Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Kaleidoscope House Living Room Set ... I got it!

Finally accomplished my quest for the Jasper Morrison sofa/living room set ... just in time to 'gift' myself for Christmas. The white TV stand, shelf unit and vases are from The Dolls House Emporium. I made the wood side table myself with pieces of precut wood, glue and stain. Accessories are a combination of Re-ment, ebay and miniature show finds. Looking at my shots, I really need to learn how to use the camera properly as one of my New Year's resolutions. One of the pics is taken with flash on and other off. Too bright and too dark - can't decide which way I prefer
Au contraire to the room here, we rarely watch CNN at home. Our real life TVs are usually tuned into TLC , HGTV, Family, etc.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Living with Miniature Stuff

My new hobby had taken over a very important space during the holiday season - where the Christmas tree normally goes in my combined living & dining room area. As December approaches, I've been seeking a new home/storage solution for my growing collection. After scouring through IKEA, we've purchased a new shelf unit for our basement/library/guest room (now also slash miniature playroom).

Love how the closed-storage is able to hide the visual clutter of Reac Japan chairs' boxes and I am planning to use the shelf above (the white boxes) for 'playing & displaying'.

Besides being the holiday season, the move is inevitable since little objects are not exactly 'baby-friendly'. Before I know it, my 4-month old will be crawling everywhere but the basement can remain off-limits to her.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

If you live in/near Long Island, New York ...

then you may want to check out this contemporary dollhouse on ebay which can only be picked-up locally:

I am not a big fan of the front section of the house (where the entrance is placed) but very fond of the lovely balconies and deck area. Imagine this house painted in white and grey ...
The starting bid is at $299.95 with a $399.95 Buy-It-Now price. Auction ending this Saturday (Dec 13th).

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Mini-project: Flairline Living Room Set Makeover

With the cold weather lurking around, I’ve spent a bit of time indoors and worked on a couple of ‘mini-projects’. One of them was to update this Flairline living room set that I’ve got off ebay.

The original sofa and chairs (above left) used red felt as the back and seat cushions. I’ve got some thin foam core, cut it to size and ‘upholstered’ them with light olive green fabric. The fabric came from a pair of pillowcases that were bought from a discount store for $2 and I still have tons of fabric leftover for future projects.

I didn't really decorate the room in the 'after' shot because I am in the middle of re-organizing my mini-stuff to my basement/guest room area. Need to clear the clutter that I've created from the past several months and give our Christmas tree back its spot.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Haute Dollhouse

Just came across this blog called The Fashion Doll Chronicles and one of the blogs 'Welcome to the Haute Dollhouse – A homage to Jonathan Adler by Michael Williams' shows pictures from Michael Williams’ Flickr album that made my jaw dropped! They are closer to 1:6 Barbie scale and here are a couple of my many favorites:

The rooms are simply lovely and what amazes me even more is Michael's way of using simple arts and craft materials + creativity = design objects. More details on how he put together these rooms are provided in the links above.

Spotting these came in a good time as I am also trying to channel my own creative energy right now - in the process of reupholstering/remodelling a vintage Flairline living room set that I got off ebay. Now that I've already started getting my hands dirty, maybe I will try some of Michael's ideas as well.

Images: - Welcome to the Haute Dollhouse photoset

Friday, November 14, 2008

My Dream House

As mentioned in my previous post, I am still in the hunt for my own 'dollhouse'. One house that I would really like to have is the Kaleidoscope House by Bozart Toys.

This house is now out of production and highly sought after. From what I've read before, I think it's going for under $200 at retail and nowadays, you can find new or used ones on ebay. Just to give some idea on pricing/market value, there is a used one on ebay with some furnitures included bidding for about $72 as we speak with 5 days still to go. The last couple of ones that I've 'watched' went for around $550 to $650. Not sure how much this will go for but its not-as-good-condition may end up fetching a lower price. On the other hand, there is a brand new in box one has a starting price at $1,000 (no bid placed yet) with 6 more days to go. All these are still out of the budget for me, especially I've just bought my baby girl a new set of 'wheels' (a Bugaboo Bee at an incredible show special price but still not cheap).

Besides the house, the Kaleidoscope House furniture and accessory sets were also sold separately when they were all in production. These sets contain pieces designed by various known artists, e.g. Jonathan Adler, Karim Rashid, etc. and are as highly collectible as the house. I've been checking ebay from time to time for these sets and lost the bid on the Jasper Morrison modular living room set not long ago (it ended up selling for $177 and my bid just before end time was $175). There are quite a flood of just under 20 of these Kaleidoscope House furniture/accessory sets on ebay right now. I consider it a 'flood' being there are more than the odd one here and there that usually pop up when doing the search. Sadly, no Jasper Morrison living room set though.


Saturday, November 1, 2008

Confession of a 'mini-aholic'

Since I am 'new' to this mini-obession, I don't own a dollhouse to display my collection/set up miniature settings. My first 'trial' at this, with a very limited amount of goodies, was done on my Ikea Expedit shelf unit (see left pic below). Just about a couple of months ago, my husband finally put together a children's dollhouse that was a birthday gift from our friends to our older daughter. It's the 'Pretty Pink Dollhouse' made by Imaginarium (see right pic below). Although it's no longer on the Toys R Us Canada website, it's still available in their stores for about $70 CDN. The price includes all the wooden furniture you see in this 'before' pic and I really like how clean the white walls are. Not to mention that it took my husband no more than half an hour to snap and screw it together.

So what did mommy and daughter do after daddy had finally assembled the house?
Hehehe ... I know that this doesn't look like the work of a 5 yr old. Well, the deal is that I get to use her house and she gets to play with my 'more realistic' furniture pieces (although I made her promise to be extra careful with my Reac Japan chairs collection).
This house is only a temporary solution to my 'mini-fix' because its rooms are better suited for smaller scale furniture e.g. 1:16 or 1:18. Until I find my own dream house to invest in, I suppose I shall remain a tenant in my kid's house.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Miniatures in Hong Kong ....

One of my friends whom I recently reconnected with (thanks to Facebook) had sent me a link to some impressive miniature displays From image #6 onwards, there are miniature scenes of a chinese restaurant, an old-fashioned dim sum tea house, a street food vendor, a stationery store. I am totally impressed by the details of these scenes. If I am not mistaken, I spotted quite a few Re-ment items being used here.

These works are being shown at the Hong Kong Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre. You can find out more about this arts centre via this link - a place I would definitely make a trip to should I ever visit the motherland again.

Another item on my agenda today is to go visit The Little Dollhouse Company at Mt Pleasant/Eglinton. I almost forgot that I've received a 'Free Gift With $10 Purchase' coupon from the MET show that expires today. I need more hardwood flooring for my little girl's house anyways. Hopefully, the weather will hold up for a little while. Martin House at Yonge & Lawrence is the other dollhouse miniature store in Toronto but The Little Dollhouse Co is bigger with more selections.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

At the MET Show ...

Here are some pictures taken from the MET show that I went with my little girl on Oct 19th:

Left - Incredible display (won Best in Show 2005) by Queenie Wu of
Middle - Handcrafted mini purses (from $10 to over $60) at minisquare booth
Right - Demostration at Bjarnesonn's booth (artist Karl Blindheim also specializes in miniature animals)
All shows come with good shopping opportunities under one roof and we've scored quite a few things as well:
Framed Van Gogh print - MiniSquare
Nintendo DS/Clear Vase - Pacific Wood Imports
Toaster/Toilet Paper Roll+Towel Bar set - Out of the Ordinary
Pillows - Les Ateliers MenuArt
Pink Rug - A gift to my little girl from the Sanatka Import & Export Inc booth
Heart Pillow/Hat/Gloves/Slippers - complimentary with show admission
(Not pictured) Fireplace with hooks for Christmas sockings each printed with my daughters' names on it
My favorite purchase was the Van Gogh Night Cafe print. My daughter's favorite is definitely the DS which I paid $8 for - sounds like a lot for a little thing but one was sold on ebay the same day for $23 USD. Now I have to start saving up to get her the real one for Christmas =)
Thing(s) that got away - I held back purchasing a $42 Noguchi coffee table. It's not a bad price for a handmade piece but getting a coffee table is not my priority right now with my limited budget for this hobby and they only had it in a light wood or black finish (not the dark brown walnut wood that I really want).
The best part of the show? When my little 5 yr old suddenly hugged and thanked me for taking her to the show.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The hunt for Lil' Roomz at Miko Toy Sale

Went to Samko-Miko Toy Warehouse Sale today and scored myself one of the Lil' Bratz's Lil' Gym sets for $5 (and someone is selling this on ebay right now for $20 USD+shipping). The doll and accessories from this set should work well in a 1:12 setting.

I am not sure if I will ever come around doing a 'home gym' scene, but I can always use the green shelving unit (with the 'star' panel removed), the portable stereo and the towels in different types of rooms.
This set is part of the Lil' Bratz Lil' Roomz series which I believe is discontinued and I really want to get my hands on the Lil' Lounger and Lil' Bedroom sets (top row of the pic below & pls excuse the poor pic quality). The sale is located 5 mins from my house and will be on for another couple of months ... which means I will be checking it out quite often to see if they have the other sets available when they restock =)
My buddies at work and I have always been 'anti-Bratz' since we don't think they portray the best image/role models for little girls, but I think I will let my daughter play with this one because she's the only doll that fits this scale (all of her other ones are the regular Barbie/Blythe 1:6).

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Miniature Enthusiasts of Toronto Annual Show

I am planning to check out this local miniature show this weekend. This will be the first miniature show for me and I am pretty excited. I am taking my five-year old daughter who loves dollhouse miniature stuff as much as I do but my almost-3 month old will have to hang out with daddy instead because I won't be able to stroller her in.

Here are the show details:
Date - October 18th & 19th
Location - The Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre, 6 Garamond Court, Toronto (Don Mills), Ontario

Friday, October 10, 2008

About this blog - inpiration & dedication

It was back in March 2008 that a friend of mine told me that she’s been looking at children dollhouses for her little girl. Somehow our email conversations and online browsing had led me to a very interesting blog ( The idea of decorating on a miniature scale had totally intrigued me because this would enable me to execute my passion for modern interior design without having to re-decorate my own home over and over again (no time nor the budget for that).

With the average living space for a four-person household in Hong Kong is less than a thousand square feet, I did not have my own dollhouse when growing up as a child. Miniature dolls, furniture and accessories were not familiar to me. However, I always had a creative side of me in my ways of ‘play’. In my sister’s maid-of-honour speech at my wedding, she talked about how 'like every other kid, we often played house except (my) idea of playing house includes building an actual house out of bedsheets and blankets, complete with a kitchen area and two bedrooms’. Okay, maybe her description was a bit exaggerated … it was more like a studio condo. Most of the times it was the ‘blanket condo’ but there were also many other creative plays using things found around the house. To me, the possibilities of creative play were endless.

Today I get to play with dollhouses and miniatures with my five year old daughter, but my sister had always been my favorite ‘play-mate’ when I was a little girl. She was my only sibling and passed away suddenly three years ago. To remember the happy and playful childhood that we’ve shared together, I am dedicating my first personal blog to my beloved sister.