Thursday, March 26, 2009

Creative Playthings Dollhouse

After my naughtiness with the Selecta Casa Bella house, I'm lucky to find this one. Well, sorta. Lucky in the sense that it's not easily available (if at all), so I don't suffer any buying temptation. Unlucky, I suppose, because the lack of availability makes me want it all the more.

Sure there are a number of houses that resemble the construction and shape of this vintage one from Creative Playthings. The Momoll Ray Ray house springs to mind, as does my very own Voila House. I could even use that oft uttered phrase in my home "I could make one myself." Nevertheless, the heart wants what the heart wants.

Dollhouse by Creative Playthings. That's all I got. Maybe someone else out there has more info on this lovely?

Update: Thanks to callsmall for the tip re: the Daddy Types blog and Creative Playthings. A quick seach of Daddy Types revealed this new picture with furnishings.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Selecta Casa Bella (and Selecta has been Auf'd)

For those of you kicking yourself for not buying the Selecta Casa Bella before it was discontinued, there's one on ebay right now, with a Buy It Now price of $160 and free shipping, open to Best Offers.

I confess, I had a momentary failure of resolve and pitched a lowball offer before I was saved from myself (and dollhouse overcrowding) by a rejected offer. Shame on me.

In related news, if you were eyeing any of the Selecta Ambiente furniture (or their other children's toys), Selecta has apparently ceased distributing in the United States as of December 31, 2008, due to the higher testing requirements imposed by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. The CPSIA, although it seems like a well intentioned but reactionary measure, appears to be having the unfortunate result of reducing the ability of quality overseas toy manufacturers and small independent US manfacturers (not to mention etsy sellers) to compete in any meaningful fashion in the US toy market. Full article from Z Recommends here. Retailers will be allowed to sell their remaining stock.

Photo: Selecta Spielzeug

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Clearview on Ebay

Remember the MIAIM Clearview house that Modern MC blogged about? Yep, the gorgeous looking one rocking the vague Miami Vice vibe (in my mind) in a good way? I really wanted one, but the price and overseas shipping put it just a bit out of my price range. Especially after the Kaleidoscope House expenditure. Plus I don't really have the work space to put one together. I still have an almost finished ELF vanity taking up valuable real estate on our dining room table.

MIAIM has placed a Clearview House on ebay. And I believe shipping will be half the regular $250 cost (i.e., $125). My heart bleeds. If only my current budget weren't in the $5 range (due to the much lamented self-imposed spending embargo). This way though, I'm willing to blog about it rather than trying to keep the news to myself like a greedy girl.

Check out the auction, ending Saturday, here!

Pic: MIAIM Miniature Design & Architecture

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Room While I'm AFK

Okay, I'm clearly not technically away from my keyboard, as I am lugging my laptop around with me. I am, however, on vacation from work (hooray!) and currently in Vermont catching some late season skiing. I started this new KH setup two weekends ago while I was cleaning and dismantling the Voila House, but didn't get a chance to finish until right before we left (while I should have been packing).

I liked the way this kitchen fit in, leaving a good deal of extra floor space for a big Paris Renfroe dining table.

The dining table is actually the fulfillment of another real life design wishlist item. When we moved into our new place, I desperately wanted a new coffee table. Specifically a wood slab one, like from urban hardwoods. We're slowly replacing our respective "bachelor/ette pad" pieces of furniture, but haven't gotten around to the coffee table yet. Our current one is not terrible - a modern glass and mock wood (ie pressboard) piece from some cheap Chinatown place that my dad bought for me before I was gainfully employed.

The pillar sculpture by the fireplace is a small chinese calligraphy chop!

Everyone has these Re-ment mugs, of course. The real question is: "Who doesn't love these mugs?" Not I. *shakes head in vigorous denial*

The wok is from another one of the Re-ments sets I bought off ebay right before the spending embargo.

This toaster oven is slightly off scale, but I loved the set and the red color so much, I had to have it. It's generally okay, so long as I don't set anything next to it that is so glaringly off in size.

We're swinging by Boston to visit some of my college friends on the way home. I have two Pinky girls with me, as they do enjoy a good trip. Husband balked at the thought of packing a dollhouse in our trunk so I could continue to photograph. I jest, this didn't really cross my mind. Although I *did* want to smuggle our cat with us for the trip. I miss her.


Kitchen is Theo Klein. Shelving is Sanrio from ebay.
Dining table, coffee table and cowhide rug are Paris Renfroe.
Chairs are from Take a Seat.
Sideboard/tv cabinet is vintage from ebay (part of that big mishmash grab box I got here).
Accessories are Re-ment, Mighty World, megahouse, DHE and Bertie Pittman.
Kitty is one of a kind.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Writer's Block

It appears that Hana is suffering a bout of writer's block in her quest to write the Great Pinky Novel. I had been thinking that this space in the Kaleidoscope House would be well-suited for a posh walk-in closet or a small office nook, as the Shopping Sherpa did here with a fantastic custom built-in. When my last pre-spending embargo batch of ebay Re-ment arrived, including a fantastic typewriter, I promptly decided to go the office route.

Hana's expression looks so despairing, it cracks me up.

I put this scene together while Husband and I were watching Jon Stewart and Jim Cramer face off on the Daily Show. (Yikes, talk about awkward and painful interviews - I almost felt bad for Cramer at the end of the half hour.)

Yes. Hana is a hard living Pinky, like any cliche struggling writer. I'm sure hitting the Gordon's and the cigarettes really won't help her creativity issues. And she is certainly not being a good role model for the younger Pinkies out there. But, the booze and cancer sticks really made Husband laugh, and I aim to please.

The art, of course, is Futurama (by Matt Groening). I loved that show, and the fantastic witty writing would be an inspiration to any struggling auteur.

My mother used to give me these Chinese pills whenever I had stomach nausea. To this day, I still stock them in my medicine cabinet, even though I suspect that the ingredients might actually be useless (or worse, harmful). In addition, they look exactly like rabbit droppings and smell even worse. While the chinese name for these pills is zhen luyuan, I always called them the "rabbit poo pills." I went crazy when I spotted them in a Re-ment set. Again, I bet poor Hana wouldn't need them if she just laid off the sauce and lucky strikes.


Desk is Ryan's Room.
Chair is Reac Japan.
Accessories are Re-ment, Lundby, Petit Princess, Mighty World and random ebay finds.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Wish I Wasn't on a Diet

I wish I wasn't on a diet. And by diet, I mean a spending diet - my credit card is going through a serious Master Cleanse. It's a necessary, but welcome measure. Aside from the fiscal conservatism to match the times, it was getting a tad embarassing coming home and having the doorman hand over 8 parcels each night, each one no larger than 6 inches. The low point might have been when our super nice doorman Sam joked to Husband: "You've got to unplug her mouse!"

My comeback is, invariably, that I've got to keep spending to stimulate the economy. The road to economic recovery occurs one dollhouse miniature at a time. *Pfffft*

Anyway, this new minimalist kitchen from ELF Miniatures makes me sorely wish I weren't on a self imposed spending embargo:

I have been contemplating an ELF kitchen purchase for a while, but this one makes my fingers unconsciously tap out my Visa card number on the numberpad of my computer. I love the zebrano wood paneling and the streamlined cabinet/hood combination. For those of you who aren't just "looking at the dessert cart" like me, you can score the kitchen here at ELF Miniatures.

Pictures: ELF Miniatures

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A Massively Dollhouse Weekend

First off: many thanks to Oese for her kind commendation!

I started off a massive weekend dollhouse cleaning by finally taking down the Voila House. It was a trial getting it all packed back up in the original box, like putting a puzzle together. I suffered a few cardboard abrasions and more than one sigh was uttered, perhaps. I was a touch sad when it was finally done, even with the Kaleidoscope House taking its place by the wall.

On the other hand, the dismantling of the Voila House disgorged an ENORMOUS amount of dollhouse furniture and accessories:

Um. I didn't post a pan right photo, but the whole windowsill, and the floor beneath it, was lined with miniatures as well. Husband was pretty disgusted/alarmed/resigned with the minis covering the dining table, especially when we had no where to sit down and eat dinner on Saturday night. It took the rest of the weekend, interspersed with putting together a new kitchen in the KH great room, before I had the dining room table cleared off again.

Meanwhile, I also (1) put in a new scene in the bottom floor of the Stockholm House, (2) finished about 50% of an ELF vanity unit (more on that later this week) and (3) did some serious tv watching.

On the dollhouse/television front:
Not sure if anyone is a fan, but as a longtime Joss Whedon, Buffy, Angel and Firefly/Serenity maniac, I felt obliged to give Dollhouse, starring Eliza Dushku a shot. It's been off to a slowish start, and I'm not sure if Dushku has the acting chops to carry the concept, but I watched the most recent episode of Dollhouse, "Grey Hour," on hulu yesterday (Husband "forgot" to set the tivo) and thought it was a marked improvement over the first few episodes.

This Stockholm House scene was created with much input from Husband. His suggestions ranged from the helpful: "I think that table is too big" to the not so much "Why is that on the diagonal? Diagonal is lame."

Husband also asked me why the Pinky girls' lives were so hard that they had to be such boozers. He noted the all day free flowing gin and tonics. Pretty perceptive, that man . . .

Kitchen: Lundby sink unit, Mighty World table and Megahouse chairs.
Living room is a Minisquare coffee table, and ebay/etsy finds. I think the tv stand is a Caroline's Home sideboard - it's got nice lines, but looks on the smaller side of even 1/16th scale.
Accessories are from AG Minis, Re-ment, Megahouse, Plan Toys, DHE, Mighty World and ebay.

And lastly for my weekend, while taking apart the Voila House, the evicted Pinky girls had to find a temporary perch. The KH mezzanine balcony was perfect:

The line up, apparently, "creeps out" Husband. Ha!

Monday, March 9, 2009

I Heart Brio

Going fast on ebay - a number of mint in box Brio sets. My particular favorites are the table and egg chair set, and the pink bedroom set.

It's taking an immense strength of will, but I'm not bidding. Taxes, real estate taxes and a particularly strenuous dollhouse spree last month have me on a credit card diet. *sigh* These are gorgeous though.

Update: the bedroom sold for $75 and the egg chair/table set was bid up to $158.49 without meeting the reserve. Eek.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

KH Finds a Home

I've been swamped at work for last few weeks, leading to a serious backlog on my tivo, missed brunches with my parents and a deficiency of dollhouse-related endeavors. I woke up super early this morning for a dentist's appointment and even after working out and getting ready, had a few moments to spare to take some photographs.

The Kaleidoscope House has finally come off the floor, where Husband was constantly in danger of putting his foot through it, to its nice permanent perch. I especially love the green of the small desk, and there's even a drawer to stash my sticky tac and random high-frequency use Re-ment. (oops! Just realized that I have the white roof section off in this photo . . . *shrug*) In theory, when there isn't a dollhouse on display on top, the desk is supposed to free the dining room table from my laptop and all the work I bring home. The Pinky girls are also slowly moving in and taking in their new surroundings . . . Perhaps Sacchin in trying to call dibs on a certain room.

Speaking of taking it slowly, it took a few tries before I got a feel for the upstairs rooms in the Kaleidoscope House. This room went through several iterations, as a den and bedroom/study, before I settled on this arrangement that I wouldn't mind looking at for a few days.

I think the small room through the yellow door is meant to be a bathroom, but it's miniscule! I can fit a tub and a sink or, alternatively, a toilet and a shower, but some crucial hygeine element is going to go lacking in that teensy space. Instead, I'm contemplating a small home office area. Or perhaps, a dressing room/walk in closet a la MTV's Cribs, mainly because I want a huge walk in closet in real life. I have a pretty good sized (for the city) walk in closet at the moment, but there isn't a week that passes that I don't daydream about kicking Husband out of his closet in our bedroom.

Drawer unit - Lundby.
Bed - wood block and KH house rug.
Nightstand - etsy find.
Accessories - Re-ment, wanju, DHE, etsy, Pinky St: and MiniSquare.
Art: Andrea Offerman

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Calvin Klein House (or How Did I Miss This?!)

I'm not quite sure how I missed seeing this during the holiday season, but I sure am kicking myself for doing so. The 5th Avenue Calvin Klein store had this four story "dollhouse" displayed. Designed by Joshua Prince-Ramus of REX Architecture in conjunction with two other firms, it's a four story glory of arylic, steel and spandex(!), complete with a landscaped roof, and features miniatures of the forthcoming 2009 Calvin Klein home furnishings collection. The interiors are what really set my heart palpitating (afterall, it's a cool looking structure, but who wants to live in a house suspended in midair?).

An artist's rendering:

I only wish they had more photos of the interiors and other floors, especially the bedroom. No, no. Who am I kidding - I really wish I had been able to see (and photograph) this house with my own eyes.

Photos from archpaper and interior design.