Thursday, December 31, 2009

Welcome to 862 Ocean View Drive

Please join Better Doll Homes and Fake Mini Gardens for a tour of one of the most interesting houses in Susan's collection.

862 Ocean View Drive is a delightful house, built in the second half of the last century and deliberately decorated by Susan herself.

The soaring, high-ceilinged living room is enhanced by a Le Corbusier white leather sofa and an Eames Pony Lounge Chair (both from Reac).

Opposite the Eames Lounge chiar is a lovely sea green Swan Chair, also from Reac. Between them sits a Petite Princess table by Ideal.

Across the room, on each side of the Lundby Stereo is a MacIntosh Hill House Chair from Reac.

Beside the sofa is an Eames Elephant Chair designed by Charles and Ray Eames in 1945, and nearby is an Eames pony chair.

The agate coffee table and most of the vases are by Susan. Other items are as found.

The family room, just below the living room has a pair of Bibendum arm chairs (Reac), and another Eames Elephant.

The coffee table and Buddha are Petite Princess by Ideal, as is the tea cart by the china cabinet.

The red floor lamp is Renwal, the dining room suite and floor rug are Lundby. The wood cabinet, fireplace tools, cloisonne vase and glass side table are found objects. The black and white lamp is from Bozart.

The kitchen has a W. Germany green cupboard and fridge, a Lundby stove and chairs, and a found table.

The bathroom is by Bozart.

More tomorrow!!


All I want for Christmas is a doll house

I hope Santa brought all of you what you wanted for Christmas. I must have been a very good girl this year because I found an incredible doll house under my Christmas tree.

A local shop that specializes in mid-century modern items had been advertising this doll house on craigslist for several months. I was interested, but controlled myself and stayed away from the shop ... until my sweetheart and I drove by a few weeks ago and there, prominently displayed in the window was the house.
"Oh, look! It's in the window! Turn around. I need to see it!" My sweetheart, who is a kind and amiable person, turned the car around and pulled up in front of the shop. I explained to him that I had seen the doll house on craigslist, but felt that the shop owner was asking too much and I had no room for it anyway. I thought that was the end of it, but when it came time to exchange gifts there it was. I was genuinely surprised, very excited and very touched. No one had ever given me a dollhouse before. I felt like a kid at Christmas. LOL.

The house is an A-Frame, mid-century modern, and is beautifully handmade. The tall chimney, the paths to the two outside doors and the floor of the balcony are made of a 1960's floor tile that resembles field stone. At some point in my past I lived with this tile. I think it was in the house my family lived in when I was in high school. It does look like fieldstone if one hasn't lived with it as floor tile. I think it is quite effective.

The house has a large raised living room with soaring ceilings and a full height fireplace. The huge A-Frame window and lovely front deck look over the ocean, I am sure - although here in Toronto I guess it looks over Lake Ontario. Or maybe it is in the mountains and has a spectacular view of snow topped peaks.

There is a staircase on each side of the fireplace. One leads down to the kitchen and the other leads down to a large family/dining room. A second large, full height fireplace is in that room.

The kitchen and bathroom are to the left of this room (left, if one is facing the fireplace), and two bedrooms are at the back. The bedrooms are below another large A-Frame window at the back of the house.

The kitchen stair has a burgundy carpet on it, and there is evidence of the same carpet in the living room - gone now. Perhaps the whole house was carpeted, it's hard to tell. It seems that wallpaper has been torn off the bathroom walls. Despite this and a few other places where wood or trim is missing the house is in fantastic condition.

There are roof pieces that attach with dowels. Both pieces are there for the living room section, but there is only one for the back section.

The house looks rather like a barn with the roof on. See the picture below.

The house is surrounded by a large lawn, made of that astro turf stuff people put on their patios back then.

The house has the numbers 862 over the front door. I wonder if it was based on a real house.
My Sweetie included the tractor with the house. I guess he knew that the doll family wouldn't want to cut that big lawn with a push mower.

This picture shows the house from the kitchen side with the roof on. The first picture of this blog is from the family room side with the roof off.

I had a lot of fun deciding how to furnish this house. That is coming up in my next blog.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Merry Christmas to all!!

Like most large cities, Toronto's downtown department stores feature Christmas windows. I love the ones that have been at The Bay for the past few years. I just want to climb into the windows and play with the contents as if it was my own doll house. It is not 1/12th scale though. The figures are between 15 and 20 inches high.

The windows tell the story of Christmas Eve, starting at the North Pole where the elves are getting the sleigh ready.

Time is running out in Santa's workshop. Less than 15 minutes to midnight. Santa has his list all ready to go. I checked - my name is on it.

In the village everyone is preparing for Christmas Eve. The lamplighter is busy lighting the lamps and the carolers are singing. One little girl is drooling in front of the sweet shop - Visions of sugarplums indeed.

Father and Mother are putting the final touches on the tree and the mantle. The children tried to stay awake, but have fallen asleep in the parlor, all except one who is peeking out to see what she can see.

At the end of a long night Santa arrives back at the North Pole where Mrs. Claus has a feast waiting for him. The elves are so excited and happy to have him home and to hear his stories of how his trip went. They have prepared a Welcome Home banner.

Anyone familiar with the Hudsons Bay Company (established 1670) will recognize the Hudsons Bay coats on the Elves and the Hudsons Bay blankets on the mice sleeping in their Hudsons Bay matchbox beds. Sorry the picture of the mice is so bad. It is the only close up one I have. The mice have their own little house under the floor of the Victorian parlor.

If you get a chance to visit Toronto over the holidays check out the windows for yourself. The Bay (main store) is in the old Robert Simpson department store building at Queen and Yonge streets. The windows are on Yonge closer to Bay Street.

I wish all my wonderful friends in Blogland a wonderful holiday season and everything good in 2010.

Love & hugs,


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

What is it about cats and dollhouses?

On Saturday I decided to see what the living room in Mindolton Manor needed so that I could finally get it finished and furnished for a Christmas scene. I had the door open and was sizing up the room when Darci decided she needed to investigate.

She jumped up on the table at the other side of the dollhouse and daintily stepped though, over, and on the miniature furniture and accessories outside the dollhouse as she made her way over to me.

After she looked through the french doors into the front hall and dining room beyond she investigated the room.

She playfully swatted at the fireplace light. "Maybe it's a skinny red mouse."

Then, quite pleased with her discovery, she settled down purring contentedly in her new home and seemed to expect me to be as happy as she was. She figured that I was so happy that I would sit on my chair and pet her until she got bored with it.

I had placed a baseboard across the end of the room to see how it would look, but she decided to lean on it once she was comfortable, so no more work could be done.

I know it was mean, but I wanted my room back so I brought Darci's daughter, Lily, to join her.

While I get along happily with my daughter, I know some mothers and daughters have a lot of friction and these two are no exception.

Darci has just hissed and swatted at Lily who, as you see, is beating a hasty retreat.

After giving me a dirty look, Darci vacated the premises too and I could get on with my measuring.

I hope to have some pictures of the finished living room to show you soon.



Thursday, November 26, 2009

More cool finds!

I got the tricycle at an estate sale and the Hallmark car at the antique market.

Aren't they adorable?

The kids are by Heidi Ott - eBay purchases - and I pried the roller skates off a decorative music box (along with several other 'toys').

Please ignore the cat hair on the green base. The cats think they are supposed to sleep in front of the dollhouse. I can't seem to persuade them otherwise.



Sunday, November 22, 2009

Granny and Granddad find a cozy home

Granny and Granddad have decided to downsize and they have just discovered the perfect house.

"Isn't it lovely dear?" Granny says "I just love the garden. It looks nice, but won't need much maintenance."

"If you like it Sugarplum, I am happy to live here." Granddad has learned over the years that life is good when Granny is happy.

With the furniture in place, they get settled in and Granny puts on the tea.

While the kettle boils Granny brings out the final touch for their cozy new home.

"What's that thing?" Says Granddad

"Dear, this is the sampler I made years ago when we were first married. You know that. Don't you think it would look lovely on that wall?"

Granddad realizes that he won't be able to watch the telly until he hangs the sampler so he goes for the ladder.

"How does it look here?" he asks.

"Very nice. Now you be careful on that ladder."

"Woah ...."

"What's that dear?"

"Yowwww ... oh, no!!"


"Oh no! Are you all right. Oh my dear, you could have damaged our new home, or my precious sampler!"

"My, but the sampler does look lovely dear. Thank you for helping me hang it. How is your tea?"

"It could use a shot of gin." Granddad mumbles.

"What's that, dear? Are you comfortable?"

"Yes, my Sugarplum. I am very comfortable now." answers Granddad.

He is happy that he can now see the telly and that his sore leg will prevent him from doing any more chores.

Come visit again sometime.



My 'New' House

My 'new' house arrived from England last weekend thanks to Carol and her daughter. It is the same scale as my Rich / Keystone look-alike - 3/4" or 1/16. I think Lundby is the same scale.

The door and walls are made of fibreboard, I believe.

I am very excited to have it. It is almost identical to the Tudor house, dated 1966, on page 56 (upper left) of Dian Zillner/Patty Cooper's Antique and Collectible Dollhouses and Their Furnishings.
The main differences are as follows:
My house has a red chimney (white on the Tudor) and burgundy window frames (green on the Tudor).
The door on my house looks exactly like the windows. The Tudor house has a white door with an oval window. The Tudor house lower floor looks as if it comes out from the front about an inch and doesn't have the indented area where the front door is. The slot over the front window once had a canopy.

The painted foliage in mine is more green and verdant than the one in the book. My tree has red fruit in it.

There is a label on the front porch of my house. According to Zillner/Cooper the house in their book is labeled (they don't say whether it's a Tudor or GeeBee label). Apparently Tudor sold their houses under the GeeBee label from 1946 to 1978.

They also say that the house in their book is plain inside, but as you can see from the pictures below, mine has one end of the bedroom papered and the entire back wall of the downstairs. Perhaps there was paper on the other walls once. I don't know.

Carol included the following furniture with the house. I am sure many of you will recognize some, or all, of it. I think there is some Lundby/Barton/Caroline's home. i am not sure what the wooden bedroom suite is, but I know the bathroom is Kleeware.

If you know anything about this house or the furniture please leave a comment.



Marleen (marleen's miniaturen) is my 100th follower!

I welcome Marleen and the other 99 followers. I am so happy to have you here. I find this blog community so wonderful!

There is always something to learn, to share, to read and to laugh about. I love you all. Keep reading my blog and I will keep reading yours.

Here's to the next 100 mini lovers.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

If one inlaid table is good, two must be better

I found another inlaid box and a different set of chopsticks, so I decided to make another table.

See my first table here.
The chopsticks have a pattern that looks like inlay on them, so it seemed a natural match.

As with my previous table, I removed the box top from it's hinge, cut the chopsticks to the appropriate length and glued them on.
Here is the finished table with the Reac Macintosh chairs. Don't you think it makes a great card table?

It's wedding day in mini-doll-land.

The lovely young bride is a vision in white with green accents. She does look a little overwhelmed by it all.

The groom is very dapper in his wedding clothes, boutonniere and top hat. It looks like he has lost half of his bow tie, but he still seems very happy.

I found this wonderful couple at the St. Lawrence Antique Market last Sunday. They are approximately 2 inches tall (minus the top hat) and made of composition (including the top hat). They are jointed at the hips and shoulders. Their faces are painted

The grooms suit is felt. The white shirt and bride's gown appear to be nylon.

I find the groom a little scary. I keep calling them Chucky and Bride of Chucky.
Chucky is so proud to show his young bride their new home.

"It's all ours, my dear." he brags while she trys the couch.

"Oh Chucky, it's wonderful!" she says. "However did you manage to do this?"

Chucky is pleased. He looks around proudly. Seriously, the last picture is just to show you the molded curls on the back of his head.

I will have to see if I can come up with more adventures in newly-wed land.

Leave me a comment if you know anything about these dolls.