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 ARC III is Ready!

Woot! Finally! I didn’t think I’d finish this on time. Probably a good thing…because as I’m typing this…I’m sick as a dog. 😦

But I guess it was bound to happen. My office mates have been in and out with whatever bug has been hitting the area. Add that to the stress at work and lack of sleep – well, it was a recipe for disaster. Not gonna complain though – at least (crossing fingers) it’s not the flu.

Sorry, digressing here….let’s get the meat of this post alright? Advanced apologies for the numerous (and probably grainy) photos. I took these kinda early in the morning and I don’t get as much natural light as I’d like. Despite this technical setback, hope you guys enjoy the pics!

Exterior of the ARC III

Exterior of the ARC III

Similar to the ARC II, I did a stucco finish for the exterior walls and did some landscape on the front. To create the textured walls to a reasonable 1:16 scale, I used a packet of modeling dust from Richard Stacey. It’s designed to create a “stone” effect on 1:12 scale wood trims like windows and such. I think I got this on eBay awhile back since it’s a UK based product. [Update: found the eBay vendor that I bought the modeling dust.Still has them, and in different colors]

For the ARC III, I mix the packet with equal parts water and tacky glue until it had the consistency of paste. Then dabbed it on the walls using a sponge brush. But the dust I had was a grey color, so after putting on about three layers (I wanted to use up what I made), I let it dry completely before painting it with Americana’s Light Buttermilk craft acrylic paint. To help break up the cream stucco, I installed some wood trim painted in steel gray to add contrast (and to hide the slots that attached the second floors to the walls).

Side shot of the ARC III.

Side shot of the ARC III.

For the front, I kept the landscape simple. I had extra diorama supplies from Michaels that I tend to stash in my craft drawer. The grass was installed by sprinkling this grounded turf over a layer of Modge Podge. The small and large bushes were purchased from miniatures.com. The stones in the walkway were also from miniatures.com, while the gravel in between them was some model ballast I had from a long-ago project. The toad statue was a splurge purchase from Manor House Miniatures (supposed to be for 1:12 scale…but it was too adorable to resist).

BK thinks the lawn is too manicured. Eh, I’ll update it later.

A slight spin of the lazy susan here (BK got this for me to go with the ARC)…and here’s the finished interior.

Interior view of the rooms

Interior view of the rooms

Just another shot. Please ignore the mess behind the ARC....

Just another shot. Please ignore the mess behind the ARC….

In terms of furnishings, I wanted to deviate a bit from how I decorated the ARC II. So it was a combination of vintage Lundby items, a few vintage items that I rehabbed (am sure I’ll be scolded for this), pieces from my awesome gift courtesy of 3StarStudio….and a new miniature vendor I found on Etsy (Monsieur Orloff of Multiforminiatures). And of course, whatever I could find in my collection.

So let’s begin the tour shall we? Before Cilla and Rowen get back and boot us all out of their house.

The Kitchen/Dining Area

Stove and sink are vintage Lundby. Dining table and chairs are a custom order by Multiforminiatures. Accessories from Lundby. Plants from Suebee’s Miniatures.

Since part of the fun challenge with the ARC is figuring out ways to decorate the spaces, I had to be really strategic with what I wanted to use. I definitely wanted to use a Lundby kitchen set, but I wanted the more vintage stuff from the 60s and 70s. I did an intial search via eBay and Etsy, but it was either there were crazy bidding wars or I had to pay overseas shipping from the UK (where there are more 1:16/1:18 scale items). And I dunno about you all, but the exchange rate between the US dollar and the British pound was enough to give me pause.

I went back to the “We Love Lundby Club” website and found that they have a section that sells vintage Lundy pieces available for purchase. Another bonus? The lady that sells the pieces is local (she literally lives in the same neighborhood my best friend M grew up in). So for $22 (including shipping), I got my kitchen set. From there, I started to flesh out the room.

Close up of the kitchen.

Close up of the kitchen.

To solve the storage issue for Cilla & Rowen, I needed to create a cabinet above the sink to store their tableware.  I was about to cop out and construct a simple shelf unit until I saw this miniature roombox on eBay. Think it’s supposed to replicate a roombox for 1:12 settings. But when I compared the dimensions against the Lundby sink….realized it might make the perfect cabinet to use.

Check it out! A sliding panel to keep the dusts out!

Check it out! A sliding panel to keep the dusts out!

I picked up a couple (along with other supplies — the seller offers free shipping if your purchase is $25 or more. Had to use up my eBay bucks anyway) and once they arrived, I sanded and painted one in white before installing it on the kitchen wall. I put a wallpaper to decorate the back…which you’ll see again later.

The dining set.

The dining set.

As for the dining set…this was one (of 4 sets) of furniture I requested a custom order from Monsieur O of Multiforminiatures. I came across this Etsy shop back in October, was excited to see another artisan making modern miniatures. But what fascinated me with his shop was that he seemed to specialize more on 1:16 scale (though he does 1:12 and even 1:6 scale). At the time, I had the ARC II completed so I couldn’t justify a purchase. But the minute BK gave me the ARC on Christmas morning….all bets were off. I knew for my new house, it had to have one of his creations.

Will admit, was very nervous sending an inquiry to Monsieur O about ordering pieces. At this time, most the items he had in his shop were sold, and given it was the holidays, I wasn’t sure how crazy his production schedule was like. But Monsieur O made the process pretty straightforward. He even provided me updates and an opportunity to pick out fabrics if the pieces needed it. But in the case of the dining set…I knew I wanted a walnut finish and a roomy seating for four. And boy did he deliver.

Close up of the dining set - with "padded seats".

Close up of the dining set – with “padded seats”.

When I got the set (along with the pieces in the next set of photos), the chair originally didn’t have cushions. Rowen seemed fine with it, but Cilla had other ideas. She wanted cushions in the chairs — and the fabric had to fit the mid-century theme. Lordie, talk about pressure!

Luckily, it was a straight forward task. For the cushions, I used 3mm thick cellfoam and sliced out a pattern that matched the shape of the seat. Then with some tacky glue and a toothpick, did the slow (and somewhat messy) task of wrapping the cellfoam shape on a square piece of fabric. In terms of fabric, there’s a shop on Etsy called WeeWovens that sells squares of hand made modern patterned fabric. The shop sells 4″ squares of it starting at $1.00. For the dining set, I managed to cover all four seats using just a single square. Am seriously crossing fingers that Cilla liked how these chairs turned out.

As for the table runner — I cut a strip of scrapbook paper that looks/feels like canvas cloth. To make it “drape” like actual fabric, I cut a piece of foil, which I then folded and trimmed so that it’s the same length as the scrapbook paper, but a few millimeteres thinner width-wise. Then glued the resized foil in the back of the paper — which allowed me to bend the paper and drape it nicely.

Now that we’ve covered this room, let’s head to the next one on the first floor.

Living Room

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Midcentury living room set (sofa, table, credenza and chair) is a custom order by Multiforminiatures. Plants from Suebee’s Miniatures. Plant stand is actually a side table from the 1/24 Butterfly House furnishing set from 3StarStudioArts. Wall art components also purchased from 3StarStudioArts. Pillows by Otterine’s Miniatures. Accessories from purchases and private collections.

This is one of BK’s favorite rooms in the ARC III (he’s pretty proud of the end result when I showed it to him). The pièce de résistances are definitely the living room set from Multiforminiatures. I loved the play of the warm walnut wood stain against the nubby champagne/cream fabric of the upholstery. Adding Miss Brae O’s adorable pillows helped provide a punch of color. Yeah, I know they seemed big, but in 1:16 scale…they look like they could pass for 24″ throw pillows. Besides, it’s my house and I’ll furnish it with what I like darn it!

This and the dining room table/chairs were the first set I ordered from Monsieur O. In a way, I got the pieces of furniture I’ve dreamed of owning. Except it’s smaller, and I don’t have to break my back moving them when it comes to dusting them. Win!

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In terms of the wall art – I didn’t want to hang a painting above the credenza. The brick wall kinda screamed for something unique — and light colored, especially amidst all the dark colors. A quick rummage in my drawers came up with these laser cut beads from 3StarStudio Arts got me thinking. Perhaps Rowen and Cilla want an art installation of some kind?

Close up of the finished  wall art in the living room.

Close up of the finished wall art in the living room.

I ended up directly glueing the maple beads to the wall. And in true fashion, BK stopped by to check the progress — and we had the following conversation.

BK: What are you doing hun?

DK: Installing wall art. What do you think?

BK: What’s it supposed to be?

DK: I have no idea. Do I look like the smart one here? Maybe the Big Bang? I mean, the bead in the center looks like it explored and all these galaxies are forming…

BK: That sounds really artsy. Or fartsy. Or both.

DK: Hey, I’m just pulling that out of my butt  – I never said I was Neill Tyson de Grasse! Since you’re the genius in this conversation, what do you think it is?

BK: (peers at the layout) It looks like an animal. Maybe a dinosaur?

DK: What is it with you and dinosaurs? Just because I said “no, we’re not buying chicken nuggets in the shape of dinosaurs” last week, we always come back to dinosaurs in every single conversation we’ve had.

BK: But it does look like a dinosaur! Maybe like a pterodactyl face! <makes weird squaking noise>

DK: ……am I being punished for not getting you dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets?

BK: No. But if you let me get some in next grocery run, I’ll consider you forgiven.

Three years of marriage, and apparently the secret to making my husband happy are dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets. Pass the word.

After forcing me to pinky-swear to BK that he’s allowed to add the darn chicken nuggets in our next grocery list, we settled on calling the artwork “Orbits” (as in planets/asteroids orbiting the sun). Frankly, I don’t think either Cilla or Rowen are going to see that. But hopefully they’ll like the artwork in the end.

The Study/Office

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Office set (credenza, chair, and desk) is a custom order by Multiforminiatures. Plants from Suebee’s Miniatures. Wall art is actually part of the chandelier that came with the ARC kit from 3StarStudioArts. Fabric from chair from WeeWovens. Grey wallpaper from PoppetsDollyBits. Accessories from purchases and private collections.

The second floors have literally smaller floor plans, so I really had to be careful with what I used. Funny thing is, the furnishings on this entire floor were the second order I placed with Monsieur O. I was so happy with the outcome of the living/dining sets, I came back to ask to be put on queue. And as always, Monsieur O delivered in the pieces.

I wanted the office to be something that both Cilla and Rowen could easily take turns using. So I tried to make it neutral while being as stylish as possible.

Close up of the workstation.

Close up of the workstation.

For the second floor rooms, I actually decided to try out an Etsy shop I discovered called PopptesDollyBits. The shopkeeper’s based in the UK, but she specializes in making wallpapers in various scales — including 1:16 scale. I couldn’t pass up trying it out so I ordered the white and grey parquet for the study. It’s supposed to be used as flooring, but it actually looks good as an accent wall. As for the wall art — the ARC kit actually came with parts to create non-working chandelier. But for here, I just applied a light cherry stain to one of the pieces and stuck it to the wall as art.

And of course, like the dining room chairs, I installed padding and upholstery to the office chair. This time a I chose a mod green pattern to compliment the renwal lamp shade and the green plant. The rug is actually a 1:12 scale rug, but instead of trimming off the fringes (which would just create more fringes), I just folded the white edge/fringe part under the rug and secured it with glue.

ARCIII-23The Bedroom

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Four poster bed is a custom order by Multiforminiatures. Bedside table is a rehabbed Strombecker 3/4″ scale nightsand. Lamp also a vintage Strombecker. Wallpaper purhcased from PoppetsDollyBits. Accessories from purchases and private collections.

Sorry again for the fuzzy photos. I might need to ask my sister for suggestions on better lighting tips when taking photos.

I wanted to keep the bedroom simple but still playful. The bed I think is actualy meant to be a child’s size bed. But given the size of the bedroom floor….I think it fits the space perfectly. The wallpaper is also a 1:16 scale piece from PoppetsDollyBits that I had to trim to size to fit the side wall. If you look at the wallpaper closely….you’ll notice it’s the same paper I used for the upper kitchen cabinet downstairs. Hey, might as well use my purchases are much as possible I guess….

In terms of the table…it’s actually a vintage Strombecker night stand. The piece is meant to be 3/4″ scale (or 1:18), but it was the perfect height to house a lamp (also a vintage Strombecker) and an alarm clock. I found the table and lamp at a yard sale over the summer – actually, it was two of each. And was able to buy all four pieces for about $5. Heckuva lot cheaper than what I’m seeing on eBay lately.

But there was a huge downside though to my victory find. For starters, the tables were in bad shape – the paint was chipped, and several areas had rough edges. The second — both tables were of a different color. One was a nice celery green color which I didn’t mind. The other was a weird salmon color. Luckily, the two lamps matched (green base with a yellowish-cream shade) and were in good shape so I left those alone. For the tables though….I can almost hear some screaming over here, but I ended up sanding both down and repainting them with a red acrylic paint and sealing them. Figured the room needed a pop of color — plus, it would make the green lamp stand out better right?

Unfortunately, by the time I took this photo, I had to revarnish the second table. And it wasn’t dry enough for me to move into the ARC III. So until that’s dry…I’ll post an updated pic later.

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Since there were alot of patterns going in the bedroom (from the bed and the walls specifically), the wall art had to make a statement. And seriously, what could be a better statement than hanging a picture of a giant robot above your bed?

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The art was something I’ve used in the Victorian Mod Cottage from long long ago. It’s actually a travel poster of some kind. It always cracked me up.

Art from the Victorian Mod Cottage

Art from the Victorian Mod Cottage

It actually works pretty well here. And it makes the red nighstand(s) appear to belong more in the room. The room’s still pretty barebones compared to the rest of the house. I’m still going back and forth of installing a rug, or something. Guess I can mull that over while I recover from my illness in the next few days.

Close up of the bedroom art.

Close up of the bedroom art.

Rooftop Terrace/Patio

I have to save the best for last. This has always been my favorite area in the ARC kit. Mostly because I don’t have this in real life….but man, the opportunity would be awesome though. Besides, Cilla and Rowen will want a place to enjoy the outdoors….and entertain guests once the weather starts to get warm.

View of the rooftop terrace.

View of the rooftop terrace.

As I mentioned in the last post, I wanted to use the chairs and table from the Butterfly House furnishing gift set I received. To follow the theme of all the chairs in the ARC…these got upholstered with a fun yellow fabric from WeeWovens. Think I might need to start stockpiling on these…

Midcentury living room set (sofa, table, credenza and chair) is a custom order by Multiforminiatures. Plants from Suebee's Miniatures. Plant stand is actually a side table from the 1/24 Butterfly House furnishing set from 3StarStudioArts. Wall art components also purchased from 3StarStudioArts. Pillows by Otterine's Miniatures. Accessories from purchases and private collections.

Plants from Suebee’s Miniatures. Chairs, side table, main table, and credenza from the 1/24 Butterfly House furnishing set from 3StarStudioArts. Wall art components also purchased from 3StarStudioArts. Fabrci on chairs by WeeWovens. Accessories from Lundby Stockholm set (private purchase).

The “stone” flooring was actually a 1/24 flagstone paving sheet I purchased online. It was a splurge on my end, but I love the effect it gave on the rooftop. Plus, it makes the furnishing stand out even more.

Close up the chairs. Love the fabric pattern!

Close up the chairs. Love the fabric pattern!

Now that we’ve toured the ARC III, why don’t we let Cilla and Rowen come in and scope out their new digs. So far, so good.

The couple checking things out.

The couple checking things out.

Looks like Cilla’s trying out the bed. It might be a bit cozy for the two of them during bedtime, but it doesn’t seem like they’ll mind that.

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In the meantime, Rowen’s up in the terrace. Given how he’s manging the plants…looks like the greenery are in capable hands. If you’re good Rowen, I might give you a lift to the local nursery if you need to do a supply run….

Inspecting the plants on the terrace.

Inspecting the plants on the terrace.

So you guys…how do you like the new place? Any thoughts? Guys?

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Uh…is it me or is it getting hot and heavy here?

Rowen & Cilla enjoying their new living room.

Rowen & Cilla enjoying their new living room.

Ack, seriously guys?? Get a room! Or better yet, go upstairs! There’s some impressionable folks reading this entry. Like this blog writer <covers eyes with her hands>.

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Well, given neither one waved an angry fist at me, I guess I did a pretty good job! Onwards to the next project I guess!

Correction from BK: Onward to the next project after I recover from my illness. And based on the thermometer, BK thinks I have the flu. Cad-nabbit!!!

So folks, if you’re interested in any of the stuff I’ve posted, I tried to put links to the vendors and places. Hope those help, and to the vendors I’ve showcased here — thank you so much for your awesome creations. Now I have a dollhouse I can proudly install in my dining room — and not give away to my mother*. 🙂

*Still love you Mom. And yes, I’ll still continue to give you little gifts to furnish your little home as well.

Some (Late) Weekend Goodies

I meant to post this during the weekend, between this entry and this entry. Think my scatterbrain-ness (is that a word?) is indicative of I need a vacation.

But with the ARC II getting close to completion…figured I should provide a follow-up with what happened to the furniture pieces I mentioned in a previous post (the Sunday Line Up).

For those of you who don’t remember, I had these pieces that needed finishing. These were part of a furniture kit set that I bought alongside the first ARC. I saved the other pieces for future projects, but I wanted to use these guys for the ARC II.

SundayTask-3On Monday (and a bit of this evening), I finished them!

The coffee and nightstand.

The coffee and nightstand.

The coffee table and nightstand I went for a simple route. I stained the legs using Rustoleum’s Touch Up Markers. I found them on clearance at the local Michaels store, and decided to try them out. I used the walnut stain, which showed beautifully showed the grain of the baltic birch plywood. For the table tops, I covered the laser-cut edges with painter’s tape and painted the top with FolkArt Titanium White craft acrylic paint. I had to sand it again, before repainting the top once more.  Once that dried, I peeled the tape (to expose the edge), and glued the pieces together. Then for extra sheen, rubbed some of the beeswax wood polish I bought from Etsy.

The bed for the ARC II.

The bed for the ARC II.

When it came to the bed, I did ask you guys if I should go for a more traditional finish or maybe go quirky. The results (both from the poll I posted and from verbal responses) were actually stalemate. I ended up having my niece break that tie when she spent the weekend at my house, helping me clean up my work room. And she came across a tube of this very neon, bright turquoise-like color acrylic paint in one of my discarded boxes. Not sure why, but thought I should give it a try. And looking at the photo now, am pretty glad I went this route! I painted the pieces with this color, sanded them, and glued them together before doing a final coat and varnish. As for the mattress — I just cut a piece of cellfoam to size. Kinda feel bad for whoever will sleep on this — sleeping on that might be the equivalent on snoozing on a morgue slab or something. 😦

Of course, I saved the best for last.

The bookcase.

The bookcase.

In my excitement of assembling the bookcase, I went ahead and glued it all together before I could even sand the pieces (let alone read the directions. So again, sorry KP and Z for screwing that up!). With that ship sailed, I just decided to use the wood stain marker I used on the table legs and make the bookcase have that same finish. And it appeared to have worked out.

Because the bookcase was very dark, decided to balance it out with some very bright accessories. In this case, I made the “books” by cutting up blocks of wood from various sized wood strips. I sanded them down, and painted the edges white to denote pages. Then, I randomly selected patterns from my stash of origami paper, cut them into strips, and glued them on the blocks to look like covers. Basically the same exact “books” I did in an entry way back then.

As for the accessories, the vase on the lower and top shelf were purchase from Manor House Miniatures. The turquoise Buddha head statue and the shell on a stand (on the top shelf as well) were purchased from Cyd’s Etsy shop Mod Pod Miniatures. The green Buddha statue was another purchase from Manor House Miniatures (definitely worth signing up for email updates for this shop. Every Sunday, they send out a list of what’s on sale for that week. Tend to score some good finds that way).

Was pretty excited at how these turned out, so I decided to test them out on the ARC II. At least on the side of the ARC II where the living room and bedroom will be situated.

 

View of the living room and bedroom on the ARC II.

View of the living room and bedroom on the ARC II.

 

Close up of the living room.

Close up of the living room.

In the above photo, I had the bookcase flanked with a pair of Petite Princess chairs. One of them I mentioned in an earlier entry. The other chair was another eBay winning bid (I couldn’t pass up the starting price). The pillows were part of a set of 4 that were also an eBay purchase. The plants on the table were purchased from SueBees’s Miniatures. Sue (the store owner) typically lists vintage 1:24, and 1:16 scale pieces. But she recently started to sell some adorable plants. Think I might get more later.

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As for the bedroom, I used a 1:12 scale knitted baby blanket as bedding. The green and multicolored pillow was purchased from Miniatures from Avalon, while the blue/white pillows were part of the same set as the pillows used in the sitting room. The tall plant also came from SueBees’s Miniatures.

Am really happy how this is turning out. And once I finish the exterior, I can finally do something that I’m looking forward to share with you all — having the ARC fully furnished. Stayed tuned!

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The CC: Furniture Trial Run…and a Little Backstory I Guess

Now that floors have been installed, usually I proceed with the walls. But because the rooms of the CC are rather on the shallow end…figured I should at least start trying to see what furniture will fit.

For this project, I decided to deviate once more and actually use something different. It’ll still be a residential urban townhouse…but again, because space is limited, I had to carefully pick up what pieces I want to use.

Doing a furniture trial fit of sorts...

Doing a furniture trial fit of sorts…

For example, the first floor I wanted this to be a combination of a compact kitchen and dining area. So I used some old IKEA dollhouse furniture (their Lillabo line from the early 2000s….man I wish IKEA hadn’t discontinued this line), and a Rement cafe set. The kitchen wall cabinet is a discontinued Rement piece (think from their Storage Beauty line).

CC-Before-Kitchen

Cafe table & chairs are Rement’s Wood Cafe collection; purchased at http://www.superbuzzy.com. White toy sink, stove, fridge, and white hutch were part of IKEA’s discontinued Lillabo doll furniture line (purchased via EBay). Wall cabinet was part of Rement’s Storage Beauty series (purchased via EBay).

The second floor would be the living room. Again, the space really limited my selection, so I had to be really careful with what I wanted to use.

Couch, heart shaped pillow, and large white bookcase: part of the IKEA huset doll furniture set. Smaller white bookcase purchased from Manor House Miniatures. Other pillows were from IKEA's Lillabo collection.

Couch, heart shaped pillow, and large white bookcase: part of the IKEA huset doll furniture set. Smaller white bookcase purchased from Manor House Miniatures. Other pillows were from IKEA’s Lillabo collection. Slipcover purchased from PaperDollProductions (Etsy).

The bookcase on the left, the heart shaped pillow, and the couch were actually part of IKEA’s new Huset doll furniture set. Granted, the set is a bit big on 1:12 scale, but I love the pieces so much…I actually bought a couple of boxes of this set during a trip to our local IKEA store. The couch originally had a pink slipcover, but I found a vendor on Etsy called PaperDollProductions who creats custom slipcovers and accessories to go with this doll furniture set. Suffice to say, I put an order for the orange slipcover and padded the plastic couch with batting to make it a little more comfy looking. The smaller white bookcase was a modern storage unit I found on Manor House Miniatures.

For the third floor…I decided this would be a bedroom of sorts.

CC-Before-Bedroom1

The bed was a custom piece I had built by Gigi N Studio (Etsy) based on one of her modern 1:12 scale bed. Miss Gigi was so nice to take my request to change the dimensions of the bed to accommodate my project, and she quickly produced this lovely piece. I used a piece of craft chair cushion (about 1/2″ thick) to create the boxspring and mattress.

CC-Before-Bedroom2

Across from the bed, I used a shadowbox kit that I purchased from Porkchop Art Part (Etsy) as the base for a closet/wardrobe unit. I assembled the shell, but am waiting on a few wood trim and parts to assemble the shelves and racks.

Now if you notice on the photo, the furniture isn’t exactly 1:12 scale. In fact, they seem kinda big and bulky. The truth is folks…I’m designing the CC for a rather particular set of occupants. Guess you can say, they’re my muses for this project.

So with further ado….meet Dasha.

Daya with his pet doberman, Sophie.

Dasha with his pet doberman, Sophie.

You can tell from this photo that he looks mighty tall to be a 1:12 scale doll. And you’re right — he’s actually close to being about 7.75″ in height. Because of that, I had to really look around for furniture that would accommodate him. Heck, even his dog Sophie seems tiny against him (and she’d be a good size dog in 1:12 scale).

Daya in modern garb. I decided to keep the chip on his nose while repairing everything else.

Dasha in modern garb. I decided to keep the chip on his nose while repairing everything else.

Now in terms of where I got him…I actually found him in April 2013 in an antique shop up in Cape Cod, right in the hometown where BK grew up. We were in the area as BK’s younger brother MK was getting married. And one afternoon, we decided to check out this shop because we heard the shopkeeper had a big collection of antique nautical items (which was something BK wanted to check out).

When we got to the shop, I noticed that as BK and I were entering the place, a family with a bunch of young children were hurriedly leaving the premises. We didn’t think much about it until we got inside and were greeted by the shopkeeper. Judging from the flustered look on his face, BK and I risked asking him if he was okay.

The shopkeeper said he was fine, but he was a little upset with the family that left because one of the children had apparently broken one of his merchandise. When I asked what it was, he pointed at something beside the cash register. And lying sprawled beside the register, was Dasha.

He was indeed a sorry sight. He had a mop of black hair that was half on, half off his head. His nose looked chipped, and his hands looked like they were covered with something sticky. Even worse were his clothes — he was wearing what looked like a very worn out silk robe and trousers, and the sleeves looked like they were yanked hard at the seams. Suffice to say, he looked like someone that got seriously man-handled.

The shopkeeper explained that one of the children managed to get the doll off the shelf and started banging him against every piece of furniture, tugging at his clothes, and pulling at his limbs. When the shopkeeper finally asked the parents to tell their child to stop or they’ll have to pay for the doll, the child flung the doll to the floor — where Dasha’s nose and hand chipped. I guess the parents were so mortified that they just gathered their children and hustled out to the door as we were coming in.

I’m not sure why, but when I held the doll, I got the feeling that I should take him home, and that I should call him Dasha. Without skipping a beat, I asked the shopkeeper if I could purchase him. Guess he was surprised, but seemed relieved when I told him I collect doll furniture, and might be able to do something to repair the doll.

Once BK and I returned to our house, I spent the next couple of weeks repairing him. I ended up just removing his beat up wig and gently washing the wooden parts with wood soap and sanding off any glue residue. I took him to a furniture restorer, and the owner was nice enough to repair his hand. His clothing I ended up removing since it was beyond repair, and clumsily restitched his cloth body while I replaced his metal limbs with new gauze (the original wrappings were cotton strips. I ended up using gauze since it was easier to work with). Ended up dressing him in modern garb (used some Ken doll clothes and rehemmed the pants to fit him better), and for shoes, I covered his metal feet with paper clay and painted them to resembled wearing a pair of kicks.

By the time I finished repairing Dasha, it was already July 2013. At that point, work was starting to eat more of my time, so I had to put things off with my hobby. I would have put Dasha in the same storage bin as my other doll cast, but I kept having this nagging feeling that he needed to be around. So I put him to sit on a shelf above my desk. Eventually, I decided to give him company and picked up his faithful Doberman Sophie from an eBay auction.

But on August, I came across this find on Ebay.

Everyone, this is Lena.

Everyone, this is Lena.

Because I tend to use vintage Dawn and Pippa fashion doll clothes to dress my 1:12 scale dolls, an online buddy told me about these vintage dolls from the late 1950s-1960s called Miss Dollikin. Apparently they were created by Uneeda and the dolls were unique in how they were constructed. In order to make them more poseable than their competitors, Uneeda constructed the Lil Miss Dollkin as a strung doll — meaning inside the doll’s body, its limbs are connected inside by a type of strung elastic. This allows the doll to be posed in slightly more natural, human-like positions.

I was definitely curious, and decided that if I see one on eBay that I liked, then I’ll get it. Again, not sure if the mini gods were at work or something…but I did find one that I liked, and a few days later, she (who I named Lena) arrived at my house. I ended up replacing her outfit with the one you see in the photo….though I need to find red shoes to go with her getup.

Guess sparks flew between the two of them…because they’re always together. Either that, or I was just too lazy to put them elsewhere. 🙂

More Goodies for the ARC

While most of Saturday was spent on cutting up egg carton stones and bricks…thought I’d try to break things up by reporting on some new arrivals for the ARC dollhouse.

For the kitchen, I found the following find on Ruby Lane…and at a fantastic sale of $12 (thanks Time in a Bottle)!

New Kitchen Set

New Kitchen Set

It’s a vintage kitchen set made by Tomy toys. I haven’t delved into the historical background so I’m not quite sure on the official details. All I know was that Tomy created a line of miniature dollhouse furniture back in the 1970s (or early 1980s) called the Smaller Home and Garden series. According to the website I found labeled A History of Dollhouses & Furnishings from 1890 to 1990, the items were originally manufactured in Japan, and were built to simulate materials like wood despite being made of plastic.  The series sold the furniture in sets and at the time, were deemed quite modern and realistic.

In the case of the kitchen set, it definitely reminded me of my old home back in the 1980s. Granted, my parents’ kitchen didn’t have the lemon veneer cabinet doors, but I remember the black dishwasher and the butcher block countertops. Funny how that’s been back in vogue….

I had originally thought of putting the set on the lower left side of the ARC, near the front door. But the fact the sink and stove sections were in such excellent condition…I had to use them both somehow. So imagine my surprise when I set them up on the opposite side of the ARC.

ARC-Goodies3

ARC-Goodies2

Guess this will be its new home. So far so good!

The next package I received in the mail consisted of the set I bought for the bathroom. I purchased it via eBay, and while I knew it was going to be green…but man, this is definitely very Crayola green. I love it! This set was manufactured by Fisher Price in the late 1970s.

ARC-Goodies4It was a bit of a snug fit in the ARC…but I’m not complaining. I actually like it how it looks. Of course, now I might need to adjust my plans on how to decorate the bathroom (lolz).

ARC-Goodies6

The last package…well, it was more of packages. I try to make it a point to snag as many Reac Designer Chairs as possible. And I managed to score a bunch of them from a seller on eBay. I meant to keep them stored for a future project, but I guess curiosity got the best of me. So I took out two of them (since I bought a pair of each) and tested them in the ARC to see how they’d look. Technically these guys are meant to be 1:12 scale, but….it seems to work well here right?

Well that's definitely a surprise.

Well that’s definitely a surprise.

The blue chair on the left (if memory serves me right) is based on a Charles Ray and Eames design back in the 1950s — a DAW I think. Not sure though — I get these guys mixed up like crazy.  The green chair on the right….I’m pretty sure that’s modeled after a Bofinger-Stuhl.

I kept going back and forth between the two of them I decided that I just need to grow a pair and make a decision. I did the old reliable standby of “eeny, meeny, miny, moe”. And it looked like the green chair won.

The chairs in their new home.

The chairs in their new home.

And I guess the chairs worked out since they complimented my very sunny kitchen. Now I just have to wait on my furniture set from 3StarStudioArts and I’ll be all set with the furniture pieces….

Though in the meantime….anyone in need of a TOMY refrigerator? It came with the kitchen set, but alas, I don’t have room for it…..

ARC-Goodies10

 

Some Mid Century Lovin’

Holy crap, three entries within the space of 48 hours? What the hell is happening here? Hopefully am not gonna jinx this! <crosses fingers>

Now that the books are all finished, the mini gods must have been in a good mood…because the local USPS mail lady showed up at the doorstep with a package for me. Alas, it’s not the supplies for the Primrose though. On the other hand….it was just as fantastically awesome.

I came across Atomic Blythe’s shop on Etsy during Mother’s Day and fell in love with her miniature furniture. Not only were the prices reasonable, but seriously, how can you not love this couch? Am an absolute sucker for blues and circles. Plus, I don’t think I can ever convince BK about getting a couch like this in real life. So having it in 1:12 scale will do.

So did I end up buying this couch you ask? Darn tootin’ I did! Happy Mother’s Day to me, that’s for ^@#& sure!

While the package arrived on yesterday, I finally opened it this morning and (according to BK) spent the following hour or so rummaging through my bins of minis (which has gone from 3 rubbermaid containers to 4. God help me with this obsession) until I found this table.

I actually bought this table on eBay, but found out shortly after that the Minis2X has an Etsy store. If you got money burning in your pocket, definitely check out her store. That way I can live vicariously through you.  Because seriously, I’d be willing to eat cereal for a month if I can furnish a house or roombox with her stuff.  Unfortunately my husband and our pet rats aren’t going to roll with that idea anytime soon. 😛

With the table and sofa in place, I asked my resident Italian supermodel Pia if she’d grant me the honor of posing with them. If you ask me, I think she’s already making dibs on these pieces.

Have to say, I need more mid-century pieces — I got an idea of (yet another) project to try. Do you have any suggestions? Let me know!

Daydreaming perhaps?

Credits: Mid-Century Sofa by Atomic Blythe (Etsy); Coffee Table by Minis2X (Etsy); Pia the Supermodel by Theresa Hutnick (Etsy);  Pia’s clothing is a Pippa outfit purchased from Ebay.