

Side view with the "lopsided" railing. Urgh!

Side view with the “lopsided” railing. Urgh!

The second photo above….(sigh). You can see How phow the railing not only appears bow-legged (for lack of a better term), but also the entire thing is tilting towards the front. I might need to step away from this and rethink the process….and just redo it. Otherwise, that’s going to bug the crap out of me. 😦

BK thinks I’m being too hard on myself. Perhaps I am…but I guess I’m more disappointed in myself not thinking it through.

Tilting railing aside…at least the rest of the Neville is done. And I can safely start putting the pieces in place.

Putting the cabinet in place.

Putting the cabinet in place.

Have to say…it’s challenging positioning one hand to help put the miniatures in place, while the other hand tries to focus and take the shot with one’s smartphone.

Securing the statue in place.

Securing the statue in place.

After the cabinet was moved in, I had to contort my wrists a bit to install the wall decorations on the foreground (more on them later). Then the chairs were moved in.

Steady...steady...

Steady…steady…

Soon…the first set of furniture are in place. I wanted to take a pic of this set before moving the next ones in. The minute I got notification from eBay that I won the Neville House, I quickly made a beeline for the  MultiforMiniatures shop at Etsy. Imagine my surprise when I saw that the items in Monsieur Orloff’s shop were sold.  And I had just marked them as favorites less than 48 hours prior!

Was sweating bullets when I contacted Monsieur Orloff to see if I may be added in his queue for custom order requests. Once again, Monsieur Orloff not only added me in the request queue, but cranked out the items I was hoping to buy before they got sold. I picked the green fabric because I loved the white and mustard “dots” against the green. It really worked out well against the Orla Kiely wrapping paper that I used as wallpaper. 🙂

So Monsieur Orloff, thank you so much! And you’re right — the brass legs look WAY better in the chairs.

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Credits: The cabinet was created by Monsieur Orloff of MultiforMiniatures. The green chairs were also a custom order made by Monsieur Orloff (thank you!). The dark pink and reddish wooden bowls were purchased from Oppi’s Store Miniatures & More. The Buddha statue, books, and book end were random eBay purchases.

Just another angle shot of the chairs and cabinet.

Just another angle shot of the chairs and cabinet.

Given I was relying heavily on the sunlight coming from the dining room (where I was taking the photos), I was snapping as many pics as possible.

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After I took enough pictures, I started to move the next set of furniture in…

Yeah....please ignore the fat claw known as my hand. Thank you.

Yeah….please ignore the fat claw known as my hand. Thank you.

A few minutes later, everything was officially in place.

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Tadah!

Close up of the dining set.

Close up of the dining set.

The table and chars were also from MultiforMiniatures – I actually saw this still available at the shop (along with the cabinet in the back) and immediately asked Monsieur Orloff if I could reserve them for purchase. Looks like I’ll need to act quick next time I visit his shop — his stuff’s flying off the shelves! :O

On the table, I found some aqua blue dinnerware pieces on eBay. But given the pieces were being used in a 1:16 scale setting, I had to nitpick through the selections. I ended up getting plates that were about 20mm, and the bowls were about 11 mm in size.

The platter and tureen were the smallest serving items I could find in the store’s collection — though it looks like they worked well enough on the table. The drinking glasses and pitcher were also purchased from eBay — but they’re actually 1:24 scale. As for the place mats, I cut them out of cardstock.

For the next hour, I was trying to shove my smartphone in every spot I could imagine around the Neville House to get as many interior shots as possible. The following were the best ones I could get out of at least 4 dozen shots. At this point…I wonder if it’s worth sucking it up and getting a good camera. If anyone has any recommendations…am all ears.

Angle shot of the dining area.  Wooden artwork on wall is actually a walnut laser bead from 3StarStudioArts

Angle shot of the dining area.
Wooden artwork on wall is actually a walnut laser bead from 3StarStudioArts

Another angle of the same area.

Another angle of the same area.

View of the dining area from the left side. Artwork on the walls are actually beads from 3StarStudioArts.

View of the dining area from the left side. Artwork on the walls are actually beads from 3StarStudioArts.

For the outside, I placed some plants on the outside porch. Might end up swapping them with something else. But for now, they’ll do nicely in providing color for the Neville House.

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I was originally going to have inhabitants for the Neville, but BK thinks I should leave this unoccupied. Mostly because he asked to have this displayed in our living room’s bookcase. Then again…I got the following delivered by the USPS dude. My dolls for the Djeco furniture playsets have arrived!

Family Milo and Lila dolls by Djeco.

Family Milo and Lila dolls by Djeco.

I purchased these dolls from French Blossom a couple of weeks ago. Which makes sense, given most of my receipt appears to be in French. Huh, maybe it was good my parents made me take French all through high school and college! I could still read the language and get away understanding the verbal basics. But conversing in it….that might be a different story….

Back view of the package. For 4-10 years old? Hah!

Back view of the package. For 4-10 years old? Hah!

Based on the photos on the back of the box, it looks like the dolls are super poseable. Time to find out!

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Wow, they look so cute!

Once I pulled them out of the box, I was immediately impressed at how well made they are. The painted features look really crisp, and the clothing’s much more intense in color compared to what the package displayed. Again, it totally puzzles me why toys like like aren’t easily available here! If someone from Djeco comes across this….might you please consider having this available in North America? Even Amazon? I’d totally buy more from your miniature series…

But enough rants crazy blogger girl! Time to test them against the Neville!

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The kids are checking out the front porch….

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…while Mom and Dad check out the interior. Looks like the mother’s enjoying the chairs immensely!

Well, they’re definitely poseable. The knees bend very well, and the leg joints move smoothly when I moved the dolls into a sitting position. Though it’s a bit of a bummer than their arms don’t bend at the elbows.

Nevertheless, that was the only con against the list of good points the dolls provided — and seriously, I can live with that. Definitely happy that I got these dolls to go with my Djeco sets — now I just need their future home to arrive.

What is it you ask? Well…I’m not sure either. It’s definitely experimental that’s for sure!

(yeah I know that was mean of me. I’ll make it up to you all soon. For now…please don’t hurt me)

Oh WOW!

Given that the Gatorboards have arrived for me to start working on the Retreat – this video definitely a refreshing boost of encouragement! The whole cabin was made using foam board.

Special thanks for Mme. Russek for creating this amazing cabin — and for Insh Miniatures for posting it on her blog! This is so cool!!!

Mme Russek even created a video about how she created it — I LOVE her work rooms! It’s worth watching, as she gave excellent ideas and tips on what to use when working with foam board. Definitely applying them to the Retreat (like using shoe polish as a stain medium for wooden components like flooring)!

Moving Day for Copeland

Oh lordie…so glad it’s the weekend! Work had been crazy with the constant deadlines. It got to the point that I’d be working nonstop at the office, then come home to only spend dinner and maybe an hour or two with BK. Then locking myself in my workstation to finish up stuff. Think it’s one of the those cons being both a project manager and somewhat of a web developer — the minute you find your groove in a project, you kinda don’t want to let that up.

At least by Friday, most of the projects have been deployed thanks to my teammates manning the fort during my self-lockdowns. Hopefully they won’t mind me bringing them some homemade cookies as a thank you — and for something to nibble during our weekly team meetings.

Anyhoo…now that it’s the weekend….this crazy gal wants to play!

Since the roombox was technically completed as of the last post….I was finally able to move Copeland the Wonder Piano in his new home. It turned out, I even got some help setting up the new digs.

Hey awesome! Setup help!

Hey awesome! Setup help!

Looks like my dolls Monica and her new beau – our little Michael McDonald lookalike (eh, wha??) decided to have dibs on the place.  Guess that works out to my advantage, given Monica really knows how my brain works when it comes to decorating my minis.

Monica bossing poor Michael around.

Monica bossing poor Michael around.

To be honest, I’m a little surprised at this pair up. Monica is my resident divorcee from my cast of dolls (and a mom of three grown kids….and a grandma. All at the age of 47). And Michael (aka “Lil Mac” as I like to call my Michael McDonald lookalike)….well I seriously thought he was gonna be a confirmed bachelor.

Then again…when I moved my bin where my doll cast are currently stationed…I noticed that these two were always together. I even shook the bin and still, they’re within arm’s reach of each other. Guess it’s their way of letting know that I’m to allow this hookup to happen.  Plus, at least Monica got him to update his clothing to something more fitting! <insert laugh here>

The happy couple taking a break.

The happy couple taking a break.

After they took a break (and my yelling “get a room! gross!” each time I caught some PDA action between them), we resumed moving everything into place. Correction – they bossed ME to put things in place.

"Keep backing it in! You're good!"

“Keep backing it in! You’re good!”

"Easy...easy...okay shift it slightly to the right....no YOUR RIGHT!"

“Easy…easy…okay shift it slightly to the right….no YOUR RIGHT!”

Lordie, I thought Monica was bossy. Michael’s worst! Then again…he did put major dibs on Copeland. Especially since he needs to write up some new songs.  I won’t gripe about it though – he looks really happy to finally have a piano he can play.

Admiring his new musical companion Copeland.

Admiring his new musical companion Copeland.

Okay, so while the two went out to lunch….let’s take a look at the new room shall we?

Tadah! The finished room!

Tadah! The finished room!

The main focus of the room is really Copeland. I wiped him down and used a diluted mix of murphy’s soap and water to really make him as polished as possible. Granted, that was overkill, but I wanted him to forget the sorry state he was in when I got him from Monsieur Z and Mme KP. Talk about a transformation!

MovingCopeland-10

Angle shot of Copeland. Piano was a gift from awesome friends. Stool is actually a beat up sewing bench. Cushion covered by fabric from WeeWovens.

On the right side of the room, I used an arm chair I found at a garage sale for $5 (score!). BK suggested putting the guitar in this setting in case Monica or Michael wanted something to else to play.  Behind the chair is a Chapman Bookcase from miniatures.com.

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The Chapman bookcase was a splurge purchase, but I couldn’t resist. It looks exactly like the one in my home office. Took it as a sign — and that’s the story I’m gonna stick to. 😀

Close up of the Chapman Bookcase

Close up of the Chapman Bookcase

In terms of the contents, this is what I can recall. A few were things I had already, but others were things I found online that I couldn’t pass up.

The canister and bowls were an accidental find, and was surprised that the eBay seller actually hand makes these wooden pieces. Suffice to say, I’ve been ordering whatever he’s been creating from his store since. So if you want some unique wood pieces, definitely worth checking him out. And so long as your purchases are under $50…shipping’s a flat rate of about $2.20. Plus he does do sales (bonus!).

Close up of the Chapman Bookcase

Close up of the Chapman Bookcase

For the walls, because I was trying to replicate a Martha’s Vineyard/New England feel, BK suggested that I should look into well known regional artists. I think he intentionally put this suggestion into my head, because I immediately thought of artist Ralph Cahoon.

In terms of who this gentleman this, Mr. Ralph Cahoon was an artist and furniture decorator that resided in the New England region. Because he grew up near the Atlantic Ocean (and apparently he grew up sailing and fishing in the coast), his artwork reflected the local culture. His marriage to Martha Farham, who came from a well-known family of furniture decorator, introduced him to furniture making.

What I adore about Mr. Cahoon’s works are the whimsical themes he goes for. Given he practically lived by the sea, he incorporated details like sailors, mermaids, ships, whales, and even air balloons.  And often, he uses scenes from Cape Cod for his settings, so BK and I tend to recognize the places. I know it sounds silly, but do a Google image search. I personally find them very whimsical and endearing.

I managed to find some images to use (been bugging BK to take me to the Cahoon Museum — it’s apparently near where my in-laws live. I want to stock on books showcasing Mr. Cahoon’s work). After scanning and sprucing them up with Photoshop, I resized the images and printed them on some canvas textured cardstock. I wanted to simulate the impression of looking like actual paintings.

On the side where the piano was positioned, I applied this painting. Think it’s the hats that totally amused me to no end. Plus, I can only imagine the kind of topics these ladies would be discussing during afternoon tea.

Yeah, I think I’m putting some Ralph Cahoon books in my holiday wish list. I can’t afford one of his paintings, but chance to pore over the works at any time will suffice.

Uh-oh, looks like the couple are back. And based on Michael’s expression, looks like he’s ready to belt out some tunes on Copeland. Guess this is our queue to beat feet and have them enjoy their new room!

A quiet afternoon of music.

A quiet afternoon of music.