Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I'm tired of being in one of the LAST time zones!

Colette was thinking the other day about her old college chum, Betty Flagg. She lived in Canada now. Go to

to see her beautiful home.Her husband, Bob had gone to work one day and never returned. It was pretty sad.

She couldn't collect life insurance as there was no death certificate.

She had a nice home but she was about to lose it. Didn't she have kids too?

Today when Colette was out walking she was shocked! She saw her friend's husband embracing another woman!

She was sure that was him. What should she do? Should she hide? Should she alert her old friend?

Colette coughed discreetly and the couple fell apart. They had shocked looks on their faces.


It was Mr. Flagg's sister, Felicia who ran into him downtown. He had been suffering from amnesia and had no idea how he got to California.

Colette was so relieved and was invited into Felicia Flagg's house to help discuss how best to call Mrs. Flagg with the news! Her husband had been found! Have a happy early April Fool's Day! C

Marx tinlitho house, Flagg dolls, Colette is a Caco. Ideal umbrella table. Small Strombecker couch.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

One down, seventeen to go!

On to the Hacker House. So young Mrs. Revere reassured Amelia Hacker that even if her house wasn't clean, not to worry.

Before and after photos were just part of interior design. Antique or modern.

Shackman or Concorde wing chair, Sonia Messer gold chaise, Young Mrs Revere is an import (what I call a M.U.T.T. manufacturer unknown @ this time) Amelia Hacker is an antique German bisque doll.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Everyone gathered 'round

while Thaddeus described the buildings, streets, carriages, and grand homes of New York.

The women sighed at the descriptions of the ladies' gowns and shoes. Everything was so grand in New York.

Even Patience the downstair's maid came up to listen and was transfixed by such stories of elegance.

Thaddeus left out the sights of the indentured servants crowded in small rooms and the hardship of the immigrants newly arrived from Holland.

(oh, P.S. The reason Thaddeus didn't take his hat off in the house is because it is glued to his head.)
Sometimes I like to make scenes that look real, but sometimes I also like seeing the dollhouse itself in the picture. Especially in old houses I think this is charming. My other suprise realization was how large the cast of characters was for this house. I know Colonial and Victorian are the most accessible types of dollhouses available but I hadn't realized how many Colonial people I actually had. So this month's posting served as an accounting too.

Goodbye to the Colonial House.

My thought of exploring one of my dollhouses a month has worked out well for me and the Colonial dollhouse.
It was found by the curb 15 years ago. I haven't paid much attention to it recently, so this was a good idea.

I cleaned it, glued broken chairs and even put murals in the livingroom and one bedroom.

As March ends we find George and Thaddeus ready to leave New York.

The family they are staying with is throwing a Ball on their last night.

Girls were allowed to attend beginning at age 13. If you were not married by 25 you were considered a failure.

Abigail, wearing red toile is enjoying her first Ball.
It is 1790.

The men were discussing the French Revolution and the recent death of Ben Franklin.

Everyone knew the French would never hurt their King or Queen...

George was planning to move the Capitol of the new country from New York to the banks of the Potomac River. He tired of hearing New Yorkers complain about the change.

The violinist was in love with the harpist. (She is a widow) But then so is the piano player. Widows were expected to be married by one year after their spouse's death.

The newly married women wore their wedding gowns for one year after getting married.

It was a very festive evening but George and Thaddeus were ready to return to their prospective homes.
Thaddeus had orders to remember everything about the fashions of New York to tell the women in his family when he returned.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

After: The Livingroom

If you wish to see the "before" of this room go 2 posts back.

Colette was pleased with the transformation.

She had put up blinds, streamlined the furniture, and found new art.

She wouldn't rest until every detail was perfect.
"Well" said the client. "I never thought I'd like it... But I have to say I do."

"Hang on, I'll be right back... I have a surprise..."
Colette was feeling pretty jolly.

"You said you really liked my picture but it didn't go with the new couch so I'm giving it to you! And I bought a new one that matches the couch perfectly! What do you think" the client beamed. Colette raised her margarita to her lips and started chugging.

imported German DDR bookcase, coffee table, couch and chair.
Strombecker floorlamp, Bozart terracotta vase, Mexican antique bowl,
childrens play block sidetable, Silpat baking sheet for window blind,
Texas Tiny Buddah and carved African art
Marx Imagination dollhouse art in green frames
note paper for carpet
lime green throw pillow and urns in fireplace, Bozart
Couch and chair pillows, Minimodernista
Rubber plant, Tomy
Rement "Eames" chair, antique tobacco rug on far wall
Client is a Bozart, Colette is a current Caco.

Friday, March 26, 2010

After: Bedroom

Please see post below this for "before".

"Well... what do you think? "
Hanging lamp Minimodernistas
Floor lamp Strombecker
Bed, side tables, closet and chest with mirror German Ddr
Coverlet made by Oese
Chair pillow and white screen Minimodernistas
Sea shell and miniature mexican bowl on chest
Buddah from Texas Tiny
Chair Winners' Update:
Shale, sent
Anthouls I need your address
Neomig in the box on my desk
Lara in a box on my desk!
Maria from Holland. You won the green chair!

The Client's House...Before

Colette got a referral from an old friend. "He needs you! He has terrible taste, and a big budget!"

Colette knew when she saw the hot tub what kind of job this would be.

"Hey!" he greeted her. "How do you like my painting? Isn't it rich..."

"Come see the sit next to me on the bed."
Colette declined and lifted her hand to her eyes to shut out the glare from the windows. There were no curtains to soften the bright California sun. She felt a headache beginning. "Let's go downstairs, I see I have my work cut out for me " she sighed.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Want that modern look? Hire Madwomen.

Announcing the opening of a new Mini Interior Decorating firm,
Madwomen Inc.

Time for a new look in your dollhouse? Crazy about Madmen? Eames? Miss Domino magazine? Tired of your dolls feeling lifeless?

Our firm can take you from funky to fabulous.

Before and afters to follow.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

This re purposing trend...

This is Colette's favorite miniature from the exhibit. How clever is the repurposing of a ceiling lamp as the dome on this model of the Palace of Fine Arts?
In the absence of a miniature item... we have always had to improvise. What is the cleverest repurposing you've ever heard of? I like Oese's use of tick tac boxes as tables, and MiniModern's use of soap dishes as bath tubs.

This building, The Reserve Building, is made from cassettes. The TransAmerica Building, above is studded with computer keys. It looks so realistic from a few steps away.

The key to creative miniatures is seeing the similarity in a form even though the size is so different.

Here is the real Palace of Fine Arts.

My last favorite miniature building from this exhibit is the Port of San Francisco Ferry Building. It is especially witty because the Ferry Building has
become a mecca for great restaurants like The Slanted Door, and gourmet shops offering cheese, organic vegetables and spices, coffee and
wines from all over California. Notice the use of a cheese grater for the tower, wine crates for the base, a kitchen timer for the clock, a salt shaker for the apex, and forks and chopsticks lining the tower. Too funny.

Check out the Port sign made from Scrabble tiles!
Even corks are employed in the structure looking a lot like the columns of the Ferry building.

Here is the real one. How ingenious are these little models!

Then...Lunch by the Bay.

And a little chocolate and cappuciano should finish off the day nicely.

Improvising has been especially useful when making modern dollhouse scenes. Callsmall, for example uses Ikea bins for roomboxes. I have used thin colored cutting boards for walls and floors. Didn't I hear that someone made hanging lamps out of ping pong balls?

My most imaginative creation was using a lucite nightlight guard as a modern fireplace screen, like a glass one. What was yours? I would LOVE to know? C

That Voo Doo that you do so well...

So my younger daughter was attending a family dinner at a friend from Cal's house this weekend. The friend came here from the Middle East when she was 13 years old.

My daughter was asked, "What does your mother do?" She replied, "She collects doll houses'"

"What is that?" they asked politely, "we do not know 'dollhouses'."

"Oh", she said,"they are small versions of houses and she has a little doll that looks like her she takes pictures of".

"Oh," they asked after a pause,"Like Voo doo?"

In the Conservatory of Flowers, Colette is not sure what she thinks of this Carnivorous plant. The pockets are taller than she is!

Colette enjoyed a cable car ride.

She liked the exhibit!

She thought the Castro Movie theater was clever, showing MILK, of course.
She really liked Pac Bell Park where the Giants baseball team plays.

Then it was time to go.

It was "just another day in Paradise" as the song goes, and she was thankful.

Monday, March 22, 2010


Someone asked me what I do. I thought about it and replied, " I'm a retired Mommy being repurposed as a Nana..."

I think I got the idea at this exhibit at the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park.

These are the famous Victorian Houses in San Francisco nick named "The Painted Ladies"

See Lombard Street?

This is the Mission Delores, one of the first missions in California and in the City itself,

This is the Gate to Chinatown in San Francisco.
All made out of recycled material.
Why? To heighten awareness of the use of old material. To repurpose it.
Especially in a way to make it appealing to children, and Mommies, and Nana's. I can vouch for that!

Hacking and I don't mean coughing...

If you are a creative person you've been copied. Creative ideas are contagious. Back when I was a young Mommy and running my house I had a friend who copied whatever I did. If I made a wreath and put it on my front door, she bought one... When I got the first Market umbrella, one appeared on her deck shortly there after. When I bought legging and tunic outfits for my daughters with the big grosgrain ribbon headbands, she bought her daughters just the big headbands.(OK it WAS the '80s) I wouldn't have minded but her stuff was always more expensive than mine. Plus she never acknowledged it.

We all watched Greenbean Baby and her case of having her art copied.

Recently a miniturist used a gift in a scene from another. She didn't think to say where it was from and the giftgiver called the other a thief. Painful. I hope something was lost in translation.

We all grow from each other. Usually, I feel complimented when some one copies me. I think I may have used some wording I read on Pioneer Woman's blog because it was so catchy.

And the next blog I am posting about was covered by someone else. It is about a public exhibit my friend took me to and I can't remember where I saw it. SF Girl by bay?

PS read these blogs if you don't already...

So if you posted about this exhibit email me and I will include a link in my post to your blog. Thanks CM

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Dollhouse as ART

So I decided to display the remodeled Triang facade. It was a duplicate and ruined so I experimented with it.
After removing the paint I sprayed it galvanized grey. I really didn't need another house ( I have two other functioning Triangs) but love it's lines so I decided to make an arrangement on my bedroom wall.

I chose four items to make the arrangement.
With the Triang I framed a Tootsietoy add from the 1920's,
and framed the direction's Wes sent with the WesDesigns
Modern House 1 (MH1).
Yes there was a beautifully illustrated letter from Wes that came with the house. I should have noticed the placement of the chimney. The letter is a work of art itself!

Two of my favorite chairs,

The dollhouse add from the 1920's. (Six rooms for $3.00!)
I'm really happy with the way it came out and it is just another way to live with dollhouse pieces you love.
In my opinion it IS art. CM

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Furthermore... she continued about the award...

She peered at me. There is someone we think needs recognition. (I smiled inside)

This is the first "Rosetta Stone Award". It is given to a dollhouse blogger who has contributed greatly to the information of dollhouse history.

As we all know dollhouses were originally the hobby of rich women or tools to teach girl children to keep house.

Today women all over the world are interested in them. Note the number of bloggers and that Dollhouse blogs are a world unto themselves. Though these houses started as toys and may have led a perilous life, once they are in the harbor of the collector they have a story to tell. This award is to acknowledge the sleuthing it takes to discover that story.

Furthermore this award is issued to only one person, must be kept for 6 months then passed on to another worthy recipient. There are many worthy of this award... (I smiled again)... and this year we are bestowing it on... Rebecca of Rebecca's Collections for her serious and valuable work on English dollhouses.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

So I was summoned to the Boardroom....

chairs 041
Originally uploaded by More2view
and I thought "How cute.
Old Mrs. Vaness from the Painted Lady Victorian House cleared her throat, "My Dear, we have had a good discussion and this is what we have come up with."
I thought of all I do for these Dollhouses and smiled, they were going to thank me!
Mrs. Vaness continued, "We have a list of Demands... and an award".
"Oh boy I'm getting an award", I smiled again.
"First", she said sternly, "we want more protection from Grandchildren..." she nodded toward Senora MasCabesa who's Hacienda House had recently been scribbled on.
Hmmmm... I thought to myself if it is a choice between dolls or grandchildren there really is no contest... and the winner isn't dolls...
"Second, we want ample warning before vacuming,
Third, Dust Covers", she gave me a disaproving look.
"Fourth, Equal budget allocation for all Houses...not JUST MODERN". Colette looked uncomfortable at this and shrugged her shoulders and sniffed.
"And last, NO cats."

Monday, March 15, 2010

Welcome 100th follower!

Hooray Swantje is my 100th follower. I think the dolls are having another party to celebrate. I wonder which house will host it?

Hmmm... there is a lot of buzzing coming from the Boardroom. I wonder what is going on.

Old Mrs.Vaness from the Painted Lady Victorian House has called a board meeting! One doll from each house is attending.
Going clockwise I see the Governess from the German Kitchen Roombox. Next to her is Amelia Hacker from the Mystery/ Christian Hacker Dollhouse, then Mrs. Celluloid from the Triang House, Young Mrs. Revere from the Colonial House, I can see Alberta from the 1920 Tudor's skirt, the Black Father from Tomy Toys, Mr. Grecon in the red spot on chair from the Eagle Hexagon house, the Smoking Mother from the Imagination House, Mrs. Bozart (hey what is she doing there, I don't have a Kalediscope House?) and Colette Caco from the Wes Designs MH1 House. I wonder what is going on, C