Friday, November 20, 2009

So far I have found four trunk patterns. I will try to post before the end of the new week.
Its a confusing question, and I'm not even sure I can figure it out, so I'll ask you smarties.

If a clothing pattern, in reduced scale, is 1/8"=1", when I blow it up on a copier, what should I use to make the patterns 1" to 1'?

Of course, this question might be worse when I haul out the scaled patterns that are slightly larger.

From left: half inch scale, three quarter inch scale, 1 inch scale, 1/6th scale

Which means this furniture I'm pretty sure is 1/2 scale!! YES!!

I recieved my set of "Re-Ment". As mentioned before, it turned out it was not Re-Ment, the seller "mislabled" the auction, and confirmed today, it is in fact 1:12 scale furniture. I'm not upset though, its a fantastic set for this scale and style, the detail is amazing, although I'm at school and haven't really looked it over yet.

But for those into more "modern" furniture than my new/vintage stuff, be prepared. Something is coming you may enjoy.

UPDATE: I don't think this is even 1:12. I'm trying to figure it out, it might be PP scale, it might even be less. Still happy with the set, just wish I knew what scale it is.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Oh Em Gee. I am going to glory in using 1/4 scale on a dutchie box. Disturbing.
One thing I've noticed after mentioning I'd like to do a cigar house. There isn't much info on them out there. A super popular item for years, it just also seems to be a little respected hobby of dad and mom around Xmas back in the old days to give for a daughter.

So, as I can, I will post what printed info I can on this little known project (although thousands exists) and hopefully others can use and enjoy the info.

So, as soon as I get more Dutchie boxes, prepare yourself for some cigar box house lovin'.

As I mentioned, I will be scanning my new copies of Miniature Gazette I've begun to pull together. as far as scanning though, I'm sure it is understood I'll be starting with the early issues. I'm also tentatively going to be working on writing down what issues I have, and what is in them. This is going to be super time consuming, I wouldn't argue if someone offered to help me. Scanning the issues of course will show what is in them right off, but its nice to not have to dig to find the article you want right off the bat! These magazines have to be categorized and scanned before I can even attempt to begin hunting down a complete file of Nutshell News. After that, I have my doubt (famous last words I know) that I'll be completing full catalogs of any more miniature magazines. I feel these two are the pinnacle of their art and I need go no further except a current subscription to whatever hobby magazines I may invest in later.

Having so many of the Miniature Gazette I now have lots of reading material.

Now, I didn't come by my collection "honestly". N.A.M.E. is my own age and it would have been very difficult to have gotten my first issue at the age of 6 months and then every one since. So, a lucky eBay purchase gave me an instant 59 magazines along with the few from the 70's (including issue #1) that I'd manage to get. This magazine is a type which made it collectible to the owner. Work projects alone guaranteed that. And a marked disinclination for cutting the magazine even in its basic journal form was there from the beginning. A coupon cut from a page of my own issue #1 was apologized for in the next issue with the promise to print further coupons in a way to not destroy a magazine, but given the magazines I've seen, few were cut and I have the collections of a few owners from different parts of the country. But sadly I have a cut #1 that I have to attempt to replace with a "clean" issue.

Another feature I really liked is the fact that the magazines are punched for three ring binders. Mine are not yet in binders, but a trip to Staples for large binders is planned. Plus, don't forget, I'll be scanning all these issues. I don't know that N.A.M.E. itself has archived any of their Gazettes electronically, I only know of the 3 pages of issue 1 they host on their site.

But back to the hole punching. Three punches, right from issue one allowed the owner to put the magazine into a binder of their own. My understanding is that N.A.M.E. offered binders. I do not know if they still offer them (not having a more current issue than 2003) at this time. But, apparently in this decade, they quit punching the issues. This is the second change in the Gazette I didn't care for. While slipping the magazines onto magazine holders and putting into a binder is fairly simple, the holes made life easier. I also really see no drawbacks to hole punching the magazine. The later magazines of the 90's are just as sturdy now as they were when freshly delivered.

This brings me to the second change I noticed in the Gazettes (physically) The issues of the early 1970's, such as issue #1, are stapled like regular magazines in the center. They average about 30 pages so this method probably worked great for the early, smaller issues.

However, sometime shortly the start of N.A.M.E. and the Gazette, the magazines were printed in what I believe is called "perfect" bound. This means that instead of a regular magazine binding, the binding is square, and flat. It creates a super nice, neat book like magazine that simply screams quality. Sometime in the mid 1980's though, the magazine went back to the early binding except now there were slick often color covers. (the perfect bound ones also have color covers on occasion) this was now a "modern" style magazine, capable of sitting on the shelf next to Playboy as far as binding went. I think here is where the magazine lost some physical charm. About the only drawback I've noticed is a tendency for the glue to dry out and the pages to separate from the binding. Having said that, if the magazine is in a binder, this shouldn't be an issue. But, I can understand a switch if N.A.M.E. realized the glue breakdown early on and made the switch for that reason among others.

In the 80's and 90's the magazines are still punched, color photos are throughout yet still not a slick fashion magazine style, or even like a few of the miniature magazines (and doll) that were beginning to make their appearances.

For this decade (2000) the magazines are no longer punched. But the magazines do keep the same "simple" layout, color pictures aren't wasting ink all over the place still, but what color photos are here are fantastic. I'm still not sure if the switch in bindings was good. I'm still loving on those mid to late 1970's perfect bound "books".

The covers have also changed, the 70s saw the focused covers with a framed picture or the really early issue which have blurry mimeograph photos. The 80's the covers were still in "frames". The newer issues, the cover picture is a full page. Since I haven't seen a new issue, I don't know what else is changed. I am rather surprised that the magazine hasn't followed another trend of printing contents on the cover. It is still a few frills magazine which suits it perfectly.

The advantage of knowing the cover styles is great if you look really fast at an issue online and the picture is tiny, or you look really fast someplace else. An instinct look should tell you what era the magazine is from. A full sized color picture is a modern copy, a framed picture on the cover is earlier. A book style binding is from the 1970's/
Ive no idea how many magazines there should be up to this date. The closest I can guess is that each year should have 4 issues. (37 years, 4 issues per year, 148 magazines??) In the early days it may have only been 2. But, until I have a solid answer, I'm guessing. For example, 1988/9 has 4 issues. They are listed by season (Fall 1988, Winter 1988, Spring 1989, and Summer 1989) Volume 17 numbers 1-4. They are also slightly coordinated, in solid colors. From the later issues, volume 29 also has 4 issues, Fall 2000, Holiday 2000, January/February 2000 (I believe this is a normal typo I see a lot in M.G. and they meant 2001) and March/April 2001. The current issues say the months as opposed to seasons, and a "Holiday" issue as opposed to "December" or "Winter". There may a "theme" between these issues, but at this time, I don't see it in the covers. I've also made the assumption that there may be "gala" issues. specials only released on rare occasions. I seem to recall mention of one or two in the earlier issues, but I may be mistaken.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Miniature Gazette

I'm a firm believer in the idea that if you have a hobby, learning as much about it as possible is the way to go. When I have a hobby, I put my all into it. The least of which is the books or magazines I feel will help me best. So, I purchased from eBay (of course) 59 issues of Miniature Gazette. This means I need to fill in the gaps that I don't have thanks to this purchase. I now have issues from 1981-2003. I need 1972-1981 and 2003-2009. I haven't even had time to go through these (just got them today) and my plans, (which affect my readers of this blog) are as follows:

1. Fill out the gaps by any missing issues.

2. Create an index by decade of the general contents. Mini Palooza has an online index, but I feel that it is woefully incomplete and it appears that the owner of the site hasn't updated in some time. At the moment I won't be putting anything online other than possibly the basic list.

3. Scan all issues.

4. Share!! I can't let one out of my hands, but I'm hoping when I have the issues all sorted and put together, etc, that I can offer people articles they want. My plan is to eventually have a private "museum" of dollhouse items and houses and I'm determined to have a full library of material at the disposal of all. (in case you don't know of my other hobbies, I already do this to some extent with sewing patterns)

This brings up my next plan. I feel really there is only one other magazine of this genre I want, and that's Nutshell News. So, keep your eyes out for a huge set. Or donate me your old ones. Don't worry, my goals for those are the same.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Got your Holy Grail? I do. Toadstool Studios No. 786- High Rise. Its a pattern for a 6 story apartment building in 1:12 scale. HELP! !

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


So apparently that last set, oh so wonderful, is NOT Re-Ment. I'm not thrilled, but since it was pretty cheap, I don't feel as mad as I could about it.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Re-Ment and other bragging

As many know, I have a Japanese BJD who is known as Maud. I've wanted a house for her since I got her, and she will get one. Meanwhile I've bought different pieces of Re-Ment for her. My latest is this divine set. I have all the pieces coming, and all for around $12 with free shipping.

I also managed to grab a set of PP. I grabbed 6 pieces (all but one with boxes) for around $40. Thats not coming until next month though. I'm darn near giddy over it.

I also received my Chrysnbon stove today.

I sort of debated between the parlor stove, and the cook stove, and decided on this one for the Victorian cottage. I've decided it is to be a period accurate home of around 1860 of a woman waiting for her soldier husband to return home. I figured I loved the rocker, and I can add some simple "cast iron" pans in a couple weeks.

Anyone know where to get Chrysnbon wholesale though? I really could be saving so much more money here....

Monday, October 26, 2009

Epiphany! In a 1974 issue of the N.A.M.E Gazette....a tip for "contemporary" doll house...FAKE FUR! The tip rececomended using the shorter pile stuff. Wonder
if I can find it in a nice orange.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Among a few purchases made at are 6 hat stands of wood. They might get put aside but I'm thinking some shop building may happen eventually.
I have decided that paper coverings are as nice if not nicer than siding in "real" vinyl or clapboard.
I strongly suggest Flora Gill Jacobs "A History Of Doll Houses". Not the greatest doll book I've read but has some good info. I think I need to post a list of t

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I wound up scoring rather nicely. A Petite Princess chest, fireplace and a table.

After shipping and handling about $7. What's fun about the PP line is how all the books of the 1970's claim its already hard to find. Thanks to the internet, some pieces are still pricey, but at least now they can be found.

I also noticed that finally a book is being released about this line. (Which saves me from even pretending to write a book on them.) They have a website, although the book is not released yet. But it might be worth the $40 price tag.

But, when you are dealing with a line of furniture only made for two years, you get a little confused. Which is why books for doll's houses can become as addictive, and expensive when you want to hunt down the right stuff.

And, although its not my PP living room, I figured I'd share what a PP living room can be.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Oh dear Miniatures Gods, please preserve me from this hobby. What are you doing to me? Today I spent the $$ and got a membership to N.A.M.E. Also, what's worse than dollhouses? Dollhouse books. My goodness can you get addicted? Worse however, than even that, is discovering new lines of furniture (vintage of course) that you suddenly decide you MUST COLLECT! I've added two MUSTS to my list.

Ideal's Petite Princess line. Why is there not a book on this great line?

Along with:

The TOMY set.

I'll be the first to say, I MUST not only have every piece of furniture produced by both, but the houses as well. Although I might step over a dead body to get a Petite Princess store display. That at least can be reproduced though.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A-Frame Pictures

A paper covered house

So, my plans for entering a dollhouse contest fell flat. I was in the hospital most of the summer and of course, everything sort of went to hell. Now school has started back up so I'll have even less time for the most part, although luckily no Monday Wednesday classes this semester.
But, meanwhile I worked on the contest house to finish it anyhow (and no its still not done) but I thought I'd share what I did do so far.
And for the curious, the bricks are set on top to tighten the seams and to make the gluing as tight as possible.
So, now for some important details. The house has a paper facade. The "bricks" are paper, printed from I suggest using thicker than normal paper, slightly glossy if possible, and print using photo settings. I then trimmed and put the paper on before gluing together except for the one end when it turned out I hadn't printed enough. And its not easy to see, but the floors are also paper. Using the light oak I used the same method and all was glued down using spray glue. Which, by the time you are done sniffing said glue, you don't especially care if its crooked.
So, this one needs its roof finished, and I need to finish some of the papering and then furnish. I think this one may wind up a gift.

Identify please!!

So my goody of the summer yard saling is this wild A-frame style dollshouse. I know this is a kit house, but who's? Anyone know the name of it? By the way...this goody cost me (with all the furniture) $3. Yes, THREE DOLLARS. Church sale.

The day I had it, I broke it down. Carefully although I did lose a piece or two. Cracked rather. It had a bit of damage, nothing major or unfixable, and hadn't been glued together that great. It was then sanded and I put it aside due to trying to get the trailer clean before school started.
Then carefully put back together except for the front piece which I'm holding off on while I hunt for better window material for those windows. Also need to hunt down some sliding "glass" doors for the ends.
By the way anyone seeing anything they can't live without in that picture of furniture let me know. Much of that is not anything I'm real interested in although I think that the clock and phone will be going into the cottage.
But, the A-frame is finally my chance to do a super modern style piece. No pictures yet, but the o pen back part, on the two sections of wood there is now shingles. It looks pretty smart very 1970's which is the direction the house will be headed. Very 70's very kitch. I want it to look like the house friends of my parents had. The lived in a great A-frame although theirs had balconys. there's a thought...

Monday, April 6, 2009

So I decided to enter Greenleaf's Spring Fling Contest. I won't post a ton of details until after I've entered it, but I'll post some here and there as I work on it. You'll see a completed dollhouse in this case just before May 25th. I've got to do this for two contests. So I traced the windows I decided to put in (left overs from the house windows) a bigger window downstairs, and a regular sized window and door.

The windows here are just set onto the front.

As I
 said, the original front window downstairs was smaller. In fact, a quarter of this half that is cut. A bigger (but not big enough) window is upstairs.

And of COURSE, I had to make a crucial mistake. I was slicing at the new double window hole, and the end of the front snapped off. Its not a HUGE deal, but it is an annoyance. I have to patch them together and get them to glue well before I put the wallpaper and front brick on. I decided to do brick for a couple reasons. The whole look will be metro. Then, brick paper can actually be printed at home. I found some here , that will work if I can't find scrapbooking paper. I like scrapbookingpaper because its really thick, and wears well. A coat of poly on it when you use it as flooring makes it look like lino. 

I'm not telling you the theme of it though, but I will admit today that it will have a kotatsu in it's living room, and a spiral staircase.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

So I've been debating entering a  local art show with one of my dollhouses. I asked and was told that "hell yes, dollhouses are art!!". So, I need to decide if I can get one done by the end of April. I have two projects in progress, the house which I've posted about here, and a trailer. I put both together and then set aside the trailer to work on later. I had in fact, forgotten all about the trailer until when discussing it with someone last night she demanded I use the trailer since clearly in her eyes, not using the trailer would make me an epic failure (thanks Heather). So, I've got spring break next week, and after I clean my dirty house and do my spring cleaning, I'll start work on the trailer again. So far, the plan is to turn it into trailer trash heaven. The decision is if its to be a wonderfully clean and pretty version of trailer trash heaven, or if I have to do a grubby, single mother entertaining men on the other side of the tracks while her numerous children are scattered all over the place, or a combination of both.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Sorry for the exceptionally bad picture. Clearly the new camera isn't perfect. I'll attempt better ones later.
Between the furnace issues, the water issues, and being sick, I managed to get in all the windows. The floor isn't right still though, and I have to remove it, sand the walls again, and one more time try to get the floor even. But, the doors and windows are in at least. I debated putting in a window in that blank spot next to the double window, but have since decided that since the cabinets go there, it's really no place for a window.

Sitting in the student lounge one day, a fellow student gave me someone's 3D project. All done in luan of course! I have in addition to all this (held by the ever patient and also sick Tarquin) 3 long sheets that were the base, center, and bottom of the project which resembled a shadow box. Who knows what they shall become!

Friday, January 23, 2009

My windows arrived today! I'll be trying to get some in later tonight. I'm so pleased to have them right now it's disturbing. But, with all the other things going wrong, it's nice to have something go right on occasion!

The single windows don't actually "open" there is a slot instead that allows the acrylic (so different from acetate windows!!) to slide up. The double windows do open, but I think I'm going to glue the upper window into place.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Window SCORE!!

One of my many complaints with the Storybook Cottage is the windows. It's not they are bad. They aren't. For this dollhouse they are perfectly fine. However, when you are kit bashing like I am, they won't work. You recall I lowered the floor considerably, creating a more realistic floor and ceiling height, which means that the oddly shaped triangle windows won't work.

Enter the seller number1service4u. For about $33 I now have 14 windows and 2 doors. Now, this set was actually intended for the Duracraft "Alexandria", but I know of no rule that says you MUST use the windows for the intended kit. I'm not sure that I will be using the doors, I actually saw some French doors that I'd like to use in the side where that huge bay window is, and a nice French style single door for the front door. My intention is to create not a true Victorian cottage, but what a cottage could look like today if remodeled by a modern owner. Which means that you aren't going to see a ton of "original" things. Like in a modern home, the new tiny owner will take pride in putting up new molding that looks like the real thing, and putting in a tiny deck just for some tiny moonlit night with a tiny margarita glass in each tiny hand.

My next step is to get the windows and then the new doors. Stairs are the next one after that. I'm thinking two ways on the stairs. The traditionalist in me want to simply get a set of really narrow stairs, the modernist in me wants to grap some circular wooden ones. I will more than likely get the super narrow straight wooden ones. Only because it would look nicer.

I also need to grab some wood panels. I want to toss a wall up in the upstairs and I'm not convinced I have enough scrap to make a wall, sand it then paper it.

I'm not papering for the most part though. I'm going to use milk paint. Clapboard siding (my last purchase probably) and a nice rich milk paint to create that old restored look and yet many modern touches like the new windows, doors and deck.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I've been BASHING!!

I've never really "bashed" a kit before. Although, when I think about it, I probably have, although it wasn't called "bashing". It was simply taking needed parts, making things work and continuing on.

So a few months back, I bought Greenleaf's Storybook Cottage. I think it's cute, petite, and incredibly badly designed.

For a few extra cents, or a little bit more effort, a realistic height for the upstairs could have been made. For that matter, stairs included. But, I'm not complaining, just pointing out the obvious.

So, I put all sorts of work, first kit in years, did the "duh" slap to the head. WALLPAPER!! For the love of God! Put the wallpaper on BEFORE you begin putting the damn kit together!! Epic fail. I've got twice as much work to do now!!

Meanwhile, so as I've said, the thing is put together, very fast in fact. But I'm sitting gazing at it, and am unhappy. Enter, my MIND....

Pop the floor out (damn my supreme gluing skills! Damn YOU!!) sand like mad, and add left over scrap to old floor and make the new floor level with the line around the top that seems the more reasonable place for the floor.

Next windows that have nothing to do with the ones in here now!!