Thursday, March 1, 2012

Inspiration - Part 2 - The Little People

In my first post, I talked about finding the inhabitants of my little house-to-be as a first step, so that I would be able to use them in selecting the scale of my miniature art deco house.  Now that I've figured out how to post photos from my camera into my blog, I can share my little ladies.

They are gorgeous little resin creations, each about 4" tall.  Some seem to be obvious Erté adaptations, while others are less directly copied (or at least I couldn't find the original works), but still Erté inspired. 

There were three other ladies available in the original collection of hinged trinket boxes, but I didn't love them as much.  One didn't really look art deco to me.  Another was topless, which seemed a little much, even for an art deco house.  The last one had one breast popping out of her dress, and while she may not have been too revealing by Janet Jackson  or J-Lo standards, she wasn't quite what I was looking for.

Nine ladies is plenty for one miniature house anyway.  After all, how many little fashionistas can attend a perpetual house party together in harmony?  (Even the songwriter knew the limit - - "...Nine ladies dancing....")  Of course, I have yet to find any correctly sized and styled gentlemen to invite to the party, so at present the little ladies should have little to fight over.

I'm still deciding about possible repaints, but I'm pretty sure most or all of them will be getting them.  At a minimum, the pink lady in the second photo will need a repaint for sure.  She was originally wearing some weird bell-bottomed jumpsuit-type outfit that I turned into a dress, using a hardening epoxy clay.

If and when I ever get around to doing repaints, maybe I'll do some comparison photos of each lady - before, after, and the Erté original I think inspired her.  Might be interesting.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Fabulous Façades 2 - Magnificent Miniatures

Last time, I posted some photos of real art deco houses that provide inspiration.  My on-line searching has also turned up images of some very cool miniature art deco houses.  Mostly they are vintage, not new.  Some are old Triang houses and some may be handmade OOAK projects.  They're all wonderful.  Here are some of my favorites:


Fabulous Façades

I often enjoy daydreaming (i.e., obsessing) over a project as much as actually doing anything on it.  Right now, I'm enjoying the daydream of what my miniature art deco house will look like on the outside.  I'm amassing a collection of inspiring photos of real, life-sized houses (found on line) to drool over.  Here is just a small sampling.  Lovely!

    Friday, January 13, 2012

    Art deco eye candy

    I finally found an on-line source for some art deco accessories.  Check it out:

    This site is amazing.  A number of the galleries have stained or leaded glass products for an art deco dollhouse, including doors, ceiling panels, folding screens, and fireplace screens.  They are too, too wonderful!  My latest idea is to try to get to the Philadelphia Miniaturia ( in Cherry Hill, NJ this November and see some of these things in person!  Would love to buy them, but probably won't be able to afford much.

    Stay warm!

    Thursday, December 29, 2011

    Inspiration - Part 1 - Buildings

    I found some great ideas for Miami art deco style in this book (stock photo):

    This little book has folding pop-outs for façades of a dozen real Miami art deco buildings.  They're mainly small hotels, but they are great for getting 3D views and ideas of how an art deco dollhouse might look in various stylings.  They're also in accurate "O" gauge, so they could be used in the background of a model train display, if one were so inclined.  The book can be found at

    Friday, December 23, 2011

    In the beginning...

    Hi and welcome!

    I love miniatures.  I'm a novice, but I really want my own beautiful dollhouse to furnish and decorate with great miniatures.  The classic old-fashioned Victorian dollhouse doesn't interest me, though.  I love the idea of a more modern dollhouse, but I'm not quite satisfied with the minimalist, monochromatic modern dollhouses I see on the market.  What I'm longing for is a vibrant art deco creation that is both geometric and warm, elegant and vibrant.  In short, fun!  I love all those revitalized Miami art deco hotels on South Beach.  That's what I want, in miniature!

    The dollhouse of my dreams is just not on the market.  So I guess I'll have to build my own dollhouse.  The big drawback?  I have neither tools nor skills for carpentry.  What I DO have are a capacity for obsession and a foolish willingness to leap in and figure things out as I go.  My latest big inspiration is to do a dollhouse kit bash, supplemented with cannibalized elements as needed.  Should be fun, right?  And if there are other lovers of art deco out there, feel free to follow along and learn from my inevitable, innumerable mistakes.


    The kit to be bashed:  Greenleaf's "The Harrison" (stock photo)
    My Harrison: Unpainted Front View
    Cans to be nibalized:  A couple of old tin dollhouses, disassembled for parts.

    Obviously I'm not going to assemble the kit as designed.  There's going to lots of trial and error.


    I decided first to find little people to inhabit my dollhouse, and then to choose the miniature scale to match them.  I found some lovely little art deco, Erté style resin figures.  They were attached to trinket boxes, but a highly skilled friend with great tools cut them off their boxes for me.  They are beautiful, but stylized and very slender, so they don't quite fit any one scale.  They are 1/16 or 1/18 in height, but only 1/24 in width.  Making a good-looking dollhouse is going to require balancing the two different scales so that everything looks the right size for them.  And then there's the kit I'm using as my starting point, the Harrison.  It's 1/12.  I like the idea of roomy rooms and higher ceilings, but the windows and doors still have to look the right size.  Hmmm....

    What's life, or a hobby, without a bit of a challenge?