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!

Victorious Dilemmas – Oh Noes!

Given the last entry was on the cathartic note…hopefully this one will give you all a chuckle at how inept I can be sometimes.

A few weeks back, someone posted a listing on eBay on the CB2 Miniature Neville House. I was pretty excited when I saw it because I had meant to get one when Crate & Barrel’s more mod sibling store released it around 2011. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a CB2 anywhere near me so it was definitely a no go.

Anyways, so once I saw the listing, I put a max bid and left it at that. Next thing I knew, a bidding war erupted. I gave up in the end because the price just got too high for me to justify it. So the listing ended, and off it went to its new owner. Until a new listing showed up. The start price was a bit high at $75, but I put a low bid thinking that I’ll probably get outbid yet again. That is until a few minutes ago — and I got the notification from eBay saying I won it.

Finally! Ye miniature gods, thou hath answered my call!

Picture of CB2's Neville House. Photo found on Houzz.com

Picture of CB2’s Neville House. Photo found on Houzz.com

I saw blog entries about this house from Call of the Small and MiniModern (which inspired me to keep an eye for it). Granted, it looks like it can accommodate stuff from 1:16 down, but given BK and I are moving things into storage….I’m only allowed to keep smaller scale minis to display around the house. Yes, the ARC III is safe — that’s permanently taken residence on my dining room table as part of the decor. That’s partly why I’m trying out other scales to circumvent the whole space issue going on at home. Yeah, sneaky on my end. But hey, it’s an obsession — and sometimes, ones does desperate things. 🙂

[Update: Modern Mini Houses shared her entries about the Neville House since she owns one too! Thanks for sharing the pics with us!]

Sorry, digressing here. Back to the post!

So while I’m shaking off my stunned surprise that I won the Neville House (really, really thought I’d be outbid at the last second)….I also came across this beauty on Etsy.

Half scale (1:24) DIY cardboard dollhouse.
From Melissasminiwereld.

During my hunt for half scale items on Etsy (just to see what’s out there), I found this shop called Mellisasminiwerld where Mme. Sipma creates 1:24 and 1:48 scale minis out of cardboard. Talk about intriguing! I love the details around the windows and door. And the fact it’s cardboard….it almost screams a delicious challenge to find ways to decorate the exterior.

I contacted Mme. Sipma on the dimensions for the half scale version, and the lovely shopkeeper told me that it’s about 30cm high x 18 cm deepx 23 cm wide (about 11.8 x 7 x 9 inches).  Hmm…I can definitely fit that atop the bookcase….

Egads! I want this house too! But now I have the Neville being shipped here soon….and I need to flesh out The Retreat! What am I gonna do??? Even more, how am I gonna explain to BK why there are more kits coming home when I’m putting a good bunch of my currents ones into storage?

Curse this obsession! No…wait – yay for obsessions!

But I guess there’s only way to settle things. And that’s playing rock paper scissors lizard Spock!

Schematic of the game.
Image from The Recidivist.

Though Sheldon definitely explains it way better (sorry, my love for the Big Bang Theory knows no bounds).

What do you guys think? Should I go for the cardboard house? Maybe use that as the Retreat? Or as a counter to it? Ack, this and the flu’s making me loopy again!

And we’re back….and an update of sorts

Hey everyone,

Holy crap, what happened to the last months of 2014? And how did we get to the end of January 2015???

I sure hope everyone had an awesome holiday season and a festive New Years. BK and I spent the holidays with his family up in Cape Cod. Even though we go there for the holidays, we always look forward to this trip every year since it’s a chance for us to spend time with BK’s parents and siblings. But the highlight of our trip was actually taking the ferry over to Martha’s Vineyard, and visiting BK’s beloved Grandma Ellie. Don’t get me wrong…we absolutely love the relaxing atmosphere the Vineyard provides. But seeing Grandma Ellie, hearing her stories, and just her way of wanting to spend time with you…she’s in every way the grandmother I had dreamed of having.

Sadly, Grandma had been ill for the last couple of months, and on the Sunday after Christmas…she passed away in her sleep, in her lovely house in Martha’s Vineyard, surrounded by her ten kids. BK and I ended up extending our stay an extra week to be with family and for Grandma’s funeral. I still miss Grandma…but in a way, am glad that she passed in her own terms. And that I got to spend the last 7 years enjoying her company and her endless supply of advice and hugs.

Sorry for the tangent post here…guess part of me is still coming to grips with what has happened. Granted, she was BK’s grandmother. But the fact she whole heartedly took me in and treated me like I was her own. It’s very…comforting.

But life has to go on…and knowing Grandma, she’d prolly poke me in the arm and tell me to finish the projects I’ve started (yes, she was aware of my obsession with miniatures…and encouraged it. As much as my own mother). But after I fill up her woodbox with firewood for her wood stove of course. 🙂

BK and I returned home after Grandma’s funeral, and by then, it was almost mid-January. So honestly, the last couple of weeks have been a huge blur. There was the whole getting back to the routine at work. And then…there was the issue of the mail/packages we put on hold while we were out of town…

What our local post office was holding for me...

What our local post office was holding for me…

And another shot. Again, this is just from the USPS.

And another shot. Again, this is just from the USPS.

Yes, almost 90% of the packages were addressed to me. And I mean packages delivered by USPS, FedEx, and UPS. Just the trip to the post office alone…the clerk lent me one of their carts just so I can transport the boxes from the office counter to my car. Suffice to say, BK was initially amused, then worried, then amused when it came time for me to open the packages.

“It’s like Christmas all over again,” he said as I began to tear open the boxes in my pajamas. All while screeching “it’s opening loot time!” every few minutes or so.

No folks, I wasn’t drunk at the time. But I did have a 20 oz of hot chocolate prior to said event. So I’m going to pin the blame on the sugar buzz. 🙂

In terms of what I got? Well, I’ll mention it in the next entry or so. I know, am an absolute stinker. 🙂

Thank You Pepper!

I’ve recently subscribed to Bloglovin, which notifies me of any new posts done in my favorite miniature blogs. Given that I haven’t had time to really work on my projects, reading the mini blogs counts as part of my daily diet for the obsession hobby right?

Was very happy to find on MitchyMoo’s recent post a link to a video about….guess what? Adult Doll House Enthusiasts. Or I’d like to privately call as “super cool awesome folks.”

Hello Dollies from hinterland films on Vimeo.

The video gave me a good chuckle…which was follwed with lots of envious sighs because now I want to go to the Kensington Dollhouse Festival. I wonder if BK will be open to my getting a travel package. Though I need to win the lotto given the amount of damage I’d probably do when it comes to mini shopping….

In the meantime, I’ll just live vicariously through Ms. Pepper’s blog entries about her recent trip to the festival….

A Lovely Ending for the ARC II – I Think…

After finishing the ARC II, I had originally planned to have it on display in my dining room. Granted, that probably sounded odd for most folks. But since it’s much smaller than my other kits — thought it would be a cute centerpiece. Plus, my dining room is an actual vintage mid-century set…so it seemed even moreappropriate. An even bigger plus was that I can play with it while eating dinner. Because you know….just in case I don’t feel like eating the vegetables on my plate. 🙂

So the ARC II has been sitting proudly in my dining room since July…till about a few weeks ago. My family decided to stop by the house to say hello. Well, that’s what they claim. But BK and I know it’s mostly to pile on our laps (and fridge) lots of food. Don’t get me wrong folks — I do love to eat. But if my parents keep coming by bringing me my favorite Korean take outs and rice cakes….I’m not going to fit in my pants at all.

Once my family got in (and we all proceeded to nosh on the goodies), I noticed my mother was looking at the ARC II with utter fascination. Which proceeded to her gently spinning it around on its turntable to look at the furnishings. Which then lead to her actually playing with the house.

That’s right folks — my 61 year old mother was playing with a dollhouse. I know she encouraged my obsession hobby and all, but this was seriously the first time I’ve seen her actually interact with my minis. My older sister and I watched as she took the furnishings out, then rearranged them. It was pretty amusing since I’ve never seen her look so focused. I actually felt bad when my family was getting ready to go, Mom had the most wistful expression when she took a final glance at the ARC II before she kissed BK and I goodbye.

Apparently BK noticed it too, because the minute my family left, we had the following conversation.

BK: You saw that too huh?

Me: Yup.

BK: Mom really loves that house huh?

Me: Yup.

BK: ….you okay giving Mom the ARC–?

(BK blinking as he watches his crazy wife assemble a moving box and proceeds to wrap the ARC and its contents in tissue paper)

Me: (hauling the box) Put on your coat and shoes babe. We’re making a delivery.

BK: But your parents just left a few minutes ago!

Me: Yeah I know. I’m gonna drive it home and give it to Mom.

BK: You’re willing to sit through traffic? You’re absolutely nuts hun!

Me: You know I’m absolute crackpot babe. In fact, what did my father tell you when you asked his permission to marry me?

BK: (rather sullenly) ….No returns.

Me: Exactly. We warned you, I warned your repeatedly that you’re marrying an occasional idiot with an expensive habit. And you still went through with it. Who’s fault is that?

In the end, we made a compromise. I agreed to BK’s suggestion to call my parents to see where they were. Luckily, they made a pit stop at a gas station not far from the house. BK made the pretense that they forgot something at the house and asked if they wanted to come back or we hand it over to them on our next visit. My mother answered the cell so she was pretty happy to turn around. Which was perfect, because when we opened the door, BK and I put on the biggest grins on our faces and handed Mom the box containing the ARC. Suffice to say, Mom was totally surprised — and was happily asking my sister about getting a side table at IKEA.

A few days later, my mother posted the following on her Facebook page.  I almost cracked up (Mom’s very active on her FB pages…way more than her daughters and granddaughter). I couldn’t decide what made me laugh/smile some more — the finished decorations, or photos of my own Mom eagerly decorating the ARC.

My mother's ARC dollhouse.

My mother’s ARC dollhouse.

My sister did get her a side table at IKEA, and Mom set up the ARC II in their sun room. Talk about a perfect spot — it’s my Mom’s favorite room in the house because of all the plants my father cultivates. Plus, the ARC II is set next to my parents’ fish tank. “Waterfront property” as my mother pointed out. She said the dolls now have a nice view of the fish when they’re all on the roof.  My poor Dad just laughed and rolled his eyes.

Looks like I might have a convert in my hands . Or an excuse to get more Lundby stuff. <insert maniacal laughter here>

While I’m happy that Mom’s enjoying her new toy….my dining room does look a little empty without its centerpiece. And I did have a good time building/decorating the ARC…and it’s just happened that I won another TOMY kitchen set….like the one I used in ARC II…..

….so Monsieur Z and Mme. KP….this is a friendly reminder that you might be getting an order soon…..

Swoon? Why Yes, Please

Hey everyone, I know it’s been awhile since the last post. Work has really gotten stressful since the last time I wrote an entry. My job promotion this past April has pretty much entered the managerial sphere….which I have no experience in doing whatsoever. So it was essentially a HUGE learning curve, and while I emerged victorious in some, there were others where I seriously thought my bosses should fire me on the spot….

I’m really hoping to see some breathing room in the next couple of weeks. The CC is still not finished (Dasha and Lena are NOT HAPPY with me at the moment), and I did some work on the vintage Lundy Stockholm (need to load the pics). Also on queue is a little mini project for my in-laws (will have to post the entries after the holidays, since it’s part of their present), and a dollhouse for BK’s coworker’s daughter, whom we absolutely adore. So yeah….busy year…

….and it might get busier, now that Monsieur Z and Mme KP just released yet another droolworthy kit from their Etsy shop….the Reversible Row House!

Photo from 3StartStudios. All Rights Reserved.

Based on the shop’s description of the product – essentially you can flip the dollhouse kit upside down. So there’s no right or wrong side in terms of the rooms. It’s actually really cool given that you can flip the rowhouse if you want a different layout of the room. And the best part? This is in 1:12 scale folks — which is a first for me to see come out of this shop. Warning though folks, the price is a little bit high, but from my experience with the ARC, you’re getting a high quality product (the wood is so easy to work with and sands beautifully when it comes to painting the surfaces).

Dear lord, am salivating as I type this. The impatient part of me wants to plunk down an order just so this is my inventory. But then again…my family has been bugging me about what I want for the holidays. *creaky wheels starting to turn*

Again, do check out the 3StarStudio’s shop on Etsy and scope out their stuff.  And Monsieur Z and Mme. KP — please keep cranking out these beauties! I might be losing space in my house, but that’s okay. Maybe BK might be open to getting us a bigger place (insert BK laughing and going “nope!”)….

Uh-oh, Quick, Hide the Evidence!

Let’s hope that when this arrives, BK isn’t going to flip his gourd at me.

With the dining room looking like a disaster site as I continue to work on the ARC II and the CC…and the Lighthouse being next on the queue, I should be pretty busy. Especially with the fact that I now have to finish as many projects at my job as possible, before BK and I go on vacation in mid-June.

Oi, you’d think a rational person who think “yeah, this is plenty crazy.” But apparently not this village idiot of a blog writer. Because I put a bid on this and apparently won it as of last night.

My new addition to my obsession

My new addition to my obsession. Photo taken from eBay (from the seller’s listing page).

I don’t know much about this dollhouse, except that it’s a vintage Lundby dollhouse from the mid 1970s. I checked the I Love Lundby club, and it looks like this was the Stockholm (though apparently it was referred to as the “super” or “deluxe dollhouse”). It seemed like they introduced this around 1976, then afterwards, went back to the Gotenburg design that Lundby uses to this day. Then they brought back the Stockholm, but used the modern design (it looks more like those modern lofts you’d see in Miami or the West Coast or something).

I had been curious about this design since it looks pretty roomy in comparison to the current versions. Plus, seeing that there were a couple on eBay that had a low starting price, I just put the minimum bid. Frankly, I thought I’d get outbid at the last second, so I wasn’t going to cry tears if I didn’t win it. Of course, my phone gave its signature chirp last night (whenever I got an update on eBay)…and this was officially mine.

Am pretty excited (I’ve gotten fond of the Lundby/Barton/Lisa of Denmark pieces during my shopping for the ARC II), but again…not sure how BK is going to respond when this shows up. Plus, it looks like I’ll be doing alot of research on how to properly restore/renovate this house….

Wish me luck folks when this package arrives. 😛