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.