My Miniature Corner of the Net

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Dunham's Cocoanut Dollhouse

Since I have been collecting miniatures, I have been fascinated with the Dunham's Cocoanut Dollhouse, made in America in the late 1800's. The house was originally a wooden packing crate for Dunham's Cocoanut, a shredded confection used for baking, particularly as a cake topping. The crate was sent out to stores to hold and display several boxes of shredded coconut.


I came across one of these the other day at a local antique mall.  It measures 28 inches tall.  The houses are known for having a split in the paper on the interior where the two pieces of wood on the crate come together.


The wooden crate has it's original red paint and lithographed paper for the exterior, the floors and the interior walls.  It is a little rough around the edges, but still fun to see.


The first floor is a kitchen with a red checkerboard floor and a pantry full of Dunham's Cocoanut and some dishes and a clock.


The second floor represents a dining room complete with a mounted moose head, an aquarium with fish, shelves, paintings and and a bay window with potted plants.


The third floor is a Victorian parlor with a piano, some ferns, and lots of pictures on the walls.



The top floor is most likely a bedroom with some stained glass accents in the window and several wall pictures.  The paper on the floor is made to look like wood plank and has a large area rug.


Both the ends of the create are painted and embossed with this 


 The sides are papered to look like a stone exterior with windows.  The printed windows do not correspond with the windows on the interior.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Washington DC Temple Model

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints opened a new display in the visitor center on the Washington DC Temple grounds earlier this year.


The display consists of a cut-away model of the building giving a glimpse of both the building's interior and exterior.


The exhibit was built using three-dimensional scans of the temple’s interior and exterior to create the 1:48 scaled replica and is similar to a display of the Salt Lake City Temple which can be seen by clicking HERE


The model including the display case, is about 9 feet 5 inches high by 6 feet 7 inches wide by 5 feet 8 inches deep. The model, placed in front of a window facing the temple, features all levels of the temple. Ordinance and sealing rooms and the baptistry are depicted. The model also includes detailed furniture, light fixtures, stained glass windows, artwork, moldings and doors.


The Temple rests on a 52 acre wooded hillside and the landscape is beautifully manicured. It opened in November of 1974 and is located about 10 miles North of the Nation's Capital.The Washington D.C. Temple is one of 144 operating temples throughout the world.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Kage House Exterior

I had a little time today to work on the Kage House Exterior.


I covered the foam core with a textured grey paper.  I wanted a stucco look.  
I am debating on whether or not to draw some lines to make it look like stone ?


After the paper was installed I laid out the wood stained windows and decided that I didn't like the wood grain on the exterior, so I painted one side of them.  
The interior will remain wood. 


 The shadows that the windows cast on the interior were great!





 The interior is coming along nicely too.



This room below will be the library

Saturday, February 28, 2015

A Good Day For Miniatures

It is a cold snowy day here in Oklahoma so I have a little time to stay inside and play.


I am still in the process of figuring out what wall paper and what fabric I have to use for each room in the Kage House.

This is the nursery.  I have settled on this pink print and a textured blue fabric for the floor.  The small is cradle is not Kage, but it is the right scale!


The house is taking shape.  I dragged out a few accessories for inspiration.  The difficult thing with this furniture is trying to find wall coverings and window coverings that will help show off the furniture and not compete with it.


I did finish the wood floors in the living room and dining room. 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Kage House Update

I had a little time this week to make some progress on the Kage House.


I am using foam core for this project. 


The look I am shooting for is an Art Deco, urban, brownstone type feel.


I had to "play" a little to make sure I had the scale of the rooms correct.  
Nothing glued yet, just held in place with pins.


This is the living room just off the entry

This last picture shows the Front entry with the living room on the left.  The formal dining room will be on the right.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Kage House - A Whole Lot of Staining Going On

Now that I have all these doors and windows, I was anxious to get started.



I have a couple of coats of black paint on the gate.  I may try to make it look a little more bronze?


I started with the doors, then the windows, then the window frames. The first coat isn't as dark as I would like it to be, but I will have to take a look at it after it dries.  I used a cherry finish, but perhaps I may have to go over it with mahogany.  I would like it to match the stain on the furniture.


My design is to glue the wooden grid ( upper right) on the outside of the house with a piece of clear plastic behind it.  On the interior of the house, I will glue the window frame ( upper left )

To read more about my Kage furniture collection click here


Saturday, January 31, 2015

Kage House - Laser Cutting


Tulsa is lucky enough to have a Fab Lab, an outreach component of MIT. Fab Lab is a resource for enthusiasts who span a broad spectrum from hobbyist and tinkerers, to artist and designers, to engineers and scientists. It is a platform for innovation and invention, providing stimulus for local entrepreneurship-it is also a place to play, to create, to learn, to mentor, to invent.


I have been working on a setting for my Kage furniture collection and wanted to create an Art Deco inspired place.  I was able to take go cut out my doors and windows today.


After figuring out how big the doors and windows needed to be, it made sense to glue wood together to maximize the layouts.


The CAD files were uploaded into the computer



With-in minutes, the pieces were all precisely cut out!

I spend a little extra time designing an entrance gate that will be in front of the main entry.

I was inspired by this picture that I found online.


Now I have to sand, stain and paint them.


To see my Kage collection click HERE 

To see my first post about the Kage house click Here

More to come!  


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Recent Acquisitions

I went to an estate sale this week and came across a few interesting finds.

 There was a great vintage model of a cabin.  I didn't purchase this, but enjoyed looking at the craftsmanship and the materials that they used.


I did however purchase the red "Radio Flyer" wagon, the grandfather clock and the cast iron scale.  The wood clock and scale were recent Ebay finds.


The cast iron grandfather clock is from Kilgore and has a working pendulum.  It dates from the 1920's-1930's.  The wooden clock and scale are both Strombecker pieces. The wood clock is painted black and has the face painted on in gold, while the bathroom scale is painted blue and has the face pressed into it.  These date from the 1930's -1940's.  I am still doing some research on the cast iron scale.  
( Any help would be appreciated! )

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Kage House

I have been looking for a house for my Kage collection for a long time.  This particular collection of furniture has been patiently waiting in a box.  Part of the challenge is that this furniture is 3/4" = 1'-0" and there are not a lot of houses built to that scale.  I found a couple of new pieces of furniture on Ebay the other day so I decided to take it all out and see what I had.  A few of these pieces are from my Great Grandmother's house and probably what got me interested in architecture, interiors and miniatures.


I divided the furniture into logical rooms: kitchen, living room, library, dining room & bath.  I have enough furniture for 4 bedrooms and a few pieces that I could use in halls or a music room. ( yikes! 12 rooms!)


 I decided to do a sketch and see just how big a house might need to be to accommodate this collection.  At first I was thinking a smaller house that I could hang on the wall.  I laid out the furniture and figured out how large to make rooms and how far apart to place the windows so that I could still place furniture in between.  I came up with a 3 story layout with a central hall.  I dont think I will have room for stairs because it is only 8" deep.

( You can see my Kage collection by clicking here )


I did a little research and found some Art Deco inspired doors and windows that would be appropriate for the time period on Pinterest, and drew a few in AutoCAD. 
Let me know which ones you like!


Here is what I have come up so far.  Probably a little more traditional that I was first imagining, but I want the "house" to be a back drop for the furniture collection.  My next step will be to take the CAD files to the laser shop and cut some out.   I will keep you posted.


Thursday, January 8, 2015

Arcade Cast Iron Dining Table

I recently added this dining room table and 6 chairs to my Arcade Cast Iron furniture collection.  It came with 6 chairs and has the original red paint.  Now I need to find the dining room cabinet and buffet to complete the set.


The Arcade Company manufactured cast iron toys in Freeport, Ill., USA, Arcade Toys  boasted that "They look real."   Made from 1925 to 1936,  Arcade furnishings are well designed in a larger than usual scale, 1:16 and marked on the bottom or back with the manufacturer's name raised in the cast iron and the item number.


 The chairs are embossed with a "725" on the back and the table is marked "721"



The rest of my arcade collection can be found by clicking here

I posted about a book the Arcade company put out here