Friday, 18 May 2018

Down The Rabbit Hole - More Mini Adventures


I found this miniature making book at the car boot sale & the introduction by author, Christaine Berridge, could have been written by me. When I discovered dolls' houses it was as though a locked door had been opened. Here was a hobby that united many of my existing interests and I could be creative with a purpose, indulging my love of social history, architecture, painting, making and sewing along the way.  Six years (or, in my case, six weeks) on from that initial discovery I am as excited by the subject as ever. What I love about dolls' houses and miniatures is that they are so accessible. You can buy or make, or mix and match. This is a passion that is open to all and can comfortably span the generations and my head is full of ideas that I only wish I had the time to develop.


The glorious weather of the past couple of weeks has hindered my dolls' house progress as I've spent most of my free time outside but, with a few hours put aside in the evenings for play, I've finally completed the first room in my latest Lundby, which I'm calling the salon. It's a light and airy space filled with houseplants where one can enjoy civilised conversation, a cool drink and maybe play a tune or two on the grand piano (inherited from a wealthy aunt).



I wanted a real wood floor for this room, just like in our real-life house. The boards came in kit form from eBay for £1.99 and Jon fitted them for me. I didn't ask, he volunteered, probably anticipating the mess I'd get into, but I did manage to fit some skirting boards without too much swearing.


I'd been in love with the Martinique wallpaper forever, designed by Don Loper in 1942 for the Beverley Hills Hotel (HERE) and thought this print with the aqua background (in real life, a fabric design) would be a great alternative. I decided to leave the window curtain-less as the room wasn't overlooked by the neighbours and the leaded glass deserves to be seen.

Image taken from Scandinavian Design in the Doll's House, an essential if you're a fellow vintage Lundby obsessive
In sharp contrast to Lundby's more usual modernist style of furniture, the Royal lounge suite in the Neo-Gustavian style, common in Sweden at the beginning of the 20th Century, was produced in 1978. When new, the Royal came with a miniature gold framed portrait of the official engagement photograph of King Carl XVI and Miss Silvia Sommerlath and was taken by Lennart Nilsson in 1975.


 The suite originally consisted of a sofa, a coffee table and two armchairs. The set I won on an eBay auction had a single chair and a pair of sofas, one of which had been fitted with a replacement leg, but at a mere £7.50 (the joys of listings finishing on gloriously sunny Bank Holiday weekends!) I was more than happy. My friend Lisa made the groovy yellow floral cushion and the rest were made by me in the garden yesterday.


Mini cushion making is very addictive! The blue fabric is vintage braid, cut into lengths, stuffed with cotton wool and blanket stitched along the edges with embroidery silk (the joys of buying vintage sewing boxes, I've got endless notions to use up). 


This gilt decorated grand piano, in the Rococo style, was manufactured by Per-Hugo Bornfelt for Lundby between 1950 - 1970. The stool is a later piece from the 1970s as is the brass lamp.


Remember me showing you the haul of dolls' house accessories found at the car boot sale a couple of weeks ago? At 3 items for £1 I don't really know why I didn't buy the lot. The bellows, candelabra and miniature brass table and chairs were just some of my buys. The orchid in a jug came from a lady who makes mini pot plants and sells them on eBay so cheaply it's hardly worth attempting to make them myself. The wooden frame came from a set bought from Poundland and the mirror was prised out of an old eye shadow kit. 


A mini within a mini!


I made the plant bench from lollipop sticks, push pins, toothpicks and a gallon of glue.


Are you familiar with Josef Frank (1885 - 1967)? He was an Austrian-born architect, designer and artist who founded the Vienna School of Architecture. He fled the burgeoning Nazism of Austria in the late 1930s to settle in Sweden and had an enormous impact on the history of Swedish design. I adore his vibrant textiles and wanted to include some in my house. The screen, which I made from a cat food box, is adorned with his Anakreon design, produced in 1938 and based on a 3,500 year old fresco from the Palace of Knossos on Crete.


The print of the lampshade above Papa Lundby's head is another Josef Frank design, Celotocaulis. Produced in 1930 it comes from an Asian flower species characterised by a plume-like flower (caulis is Latin for flower stalk).


Our Swedish neighbours, The Lundbys, asked us to babysit their son, Sven, last night along with their rescue cat, Viggo. It was a late night as Sven insisted on staying up to watch the ice hockey quarter finals between Sweden and Latvia (Sweden won). 


Sven loves Viggo.


Papa Lundby needs a beer, he and his wife have been trying to find some new clothes for the summer but they can't see anything in the shops, it's either badly made, poorly fitting or in boring colours. Being the neighbourly sort I've offered to run them up something groovy if I find some cool fabric when I'm at the car boot sale over the weekend.

WEARING: Me-made maxi created from a pair of 1970s Grace Sullivan curtains and a vintage Kenzo dressmaking pattern, Jeffrey Campbell Woodies (charity shop), vintage sunglasses and a Moroccan tooled leather bag (car boot sale)
See you soon!

52 comments:

  1. Love all the greenery, your houses are so vibrant and quite unlike any others I've seen. Yes, they definitely need more clothes that are better suited to the houses - I am sure you will whip something up

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Most dolls' houses are Victorian or Georgian, aren't they? Having always lived in old houses I'm loving playing with 1960s and 1970s proportions and furniture, it's a revelation! xxx

      Delete
  2. I knew I recognized that wallpaper from somewhere! It is still in the Beverly Hills Hotel and lines all of the hallways.

    I'm loving that striped couch and chair set, especially against the bold walls.

    Suzanne

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd love to see that wallpaper in the Beverley Hills Hotel, you lucky thing!
      That antique-style furniture was crying out for a funky backdrop, I didn't want my house looking too trad! xxx

      Delete
  3. What a fantastic salon. Papa Lundby is looking quite stunned. He's never seen anything like it! That wallpaper is utterly fabulous and so is that screen. Love the Neo-Gustavian suite, especially with those vibrant cushions on it. And how sweet are those mini-mini brass tables and chairs! xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Papa Lundby does look a bit stunned, I hope he hasn't been smoking something he shouldn't! xxx

      Delete
  4. Love the back story, it does make such a difference!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I want to take a small pill and shrink to fit in your doll house. Wait, it would be cool to live in your "big" house as well!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You'd be very welcome in either house any time, Alex! x

      Delete
  6. oh, oh, oh, I'm having a doll housegasm again. Vix, you just keep me going with your fabulous makeovers. I can hardly stand it! I don't even have to tell you "don't stop!" I can't wait to see how you dress the Lundbys. Oh, and the mini, mini table and chairs. Oh my!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Housegasm, indeed! I'll have to tell Jon that. I keep going into raptures over mini things I've found on the internet! xxx

      Delete
  7. The Popsicle stick and push pin bench-phenominal!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Better watch the Lundby kid-he got into the booze at the last baby sitter's place.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We kept a strict eye on him, don't want to get falling out with the neighbours for corrupting their kid! xxx

      Delete
  9. I enjoy stopping by and steping back in time. Those minuture homes and how there set up is amazing.
    Coffee is on

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love the 1930s patterns, to my eyes they look so very 1970s! The scenarios ("light and airy space filled with houseplants where one can enjoy civilised conversation... maybe play a tune or two on the grand piano inherited from a wealthy aunt") are hilarious! I'm glad you're having fun with it! Xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A lot of 1970s design was a rehash of the 1970s, I used to dress in 30s stuff as a teenager (couldn't afford it now!) xxx

      Delete
  11. I was once married to a Swede and I think you've totally nailed Swedish style, I love your research, the Gustavian references are spot on. You look like you are stuck right in to your next project. Papa Lundby looks a bit stiff, he definitely needs one of your makeovers!! xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Were you? How interesting! I'm even more obsessed with all things Swedish now, I might have to pick your brains if we manage a weekend there. xxx

      Delete
  12. I was wondering if the dolls were going to get a Vix-makeover! I hope to see some bell bottom trousers, go go boots and psychedelic maxis!
    The banana leaf wallpaper from the BH Hotel has always been a fave of mine too!
    xox

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You read my mind!!! Wait till you see them!
      There's some amazing (and cheap) dupes for that wallpaper around at the moment, I'm very tempted to redo a room in it! xxx

      Delete
  13. after a day of being sad and angry your post about your swedish neighbors cheered me up until i laughed out loud!!!
    thank you dear - for your creativity & loveliness!!
    your yellow outfit is fabulous with this mega chic shoes and the pretty bag!!!
    xxxxxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh no, I'm sorry to hear that you'd had a rotten day before you read my nonsense, glad it cheered you up. xxx

      Delete
  14. What a wonderful room Vix.
    Hugs-x-

    ReplyDelete
  15. Mini adventures look so cool! This room is great, I love such creative toy rooms. And the dress is way too pretty!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I am absolutely loving this, Vix. Your attention to detail is amazing. I love the story too and am utterly glued for the next part. I hope that Viggo settles in okay. :)
    That is one fantastic outfit. The fabric is utterly gorgeous. I will keep my eyes peeled for more Kenzo patterns. I don't think that I have ever come cross one yet. :) Xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Kelly! I love adding all the detail as much as I do the wallpaper.
      That Kenzo pattern was a joy to use, I wonder if there's any on eBay? xxx

      Delete
  17. your new house is delightful, especially pot plants and coal fire! I love your shoes by the way in this post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Betty! I can't resist a clumpy shoe especially if it's got a wooden sole! x

      Delete
  18. The Lundbys'definitely need a wardrobe upgrade, and you're just the person to do it! I love the patterns you choose for wallpaper, curtains, etc. in your houses.

    The intro to that book does sound like you could have written it - it seems to describe your experience with your doll houses perfectly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those Lundbys are looking a lot better - it's just the child to go now, although he wasn't as drab as his parents. xxx

      Delete
  19. I love the combination of Gustavian furniture with the bold wall coverings.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They work well, don't they? I didn't want the salon to look too staid or traditional. xxx

      Delete
  20. Wowww, another fabulous room to enjoy!, I love your new hobbie!, so much creativity and fun, lots of color, textures, fabric and crafty things!
    I'm loving the wallpaper and discovering some interesting info about this design, and the gorgeous screen! so nice that you included a link to the artist who designed it, I'm amazed by his colorful graphic style! Now a huge fan!
    besos

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Monica. That wallpaper reminded me of your groovy jungle trousers! xxx

      Delete
  21. What a beautiful maxi dress, you look great! I love these photographs of you reading about miniature houses. Your miniature house looks amazing. The wood floors that Jon installed look fantastic, they really add a warm feeling to the room and they look so real. I can't get over the fact how real this house looks, even on those up close photographs. Great attention to detail! I'm totally crushing over those miniature pillows, I want to make some for myself but I don't know what I will do with them. Maybe use them as a decoration....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Ivana! You could make a Moroccan-style souk in a shoe box and fill it with mini cushions! xxx

      Delete
  22. I love the music selection on the piano! :D

    ReplyDelete
  23. I can't wait to see the Lundby's summer wardrobe! They have good taste, that wallpaper of theirs is brilliant. If I lived somewhere more tropical than Wales I'd have a bit of that! x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm tempted to do a wall here in sunny Walsall with something similar. Wilko have some amazing wallpaper lately. xxx

      Delete
  24. Haha, that's just too cute! So funny and heartwarming!
    <3

    ReplyDelete
  25. How fabulous - another doll's house! Love it all. Sven and and Viggo are perfect together and the best of friends. I just adore the mini within mini brass table and chairs; now that would have most definitely been in my box of treasures as a child.
    xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so naughty, I can't stop searching for unloved Lundbys on the internet! Isn't that tiny table and chairs adorable? Maybe you should get yourself a vintage printer's tray and start collecting minis again, you can wall mount it so it doesn't take up precious space. xxx

      Delete
  26. I can't believe that gorgeous dress used to be a pair of curtains!
    xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Hazel! The fabric was wasted as a window dressing, wasn't it? xxx

      Delete

Don't be shy, if you enjoyed your visit leave a comment, I can come and visit your blog if you do.
Love from Vix
xxx