Sunday, November 27, 2011

East Bay Mini Meet Up


It's been a while since the last Bay Area meet up, and Doris (minimodernistas) just moved to town, so if you are near Oakland next Sunday, December 11th and want to join us for lunch or coffee email me at modernminifan @ (remove spaces).

Carol, I promise we'll meet up in the East Bay again when you are back.

Email me if you can meet up with us and I'll send you location details.

Gluing away...

The last two walls of the main floor are done. Framing the windows is taking a lot longer than I expected, but it is looking better than I imagined so that's a plus. I still have no idea what I'm going to do for the door, but I have to get building the second floor. I'm worried the plan was too ambitious with the time remaining, but I'm hoping I can pull some late nights to get it finished. Clock is ticking.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Update on the Fashion House

My husband came up with the great suggestion of finishing the walls before I assemble the dollhouse. Paint is finally dry and I'm starting to put in the windows. The windows are much easier to install on a flat surface, and once walls are finished it should be pretty quick to glue the house together.

I bought some styrene strips that I'm cutting to size to make the windows, along with custom cut acrylic window panes from Tap Plastics. I really need to get a glue syringe for the small spaces. It's globbed out a few times and smeared on the "glass" so I'll have to figure out how to clean that up.
My lack of painting skills and color choice has been problematic. I painted all of the interior walls white before deciding on the exterior. I used a textured black paint that looks like concrete for the exterior, but I managed to get several black spots on the white when moving from my painting area to drying area. So I had to sand and repaint most of the white walls. UGH. I hate painting. For the exterior trim, I gave up and used a black marker instead of paint; finally a step where I don't have to wait for paint to dry.

Two walls done. Several more to go. These two won't connect, but I propped the walls up to feel a bigger sense of accomplishment. I knew this was going to take some time, but waiting for paint to dry has been slooooooooooow.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Dylan House & Furniture + Free Shipping on sale at Fab

Hey hey, brinca dāda is on The Emerson sold out but the Dylan House is selling for $164 with free shipping to the US and includes the furniture.

"brinca dāda’s Dylan House is inspired by the minimalist masterpieces of Paul Rudolph and Tadao Ando—it has a concrete-and-glass feel combined with the breezy openness of a beachfront home. It features floor-to-ceiling windows and five living spaces on three levels: a living room/dining room, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and even a roof patio. But what’s a house like this without the proper decor? We’re throwing in a free set of 23 pieces of ultra modern matching Dylan furniture—a $15 value—as well as free shipping!

Assembly required. Only non-toxic and lead-free wood stains and paints used. Suggested for children ages 3+. Furniture set includes dining set, bedroom set, living room set, kitchen appliances, bathtub, commode and a patio set. Additional furniture sold separately."

All details from

Makeshift tools of the trade

We don't have a table saw or jig saw, so my husband has helped me set up makeshift jigs for our router to cut windows and trim wood. I've made a few mistakes, but I have to keep reminding myself, "it's just a dollhouse". For now its working out, but I am realizing how having the right tools makes all the difference.

I picked up this metal gluing jig from Earth and Tree Miniatures, and it has been really useful. I'm making the staircase out of one inch acrylic bar. At this rate it's going to be the best part of the house. For now I'm calling it the Fashion House. More to report after paint dries.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thumbs up for Dylan House by brinca dada

My Realitty loaned me her Dylan House by brinca dada after the Good Sam Show (so yes these photos are a month old, par for the course). I had a really limited time slot to work with; I spent one evening in my garage unpacking and digging through miniatures to use in the house. The next day I had an hour and half while the kids were sleeping before we had to be at a party. I balanced a stool, boxes of furniture, accessories, tape, camera on top and carried everything from my garage, across the street to the marsh wetlands in front of our house on the bay. It was easily 150 yards. Bad idea to do it by myself. My arms were about to fall off and I was freaked out I was going to trip and drop everything. By the time I carried it out there, I had 20 minutes to set everything up and take photos before I had pack it up and hike back. I got a lot of odd looks from people biking and walking by, and a bark attack by a dog that didn't like seeing the walking boxes. Oh and the WIND! I almost got my socks knocked off. I gave up on adding more accessories, because they kept blowing over. I was a sweaty mess by the time I made it home, but I think the pictures were worth it. Come inside and take a look.

The living room set, couch, chair, coffee table and side table are from Maryann Roy. Pillows and room divider from minimodernistas. Low modern dresser from ebay. Rug is fabric sample My Realitty. Accessories from PRD Miniatures and Good Sam Show purchases.

I made a false wall for the back of house to "wallpaper" all of the rooms, as the back is entirely open for access. The kitchen counter is two wood samples from My Reallity on top of cardboard with a tinfoil sink, very low tech, but I was short on time. Table is IKEA. Tulip chairs are Modern MC. Lamp and red plate on wall are My Realitty. Stove, pots, pans, side table are Mighty World, I can't believe I finally got use out of my Philippe the Chef set.

I was also surprised that the Kaleidoscope House bathroom set fits great in the 3/4" scale. Shelf and planter boxes are from minimodernistas (one I filled with plants from craft store). Ceiling light is scrap from Tap Plastics. Wallpaper is room divider from Maryann Roy. Can't remember where I got the plant. Coffee mug is from mini2b, I meant to put it on a side table, but ran out of time.

Mirrored bedroom set of bed, dresser, side table, lamp and blue bead accessory are Maryann Roy. White chair, wood side table, and bench are Paul MacAlister. Triple silver lamp and framed shells are minimodernistas. Silver room divider/headboard from Modern MC from Tap Plastics. Rug is another fabric sample from My Realitty. Coffee mug from mini2B. Accessories are PRD Miniatures, AG Minis.

Overall, I love this house even though its smaller than my preferred scale. My kids were enamored as well. We may be getting one for them for the holidays. Thanks so much My Realitty for the loaner. It was fun ride. I think the house will have another adventure before it returns to you. ;)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

My First Dollhouse

My mom was cleaning out her attic and dug up some old childhood toys she thought my kids would enjoy. My kids were really excited to have their own dollhouse, as they are not allowed to touch some of my other houses. I had to laugh at the dinner table - lobster? Really? Definitely not the typical meal for us. The Fisher Price A Frame House brought back some memories; it's been great having my kids love it as much as I did. My oldest thinks it is the greatest house because it only has one bedroom so everyone can sleep together. After picking him up from school today, he said "Mom, we need to get a bunk bed before we move to a one bedroom." I'm not sure why he thinks we'd move to a smaller place, but kids really do say the darndest things.

Plan B. Use plans.

Okay, my construction skills are not quite there yet, so to avoid a Giant disaster, I'm going to modify the Fascination Station from HBS/ for the I'm a Giant challenge. I bought the kit at the beginning of the year for the Creatin' Contest, but after test fitting it, it has been taking up space in the garage ever since. Now I'm going to try to crank it out to meet both December deadlines.
The dollhouse kit has an angled roof that didn't fit my design for the house, so off with the roof. My handy husband set up a jig to cut off the pitch in the roof for a nice flat version I can add a second story to. I'm getting excited now that we have walls and a roof. The clock is ticking but I'm hoping it will come together quickly. We shall see.

One warning when dry fitting with tape... don't use plain masking tape. The blue tape is fine, but everywhere I used regular masking tape, it pulled off part of the MDF and left rough spots that don't sand well and look pretty bad especially after paint. Sigh. Live and learn. I'm just excited to finally be building!

Round 2. Challenge Continues

After realizing the last design would have been too big for me to drive to the showcase in LA in January, I came up with a new design with dimensions that would fit.

In this version, I scrapped the second floor and downsized all of the furniture for the most compact floor plan I could come up without being a studio. Looks great on paper. But that's about as far as I got. My aspirations are higher than my skills. This one is going to be strike 2, until I can come up with tools and skills required to actually build it.


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Round 1. Giant disaster.

Did you ever have the greatest costume idea, but when you look in the mirror its just duct tape and a cardboard sword? My I'M A GIANT dollhouse challenge is shaping up to be the same disaster.

I've been really pondering what to do for the challenge. I've been going back and forth with design ideas, but nothing has come together. Before Halloween I decided to build a one bedroom two story case study inspired house. After giving up on making a scale version of one of the classics, I unpacked my miniatures (we moved recently) to layout a house to build around some of my favorite pieces. Reminded me of that Kholer commercial, "Design a house around this."

I cut cardboard to size to figure out the dimensions of the wood I needed to buy. I worked out two staircase designs to find the best space saver. I found a bathroom layout that would work with this beach side house. After spending two days going over the numbers and needed building materials, my husband asked, "is that going to fit in your car?"

Strike 1. If it doesn't fit in my car, I can't drive it to the showcase in LA. Back to the drawing board.

(latest challenge posts here »)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Marquette Model by Cali Rezo

(Okay, I've mentioned I am behind in posts, but I've been meaning to post this for, jeez yes, a year now. Ugh, one of these days I'll get on top of things.)

Last November, Cali from France sent me links to an incredible project she's working on. A modern miniature model of her real house. First, I love her home decor in real life, but her attention to detail in recreating miniature versions is amazing. Check out the comparisons between the model and the real life pictures. Pretty impressive!

The miniature versions of her artwork and accessories is just inspiring. I literally wished I lived in her house. Thanks for sharing Cali and good luck on the second floor, I can't wait to see the rest of your house!

Check out her blog to see how the first floor was constructed and more miniature compared to real life photos. The photos are amazing. Additionally, you can check out the progress on the second floor:

(all images from

Monday, November 7, 2011

PRD Miniatures - Goodies for you Goodies for me.

For their first time at the Good Sam Showcase of Miniatures, Paris and Lisa Renfroe didn't just have a display, they had a showroom! The large picture (from Paris' flickr page) shows the display in its entirety. Shoving my camera around to take pictures felt like I was in a real modern showroom. You didn't even have to look them up on the map of vendors, you could see it from across the room and it drew you in.
Paris had a ton of new items, modern picture frames, stools, accessories, knitted poufs, driftwood sculptures... some are up on his website under Decorative Accents, I'm sure more will be up soon.

Bathrooms have never looked so good. Paris' new Urban vanity with Baroque flair, Soho vanity unit, and French styled baroque vanity unit, are all to die for. I'm getting one of these for my Antrim as I love the idea of a black bathroom. The new rounded hatbox toilets are really cool, too. Paris' bathroom items are on PRD Miniatures under Bath Units.

The Skylofts were there in all of their glory. I love how they are modular, stackable, and you can customize them any way you want. Paris' beds and Lisa's Mimobe bedding are so chic and gorgeous, it's an easy way to add luxury to any mini bedroom. Being artist's in 1:1 scale, translates wonderfully into their 1:12 scale pieces; their artwork looks fantastic in any room.

The M112 Pods were in the house too. I think these are the coolest rooms to play around in and showcase your collection. The new knitted poufs make the cutest side table or cool modern seating. I love how Paris cut up the carpet tiles to make the ultra modern rugs.

Paris and Lisa are so cutting edge modern it hurts. Everytime I get a new catalog or modern magazine, as I'm flipping through it, I'm saying "hey Paris already did that". I LOVE the new flat screen TV, and rugs, and Paris' signature M.U.T.T. furniture line is my favorite. I adore this magazine rack, too cool.

I put in a lot of miles driving down to see them every day, but it's not often you get to be a groupie for rock stars of the modern miniatures world. Paris and Lisa are so passionate and enthusiastic, I can't wait to see what PRD Miniatures comes up with next.

More PRD Miniatures can be found here on flickr, shutterfly and for sale at .